How Do I Win Freelance Writing Jobs as a Non-Native English Speaker?


You’ve finally launched your website.

How Do I Win Freelance Writing Jobs as a Non-Native English Speaker?

As an international writer, you see prospects seek native English speakers

And, you know that it’s now time to put it into action.

You’re excited at seeing your site go live, and you even keep typing your domain name into search engines to see if it appears on the first page.

You’ve written your first blog post. And, wow you like it!

There you go, Monday morning with your cup of coffee you turn on your laptop and, the first thing you do is visit different job boards and even contact local businesses.

You apply for so many jobs like crazy …then sit back, relax and wait for a message.

Two days counting, there’s no message.

You decide to go back to the places you had placed your bids but unfortunately, you discover that most awarded applicants are native English speakers!

You decide to apply again, but days to weeks later there’s still no response.

The next ads you see are specifically looking to hire ‘‘native English speakers’’ and they say it right on your face, ‘‘non-natives, please keep off.’’

It hurts, doesn’t it?

So, what next?

Struggling to land that first client? Check out Elna Cain’s complete course, Write Your Way to Your First $1k, and start learning the steps to earning your worth.

Should you give up trying? Or what do you do?

You’re confident that you have a passion for writing, and you’ve got all it takes to produce stellar content.

Do you really want to know how to handle this whole situation? Read on…

1. Use the Prospects Name When Addressing Them

The way you communicate through writing determines how the prospect perceives you. Do you always tend to ignore your prospect’s name when applying for a job?

Well, mentioning their name is more than just mentioning a name. If there’s a way you can learn about a prospects name, don’t ignore it. Mentioning a prospect’s name helps you pique their interest and keep you in a better position of winning the job.

2. Demonstrate What You Know

You know you produce great content. So what if you’re an international writer?

Why don’t you show clients where you’ve been published? If you’ve published in Entrepreneur, Forbes or even Huffington post, let them know. If you also own a blog, include it in your pitch email and make sure to ask them to read the testimonials of satisfied clients on your website.

Send prospects your best pitch, with no grammar errors. There’s a pitching template on Tom Ewer’s blog, Leaving Work Behind to use so check it out.

Additionally, always take the time to tailor your resume to fit the job description. If you include a career objective, try to match it to the job requirements. If you just can’t craft an eye-catching resume seek the help of an expert who specializes in creating attractive resumes that sell you to clients.

3. Suggest a Mind Blowing Headline and Talk About Solving Problems

Once you understand the job requirements, be sure to suggest a mind blowing headline that will leave a prospective client smiling and nodding his head.

You don’t need to have a degree in journalism or formal education in freelance writing to be able to create a mind blowing headline. Remember that your headline is the first impression you make on a prospective client. To find great tips on writing magnetic headlines, be sure to follow Jon Morrow’s blog, Smart Blogger.

Always keep in mind that what a client mainly needs is a solution to improve his business. Let him know how you’ll help improve his business. Talk more about helping him stand out, rather than entirely talking about yourself.

4. Include a Sample Related to the Job Niche

I know providing your writing for free doesn’t always sit well with writers.

But, if you want prospects to view you as a legit freelance writer that’s credible in the job niche, then it’s a wise decision to provide samples. So, include a sample related to the job niche if you think having him as a client is worth the effort.

But before that, make sure to check the client’s website to make sure he’s genuinely interested in freelance writing services and can offer long-term assignments, but not merely a scam. You can do this by checking their LinkedIn’s profile, Facebook page, Twitter, reviews and even their website (if any).

Since you’re positive that you know exactly what your prospect needs and confident that you can provide content that keeps readers coming back for more, give him the sample. If you’re sure about the quality of your content, you’ll have high chances of getting awarded the job.


Being a non-native freelance writer shouldn’t deter you from pursuing your career.

There are loads of successful freelance writers who have clients coming to them. Writers like Bamidele Onibalusi, Deevra Norling, Henneke Duistermaat and many others have all made it big in freelance writing yet English isn’t their native language.

Signing up to a comprehensive course like Write Your Way to Your First $1k will give you that extra help you need to become a well paid freelance writer.

