There is important information one should know before pursuing a freelance journalism career. The field is full of advantages and disadvantages that should be taken into careful consideration before deciding if this is the right profession for you.
According to Yael Grauer’s article titled The Pros and Cons of Freelance Writingon dailywritingtips.com, the main advantage of freelance journalism is that a freelancer has a flexible schedule, because they are their own boss and decide their work load. Also, since they are the boss they get to choose what clients they would like to work with and have the creative freedom to decide what they want to write about. There is also the ability to make an unlimited amount of money, since a freelancer decides how many stories they want to take on. Colin Galbraith’s article titled Freelance Writers: 7 Advantages of Working in your Dream Market on copyblogger.com says freelancing can be a dream market, if one is writing stories about a single subject that they are knowledgeable about. Since there is little need for research and it will be easier to generate stories. Finally, it can be a very rewarding career, because a journalist is getting their work published and they are responsible for their own success.
Grauer’s article lists that the main disadvantage of freelance is that the work can take over a freelance journalist’s life and distractions can easily come into ones work space. Also, work does not come to a freelance journalist, a freelancer needs to go out and find available jobs. They may need to do a lot of searching to get through the jobs that pay little or nothing to find the jobs that will cater to them as journalists. Loolwa Khazzoom lists the top 5 disadvantages of freelance writing careers on her website. The first disadvantage is that, the work becomes a freelancer’s life; they always need to be thinking of stories and documenting situations that could make for a great story topic. Another important thing that Khazzoom points out is that, there is no stable paycheck or benefits that come along with the job. There may be months where a freelancer is making thousands of dollars and others where they have made nothing. Freelance Journalists also have the risk of editors shooting down stories leaving them with a cut in the pay they receive. Also, freelance does not come with a benefits package, there are groups to join for health and dental care, but it will be more expensive than a group plan at work. Khazzoom also says that freelancing can be a very difficult job and it takes a strong-willed person to keep going when faced with rejections of their work.
To help with the troubles of finding work there are many useful sites that can help freelancers such as, The Society of Professional Journalists’ blog, The Independent Journalist, for freelancers from different medias to discuss the profession. There are also sites such as gofreelance.com which helps freelancers search for jobs and find work that is needed.
Freelance journalism is a tough profession that is not for everyone, but if you think that it is the right profession for you it is possible to be successful and it is in your control to get everything that you can out of it.