Well,.. well!… You finally want to start a travel blog? You want to become part of the cool guys with the cool job?. Well, getting paid to travel the world is the dream of almost everyone, Unless you have a phobia of traveling.
You’re probably wondering how someone can have a phobia of traveling; well, as amazing as traveling sounds, some people have a phobia of it and the medical term for it is hodophobia.
Gosh… getting paid to just sit in the pool, take a tour, having a great time in beautiful cities really sounds amazing but let me burst your fantasy bubble, you get to work too.
Starting a travel blog or becoming a travel writer for magazines, websites, or a publication is achievable. However, you have to be a passionate, and hard-working creative writer.
In this article, we unravel the top secrets to becoming a successful travel writer. So keep reading, follow the guidelines, and Voila! You’ll well be on your way to travel becoming a travel writer.
Who is a Travel Writer?
A travel writer is a kind of writer that specializes in travel-related subjects. They travel to faraway destinations, visit different locations, take photographs and write engaging articles about them.
This sounds like an amazing job of taking numerous holidays and writing about them, however, travel writing is no holiday!
Travel writers spend more time and effort, writing, researching, pitching, and planning.
They can work with newspapers, Magazines, websites, governments, and different publications.
Travel writers focus mostly on hotel reviews, location recommendations, and travel tips. They also show points of interest for different locations and religious and local holidays based on short visits.
How Can I Become a Successful Travel Writer?
Breaking into the niche of travel writing can be very tricky but with the right tricks, you can get a hang of it in no time.
However, landing your ideal job is not as easy and straightforward as clicking your fingers. Putting yourself out there might be challenging and competitive but don’t cave in.
Even if you write professionally or as a hobby the no 1 rule of the game is to never give in to intimidation. So, to help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of suggestions on how to become a travel writer.
Top Secrets to becoming a travel writer
Guess that sounds a bit cheesy, but it’s the most important tip of them all. Nobody is going to call you a travel writer if you don’t get up from the comforts of your couch or bed and start.
Although, travel writing is fun and all, however, it requires a lot of hard work, planning, writing, and discipline. It really isn’t easy to focus on work when you can have all the fun and eat all the food.
The truth they never tell you is that most travel writers start off traveling with their own money. Before the big gig, you have to invest in yourself.
The trick is to get people interested in what you do. Take your money, visit an interesting destination, take cool pictures, visit interesting restaurants and hotels, and then tell a story or give sincere reviews about them.
As an amateur travel writer, you don’t need to travel to another state or country, you can start from where you are. Yes… you can start from your street.
You can interest them with beautiful nightlife scenery or amazing street foods. Just try to engage your audience with beautiful, high-quality photos and thrilling stories about amazing destinations you visited, and just like that, you’ve become a travel writer.
#3. Pick a niche
You can never overemphasize specialization. In travel writing, you need to choose a niche for your brand. A niche is basically the special type of travel writing you want to do.
Are you going to write about eco-tourism, or are you writing about exotic locations? Are you all about friendly adventures or are you writing about thrill-seeking spots? Choose your niche wisely.
You need to be clear on what you want the type of traveler you going to be. Are you a budget traveler, a solo traveler, or are you traveling as a family, team, or couple? This information should be clear to streamline your audience.
#4. Make your writing Error-Free
Errors are a writer’s No. 1 enemy. As a travel writer, strive to make your work error-free. This is very necessary because your documentation serves as a reliable guideline for your followers. A simple error of omission in your spelling can send a follower or fan in the wrong direction.
So, before publishing your work or sending it out, ensure that you read through it carefully and be sure that information like website addresses, telephone numbers, or other sensitive information is correct.
#5. Create your own website
Don’t freak out yet! Creating your own website in recent times has become as easy as opening an account on social media. With just a few clicks on the right website, you can create a beautiful blog site with a unique domain name in less than 30 minutes. I assure you; that you don’t need to hire someone to build a website for you.
There are so many Content Management Systems (CMS) to choose from. Here are just a few easy ones to start with.
To get a cheap domain name or hosting you can check out these platforms
#6. Put your heart into it, and Build your brand…
Starting a fresh career as a travel blogger is not for the weak-minded. It can be exhausting and mentally draining, So only writers with a fire for passion make it to the top.
The all-expense paid trips, big pay, and benefits of travel writing don’t come on a platter. It comes with years of experience.
Therefore, you need to put energy and sweat into building your brand. Take out your time, endure the little discomfort, be consistent and in no time the sponsors will start trooping in.
#7. Go big on Social media
Social media platforms are another way to show your work to an audience that has an interest in what you offer. It gives you an avenue to connect with your immediate community and people in other parts of the world. It can also serve as an online portfolio for your work.
