Business Writing Copywriting 2020-03-15 00:00

12 Ways to Propel Your Freelance Writing Service Worldwide

As a professional freelance writer, you're an entrepreneur. And the most important thing for an entrepreneur is making sure that you're profitable.

Naturally, you'd need to treat your service as a business, and the whole world is your market. Yes, the entire world.

In this digital age, you're not supposed to be limited by your country of residence. For instance, as a U.S.-based person, I write for publications and companies all over the world.

ProWritingAid, for instance, is based in the United Kingdom. I've worked for and am still writing for organizations based in Canada, Australia, Singapore, Indonesia, Lithuania, New Zealand, Norway, Denmark, and others.

At the beginning of my writing career, I was limited to writing for local publications. However, as my works were getting more appreciation, I started to branch out worldwide. As a bilingual person, it gave me an extra advantage over the clienteles and publications I can write for.

Here are the 12 ways I've taken to win writing assignments from around the world.

1. Fix the mindset.

This is the first thing that we all must do. As a freelance writer, we're blessed with the ability to work for anyone anywhere. Writers are the ultimate digital nomads, because --literally-- we can easily take our laptops and move from one place to another.

The thing is, we're frequently shackled by invisible boundaries that we created by ourselves, such as where our clients should be based. The whole world is our oyster, and the digital world is English speaking. So, there is no excuse for not having clients from other countries, even if you're based in a non-English speaking country.

2. Have a strong UVP.

As a multi-disciplinary writer, my UVP (unique value proposition) is more on what I believe than how I work, "I believe in being extraordinary by giving meanings to ordinary things." (See: This, I trust, would project my inner quality, which is delivering the highest quality possible in all of my works.

You can choose a UVP that either project your internal or external quality concisely and straightforwardly. Here are some examples of famous UVPs as provided by the author of Business Models for Dummies.

3. Be brave enough to call yourself an "international professional writer."

Everything is the mind game, including being a freelance writer. Being a writer itself comes with several misconceptions, including these two "a writer is a hobbyist" and "a writer is starving," which can be disheartening.

As a professional writer, you have sufficient skills and experiences necessary to perform the job, so nothing should be able to shake your core. However, having the idea of being an "international" writer to sink in would require some courage. Affirm yourself that you are, indeed, a writer with international clients because it's the natural consequence of the nature of the Internet.

4. Have a strong online portfolio.

Create a simple web site containing your past works. You can develop your own Wordpress site or hire someone to set it up for you. I prefer developing my own, as it's both cost-efficient and rewarding. I like the freedom of tweaking the colors, fonts, overall designs, and page contents without having to ask anyone to do it for me.

The portfolio should include eye-catching images, such as covers of your books and publications, as well as logos of corporate clientele and live links to your works. If some of your works are only available offline in print, have them download-ready in PDF format.

5. Make yourself available online.

Most writers are introverts, so we're not the most enthusiastic people to promote ourselves. Well, the good thing is, now we can quickly "hustle" with just having our avatars floating around online and only responding to direct mails or mentions.

As it goes without saying, create social media accounts, including Instagram and YouTube, which are the most trending at the moment. Use scheduling apps, whenever possible, you can set it up once a week or every other week and forget about them. You want to ride the wave of these two networks, so make sure to use trending keywords.

6. Take note of trade directories.

Depending on the niches and industries you're targeting, research directories. For instance, if you're aiming to write about traveling and exciting places, you can search for airline magazines and sharing-economy publications, like Airbnb. If you write news articles, look for directories of newspapers and magazines, the countries you're targeting.

Professional directories, such as for hotels and dermatologists, if available, would be tremendously useful. You can contact the listed members directly to introduce yourself and your writing services.

7. Introduce yourself actively to niches or industries.

Cold email introductions must be written with care, so they don't sound like spamming and get placed in the spam folder. Making sure that you sound friendly, professional, and solution providing would be preferred.

If you have access to other paths to self-introduce, such as offline events, by all means, go and share your business cards with the attendants. Talk about what you do and how you've been providing value to for-profit and non-profit organization and publications. The key is to be impressive without sounding salesy.

8. Learn various writing types and styles.

You might start as an academic writer like many writers do because we were introduced to serious topics in college, which triggered our "writing gene." University-level writing, however, follows a specific structure: introduction, body, and conclusion. The body contains analysis and synthesis particular to the subject.

The thing is, different deliverables require different writing types and styles. For instance, for news writing, you might need to use the inverted pyramid style or funnel style. For SEO writing, you 're encouraged to use the best practices that Google crawler would likely to accept. Learn the various types and styles of writing, including their best practices, so you'd be ready to jump into new projects immediately.

9. Familiarize yourself with multiple subjects as your "core" specialities.

Be a multiple-subject matter expert on topics that are natural to you. Perhaps you have attended makeup classes, and your skills in applying mascara are far beyond others. Or maybe you're a natural dog trainer considering you've had eight dogs throughout your lifetime.

Take inventory of subjects that you're naturally good at, topics that you can confidently perform research for, and interests that you're likely able to write about comprehensively. Sometimes, after reading a few pieces of literature about a specific subject, a "mini expert" has emerged. Having multiple expertise would allow you to write many topics with ease and confidence.

10. Join and attend writer and industry events worldwide.

If budget allows, attend face-to-face writer and industry networking events and conferences. Knowing people in person might open more doors. You can start with local chapters of the Chamber of Commerce or writers' groups. You can try as well for specific interest groups.

If you think you're a bit too introverted, brush up your speaking skills. Consider joining a local Toastmasters group, which is a safe space to speak about various topics without being judged. After all, the more you're out of your shell, the more opportunities might open up.

11. Partner up with marketing and public relations agencies.

In every country, there are professional associations of marketing and public relations agencies. Or, at least, there are directories of those agencies. Create a spreadsheet containing contact persons and their emails. Start pitching one-by-one.

Introduce what you do and your past clients. Include a long list of previous works, so they'd be impressed by your experiences and range of topics covered. Be open for pay rate negotiation and sound approachable through and through.

12. Partner up with publishers and book packagers or book producers.

Contact publishers of various sizes and book packagers (book producers) for ghostwriting opportunities. The pay-per-word might be lower than trade publications, but the flow of regular assignments is definitely worth the introduction effort.

If you're confident enough, you can even start your own independent publishing and book producing business. This way, you'd always be working on the next project. In this Internet age, if you publish your own books, there are many ways to market them with the help of book bloggers. Having them distributed by Amazon Kindle, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble are just to mention a few popular channels.

As a solopreneur, a freelance writer is open-minded and ready to work on various projects. For this, having automated marketing efforts, like with scheduled social media posts, would be extremely helpful. If budget allows, consider hiring virtual assistants who can help you running other business tasks.

At last, congratulate yourself for being an internationally-published writer. Remember that when you have an article published in one country, most likely you still own the right to publish elsewhere. For this, you'd need to make sure that you understand what right(s) you're selling.

You're on your way to earn a six-figure income. It is almost guaranteed.

Be confident about grammar

Check every email, essay, or story for grammar mistakes. Fix them before you press send.