When I first came to Thailand four years ago, I had a hard time landing a full-time writing job because I didn’t have a degree in journalism, communications, or creative writing. My portfolio was slim. And I’m not a native English speaker. I decided to become a freelance writer when I realized I can make money writing 800- to 1000-word articles for various websites while waiting for a full-time job.
I culled my writing—mostly music articles and book reviews—from special interest websites I’ve written for to create a semi-professional portfolio. I’ve also had to come up with a professional rate that I could use for both regular and new freelance clients. But what got me started as a freelance writer was the ghost-writing, copyediting, and proofreading job referrals from friends (and friends of friends of friends) who work for Thailand-based NGOs.
- 1 Requirements
- 2 Positions
- 3 Salaries
- 4 How to Get a Writing Job
- 5 Website Writer
- 6 Publication Writer
- 7 Industry Writer
- 8 Resources
- 9 Final Thoughts
Hundreds of applications later, Karsten got wind of my CV through JobsDB, interviewed me for a copyeditor position, which led to a thicker portfolio, other writing jobs, and much better prospects. Although I’m working full-time as copywriter and editor, I still keep in touch with my part-time clients and suggest article ideas from time to time.
Most companies typically look for qualifications like a college degree in journalism, communications, literature, creative writing, media; a certain number of years’ experience; familiarity with American and British English variants; experience writing within specific industries like hospitality, tourism, or medical and fitness; and other qualifications, like a TEFL certification. Although not having a TEFL won’t limit your chances.
Naturally, editorial job ads favor applicants who have finely honed written and oral communication skills. Some companies and industries also like writers who have experience in various platforms, including websites, newsletters, both online and print, social media, and marketing materials like brochures, instruction guides, signage, flyers, and the like.
Some job ads are more relaxed with their needs, while others are strict. It boils down to the quality of your portfolio and the writing, rewriting, and proofreading samples they’d most definitely ask you to take a screening test.
If you have little-to-no professional writing or editing experience, it will be challenging to land a full-time writing or editing job. Most Thai companies look for specific editorial skills, and if they can’t find those in your CV they’d simply move onto the next candidate.
But that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find a job. If you’ve never written or edited professionally but have passable skills for both, you could start by signing up for online freelancing websites to create a portfolio, which I’ll talk about in another section. That or ace your prospective employer’s screening test.
But seriously, have a portfolio. Even if it’s your blog. Employers are going to need to prove that you can string a few grammatically correct sentences together.
Whether you’re applying for an editorial position in a Thai-owned company, a multinational firm, or a BOI-registered startup, which I recommend you seek out as they’re more likely to hire foreigners, hiring managers in Thailand are going to ask for official documents. Other than the skills and competencies I’ve mentioned, hiring managers will also ask you for general employment essentials, which are covered in this comprehensive guide to finding work in Thailand.
You’ll have to apply for the necessary visa and work permit, which are relatively easier to get for full-time positions because in most cases, the employer assists with the process. It is more tedious for freelancers or part-timers and often needs workarounds. You can explore various options and get answers to your visa and work permit concerns by referring to this in-depth guide to Thailand visa applications.
The positions below are the most commonly advertised, but writing and related editorial jobs are not limited to these and do, in fact, often overlap.
More often than not, job ads for creative writer, copywriter, academic writer, and other writing jobs ask applicants to have these editorial skills. For example, a company looking to hire a writer will most definitely screen candidates based on their copyediting and proofreading skills, too.
When looking for specific writing positions such as creative writer or copywriter, it’s best to narrow down your search and simply use “writer” as keyword. I recommend this approach if you’re applying for posts such as academic writer as you’re not likely to find writing job ads beyond copywriter or content writer.
Having said that, there is a great demand for web content writers, both part-time and full-time, and “web content writer” searches in most Thailand job portals are likely to produce plenty of results.
On the one hand, it’s hard to find English copyediting jobs in Thailand, especially if you have no Thai copywriting and reading skills. Because some companies ask that candidates be fluent in both Thai and English. It’s a competitive industry and foreigners who can speak, read, and write in Thai and English automatically gain an edge over those with zero Thai skills. On the other hand, your English copyediting experience is still valuable because there are companies that only want English writing and editing skills from a candidate.
If you want to pursue editing jobs for specific industries or companies, such as website content editing and news editing, you should look at ads for those companies instead of relying on searches on general job portals. For example, if you want to work for a Thai daily or magazine, search for job ads in the Bangkok Post, The Nation, or Thailand Tattler. If you prefer to write special, Thailand-interest news and events for online publications, check for openings at BK Magazine or Coconuts Bangkok.
