Freelance content writing is amongst the top selling jobs in the freelance community. The Internet is brimming with billions of webpages of varied content—and who fills up those pages? Well, of course, the content writers who are usually hired on a part-time basis but paid handsomely for their contribution. Thus, freelance content writing is quite a profitable career opportunity.
We all know the perks of freelancing—flexible deadlines, less pressure from higher-ups, low input costs, and what not—but there are moments when, despite all the benefits, freelancing is not cool. In fact, it sucks.
Content writing is a job which is creative and usually flexible in the Internet world, but even this is not free from its own drawbacks and moments which just mess up our minds. We all know about those moments, but rarely talk about them in public.
So, we have decided that this article will put forth 7 moments when being a freelance content writer can actually suck—and trust us, if you are one of those millions of freelance content writers, you will find plenty of relatable moments to share.
So, let us take a look, shall we?
1. Writer’s Block
Content writers are content writers because they never fall short of words. Well, actually, this may not be true all the time. In fact, there are moments when your mind just stops processing words and meaningful sentences, and that is when you suffer, what is usually known as, a writer’s block.
A writer’s block is a psychological condition which prevents you from processing data and putting them into words. You might be highly qualified in the field of content delivery, but you cannot escape these moments from abruptly disrupting your work life.
During a writer’s block, you will use repetitive sentences, blatantly copy-and-paste articles, forget meanings of the simplest of words, and produce average quality content giving your client ample number of opportunities to lose his mind and shout his heart out at you.
There is no way to tell when a writer’s block will hit you. However, you can handle it and reduce its effects to a great degree by engaging in a couple of constructive activities such as taking a break from work, taking a walk outside, or meditating.
Just avoid putting too much force on your head for some time, and you will be just fine.
2. Wait For Payment
Of course, the wait for payment kills. You have spent days and nights on researching, writing, and proofreading to finish off your batch at the right time, but then a strongly unpleasant realization comes every time you e-mail the batch to your client.
It is the realization that you have days before you get your payment, and you might wonder whether you will be getting paid at all if you are working with a client for the first time and not sure about his prospects.
The wait for payment is, perhaps, the most annoying aspect of freelancing. Many clients do not offer per article payment and usually process payment fortnightly or monthly which is a long wait.
Freelancers do not have the regularity of income; plus, they run greater risks of non-payment so they are always eager to get paid as early as possible. But, alas, life is cruel and the wait is even crueler.
For this problem, well, there is no remedy. You have no other option but to wait until the payment day.
3. The PC Crash
Did you think waiting for the payment is the most terrible part of freelance content writing? Hate to break it to you, but you are wrong. We have another one on the list of the most terrible things about this job: PC crash.
PC crash affects you mentally. You are enjoying your pace and typing happily all that you have in your mind to write, and then suddenly, for the only reason to harass you, the PC crashes. Worse, you know you have not saved the data and all your hard work could be gone.
What next? You call up your tech-savvy friends who proudly tell you that your 21st century PC must have automatically made a back-up—but you are running low on luck so how’s that possible in your case?
You get your PC fixed and something worse than you imagined has happened to your system and there is no way to recover data. Moreover, you have lost a lot of time and might have skipped deadlines, inviting disappointment from clients.
PC crash is often unexpected, though most of the time the cause is improper care of your electronic baby. Take good care of your PC, save your draft every time you finish a page or two, and do regular virus checks for your own good.
4. Negative Commentary
Content writing may sound easy to many, but it is not. You always have to keep in mind several factors to come up with the right content in the right form: directed audience, guidelines of the clients, the target website and what not.
You cannot be whimsical about writing articles and always have to assess what the client wants. But, that is not the end of this.
After all the trouble of sticking to guidelines and deadlines, you have to subject your article and, indirectly, yourself to the opinion of the public. Whether or not you are a ghostwriter, you will be affected by the variety of feedback you will get from clients and public.
Negative comments affect you the most and make you wonder what value all your hard work has. However, such is the life of a freelance content writer!
How to handle this? Honestly, you cannot achieve a perfect audience for your content. There will always be people who love or hate your piece. Always read the feedback in a way that you are trying to learn something.
If the feedback seems constructive, try implementing the same. Take special note of the feedback you receive from the client because that will help you improve the quality of work and earn more money.
5. Copyright Infringement
This is areal serious thing which always makes a content writer cringe. Those who are in this industry will know the feeling of getting a notice of copyright infringement, along with a take-down notice which totally kills motivation and faith in this industry.
It so happens that you have written a wonderful post, after having followed all the guidelines and got necessary approvals from the client; but, then you receive a mail which totally turns your world upside down.
A take-down notice which requires you to remove the content immediately and in absence of such action, a legal action shall ensure. You hastily go through the website policy and you find out that the writer is responsible for the content.
We all are aware of ways to avoid infringement, but let us reiterate a few of them once again: paraphrasing, plagiarism check from authentic software, and avoiding content from one article.
Before you write for any person, make sure you apprise yourself of terms and conditions of the agreement and the policy of the website on which the content will be published.
6. Bulk Articles
It is true that freelance jobs are quite flexible and less pressurizing, but there are instances when these very same jobs kill you from the inside. In the field of content writing, we call them bulk articles.
Bulk articles are as bulky as they sound. These articles are given in huge quantities and are supposed to be finished off within a limited time period.
Because of the time constraints, the pressure is immense and could really make you want to leave the job. These articles are often so huge in numbers that you end up spending days and nights in completing them.
If you want to give yourself some slack, then it is always better to negotiate time restrictions and the volume of articles. Clients are usually amenable to adjustments and will pay attention to your requests if reasonable and smartly made. However, when taking up bulk assignments, make sure you are mentally prepared to spend most of the hours of the day into writing them.
7. American Or British?
One of the most common issues which freelance writers face is regarding the style of language used in the article.
Whenever you take up projects, clients would ask you to use American English or British English—and this could be a problem, especially when your native language is neither of them.
For example, if you are an Indian writer, you might find it troublesome to use American English as Indians usually speak and write in British English but they also have their own Indian English style.
Well, there is no straight jacket way to handle this situation. It is, however, recommended that you download Apps and software which run language checks. For example, Grammarly which runs checks on the document and evaluates it as per American English standards.