Are you a working woman? Join Vaahini Network, a networking forum for women professionals, enabled by Accenture to further enrich you with varied perspectives that it offers.
Freelance writing jobs in India are a godsend to many women, who can put their education to good use, and avail of work from home options.
There’s a kind of hush all over the world – Freelancing! And it has feminism writ large all over it.
As known by now, the traditional work structure is not designed to suit most women. Especially so, after marriage and motherhood. The 40+ hours week, the mandatory work meetings during and after office hours, the glaring disparities in work opportunities and income between men and women, etc. are major factors in this.
In their 30s, most women are at the peak of their familial responsibilities – marriage, children, home. And, most of them are performing a figurative circus act, juggling the tall responsibilities of both work and family. In their 40s, women are struggling to break through the thick glass ceiling in matters of promotions and pay. In the 50s and 60s, most of them are just ignored and eventually done away with altogether.
Freelancing comes as a life saver for most women looking for an escape route from that thankless and endless work grind. Women have taken to freelancing, much like bees to sweet nectar, owing to the ill-fitting office culture, economic pressures and the growing sense or need for a distinct individual identity. With freelancing, they have struck out on their own, harnessing technology to focus on work that they find rewarding, on a schedule that fits their lives, and on terms that dignify and not exploit them.
Join Women’s Web at a workshop on the many opportunities opening up in freelance writing, and how YOU can access them.
The benefits of freelancing are many. For starters, there’s complete independence from the office dynamics, politics, and the tiresome rat race of climbing up the corporate ladder. Coming to the glass ceiling bit, a study conducted by the Freelancers Union in America last year found out that 53% of full-time freelancers were women. That’s a staggering number of 53 million Americans alone. Not only were the women freelancers snagging up 58% more work opportunities than men, they were also earning 22% more per hour than men. Freelancing is a level-playing field where women thrive and shine.
Then, there’s the exciting range of variety in the available freelancing work options. You could be a freelance business consultant, software developer, writer, baker/chef, fashion stylist, graphic designer etc. The sky is truly the limit in the freelancing world. The top paying freelance jobs are writing, translation, photography, social media, mobile development and Search Engine Optimization.
In this article, we will focus on freelance writing and explore freelance writing jobs in India. The best thing about freelance writing is that there is lots of scope for every style of writing.
Are you drawn more towards tabloid gossip? Then, you could get into the glitzy world of tabloid news reporting. Does penning down your travel memoirs and reading others’ travel stories kick you up? Then travel writing could just be your thing. Is walking down the memory lane a piece of cake for you, owing to your photographic memory and vivid imagination? Then memoir writing is your style. Are you great at the powers of persuasion and influencing people via the pen? Then, writing opinion pieces is your niche. Are you passionate in your line of education and career or particular field of interest? Let’s just say computer science, food and nutrition, politics, education or perhaps, fashion! Then, feature writing is a safe bet.
Once you identify your area of interest and style of writing, it is good to read up similar articles written in various magazines and newspaper publications and see how you measure up to the industry standards. Then, it’s a matter of research and soliciting for freelance writing jobs in India.
One piece of advice is to treat your freelance writing career as you would treat financial investments. The wise old adage applies here – “Don’t put all your eggs in the same basket”. When you are beginning to venture into this field, even though the payment may not be that great, it’s sensible to diversify into different areas such as web content writing, etc. for clients.
Writing jobs freelance
There are several print magazine publications which solicit and pay freelance writers in India such as Woman’s Era, Time n Style magazine (A Times Group publication), Fashion and Fitness magazine, Reader’s Digest, etc.
Let us look at some cons of freelance writing jobs in India that you need to be aware of.
Before you foray into the world of freelance jobs in India, please understand that freelancing is not as easy as it seems despite the factors of convenience and flexibility. It is an autonomous and exhausting job. As the saying goes, “With greater power and freedom, comes greater responsibilities”, and it truly couldn’t be truer than in the case of freelance writers.
You are your own boss when you are a freelancer, which has a good and bad side to it. Freelancing can be challenging for people who are not good with deadlines, following up on projects, collecting payments, enforcing contract clauses and uncomfortable with handling and organizing a lot of paperwork. As a freelance writer, you will have to don many hats. You will be your own job search engine, marketing person, typist, researcher, copy editor, cashier, book-keeper, accountant, etc.
