An Autodidact’s Review of The Great Courses Plus (2021)

Will the online learning platform live up to your expectations? Find out in this in-depth review.

If you’re reading this review of The Great Courses Plus, you’re either one of two people.

You’re either interested in signing up for The Great Courses Plus, or you’re looking to gift The Great Courses Plus to someone else.

In either case, this in-depth review will break down the features and benefits of The Great Courses Plus to help you decide if it’s right for you.

If you don’t have time to go through the entire review and are looking for a quick answer, as a decade-long learner of the platform, I recommend you get The Great Courses Plus one-year membership to save the most money while doing the most learning.

For a full break down of why I recommend The Great Courses, continue reading.

What is The Great Courses Plus?

the great courses plus logo

The Great Courses Plus (formerly The Teaching Company) has produced over 800 in-depth online courses that cover a wide range of topics that fall within 13 categories:

  • economics and finance
  • health, fitness, and nutrition
  • hobby and leisure
  • mathematics
  • philosophy and religion
  • programs for young learners
  • travel
  • food and wine
  • history
  • literature and language (my favorite)
  • music and fine arts
  • professional and personal growth
  • science

In fact, they’ve been producing courses since 1990—that’s three decades. And The Great Courses only produces courses that have been thoroughly researched and scrutinized.

The Great Courses has also partnered with the following companies to create compelling courses:

This means you not only learn from the best subject-matter experts in the world, but from some of the leading institutions too.

The Pros

You get a lot of benefits when joining The Great Courses, but here are four of my favorites.

Lifetime Access

If you pay per course, you get lifetime access to those courses.

In fact, I’ve been taking courses from The Great Courses since 2010, and the very first classes I signed up for are still on my dashboard.

Unlimited Access

If you opt for The Great Courses Plus membership, you get unlimited access to their library of over 800 courses. That’s thousands of hours worth of learning at your fingertips.

Access to Guidebooks

If you course comes with a PDF guidebook, you get access to that. This way you can follow along or do the assignments at the end of each lecture.

Learn on the Go

The Great Courses has a bunch of apps that you can use from your TV, phone, or computer. You can even download the courses and learn wherever you are—even if you don’t have access to the internet.

The Cons

Every online learning platform has room to improve, and The Great Courses is no different. Here are some of the cons that come with using the platform.

Decision Fatigue

There are so many courses that you may find yourself spending more time browsing than actually learning.

Pay Per Courses Prices

Prices for individual courses can get expensive. Just browse through some of their title and you’ll notice that some of them cost over $300.

With that said, that is why it makes sense to get The Great Courses Plus, because then you’ll get access to all the courses for between $12.50 and $20 a month, depending on your membership plan.

Lots of learning, but more importantly—lots of saving.

Course Settings

This may be a minor flaw in their production and no reflection on the quality of the subject matter, but they tend to film their courses in a television studio, which makes the course feel a bit formal.

Compare this to Masterclass, for example, who films its courses where their subjects live, work, or play.

For example, Malcolm Gladwell’s writing Masterclass looks like it was filmed in his New York City apartment or perhaps his favorite eatery.

David Mamet’s Dramatic Writing Masterclass looks like it was filmed in the playwright’s writing cabin.

Who it’s For

There’s no point in writing a review of The Great Courses Plus without first stating who this review is for.

The Great Courses is for anyone who considers himself or herself a lifelong learner or for anyone who enjoys learning through video.

It’s also great for professionals who want to build their skills in their chosen field.

I’m a writer, for instance, so I’ve taken almost all the writing classes that The Great Courses has produced (I’ll get more into this later) and have been able to make myself more valuable as a writer because of that.

When I’m not writing, though, I’m helping raise two lovely little girls, so I’ve also taken one of the parenting courses.

Lastly, The Great Courses is also an excellent resource for anyone who wants to add further knowledge to the subjects they’re studying in school.

As you can see, The Great Courses is for almost anyone. But I say _almost_—because as you’ll discover in the next section, it’s not for everyone.

