Freelance Lifestyle

the freelancing lifestyle

Photo by Isaac Benhesed

What impression do you have on the lifestyle of a blogger or freelancer?

Before you get swept away with visions of us making a fortune, having endless free time and working on the beach, do your research.

What starts off as a grain of truth is actually covered up by unrealistic expectations, myths and rumors.

Most of you have been fed by media on the glamorous side of how freelancers are enjoying their ‘make money lifestyle’.

In reality, you’ve no idea on how we have to cope with handling all the customer service, sending a hundred reminders to late-paying clients, facing unreasonable demands and all to be done by ourselves.

If you’re thinking about diving into the world of freelancing or blogging, just know what you’re getting into.

I wrote this article so that you can better manage your expectations and learn more about the downside of the so-called ‘make money lifestyle’.

Written from my own experience, here are 10 false impressions you might have made on the lifestyle of a freelancer or an independent blogger.

#1. A freelancer don’t need to be good at sales

can you sell

In reality: Whether you enjoy drawing, writing, taking photographs, designing websites, you can’t make money simply by just doing what you love.

Much thoughts have to be placed on how you can find, close, manage and retain clients.

It doesn’t matter how good your skills are, you won’t be earning money if you can’t sell yourself.

This also applies to bloggers. If the article is not compelling enough and the sales funnel isn’t sturdy enough, it’s very unlikely that any sales can be made.

#2. Projects comes easily

can you secure more projects

In reality: Finding clients can be a pain in the bum.

There are so many other freelancers that are offering the same services just like yours and there’s thousands of similar websites just like yours.

It’s important for you to stand out especially if you’re new.

This means that you’ll have to work harder than ever before to secure deals, build your online presence and do all the work by yourself.

#3. The ‘make money’ lifestyle is stress free

can you handle stress

In reality: When you’re a freelancer or a blogger, you’re actually a business owner.

This means that you’ve many different considerations to take note and you’ll need to be good at juggling different roles.

For example, a freelance website designer will have to attend meetings at your client’s office (or coffee shops), be on 24/7 standby to pick up any incoming calls, refining sales processes and more. 

#4. You can charge clients at ‘market rate’

In reality: Many people including those newly joined members may not have noticed this but the ‘market rate is inclusive of experience’.

What this means is that the ‘experience’ of a freelancer is often taken out of the context when people talks about the fees that the freelancers charges. 

Do you know that seasoned freelancers can charge a higher rate because they have worked hard in building a solid portfolio and network by themselves.

Likewise, a blogger may charge a higher rate for advertisements to be posted on their website because their website has a lot of authority.

It will be naive to think that with only 3 months of experience, you can charge a few thousands dollars just like the other freelancers or bloggers with 10 years of experience.

#5. You can live the 'make money lifestyle' with no money

In reality: I’m sure you’ve heard of how some entrepreneurs make money with no money at all. To some extent, some of them really did go through the ‘rags-to-riches’ life experience.

The story is usually about how they’ve worked really hard and probably failed many times before achieving success. With the experience of hardship that they hold, most of them just hope to encourage more people to pursue their passion.

On the other hand, some of the fake entrepreneurs will purposefully paint these nice pictures of their make-money lifestyle so that they can either sell you a course or a service. Thus, you must be extremely careful and not to fall into their traps.

If you want to play safe or you’re not really confident in freelancing or blogging, it is best that you have savings that can cover your lifestyle for at least a few months.

While it’s important that you achieve some results while living the make money lifestyle, it’s important that you’ve got the energy as well as money to stay afloat.

(Related: How to become a successful freelancer in Singapore [that actually make money])

#6. You’re your own boss

you will have multiple bosses

In reality: Strictly speaking, ‘you are your own boss’ but you’re actually still working for someone else. In fact, you’ll have a handful of mini-bosses which are your clients.

They’ll each have their own working style when it comes to how the project should be carried out and there’s certain expectations that you have to adhere to.

Having said that, it is important that you identify those unreasonable clients and know that you have the rights to turn down the project.

As you accumulate more experience in this field, you’ll get better at picking the right projects and work with the nicer ‘bosses’. 

#7. People that live the ‘make money lifestyle’ don’t have to worry about money

are you willing to invest

In reality: No projects means there won’t be any income. For bloggers or freelancers that have websites or if they have invested in digital marketing software and tools, there’s always a pinch when money has to be forked out first.

For example, a freelance content writer might need a software like Sqrrible to help him/ her streamline the process of creating an eBook with the shortest amount of time possible. 

(Related: Sqribble Review)

Most of the time, you just have to ‘trust your gut’ that the strategy that you’ve learned online will work and maybe get back your money.

Perhaps when you’ve gained more experience and found a way to gain a constant stream of income, it’s possible that you can live a ‘make money lifestyle’ without having to worry about money. 

#8. There will be work life balance

In reality: Having a work life balance is true at first but, most freelancers and bloggers often fall into the ‘money making syndrome’ accidentally.

This is when you see everything as an opportunity to make money.

It’s especially dangerous if you have the mindset of turning every hobby that you have into a money making opportunity. Then, there won’t be any balance in your ‘work-life’ isn’t it?

Always remember that life should also be enjoyable without constant pressure from the work itself. 

#9. You can take your time back into your own hands

time to switch off from work

In reality: Due to the uncertain nature of freelancing and blogging, working for yourself could mean that it’ll be a challenge for you to be able to fully switch off from work.

If there’s unexpected work that comes knocking on your door, it could be tempting to accept it even if you don’t actually have the time to take on more projects.

Your work might eat into your personal time more than an office office job without you even noticing it.

As the saying goes, “There’s no going home at the end of the day, you can’t just work “normal hours”, it’s 24-7.”

#10. It is okay to work in pajamas


In reality: Not motivating yourself to get dressed in the morning has a serious detrimental impact on the level of your drive to get work done.

As Mic pointed out in one of their blogpost: “a growing body of research suggests that the clothes we wear impact our thoughts, behavior, political views and even our biology.”

Although it’s important that you wear clean, fresh clothes every day, no one is expecting you to wear a suit and tie or gown while working.

Just remember if you want people to respect you as a professional, behave like one and yes, dress like one too.

Having any second thoughts on the ‘make money lifestyle’?

I hope not! 

My intent is not to scare you away from freelancing or blogging but rather, this article is written to give you a little bit of guidance that is based on what I’ve learned as a freelancer and blogger myself.

I wanted to raise awareness on the downside of this path and also help manage your expectations on the ‘make money lifestyle’ that the media has programmed you to think of it as ‘glamorous’

Last but not least, let me know in the comment section below if you’ve any burning questions. My team and I will be happy to answer them.

(Related: How to be a freelance writer in Singapore)

Catheryn Wong
Catheryn Wong
Let's just say that Catheryn loves planning... a lot. She spends her free time exploring what to buy for dinner, scheduling a date for housework, checking when is the next birthday celebrations, etc. That explains why she has a unique writing style and the way she shares her experience.

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