The Negatives of Freelance Writing
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The Negatives of Freelance Writing

There are many articles available about the benefits and advantages of being a freelance writer or that review particular article writing sites. Negative articles are usually writers having a rant about a site that they have had a bad experience with. This article looks at the negatives and pitfalls that a freelance writer faces on a daily basis. The aim is to make new writers, or those who are thinking about becoming a freelance writer full-time, aware of some of the difficulties that they may experience.

Many freelance writers write articles about the earnings potential, the benefits of being a freelance writer and their favorite sites. Article writing platforms are saturated with such articles. However, not so many freelance writers own up and admit that there are also many negatives that come with being a freelance writer. As with all jobs, there are disadvantages and pitfalls that many writers will come across. It is important that new writers are aware of these so that they can make a fully informed decision about whether freelance writing is for them or not. Of course some of the downsides can only be learnt and understood by coming across them yourself., while others you can prepare for by learning from the experience of freelancers who have been in the business for a while. Here is an overview of some of the problems and disadvantages of freelance writing.


There is a lot of unpredictability about freelance writing. Just a few of the unpredictable factors are as follows:

You can never be certain of how much you will earn in a given month.

Page views can vary and this can affect the amount that you will earn.

Technical problems on a site may affect your ability to write.

Better paid writing assignments may not always be available.

When putting articles on sites where clients search for topics they want to buy, your articles may sell well or not at all.

Unpaid Time

In a salaried job, you will either earn a set amount of money per month regardless of what tasks you have done. In other jobs, you will earn by the hour, regardless of what you have done during the hour. As a freelance writer, you will spend a lot of time completing tasks that you will not be paid for. For example, time spent researching, looking for sites to write for, choosing assignments and doing your accounts are just a few of the tasks that a freelance writer does on a regular basis that is not reflected in their earnings.

Low Pay for Articles

On many writing sites the incentive or bonus pay for an article does not reflect the time and effort that has gone into completing the article. Often, a writer will only receive $1-2 for an article, in spite of the article taking an hour to complete.

Technical Problems

The main tool of the freelance writer is their computer. Without this they would not be able to work. However, it can also be their computer that causes them problems in working. Losing internet connection, technical difficulties on writing sites, such as problems submitting assignments, sites closing down for upgrades, viruses on the computer and systems crashing are just a few of the problems that writers meet with on a regular basis.

Reliance on Page Views

On many writing sites, either all your earnings will come from the page views that they receive or part of the pay you receive will be earned in this way. It can be hard to tell which articles will earn you money this way and which won’t. You may have two articles on very similar topics and one will get frequent page views, while the other may get very few. It can be extremely difficult to make any significant amount of money in this way.

Constant Interruptions

Most freelancers work within the comfort of their own home. While there are many advantages to working at home, there are some negatives. One of these is that there are constant interruptions. This can be the incessant ringing of the telephone, children diverting your attention or family members who think that because you work from home that you are available to drop everything to complete tasks for them.

Time Constraints

Freelance writers are met with time constraints which can severely limit the amount of time that they have to write and to earn money. Some of these constraints are related to the negatives of the job itself, such as technical problems or finding work, rather than writing. Other time constraints come in the form of family and personal commitments that can hinder your progress as a writer.

Overall, it is important to know about the negatives of any job before committing to doing a job as a means of earning a living. When researching the role of the freelance writer, people will come across many positive articles. These are often written to encourage people to join particular sites as the writer of the article will earn an affiliate bonus for ‘recruiting’ new writers. Negative articles usually come in the form of disgruntled writers who have had a bad experience with one particular site and are using the internet to vent their frustrations. Neither of these types of articles will give a new freelance writer a rounded view of the positives and the negatives of freelance writing. It is important that they are aware fo the pitfalls so that they can overcome them or not become too frustrated by them.

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Comments (1)

Great article, Elizabeth. It's important for writers to see both sides of the coin and to strive for improvement to turn the negatives around.