Who it’s Not For

It wouldn’t be fair to say that The Great Courses is for everyone. In fact, the list of people who this might not be for is infinite.

So, as a tribute to one of my favorite (and silliest) children’s book writers, Dr. Stanley F. Schmidt, here are five people who The Great Courses isn’t for:

  1. Professional alligator wrestlers
  2. Director of sandbags
  3. Extreme unicyclists
  4. Penguinologists
  5. Wizard impersonators

It’s safe to say that if you don’t fit into one of the five categories above, you’re going to love The Great Courses.

Speaking of which…

Why I Love The Great Courses

I may have come close to being #1 above, especially after that one trip to the Everglades in Florida when I was 18, but needless to say, I’ve managed to steer clear of the list.

With that said, I love The Great Courses because I love learning.

Not only that, but I love learning on platforms that deliver exceptional value for the price I’m paying. For $0.41 per day, having access to hundreds of courses is incredible value. (The Great Courses, if you’re reading, don’t raise your prices.)

Price point aside, I also love the feeling I get when diving into a new course.

As soon as I hit play on the first video and the music begins, I know for the next 30 minutes that I’m going to learn, I’m going to be challenged, I’m going to be entertained—but more importantly, I’m going to escape whatever troubles I’ve been facing that day.

I’ve tried the same with YouTube and Netflix, and sure they have their place in the world, but I always walk away from binge-watching feeling guilty that I’ve just squandered my time and got absolutely nothing in return.

When I watch The Great Courses, on the other hand, I finish every (roughly) 30-minute video feeling mentally refreshed. I just learned something that I can apply to my personal and professional life immediately.

I’ve done my best throughout this review of The Great Courses Plus to be as objective as possible, but I couldn’t help but to add a little subjectivity above.

Now, back to the facts.

Give the Gift of The Great Courses Plus

You may be looking to gift someone a membership to The Great Courses Plus, so before I jump into the traditional plans and prices in the rest of this review of The Great Courses Plus, let me quickly talk about gifting costs.

the great courses plus gift

You have three choices for gifting The Great Courses.

  • Three-month Gift Plan ($45)
  • Six-month Gift Plan ($80)
  • Twelve-month Gift Plan ($150)

No matter which plan you chose, the receiver of the gift will get the same level of access as someone who signs up for a membership.

But make sure you read the fine print on the gift plans. You can’t redeem Gift Plans in certain regions outside of the USA or if you are an existing member on some apps.

The Great Courses Plans and Prices

The Great Courses offers a few different plans and prices, which I cover in the sections that follow.

Pay Per Course

Your first option is to pay by the course.

You simply browse the list of courses in the area that interests you, and if you want to buy the course, you can do it as a one-off payment.

The course is yours to stream from the platform or download onto your computer, and it’s yours for life.

I’ve seen some courses for as low as $17.95 and others as high as $334.95 for some of the language courses. Most courses, though, fall in the $60 to $100 range.

Get The Great Courses Plus

If you want to save some serious cash, sign up for The Great Courses Plus.

the great courses plus plans and prices

You have three different plans to chose from:

  • Monthly plan ($20/month)
  • Quarterly plan ($15/month)
  • Annual plan ($12.50/month)

If you chose the monthly plan, you’ll be billed $20 every month, which means you’ll wind up paying $240 a year for your membership.

If you chose the quarterly plan, you’ll pay $15 a month, which comes out to $180 a year.

However, if you pay for a year up front, you only pay $12.50 per month, which comes out to $150 a year, or $90 in savings when compared to the monthly option.

All plans get you access to The Great Courses’ library of over 800 courses.

If you’re not ready to dive into some deep learning, there’s still one way for you to get your feet wet.

The Great Courses Plus 14-Day Free Trial

If you’re not sure you want to commit to a membership, you can try The Great Courses Plus free trial for fourteen days.

You do have to add your credit card info to get the free trial, but if you cancel before your trial is up, you won’t be billed and you’re trial will end on the fourteenth day.

Now that you’ve picked the membership option that’s best for you, let’s look a what you get once you join The Great Courses.

