Want to Start a Freelance Writing Business? Here Are Some “Hidden Costs” You May Not Have Thought Of

Freelancing is growing by leaps and bounds nowadays, as more and more companies downsize and look for ways to cut expenses. Proof? According to a 2012 global business survey by Elance, an online freelance marketplace, on average, survey respondents predicted more than half of their workforce (54% to be exact) would be found online in five years.

And the main reason these employers gave for hiring online talent? They [found] that talent online is better than or equal to what’s available locally, and in part, are leveraging online workers to do work that they would have done themselves or not done at all.

Freelance Writing is a Booming Online Business: Here’s Why

Freelance writing happens to be a hot, easy-to-start online business. Proof? Again, according to the aforementioned Elance survey, writers, content creators and bloggers were the third most desired skill set; wanted by 38% of companies. As an aside, the top two desired freelance skills were web programmers and graphic designers.

3 Hidden Costs of Starting a Freelance Writing Business (Note: They Can Be Mitigated)

One of the reasons freelance writing appeals to so many is that it costs practically nothing to start. I know this first-hand (as I’ve been a freelance writer since 1993). But, there are some hidden monthly fees that can creep in and add up if you’re not careful. Following are three of them.

1. Domain Name Registration: While registering a domain name is cheap (it can literally be done for less than $5 per year depending on which type of domain you register, if you start registering a lot of them it adds up.

And this is easy to do. Why?

Because when you freelance, inevitably you start to set up websites. For example, you may have one website set up for your niche writing services (eg, medical copy editing) and another one for general writing services you offer.

Also, you tend to dip over into other online businesses, which brings me to my next “hidden” expense.

2. Web Hosting Fees: Again, web hosting is relatively inexpensive. I spend approximately $20 per month in web hosting fees; HostGator is my main provider of choice.

But, I also do internet marketing, which means setting up other websites, which means more web hosting fees. Also, I use a secondary web hosting company. Why? Because it’s just smart business to have more than one. That way, if one goes down, your entire income is at risk.

FYI, to keep web hosting fees to a minimum, you can have tons of websites hosted under one account. Just know this going in.

3. Diversification: As I said, I’m a freelance writer, but I also do internet marketing. It keeps my income streams diversified, which is great. However, this inevitably means trying different products and services to see if you want to promote them and/or possibly try them as a side business.

So if you’re spending $19.95 on this eBook, $39.95 on that online course, and $79.95 for that mentorship program, your freelance writing business can start to “leak” money. Before you know it, your monthly overhead is way more than it needs to be.

How Much Do I Spend Per Month to Operate My Freelance Writing Business?

In total, about $200 per month. But, a big chunk of that is my internet service (which I’d have anyway).

You can literally start a freelance writing business for $0 – yep, nada! – if you already have a computer/laptop and an internet connection. So never fear that this is what you MUST spend to start this type of business.

Freelance / online writing is one of the cheapest, easiest, home-based businesses to start. But, like any business, you have to keep your eye on the bottom line.