I've been a freelance writer and journalist for about a year and a half now. I really thought I was just going to do it for a few months and then look for a full time job, but somewhere along the road I realized I really enjoy working for myself and unless a terrific opportunity throws itself at me, I'll probably keep it up for a while.
I work longer hours than I used to, but I set my own hours. And while some months are better than others, and I have to pay self employment tax, I make more money than I did at my last full time job.
But my experiences might not be representative of... well, anything. So it's interesting to take a look at the results of a survey conducted by the folks at Freelance Switch. 3700 (self-selected) people participated in the survey. And while their results might not hold true for all freelancers everywhere, they're still interesting.
If you didn't participate in the survey, you'll have to shell out $3 or more for a copy of the complete report. But you can find some of the highlights on Freelance Switch. Overall, it looks like most respondents work fewer hours than they did when they held full time jobs. The majority of people also make less money than they used to, but are happier.
Having talked to a few other freelance bloggers and journalists, I think this is probably more typical than my experience. They quit their full time jobs for more freedom, and wind up with lower salaries, but generally they're happier unless they start to run out of money. While I don't expect to become rich from blogging and freelance radio production, I've been working my behind off so that my annual income has gone up. Now if I can just keep up with inflation.
[via Web Worker Daily]