Location Can Matter For Freelance Writers

Laurel, MD - Google Maps

I know that one of the benefits of a freelance writing career is the fact that location doesn’t seem to matter. After all, you can interview subjects over the phone, email in articles and work on a laptop at some nice little cafe. But the fact is that location can matter — familiarity with an area can bring depth to a story or a client can ask for a face-to-face meeting.

I know that I’ve landed some jobs just because of my location — and others because of places I used to live. For instance, the fact that I spent 4 months in Dublin paints me as a freelance writer who understands international living, which, beyond the obvious travel and lifestyle markets, offers me an opportunity to make some comments about international business.

All this leads up to the fact that I think it’s important to list your location on your website or blog. I’ve seen plenty of writers describe themselves as located in the U.S., but naming a town and state will make an editor or client more willing to hire you for a ‘local project.’ Now, I don’t suggest rushing out and posting your full home address. But just your town and state is perfectly safe — although some of us may need to add a bit of context. As you can see, I live in Laurel, Maryland. I don’t think many people outside of Maryland know where Laurel is located, let alone care. But, when I mention that I live halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., editors perk up. I can be persuaded to drive into either of my big cities to take pictures, and I have connections willing to be interviewed in cities that readers have definitely heard of. Furthermore, for short-term assignments (and plenty of money), I’m willing to work on-site just about anywhere between Baltimore and D.C.

I often mention where I used to live, as well. My list is relatively short: Colorado Springs, CO and Tulsa, OK, plus my short stint in Ireland. I’ve visited most of the Midwest, though, and can add plenty of local color to my articles involving the area.

Location is one of those details that convinces clients that you are equipped to do a job. It seems like a small thing, but it can help improve your chances of landing that perfect gig.

6 Comments

  1. ritinrider   •  

    Good point. I never thought about my location being an asset, and definitely not my previous locations. Oh goodness, as I write this I realize the fact I spent most of my youth moving, and a good part of my early married life packing and unpacking, I have a great background for writing about moving. Thanks so much. Off to draft a query. Nita

  2. Ryan Healy   •  

    Using location is an easy way to differentiate yourself from other copywriters. I’ve landed a number of Denver clients because I live here. This is not a differentiator that other copywriters can copy without going to some trouble.

    I have a friend up in Puyallup, Washington, and he’s gotten a ton of business from local clients. Am I going to move to Puyallup to try to get some of that action? No way. I’m in Denver. And Denver clients suit me just fine. 😉

  3. thursday   •     Author

    I really do think that, for certain projects, a writer with a good working knowledge of the area is going to be able to do a better job. A Denver copywriter is simply more in tune with what Denver residents are going to be interested in.

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