For most people in the freelance arena, independent lifestyle is a major reason for ditching the nine-to-five. Of course, bills have to get paid and the gas tank needs to be filled. As a freelancer, can you have your cake and eat it too?

You canand the new book, Content to Cash, shows you how.

Some of the most common excuses for not taking the leap into freelance work are: “I don’t have any special skills to use,” or, “I don’t have a college degree or credentials.” Thankfully, none of this matters when freelancing.

The belief that you need a university education in order to survive today has been completely blown out of the water. As quoted on  Business News Daily, Jonny Steel, Vice President of Marketing at the international money transfer giant, Payoneer, says, “So when it comes to making an impact on the freelance marketplaces, it matters a lot less where you acquired your skills from, as long as you can do the job.”

With the diverse range of freelance jobs available today, your current knowledge, skills, or experience will earn at least a modest side income. As with any independent work, it comes with its pros and cons. But with a little foresight—and a dose of creativity—you can outsmart the pitfalls and leverage the profitable freedom of a freelance lifestyle.

Some of the Pros

1) Freedom!

Without doubt the most prominent aspect of freelancing is escaping the suffocating constraints of a “normal” job. No more nit-picking boss breathing down your neck or oozing through wasteful hours where there’s little to do but you have to look busy anyway. With freelance work you can make your own hours, work wherever suits you, and you can do it in your pajamas.

2) Work During Peak Performance Hours

One of the major disadvantages of typical jobs is dragging yourself out of bed when more sleep would be beneficial, and having to quit working when the mental gears are turning most efficiently. As a freelancer, you can work during those hours you function best, whether that aligns with regular business hours or 2:00 A.M.

3) Choice of Work

With freelancing, you are not limited to a single type of work. A freelancer could start the day transcribing audio files and end it teaching English online. The sky is truly the limit and there is almost always a way to apply your particular knowledge and skills to some form of freelance work.

Some of the Cons

1) Working All the Time

While freelancers do set their own hours, many work seven days a week. This is sometimes due to the freelance work available that doesn’t pay well, forcing long hours in order to stay afloat.

2) Constant Need to Find More Work

Luckily there is plenty of freelance work out there, but because a freelancer usually has to actively and constantly find jobs, a lot of time and anxiety can be spent looking ahead. Even when a steady flow of work is coming in, there is the possibility of some income avenues drying up overnight.

3) Life/Work Imbalance

Even though many are happier to roll up their sleeves and work every day as a freelancer instead of going to a mundane job five days a week, the line between life and work has a tendency to blur or disappear altogether.

Leveraging Freelancing

So, with many attractive reasons to punch out of the daily job grind, how do you overcome some of the challenges of freelancing?

• Find a Niche

In every form of freelance work, there is a way to hone in on special clientele. As a transcriber, brushing up on legal speak can open the doors for higher paying jobs. As a writer, offering web content writing packages to specific industries such as real estate opens new doors for writing gigs, which can garner repeat clients. This not only means more income but more work coming in that you don’t have to actively seek out.

• Diversify Work

Because the amount of work a freelancer has can rise and fall sporadically, it’s a good idea to have multiple irons in the fire. If an ESL teacher relies solely on students to find him or her, that teacher could have a lot of work one month and have almost nothing the next. With some backup gigs such as data entry or design work (for artists), a freelancer can more easily maintain a steady income.

Freelance Writing—A Winner

By far one of the most prevalent freelance careers out there is in writing. Copywriting, web content, social media, and blog posts all need continual upkeep and fresh content. You don’t need a degree in English to convert words into dollars. To leverage this lucrative lifestyle, check out the new work-from-home book Content to Cash for creating a consistent flow of freelance writing work that pays off.