Why Freelancing Isn’t A Side Gig (And What You Need To Know If It Is Your

You may be sick of hearing the hype about freelancing. You’ve read all about how it’s easier than ever to make money on your terms, without the need for a 9-to-5. And maybe you’ve even been a freelancer yourself or at least thought about it. 

But what is life like when you’re your boss? Well, I want to give you one piece of advice before we get started: don’t believe the hype. Freelancing isn’t all it’s cracked up to be, and if you’re not careful, it can wreck the stability of your career and even your life forever. 

Here are 28 things no one tells you about freelancing that will scare you straight out of this industry (or convince you that becoming a full-time entrepreneur is exactly what you need to achieve happiness):

freelancing is NOT for everyone. ask yourself these questions
Freelancing is not just a side gig; it requires dedication and commitment.
Understanding the challenges and risks associated with freelancing is crucial.
Building a strong support system and network can greatly benefit freelancers.
Proper financial planning and budgeting are essential for freelancers.
Freelancers should continuously update their skills and stay adaptable in the changing market.

Your Job Is Your Side Gig

There are several different types of freelancing. You can be a full-time freelancer, which means you work for yourself and are your boss. Your primary business is the thing that pays your bills and keeps you alive, not your side gig.

You can also be a part-time freelancer, which means you work for yourself but also have another job that pays all of your bills and keeps you fed. The thing that makes this different from being an entrepreneur is that it’s not really what sustains you; it’s just something extra on top of whatever else you do in life.

If this sounds like how things are going for most people in America today, then yes: being a part-time freelancer could very well be considered “a side gig” by some people – except instead of starting up their businesses (which will probably fail), they’re just taking on more freelance work than ever before! 

It’s still important though because it shows us where we’re headed as a society at large: toward greater self-reliance where people rely less and less on traditional employers.”

Understanding why US Freelancers charge higher than others is essential for freelancers navigating the competitive market. Check out our in-depth analysis on the factors influencing pricing strategies and discover insights to optimize your freelance rates. Explore our article on Why Do US Freelancers Charge Higher Than Others? to gain a competitive edge.

You Work Nights

If you’re freelancing, chances are you don’t have an office or coworkers to cover your shift when you need time off. You are the sole manager of your schedule and therefore you’ll be working evenings and weekends.

On any given day, I’ve found myself in a variety of situations where I’m tired as hell but have to drag my butt out of bed and get ready for work. I once woke up at 2:30 pm because my client needed some last-minute changes on his website (he was traveling). 

This is common but not ideal because most people like to keep normal hours – which means waking up at 6 am-7 am and going home after 5 pm-6 pm. 

If clients like these expect perfection from their websites then they should also expect their designers/writers/developers/etc…to operate with similar hours so that even though we’re putting in more effort for them than usual (and charging them double), it’s still difficult for us to maintain our personal lives outside work hours

You Don’t Want To Do It Forever

You do not want to freelance forever. It’s okay if you don’t.

It’s also okay if you do! But make sure it’s what you want because there are a lot of things that can come up in the future that could make this decision difficult or impossible for you later on down the line. 

If freelancing is something you’re going to do just until something better comes along, then I’d say go for it! But if it’s something more permanent for your career plans, then consider these tips:

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Make Sure That Money Isn’t An Issue 

Being freelance means working from home and sometimes without any supervision at all (except maybe an accountant). 

That may sound great when things are going well and business is booming but what happens when they aren’t? Or worse yet: What happens if they go poorly enough that no one will hire someone who doesn’t have experience working with them before?

Be Prepared Emotionally 

As much as I love my job now and how awesome most of my clients are (and even those who aren’t), there are times when clients misunderstand each other over emails or phones which leads to arguments between both parties involved after hours spent trying to communicate clearly but due to lack thereof ended up making things worse instead of better.”

You’re Not Sure If You Want To Do A Full-Time Job

This is one of the most important things to remember because it’s very easy for things to get out of control and not go as planned. You might think that you can handle it all on your own, but chances are the business will come up short at some point. If this happens and no one else is helping or contributing anything, then that means there’s even more pressure on yourself. 

No matter how much experience or education you have in freelancing, having someone else around could make life so much easier when it comes down to hard decisions like what clients should I be taking on? 

Should I give them my best work for free just so they’ll like me enough so they’ll hire me? And maybe even more importantly: Should I take this job?

You Can’t Support Yourself

It’s important to understand that this is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It’s also important to understand that you, as the freelancer, should be able to support yourself and your family. If you’re only making $5 an hour on a side gig, there are going to be some serious issues in your life if somehow this becomes your main gig. 

This doesn’t mean you can’t have fun with it or make extra money on top of what you already have coming in from another source (like full-time employment). But it does mean that it needs to supplement what you already make and not replace it entirely.

If you’re thinking about quitting your job to make more money freelancing full time, consider all of these costs:

  • Housing expenses (rent/mortgage)
  • Car insurance
  • Health insurance or medical coverage (either through employer or Obamacare)

Crafting a compelling portfolio is crucial for every freelancer. Learn the secrets to creating a portfolio that grabs attention and lands you the job you desire. Our comprehensive guide on How to Make a Portfolio That Gets You the Job provides valuable tips and showcases successful examples to help you stand out from the crowd.

You Can’t Afford The Tools You Need

As a freelancer, you need to be able to afford the tools you need.

But this is an area where many independent workers struggle. You can’t just buy the most basic model of anything and call it good; instead, you need to invest in high-quality equipment upfront (and possibly even more than once). 

If your computer goes down or breaks, for example, do you have enough money saved up to replace it? Are there standby computers available in case something goes wrong? What about insurance and other protection plans that might help with costs? Do they cost extra or come as part of a package deal with your original purchase? 

