I’ve been working remotely on and off for the last two decades with the goal of becoming a freelance copywriter. I find I can be more productive, more innovative, and more engaged in my own space. Whether it’s in a van driving a crew door to door, selling roofing systems in a truck, or a freelance writer.
With less time commuting, I found more time to customize my workflow. And once I found a work-life balance my mind became stressfree. I tend to be more productive outside the office because 1) I’m not distracted and 2) I’m in charge.
Normally, I spend hours on WordPress, designing websites, marketing social media, writing content, SEO, or SMM. I couldn’t see myself working any other way.
On the flip side, there are times when collaboration, communication, and, certain aspects of team building become challenging.
It’s estimated there will be 1 billion digital nomads roaming the planet by 2035. Business Owners and entrepreneurs will discover they can have teams across the world and still run a successful business. Also, hiring remote workers would lower their operational costs and keep them competitive.
Analyze your strategy
Recently, I asked a successful digital nomad for some advice on my career path. At the time, I was juggling 5 different websites that were generating zero income. While I had no plans of giving up, I needed a push in the right direction.
He suggested we should have an ongoing discussion on the subject. There were hundreds of things that we could say and exchange until we distill a basic formula. A basic formula that would start with world overpopulation yet somehow end up as a formula we could use.
A formula that rules out crowdsourcing, blogging, and other disciplines that are “overcrowded”.
A formula built on the basis of being ex-pats who refuse to go back to America. Working in Southeast Asia with super low overhead and super low rental costs.
It’s not like we need to make a ton of money when we live in the tropics. There’s got to be some sort of way to convert the 10 years I have spent here with direct experience on the subject. I’m sure I can come up with at least a “top three” set of suggestions.
Freelance writer platforms
The single most important “place” you should be is LinkedIn. You should develop your reputation as a freelance writer as far and wide as possible until you lock into some niche or industry.
You can also find writing gigs on other popular platforms such as:
Your profile should show how many different publishing tools you can write within, especially within the social stack.
“YouTube video descriptions, all optimized for SEO by way of a solid industry-standard tool-set that I utilize to get you excellent, data-driven results.”
You should string together all 3 of your skill sets. WordPress administrator and website designer, expert social media marketer, freelance writer with excellent SEO, and SMM skills.
Then, you could land mini-projects like doing all the product descriptions in a given website cart or other tasks. The idea being the entire time to simply get a few good, regular clients who can stream work your way.
Additionally, you could subcontract translation jobs. You’d again have a chance at jumping into a niche of some kind.
With translations, you wouldn’t need to know the other language, but the key secret is anyone translating something is sitting on top of a pile of content.
Content that likely needs to get dispersed and optimized across many social media outlets and digital publishing vectors.
These people are obviously sitting on some cash else they wouldn’t be looking to go multi-language. It’s a way to get in through a side door.
Plus, I’ll try to think of all the job boards and try to create a single page with links to them.
Searching Craigslist for freelance writer gigs
When I was low on cash I used to check craigslist “gigs” nationwide, city by city. I actually found a few stable web developer gigs that were like $75 to $300 per month. In your case, you look in every city under freelance writer or anything that interests you.
Like I mentioned they also have a gigs section for web design/developer work etc.
Example: (check every city): https://boston.craigslist.org/d/web-html-info-design/search/web
Search in places not famous for tech. Why? The freelance “gigs” on offer are usually much fairer and the folks doing the hiring are generally less cut-throat than ones using Freelancer and Upwork. AND they will definitely be into you being from the USA.
If you made a directory of all possible Freelance writer job resources, you might discover a few gems, stones yet fully unturned.
Freelance writer directory
A few general sites:
Here are other boards:
You have an advantage in that you can also make websites and publish on many digital / social media platforms. The combo, while still a lot of competitors, is still a good one.
After reading my friend’s advice, I made a few adjustments. 1) I dropped three websites. 2) Started to build this portfolio. 3) Strengthened my personal blog. 4) I redesigned my plan to become a successful copywriter. 5) I researched, organized and installed all the tools I needed on my Mac to become successful. 6) Scheduled my day for work, learning, and personal. 7) took a big breath.
How I Study
Every day I continue to study the craft of writing, the rules, and also how readers respond to certain kinds of stories. I study what makes writing “good”. I practice. I get better. Eventually, I will get really good at the craft and become a successful freelance writer.