A Closer Review Of The Great Courses Plus

Because The Great Courses has a tremendous amount of content, it would be impossible for me to review every single course.

With that said, I’ll provide you with an overview of what to expect when you pay for a course or sign up for The Great Courses Plus.

What You Get

Once you enroll in any of The Great Courses or become a member of The Great Courses Plus, you’ll be taken to your Digital Library.

This is where you’ll find all your audio and video courses, guidebooks, or any free courses you enrolled in.

the great courses course list

I’ll be using my current list of courses to cover this section of the review. As you can tell by the image above, I love writing courses.

Here are some of the course I’ve taken so far:

  • Writing Creative Nonfiction
  • Analysis and Critique: How to Engage and Write about Anything
  • Building Great Sentences: Exploring the Writer’s Craft
  • Art of Reading
  • Scientific Secrets for Raising Kids Who Thrive

When you click on one of your courses, you’ll be taken to the course overview, where you’ll find a course summary and list of “lectures.”

I use the word “lectures” lightly because these courses aren’t taught by boring orators who could lull you to sleep.

Course Structure

The structure of most of The Great Courses I’ve taken all follow a similar format.

the great courses video list

That is, they begin with an introductory lecture about the course, the instructor, and what you could expect to learn by the end.

From there, the lessons build one on top of the next, like scaffolding, where you’re able to apply what you’ve previously learned to what you’re learning next.

There are no tests at the end (which you may or may not enjoy), but you do get guidebooks to follow along if you’re inclined to do so.

Some courses come with PDF activities that you have to do at the end of each module.

Course Style

The Great Courses has a formal style when compared to other online learning platforms.

This means the instructors wear suits or dresses, present the material in an academic—but entertaining—way, and teach from the podium.

Compare that to, say, Masterclass, where instructors teach in non-academic settings while in everyday clothes.

Again, it’s all window dressing and shouldn’t be used to measure the value of The Great Courses.

Instructors

I’ve found, in most cases, that the instructors for each course are thoroughly entertaining in addition to being experts in what they teach.

All of the instructors have been vetted and hand-selected and come from the top institutions and universities in the world.

This is another bonus if you ask me, and here’s why.

When you take a Masterclass, for instance, you’re learning from someone who is a creative master. But that doesn’t necessarily mean they can extract the practicalities of what they do to create beautiful art, fine prose, or well-composed pictures.

It takes someone with a background in teaching to be able to relay that information to you—in most cases.

Not to go to far off track here, but that’s also why I think it’s great to learn from multiple sources. You get to see how the creative has done it; and you get to learn how it’s done from the teacher.

Learning Experience

As with all online learning, you get out of The Great Courses what you put into it.

If you buy a course or sign up for a membership but then never log onto the site, obviously you’re not going to get the most for your money.

On the other end, binge watching just for sake of completing a course isn’t helpful either.

What I’ve found works best is to watch one-to-two lectures per day, let the material sink in, and then continue the next day.

You don’t want to take too long of a break in between lectures either, because then you’ll have to go back and refresh before moving forward.

However, if you set aside an hour a day to actively learn while watching the course, you’ll retain the information.

The Great Courses Plus Apps

Aside from their online platform, The Great Courses also has plenty of apps to choose from.

So no matter how, when, or where you want to do your learning, they’ll be a way for you to enjoy your courses.

Here is where The Great Courses is available:

  • Apple TV
  • App Store
  • Google Play
  • Roku
  • Kindle Fire
  • Chromecast
  • Amazon Fire TV

The Great Courses Alternatives

When it comes to online learning platforms, The Great Courses is one of the better choices, but it’s not your only option.

I’ll briefly cover some of the other major players below.

Masterclass

masterclass logo

Masterclass is right up there as far as quality. They don’t have as many courses as The Great Courses, but the production is top-notch.

As for pricing, Masterclass comes in at $180 for its one-year All-Access Pass.

Read my in-depth review of Masterclass to see if it’s right for you.

Skillshare

Skillshare is another online learning platform, but many people teach on Skillshare not for the sole purpose of helping others learn, but to position themselves as experts in their field.

