Your First Location Independent Dollars Are Closer Than You Think
For anyone who’s never made a cent of ‘location independent’ income, I’ve got a great way for you to start. Freelance writing. Maybe you’ve never been a freelance writer before? Neither was I, but now I count startups, corporations, and marketing firms as past clients.
I remember when I set up an account on Odesk, the freelancing platform now called Upwork, with the goal of earning at least $1. Once I made my first dollar I knew I could make more and then be free to travel indefinitely.
I earned much more than that. Starting with zero reviews, no portfolio, and no experience, I hustled to earn my first few clients. In just one week I earned over $600. With that money I took my first trips to Chicago and Puerto Rico. It was extremely exciting for me! I had finally added a little walk to my talk about digital nomadism.
Could you get similar results by taking on a career as a freelance writer? I think you can, and here’s a few reasons to consider going for it.
1. You Really Can Start From Square 1
When I created my profile on Odesk, all I had was a picture of myself. I didn’t have any work published online except for a few posts on this site, and none of it was paid. Because I had no past clients, I had a beautiful zero star rating.
I was bidding against freelancers who had been on the site for years, but I was able to stand out by sending in high quality work proposals. After applying to 11 positions I was hired at 3, one of whom I still work for today!
This was incredible to me. Within just a few days I was earning enough location independent income to travel, and I didn’t even need to learn technical skills like graphic design or computer coding. You can do the same!
2. It’s Laptop Work
All you need is your laptop. If you’re not doing research then you don’t even need Wifi. You can write from anywhere.
There is nothing like the feeling of writing while looking over a beautiful valley from a local café.
3. It’s Extremely Flexible
If you’ve got no plans for the day then I can get a weeks worth of writing out of the way relatively quickly. If you’ve only got a little time before your bus comes to pick you up you can still draft one article, leaving the little edits for later in the day. If that bus loses a tire and is running late you can stay productive until it arrives.
If you want to wake up early and work then, you can. You can also sleep in until 2PM and begin working then. So long as you keep your deadlines in mind (don’t miss those!) then you can work whenever is convenient for you. You never know when plans will change, but freelance writing allows you to work around a spontaneous schedule.
4. Once You Have Clients, You’ve Got Stability
Let’s say you’re working for four different clients and one decides that they don’t need any more work from you. 25% of your income goes up in smoke, but that’s all. You only lose a small piece. The last thing you want to do is lose ALL of your income when you’re on the far side of the planet, and when you’re a freelance writer it’s unlikely that that’s going to happen.
If one of your clients gives you the boot, then you’ve still got income coming in. This is a cushion that gives you time to apply for more work if that’s necessary. There’s never that moment of ‘freaking out’ when in an instant 100% of your income vanishes overnight. Unless all of your clients got together and decided to play a cruel joke on you, it’s not going to happen.
5. There’s No BS
This is one of my favorite reasons for being a freelance writer. There’s no BS. You’ve either written the article, or you haven’t. It either has grammar mistakes, or it doesn’t. You either put in a good deal of research, or you fluffed up the article to reach 500 words.
Everything you’ve done is right there on the page. You and the client are never left wondering if the transaction was fair. They know what they’re getting and you know what you’re getting. It’s pretty simple, and it’s easy to build trust with clients you’ve never met and who you will never meet in person. (I know most of my clients ONLY through email and text-based chat.)
6. It’s A Powerful Skill
Don’t think about the money right now, think about what it means to be a powerful, effective, writer. Leaders in government and business are almost all excellent writers. The skill is nearly as important as public speaking.
I was just listening to a book about Winston Churchill. That man wrote SO many books and was one of the most published authors of his time. He’s not alone. Leaders throughout history have always been gifted writers, having mastered the craft over years and years. You don’t need to be the next Churchill, but knowing how to write will help you as you manage your company or team, whether you’re location independent or not.
Are You Interested In Becoming A Freelance Writer?
How would you like to earn money from anywhere? This is an easy way to get started and it’s totally possible for you. Even if you don’t want to travel, it’s a flexible way to earn income.
If you’re ready to learn how to be a freelance writer, shoot me a message via email, or on Twitter. Freelance writing was life-changing for me, and I’d be glad to help you get started!
If you’re looking for a total package to help you become a digital nomad, check out my course “How To Become A Digital Nomad“. Inside, I go over all the details about earning money while traveling (freelance writing information included) as well as everything else you need to know about before buying your first one-way ticket.