Finding freelance travel writer jobs: 5 rules
There are freelance travel writer jobs to be had out there, even if you’re just starting out. Follow our five simple rules to discover how to get writing jobs and you’ll be getting paid to travel the world before you know it!
Build your portfolio
To answer those ‘travel writer wanted!’ advertisements, you’ll need to be able to respond with some samples of your work – a portfolio. Potential employers and editors need to see that you can write well, understand a bit about your style and also see you as a professional.
If you haven’t yet been paid for any travel writing work, it doesn’t matter. Many writers are hired for freelance travel writer jobs on the basis of their personal blogs, internships or other unpaid work.
Ever heard the saying ‘it’s not what you know, it’s who you know’? Well, this could never be more true than when seeking travel writing job opportunities. Luckily, networking doesn’t have to mean printing business cards and making awkward small talk at events and parties – you don’t even have to be a grade A charmer. We mean networking on the web.
To network successfully online, you’ll need a blog that shows off your best writing. It could include articles you’ve written for fun as well as paid work and photographs from your travels. While it needs to look professional, it should also reflect a bit of your personality. Once you’ve got your own catchy web address, get your blog and your writing out there. Make the most of Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, and link up with other travel blogs to get your work seen and appreciated. While none of these are freelance writer job sites, if you link up with the right people and groups, before long you’ll start getting travel writing job opportunities.
Let’s forget freelance travel writer jobs for a minute. Another form of networking – and a great way of building your professional portfolio at the same time – is by landing work experience placements or travel writing internships.
These aren’t necessarily easy to find, but you could start by searching the web and approaching various publications directly to enquire. You can find opportunities as well as other tips on sites such as The Travel Writing Portal.
There are several good freelance websites that advertise travel writer job listings. Elance, PeoplePerHour and Freelancer are just three we recommend. With these sites, you set up your own profile and portfolio to apply for jobs. While it can be tricky at first to persuade potential employers to hire you, over time you’ll win jobs and start getting reviews and feedback that will boost your rating and make you more likely to succeed. What you charge is up to you and payment happens securely through the site direct to your bank or PayPal account.
Make a proposal
When you’ve got a good portfolio together of all your best articles, and you’ve had plenty of paid travel writing jobs, you should be feeling pretty confident. But don’t rest on your laurels, this is the time to start the toughest, but most lucrative, part of your journey.
Phone or email travel editors to find out whether they accept pitches and if they’re looking for anything in particular. Consider publications such as in-flight publications and supermarket magazines. If they ask you to send through your ideas just don’t give too much away so that an existing employee can write your article instead of you!
Make a note of how long you spend each day searching and applying for travel writing jobs. To begin with, this will be quite high but over time you should start to see the balance change and you’ll be working more than you are looking for work! If not, then go back through this article to figure out what’s going on.
So what’s stopping you? Get out there and start job-hunting!