Wandering the world, writing tales of far-flung adventures and getting paid…sounds like the dream job, right?
In reality, becoming a travel writer requires serious planning and much trial and error to find a way to create income from it. But, if you get there, it could be the job of a lifetime.
If you’re ready to launch yourself as a travel writer, it’s essential to create an online presence. This could be a portfolio website or a blog. Having a digital billboard to present your past and upcoming travels, and showcase your articles, photos and videos is your platform to the readers, viewers and editors you’re trying to reach.
Nurturing a niche is the next important step. There are thousands of wannabe writers out there, both roaming the actual world and the blogosphere, so it’s crucial to stand out from the crowd. Focus on a singular area that impassions you. This could be a destination, an activity (hiking, biking, surfing), or about being a solo traveller, a married traveller or travelling with children. Whatever you decide, hone in on it. Share your knowledge, post about it on social media, blog about it. Over time, you may become a go-to authority on the subject.
Lastly, when it comes to the actual writing, make sure to know the point of your piece. What do you want the reader to learn or take away from it? Once you’ve figured this out, craft a piece that leads, step by step, to that point.
Visiting an exciting, remote, unusual or just a new place is the main attraction of being a travel writer. However, it also brings about risks. Travellers who are alert to their environment are less likely to fall victim to criminal behaviour or dangerous situations.
Blending into your surroundings is essential. This might mean dressing in a way that is respectful to the culture you’re in, or just dressing down and looking inconspicuous. You’ll likely be carrying equipment with you, like a laptop and camera, so you’ll have to take necessary precautions. Stow them in a bag when not in use, avoid flaunting them about and be aware of any nearby hazards.
Try to avoid trouble spots by not travelling to any country that is experiencing political or economical turbulence, even if that’s the country you’d most like to visit. It’s best to wait for the situation to calm down and attempt a trip there at a later date.
Having the ability to back up work while you’re on the move is crucial. Laptops or cameras could get lost, stolen or broken, meaning all that hard work is gone. Having two backups is vital, ideally in two different places and mediums. Transferring files to an external hard drive or an encrypted USB drive from USBMakers.com is a good place for the first backup, and the Cloud the second.
You may find yourself in locations which could have unsecure web access. Make sure you only connect to Wi-Fi which you can trust, and if you’re ever in doubt, don’t connect. Taking a mobile hotspot with you could be a handy device in moments where connections seem unsecure.