In recent times, new ways of reaching out to a larger audience through ads have become very common. However, as a travel writer, there are specific social media platforms that are highly recommended like
Twitter, Instagram. Facebook and youtube. These platforms are quite popular and easy to set up.
On your social media platform, you can connect to other travel writers and learn from them. You can also connect to Travel companies that can pick interest in your work. Endeavoring to post your work with the right hashtags is another step in the right direction.
#8. Be up to date with trends in the travel industry
If you want to trend in the travel industry, you have to learn how to follow the trend. As a travel writer, you should always read. Read other travel publications, always be informed, and follow the trend.
So, signup for online travel newsletters and be knowledgeable about the newest hotel prices, locations, and newly opened restaurants depending on your niche.
#9. Be passionate, it’s not about the money!
At first, If your only reason for becoming a travel writer is the money, then you going to give up no time. As a Novice travel writer, the money and sponsorship don’t come on your first debut.
If you’re not putting the right efforts in the right places, it might even take years. Keep Sending people your materials and don’t be scared to pitch many stories to the same audience. But keep trying, and you’ll eventually get your break!
#10. Avoid cliche’s
Although, it is good to learn from other writers. However, there is always a need to be original. As a travel writer, it is important you avoid cliches.
Learn the rules of the industry and break them. ( In a good way though…).
Don’t put a limit on your creativity. Always be willing to try out new things, it might just be your big break.
#11. Collaborate with other travel writers
A lot of people are yet to understand the concept of collaboration. Build a connection with your industry peers, especially in your career.
Collaborating with other travel writers will expose you to a different audience and help you grow your brand.
#12. Grow your network
Network, network, network….. Having the right network is all that the industry is about. You need to grow your network. Traveling does help you meet new people and exposes you to new networks. You have to play a major role in sustaining these networks.
To further grow your networks, you can go to travel writers’ workshops, seminars, or even a meet-up and exchange contacts. These programs are always available at least once a year. Do your research, sign up for one, and exchange complementary cards when you get there.
#13. Apply for sponsorships or get employed
You can’t fund your travel lifestyle forever. Although travel writing is no 9 to 5 job, however, there is a need to get sponsorship or be employed by a travel company.
So, now that you’ve built your portfolio, you have to start applying. Find travel companies that share the same niche as your brand; check out their contact page on their website, and send them an email with a link to your portfolio.
You can search for them on social media and do a proper follow-up till they notice your brand.
#14. Pitch yourself!
After months or even years of growing your brand, the next step is to pitch yourself. Pitching yourself excellently is what lands you the sponsorship or employment. You have to expose the content of your work to publications. Now before you do that you have to ask yourself some very important questions.
What is the editor’s niche? Do we share the same goals? What are their guidelines? What are they looking for, articles or proposals? Be sure to answer these questions correctly.
While at it, ensure you keep your pitch short and precise, have the correct information about the publication, and have an original hook. That’s all you need for a successful pitch.
#15. Don’t give up. Keep grinding…
The final tip to becoming a successful travel writer is perseverance. Although you might get rejection emails every once in a while but do not give up. Keep the fire burning and keep grinding. You’ll make it in no time.
What is a Travel writer’s Job Description?
Some of the job roles of a travel writer are:
- Content creation: Travel writers build content for publication by telling stories or reviews about a travel destination, hotel, or restaurant.
- Photography: Their job involves photography. A travel writer takes high-resolution photos from several travel destinations to create content for publications.
- Creating travel articles, blog entries, and other content for magazines, newspapers, websites, and television shows
- Interviewing travel industry specialists such as hotel management and cruise company executives to acquire information for articles
- Interviewing local individuals to learn more about the culture, traditions, and attractions of the region
- Conducting marketing conversations with clients regarding their experiences with travel products or services
- Examining prospective vacation spots to see which could be featured in future articles or guides
- creating article drafts, which include researching themes, interviewing experts, writing articles, and sending work to editors for evaluation and correction.
- Interacting with users on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to promote content and reply to inquiries
Do travel writers make good money?
No… Travel writers don’t make nearly as much money as you think. There is a common misconception that travel writing is all about luxury, decadence, and lots of money.
As earlier mentioned, the industry is not all about money but about passion. It’s all about getting rich in experience. There are amazing opportunities and privileges to travel widely to different parts of the world. However, the pay is not that glamorous.
How much money do travel writers make?
According to reports from September 8, 2022, ZipRecruiter shows the average annual salary of a travel writer to be about $77,459. Breaking it down hourly to find out how much they make while on those luxurious trips it amounts to $37/hour.
How can I Make money as a travel writer?
Now the big question is “How can I make money as a travel writer?” Well, if you judiciously follow the guidelines above to build your brand then, monetizing your brand wouldn’t be a problem.
The money won’t just come by posting on Instagram and Twitter, It won’t come by just updating your website, however, money comes when you have a network of loyal engaged audiences.
