Expats and freelancing

How to become a freelance writer

Expats and freelancing

One of the major appeals to expat life is the freedom to start a fresh chapter of your life somewhere new. Freedom is also the draw for one of the most popular expat career choices, which is freelancing.

There are many sides to freelancing out there, some more lucrative than others , but one that is a particular favorite is freelance writing. One of the reasons is because there is often work available for expats to write in their native language, so the opportunities are quite good. It’s actually easier to develop a freelance writing career than most may think. Here are some guidelines to get you to freelance writing success.


This might seem a little obvious, but setting time aside every day to actually write is an important step to a career in freelance writing. This will help you to prioritize writing, as well as develop your craft, and it will force you to get beyond issues of writer’s block as well. Plus, if you are devotedly writing every day, you will have a portfolio that you can use to apply for freelance work, or can submit for publication in magazines or other platforms.

Get visible

You need to become active in the writing community and build yourself a reputation. This can include writing for magazines and websites, posting on LinkedIn and online communities, guest blogging, or even better, running your own blog – see this page  for packages on hosting and setting up your own WordPress blog. If you want to land work as a freelancer, it’s not always enough to be a good writer, people need to know who you are.

Build your portfolio

This is really writing high-quality content so that you have something to show prospective clients. Although you may want to eventually be writing for fashion magazines or newspapers, Rome wasn’t built in a day. And although that can be your main focus, that often requires a lot of low-paid or even free article submissions to build up your portfolio and reputation in this field. There are many options available, including writing technical manuals, product descriptions, or website content; the opportunities are there, you just have to look for them and be willing to write outside of your main focus area. You should be signed up to freelance writer portals like Upwork  (which used to be Elance), as well as browsing LinkedIn and job boards in order to find enough work to sustain you as you build your brand.


Your brand is the image that you want to portray of yourself as a career professional. So if you want to write for fashion magazines, then work on this. Design a website, blog, and be active on social media within the fashion industry. Present yourself as primarily a fashion writer and be willing to guest post on blogs and write fashion articles for free if it means that you will get something published.


Make all of the right connections. Build a network of bloggers and industry professionals within the field that you are trying to break into, and then offer to guest post and ask them to do the same for you. There are many online networking tools available, like some of these. Be sure to also maintain these connections through social media interaction so that the connection is visible. And of course you should physically attend networking events for your industry. The more connections that you make and the more people who know and recognize you, the better you will build a name for yourself and be viewed as a professional in your field.

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