12 Highly Successful Non-Native English Freelance Writers

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SHARES

I received the following question from Ioana-Monica, a WritersinCharge reader, some time ago:

Well, the fact that I’m not a native English speaker makes me doubt the possible success I could have in the freelancing world. Most of the blogs for writers that I follow are owned by native English speakers, so I guess I would love to read about freelancers who made it and have English as a second language.

After reading Ioana’s question, I realized something important; she isn’t the only one who has this question.

With the online writing space becoming increasingly competitive each day, coupled with the difficulty of finding work - even for native English speakers, is it really possible to make money writing online as a non-native English speaker?

Of course, the purpose of this blog is to help freelance writers from all over the world make a living online and I’m a non-native English speaker myself. If my example isn’t convincing enough, here are a few more non-native English freelance writers making a living writing online.

Most of these writers make 4 figures a month and some make more. They are real examples of successful non-native English writers who can inspire you to take your game to the next level.

This list was compiled by the WritersinCharge team and you can expect to see more quality stuff like this in the future. Enjoy!

#1.  Shuchi Singh Kalra

Location: India

Years as a freelance Writer: 7

Bio: Shuchi is a professional, diverse freelance writer.  She specialises in business, review, SEO content, academic, blog writing and web copywriting.

Before Shuchi started writing, she worked at a hospital as an Optometrist. The job was boring and the wages low. Shuchi began to write professionally to earn more money.  Not only did she find enjoyment from writing, she also got positive feedback from clients. That was the turning-point for her. She quit her job to become a full-time freelance writer.

Her hard work paid off. Shuchi has been featured in magazines such as Femina.in, Good Housekeeping, Time ‘n’ Style Beauty and Home Review. They approached her with offers of work, which was a result of her outstanding online portfolio. She also created ‘Pixie Dust Writing Studio’ where she offers writing and editing services worldwide.

Shuchi said, “Writing for me is not just a job but a passion that keeps me going.”

#2. Sanjay Sonawani

Location: Pune, India

Years as a freelance Writer: 25

Bio: Sanjay is a freelance writer, blogger, author, activist, publisher and public speaker. His first article was published when he was just 11. He later went on to start a career as a crime journalist in a daily Hindi newspaper. He writes on various specialised subjects such as history, social issues, philosophy, suspense and biographies.

His articles are regularly featured in leading dailies and periodicals. He has written more than 500 articles and has had 89 books published. Sanjay has earned over 3 million Rupees from his writing. His books are published in the USA, UK and Australia.

#3. Kevin Kriedemann

Location: Cape Town, South Africa

Years as a freelance Writer: 7

Bio: Kevin is a freelance writer and publicist. He started his writing career as a freelance journalist. He specialises in copywriting, journalism, proposal writing, and creative writing. He’s also worked as a screenwriter and researcher.

He has written for The Mail, The Guardian, The Hollywood Reporter, Variety, The Sunday Independent and iafrica.com.  Most of his articles have been based on entertainment.

Kevin worked within the creative industry after he left school. He has had a lot of involvement in the film industry. That connection opened up many doors for him to utilise his creative writing skills.

#4. Mridu Khullar Relph

Location:  New Delhi, India

Years as a freelance Writer: 10

Bio: Mridu is a freelance journalist and author. She has also published a book. She is passionate about issues that affect women in India and Africa. This interest has prompted many of her articles. She’s written extensively for various publications. Some of the major ones include: Times Magazine, ABC News, New York Times, The International Herald Tribune, Marie Claire, Elle and Asian Woman.

She has also contributed to two books, Chicken Soup for the PreTeen Soul II and Voices of Alcoholism. Mridu was named ‘Development Journalist of the Year’ at the Developing Asia Journalism Awards Forum in Tokyo in November 2010.

At the start of Mridu’s freelancing career, she was disappointed to find out that Indian writers were not succeeding in the magazine field, so she developed an international writers’ site to demonstrate that writers can succeed from any country. Her drive to make it as a freelance writer was mixed with the desire to help other aspiring writers.

#5. Michael Chibuzor

Location:  Nigeria

Years as a freelance Writer: 5

Bio: Michael is a freelance writer and blogger. He specializes in writing guest posts, articles, sales copy, email letters and web content. It took Michael over three years to make money from his writing. But his perseverance and hard work got him the break he was looking for.

He’s been published on top blogs like Problogger, Freelance Switch, WritersinCharge, Social Media Today, and Blogging Tips. He is also is a regular contributor for Lifehack and JohnChow.com. These are just some of the blogs he’s been featured on. Michael has written for many other blogs. He makes thousands of dollars monthly from his freelance writing.

