Can freelance writing be a hobby? Well, it depends. If you want to make freelance writing a hobby instead of a full-time job, you can do it, but you will have to take it a bit more seriously than you do most hobbies or you may find yourself in a mess.
What If You Only Want to Do Freelance Writing as a Hobby?
Many people, myself included, see freelance writing as a way to run our own business, work on our own time, not have a boss, and not have a full-time job.
There are others that only want to write part-time and that works out as well. It is still a bit more than just being a hobby.
Working full-time or part-time in freelance writing, you are still dedicating a good number of hours per week to it. It implies that you have a set schedule and are, of course, meeting deadlines.
In other words, you are looking at it as a business and you take it seriously.
That’s not to say, you won’t take your writing assignments seriously if you see freelance writing as a hobby, but it does suggest you aren’t looking at putting much time into this endeavor.
Forgive me if that’s not the case.
Personally, I do believe it would be difficult to market for clients and then fulfill your writing duties if you are not at the very least looking at freelance writing as a part-time job.
However, there is one way, I do believe you would be able to freelance as a hobby and make some extra money, and that’s by working for a writing platform.
How to Manage Freelance Writing as a Hobby
A writing platform is a website that brings freelance writers and those looking to hire writers together. They are a middleman and in some ways become your boss.
They will determine how much you can charge for your writing.
Most of these sites, even the better ones such as Writer’s Access or Upwork you will find pay you anywhere from 4 cents to 8 cents per word.
Writer’s Access and Textbroker will determine what level of a writer you are, and then you will get access to writing jobs based on that level and the level will determine how much you are paid.
In general, I advise writers to stay away from these places and to go out and find their own clients. It really is easier as you won’t be competing with hundreds of other writers.
It is time-consuming to find your own clients but for anyone that is looking to be a part-time or full-time freelance writer, it is always worth the time.
Since you are looking at making freelance writing a hobby, finding your own clients isn’t really the way to go.
Once you have a client they will expect you to write when they need the job done. You can’t tell them don’t want to take an assignment this week because you are off doing something else. If you do, you won’t have the client for long.
They are a full-time business, and they expect you to be as well.
There is one main advantage of using platforms for those just looking to make money off and on.
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Only Write When You Want To
Once you have been approved to write, you can log in and find a writing assignment when you want to and you don’t have to when you don’t want to.
Let’s say you have a few extra hours this week, so you’d like to spend some of that time writing for money. You log into Writer’s Access or Textbroker and if there is an assignment available, you can take it and do the writing.
Keep in mind, if you accept the writing assignment you do need to complete it by the deadline. If you miss deadlines on these platforms, you will be kicked off.
Granted, you won’t be paid nearly as well as someone who finds their own clients, which is why I tell writers that’s what they should do, but if you just want a writing assignment here and there, this is the way to go.
Once you finish your writing assignment, you can decide if you want to do another or you can log off and enjoy the rest of your week.
This is how you make freelance writing a hobby. You’re happy. The person you wrote the article for is happy. It is a win-win situation.
It won’t make you rich, but you might make enough for a nice dinner out or a little shopping or even paying your electric bill.
When Freelance Writing Can’t Be a Hobby
If you are hoping to leave your full-time job or even make a real side income, then freelance writing can’t be a hobby.
You will need to approach it as an actual business with schedules and deadlines and time for marketing…lots of marketing.
The exciting thing is, you can go from hobby status to replacing a full-time income in just a couple to a few months.
You would leave the writing platforms behind you and dive into the marketing to find your clients directly.
Once you do, you can charge a great deal more. Forget 4 cents a word and now you’re making $125 or $200 for the same work that you were making $30 for.
That’s the great thing about freelance writing. You are in control. You can decide if you just want to do a little bit of it or if you want to be full-time making a six-figure income.
Once you get started, you’ll be amazed at how easy it is to go from ground zero to the top.
What Skills Should a Freelance Writer Have?
First off, you need to be a good writer. You don’t need to be a great writer, but you do need to sharpen up your grammar and be able to understand what tone the article you are writing needs. Is it formal? Is it casual? You should be able to write the way your client wants it.
Secondly, you need to be able to market yourself. In the beginning, most of your time will be taken up with finding clients. Even once you have them, you will need to continue to find new ones. This is a never-ending process.
Finally, you need to be able to meet deadlines. Never miss one. No excuses.
That’s really it. People make this much harder than it needs to be. But if you can handle the above three things, you can be a successful freelance writer.
To Sum it All Up:
Freelance writing can be a hobby, but you will have to accept making less money than you would otherwise. You will need to work with a platform such as Writer’s Access instead of finding your own clients. Both are fine as long as you are aware that you won’t make huge sums of money, if you look at freelance writing as a hobby, and that’s okay.