There are several ways to leverage this audience to make some good money. Here are just a few.
Ways to Monetize your Brand and platform as a travel writer
- Affiliate Marketing: You can monetize your platform by becoming an affiliate marketer. This way, you can earn a commission by referring your loyal audience to get a service or a product from an external website.
- Brand Partnership: A brand partnership is an agreement between two or more brands or organizations. These businesses collaborate to boost each other’s brand visibility, improve brand exposure, launch into new markets, and add value to their products or services.
- Freelance writing gig: You can also monetize your brand by becoming a freelance writer. You can take on projects for other brands or publications and get paid for writing.
- Mentorship: Mentorship is another way to monetize your platform. You can get paid to mentor individuals who want to join the travel industry.
- Create and sell your own product: Now that your platform has loyal followers, you can monetize it by creating your own products and selling them only on your platform. The most successful way to make this work is by having your audience in mind.
Is a travel writer a good career?
Well… Travel writing can be an excellent career choice if you are passionate about traveling and writing. It might not be an easy choice however with the right flair, you can get to the top.
It is pertinent to know that, finding a job as a travel writer might not be easy. According to the Bureau of Labour Statistics (BLS), there is a prediction of about 4% employment growth in the industry by 2032.
The travel industry is quite competitive, and as a novice, you might likely run your own business as a travel writer. Running a business comes with a lot of responsibilities like paying taxes, funding your travels, planning, legalizing your business, e.tc.
So, before you make that career choice ensure that you are ready for what lies ahead.
Do travel writers Get Free trips?
Yes.. travel writers occasionally get free trips. However, these all-expense paid trips are usually for the best of writers with years of experience and the right networks.
So, getting free travel from blogging isn’t as easy as creating a website or social media page and publishing a few travel photos. If it were that simple, everyone would do it.
Travel writing really takes a lot more work than most people expect when they first start blogging.
Do I need a degree to be a travel writer?
You don’t necessarily need any type of degree to become a travel writer. What sells your brand is your portfolio, experience, and your originality.
However, having a degree in journalism, travel, and tourism or communications wouldn’t be a bad idea. Proper education will sharpen your skills in writing, photography, and geography.
What skills does a travel writer need?
Apart from the talent, passion, and desire to be a travel writer, some skills are very important to possess as a travel writer. These skills should be in your Travel writing resume. Here are just a few of them.
Detailed Observer: A travel writer has to be detail-oriented and actively observant. Active observation is your ability to correlate both visible and invisible details. You need to see what others are not seeing and mentally analyze the information gathered.
Be a constructive writer: travel writing requires a lot of creativity and originality. This should reflect in your writing. One mistake writers make is they always talk about themselves. Well.. as a constructive writer you should focus on constructing your work in a manner that engages and retain your audience.
Research: You need to be a skillful researcher. Find out more about publications, people, and cultures. As a travel writer, you need to read a lot. Sign up for newsletters, buy magazines, and keep up with trends.
Writing Skills: Travel writers actually write. Hahaha…. That’s obvious, right? Well, travel writers need to have good writing skills. For proper communication and effective engagement with your audience.
Seo: Search engine optimization(SEO) skill is a very essential skill for travel writers. Brand visibility is very crucial to brand growth. That can only be possible if they find your work easily online. Keep yourself current with Seo trends and update your work when necessary.
Content Development: As a travel writer, you need to be a creative content developer. A content developer specializes in developing materials for websites and publications. The travel writer will write blog posts, edit material, edit photographs, and create graphic designs.
Consistency: You need to be consistent in your field. It’s all about consistency. It might be difficult because you’ll eventually get tired. It takes a lot of self-discipline, perseverance, and patience to be consistent with your brand. Get encouragement and support from other writers, especially writers with the same ambition but with more experience.
Photography skills: Photography is the easiest way to tell a story. Writers now understand that concept That is why good photography skill is very necessary. Photography is all about angles and lightning. You’ll have to use these tools to create original pieces for your brand.
Networking: Now, that you have built your brand all you need to do is to market it. You can grow your networks by collaborating with other bloggers and attending writer’s events. Be eager to exchange contact with potential collaborators.
A good understanding of social media: a good understanding is one of the very crucial skills a travel writer needs. Know the social media platform that works for your brand, engage with your audience and market your brand in your social media community.
Finally, starting this career as a travel writer is an amazing experience, although it might be bumpy at some point. But it’s going to be worth it in the end. With these few tips, you can get started, while you learn the rest as you advance.
- wander lust – Get paid to be a travel writer
- The guardian – breaking into travel journalism
- Wave – Freelance travel writing
- World packers – how to be a travel writer
- Climb the ladder – Job description of a travel writer
- ZipRecruiter – Salary of a travel writer
- Bureau of labour statistics – Job outlook for travel writing