There aren’t as many job ads for proofreaders as there are for writers and editors, but it never hurts to search. A dedicated proofreader with a sharp eye for catching spelling, punctuation, and formatting errors would be valuable to many Thai-based multinational companies. They’re the ones most likely to hire proofreaders and/or freelance writers who can write a variety of corporate material, such as quarterly and annual reports and press releases. It is well worth your while to look up job ads in LinkedIn and/or companies’ careers pages for these jobs.
You wouldn’t find a lot of internship positions for writers in most job portals. You’d have to search for a particular position such as journalist, for example, and see if the results produce internship positions.
Media companies in Thailand offer internship positions that typically come with basic allowances and a recommendation. These are, of course, temporary, and not all companies offer a fixed monthly salary. But companies that hire interns usually offer interns a Non-Immigrant B Visa and work permit.
To give you an idea of the range of monthly salaries for various editorial positions, I searched to see what positions are available. I listed the figures from the job post and others were based on a rough estimate of what the company was offering at the time of writing.
- Research and Content Writer
- 20,000 baht to 40,000 baht, negotiable depending on experience
- Senior Copywriter and Editor, Junior Copywriter and Editor
- 35,000 baht to 40,000 baht
Property Guru, formerly Ensign Media, publisher of Property Report Magazine
- Basic allowance of 7,000 baht and visa
The Hive Bangkok Co Ltd
- Magazine Writer
- 20,000 baht to 25,000 baht, negotiable
- Copy Editor
- Confidential; discussed once an applicant has qualified
- Confidential; discussed once an applicant has qualified
Auto & General Services
- Qualified applicant gets paid per article, depending on the freelancer’s rates, and becomes part of a contributor team
- Confidential; discussed during the interview process
Unique Access Medical, formerly Verita Healthcare
- Editor/Social Media Manager/Proofreader
- 13,000 baht to 15,000 baht
How to Get a Writing Job
Emailing your CV with a cover letter tailored to the company you’re applying for is an effective way to get invited for an interview. Employers appreciate seeing the applicant’s info, including links to writing samples or a portfolio, right away. But these methods might be worth a shot, too.
While it might seem like a good idea, a walk-in application is not the best way to apply for a writing job. You’d stand a much better chance of getting invited for an interview from personal and professional referrals. But if you’re considering this option, Thai language skills could help you explain your purpose and, in general, foreigners who can speak Thai fluently definitely have a better shot at getting an interview.
I can’t emphasize this enough: referrals from friends or former colleagues help tremendously when applying for a writing job. In the publishing industry, there’s always someone who knows someone who’s looking to fill an editorial position, part-time or full-time. With networking skills, your CV and portfolio can reach the right contact who could refer you to their publishing industry peers or point you towards companies they know are hiring.
Shotgun Job Applications
You can send your CV to companies that don’t have advertised jobs on their careers page or in any job portals, or you can get in touch with recruiters and headhunting agencies. The reason to take this approach is that while it may not lead to getting hired for full-time positions, it can help you build a network and open opportunities for freelance gigs.
The job ads on these websites are usually up-to-date, likely to have ads for foreigners, and closely managed by the job posters–that means better chances of getting a response from a hiring manager.
On LinkedIn, use the right keywords on your bio, be social, and upload your writing samples under “Publication” so prospective hiring managers could easily see your credentials and samples. I wrote about using LinkedIn for job searching here.
I recommend using Glassdoor when searching for content editor, writer, and similar positions because it’s easy to use, and the job ads for writing and editing positions are recent. Setting up an account is quick.
Use keywords like “writer” or “content editor” in the search bar if you want to cast a wider net. The best reason to use this site is the company ratings, which gives you an idea of what the culture is like in your potential employer’s workplace.
JobThai has plenty of recently posted job ads for writing positions, including SEO writer, script writer, content editor, and other specific writing jobs, and it’s easy to customize searches. I would recommend using it as a second or third option. I forewarn you though, the job ads are mostly for Thais.
On Craigslist, writing and editing jobs are not categorized, so go to the writing/editing subsection and browse the most recent posts.
It takes excellent writing and editing skills and a digital marketing background to land a job as web content editor, content manager, and similar positions for Thai-based companies. “Familiarity with SEO” is something you would see in these websites’ job ads. But in many cases they’re a preference rather than a need.
The Thailand offices of Agoda have a few content management positions and similar on their Thailand Careers page, and it’s worth a look if you want to work for the online travel booking company or have experience writing for the hospitality industry.
