Should You be a Full-Time or Freelance Web Writer?

After you've decided what type of Web writer you want to be (as in specialties and / or niches), you need to decide if you'd like to freelance in Web writing or look for a more permanent full-time Web writing job. Here are some of the benefits of each to help you decide what's right for you:

Benefits of Full-Time Web Writing as an Employee

  • You'll receive a consistent paycheck.
  • You'll have more security in your work (you don't have to constantly search for new clients).
  • You may have access to an editor or other supervisor who can help you grow in your Web writing work.
  • You will most likely work on-site with your employer, which means you'll have colleagues to associate with on a regular basis (a more social environment).
  • You may receive benefits (such as paid vacations and health insurance).
  • You don't have to worry about keeping accounting records, and your taxes are withheld from your paycheck for you.
  • You don't have to pay extra taxes in the self-employment tax paid by freelancers (because your employer pays a portion of your Medicare and social security taxes, so you're not paying for it all by yourself).

Benefits of Freelance Web Writing

  • You set your own working hours (ideal if you have to work around kids' schedules or if you simply know you're a more productive writer during non-traditional business hours).
  • You have more freedom in the types of Web writing projects you accept or decline, or the types of clients you choose to work with.
  • If you lose one gig, you'll likely have others to fill in the gaps (unlike losing your sole full-time Web writing job).
  • You can build more exposure for yourself and your name as a professional, because you'll be actively and aggressively marketing your services and showcasing your best work (or at least you should be).
  • You decide when you want to earn more money by raising your rates or targeting different markets / clients, instead of waiting on an employer to agree to give you the raise you want.
  • You can sometimes be paid more quickly for your work (you decide if you get paid up front or after the work is complete).
  • You get to control your work environment to make sure you can work as productively as possible (from the layout to the lighting).
  • If you need extra money, you can take on more clients without having to worry about getting things like overtime approved by your boss.
  • There's no one looking over your shoulder while you work.

If you're already experienced as a Web writer, either full-time or on a freelance basis, what are some other benefits (or even drawbacks) of each that you might want to alert new Web writers to?

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Jennifer Mattern is a professional blogger, freelance business writer, consultant, and indie author. She runs numerous websites & blogs including All Freelance Writing, Freelance Writing Pros, NakedPR, and Kiss My Biz.

Jenn has 25 years' experience as a professional writer and editor and over 20 years' experience in marketing and PR (working heavily in digital PR, online marketing, social media, SEO, new media, and thought leadership publication). She also has 19 years' professional blogging and web publishing experience (including web development) and around 18 years of experience as an indie author / publisher.

Jenn also writes fiction under multiple pen names and is an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.

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2 thoughts on “Should You be a Full-Time or Freelance Web Writer?”

  1. I’ve done both, and let me just say, if you can get a full-time gig that pays decently, take it!

    Okay, I say that because the economy’s lousy and like everyone who’s trying to make a living by freelancing, I’m fretting about money these days. 🙂 But I did like my full-time web writing gig that I had a few years ago. I learned a lot, it paid a reliable paycheck, and I had good benefits. And I still freelance for that company today.
    I guess you just have to decide what suits your needs and go from there.

  2. Personally I feel much more secure freelancing during the lousy economy. And while I’d never give up the freelance life if I didn’t have to, I’ll admit every once in a while the concept of benefits and paid vacation time does sound appealing. 🙂


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