Do you now believe that non-native English speaker status shouldn’t harm your earning potential? Let us know in the comments.

Mercy Mmbone is a full-time professional freelance writer who has the determination, skills, and passion to not only meet, but exceed clients’ expectations. She has contributed to Ring Central and also runs her own blog, Writing Doozy. Helping others achieve their goals is her top priority. Mercy is simply amazing!

Leave a Reply


Hi Mercy. Isn’t English widely spoken in Kenya?Reply to MACIEJ
Hey Maciej, yes, English is an official language in Kenya.Reply to Mercy
Thanks for this article mercy. The tips are top notch. I learnt that generic pitches just don’t work. Personalisation is key. So don’t just be boring include a bit of your personality in it. Like for instance writing that you play chess when not writing. I find this helps alot.Reply to Kenny
English is an international language , so anyone can acquire perfection. Writing format and rules of punctuation are two pivotal area and it should be checked with proper test. I feel research is the most fascinating thing to develope a nice content , as it force reader to appreciate the writing.Reply to Deepak
Hi there Mercy! Thank you for this wonderful post. And it was just in time for me as I was doubting my future as a freelance writer recently ?. DhiyaReply to Dhiya
Thanks Dhiya!Reply to Mercy
Hello Mercy, Thanks a lot for your insightful info. I’m still new in this field, and yes, making your first step as a writer isn’t such an easy move, it needs work. You’ll have to first breast feed from other established writers like you Mercy, Walter etc. Afterwards, if you’ve got energy to growl, then one try writing at simple sites like iwriter, and after you’ve developed enough knowledge … get up on your feet and exploit your career!! Thanks Mercy,,,, Nice post/site. All the Best.Reply to Kemboi
Hey Jeremy, I’ve come across a lot of people who imagine that writing is just taking a pen and scribbling simple words on a paper. For the years I’ve been a freelance writer I have experienced lots of challenges. Writing needs a lot of discipline and determination in order to prosper. Thanks for stopping by 🙂Reply to Mercy
Oh, sorry Deevra. All along I’ve been thinking that you’re a non-native! But, now I know. Thanks for the correction and I’m glad you liked my post.Reply to Mercy
Hi Mercy. Thanks for the mention in your article. However, I have a correction – I am a native English speaker. English is my first language. Good topic though. 🙂Reply to Deevra
Hey Cosmas, I’m glad to know that my post motivates you. Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Mercy
Hey Cosmas, I’m glad to know that my post motivates you. Thanks for sopping by.Reply to Mercy
Great post! I’m motivated.Reply to Cosmas
Hey Unaiza, I’m glad you liked my post. It’s true that we may not have samples related to every niche, especially when we are just starting out as freelance writers. However, you can quickly create a short sample related to the prospect’s niche to send with your cover letter, if you think landing the job is worth the effort.Reply to Mercy
Thank you Mercy for the tip. That’s a really nice idea to write a quick short sample for the prospect’s niche.Reply to Unaiza
You’re always welcome, Unaiza.Reply to Mercy
Thanks Mercy, I can totally relate to that! Being a nonnative English writer makes it even harder to survive in the competitive freelance world. I will be taking these points in mind from now on while pitching. Can you please elaborate the point ‘providing a sample related to that job’. We cannot possibly have samples for every job we apply? Thanks, UnaizaReply to Unaiza
Mercy, Great point! It can be daunting for many non native English speakers to pitch to job ads. But, the online world is huge and there is a market for good quality content regardless if English is your first language. I think the tips you mentioned are spot on. Having a personable pitch and then wowing the client can only help retain more clients and produce fantastic testimonials! Thanks for your post.Reply to Elna
Thanks Elna, Indeed it’s sad when non-natives work so hard to bid on jobs but not picked. It’s a high time the world realizes that somebody’s native language doesn’t matter. What really counts is what the freelancer can bring to the table.Reply to Mercy
As long as you are good at what you do, you have the passion and are willing to endure the necessary pain, success is ultimate. A good piece of advice.Reply to Ian
That’s true Ian. As long as you’ve got the necessary skills then you’re good to go. Thanks for stopping by.Reply to Mercy