Earlier this week, we talked about:

  • how having other interests besides travel can give you a leg up breaking into travel writing
  • why it’s important to write about those interests in a travel-related context, not just for magazines in those fields
  • how easy it is to look at your own life and see what interests you can already mine

Today, I want to widen your view of what these travel research interests can be. We are looking at 10 real, working travel writers who aren’t the Tim Cahills or the folks who have necessarily written books on how to be a travel writer. They are just regular people who work with their stable of editors, pay their mortgages, and make a solid living travel writing.

I’ve chosen these individuals from google searches for the terms “travel writer” and “freelance travel writer,” rather than people I know, to show how pervasive and useful this technique is. These people found their micro niche, or specialty, and used it to their advantage.


Nell McShane Wulfhart

Website: http://www.nellmcshanewulfhart.com/
Based in: Montevideo, Uruguay
General Specialties: food, living abroad (gives her in-depth knowledge of more places than most, a fact that is well reflected in her clips like multiple New York Times “36 Hours” pieces)
Highly Niche Specialties: intersection of technology and travel, 21st century art and design
Big Publishing Credits: New York Times, The Guardian, Conde Nast Traveler


Brandon Presser

Website: http://www.brandonpresser.com/
Based in: New York City, New York, USA
General Specialties: scuba, up-and-coming destinations
Highly Niche Specialties: hipster culture
Big Publishing Credits: Travel + Leisure, Lonely Planet guidebooks, National Geographic


Jeremy Head

Website: http://www.jeremyhead.com
Based in: Brighton, United Kingdom
General Specialties: extreme sports, adventure travel
Highly Niche Specialties: far, far (like Siberia far) off the beaten path, trekking and walking holidays
Big Publishing Credits: The Daily Mail, The Times, The Guardian


Leslie Patrick Moore

Website: http://www.lesliepatrick.com/
Based in: San Miguel de Allende, Mexico
General Specialties: spa travel, profiles of people, off-the-beaten-path destinations
Highly Niche Specialties: living abroad in Mexico, travel style
Big Publishing Credits: CNN Travel, Travel + Leisure, Monocle


Elizabeth Rose

Website: http://travelwriter-liz.blogspot.com
Based in: Portland, Oregon, USA
General Specialties: Arizona (despite being based in Portland), artisanal food production, local artists, jewelry
Highly Niche Specialties: Native American art and jewelry, local arts
Big Publishing Credits: Sunset Magazine


Amanda Jones

Website: http://www.amandajonestravel.com/
Based in: San Francisco Bay Area, California, USA
General Specialties: art photography (has been exhibited at the United Nationals), safaris, sailing
Highly Niche Specialties: tribal cultures in Africa and the South Pacific, responsible storytelling of global issues
Big Publishing Credits: Conde Nast Traveller, Vogue, Travel + Leisure


John Lee

Website: http://johnleewriter.com/
Based in: Vancouver, Canada
General Specialties: food, art and architecture
Highly Niche Specialties: beer, trains, public art
Big Publishing Credits: Globe and Mail, BBC, National Geographic Traveler


Kate Parham Kordsmeier

Website: kateparhamkordsmeier.com/
Based in: Atlanta, Georgia, USA
General Specialties: food, wine
Highly Niche Specialties: travel-related recipes, Southern food
Big Publishing Credits: Conde Nast Traveler, Travel + Leisure, USA Today


JoAnna Haugen

Website: http://www.joannahaugen.com/
Based in: Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
General Specialties: cultural tourism, outdoor adventure travel
Highly Niche Specialties: long distance runner, exchange study programs, public health, national parks
Big Publishing Credits: Travel Weekly, BBC Travel, National Geographic Intelligent Traveler


Kristen Manieri

Website: http://kristenmanieri.com/
Based in: Orlando, Florida, USA
General Specialties: destination weddings, food, spa travel, family travel, active vacations
Highly Niche Specialties: unconventional food travel, shopping while traveling
Big Publishing Credits: USA Today, Islands, Air Tran GO

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