The Pros and Cons of Freelancing: A Journey from Passion to Paycheck

Writing has always been my hobby and some sort of comfort. Safe to say, it has been my passion. When I started taking writing seriously, it was mostly to express my sentiments and vent some steam. I never expected that it was going to be a source of income.

How I started As a Freelance Writer

I started working as a freelance writer back in 2009. I started small: I wrote my classmates’ papers. These included essays, short stories, poetry, and even lesson plans. They paid me to do all those.

My cousins found out about what I was doing, and they hooked me up with another academic writer with a huge network. I then started writing for international clients, getting paid at least 5.00 USD per page. I then expanded to writing SEO articles and blog posts.

In 2012, I became an editor for a publishing company. I used my new skillset to expand my freelance work. I started editing book manuscripts and academic journals using APA, MLA, and CMOS style guides. I also started writing press releases in the same year, which also helped me expand my freelance working niche.

Recently, I decided to take a break from my corporate job to take care of personal issues. I have been working freelance since I took the said break.

Working freelance has many benefits and pitfalls. I will share what I have experienced during the past 14 years of me freelancing, albeit on and off. I’ll also share what I did to start and continue working freelance successfully.

How to Prepare for Freelance Work

Working freelance has many benefits as well as drawbacks. If you’re considering going freelance, here are some tips to help you make the transition:

#1. Assess your skills: You have to identify the skills and services you can offer as a freelancer. You also need to ensure there is a demand for them in the market.

When I started freelancing, I only sent applications for academic writing, and then, I branched out to press release writing.

Currently, I write for a website in the dental tourism industry. I have even started preparing illustrations and infographics for the articles I wrote.

#2. Plan your finances: You must make a budget and plan for unexpected expenses. These include health insurance and retirement savings, as you will be responsible for these costs as a freelancer.

You must also consider your monthly contributions for government-mandated premiums, like your SSS, PhilHealth, Pag-IBIG, and income tax.

#3. Build a network: Network with other freelancers, potential clients, and industry professionals to help you find work and grow your business. LinkedIn is a good place to start because several freelancers can endorse your skills. You can also send applications for several freelance jobs on the website.

#4. Establish a solid online presence: Create a professional website and social media profiles to showcase your portfolio and market your services. This is very important to build your credibility as a candidate you are applying for.

#5. Set boundaries: Establish clear boundaries between your personal and professional life, including setting a schedule and creating a designated workspace. I mostly write at home. However, when needed, I go to a coworking space so I don’t compromise the boundaries of my personal life.

I also invested in a new device I use to write. That’s because I want to exclusively use my PC for my gaming hobbies.

#6. Stay organized: It’s best to keep track of your income, expenses, and project timelines. This ensures you stay on top of your finances and meet your deadlines.

Using Google calendar is a good way to start. You can set up events and reminders for important tasks. This way, you don’t miss sending your invoice, paying your bills, and finishing your assigned projects.

#7. Stay updated: Stay informed of industry trends and developments and develop your skills to stay competitive in the market. When I started working freelance last December 2022, I only applied as a writer because that’s my niche.

Now, I know how to do keyword research through Ahrefs and SemRush. I even started learning hub content marketing for social media. I even took courses in Photoshop and Illustrator to better present my graphics in my articles.

tips on starting freelance work

What Are the Benefits of Working Freelance?

Freelancing offers many benefits that can enhance your career and personal life. Here are some of the advantages of freelancing:

#1. Flexibility: Freelancing allows me to set my schedule and work from anywhere, balancing my work and personal life. I also negotiated the pay I believe I deserve based on what the client requires me for the projects.

#2. Control over your work: I have complete control over the projects I take on and the clients I work with. This allows me to choose projects that align with my skills and interests. Not only that, but it also makes me confident that I can deliver the required output with great quality.

#3. Increased earning potential: You can charge higher service rates, leading to a potentially higher income than traditional employment.