His desire is to help bloggers, entrepreneurs, and small-to-medium-sized business men and women achieve their goals.

#6.  Harleena Singh

Location:  India

Years as a freelance Writer: 8

Bio: Harleena is freelance writer and a blogger. She writes content for publishing house magazines and websites. She went into freelance writing to satisfy a creative urge and enhance her natural  writing abilities. Some of her writing specialities includes magazine articles, press releases, sales letters, SEO articles, grant proposals and alalysis reports.

Harleena has written for Vision Design Studio, Hertzman Media Group, Treefrog Interactive Inc., Travel Food and Drink plus many more. She is also a staff writer for The Health and Wellness Magazine.

Harleena earns approximately $1,000 each month. That figure is not set however. Her earnings are based on the amount of writing she does. The more she writes, the more she earns.

She is a true professional and has received some glowing testimonies from clients. Harleena said, “As a professional writer, I take every opportunity as a challenge to prove my mettle with my uncanny ability to turn a phrase, make the writing interesting, and deliver the most complex or sedentary topics into simple and attractive forms that are a feast to anyone’s eyes.”

#7.  Karol Krol

Location:  Poland

Years as a freelance Writer: 4

Karol is a freelance writer, copywriter and an entrepreneur. He writes about internet marketing, offers business advice, website design tips and shares other valuable advice. He discovered HTML back in 2001. Shortly after that he created websites as a hobby. Therefore the information he gives through his writing is based on his knowledge and experience. Karol has written for clients globally.

He’s written for many blogs including Problogger, Smartbloggerz.com, Theproductivitypro.com, Lifehack.org, FirepoleMarketing.com, ComLuv.com, Pickthebrain.com and many others.

Disclaimer: Karol is a WritersinCharge team member.

#8.  Tamara Oberholster

Location:  South Africa

Years as a freelance Writer: 5

Tamara is a freelance journalist. She specializes in magazine articles, corporate reports or brochures, newsletters, public relations writing, copywriting, ghost-writing and media releases. She writes for media publications and business clients. Tamara loves story telling. She uses her writing skills to craft stories about people, companies, places and products.

Her work has been published in various trade and consumer magazines including The Financial Mail, Destiny, The Journal of Marketing, African Sporting Gazette, Property Professional, Private Life and Design in Business and others.

Tamara’s love for writing has opened doors for her in various industries such as engineering services, wireless telemetry, image consulting, professional sports, asset management and community development.

#9.  Daniel Scocco

Location:  Brazil

Years as a freelance Writer: 12

Daniel started developing websites and blogs in 2005. He was a successful freelance writer when he first started out. As a writing consultant he was earning $200 per hour.

Daniel decided to leave freelance writing to focus on his most popular blog Daily Blog Tips. It was featured as one of the top 100 blogs worldwide by Technorati.

Although he no longer writes for a living, he contributes to the growth of other freelance writers. Daniel is the owner of the popular site, Daily Writing Tips, which is useful for people looking for help with grammar, punctuation and spelling.

In addition, He created a freelance writing course in 2010 to help writers achieve their goals. His advice about success is, “Hard work means that you will work long hours, but on those long hours you will also work smartly, focusing on the really important tasks (i.e. the Pareto principle). Persistence means that you will keep working hard day in and day out, even when the money is not coming and when things seem to be going downhill.”

#10.  Bamidele Onibalusi

Location:  Nigeria

Years as a freelance Writer: 3

Bamidele is a freelance writer and blogger. He specializes in ghostwriting, email copywriting, newsletters, blogs, web content, and eBook and eCourse writing. Not only is he a successful freelance writer, he also inspires and encourages other writers. Bamidele’s turning point came when he read an article by Steve Pavlina. Bamidele wrote over 270 guest posts for other blogs before he got his breakthrough.

He has had guest posts featured on Problogger, Daily Blog tips, JohnChow.com, Smart Passive Income, ZacJohnson.com, MaxBlogPress.com and others. He’s also been interviewed by The Nigerian Guardian, MakeaLivingWriting.com, Millionaire Magazine in Italy and the Digital Journal. He was also featured in Forbes.

Bamidele earned over $50,000 last year and is set to earn more this year. His advice to other writers is, “Keep at it. I wrote 270 guest posts before getting my first client. Most of those guest posts were awful, but that didn’t stop me. Perfection isn’t achieved overnight, neither is success. Also, success is a journey, and you can be successful no matter where you are. What matters most is where you will be, and for how long. My final advice is to never give up, no matter what.”