With that said, although you may learn a thing or two from a Skillshare course, you can’t compare it to a full-blown feature you’d get on The Great Courses.

Udemy

Udemy offers a lot of free and paid courses, but anyone can teach on the platform, which means instructors aren’t vetted.

Although Udemy might be a good platform to learn how to edit video or use social media, I’d stay away from it for more in-depth subjects.

Lastly, make sure you do background research on your instructor before paying for any course on Udemy.

The Bottom Line

the great courses plus logo

I hope this review of The Great Courses Plus helped you decide if it’s right for you.

If you or someone you love is a lifelong learner and wants to continue to learn new things in an entertaining and engaging way, the The Great Courses is where it’s at.

To save the most money, I recommend getting a one-year membership to The Great Courses Plus.

Just a head’s up. I’ve added a few affiliate links to this post. If you use any of the services or buy any of the products I recommend, I may get a small commission. This helps me cover the cost of running the website and comes at no extra charge to you.

The Business of Being a Freelance Writer in Thailand

How you can build a career writing about food, travel, business, and more.

Finding freelance writing jobs in Thailand doesn’t have to be hard.

Like most things in life, with a proper system in place and guidelines to follow, you can thrive as a freelancer in the country.

I’ve been a freelance writer and editor for nearly seven years in Thailand.

However, when I moved here full-time in 2014, despite having over ten years of experience as a writer, I didn’t know where to start.

Over the past seven years, though, I’ve built a network of contacts and resources that have kept me busily writing about lifestyle, sports, and people.

Now I’m going to share what I know about freelancing as a writer in Thailand with you so you can carve out your own career.

Who to Write For

As a freelance writer in Thailand, travel or Thailand-related websites aren’t your only potential clients.

You can write for NGOs, small businesses or large corporations, or schools and universities. Even your local coffee shop might ask you to help them clean up the English on their menu.

If you think about it, opportunities are everywhere for freelance writers in Thailand. You just have to know where to look, which this section will help you with.

Websites in Thailand

Thailand-based websites are the easiest online platforms to write for if you have some experience.

When I was just starting out in 2014, a few simple pitches got me long-term gigs with Thailand Starter Kit (now Expat Den) and Whats On Sukhumvit (currently inactive).

Although I already had ten years under my belt as a writer when I moved to Thailand, I had to prove that I could write about the country. These were great websites to do that with.

To this day, I still freelance for Expat Den on occasion because they’ve been great to work with. They regularly look for new writers, too. You can pitch their editor if you have any topics about life in Thailand (or other countries) that you’d like to cover.

You can also contact the editors at The Thaiger and Coconuts Bangkok, two websites that often work with freelance writers.

Magazines in Thailand

Not many physical magazines aimed at expats in Thailand exist anymore, but Expat Life in Thailand is one of them. They accept pitches for topics about food, travel, education, health, and more.

Time Out Bangkok is another physical publication that publishes articles written about the topics mentioned above.

You also have BK Magazine and Bangkok 101. You can pitch a story to Bangkok 101 here.

Keep in mind that some of these publications may not produce physical magazines anymore, especially since the COVID–19 pandemic has slowed down the economy.

Websites Outside of Thailand

Just because you’re looking for freelance writing jobs in Thailand doesn’t mean you have to work for websites in the country.

With the amount of freelance websites on the internet today, you can find work all over the world.

But I’d be wary about using these websites. Most freelancers are willing to work for very little money, which means you’ll have to lower your wages well below the standard rates for freelance writers.

Then there are major publishers like National Geographic, who has a Travel section on their website. You can pitch a story to National Geographic here.

Yourself

Many freelance writers in Thailand start their own websites and find ways to monetize their content. The Thailand Life and Tieland To Thailand are two that come to mind.

Even if you don’t want to monetize your website, you can use the content you create as writing samples.

What to Write About

When it comes to freelance writing in Thailand, you can write about almost any topic under the sun. You’re bound to find a website somewhere in the world that’s willing to post your content.

