Are you a traveler or someone interested in an adventurous life of seeing the sights from various places? If so, you may be interested to know that you can get paid to write about travel.
While travel writers are often enthusiastic sorts that write about their own experiences in travel, the age of the Internet has changed this for some. There are some travel writers who’ve never left the comfort of their desk and computer.
It’s true that a treasure chest of travel experience probably makes for a better travel story, but it can be done without. And earning money as a travel writer might be just the way to earn enough to finally be able to go on the trip of your dreams.
A travel writer can write about anything related to travel ranging from articles, documentaries, travel guides, and more. Photographs are one of the most important components of travel stories. It should be noted that the days of being paid to travel and write about your adventures rarely happens anymore.
Many people who write about travel are actually hobby bloggers. While this is okay, why not make a few bucks at it?
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Tips for Writing About Travel
1. The best advice I can settle on is to establish a niche. I know, you’re probably already thinking that writing about travel is a niche in and of itself. The answer would be “yes” and “no”. The truth is there are a lot of travel writers. Only a few of them are successful enough to make a huge income. The reason is that most travel writers, and really many writers and bloggers, are too general in their scope of writing. When people search Google for articles of interest, they are very specific in what they are looking for.
One might want to learn more about cruises, while another might want to learn more about travel in Europe. Another might want to know ways of saving money when traveling and yet another might want to learn the most adventurous places to travel.
The point is if you can be very specific in your writing, your content will maintain a higher presence in search rankings. It’ll also be easier to land freelance jobs from clients looking for certain content. If you’re more of an expert on a certain topic, you’re also more likely to garner a higher rate.
2. Content is key. As with most any type of niche writing, you need to offer your readers something they didn’t know before. Popular topics are constantly changing, so you may want to do some queries to find out what’s current. You can find out what’s relevant on sites like Quora and Reddit. You can also search for comments in various forums or other blogs and see what’s important to people.
Some possible topics might be video or photography diaries, the best places to stay and why, the best accessories for traveling, food tips, and more. There are so many possibilities.
Stories can be ok, but the point is to remember that it has to interest someone outside of yourself. It doesn’t have to be as wild and crazy as what was portrayed in the movie, The Hangover, but it does have to be a well-executed story that flows well and offers some pretty good entertainment.
3. Learn all you can about travel. So chances are if it’s crossed your mind to become a travel writer, you’re either well-traveled yourself or have had enough curiosity to have studied travel already. But, if your aim is to become an authoritative author on the subject (and you need to be to become successful), you’ll want to read everything you can about it.
If you plan to submit to online publications, you’ll want to obtain current issues and study them well to see what they are on the lookout for from their writers. You’ll want to find a happy medium of writing about something you’re passionate about that will also be of interest to others. Writing about travel is about more than writing – it’s also about marketing and knowing your readership.
Where can you get jobs as a travel writer?
As with many writer jobs these days, most of your jobs can be found online as a guest writer for a blog or a website. You can also start your own website and we’ll talk about that in a little bit more depth in just a few.
If you want to get some experience under your belt first, you may want to consider exploring possibilities near where you live. Almost everyone has local publications that want articles on traveling, and most will be very interested in tourism in your own neck of the woods.
A good travel story about local scenic getaways are in high-demand and will look good in your portfolio while helping you to get established as a travel writer. Sure, the pyramids of Greece and outback in Australia are more exotic and exciting, but maybe to get there, you need to start where you are.
You could also write guidebooks about local and regional attractions. This is a very popular area of travel writing to get work in.
Top Travel Websites and Blogs To Write For
Remember, you will want to have a strong, authoritative voice when you submit stories, which should offer something different. Most of the time, you’ll need to pitch your idea through an email as well as offer a summary or portfolio of your experience.
Some magazines only have a web presence while others have a print version as well. Some feature stories only about travel itself, while others break off into niches within travel. If one doesn’t accept your story pitch, don’t give up, because it may be just what another publication is looking for.
BBC Travel prints inspiring and high-quality story content on destinations across the globe. They will pay $400 for an 800-word article, plus $25 for each accompanying picture. They also will pay for photo essays, columns, and videos.
Roads and Kingdoms is a journal of food, politics, travel, and culture. It’s a relatively new publication with Anthony Bourdain at the helm as its editor-in-chief and was chosen as the Gold Winner for Best Travel Journalism Site by the Society of American Travel Writers.
Email your pitch ideas to firstname.lastname@example.org. They do not accept completed manuscripts, only a paragraph or two about your idea. Pay is unspecified but you can bet it’s competitive.
The Expeditioner looks for first person narratives of varying lengths, starting at 1,200 words. They favor “Top 10” exposés, location interviews, and other narrative works.
They pay $30 an article and include an author bio along with a link back to your personal website if you have one. This would be a great way to get the word out if you want to start your own blog.
Transitions Abroad Magazine is geared for people who live abroad. They print stories about living, working, and studying overseas as well as culinary and cultural travel articles.
They pay on average $100 for a 1,500 to a 2,000-word article. They also have a yearly travel writing contest with a $500 grand prize.
There are literally hundreds of avenues to pursue as a freelance travel writer. You can find more with a quick online search. But, let’s talk about possibly the best avenue you can pursue – creating your own blog website.
How easy is it to create a website?
Much easier than you might think. Your ultimate goal should probably be to create your own blog and website on the agenda because while there are thousands of people who try travel writing, there are probably only a hundred or so that actually make a good living at it. And most of those have their own websites.
The thing about having your own website is that you can guest blog on other websites and link back to yours to create momentum and build your own successful website. This is probably the best way to build a name for yourself and get your reputation out there. In essence, you want to brand yourself as a travel writer.
If you can create awesome content with a few epic features, you really can make it as a travel writer. You can also earn money on your own website through things like Google Adsense, affiliate marketing, writing your own e-books and selling and promoting them, establishing yourself as a guidebook writer, direct display advertising, offering tours in your own hometown, selling itineraries, and more. For example, there are many different travel and hotel affiliate programs to try, including Hotels Combined and Klook.
The point is you want to have more than one way of generating income from your website to increase your profitability.
If travel is a topic that you’re passionate about and you’re serious about becoming a travel writer, you can put some of these ideas to use and get paid to write about travel. You can end up in the higher tier of successful travel writers if you’re committed and dedicated.
As a writer, you have an in-demand talent that can be used to earn you TONS of money online. You can earn money freelance writing, for sure, but it's still just trading dollars for hours. Personally, I recommend starting your own website! Information is the currency of the internet, so why not leverage your talents to build yourself a serious online income! Learn how to create your own blog-style website and make money through advertising.