Disclaimer: Bamidele is the founder of WritersinCharge.com

#11.  Jane Sheeba

Location:  India

Years as a freelance Writer: 5

Jane is a freelance writer and a blogger. She started blogging in 2007 to relieve stress and home sickness. At first Jane had no idea that she was going to become a serious blogger and freeelance writer. However, she took her new venture seriously.

Jane became quite successful and wrote two eBooks: Problogging Action Plan and Guest Blogging Champion. The books were to encourage other writers on their blogging journeys.

Jane has had guest posts published on Problogger, Amazing Bloggers, Basic Blog Tips, E-Junkie, New Biz Blogger, Viral Mom, Techwench and lots of other blogs.

Jane’s love of writing has contributed to her successful guest posting and freelance writing career.

#12. Dr. Kavita Shaikh

Location:  Middle East

Years as a freelance Writer: 4

Dr. Kavita is a blogger and freelance writer. She took up blogging and writing after she and her husband relocated from India to the Middle East. She had a lot of free time on her hands. She is also a doctor and used her background in medicine to write about health, fitness, diet, exercise, weight loss, mental health. She also writes about internet marketing, blogging tips, affiliate marketing, relationships and other subjects.

She is the founder of Knowempowermnetwork, which she created to help bloggers make money. She has written for oDesk, Elance and iFreelance.com. She also writes on HubPages and Squidoo.

Dr Kavita utilizes her writing skills to make money while enjoying her craft.

Who Inspires You?

Do you know any of the freelance writers on this list? If so, how do they inspire you? If not, who inspires you?

Kindly let us know in the comments.

Also, share this post with a friend or two – especially non-native English writers – and let them know it’s possible!

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About the Author

  • http://www.rocketsquidoolenses.com/ Cristian Balau

    I’m pretty sure Ioana-Monica is a Romanian name since I’m a native Romanian myself and I have some advice for her.

    All I can say is exactly what you said. Its possible to become a freelancer writer with English as a second language. You just need to be very determined and have patience. The hardest thing is finding clients, if you have clients, trust me, you won’t get bored and you will improve your skills with every project you get.

    I’ve started as a freelance writer, moved up to SEO, web design and general website management and promotion. Loved my writing period but I never earned much, best rates I’ve got were 10 bucks per 500 words and that’s low, very low for unique/professional content I’ve provided. Questions is, how to you get long term “whale” type clients.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks so much for the advice, Cristian!

      I’m sure it would not only be beneficial to Ioana, but also to other people reading this comment.

      Thanks so much for reading! :)

      Best Regards,
      Bamidele

  • http://www.infowland.com dan

    This is a pretty nice list….

    Thanks Bami

    Regards

  • http://www.aha-now.com Harleena Singh

    Thanks so much for the mention, and for placing me among such wonderful and well-known bloggers and writers, some of whom I know.

    Yes indeed, I DO learn a lot from your blog Oni, and then there is Jane whose blog is another great source of learning – so both of you do inspire me from the list.

    Freelance writing as non-native English writer is easy provided you work hard, never lose heart, be a learner, and spend lot of time reading and writing. It isn’t all that tough if you really get down to it. And once you develop a passion and you’re into it full-fledged, sky is the limit.

    I wish all the best to all the aspiring and budding non-native English freelance writers. :)

    P.S. – I’d like to clarify that my income mentioned here from my writing works is only for the previous month. Presently I’m more involved in developing my own blogs, which is something that even other non-native English writers can do.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, thanks Harleena!

      You definitely deserved to be on the list :)

  • http://jeulyanna.wordpress.com jeulyanna

    My inspiration is you, Oni. It’s your life story that lights my way to continue writing, though, like what you’ve said, I have awful moments too. There were times when I want to throw not just a towel but a blanket. Oh also Carol Tice. You and Carol inspire me to continue what I believe is a possible dream – be like you. :)

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks, Jeulyana!

      Carol is also inspiring, too!

  • http://www.likelitelife.in Aditya

    I’ll work hard to get in there :P

    Awesome list, I found some more awesome blogs to read now, thanks for that as well.

    Aditya

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, I really don’t think it’s about getting on the above list but about making a difference in your own way :)

  • http://realtimetricks.com Irfan Siddiqui

    Though you have mentioned 75% freelance writers from my country – INDIA but the person who have inspiring me is you – Oni. :)

    Since, you started this blog, the theme changes, and the other changes I have been reading it throughout and it changed my life in many other way as you know I’m much towards graphic then writing!

