So you love to write, you’re good at it. Should you start your own blog or freelance? Both of them have their ups and downs. If you’re hoping to earn a living from your writing, it’s possible either way. Here are some of the pros and cons of freelance writing, and of having your own blog or website.
If you freelance, you never have to worry about website maintenance, setup costs or keeping your website up to date – that’s all taken care of. Maintaining a website can be a huge drain on time you might otherwise spend writing, or with family. On the other hand, you don’t have a say in where your content is posted or the website design. You also don’t own any assets, you’re being paid a fixed rate, so if a site’s popularity suddenly skyrockets, thanks to your content, you see none of the profit.
As a blogger, you can write what you want, when you want. If you’re feeling inspired and have a lot to say, you can tap out 3 or 4 articles in a row and schedule them over a week or so. As a freelancer, you’re sort of bound to write on command. It helps when you have an assigned topic, you can do some research to get the cogs turning, but if it’s a topic that doesn’t interest you, or you really just aren’t feeling it, it can be a real drag.
As a freelancer, knowing you’re going to get a set number of jobs every day or week, you have a relatively dependable income. Having your own site, popularity may rise and fall – you may not be able to get paid advertising, so your income could be quite up and down.
Conversely, as a freelance writer, you’re stuck at a fixed rate. If your content brings in a lot of revenue for a site you write for, you don’t see any of the extra, you stay at the same fixed rate. With your own site, better content means more traffic, usually meaning more income.
Time is a pro and a con either way. As a blogger, you may need to attend to your site on a fairly regular basis – deal with technical issues, respond to comments. If it’s relatively self-sustaining, your time is more your own. A good app design will let you run it from your phone.
When it comes to freelancing, deadlines are more of an issue, which could mean late nights, working on weekends and struggling to meet a deadline when you just don’t feel like writing. You can say no to work though. If you need the time off, don’t take on any new jobs. The downside – not working means not earning.
To be honest, neither will work for everyone. If you want to start a blog, start with WordPress and move to your own domain when it’s feasible. The other option: do both. Freelancing will give you a fairly reliable income while you get your own blog up and running.