I know this sounds crazy, but you really can get your travel writing career officially up and running in one hour (which I’ll show you soon!).
Have you tried before? I can feel the head shakes and sighs.
But what makes this process take longer than an hour is not the time required to announce to the world that you are a travel writer, via various forms of social media and your own shiny new website: it’s the decision making.
- What kind of travel writer will you be?
- Why are you doing this?
- What travel-related research interests and geographic areas will you focus on?
- How do you want to present yourself in terms of tone and personality?
If you’re not yet sure about the answers to these questions, work through the tasks in the next section. Otherwise, stay tuned for the one-hour, step-by-step tutorial soon.
Streamline Your Soul-Searching To Speed Your Way to a Successful Travel Writing Career
One of the biggest underlying things I hear when people tell me that they don’t know how to pitch, whether bloggers approaching companies or freelancers approaching magazines, is that they don’t know how to “sell themselves.”
You aren’t selling yourself. You’re selling a service or product you provide. If you don’t know what that is, you’re going to have a hard time selling anything.
We’re going to talk soon about how to get over the hurdle that you are bothering people when pitching them (you’re really offering them something very valuable that they need and saving them the time of having to look for it themselves).
In the meantime, figuring out what exactly you are going to sell and how you are going to present yourself is something that you should do offline, through serious conversations with yourself and people who know you well before you ever sit down to write your about page or social media profiles.
Either in person or over email, ask people who know you well:
- what are my strengths? especially in terms of talking about travel or writing generally?
- what do I seem to be the most excited about when I talk to you about travel?
- if you had to choose one to three adjectives to describe me, what would they be?
- what do you think is one of the things that makes me most unique?
While that is happening, think back through your own life and travels, and pick out:
- the experiences that most touched and transformed you and drove you to want to share the world with others through travel writing
- the thread, theme, or underlying insight about life and the world that unites those experiences
- images that you took or that you’ve found online on rights-free websites like Shutterstock or free-use databases like Flickr Creative Commons
- the aspects of or projects completed in any former careers or jobs that you’ve had that give you skills you will use in travel writing
Need to See It in Action?
Let me show you a couple lovely travel writers I know, who are very different but have found ways to let their personal uniqueness shine through in their travel writing branding, as examples.
Candace Rose Rardon
Candace has a huge heart, is a romantic and idealist, and is full of conviction about the transformative power of travel. She has a Masters of Arts specifically in travel writing, but she also has a deep love of sketching and creating art.
Though she of course also completes some assignments that are just writing, she’s chosen to focus on experiencing travel through sketching and this infuses every aspect of how she presents herself online.
Ernest White II
Ernest is a man of many, many talents, a former literature professor who loves doing work on camera, on his own blog, and in the media more generally. He has an insatiable wanderlust that pushes him to explore and see the world in every spare moment, often a plane ticket to somewhere new over “normal,” everyday experiences.
But as a student of both literature and the world, Ernest has found that people who are minorities for any reason, whether people of color, non-heterosexual orientation, or those from economically marginalized backgrounds, are underrepresented or unfairly depicted in travel writing, and he has sought, through his travel writing, to right that disparity.
Finished Your Homework?
Check back soon for a minute-by-minute guide to launching your travel writing career in one hour!