Leaving Work Behind

3 Perks of Writing For a Living (And Why You Should Consider It)

Written by Alexander Cordova on April 4, 2017. 4 Comments

A typewriter.

Plenty of people dream about writing for a living, but not everyone gets to achieve it. However, as anyone in the business will tell you, writing for a living isn’t all rainbows and sunny days.

As a freelance writer, your work experiences can be very different from those with nine-to-five jobs. For example, you may get to write about an exciting new app one day, only to then follow that up with a book review. Best of all, you get paid for it.

In this article, I’ll talk to you about three perks of writing for a living. We’ll discuss the benefits they can bring you, how to implement them on your end, and how to get your start in the field if it interests you. Let’s jump right in!

1. You Get to Research Exciting New Topics

One of the best things about writing for a living is that you get to learn about lots of new topics on a regular basis. Even if you’re a niche writer, you’ll no doubt still learn more about your chosen field on the job. If you’re anything like me, this prospect will sound very attractive, let me explain why:

  1. It improves your skill set. Constant research keeps you on your toes, and it helps you produce better content over the long term.
  2. It sharpens your research skills. Sure, search engines will do the brunt of the work for you, but as any Google-Fu master will tell you, finding the perfect source or article isn’t always easy.

Naturally, the first step when it comes to online research is to master search engines. In my case, I try to be as concise as possible with my search terms, and I almost never waste time digging beyond the first two or three pages. If I can’t find what I’m looking for readily, my first step is to refine my search parameters or try variations of the initial term.

Depending on your field, you may also want to ignore search results if they’re more than a couple of years old. After all, with today’s high turnover of content (especially in technological niches), the information may have become outdated in the meantime.

2. You’re Able to Test New and Interesting Tools

When I wear my tech writer hat, a big part of my job involves checking out new tools, how they work, and figuring out their worth. In other words, I get to play with new toys – or in this case software – regularly, which is almost always exciting (although it can sometimes give me a headache).

On the other hand, trying out an endless succession of new tools may sound like too much work. After all, we’re writers, not product testers, right? Here’s why you should change your thinking:

  1. You always know the right tool for the job. For example, I regularly research and write about WordPress. It means in most cases, I already know of a solution or two that can help my clients figure out a problem or implement a feature. Even if you’re not a tech writer, this kind of problem-solving can score you some serious brownie points.
  2. You can compare multiple solutions. These days, there are usually multiple tools – be they physical or digital – you can use to tackle any job. Getting to know them will provide you with critical insight into your niche.

When it comes to staying in the loop about new tools, your best resources are going to be authority sites for your industry. It doesn’t matter what your niche is, chances are there’s a website covering your field’s latest developments, including any new tools, services, or solutions that enter the market.

After you’ve identified and obtained a potential new tool, there are three questions you need to ask yourself during testing:

  1. What makes this particular product worthy of both my time and that of my clients?
  2. Does the tool offer any features that it’s competitors don’t?
  3. Would you use the tool yourself, or is it too complicated to recommend?

Those three simple questions will enable you to sort the winners from the losers. Plus, it’ll enable you to pitch ideas about cutting-edge tools to your clients, who are sure to appreciate your additional efforts.

3. You Get to Set Your Own Working Conditions (Practically Speaking)

Let’s get real. When it comes to freelance writing, the first thing most people think of is I get to work from home…, followed by …but I don’t want to starve to death!

These are solid goals, but of course, the devil is in the details. For every perk of working from home there’s also a relative downside, such as:

  1. Setting your own work hours: I wouldn’t change this perk for the world, but sometimes it means working well into the night due to scheduling issues or getting distracted watching Netflix.
  2. Working from anywhere: Most of the time, “anywhere” means a desk in my room while wearing pajamas, which is as glamorous as it sounds. Then again, I can also pop out to my favorite coworking space whenever I want, so that’s a plus.

Of course, working in any industry comes with its own set of downsides, and success is all about striking the right balance. For example, setting up a schedule – or at least a rough outline for your day –  is critical for keeping up your productivity. The same goes for working from home. If you’re going to be spending most of your time indoors, you need to really think about how to stay healthy, both physically and mentally.

How You Can Start Writing for a Living

I’m not going to sugarcoat it, getting your foot in the door as a freelance writer isn’t easy. That’s why two of the perks I discussed in this article are also geared towards helping you improve your talents – ultimately, everything should be focused around making yourself more marketable to clients.

The good news is there are a wealth of articles on how to get started as a freelance writer right here on this site, including more in-depth resources such as the Paid to Blog course. If you’re entirely new to the field, one of the first aspects you should check out is how to maximize your initial income as a freelance writer.

Conclusion

Writing for a living may sound like a fantasy for lots of people, but the internet has made it a real possibility. As long as you know how to get started, getting your foot in the door as a freelance writer is within your reach (although it’s still going to take some effort!).

Furthermore, you get to enjoy all the perks that come alongside the job, such as:

  1. Getting to research exciting new topics.
  2. Testing new and interesting tools.
  3. Setting your own working conditions (within reason!).

Do you have any questions about what it’s like to make a living as a freelance writer? Ask away in the comments section below!

Image credit: Pexels.

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4 Responses to “3 Perks of Writing For a Living (And Why You Should Consider It)”

  1. Karen
    April 13, 2017 at 2:31 am

    Hey Alexander,
    Thanks for this post. I think a lot of people hesitate with getting into freelancing because of the unknowns. Getting started slowly while you are in a full time job is a great way to do so. You’re correct about the largest benefit being setting your own life schedule on this. It’s great to do so. Another thing people considering doing this could do is search articles about digital nomading. Thanks again!
    Cheers,

  2. Chris
    April 20, 2017 at 8:41 pm

    Hi Alexander, thanks for this. How does one go about improving their writing skills? Is there a bare minimum of writing skills I should have before jumping into the world of freelancing writing?

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