    Last words, keep up the good work. :)

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, thanks Irfan! :)

  • http://www.microficcion.com Edgardo José StMd

    Hi, thanks for the very inspiring article. I myself have done some freelance jobs and made the mistake of quitting because of pay. I’m a native spanish speaker and all I can tell you is that it can be done with hard work and determination.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Exactly.

      Hard work and determination will make the impossible possible.

  • http://techwalls.com/ Tuan @ TechWalls

    I am also a non-native English speaker and I really admire all people you mentioned above. What amazing jobs they are doing!

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Me too, Tuan :)

  • http://www.successstories.co.in/ Mousumi

    Hi Oni!

    To be very honest, I have been reading the writings of Shuchi Singh Kalra, Kavita Sheikh, Harleena Singh, Sanjay and yours. You should have placed yourself among top 5 :-)

    Thanks very much for featuring so many encouraging names…Going to read more about them.

    Best,
    Mousumi

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Hi Mousumi,

      Thanks!

      Actually, I’m inspired by all the writers on this list.

      In my own opinion, I shouldn’t be on the list at all; I think the number “12″ sounds more pleasant and appealing than “11″ so when the list came with my name I decided to leave it there to make the “list” more appealing.

      Other than that, I’m glad you enjoyed the list :)

  • http://getmobilefun.com Rocky @ Mobile Reviews

    Oni you have inspired many Indians now..You have made us know about some of the very popular Indian freelance writers. I am going to definitely follow this 12 people from now and also go through some of the articles they might have written.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Aha, thanks Rocky!

      Actually, the work on this article was done by June; a member of the YoungPrePro team.

      You can expect to see more quality articles like this in the future thanks to efforts made by the YoungPrePro team.

  • http://bestmicrowaveovenreview.info Wilford Microwave Oven Reviews

    Oni is the one, he makes things simple and straight forward. Am also a freelance writer with English as my second language and this is my second month of freelance writing and so far I have made over $100 from last month alone and it keeps getting higher. It was not easy, I had some of the content I wrote rejected, but I kept at it and the $$ seem to be still pouring in, it is possible.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      I’m flattered, but thanks! :)

      You’re right about it not being easy, but success is sure if you keep at it. I’m glad you’re getting results!

  • http://contentmarketingup.com Michael Chibuzor

    Hey Oni, thanks for the mention. Of course, one can make a living writing as a non-native speaker. One thing I always tell my subscribers is, “THINK SOLUTION, TALK SOLUTION AND YOU’D MAKE MORE MONEY.”

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      I totally agree with you there bro!

  • http://www.carnivalgoa.com/casino/ Sam@Goa Casinos

    Ya these all are nice personality in world who all had proved himself much perfectly with their writing skills. Beside this is nice source to gain and share much information about latest technology of every field specially in online marketing.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Exactly! They are a great source of inspiration and motivation for freelance writers that want to get started.

  • Sunayana

    really inspiring… may not be possible over night… requires lots of dedication and determination to reach that height…

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Exactly :)

  • http://www.workfromhomechristians.com.au/is-nutriverus-really-as-good-as-they-are-saying/ James Hannan

    Thanks For this inspiring post. Now it’s proved that you don’t even have to be native English writer to be a successful freelancer its all about how much afford you put in and how much you enjoy writing. And I always believe that if you want to be a writer just because that makes money, you won’t be a great writer. To be a great writer you must enjoy what you are doing. And that’s will bring success.

    James Hannan.

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks, James!

      You’re so on spot about that. You have to love writing and be determined to succeed at it.

  • http://pixiewriter.com/ Ioana

    Hi Oni,

    Thank you so much for taking the time to research and write this article. Your example is truly inspiring, but I thought you were, perhaps, an exception. Now that I’ve read so many successful stories I realize that as long as you work hard and you persevere great things lie ahead of you. I have already landed my first writing gig. It doesn’t pay much, but I’m so happy to be writing.

    Thanks again for this great post!

    • http://www.youngprepro.com Bamidele Onibalusi

      Thanks, Ioana!

      I was about sending you an email that your question inspired this post, but I was waiting to answer your second question in another post before doing that.

      I’m glad you’ve gotten your first client now and I’m sure that’s only the beginning.

      Please let me know if there’s anything I can do to help along the way.

      Best Regards,
      Bamidele

    • http://www.ancadumitru.com Anca Dumitru

      You can do it, Ioana! The fact that you’re mastering and writing in English as a non-native speaker should earn you even more brownie points. Keep on keeping on!

      And thanks, Oni, for sharing this!

