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How to Become a Freelance Travel Writer
Are you wondering how to become a freelance travel writer?
Being a travel writer is one of those dream jobs that seems too good to be true. I know I certainly felt that way, until I actually become one!
My path to becoming a freelance travel writer was not the most typical.
But I wanted to share my story with you so you can see how I got to where I am now, and offer some tips for how you can get started too!
What Do Freelance Travel Writers Do?
First things first, let’s talk about what freelance travel writers actually do.
Freelance travel writers write content for travel publications. This could be a travel magazine, travel brand website, travel blog, or newsletter.
The type of content a freelance travel writer writes could be anything from traditional long-form articles to blog posts to email newsletters to copywriting.
As a freelancer, you are not a typical employee. You are generally an independent contractor, and you may have multiple clients you write for.
How Much Do Freelance Travel Writers Make?
The amount you can make as a freelance travel writer really varies.
Some full-time travel writers are making more than six figures per year.
Personally, I earn over $3,500 a month from travel writing, and it is something I do part-time. I spend about 16-18 hours a week on freelance writing, which gives me an average hourly rate of over $50 an hour. Not too bad!
Of course, some freelance travel writers earn less than this.
It all depends on how much writing you’re doing, and how much you charge. You can get a better idea of how much freelance writers make here.
How I Became a Freelance Travel Writer
So now that we’ve covered the basics of freelance travel writing, I wanted to share my story of how I got into this career (and how you can too!)
I actually started blogging before I ever became a freelance writer. I started and sold several successful blogs, including one in the travel niche.
Then I was able to use the travel blog I had sold as an example of my writing skills and my ability to write content that gets traffic and makes money.
After I sold my travel blog, I missed writing about travel. One of the travel bloggers I followed posted about hiring a freelance writer to write blog posts for her, so I reached out and landed the job. That happened twice more with another travel blogger and a travel news website I followed, landing me two more clients.
Finally, another travel blogger posted about hiring a freelance writer in a Facebook group for bloggers I’m part of, landing me a fourth client.
I’ve been working with these clients for seven months to over a year now.
In addition to writing travel blog posts and travel news articles, I’ve had the opportunity to go on an all-expenses-paid press trip too!
I make over $3,500 every month as a part-time freelance travel writer, in addition to running my own blogs as my full-time business.
So how can you get started as a freelance travel writer?
Start a Travel Blog
The number one thing I would recommend is starting your own travel blog.
I fully believe that having my own travel blog is what helped me land my clients, as opposed to just having a basic writing portfolio website.
I wrote a whole guide on how to start a travel blog here.
Having your own blog looks a lot more professional than using a free website builder to create a portfolio website. It also doesn’t cost nearly as much as you might think — web hosting for your own blog is only $2.95 a month and comes with a FREE .com domain name when you use Bluehost.
Not only will your travel blog serve as a portfolio for your writing skills, but it can also be a great way to make some extra money.
Check out my top travel blogging tips for more information on how you can turn your own travel blog into a successful and profitable business.
Build a Writing Portfolio
In order to get freelance travel writing jobs, you will need a portfolio that demonstrates your writing skills. As I mentioned, a blog is a great way to do this.
Check out my list of travel blog post ideas if you aren’t sure what to write about.
In addition to writing on your own blog, you can develop a writing portfolio by writing guest posts for other travel blogs and websites.
Guest posts are typically unpaid, but they have multiple benefits.
First of all, it’s good for your own blog — if you write a guest post for an established blog or website, they will link back to your blog, which is good for SEO.
It also helps you build a professional portfolio so you can show potential clients that you have published pieces on other websites aside from your own.
I don’t recommend doing too many guest posts, as it’s time-intensive work for no pay. I’d pick three established blogs or websites to write guest posts for, then include links to those guest posts once they’re published on a portfolio page on your own blog so that potential clients can see these samples of your work.
Look Out for Writing Opportunities
If you read the story of how I became a freelance travel writer above, then you’ll notice I found almost all of my clients because I already followed them.
Personally, I think this is the best way to find opportunities.
If you see a travel blogger or another travel publication that you follow is hiring writers, applying directly is your best bet. You can also join Facebook groups for bloggers or freelance writers to find freelance opportunities.
Another place to look is freelance writing job boards.
Here are some websites to check out:
Personally, I have seen a number of travel writing jobs on ProBlogger.
I actually applied for one (and got it) but didn’t end up taking it because the workload and pay rate didn’t align with what I was looking for.
Pitch to Travel Publications
Finally, one thing you can do to land freelance writing jobs is pitching to travel publications like travel magazines or travel blogs.
This is something I have not done as much since I already have four clients I consistently work with. I prefer having recurring clients where I know what to expect each month, and some major travel publications hire freelance writers for one-off projects rather than consistent monthly assignments.
However, these one-off projects can pay quite well.
Freelance travel writing rates for a traditional publication like a magazine tend to be quite high, and you might earn $1,000 for a 1,000-word article.
Of course, the tradeoff is that pitching to publications can be time-consuming.
To learn more about how to successfully pitch to clients, I recommend an advanced freelance writing training course like Write to 1K.
More Freelance Writing Tips
This guide showed you how to become a freelance travel writer.
If you are looking for more help on how to begin freelance blogging, I highly recommend taking an online course to kickstart your freelance blogging career.
Write to 1K is the perfect online course for beginners. Created by Elna Cain, a professional blogger and freelance writer, this course contains a step-by-step guide for how to land your first freelance writing gig in just a few short weeks.
The investment will more than pay for itself after just a few freelance writing jobs.
Learn more and enroll in Write to 1K here!
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