Thailand Starter Kit
There are plenty of local and international publications you can explore, but if you don’t have Thai language skills you’re better off pursuing international publications. This list of English-language magazines, newspapers, online news, and international news links might help.
If you want to work for a magazine, lifestyle, real estate, and expat-oriented publications are the most ideal ones to explore. Online property media, property research, property listing, and similar companies like Dot Property, Mingtiandi, Resort Listing Asia, and Property Guru are publications likely to post job ads for writers, editors, and interns.
Asia Media Jobs post writing ads mostly for Singapore and Hong Kong, but you can explore the website and narrow down your search based on location and category.
The Bangkok Post is a popular daily in Thailand and they often post job ads on their Jobs page. The Nation also publishes local and international news in English, but doesn’t post job ads as often. You should also check the job ads at Foreign Correspondents’ Club of Thailand as they regularly post ads for journalists, writers, reporters, and editors.
If you specialize writing for a specific industry, the sectors below are the best ones to explore.
Hospitality and Healthcare
You can find a lot of job ads for Thailand hotels and resorts. It’s ideal to either bookmark or subscribe to the companies’ careers pages or pursuing leads in LinkedIn. I’d say the job market for the hospitality industry in Thailand is active, which applies to both chain and boutique hotels throughout Thailand.
Jobs within healthcare are not as in-demand as in hospitality, but there are opportunities, too. After all, Thailand is a popular destination for medical tourists. I recommend pursuing medical tourism companies, which usually search for freelance and full-time content managers that can write and edit blogs, hospital brochures, and manage social media content.
Digital Content Marketing
If you wish to write technology-related articles, Bangkok-based companies that often post jobs ads for copywriters and editors include Syndacast, Lionbridge, Digital Monopoly, and Pronto Marketing to name a few. Having IT writing experience and familiarity with SEO certainly help but most of these companies value strong writing and editing skills and mostly consider a candidate’s subject matter expertise as a bonus.
Bangkok-based Plumeasia specializes in copywriting, editing, corporate writing, and proofreading, so if you’re great at any of those, you can try to get in touch with them.
Thailand real estate is stable and there’s plenty to report about property, particularly in the areas of property listings, luxury property investments, and more. Companies like Property Guru, a Bangkok-based real estate media company publishes Real Property magazine and occasionally post job ads for editorial positions.
If you’re keen on writing special interest stories, you can try pitching news story ideas to Coconuts Bangkok or keep an eye out for openings at BK Magazine, which cover a range of city living, food, culture, and travel topics.
Thailand is a major tourism destination, so those who can write creative, detailed travel brochures and pamphlets, tour guides, and other similar material can expect to find work. Hotels, resorts, and spas on Thai islands hire in-house content managers, writers, or guest relations officers to update the company’s travel guides.
If you want to work for Thailand-based clients in Upwork, make sure you state your location in your profile, or you will get clients from anywhere in the world, which isn’t exactly a problem. On one hand, Thailand-based job posters in Upwork generally don’t care whether or not the freelancer they’re hiring is in Thailand. On the other hand, a highly satisfied client could lead to long-term projects, ask to meet with you, and in rare occasions lead to a full-time position.
Fiverr works like Upwork. You sign up, create a profile, write your pitch, and wait for clients. You can state your specialty such as Articles & Blog Posts, Proofreading & Editing, Creative Writing, Legal Writing, and Transcription, or you can advertise yourself as a jack-of-all-trades. You can also add your location and get clients from anywhere but unlike Upwork, there’s a slim opportunity for long-term writing or editing gigs.
In the resources below, you can either look for job ads, post one of your own, or find and meet a community of fellow writers and make professional connections.
There are Thailand-based writers groups in Facebook such as Freelance Writers & Bloggers Thailand, but these groups aren’t active. Groups like Desperately Seeking Bangkok and Bangkok Expats, for example, are not particularly geared towards job hunters, but you’d find more job ads for full-time or freelance content writing, editing, and proofreading jobs and you can post your job ads. Although not Thailand-focused, the Freelance Writers page might help. I’ve listed useful Facebook groups for job hunters in this guide.
Events and Meetups
If you want to get together with Bangkok-based writers, I recommend searching for writers’ meetups in Meetup.com. These are mostly writers’ critique sessions, poetry and/or fiction reading meets that Thais and foreigners go to, and are great for building a network of writers.
Writing and editing jobs are pretty easy to find in Thailand, whether full-time, part-time, or freelance. You can always expect to find writing and editing job ads in the sites I mentioned above. It would be especially easy if you have a writing portfolio and know which keywords to use when job searching. In fact, you can reach out to Karsten who could help you get in touch with recruiters.