Career or hobby, travel writing is hard work but a great way to make money. As in any other business, marketing skills are essential to sell the finished product, however good that may be. Writing for the market rather than oneself is the surest way to make money from travel writing.
To Succeed as a Freelance, Study the Travel Market
Like any successful business, freelance travel writing requires good ideas and market study. Good ideas are everywhere but a general destination piece is difficult to sell. Rather than putting everything in, it’s best to focus, food, nature, family attractions, or choose an angle, such as following in someone’s footsteps.
Weekly magazines and papers require more material than monthlies and often include travel. Study a few publications, especially their travel adverts, to assess the readership, interests, age, budget, and tailor ideas accordingly. When it comes to writing, successful freelances gain the editor’s trust by respecting the house style, chatty or formal, first or third person, as well as word count, paragraphs, fact box, lists and so forth.
How to be Professional and Make Money Writing
To make money writing in travel and elsewhere, minimise expenses and follow the professionals. Start with high paying markets, moving down only if need be. Avoid writing on spec., it’s time consuming and counter-productive. Query first, a brief email, clear and to the point, presenting a suitable idea in the appropriate style, showing you understand the publication. No need for a CV but do offer images, they often clinch the deal for travel writers.
Act professional, regardless of ups and downs. Deliver on time, do whatever the editor asks, email rather than phone, be patient and when work is published, follow up with new ideas. Join a writers’ association, network, raise your profile on the web and in appropriate circles. Reputation and credibility are the cornerstones of successful freelance writing and as the word spreads, lucrative sales and offers of work may begin to roll in.
Travel Writing for Money, Top Tip, Multiple Sales
To make money and cushion expenses, travel writers need to sell multiple features from a single trip. Successful travel writers write on different angles for different markets, prepare features while researching a book, tutor workshops or look out for after dinner talks as a lucrative spin off.
Selling the same article several times is the easiest way to earn extra money with minimum effort and time. Keep copyright and post work on the web for worldwide exposure, whether it’s a personal site or page from a relevant association. Potential earnings are well worth the small risk of plagiarism. Check out syndication agencies, especially for image sales, but be aware of minimum requirements and fees.
Think quantity as well as quality. Talent isn’t enough, making money writing is also about sales, the greater the number the higher the income. High earning travel writers may have up to 100 features out at any one time but, aimed at the right market in a professional way, even a dozen or so are sure to bring money and success.