freelance writing

How to Get Lucrative Freelance Writing Gigs — No Matter Where You Live

This is a guest post by Carol Tice. Carol is a six figure freelance writer and the founder and “den mother” of the Freelance Writers Den, the number one community for freelance writers in the world. The Freelance Writers Den opens to freelance writers only twice a year — for a few days. As I write this in early December 2018, it’s currently open for a few days and you have very limited time to take advantage of this community that has turned thousands of freelance writers into success stories.

Do you feel like you live in a writer-pay desert? I hear this complaint from freelance writers a lot. Some typical comments: “I live in a small town where there are few opportunities. “My area is economically depressed, so rates are very low. “There are no big businesses nearby, so there aren’t any good gigs. “I’m not in the United States, and there’s no good pay here. “My English isn’t that good, so I can’t earn well. “All the writing jobs on the Internet pay $5 an article now. I can’t find anything better.” Think you can’t find good-paying work as a writer where you live? I think you’re wrong. Actually, I know you’re wrong. How? For 20 years, I lived on an island with a population of about 25,000. And I’ve earned six figures from my writing every year since 2011. Here are seven ways you can find good-paying freelance markets, no matter where you are:

  • Realize it’s a global business. If you have a computer and Internet access, you can do writing work for clients anywhere in the world. I live near Seattle, and have had clients in New York, Canada, Australia, and the U.K. Stop thinking of your potential client base as who’s in your neighborhood, and target the clients you want, wherever they are. Yes, some companies and publications prefer to work with someone local — but increasingly, more and more don’t care where you live.
  • Swim in a different pool. If all you can find are low-paid keyword article assignments on Craigslist, guess what — you should stop looking on Craigslist. Start thinking about what industries or hobbies you know about, where few others are experts. Then, pro-actively target publications and corporations in that niche. Send them a marketing email, a postcard, cold-call them — whatever marketing mode you prefer. But you’ll always make more from a client you prospect and find than from one that’s looking at a stack of 300 resumes.
  • Tap the government. No matter where you live, there are federal, state, county, province, prefecture, township, city, and other government agencies. No matter what your interest — healthcare, transportation, child welfare, energy — you can find a government agency involved. Governments are constantly marketing to promote the benefits of their programs. They hire freelancers, and usually at moderate to high hourly rates. I did my first government contract this year, for a regional transportation agency, at $60 an hour. Do some networking to connect with marketing managers, or scour government-job websites for opportunities.
  • Go back to school. Universities, think-tanks, and research institutions dot the globe. They do copious marketing as they try to encourage alumni to donate, seek research grants, and release papers that explain their discoveries or political views. If you’re a college grad, start with your own alma mater to explore the freelance possibilities.
  • Check the newsstand. In particular, look for local editions of U.S.-based major magazines, and business papers. If a U.S.magazine does a special edition for your country, they may be looking for some local feature stories — and usually pay first-world rates. Wherever you live, local business weeklies and your newspaper’s business section are packed with information about companies big and small. Discover the largest corporations based in your region. Keep an eye out for fast-growing medium-sized companies or startups that have landed venture-capital money. Don’t assume only American companies pay well for writing — big companies pay writers well the world over, and in every language.
  • Watch for U.S. companies abroad. America abounds with multinational companies with branch offices around the world. If you live abroad and there are U.S. companies operating in your area, they can represent great pay opportunities. They may need a local bilingual writer to help them explain their programs or products in a culturally sensitive way, or to promote a local branch office — and you could be perfectly positioned to help them out.
  • Write travel. If you live somewhere exotic, market some travel articles about what there is to see and do in your part of the world. There are a boggling number of U.S.-based travel publications and websites, and many pay well for pieces on far-flung locales.

How did you find your best-paying gigs in the past year? Leave a comment and share your strategies. Carol Tice writes the award-winning Make a Living Writing blog and is the founder of the Freelance Writers Den, the number one community for freelance writers that has created thousands of success stories.. Freelance Writers Den

By Bamidele

Onibalusi Bamidele is the founder and CEO of Writers in Charge. Follow him on twitter here.

14 replies on “How to Get Lucrative Freelance Writing Gigs — No Matter Where You Live”

Trung Nguyensays:

Nice post, Carol.

I was impressive because of the big money Onibalusi earned from writing service. I always wondered how he could do that while most of newbie writer do not? He write well but that’s not a problem here. I thought the problem is he chosen the right markets.

Is your post helpful or not? Get the answer yourself.

It’s all about high paying clients buddy. Oni got few right clients who pays him much more than your regular clients.

Trung Nguyensays:

That’s what I’m talking about.

Yep! 🙂

I can relate well to this post!
I am guilty of some of the excuses mentioned at the beginning of this post. But lately I’ve come realize that I have to get rid of the road blocks, pave the way and make opportunity happen.
You never know until you try…


Right on, Shamelle!

When I talk to writers who aren’t earning well, it always comes out that they are not proactively marketing their business on a regular basis. The more people who know what you do, the faster you find quality clients.

MIchael @Blast4TrafficNowsays:

I’m inspired by your post Carol. You’ve been a great source of inspiration to me. Happy New Year!

This is a great post Carol! I agree completely about remembering that you are in a global world. I live in northern California, which has been hit hard from the recession, but I really don’t feel phased by it. I have clients in Latvia, the UK, Chicago and southern California. You don’t have to worry about what is going on in your local economy if you can reach people on a global scale. Thanks for the insight!

Thanks for this article. I’ve never thought about government agencies as a source of writing income, so I’ll have to look into that.
Really helpful post.

Romy Singhsays:

Hi Carol,

Thanks For the such a awesome article. it really going to help me out to catch some more big fish clients for my freelance writing business.

Personally I like your first point most, you are not bound by location just go out and search for clients where ever you can. nice point to say…

Happy New Year!

Great post. You’ve given me some new ideas. I’m guilty of having hit the low paying gigs but it’s part of my new year resolution to change gear and start doing things right. You’re a big inspiration helping me do it. Thanks

I have never considered the Govt. In my place, Govt. might give jobs but they don’t usually pay on time! But people include the interest costs upfront so that they are covered for that delay. Maybe I should explore with the Govt. a little bit more? Thanks for the inspiration…

There’s another universal — government tends to be a slow payer everywhere, I think, Raj!

I sat down with my government client and set very clear payment expectations, and with the exception of the final payment, they met them. The last one dragged on a bit, but bottom line is government agencies can have ongoing freelance work and at pretty nice rates.

The trick is actually to stay OFF the job sites and proactively go out and find some of the client types I’ve mentioned above, Dean.

As long as you’re looking at job ads, you’re competing with the 500 other people who respond, and rates will never be very good. When you prospect for your own clients, you get more appropriate rates.

Comments are closed.