But I’ve found that the topics below are usually most easiest to pitch to editors and publications in the country.

Business

Many foreigners want to open a business in Thailand, making this a hot topic in the country right now.

If you can write articles about registering a company in Thailand, creating a shareholders agreement, hiring a lawyer and accountant, and a myriad of other things that come with starting your own company here, then you can stay busy as a freelance writer.

Culture

If you can offer some unique insight into the culture of Thailand, insight that has never been done before, then you may be able to find work writing about Thailand’s rich culture.

Education

Private education in Thailand is big business, and one way for private schools to attract new students is through online marketing, mainly blog posts read by expat parents.

Some private schools will outsource their content creation process, which means opportunities for you.

I know one writer who specializes in writing about education in Thailand and has cornered the market in this niche.

Expatriation

Relocating to Thailand is a life-changing process. To make the transition go as smooth as possible, it takes know-how and insight.

If you know how a process works in Thailand, like getting a driver’s license or applying for a work permit, that makes you an expert on the subject who can help the thousands of other expats who move to Thailand every year.

Food

Food is another popular topic in Thailand and for good reason. Food—delicious food—is available at anytime of the day or night in Thailand. From 30-baht street food to thousand baht dinners, it’s all there to write about.

The challenge is writing about Thai food in a way that hasn’t been done before. Thousands of articles exist on the topic, so you would have to find a way to write about Thai food from a new angle.

If I were to pitch a story about Thai food, I’d probably go with the gluten free angle since it’s something I’m very familiar with (my daughter has gluten allergies).

Lifestyle

Aside from writing about the practicalities of living in Thailand, you can write about everyday life in the country.

I wrote quite a few articles on raising half-American, half-Thai children in Thailand, and that turned into my niche for a while.

News

Some English news agencies run an operation here in Bangkok, but I’ve found this is one of the more challenging niches to break into.

A lot of the websites that cover Thailand news in English hire only Thais who can speak and write English fluently.

Politics

In my honest opinion, I’d avoid pitching stories to editors in Thailand about Thai politics.

I’d even avoid writing about Thai politics altogether, unless you work for a publication outside of Thailand, or a publication in Thailand asks you to do so.

It’s still a subject that could get you into trouble.

Real Estate

Real estate trends in Thailand is another interesting topic to foreign investors.

I know a guy who writes nothing but white papers about Thailand real estate.

Although he doesn’t invest in real estate here in the country, he has become an expert on the subject and the go-to guy for these articles.

Sports

Like the news niche, you’ll find it more challenging to get assignments for websites that cover sports in Thailand.

Don’t get me wrong, it is possible. But publications will be more likely to hire Thais who can speak and write English fluently.

Surprisingly, though, most of my writing revolves around sports news and feature stories nowadays. But that’s also because I’m an editor for a sports broadcasting company in Singapore.

Travel

Thailand is one of the most famous tourist destinations in the world.

With that said, it only makes sense that the travel niche would offer opportunities for freelance writers in Thailand.

But like writing about food, writing about destinations in Thailand has been done countless times.

You’ll really need a unique angle to make your travel story stand out from the myriad of others online.

Work

Not to be confused with the business niche, the topic of work in Thailand is also very popular right now.

People no longer have to teach English to live in Thailand long term. Expats have so many more options today than there were 10 years ago.

Potential expats are keen to read about their work choices and trends in Thailand.



How to Pitch Stories to Editors and Websites

The guidelines below will give you a starting point on how to pitch stories to editors in Thailand.

If you’re looking for a more help, check out my in-depth guide on how to pitch an editor.

If possible, always send an email to the editor of the department you wish to write for. Most websites have a contact page that lists respective emails, so that’s a good place to check.

If the website doesn’t have a contact page or an editor’s email listed, do a search on Google or LinkedIn.

When you pitch an editor as opposed to a catch-all email, you’re more likely to get a response. You can also build some rapport with the editor even if they turn your story idea down.

Opinions differ on what to include in pitches, but having been on both sides of the email, here’s what has worked best.

