Travel writing is definitely not for the thin-skinned, faint-of-heart, or slackers. To make it as a freelance travel writer, you must hustle for work and convince others that you’re the right person for the job.
After you receive a plethora of opportunities, you now have the task of balancing each client. Deadlines will differ and you must be extremely organized to keep track of them. On the other hand, you could get lucky and score a lengthy contract for one client.
Travel jobs such as travel writing require you to research, write, edit, market yourself, and be skilled at time management. You also must create a rate schedule, learn contract law and how to negotiate a contract, and research tax law for sole proprietors (self-employed).
If you’ve been freelancing for years, then you probably have a great portfolio with the contacts to match. After all, if you write one travel article it probably lead you to opportunities to write more travel articles.
For “newbie” travel writers, consider knocking on the door of the local newspaper and start a blog. Peruse the internet for opportunities to write for magazines. Writing for a newspaper or magazine can lead to bigger and better opportunities. If there’s one particular newspaper or magazine that you would like to write for, do not take no for answer! Keep submitting your work until the editor agrees to hear what you have to offer. Persistence can take you a long way in your travel writing career.
Tips to Travel Writing
- Start a blog. This is a great way to build your portfolio. Make sure to include a link to your blog when you send out emails to family and friends. Word-of-mouth is still a great way to advertise and it’s free!
- Constantly look for freelance leads. Look for freelance leads on websites such as Travel-Writers-Exchange.com. “Google” words like “travel writing, freelance writing jobs, and travel writers” and look at the websites that “pop-up.”
- Network with other travel writers and travel industry professionals. Join a writing group and or become friends with your local travel agent. A writing group is a great way to meet fellow travel writers. A travel agent will have knowledge about the travel industry. If your travel agent will be going to a travel convention, conference, or trade show, ask if you can attend as their guest. It’s a great networking opportunity.
- Read a book to learn how to run your travel writing business. Pickup a book on how to run a small business or sign up for tele-seminars on how to grow a business. You can receive some great information from certain tele-seminars. Beware! All tele-seminars are not created equal. You’ll find some facilitators of tele-seminars make BIG PROMISES, but they tell you nothing you could not have found on the internet. Remember, the price you pay is your time and use of your minutes from your cell phone or communications provider!
- Take advantage of your day job. First, save as much money as you can so you will not be living month-to-month! Second, learn as much new technology as you can. If your employer has tuition reimbursement, use it. And — if they want to send you for training in the latest software, go for it. Third, take on extra projects. The knowledge you gain will be invaluable along with the relationships you build with others. You can also build a stellar portfolio of work samples. Finally, create a networking list filled with the names of vendors, co-workers, customers, and business associates. These people might hire you or give you a referral for future freelance writing work.
Travel writers, get out their and grab hold of freelance travel writing opportunities. Do not be shy about it. If you really want an opportunity, go after it with gusto. Perhaps you will not receive the opportunity this time, but you’ll make an impression on the hiring manager or editor. They’ll remember your tenacity and passion!
I like number 3. If you also join an online writing group (such as http://www.reviewfuse.com) you’re much more likely to meet people from all over. It’s harder to make close friends online, but you can still use them as a resource for learning about where they live.
Thanks for your comment. I’m in a writing group and have received valuable feedback. Each person’s feedback is different but it has been a lot of help…If you’re interested, check out Novel Thoughts Writing Group on Yahoo! under their groups section. Whether you write fiction or non-fiction (guidebook), the members can help!