“Are you still working?” is a question I get asked a lot these days.
Instead of working a steady 40-hour work-week with just a few weeks’ vacation, I’m routinely taking up a third of the year off…while still making a full-time income.
I live in Cuenca, Ecuador, where my costs are a fraction of what they would be back home in Nebraska. I can dine out regularly in top-rated restaurants and afford to have a cleaning lady once a week.
As a copywriter, I’m in control of my schedule.
I can choose when I work—and where.
For example, last spring I went to Texas for a writing conference…then I spent several weeks back home in Nebraska with my grandfather. I spent two weeks over the 4th of July in Michigan with my husband’s family. And I’ll close out 2015 by taking two additional months off for the birth of my first child.
If I had any other kind of job, it would be a problem.
It’s not unusual to start a project in Ecuador and finish it up in the U.S. Or, to take on a new project while I’m in the U.S. and then actually do the work once I’m back in Ecuador.
Plus, I don’t have to agree to more than I want to do. If I know I’ve got family commitments on the horizon, I wind things down or move deadlines to make sure work never gets in the way. By the same token, I pick up extra projects when I know I’ve got time, boosting my bank balance.
At the moment, I’m focused on the most lucrative type of copywriting…sales letters.
Sales letters are a particularly wonderful option for roaming expats like me—people who love a flexible schedule with a steady income.
Why is this such a great choice? Well, with sales letters, you’re often paid twice. First, you earn the upfront fees for writing the letter ($2,000 to $10,000 or more). Later, you can earn royalties (usually 1% to 5% of sales, though some markets offer royalties of 10% or more).
In Cuenca, the fees from a single letter mean a few months of comfortable living. I write six to 10 letters a year. Between fees and quarterly royalty payments, my income adds up…even when I’m busy doing other things.
It’s perfect for me. And I encourage anyone interested in life overseas to try it out, too. There’s no other “job” I know of that lets you have so much freedom while still keeping you comfortable wherever you choose to call home.
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