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9 Challenges of Being a Freelance Content Writer

No freelancer in the world has gone unchallenged by challenges. Every freelancer has their own story of how they got started, and as they grow, new challenges arise. Yet, it’s the resilience and determination of these writers that inspire and motivate us.

As with any journey, challenges will present along the way—don’t allow yourself to become disheartened! Instead, strive forward.

Becoming successful requires facing, understanding, and overcoming obstacles. This knowledge empowers you and puts you in control of your freelance writing journey.

1. Unemployment/Inability to Find Work

One of the most significant difficulties for new freelance writers is finding enough work to support themselves financially.

Experience and referrals make finding work much harder; with them, securing employment as a freelance writer is possible. Finding work that pays well or job opportunities may also prove challenging in this competitive industry.


Finding freelance writing assignments requires time and energy. To be a freelancer, the first step should not be writing but finding work. Mail emails with your cold pitch to businesses and editors. Engage with your contacts and professional colleagues regarding potential writing opportunities.

Persistence is vital in the quest for work. Regular follow-ups and a proactive approach are essential in this competitive industry.

2. Write without Portfolio

Newcomers to freelance writing often need more experience. Applying for writing jobs without providing an extensive portfolio is unprofessional and should be avoided.

Editors and clients will take you less seriously without samples demonstrating your abilities.


Establishing your credibility is crucial before you approach editors or apply for jobs. A portfolio of your work is a powerful tool in this regard.

Just provide some samples of your writing work. Make an honest assessment of what sort of writing interests you. Create writing samples to prove your abilities, even if this means doing free work.

3. Not Understanding Marketing

Many novice freelance writers mistakenly believe they only need to write well; however, as a freelancer, you are running a business and should approach it thoughtfully and carefully. Producing engaging content is crucial, but so is effectively marketing yourself to ensure steady work with repeat clients and referrals from existing ones.


To learn marketing fundamentals, read articles online, such as those available from Hubspot or Copyblogger, which provide valuable resources.

Create weekly and monthly marketing plans based on specific goals. For instance, contact 40-50 prospects weekly or apply to five writing jobs daily.

Document your progress and outcomes as they happen.

If your marketing strategy isn’t yielding the desired results, give yourself at least a month to let things settle before doubling down on its implementation.

4. Time Management 

While trying to accomplish all your responsibilities—marketing, job hunting, resume building, administrative duties management, networking opportunities, and work completion—can be overwhelming, but time management may help!

Lacking focus and dedication may lead you to give up quickly. You must manage your time effectively to avoid missed deadlines and ensure quality work is delivered on time to clients.


One effective way freelancers manage their time efficiently is by creating a schedule.

Plan rather than write and research as inspiration strikes.

If you want to stay ahead of your workload, prioritise tasks according to their importance, eliminate distractions in your workspace, and set aside extra time for concentration.

5. Negotiating Pay

Challenging Task and Experience Required

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Negotiating pay can be challenging when no client testimonials or experience back your claim.

Determining what fees should be charged as a beginner freelancer can be challenging.


If your work were more extensive, it could command a higher price. Before setting high prices, research the average pay in your market. Your rates depend on your niche, industry, and clientele.

Once you know market rates, adjusting your rate according to your experience and expertise is wise.

Establish a fair and reasonable price before venturing out on your own. This is particularly crucial when starting up.

6.Maintain Clients

So you have some clients, which is lovely, but they have yet to respond. What should you do now?

Keep clients Happy.

Even if they find another provider, clients may still leave. Maintaining professional relationships can be challenging, yet failure could mean starting over. That would be demoralising, so take steps to establish relationships.


Establishing client relationships allows you to secure additional work and attract clients through referrals – more income for you!

Whether this is your first or fourth time working together, producing exceptional quality work is the key to building client relationships.

Your efforts would be more successful if you created high-quality content, took feedback seriously, and communicated empathy.

7. How to get clients to pay you

As a freelance writer just starting, you might be having difficulty receiving payments. There could be various reasons for this to occur.

You have yet to reach a clear understanding of the payment terms.

Have a complex payment method?

Have you encountered clients who refuse to pay the total costs of services rendered?


Declaratory fees and late payment policies should be clearly articulated on your invoices as soon as possible, along with your payment policy details.

As you start freelance writing, there will undoubtedly be challenges you must overcome – but these should never stop you! To do this effectively and overcome them easily, know what to expect, take measures to prepare and stay determined.

8. Manage Finances and Taxes

For freelance content writers, managing finances and taxes can be a challenge. Freelancers, unlike salaried workers, must manage all aspects of financial management. This includes invoicing clients and tracking expenses and income. It can be overwhelming, especially if you don’t have a financial background.


Accounting software designed specifically for freelancers is a practical solution. These tools automate the invoicing process, track expenses, and calculate taxes, which ensures accurate financial records. Consultations with an accountant or financial advisor can help you navigate the complex taxation rules and provide personalised advice. This will reduce your stress and ensure compliance with tax laws..

9. Self-Discipline

Self-discipline is vital for freelance content writers, who frequently work from home without the structure of a conventional office setting. Distractions like social media or household tasks can easily interrupt productivity.


To address this, freelancers should designate a specific workspace and establish a daily routine that mirrors a traditional workday. Setting defined work hours, taking scheduled breaks, and using productivity tools such as time-tracking apps help maintain focus and efficiency. Additionally, defining specific goals and deadlines for each project can boost motivation and foster a sense of achievement, helping freelancers remain focused and efficiently manage their workload.

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