Does Location Matter When Looking for Freelance Writing Jobs?

Dear Jodee,

I’ve worked as a freelance writer with clients in my own country for many years. However, I’ve had difficulty landing well-paying assignments from international clients.

Can you give me tips on how I can crack the international market? I’m especially looking for clients that are willing to pay well for quality work, not the ones who offer about $1 for a 500 word article and say it’s reasonable pay because I live in a third world country.

And speaking of location, do you think the fact that I’m not based in the US or the UK, and English is not my first language, is a liability to my job hunting? If so, how should I demonstrate to clients that these factors will not negatively affect the services that I deliver to them?


Dear Damaria,

There is nothing wrong with wanting to look beyond local clients for freelance writing gigs. The great thing about working for yourself as a freelancer is that you get to choose the types of assignments you want to go after. A good place to start is the freelance writing gigs that we post here on weekdays. You also have the option of checking out other job boards and discussion forums that are relevant to the niche you are interested in working in for leads.

I’m not based in the United States or the UK either, and the vast majority of my clients are from these two countries. Location is not a liability at all. There are times when you need to allow for time zone differences, but that is not a major barrier to working with international clients.

To answer your question about presenting yourself in a positive way to a client, I would say that you should think, “Show, Don’t Tell.” A client who is willing to hire someone to work remotely is probably more concerned with whether the writer can do the work than location. There are some who only want to hear from writers in a certain geographic location, and in that case just move on to something else.

Make sure that the samples you are showing to prospective clients are top notch. It’s worthwhile to have an editor go through them to make sure they are error-free.

I think that your focus when looking for freelance writing jobs should be on the skills that you bring to the table. Instead of thinking of the fact that English is not your first language, present yourself as a skilled bilingual (or multilingual writer) who is dedicated your craft and able to meet your clients’ needs. Where you happen to live should not be a factor.

Keep pursuing opportunities that interest you and start making pitches to clients you would be interested in working with. You already know that being rejected is part of being a freelance writer, and don’t be afraid to expand your professional horizons by going after the gigs you want.

What would you tell Damaria about finding freelance writing jobs? Do you have a question you would like to see answered in an upcoming column? Share your thoughts in the comments section.


4 responses
  1. allena Avatar

    Unless you’ve massively edited her letter, this writer shows a very strong command of the English language. This will undoubtedly be reflected in her cover letters, and she should have no issue getting jobs even with E as an S L.

  2. Jodee Avatar

    @ Allena,

    I published the letter “as is.” I don’t think that ESL is an issue here either.

  3. joseph Alawode Avatar

    My name is joseph, I’m a freelance professional photgrapher. I have a magazine project which is in a pipeline. Honestly trying to find freelance writter who will be interested in being a part of the team. I decided to google freelance writing, that’s how I came about this page. I hope I’m in the right place for an answer to my questions.

  4. jyoti garg Avatar

    I’m freelancer web designer and English is not my first language but your article is good for encourage to me.

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