In an industry so competitive, freelance is said to definitely be the way to go when trying to get your foot in the door and your work recognized. There are several rewards to freelancing, for example you can work remotely and for several different companies at the same time which means double the income. It also means more opportunities to network. Working as a freelancer also allows your work to reach to proper channels without all the middle man stuff. If i’m a regular contributor for Ebony or Essence or Madame Noire then I can directly pitch and submit articles without having to send an email to the general account and wait months for a response. Some people actually make a career out of being a a freelancer and it actually sustains their lifestyles. From freelancing some transition into careers as consultants where they are hired under contract to complete a specific project. Freelancing isn’t just limited to being a writer, you can be a freelance art assistant, freelance graphic designer, freelance digital media journalist and the list goes on. Even though these are some great upsides, there are also some financial downsides.
As a freelancer, the company that you are on contract for is not required to give you employee benefits because even though you are an employee, you are pay per work, so in order to make a career out of freelancing you HAVE to stay in constant work which is also another downside. Some companies tend to over hire contributors, staff writers, and freelancers so that there is a steady flow of work so you really have to get in when you get in. Which can of course play with your money. If you are required to pitch three articles a week, that doesn’t mean they will except all three or publish all three which means you wont get paid for all three.
Payments as a freelancer can be tricky as well. Some will pay you the standard bi-weekly along with their constant employees, but others will pay you a monthly accumulation of what you worked and some times that means taking nearly an entire month to receive that actual payment. In order to decrease the amount of weeks it takes for you receive your money I suggest doing direct deposit or setting up a PayPal account. Paper checks are so outdated.
The struggles of getting paid as a freelancer give #BBHMM a whole new meaning.