Financial Pitfalls for Freelance Writers – and How to Avoid Them

financial pitfalls

Freelance writers have all the financial freedom in the world, don’t we?

financial pitfalls


I wish!!! The truth is that while we do have the potential to earn more than if we held a 9-to-5 job, the degree of financial uncertainty is always there. It’s not far from the truth to say that freelance writers may face more uncertainty when it comes to financial issues.

While we do have those periods when we get a whole lot of money, there are financial pitfalls that we should not ignore. If we tend to “live easy, love free”, before we know it, we might need the assistance of an expert bankruptcy lawyer to get out of the mess we’ve  – perhaps unwittingly – created.

If you’re financially responsible, good for you. You can pass up on this post. If you’re not so sure, then I hope you continue reading so that you can avoid these financial pitfalls that may not be easily recognizable.

Taking clients for granted

Just like some employees may take their day jobs and bosses for granted, it may be that some freelance writers take their regular clients for granted. The thinking may be, “We’ve been working together for so long. It’s going to last forever.”

How is this a financial pitfall?

If you take your clients for granted, you may not be sensitive to their needs. You may not deliver the best work you possibly can. The result is that you may lose their business.

The solution: Take preemptive measures. Treat each client – old or new – as if they were your only source of income. Give them your best, and don’t take them for granted, even though they may be the easiest person to work with.

Taking job hunting for granted

job search


In the same way you may fall into the trap of taking clients for granted, you might take job hunting for granted. You have a lot of clients. You have more than enough on your plate. Why look for freelance writing job opportunities regularly?

Here’s why: You never know when you might lose a big client. It is thus important that you have a rolling roster of clients that can make up for an unexpected loss.

The solution: While you don’t have to always bite off more than you can chew, do apply for jobs now and then. Even small jobs can lead to long-term, more profitable ventures.

Also read: Why It Is Important to Get New Clients Even if You Have Enough Regular Work

Not paying close attention to taxes

I don’t have to emphasize just how important it is to pay your taxes. The IRS has its ways, and it will find out if you’re not paying your dues at some point. The thing is, sometimes, you may not be aware of all your responsibilities as a freelance writer taxpayer. The excuse that “you don’t know” won’t work. If you don’t declare and pay your taxes correctly, you might face enormous fines, which could deplete your savings – or worse.

The solution: Learn about your obligations as a taxpayer. If you can’t do it yourself, hire an accountant.

Any career has its financial pitfalls, but for freelance writers, the stakes may be a little higher simply because of the lack of traditional job security. With a little bit of care and foresight, we can avoid those financial pitfalls.

What other potential financial pitfalls do you see or have experienced? Share them with us in the comments!






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