  • http://healthtipscafe.com Ambika Choudhary Mahajan

    Hi Oni,
    I have been following your blog keenly for quite some time now. Infact, it was your post a few months back, “Why every freelance writer must have his own blog” which inspired me to set up a blog of my own.
    I have been freelancing as a writer for the last 2 years and earning close to $1500 since the last one year now. I would be honored if you could mention me in your list too. (That would actually mean a lot to me).
    My blog (www.healthtipscafe.com) is still in its infancy, and having its share of teething troubles though another top blogger of India, Ramandeep Singh, happened to notice my dedication and potential and appointed me an Editor at his blog (www.techclap.com) now.
    My hands are too full of work at the moment.
    Heartfelt thanks to inspiration from bloggers like you, which keeps me going.

  • http://www.tandjconsulting.co.za Tamara

    Wow! I’m very flattered that you included me in your list, but I actually am English first language. Sorry to disappoint!

  • http://www.tefljobs4u.com/ Teff Jones@EFL jobs

    Great article! It’s nice to know that all the headaches in learning creative English writing that I am currently facing are also experienced by others. It has definitely boost my confidence and urge of writing more. Thank you. =)

  • Chris Syn

    Dunno if late to the party or not, couldn’t find any information about when that entry or the comments here were posted :-(. Either way, nice read. I have but one complain: most of the bloggers you mention are from countries where English is at least an official language and (I presume) widely used (India, Nigeria, South Africa). To me it looks like there should be a distinction and those that come from countries were English is the native or the officla language should be put into one group. Any thoughts?

    • http://embracingsustainability.wordpress.com/ Uzma | Embracing Sustainability

      English may be an official language or taught in schools since kindergarten, but still one needs to convince the native speakers belonging to US, UK, Canada or Australia that our English is equally good as yours.

      Unfortunately, where you originate from makes people judge before they even get to know you.

  • Uzma | Embracing Sustainability

    Two probloggers that belong to a non-native country are Samar Owais of thewritingbase.com and Marya Jan of writinghappiness.com : ) It didn’t took them too long to prove themselves either.

  • Chris Syn

    I had no doubts that somebody from a country with different official languages could prove themselves as high level English bloggers (like Marya Jan or Samar Owais). I am simply arguing that they should get a little bit more credit because it is more difficult than it is for somebody who has been living in a country where English is widely used.

    And I am not trying to diminish the achievement of those bloggers mentioned above – I’m not saying what they do is easy in any way and I have the utmost respect for them. I only thought it might be nice to give an additional nod to those why don’t have an English background whatsoever and achieve the same.

  • http://www.empowernetwork.com/makemoneynow.php?id=blash Maria

    Congratulations, best wishes and blessings! Thank-You very much for displaying these bloggers…A very inspirational, motivational and uplifting stories…Thank-You for sharing and really make me want to try even harder…As always Bamidele where ever You lead us is to greatness and learning…Gratitude, Love & Blessings

    \Maria Lash
    760-252-1935

  • http://www.shuchikalra.com Shuchi

    OMG! I just chanced across this while looking up an old article of mine and I am so blown away…and humbled. Thank you so much Oni, for placing me among such stellar writers (lots of familiar names here. You inspire me to get better and better at what I do. Thanks again!

    • http://www.writersincharge.com/ Bamidele Onibalusi

      You’re welcome, Shuchi!

      Thanks for the great work you and also for inspiring other non-native writers by letting them realize they have no excuse for not succeeding :)

      Best Regards,
      Oni

  • http://www.webvoice1.blogspot.com Devika

    Hi..its amazing to see this. An industry which is plagued by dwindling pay packages and unprofessional client behavior , it is encouraging to see that there are a few freelancers who have made it big, despite the odds. I will surely start following these writers and imbibe whatever I can to one day become a successful freelancer.

    Also this helps me to reach out to the listed veterans in the freelance domain for guidance and help.

  • http://www.contentsplanet.com Pawan

    Sorry to disappoint you, but some writers that you’ve mentioned in the blog are English (Tamara, for instance). But congrats to the writers in the list…great and appreciative effort!

    I believe, just as honey to bees, the writers to writing.:)

    • http://www.contentsplanet.com Pawan

      Correction – Just as bees to honey, the writers to writing :)

  • http://www.geeks4share.com PrIyAnGsHu

    Interesting post, Bamidele. Good to see so many Indians in the list :).

  • http://www.binahub.com Samuel Chibuike

    Thank you for this list. I think that in the coming months, my name should also be featured here. LOL :D

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