I have something special for you today, and hope many will be inspired to follow Lauren Salisbury’s example and earn a living by doing something they love. Thank you for coming by, Lauren. And if you have missed my account of travelling solo on Lauren’s blog, you will find it HERE!
For as long as I can remember, my greatest dream has been to “see the world.” Growing up as a child in California, the travel bug was inflicted in me at an early age by my parents, who took my siblings and I to 46 states on our family road trips. The past few years I have been able to make my international travel dreams a reality by living and working around the world with jobs in Australia, Spain and most recently Costa Rica, where I am currently located in the rainforest. So far my travels have taken me to 39 countries.
While my primary income has still come from traditional 9-5 jobs and a stint of teaching in Madrid, I have been able to supplement my earnings as a travel writer by both producing Something In Her Ramblings, a travel blog with stories and resources for women solo travels, and by writing for various travel outlets.
I am excited to share what I’ve learned with you in these 10 tips on earning your way as a travel writer.
- Don’t Quit Your Day Job
Unfortunately, earning enough income to fully support yourself as a travel writer isn’t something that will happen overnight. It is a process that will take an undetermined amount of time and be full of ups and downs and variations in earnings.
While you are establishing yourself as a travel writer, I recommend you continue to support yourself through a more traditional job and work on pursuing a career in travel writing in the hours you are not working.
- Develop a Space to Promote Yourself
In this age of the internet you will need a space online to promote yourself to potential clients. I started my blog Something In Her Ramblings two years ago as a place to document my travels throughout Europe, and later developed this into a portfolio of my published works and an “About Me” page which contains my biography.
It is not necessary to have a blog to be a travel writer, but at the very least you should have an online portfolio with a biography that you can use to pitch to potential clients. The good news is you don’t need to know very much about web design to create an online portfolio. Websites like Weebly make the process simple.
- Get on Social Media
These days it is also necessary for travel writers to be active on social media. Having a strong social media following makes you look even better to clients, and sometimes outlets will chose writers in part because of a strong social media following that will help articles get greater visibility.
Set up a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook page for yourself as a writer and work on gaining followers right away. It can also take some time to gain a following on these social networks, so the sooner you get started, the better!
- Read Works By Other Travel Writers
To be a travel writer, you need to understand the trends in writing about travel. Familiarize yourself with the types of content, story angles and destinations that are being featured by reading a variety of travel magazines, articles in newspapers and top travel blogs. These can be easily found on the internet.
- Get Writing!
Walt Disney once said, “the best way to get started is to stop talking and start doing.” To be a paid travel writer, you will need to have clips of your writing to share with editors. To get clips, you will need to start writing.
When beginning a career in travel writing you will have to start small. You can create your own blog as a platform to share your travel experiences, or write unpaid guest posts for established travel blogs. You can find a list of blogs that accept guest posts here.
- Work on Developing Unique Story Angles
To get your work published, you will need to send pitches to editors of travel publications. With so many writers pitching to these editors, you will need to have unique story angles to stand out. Go through your past travel experiences and make a list of some unique story angles that you can write about.
Anyone can write a “top 10” piece, but not everyone can write about touring the villages of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala with a Mayan guide and include quotes. Before you pitch to editors, brainstorm the unique stories only you are able to tell.
- Pitch, Pitch, Pitch
Once you have developed story angles, it is time to find publications that you think may be interested in them and pitch your ideas to editors. Make your pitches as solid as possible.
Unfortunately rejection is common in the travel writing industry, so don’t get discouraged if your story ideas are not accepted. Just keep on pitching and refining your pitches as you go along and some day an editor is bound to accept one.
- Look for Opportunities Online
In addition to sending pitches to travel editors, another way to find assignments is to look for opportunities that are posted online. LinkedIn, Freelancer.com and Media Bistro are all great resources that post travel and other writing opportunities.
- Self Publish an E-Book
It has never been easier to self publish your own book. If you have unique travel stories that you want to share in a longer format, you can consider writing and publishing an E-Book. Self-published authors sell their E-Books on websites including Amazon, Kindle and Myebook.com. The great thing about self publishing is that costs to produce your e-book are low.
- Advertise on Your Blog
If you develop a strong following on your personal travel blog, it is also possible to earn money travel writing through advertising. While having too many advertisements can deter readers, a few strategically placed advertisements can generate income. Google Adsense is a great tool to start advertising, and many travel related websites, such as Amazon.com and HotelsCombined.com have affiliate programs where you get paid per click.
What a wealth of information and help! Thank you Lauren for sharing with us.