Do you have a knack for communication and a desire to see more of the world? If you do, running your business from the road so that you can make money traveling as a freelance writer might just be your dream job.
It certainly was for me a few years ago.
However, these days it’s more than a dream; it’s my lifestyle.
A little intro: back in 2016, I was working a 9 – 5 office job and feeling pretty miserable. I craved adventure and the freedom to choose my own working hours, set my own rates, and work from wherever I wanted (be that on the other side of the world – or just from my own home!).
So I hustled, big time.
Now, I have a thriving freelance writing business that I can run from anywhere in the world. In 2017, I travelled to 10 countries – and even managed to grow my business in that time.
The best part though? I know that my story isn’t some exceptional fantasy. Anyone can make it happen if they want to.
Having been miserable and trapped in an office job and craving more from life and now reached the otherside, I’ve dedicated myself to helping others make their dream really happen.
If you want to learn to make money as a freelance writer while travelling the world, read on: I’ve got you covered.
1. Prepare Before You Leave
One of my best pieces of advice if you seriously want to become a freelance writer is to prepare now, before you have anything to lose.
Quitting your job and flying to the other side of the world with no foundations for your business in place just isn’t a smart move (as adventurous and romantic as it does sound!).
Instead, put in the work now to start building a strong freelance business while you’re still in your home country and ideally, while you still have a form of stable income. I worked for about 6 months alongside my office job to build up my freelance writing business to the point where I had a few stable, long-term contracts lined up for when I finally left my full-time job.
Freelancing is a risk, so you’re far better off to prepare before you travel the world rather than when there’s already a lot more to lose.
2. Build a Strong Portfolio
Every freelance writer needs a strong portfolio to attract potential clients. When you’re just starting out, this should be one of your main focuses.
So how do you build a strong portfolio?
First, it’s a good idea to choose the type of writing you’d like to specialise in. Do you want to be a travel writer? Are you great at explaining SEO and internet marketing? Do you have an even more niche specialism, such as finance or law?
Figure out what makes you unique as a writer, and what you can really offer your clients. Then, build a portfolio that reflects this.
Your portfolio could consist of your own blog and guest posts, free work you’ve done for friends and family (a great option when you’re just starting out!), or even just hypothetical pieces that you upload directly to your portfolio.
3. Tell Everyone About Your Plan To Make Money Traveling As A Freelance Writer
So, I know telling everyone you know that you’re taking a huge leap into the world of self-employment sounds terrifying.
The thought of having to come home with your tail between your legs having failed is bad enough, but the thought of having to do that with everyone knowing what’s gone down? That’s enough to turn your stomach.
However, telling people about your new venture is a fast-track to finding new clients. There is nothing better for finding loyal, quality clients that being referred by someone you know and who trusts your work.
Putting yourself out there is scary, but that’s why you’re putting in the hard work now to build a strong freelance business foundation: so you don’t have to face failure.
4. Research Your Destinations
Being a freelance writer when you’re travelling the world doesn’t have to be all that different to if you were working from home.
The biggest obstacles you’ll have to overcome are:
- Handling clients being in different timezones
- Finding a good WiFi signal when you’re always on the move
Handling different time zones can definitely be a tricky thing to overcome when you’re working and travelling, but with proper planning it won’t be an issue.
Sometimes, your client will be awake while you’re asleep. Your deadline will suddenly be in the middle of the night, whereas a week before it could have been 5pm your time.
As the freelancer, it is your responsibility to keep up with these changes and to meet your deadlines no matter what. Hey – a few sacrifices every here and there is worth getting to work from anywhere in the world!
As for the WiFi issue, my best advice is to make sure you research your next destination before settling on it. In any country in the world, you’re going to have cities and towns with great WiFi and plenty of places to work from, and you’ll also have those spots that just aren’t ideal for digital nomads.
Read up before you get there and make sure that you won’t be faced with an unexpected issue.
5. Start Slow, Stay Steady
If you’ve decided you want to make money as a freelance writer and travel the world, I’m going to wager a guess that you’re pretty excited right now.
You should be!
You’re starting what is undoubtedly an amazing lifestyle, with more freedom and opportunities than many people ever decide to give themselves.
When you’re in this mindset, it can be tempting to go full steam ahead in the early stages to make everything happen.
While this is great, a word of caution: don’t go so fast that you burn out.
Personally, I grew my freelance writing business over several months. I took on one or two clients, settled into a new routine, and then analysed my income and my time to see if I could take on another client.
This made sure that I could always provide my current clients with the highest quality of work without feeling stressed or overwhelmed, and that I scaled up my business in an organic and sustainable way.
What’s your dream “working while travelling” job?
Yaz Purnell is a freelance writer and business owner, creating content for online business as she travels the world. Grab her list of over 20 ways to find your own freelance writing jobs today to get started!