Life as a freelance writer is, for the most part, a pretty stellar existence. You can have your own schedule, work wherever (and wearing whatever) you want, and never have to miss out on a fun experience just because you have to be in the office. However, a freelance writer (and freelance anything, come to think of it) is exposed to greater risks than traditional workers. Below, I've outlined four of the threats that could derail your writing career and offer some advice as to how you can overcome them/limit the damage they do.
Employees rights at work have come on a long way over the past few decades, and they continue to improve all the time. As you’re self-employed, you don’t have access to the same kinds of rights as traditional employees. If you fall ill, there is no company behind you to give you sick pay.
While you can’t prevent yourself from having to stop work due to illness (though you can limit your chances!), you can ensure that it’s not an instant disaster by having a savings pot that’ll function as your wages when you’re ill. If possible, try and put away 10-15% of your earnings into your ‘sick pay’ account.
You only need three things to be a freelance writer: talent, a computer and the internet. The talent will always be there, but the other two? Not always, and particularly the computer.
If your computer breaks you could end up losing all your important documents. And if you’ve been working on a big project, this could spell disaster. By using services like spectrumwise.com, you can keep your IT systems fully operational and have your your essential data back in your hands should you face you any problems. Remember - you can’t always rely on technology to take care of itself!
Trouble With the Law
You might one day find yourself facing a lawsuit because you’ve used copyrighted material. You could also face some legal troubles if you have a misunderstanding with your client.
While some issues you can’t account for, you can limit your chances of trouble (which could potentially cripple your business) by triple checking that you’re not using any material that might be under copyright and drawing up a contract (a simple contract/email evidence will do) with your client.
The Robots are Coming
Now, I don’t want to alarm you, but it’s only a matter of time before robots begin infiltrating the freelance writing workforce. In fact, some industry experts think that by some time in 2018 nearly 20% of web content could be “written” by robots.
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While it remains to be seen whether that amount of work will be written with non-human hands, you can prepare for the worst by beginning to specialise in a niche area of writing now. People will always need high quality, individual content written by people with real expertise!
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