Speaking from a blogger’s point of view, freelance work can be a godsend as well as time-consuming hard work!
I really enjoy doing freelance (check out my post on how to get freelance work), and it’s helped me hugely in my journey to becoming a full-time blogger.
Although freelance work has a lot of advantages, there are a fair few disadvantages. I thought it might be useful to go through some of these to help you decide if it’s something you want to pursue.
Advantages of freelance food writing:
- A great way to get your name out there – editors talk, and they also move to other jobs – maybe they’ll remember your work and get you freelance work there too!
- It isn’t dependant on your blog traffic. So long as you can take great photos, write a decent blog post & recipe, and adhere to any specific requests of the person you’re writing for, you can do it.
- It’s a good way to show you’re capable when pitching for other freelance work – send them a link to other articles/posts you’ve written already.
- It’s a great way to get paid for content, without it taking over your blog. i.e brand work – which normally appears on your own blog, is another great earner, but if every blog post you wrote was paid/sponsored, your blog can start to look a bit spammy.
- It’s often regular ongoing work and income – makes invoicing and payment easier to manage.
- It’s a good way to continually hone your photography skills. The more you photograph, the better you’ll get, so doing extra work is only going to help you to improve.
- Having a deadline, and someone with an expectation of good quality work helps to overcome that lazy voice in your head that tells you to play on Facebook for 5 hours straight. Which again, will only help you to improve the quality of your work
- Easier to get global work. Most of the freelance work I’ve done (so far) have been for people outside of the UK. Whereas brand work is a lot harder to get outside the country you live in – often because the brands either aren’t global brands, or the brands have different branches for each country. I often find I can’t work with a certain US brand, because the product isn’t available in the UK.
- You can get to know the style of the people you’re working for – meaning it’s easier to know what they want and to plan your recipes and photo styling, and f you get it right, it’s more likely you’ll continue to get freelance work from them.
- You can invoice for multiple pieces of work at once (usually just invoice at the end of the month), and then, in general, get paid quicker, without having to chase.
- Sometimes it’s nice to work for someone else – especially if they’re nice! Building relationships and learning from each other is always a good thing.
- Freelance work can help with ‘exposure’ – especially if the publication you’re working for allows you to include a bio at the bottom of the post or a link back to your blog. To be honest, I’ve rarely had traffic coming to Kitchen Sanctuary via the bio section of the site I’m working for, but it doesn’t hurt to have the link on there – especially if it’s from a reputable, bigger site (links like this to your site can help your google search ranking).
Disadvantages of freelance food writing:
- You’re working for someone else – so you have deadlines, expectations and often rules and guidelines to follow. Doesn’t sound great – especially if you’re looking to leave your job and work for yourself.
- It’s hand to mouth work. Write a freelance piece, get paid for a freelance piece. The more freelance you do, the more freelance work you get paid for. Unlike your own blog work where often, incoming traffic is growing all the time, meaning ad revenue increases over time, and the amount you can charge for brand work improves over time. This means that in theory, earnings from your blog will generally improve, even if you stick to doing the same amount of work. If you have regular, ongoing freelance work, the paid amount stays the same, unless you ask for an increase.
- It can take away energy for your own blog. I always ensure I complete all freelance work to deadline, and that sometimes means I have to forfeit a post on my own blog. It’s easier to feel a responsibility to a single person who is paying you and directly asking you to complete something over an audience of (mostly) unknown faces. I wish that wasn’t the case!!
- Having a looming deadline of freelance pieces can stifle your creativity. It’s easy to get bored and disheartened if you’re constantly working to someone elses list, meaning you could be completing work just to get it out of the way rather than really enjoying the creative process.
- If you’re a people-pleaser who wants to show the editor you’re working for that you’re totally awesome, it’s easy to give away your best ideas. So many times I’ve handed in a piece of work, it’s been really popular and i’ve thought I wish I’d done that one for my own site. It doesn’t stop me from submitting my best ideas next time. I guess I’m a people-pleaser!!
Can you think of any more advantages or disadvantages?
Are you looking to start or increase freelancing work and you have questions or suggestions?
Let us know in the comments below!