As my client list has filled up gradually over the past few months, I am occasionally offered an “in-house” position as a full-time content writer and developer for one of my clients. Invariably, each time such an offer is made I initially think that the change might be good for me.

It would after all mean a very reliable and stable paycheck, a more predictable workflow, and eliminating some of the headaches of running your own shop and getting to focus almost exclusively on writing. But then I remember the reasons why I, and I think most of us, got into this freelancing business.

What Freelancing Offers

  1. The freedom to accept or reject an assignment at will
  2. The freedom to make your own schedule
  3. A higher potential upside on what we can earn (yes, its true I have tested this theory)
  4. The ability to select one’s own deadlines and be forced less often to “write under the gun”
  5. The freedom to work from home

There are tons of other reasons, but these are probably the ones that are most important to me. In light of these advantages, it would be very difficult for me to give freelancing up for a full-time “in-house” writing position. Then I got to thinking, what would a potential employer have to offer me to get me to take an “in-house” position? Assuming that everything has a price, how much over my current earnings would someone have to offer me in order to make the move “in-house”?

The Magic Number

    4x my current annual earnings

I calculated that figure pretty roughly, but essentially it comes down to the fact that I’d be trading away upside (which is big), I’d be opting for more workplace pressure (which is huge), and I’d subject myself to employer imposed deadlines (which is biggest).

The truth is, I’m in this business because I love it. And with the breadth of new freelancing tools available, the great people I meet, and the variety of different projects I’m exposed to, it is getting more fun all the time.

So I have two questions for you my fellow freelancers:

  1. Why do you do freelance instead of work “in-house”?
  2. And how much would it cost a potential employer to make you give it up?
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