  • Study the types of articles the website publishes, their style guide, and pitching guidelines (if any exist)
  • Email the editor directly (if possible)
  • Write a few short sentences about who you are as a writer and what topics you cover
  • Provide a short one- or two-sentence summary about your story
  • Include a basic outline, and if necessary, summaries of each section
  • Add a few links to your best and most relevant work
  • Thank the editor for his or her time

Remember, editors are busy. If you write an email that the receiver will have to scroll through to read, it’s too long.

When it comes to pitching stories, you also have two other choices.

First, you can ask the editor if they accept pitches before you send them one. This way, if they don’t, you will save yourself the trouble of putting a pitch together.

Second, you can send an editor a story you’ve already written. But I would avoid going this route. I’ve never had success with it and neither have any writers who’ve ever pitched me a full story.

Then there’s the issue with email in Thailand. Not all Thais use email to communicate, even if they have an email address.

So if you pitch a Thai editor, you may never hear back from that person. Give it a week or two, and if you want, try to reach the editor on social media.

How to Have Freelance Writing Work in Thailand Find You

When you become a freelance writer in Thailand, your goal should be to build a portfolio and reputation so extensive that work starts coming your way.

It’s okay to spend time looking for work when you start your freelance writing career, but once you’re a few years in, work should also come to you.

In the sections that follow, you’ll find ways to do this.

Keep an Online Portfolio

This goes without saying, but freelance writers in Thailand must have an online portfolio of their work. Even if you haven’t been published yet, you should keep a few samples of your writing in a portfolio.

You’re online portfolio doesn’t have to be a full-blown website (although I recommend that all freelance writers eventually build a website); your writing portfolio could be a simple Google Doc or PDF with your contact details, a short bio, and links—or samples—of all or some of your writing.

Not only will this be useful if an editor wants to see samples of your work, but it will also save you time because you won’t have to dig up the links to your articles every time you pitch an editor.

Keep your portfolio updated once a month, or as more of your articles are published.

Network at Events

Many new writers may spend a lot of time networking on social media to try and find writing gigs, but in my opinion, networking in-person at conventions will yield better results.

You may not land a new client right on the spot, but if you shake a few hands and hand out a few business cards, work may come back to you down the road.

Eventbrite.com and Bitec.co.th are great websites to keep up with conventions in Thailand, especially in Bangkok. Just pick a convention that’s in line with your writing niche, register, show up presentable, and start making contacts.

Underpromise, Overdeliver

More often than not I come across writers who overpromise and underdeliver, but it should work the other way around.

Here are a few dos and donts to follow if you want to stay on an editor’s shortlist:

  • Never commit to a deadline you can’t meet
  • With the point above in mind, never make promises you can’t keep
  • If you’re going to turn work in late, let your editor know ASAP—not on the day it’s due
  • Revise, revise, and revise again—don’t hand in sloppy work
  • Get to know the publication’s style guide so your editor can spend less time editing
  • Reach out to your editor often for potential work

Use Social Media Wisely

I rarely use social media to find freelance writing jobs in Thailand, although a few gigs have come to me through LinkedIn and I do see the benefits of using social media for marketing purposes.

But I have hangups with social media. I just can’t seem to justify the time it takes to find work on social media. I feel like I should be using that time more wisely.

With that said, I do use social media to find writers, especially in Facebook groups, when I’m looking for someone to write about a niche topic.

So just because social media doesn’t work for me, doesn’t mean it won’t work for you. If you’re going to use social media to find work, however, just make sure your time spent on it is fruitful.

Get on the Telum Media Email List

I don’t remember exactly how I stumbled upon Telum Media’s weekly newsletter, but it has helped me a few times over the years.

The team at Telum Media sends out weekly emails in Thai and English sometimes listing freelance writing jobs for writers and editors in Thailand, the names, titles, and emails of writers and editors who land new positions, and bios of writers and editors looking for work.

And yes, they will post your own bio or job ad for free in their newsletter if you ask them.

Even if you don’t land a job after posting your bio, the connections you make could be helpful.

