If becoming a travel writer is your dream, you’re not alone. What could be better than seeing the world, sharing in cultural experiences, and being able to write about it no matter where you are?
Quitting a standard 9-5 job and jet setting to various locations might sound too good to be true, but thousands of people do it and are able to make a successful living.
However, that success doesn’t come overnight. It takes time, dedication, and an understanding of the essentials you’ll need to stand out and generate revenue.
Thankfully, today’s gig economy makes that easier than ever. With over 58% of U.S. employees working remotely, it’s a perfect time to live out your dreams, put your writing skills to the test, and see the world the way you’ve always wanted.
Let’s take a look at some of the essentials of becoming a travel writer , so you can make the most of your experience and start earning money quickly.
As tempting as it might be to quit your job tomorrow and take off somewhere, there are a few things you need to know about becoming a travel writer before you get started. Because so many people are already doing this work, you’ll need to find ways to stand out. Before you quit your day job, make sure you have the following.
- A strong portfolio
- Photography knowledge
- Registration on travel websites
- Knowledge of the travel industry
It’s also a good idea to have a niche in mind. While travel is certainly a niche of its own, it’s often too broad to capture people’s attention.
What do you have to offer that’s unique? What can you write about that very few others are covering? Maybe you want to see the most famous tourist attractions in every country. Or, maybe you’ll do just the opposite, showing people what they can do off the beaten path.
Anything from unique and innovative cuisine to cultural customs could end up becoming your niche, as long as you’re willing to do your research every time.
If you’re not clear on how to make informed decisions about your writing endeavors, consider trying a decision tree.
A decision tree is a map of possible outcomes based on your choices. Putting one together can help you determine what might happen in certain situations.
While it doesn’t predict the future, it can give you peace of mind and lay everything out in front of you so you have a fairly good idea of what to expect.
Generating an Audience and Income
If you want to make a living as a travel writer, you’re going to need to grow your readership as quickly as possible. As a freelancer, you’ll end up wearing many hats. You’ll have to market yourself on top of going from destination to destination and writing within your niche.
Beyond that, you will also be in charge of yourself. In other words, most travel writers are self-employed. That means you are responsible for a whole host of administrative, financial, and other basic management skills.
Unless you choose to outsource certain duties, you alone will have to secure your schedule, plan your content timeline, brainstorm new content creation ideas, manage your expenses and overall finances, and of course, file taxes (you can submit a federal tax return for free though).
The ultimate takeaway here is that the perfect person for this role is a jack-of-all-trades, yet a master-of-none.
Travel writers make an average of over $58,000 per year, but that requires you to either get published by an existing blog, magazine, or company or to build up such a following that you’re able to generate income via social media and sponsorships.
You can capture the attention of others interested in travel and big businesses alike by having a strong marketing presence. That includes both digital and print marketing.
In fact, you might stand out even more if you go the extra mile with a “traditional” marketing method, like designing and sending out your own travel brochures to let people know about you and your adventures.
If you have something unique to say and you think your perspective will resonate with people, you can find success as a travel writer. Make sure you’re in a solid financial state, have a business plan, and dive into your niche headfirst.
When you’re able to do those things and market yourself well, there’s no reason you can’t live out your dream and see the world.
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