These are all questions worth asking before making any big purchases or upgrades so that no matter what happens during your career as an independent worker whether there’s an accident at home or something else happens you’ll have access to all the tools necessary for success!

Your Hourly Rate Is Too Low

If you feel like your hourly rate is too low, then it probably is.

Here are the facts: The average annual salary for a full-time employee in the US is $50,462. The median wage for writers/editors and reporters (a job title that includes freelancers) is $55K/year, which means that half of all writers make more than this amount and half make less. 

As a freelancer, you can expect to earn somewhere between these two figures but again, there’s no way to know how much until after the fact.

In addition to the base salary amount itself is lower than what would be offered by an employer or a corporate office setting, freelance jobs also don’t come with benefits like health insurance or retirement plans (although some companies offer these things). 

If you want those things for yourself and any dependents who rely on your income which almost every adult does then either increase your hourly rate so you’re earning closer to what an employed writer earns or find another way of getting those benefits through something else besides freelancing work!

Freelancing can be challenging, but there comes a moment when everything falls into place, and it isn’t hard at all. Discover the joys and rewards of freelancing by embracing the right mindset and strategies. Read our inspiring article, The Moment When Freelancing Isn’t Hard at All, and find motivation to overcome obstacles and thrive in your freelance journey.

You Don’t Have Enough Time To Focus On Your Work

If you don’t have the time to focus on your work, it’s not a side gig.

When I say “you,” I mean you specifically. If you’re running around trying to get things done at home while your spouse is watching TV or if your kids are playing video games in another room, or even if they’re just hanging out in the same room as you and asking for constant attention your environment isn’t conducive to true focus. 

The same goes for being interrupted by friends who call or text (and then call again when you don’t answer).

This is why so many people who start freelancing end up quitting after a few months: They try to make it work but eventually realize that their schedule doesn’t allow them to focus on what matters most their work!

It’s Important To Know How Much You’re Worth And How Much You Need To Make As A Freelancer

A lot of people are still under the impression that freelancing is a side gig, and that it’s not worth their time. If you want to succeed as a freelance writer, there are many things that you need to consider. 

The first thing to consider is how much money you will make as a freelance writer. You need to know what kind of income level you need for yourself or your family members (if they’re dependent on your earnings) to survive comfortably without having another full-time job.

Another important thing for writers like me who write about personal finance issues is knowing how much money I should be making every month for me to survive without having an actual job. 

In other words: if I don’t get paid enough from my writing gigs then this means I wouldn’t be able to pay rent or buy food/items at the grocery store.”

Thinking about taking the leap into full-time freelancing? Consider these 13 important factors before quitting your day job. Our article on 13 Things to Consider Before You Quit Your Day Job provides practical insights and helps you make an informed decision about transitioning into freelancing.


We’ve covered a lot of ground in this article, but I want to leave you with one more reason freelancing isn’t a side gig: the freedom to make your own rules. In the end, how you choose to make money is up to you and what works best for your life. 

Whether that means working in an office or on the go; full time or part-time; as an employee or self-employed person doesn’t matter as long as it helps bring in enough cash flow while still allowing some flexibility within your schedule so that work doesn’t take over every aspect of life.

Further Reading

Here are some additional resources to explore:

The Disadvantages of Freelancing: Learn about the potential drawbacks and challenges that come with the freelancing lifestyle, including issues like inconsistent income and lack of job security.

Risks of Freelancing: What You Need to Know: Understand the risks involved in freelancing, such as financial uncertainty, difficulty in finding clients, and managing self-employment taxes.

Pros and Cons of Freelancing: Explore the advantages and disadvantages of freelancing as a career choice. This comprehensive guide covers topics like flexibility, autonomy, and the potential for earning more money.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Freelancing A Side Gig Or A Full-Time Career?

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in our community. It’s important to know how you define yourself before you start. If you’re looking for an additional source of income or a way to supplement your regular job, then it may be a side gig. 

However, if this is something that you see yourself doing long-term and making a full-time income from, then it might be best to treat it as such.

How Do I Find Clients?

Freelancing is all about relationships. The best way to get clients is through personal connections friends of friends, family members, etc. but there are also ways to reach out online (like LinkedIn). 

It’s important not to underestimate what kind of commitment it takes to grow your network and build up clientele; many people have reported spending years without making any progress. So keep in mind that if it’s not meant to be now, then maybe later down the line when your skills have grown more sophisticated.

Is Freelancing A Side Gig?

For some people, yes. For most people, no. If you want to make a living as a freelancer, you have to treat your business like a real business. You need to establish a brand and build an audience that’s loyal to what you do. 

You also need to figure out how much money you’re going to charge for your services and make sure that the amount of work you take on can sustain you financially. 

This means that while there may be some things that are easy for side gigs like editing or writing there are other things that aren’t like designing websites or creating logos.

As long as you’re able to find clients who will pay you enough money for the work they want to be done and keep them happy with what they get from working with you, then it’s safe to say that freelancing is something worth pursuing!

How can I manage my finances as a freelancer?

Managing finances as a freelancer involves setting aside funds for taxes, creating a budget, tracking income and expenses, considering insurance options, saving for retirement, and ensuring timely invoicing and payment collection.

What are the advantages of freelancing over traditional employment?

Some advantages of freelancing include flexibility in work hours and location, the ability to choose projects and clients, potential for higher income, and the opportunity to pursue your passion and build a diverse portfolio of work.

How do I set freelance rates for my services?

Setting freelance rates involves considering factors like industry standards, your experience and expertise, the complexity of the project, time required, and the value you bring to clients. Researching market rates and experimenting with different pricing strategies can help you determine suitable rates for your services.

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