MastersDegree.net has created a fascinating infographic called The PitFalls of Freelancing:
Created by: Masters Degree
Michael Silverstein posts in a blog called The Moderate Voice (Wall Street Journal):
I don???t want to come across as insensitive. I know a lot of people who have desperately wanted full-time work for the security and benefits that often come in its train are finally getting a shot at it, and happily giving up the less secure, often benefit-less life of the freelancer, consultant, or part-timer.
But there are also a lot of people like my freelancer friend, who is now wondering where she can find the supplementary income that freelance work provided her, income that helped her survive since she left the workforce and started collecting Social Security.
He’s got a point. I remember back in the late 1980s, I was freelancing and got at least 60% of my income from a single source, a weekly tech pub which was buying a feature from me about every other week. After about a year, during which they liked my work and would send the articles back with only a few questions, I suddenly got one back from a new editor with a great deal of complaints, and requests for extensive rewrites — and after that, no more assignments. It turned out that they were actually changing to an all-inhouse writing staff (I suppose the new editor wanted to make sure her place in the organization was firm, or she simply didn’t know how to handle editing, or something). And I lost a good part of my income, and eventually took a full-time job.
The moral of the story, I guess, is that if you’re a freelancer and want to remain one, don’t count on a single source of income. And keep in mind that — whether you’re freelancing or on staff — nothing is forever.
ZDNet writer Stephen Chapman has blogged about how Facebook is not the place for a freelancer to make contacts — because a private message is very easily missed. He wrote:
As was discussed by my colleague Emil Protalinski this past December in a piece titled ???Facebook is hiding your messages from you,??? you most likely have messages waiting for you that you had no idea about (which means, so do the people you???ve tried messaging without ???friending??? first). For some, they???re just spam messages. But for folks like me (and, similarly, folks like those I???m trying to reach out to), I often have people legitimately message me without adding me first (which is understandable), and where do all of their messages end up? In that ???Other??? folder.
It’s seldom that there’s good news on the health care front for freelancers, but it looks like the Freelancers Union is trying to put together a way for entrepreneurs to get reasonable insurance. I just got an announcement that they are putting together a nonprofit co-op (that will now be possible as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act) for members in New York, New Jersey and Oregon.
CO-OPs will be open to all comers, including independent workers typically shut out of the traditional healthcare market. Americans making less than 400% of the federal poverty level will be eligible to receive financial support from the government to pay for their CO-OP health plan.
If you’re looking for affordable health insurance, you may want to follow-up on this. They expect to start enrolling people in the Fall of 2013 and start offering coverage in January 2014.
Nothing new here, but it’s worth reading for anyone who is tempted to try to make a living using the more exploitative writing “services.” This one is written by Paul Wallis for Digital Journal:
There is absolutely no doubt that there is a very strong sweatshop element in freelance writing. These writing farms are getting the quality they deserve for their shoddy payouts. Most people escape or go back to comparatively high paying jobs like fast food or janitor jobs, where at least they’ll make enough to eat.