I study copy by, reading and listening to every ad I can. Trying to determine what in the ad is persuasive. What gets me interested- and what doesn’t.
AWAI’s Accelerated Program will help you break into the copywriting industry with expertise on what works today.
When I am not reading ads, I’m reading recommended books on writing, copywriting, and marketing. Recently I even took AWAI’s Accelerated program. Next, I’ll do a few UDEMY copywriting courses. As you can see, I’m taking freelance writing seriously, I treat it as a full-time job.
Sometimes I’ll do a course a few times. This includes reading books and articles, doing the practice exercises, and watching video courses. I also check out blogs from other writers and copywriters who are at the top of their game.
Meanwhile, I continue to write blogs on Halo Bule and for a couple of other sites, but I still haven’t written any “live” copy. Plenty of practice, but I had no idea where you went to find clients. That’s when I decided to write articles on remote work platforms.
I then created a profile at each one of the platforms listed above (Some of them take a few days to verify your identity), and I hope to land my first job on any of them shortly. All the platforms reccomend starting at a lower pay which is roughly 10¢ per word, but the low pay is acceptable for now.
Meanwhile, I’ll continue creating my portfolio and maintaining a couple of other blogs.
My list of learning books
The bottom line is you need to start learning to write, and the best way to do that is to write. Practice, practice, practice. It’s similar to learning how to drive a car. You can spend months reading every book ever written about driving cars. But until you sit in the drivers seat and start practicing, you won’t be able to drive well.
- Breakthough Advertising, Eugine Schwartz
- On Writing Well (Book) by William Zinsser
- On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft (Audio Book), Steven King
- The Science of Language, Naom Chomsky
- Understanding Media: The extensions of man, Marshall McLuhan
- Stein on Writing, Sol Stein
- Writing Tools-50 Essential Strategies for Every Writer, Roy Peter Clark
- The Idea Writers, Teressa Iezzi
- Influence: The Psychology of persuasion, Robert B. Cialdini
- The 7 habits of Highly Effective People, Stephen R. Covey
- Rogets Thesaurus of Words for Writers
- The Glamour of Grammar, roy Peter Clark
- Dreyers English, Benjamin Dreyer
- The 4 Hour Work Week , Timothy Ferris
- The Innovators Dilemma, Clayton M. Christensen
- This is Marketing, Seth Godin
- Michael Masterson’s Accelerated Program for Six-Figure Copywriting
- Influence, Dan “The Man” Lok
- Writing that Works, Kenneth Roman & Joel Raphaelson
- Essential Grammer in Use, Raymond Murphy
- Advertising & IMC, Moriarty, Mitchell, Wells
- Story Craft, Jack Hart
- Writing to Learn, William Zinsser
- Principles of Marketing, Kotler/Armstrong
- Write. Publish. Repeat., Platt, Traunt, Wright
- Atomic Habits, James Clear
- Writing Down the Bones, Natalie Goldberg
- Search Engine Optimization Made Easy, Brad Callen
- The Sense Of Style, Steven Pinker
- Tested Advertising Methods, John Caples
- The Power of Your Subconcious Mind, joseph Murphy
- The writing Diet, Julia Cameron
- Oxford Dictionary of English Grammar
- Everybody Writes, Ann Handley
- Working, Researching, Interviewing, Writing, Robert A. Caro
- First You Write a Sentence, Joe Moran
- Social Media Marketing
- The Obstacle Is The Way, Ryan Holiday
My List of UDEMY Freelance Writer Courses
Freelance Writer Groups To Join
To Be Continued
As a content creator/ freelance writer, it’s important for me to figure out what I’m good at, and show samples to anyone who’s curious. I will continue to update this site with new case studies, posts, and content. I hope this site serves three purposes. 1) to serve as my portfolio and land me writing gigs, 2) to serve as my own guide and daily journal, and 3) to help another freelance writer.
There are, however, plenty of ways for you to get better at copywriting. One is to get on mailing lists for the kinds of products you think you’ll write for and simply study their most frequent promotions (these days, that means not only getting the mail pieces, most likely, but also signing up for the e-letters, etc. of the companies in question).
Another is to head down to the bookstore or library and check out books by Bly, Ogilvy, Caples, Claude Hopkins, etc. on copywriting.