10 Cruel Facts About Freelance Writing Nobody Will Tell You
By Ritika Tiwari / October 10, 2016 / Comments: 2

A lot of people talk about the the advantages of freelance writing and the amazing lives of freelance writers, but no one hardly talks about the difficult part of the profession.

But the truth is, being a freelance writer can be an incredibly different task. There is no permanent income, no permanent clients, and most importantly, no guarantee.

Here are 9 productivity apps for every freelance writer:


Here are some cruel facts about freelance writing you should know:

1.     Starting up is the most difficult part

If you think you will just decide to be a freelance writer one day, and the next day you will get a client, then you are delusional because that is not how it works.

Many writers spend weeks and months finding a new client. So, in the first month of freelancing, you need to hustle more than ever.

Send at least 10-15 job proposals every day, no matter what the outcome is. Do not stop sending out proposals.

2.     Rejections are a part of life

The reason why most of the writers do not send out 10-15 job proposals every day is not because they don’t have time, its because they are scared of REJECTION.

There will always be rejections. Make your peace with it and move on. Click To Tweet


3.     Clients don’t need you, and they can leave anytime they want

The clients don’t owe freelance writers anything. They hire when they have money and they fire when they go out of funds. The polite clients will give freelance writers a 15-day intimidation, while others might just drop the bomb any time.

That is why it is important to always be on the lookout for new clients, so that even if you lose some, it doesn’t affect your monthly payouts.

4.     Not everyone will like your writing

Just because a client doesn’t like your writing doesn’t mean you are a bad writer, it just means that client doesn’t like your writing – as simple as that.

Do not let anyone tell you that you are not a good writer. Click To Tweet

5.     Bylines are pretty important

There are two types of freelance writing gigs – One that give bylines and credits, and ghostwriting. No matter how well ghostwriting gigs might pay, bylines will get you more jobs.

No client likes reading attachments from an email, they like published links that verify that you wrote that article. So, even if you get a few byline gigs that don’t pay so well, take them up as an investment and use them in your portfolio.

6.     If you don’t charge well, you will always be stuck at bottom

Its okay to charge less when you are just starting but stick to that rate for too long and you will never be able to make that jump from a part time freelance writer to a full time freelance writer.

Being a high paying freelance writer means taking up quality projects and charging high Click To Tweet

7.     Most clients are looking for free work


I cannot even fathom to tell you how many fake clients are out there, and most of them do not even look fake.

I once had a startup CEO approach me. He wanted to start with a ‘few sample articles’, and he said he would only be able to pay if he liked the articles because his business was cash-strapped. But when I Googled, I realized his company was a $15 million funded startup!

If someone wants you to do free work, that means he doesn’t respect you as a writer Click To Tweet

8.     Some clients have unrealistic expectations

There are some clients who do not really know their exact requirements. They have the budget for a freelance writer, but they actually expect the work of a full time writer.

While the client might not understand that, you should.

The freelance writer’s job entails:

  • Talking to clients about projects

  • Delivering work on time

  • Making edits

  • Sending invoices


A freelance writer’s job does not involve

  • Going to the client office

  • Taking client calls and emails whenever he desires

  • Providing advice and support 24/7

  • Helping out with any other work, and not getting paid for it

Yes, a lot of clients do request writers to come to their offices to understand how things go, but writers shouldn’t do it free of charge.

For freelance writers, there should be an hourly pay for the time spent at the client’s office. Click To Tweet


Because while you are at that client’s office, you won’t be able to do any other client’s work. So for those specific hours you will be a dedicated resource for that client and that is why you need to get paid extra.


9.     If you don’t have a business mind, scaling will be difficult

The reason why I was able to scale so quickly was because I always treated freelance writing as a business. And why shouldn’t I? I earn money through it, I provide professional services to my clients, and this is my business.

When I want to just be a writer, and write anything I want, I go to my personal blog.

Always keep business in mind, send out timely invoices, tally up contracts, and make sure the clients are paying on time.

Are there any other cruel facts about freelance writing that I missed?



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ArundhatiLisa Fourman Recent comment authors
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I really like this article Ritika, very well written! When I started my career, I worked with an Indian company that was paying for January on the 25th of February! No doubt, I left it within three months when the editor was asking for rewrite 3-4 times for issues like ‘put a comma over there’, ‘keep it within quotation marks’ etc!! So, there should be a measure for how many times someone can rewrite. About Pt 4 in this article: Once I was very upset with a comment like ‘your articles are full of grammatical errors’! I started checking the… Read more »

Lisa Fourman
Lisa Fourman

I love number 8 because I’ve seen some pretty demanding clients myself. A lot of them seem to be on the content mills, which seem to only give their writers pennies on the dollar. We deserve better than that after all the time we put into it, right?