If traveling is your passion, why not get paid for writing about your travels?
Travel writing is a great way to get paid for experiencing the sights, sounds and culture of far off lands, supporting your long-term adventure travel ambitions.
If you have a way with words and can consistently product great content and build publisher relationships, you can definitely make a living from travel writing that can sustain a travel lifestyle.
Newspapers, magazines and websites need quality and unique content, and they will pay you for your stories and photos.
However, before you tackle travel writing as a means for financing your adventure travel, there are some things to keep in mind.
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A Travel Writing Career Takes Time
You can get paid for your writing on day one, but don’t expect to command the highest rates until you’ve built a respectable portfolio and develop solid relationships with publishers.
You may want to create a blog or write some free articles for credible publishers to build an online portfolio that you can use to market your services.
A portfolio should not only display solid examples of past writing, but also provide a compelling bio and plans for future adventures. Some publishers may be interested in commissioning stories from future travels.
As you start marketing, build a social media presence as a writer or photographer, as this will show potential publishing clients you already have an audience that loves your work.
Define Your Travel Writing Niche
This is an important concept in almost every aspect of freelance work.
There are so many photographers, writers and bloggers out there willing to produce content at a low price point in order to subsidize their adventure travel wants.
The travel market is saturated with a supply of average writers and photographers, even pretty good ones, and in general markets the written word or a decent shot have become commoditized.
You will want to differentiate your brand, content, or style so that you can separate your work from thousands of competitors.
In doing so, you can also claim higher rates for your work.
Focus on the Publishers That Suit Your Niche
Magazines and newspapers were once the only game in town where an adventurer could submit articles for pay.
As a result, there was only so much real estate for content.
Compared to today, there were fewer places to publish and it was harder to get published.
Today, the web has opened a wide world of publishing and there are publishers filling all niches.
However, don’t just take the writing gigs you can get, especially if the projects are not in line with your goals or direction as a writer and your adventure travels.
Heavily research magazines, newspapers, and travel websites to determine which align best with your travel desires and content niche.
Some may want to hire writers directly, while others may be only interested in freelance work.
If your writing style and travel goals align with a specific magazine or website, introduce yourself according to their instructions for contributing writers.
If they don’t reply, you might take their silence as a signal that they are not interested. But, if you really want to write for that publication, get aggressive on the introduction.
Call the editorial team. Reach out on LinkedIn. Send them an article with photos that you think would be great for their publication.
Some popular publications and websites may require significant persistence and networking to get a gig.
Be bold. Don’t let unanswered emails, phone calls, or form submissions stop you from succeeding.
Focus on Your Travel Writing
When writing to support your travel adventures, you risk becoming complacent and degradation in the quality of your work as a result of misplaced priorities.
Don’t just “mail in” your work.
Make sure you set aside time for planning, writing, and editing your content.
Frequently check in with your publishing clients and editors to gather feedback on your work.
Be professional, seek advice, and improve.
Writing can be your ticket to an adventure travel lifestyle, but don’t let your travel cripple your writing.