And again, soon enough after you start working as a freelance writer, you will soon discover that you are not really your own boss in the first place. As a freelance writer, you will be working for not just one, but many bosses. Many bosses with different needs, claiming a share of your time, deciding the work deadlines and setting your pay.
Freelance writing jobs in India can also be a frustrating experience for those people who are not disciplined and poor in time management. It’s easy to lose yourself into working all the time because the line between work and home is so thin, especially if you are a woman who needs to juggle home and work, and are working from home! If you get sucked into wasting time on Internet, the day will be over in a blink of an eye, without any work actually being done.
Then, there’s the disadvantage of working in isolation. Also, you lose those corporate benefits like paid maternity leave and health insurance. Finally, in terms of remuneration, freelance work is a ‘feast or famine’ profession. Freelancing is not for those who shy away from taking risks, where it is hard to anticipate what your weekly, monthly and yearly salary actually looks like and when the payments will actually come to you.
If you decide to become a freelance writer, you must be extremely serious about it. The key for success in the freelance writing profession is discipline. Nonetheless, after sufficient experience and gaining mastery in your niche area of writing, editors will start approaching you instead of you doing the chase, seeking work. But to get to that stage, discipline, hard work and perseverance is crucial.
Having said that, if you love writing and are truly passionate about the art, then you will view all these challenges as stepping stones to success towards a fulfilling freelance writing career rather than viewing them as drawbacks.
All the Best!
Join the Women’s Web Network for women at work by filling in the form below. You will receive a monthly newsletter from us with great resources, plus we’ll keep you posted on all Women’s Web events in your city!
Tina Sequeira is a marketer and moonlighting writer. She is an award-winning author, poet,
hey Tina…loved the write up. Highly informative, at least to me since I am at a stage where I would love to make my passion of writing into a prefession.
Hello ELL P! I am glad to be of some help. Oh, you must pursue it whole-heartedly…I would definitely buy a book written by you whenever you choose to do. Thoroughly enjoyed your Tinder story. Plan to catch up on more stories on LitLatte in my leisure time shortly. All the best! Keep writing!
Perfect.. Felt like it is written for me only, especially the time management section. After reading this, I felt like someone is there who actually understands me. As I am a freelancer from 4 years and still unable to have proper discipline between my clients work and my own home tasks… Really difficult.
Also, I face problems in getting payments from clients. At such times, I feel really low and so I also start searching for jobs but when I come back after interview, I feel I am good as a freelancer as despite of all these issues, I am getting one biggest advantage i.e. freedom of time…
Thank you, Ekta! Freelancing is best suited for those who have self-discipline, and cannot work in a corporate structure. It’s also a great option for stay-at-home mothers, or for those on a sabbatical, but also want to work from home. Getting payments from clients will always be an issue, because you are like a brand/company itself. And not all clients pay on time. A full-time job has its own perks, but I’ve seen that it’s not for all personality types. Some thrive working in a solitary setting, some prefer the 9-to-5 routine. Keep reading for more such articles.
Online academic writing jobs India
Thank you Felicity for providing another resource. 🙂
I would like to know do women’s Web pay for writing articles?
Hi Atrayee! Most of the articles are published free. But they do pay for commissioned or sponsored articles as well. 🙂
Thank you Maclarry! Keep reading!
Loved reading this informative article..Being a fresher in freelancing ,am constantly browsing the internet for freelance opportunities ,Reading all points covered here was just what i was looking for.
Hi Anupam! I’m glad this article helped you. I was a freelancer for a long time, and I still take up freelance projects on the side. There are definite pros and cons, depends on your circumstances, and also your personality. Best of luck for your career.
Freelance Work From Home Often Doesn’t Get Respect. It’s No Walk In The Park!
We Need To Bring More Women Back To Work. How?
Unable To Take Up A Job? These 5 Practical Work Home Options In India Help You Get Going!
A Step By Step Guide To Finding A Work-at-Home Job That’s Right For You
Get our weekly mailer and never miss out on the best reads by and about women!