The One Skill That Can Change Your Life

This past year was my most profitable ever as a globetrotting writer…and it’s been a lot of fun too. I spent long summer days in Portugal, Spain, and Italy, played digital nomad—traveling and working as I went—for five weeks in Argentina, and explored the jungles of Bolivia.

Since 2013, I’ve been funding my overseas journeys—and an amazing life—through freelance copywriting. I travel where I want, when I want, for as long as I want. Sometimes I write on the road and sometimes I leave the laptop at home. For me, copywriting is the ultimate means-to-an-end profession.

Basically, I write things like articles, blog posts, product descriptions, and online brochures for clients. And I can do it from wherever in the world I happen to be. My “offices” have included a bench along the shores of Lake Bled in Slovenia, a rooftop garden in Milan, and this quiet beach hut (pictured, below) on the island of Savaii in Samoa. While here, I spent more time snorkeling and exploring the island’s waterfalls than writing. That’s the beauty of this lifestyle: you decide how to balance work, travel, and adventure—on your terms.

So, how do you make enough money as a copywriter to travel the globe whenever you like? It all starts with finding the right clients. By “right”, I mean clients that (a) pay well, (b) value your skills, and (c) hopefully provide steady, long-term work. For example, I sourced one client through my LinkedIn contacts and that single reach-out email led to over $45,000 of writing work for over a year. Now that’s what I call a good client.

Health, wealth, and technology are the three most lucrative target markets for copywriters. If you stick to larger companies, you’ll find they generally pay more and provide more consistent work. Parenting, dating, and relationship websites are also reliable writing niches.

Of course, when you do your writing from overseas locations, there are always a few extra challenges. If you’re writing from a café, it can be noisy (I prefer writing from a comfortable apartment, preferably on a high floor above the traffic noise). Sometimes foreign wireless signals are weak (I always pack a WiFi booster).

And sometimes, the places you visit are so beautiful or fascinating that it’s too easy to procrastinate by hiking through a park, visiting a beach, or hanging out with new friends at a local bar instead. But that’s up to you. Becoming a freelance copywriter is all about flexibility—working when and where you want. That’s also what makes it perfect for retirees overseas looking to earn an extra bit of income.

So, if you love to travel and you love to write, why not do both as a jet-setting copywriter? Becoming a location-independent writer changed my life. My only regret is not starting earlier…

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