Why is it tough to be a freelance writer in India

It has been quite a while since I started out as a freelance writer. Initially, it was because I wanted to supplement my regular income so that I could enjoy my little comforts without going bankrupt. But as years passed on, I realized that I am not that bad at it. And the payments were quite decent. Slowly, things looked promising enough for me to leave my regular job and concentrate fully on freelancing. After spending six years, working as an engineer, I decided to take the plunge. Switching career was the biggest decision I ever made, but the realization came to me after a few months. And it was only the beginning.

When I started, I had no idea about the rates or the platforms where my work is going to be published. I worked as a ghostwriter, almost for nothing, with clients from the classified advertisements and personal contacts. But eventually, I realized that there more ways of earning money by writing. Also, I learned about different platforms like UpWork, Guru, Freelancer, etc., where people pay you more if you are good and work according to their requirements. Being an Indian writer, I realized that there are a lot of things we lack while choosing to be a freelancer and being not aware is the major one.

Nevertheless, I left my job and chose to be a freelance writer and started pitching different clients through UpWork as I didn’t know what else to do. Got a few excellent offers, accepted them, and worked on them for a month, only to lose out on the payment as I didn’t realize that even fake profiles do exist on such esteemed job portals. Communicated with UpWork, and ended up getting banned. Finally, after a few twists in the story, recruiters began to notice my profile. Most of them rejected me in the initial stage as I didn’t have a relevant educational qualification, even though I exceed in experience and skills against their requirement.

So I moved on. I started looking for opportunities that would allow me to be a freelancer. I was not worried about my social stigma. I started writing through iWriter, DotWriter, and ContentGather, which let me earn decently for my work. I tried other websites too, but most of them don’t accept Indian writer, or even if they do, they will pay you pennies.

Throughout the journey, I learned one thing though. If you an Indian and choose to be a freelancer, either you have to compromise on the pay rates (everyone knows the value of Indian Rupee against international currencies, so they expect you work more for a lesser amount), or you will find that everyone, barring a few, will look down upon you. A freelance writer in India is not a career choice, it is seen as something that you do because you don’t have any other options.


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