I was able to negotiate to get 0.4 US cents per word in some of my writing works. In some, a flat rate of 30 GCB for the press releases that I wrote. However, make sure that you also deliver quality work for the fee you charge.

#4. Career growth: Freelancing provides opportunities to work with various clients and projects. This allows you to expand your skills and knowledge and potentially increase your earning potential.

Like I mentioned earlier, some jobs require more than just what your current skills can offer. I started learning SEO tools, graphic design tools, and photo editing tools so I can deliver better quality work.

#5. Diversification of income: Working with multiple clients diversifies your income. It also reduces the financial impact of losing one client or project.

However, this can only work if you take output-based projects. I won’t suggest taking multiple clients when you’re paid per by the hour. That might seem a good idea, but it can also lead to burnout.

#6. No commuting: You work from home. Most of the time. You can choose to work elsewhere, like coffee shops, coworking spaces, and a hotel. Really, wherever you choose to.

#7. Tax benefits: Freelancers may be eligible for tax deductions on business expenses. These include equipment, office space, and travel, which can reduce their tax liability.

Overall, freelancing can offer a fulfilling and flexible career path. It allows you to control your work and finances, and pursue your passions and goals.

What Are the Dangers of Working Freelance?

While freelancing can offer many benefits, it comes with risks and challenges. These are some of the drawbacks that I experienced while working freelance.

#1. Income instability: Freelancing can be unpredictable, and you may experience periods of feast and famine. I have had weeks where I received several projects and got paid handsomely. Then, the week after that, no projects came in.

You should plan for slow periods and have a backup plan for financial stability. Do not spend your earnings right away. Leave some of the rainy days, especially when you’re freelancing an output-based project and not paid hourly.

#2. Lack of benefits: You won’t have access to traditional employee benefits. That means you won’t have health insurance, paid time off, and retirement benefits. You also have to pay my government-mandated contributions myself. It’s great that you can pay your SSS, PhilHealth, and Pag-IBIG online, so it’s not inconvenient.

#3. Isolation: Working alone can be isolating and may lead to feelings of loneliness and burnout. It’s important to make an effort to connect with your close friends while working remotely.

#4. Client management: Finding and managing clients can be time-consuming and challenging. You must have strong communication and negotiation skills to build and maintain client relationships.

#5. Responsibility for taxes: You will be responsible for paying your taxes. This also includes self-employment taxes, which can be a significant financial burden.

#7. No job security: Freelancing is not guaranteed, and projects can end suddenly, leaving you without work or income.

#7. Competition: The freelance market can be highly competitive. you will need to continuously market yourself and your skills to stay relevant and attract new clients. Of almost a hundred applications I sent, only less than 20 replied, regardless of how strong my CV and portfolio look.

pros and cons of freelancing

By being aware of these dangers, you can take the necessary steps to mitigate them. You can make a successful transition to freelancing and achieve your career goals.

Final Takeaways

Freelancing can be both a blessing and a curse. On one hand, it offers unparalleled flexibility and freedom, allowing you to work on your own terms and pursue your passions. On the other hand, it can be isolating and stressful, with the constant pressure to find new clients and manage multiple projects simultaneously.

Despite its drawbacks, freelancing has become an increasingly popular career choice, and for good reasons. With the rise of remote work and the gig economy, more and more people are discovering the benefits of freelancing, including the ability to set their own schedules, work from anywhere, and earn a higher income than they would in traditional 9 to 5 jobs.

Of course, freelancing isn’t for everyone, and it comes with its fair share of challenges. But for those who are willing to put in the effort and take the risks, the rewards can be significant. Whether you’re a seasoned freelancer or just starting out, there’s never been a better time to explore this exciting and dynamic career path. So go ahead, take the plunge, and see where freelancing can take you.


One thought on “The Pros and Cons of Freelancing: A Journey from Passion to Paycheck

Add yours

Tell Me Your Thoughts About What You've Just Read

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: