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I quit my job and moved to Asia to work as a digital nomad

Olivia Barrow

I’ve been on the road for a month now straddling the roles of carefree backpacker and location-independent freelance writer.

According to my Trail Wallet app, I’ve spent $889.79. According to my highly technical income spreadsheet, I’ve earned about $2,700. I’ve worked around 25 hours, although I haven’t done as good of a job of keeping track of that. Maybe I need a separate app for logging my own time?

But you can do the math. My hourly wage is fantastic and reflects the fact that I’m not relying on a freelance hub like UpWork to send me clients. I used my existing professional network, I became a LinkedIn all-star, and I found professional clients looking for professional-level work.

I’m a member of several Facebook groups offering support and camaraderie to Digital Nomads, specifically females who are digital nomads or who want to be, and I see post after post seeking advice on how to start a freelance writing career that pays enough to live on. I wish I could comment and point them to a simple trick, or a secret 10-step path, but there is no such thing.

To find clients for your writing, you have to put in the same legwork that you would for any other small business. You need to prove your ability by getting published on reputable sites (this includes any local or regional news outlet, getting your work promoted by the editors of LinkedIn Pulse or by Medium, or by building up your own blog until it hits decent traffic numbers), and then you need to start asking around your professional network and cold-calling promising companies who are large enough to have the budget for professional writing services.

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