Vetting Freelance Writing Jobs in Thailand

When you’re just starting out as a freelancer, you may not have the luxury of picking your clients or deciding which topics you want to write about.

Like most new writers, you’ll have to take what you could get until you build your portfolio in one niche.

If, however, you’re already established in your niche, here are a few questions to ask yourself before taking a freelance writing job in Thailand.

Are You Interested in the Assignment?

There’s no use taking a job if it’s not going to do anything for you creatively, professionally, or financially.

If the three factors above aren’t motivators for you, then ask yourself if the assignment is going to add value to your life in a way that means something to you.

Are You a Good Fit?

When I wrote about the challenges of raising two mixed-race daughters in Thailand, the topics were heavy—not something you’d read about on your typical parenting blog.

So when someone asked me to write parenting articles for Bangkok Mothers and Babies International (more famously known as Bambi in Thailand), I didn’t hesitate to turn it down. I knew my writing wouldn’t suite their audience.

When you’re vetting freelance writing jobs in Thailand, you have to ask yourself: “Am I a good fit for this assignment?”

If you answer no, then perhaps you know someone who is and you can pass the work on to them.

As you grow as a freelance writer, one of the best feelings is being able to pass along work to other writers.

Who Will You be Working With?

When you’re hired as a freelance writer, you may be part of a team of creators who must work together on projects.

If this is the case, make sure you get along with everyone you’ll be working with.

Remember, you’re a freelance writer because you don’t want to deal with the cons of corporate life. So don’t put yourself in that position as a freelancer either.

How to Handle Getting Paid

Getting paid for freelance writing jobs in Thailand is straightforward, especially with all the online services available.

With that said, I won’t cover the practicalities of getting paid in this section. I reserved this part of the article to talk about other issues surrounding pay.

Deposits

If a client reaches out to me and asks me to write for them, it is my personal policy to ask for 50% of my costs up front, unless someone has vouched for them or they are a well-known organization.

You should do the same whenever possible to avoid not getting paid, which does happen.

If I reach out to a publication because I want to write for them, I don’t ask for a 50% deposit up front. Most likely I’ve already vetted them as being reputable.

Don’t Expect to Get Paid Until the Job is Done

When I was working as the chief editor for Expat Den, I hired a freelance writer from Phuket.

She turned in her first draft, and before I had a chance to look over it and offer feedback, she sent me a message saying she had bills to pay and asked her if I could “just pay her now.”

Needless to say, I never hired that woman again.

All publications have their own payment schedules, so never rush them into paying you.

Anyways, these things should be hashed out before you even accept the assignment.

Legal Issues

I want to add a caveat to this article. Technically, working as a freelance writer isn’t legal in Thailand. If you work in the country you must have a work permit.

Do people follow this law? Not everyone.

Do the authorities enforce this law? From time to time they crack down on people who work in the country illegally, but mostly English teachers.

The general rule of thumb is that if you don’t piss anyone off, no one will come looking for you.

With that said, I suggest you get a work visa. There’s one company in Thailand called Iglu, who will help you get setup as a legally working freelancer in Thailand. They may be worth checking out.

It’s also up to you to account for any money you earn on your annual taxes. Check with your country’s guidelines for further info.

Final Thoughts on Being a Freelance Writer in Thailand

The question shouldn’t be: How do I survive in Thailand as a freelance writer? The question should be: How do I thrive in Thailand as a freelance writer?

If you follow the suggestions in this article, you’ll be on your way to building a solid freelancing career in Thailand. And if you put in the time and effort, you can earn a decent living for yourself.

Before I go, I want to thank Rob Goss over at Tokyo Freelance for the idea of this article. He wrote his own version for freelance writers in Japan.

Lastly, if you’re not looking for freelance writing jobs in Thailand, but rather a full-time writing job in the country, check out Thailand Writing Jobs by Expat Den.

Just a head’s up. I’ve added a few affiliate links to this post. If you use any of the services or buy any of the products I recommend, I may get a small commission. This helps me cover the cost of running the website and comes at no extra charge to you.