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- Posted:Friday, March 11, 2016
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How to Become a Successful Travel Writer
(Flying by Elizabeth Harmon)
The days of the 9 to 5 routine, stuck in a gloomy office cubicle are changing. People are now looking for something more inspiring and flexible, with a better work/life balance. For many, the vision of sitting by the pool whilst writing a quick blog and getting paid for it can really seem like the dream. It’s a great way to ditch the traditional routine and opt for something that suits your lifestyle. Remember, it’s not all glitz and glamour though, so make sure you think it through thoroughly, BEFORE you quit your job.
(Honolulu and Waikiki by Elizabeth Harmon)
However if you want the opportunity to wander the world, whilst sending back tales of all your exciting adventures, then here are 9 steps to follow to help become a successful travel writer:
1. Read – Make sure you read as much as you can, from travel magazines and blogs, to guidebooks and brochures. Not only can these articles be brilliant inspiration, but they can help you develop and improve your own writing skills and style.
2. Create a portfolio – Create a digital billboard of yourself where businesses can go to find out more about you and your work. Create a website, use social media and write a blog where you can share your articles, photos and videos.
3. Find a niche – In an increasingly competitive industry, stand out from the crowd by choosing a niche area to write about. Consider picking a specific destination, activity or subject matter. Publicise your niche to help you become the go-to-authority on the subject.
4. Start small – Although you’ll want to start working in far-away places, you may need to start smaller and more local. Write about something you know and see whether a local newspaper, magazine or website will publish it. Once you’ve built up a good reputation, you’ll be able to open your world to wider opportunities.
5. Tell a story – Instead of just writing about a destination or activity, make sure you tell a story that captures your audience’s imagination and pulls them into the page, so they feel like they’re right there, in the moment.
(Flaine in the French Alps by Elizabeth Harmon)
6. Find support – Travelling on your own and working alone can get quite lonely, even if you’re working from the most beautiful place in the world. Join writing groups, or find a support network of writers where you can talk online and can swap advice and feedback.
7. Take a course – If travel writing is a career you’d like to pursue, a great place to start is by taking a course such as Certificate in Freelance Travel Writing and Photography. This way, you can learn from experts on how to build your travel writing career and it’s all online, so it doesn’t have to interfere with your travel schedule!
8. Be an all-rounder – Consider other skills that an editor may be looking for, such as photography. If you can offer a complete package, then you’ll be able to save them lots of time and so you’re more likely to get the work!
9. Make connections – To get your work seen across the industry, it’s important to network and build a list of connections, both online and offline. Reach out to businesses, be active in the travel writing industry, use LinkedIn, attend workshops, conferences, tradeshows and networking events.
Elizabeth Harmon is a writer for Open Colleges, one of Australia’s leading online education providers. She is a Social Media Consultant with a number of years’ experience in the field. She has worked with a growing list of clients around the world, helping to build successful social media strategies, create effective content and much more.
Have you always dreamt of becoming a successful travel writer? We’d love to hear your tips on how to get started. Share them in the comments section below!