Tuesday 7 March 2017

Freelancing: the best & worst

As a blogger, I am self-employed - I earn money through sponsored posts and such like. I also do freelancing outside of my blog: content writing, web design, proofreading, things like that. Freelancing, honestly, is the best. And the worst.

Freelancing means working for a variety of companies through small contracts, rather than being an employee for one company. This can (often, not always) mean freedom, choosing your own hours and your own terms. I love freelancing: sponsored blog posts and content writing can be done in my pyjamas, from my bed or my desk with Law & Order on in the background. I can fit it around uni, have an afternoon bath if I want one, nap in the day and work at night if I feel like it. It means I can write what I want to write, for the most part - I might be given topics to write about, but I can do my own research and come up with my own ideas. And that means I write things I'm proud of: I'm not regurgitating press releases, and I can talk about things I'm passionate about.

I love freelancing for the extra money it brings in, the freedom it allows me, that opportunities it's given me. But what I don't love is the shit that comes alongside it. Freelancers are, often, not taken seriously. We have to push to be paid a fair amount and then, when it comes time to settle the bill, some people take the absolute piss.

I've had this mostly with blogging, rather than my other freelance work - brands say they're going to pay you and when the time comes, they beat around the bush. "You'll be paid by the end of the month" turns into you chasing them 2 weeks into the next month, sending email after email asking when the money will appear. It turns into them ignoring you, or passing you on to somebody else, or saying they'll get back to you - and then not doing so.

Let's put it this way - if you work for a company as an employee on their pay roll, you are paid (weekly or monthly) on an agreed date. If the money wasn't in your bank on that agreed date, you'd be rightly fuming and trying to sort it out. What nobody can seem to get into the heads of these people who don't pay us on time, is that all we want as bloggers and freelancers is THE SAME THING. If your wages go in on time, why can't my payment go in on time? If for some reason you can't pay me or it's going to take longer than I agreed to - BLOODY TELL ME. I won't be mad at you (at least, I won't be nasty to you, I cannot promise I won't bitch about you to my mum).

So many times I've been left in the dark, wondering when payment for work I've done weeks or months ago will arrive. So many times I'm left thinking why did I bother doing that work? or have they done some sort of runner on me? or have I been scammed? With some freelancing websites, where you can find freelance work to get involved with, you are protected from people who don't pay - but the site takes a cut of any money you earn, so it's swings and roundabouts. This isn't the case with a lot of freelance work and especially with blogging: if you're not signed to an agency (which most of us aren't) then there's little to no protection when it comes to people taking the piss with payments.

Please, if you're a PR or content agency that outsources to bloggers and freelancers - just pay us the amount we agreed to, on the date we agreed to be paid on, for the work we've agreed to do and have done for you. PLEASE.

Do you have any freelancing horror stories?


  1. I have the exact same feelings as you when it comes to freelancing. I really loved being able to choose my own hours and work around other commitments, but when it came to money, it just wasn't great. I was constantly told that the work I was producing was high quality and that my style of writing was brilliant, yet I was being paid pennies! I'm considering freelancing again though, purely because I'd like to generate a little more income, but I'd really like to push for better pay.

    Olivia - The Northernist x

  2. I'm so thankful for having a full time job, no matter what I know exactly what will be coming in at the end of the month and I know my bills will be paid. I've had times when I've not been paid for a blog post and it's so frustrating, I usually end up giving up the chase and just taking the post down, or reworking it to suit me, not the ones who haven't paid me.

    Sarah :)
    Saloca in Wonderland