A Byline Or Experience Vs. A Paycheck

We all remember the crash of 2008. The numbers of unemployed workers were staggering. As of a report in 2009, 2.6 million Americans were out of work. The unemployment rate was 7.2%, a figure that had not been seen since 1945.

Many workers, after failing to obtain traditional employment, started freelancing. A report from the Freelancers Union last year stated that 53 million Americans chose freelancing over traditional employment.

There are pluses and minuses to both traditional employment and freelancing.

The question, especially when it comes to freelance writing, is that if a byline (i.e. experience) or a paycheck is preferable?

On the surface, the answer is obvious: a paycheck. We all need to eat and pay our bills. A byline cannot be presented to a bank or landlord as a mortgage or rent payment.

However,  if an article goes viral or if it is published in a well-respected publication, that may be enough to open the door to larger projects, prominent clients and larger paychecks.

#FreelanceIsn’tFree has become a popular saying among freelancers. While it is certainly true, sometimes it takes one article to set a freelancer off in the right direction.

Now I leave the question to you. If you were freelancing and it came down to an article that promised to set your career off or a less prominent article that came attached to a decent paycheck, which would you choose?


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