A Day in the Life of an Expat Copywriter

As most of you know from reading the blog and following along at our Facebook page, I’ve been extremely busy with my current full-time job, which is managing my online community with Marginal Boundaries and establishing niche sites and products such as The Expat Guidebook and The Mediterranean Lifestyle eBook, Olympian Health and Wellness According to The Mediterranean Diet. So much so that I haven’t made a blog post here in months, which I alluded to towards the end of 2011 and early weeks of 2012 as I wrapped up the Dremel project with Demand Studios with enough cash to get me through the entirety of 2012 while working solely on passion projects.

Which has allowed me, consequently, to go about building up my own niche in the immersion travel / expat industry and offer services and products based upon what I prefer to do with my life: travel the world and live in countries where the cost of living is much, much less than the United States while I enjoy an early retirement, absolute freedom and basically live like I’m on vacation every day of the year. I’ve been debt-free since I was 29 years old, and I’ve been freelancing part-time since January of 2008 when I left the U.S. to live abroad as an expat in other countries.

Nowadays I just create products, such as the immersion guides for Marginal Boundaries based on which cities I’ve lived in for the past going on five years: Sofia, Bulgaria; Bogota, Colombia; and Cancun, Mexico. Or the previously mentioned Expat Guidebook and Mediterranean Diet lifestyle plan and nutrition guide. And I still do the occasional copywriting gig here through Complete Writing Solutions, although I’m not actively searching for clients these days aside from those projects which catch my eye as in my niches. I still get referrals from time to time, and the random query. I’m also creating and producing YouTube videos, such as The Expat Guidebook Tip of the Day series, and I’m currently putting together footage of the Riviera Maya for an upcoming production.

And I did it all on a median salary. I just did it in a way which gave me financial freedom: living abroad as a full-time expat.

When I started in January of 2008 I had no previous experience at being a writer. I never finished high school, I never went to college and all I knew was construction (family trade; I was third generation), video games and fantasy/science fiction novels. And yeah…it took a lot of hard work in the beginning to find people who would give me gigs with no previous experience, no degree and no published samples. But I found people who needed work done in my niches, I landed gigs, I paid the bills and slowly moved my way up until by 2009 I was debt-free and clearing $50 an hour with my lowest gigs.

Now I’m an expert student (well, semi anyway. There is always something new to learn as Google makes continual tweaks) in SEO, backlinking, copywriting, marketing, digital enterprises, travel and website design. I can take a website from zero to the first page of Google in three to six months, and I haven’t needed to outsource yet. I run seven different domains presently including the aforementioned domains, so I’m a busy guy. I’m also starting to produce video content, although that’s in its early stages presently. As the budget grows, so will the production value. Right now it’s just me and a high-def cam as I work my way around the world, and it’s proving to be a vital part of my traffic online.

I suppose I still have to work, if you consider managing the Marginal Boundaries community and creating new products “work” in the traditional sense. I have an intern program starting in June that runs through into September, at which point I’m hiring a personal assistant to help me manage things because as the empire grows it takes more time to manage, and I prefer to keep my time investment to a minimum now that things are off the ground. So things are growing. And we have a lot of travel plans coming up in the future, including Santiago, Chile and Rio de Janeiro, Brazil for more immersion guides. Although you won’t see posts here too often from me given the fact that I only work on retainer now as a copywriter, I’m still around. Just check out the myriad of links in this post to find me where I’m most actively engaged :)

Listen…if I can do this…an uneducated construction worker from Colorado who didn’t even finish high school…than you can do this. Anyone can do it. All it takes is a desire to achieve and you will find everything you ever wanted at your fingertips. Too many writers are stuck in a rut thinking they can’t achieve success and all it takes is the dedication to not just say “I want it”, but to go out there and chase it down.

Opportunities don’t wait for you. You have to take them. So get out there and get some!

T.W. Anderson is the founder of Complete Writing Solutions, and is a freelance writer specializing in travel writing, website content, interior design and home improvement, green-related topics, as well as anything else potential clients need him to be.

Posted in Freelance Writing 101, Freelance Writing Tips, The World Is Your Oyster Tagged with: , , , , , ,

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