One of the first freelance jobs that I got paid for after becoming a blogger was travel writing.
Many people who start a blog dream of becoming a travel writer or making money from travel writing. Let’s face it – we’re all into writing about our travel experiences, and wouldn’t it be great to get paid for that, too?
I’m here to tell you that it’s definitely possible to get freelance travel writing jobs, even as a beginner blogger.
While travel writing hasn’t been my main freelancing jam before now, it has been something I have done on a fairly regular basis to supplement my income while working from home or during my travels. So far, I’ve written 18 articles for various websites, and been paid between $40 USD and $150 USD each time. Here’s how it all started:
My first travel writing job was for a startup called Grabr, who approached me via email to ask if I could create some content for their new website. To be honest, I don’t know how they found me, but my guess is that it was by searching for travel bloggers online and finding ones that had a writing style that they liked.
I completed 5 articles for the Grabr blog before I never heard from them again. I later found out that the person I had been dealing with had left the company, and she hadn’t passed on her contacts to the new person who took over her job.
It wasn’t long before I picked up some more travel writing gigs. While I was looking for freelance work, I sent Intrepid Travel an email with a few article ideas, and they responded to say that they were interested in publishing them. I went ahead to write 8 articles for their blog over the next year.
Most recently, I worked with Matador Network who reached out to me after I created a Matador Marketplace profile. Now this company is huge, but unfortunately they don’t pay much for travel writing. I did 3 articles for them before I decided the pay wasn’t good enough to cover my time.
I’ve also done a few one-off articles for various blogs. I recently wrote an in-depth destination guide for Thrifty Nomads, and a few months ago I wrote a seasonal article for a hostel company in Europe.
In these two cases, they reached out to me about writing an article because they were looking for something specific, and they knew that I had the knowledge that they needed because they’d seen me write about it on my blog.
I hadn’t really considered travel writing full-time until a few weeks ago, when I came across a Digital Content Producer contract role through the Tourism Australia website. I successfully applied, and last week I officially began writing articles for australia.com!
I’m incredibly excited about this contract job, which I’ll be doing for the next few months. For this one, I’ll be paid on a daily basis instead of a fee per article as the job requires me to work from the head office in Sydney.
There is loads of competition for paid travel writing jobs, so to increase your chances of being successful, you’ve got to prove that you’re an awesome travel writer. The main reason that I’ve been able to get these jobs is because I have a blog full of articles which show that I can produce high-quality content.
If you don’t have a blog, don’t worry – there are other ways to create a portfolio, like guest posts! Try pitching some article ideas to travel blogs and see if they will publish your work. Most of the time you won’t get paid for this, but once you’ve done it a few times, you can start pitching paid sites.
Tips for becoming a freelance travel writer:
- Create portfolio of your work. No-one will hire you if they can’t see examples of your writing. You can use a travel blog as a portfolio, or use guest posts for other sites. Create a list of writing samples that you can send out to show people that you’re a great travel writer.
- Advertise that you’re available. I have a travel writing services page on my blog, which is useful because it means that when companies visit my blog, they will see that I’m open to travel writing jobs. You can also post in Facebook groups or network using word of mouth.
- Regularly search job websites or Facebook groups for opportunities. Matador Network often post call-outs for submissions in their Marketplace, so that would be a good place to start.
- Pitch travel brands with a few article ideas. Show them that you have a unique perspective that their customers might find interesting. A little research on the company will go a long way.
- Start small. There’s no point going straight for Huffington Post if you have no prior travel writing experience. Start with smaller travel brands or blogs, then work your way up to the top.