How to Be a Travel Writer

May 19th, 2014 by Jason Hartman | 3 Comments »

JS0507If you’ve got a way with words and a burning desire to travel, you’ve probably at least considered making a few extra bucks as a travel writer. Travel writing is great because it happens in a variety of forms—there are travel blogs, travel brochures, travel books that include essays and guides from many different writers. It is a varied occupation, and one perfect for the luxury jet setter like Jason Hartman.

Travel writers are no longer cargo short wearing tourists with big cameras and tiny notepads contracted by major publications—instead, they’re retired folks, young people, or those otherwise inclined to travel being contracted to write for all sorts of venues, many of which are online. If travel writing sounds like a great way for you to make some extra money, read on!

First, you’ll need to develop a body of work. The best place to do this is around your home. No matter where you live, you’ll be able to find a few things worth writing about. Publish first with people you know or who publish local writers.

Next, develop a website that displays your work. People like easy, visual sites, so keep it simple. Consider different sites for different major projects, which makes you more appealing to an editor. To keep your website and your writing more interesting, you’ll need to take photographs or contract someone to take photos for you. Good images can make or break a travel writer, so be sure to include a few—even if they’re just good smartphone photos.

If you’re serious about developing a real audience as a travel writer, you’ll need to consider other ways (aside from the written word) to reach your audience. Including audio and video segments on your website will get more clicks and increase the chances that your content will go viral. It’s also a nice break from more traditional writing—for you and your readership.

Finally, remember that you are every employee in a traditional business. You create the content, manage the marketing, and respond to user comments. You’re responsible for pitching story ideas, building a professional network, seeking out speaking engagements, and copyediting. It’s a pretty tough job—but one that’s great for the passionate traveler and writer.

While you probably won’t get rich as a travel writer, it’s a great way to make a little extra money doing something that you love.

(photo credit: peregrine blue via photopin cc)
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