Working as a freelance travel writer requires you to maintain a high level of motivation and to be inventive in finding new ways to get your work published.
Especially in the beginning, writing opportunities may not fall right into your lap. Just remember how lucky you are to have created this job you love for yourself.
Still, it’s the beginning of 2017, and it’s time to shake things up a little to publish more travel stories. Here’s how…
Keep in touch with your network
Because you’re not sharing the same office as your editor (and probably haven’t met him in person), it requires a bigger effort to consolidate a lasting work relationship. If he’s published something from you in the past, be sure to reach out and remind him you are here and ready for new opportunities.
A quick and genuine “Happy New Year” or, “Enjoy the summer holiday season” can go a long way, so that you’ll be the one he will think of next time he’s looking for someone to write a piece.
Be creative and proactive
Part of your job is to pitch appealing stories to your editor. Don’t wait for him to offer you a piece. Think outside of the box: What could arouse his or her interest?
Be organized and set yourself reminders to keep in touch regularly and be proactive. Ask for the editorial calendar (if it’s not posted online) so you can research, brainstorm, plan ahead, and pitch the next big idea!
Ensure a good online presence
Your portfolio and profile should be updated on a regular basis. Not only is it useful when contacting a new publisher, but renewing your content on Linkedin or on your personal website or blog always brings you up higher in the search engine results – which increases your visibility as a travel writer.
Look for new partners
No, it’s not cheating. It’s part of your job to have a plurality of publications to work with. Go and spy on professional networking websites such as Linkedin to discover the publications other travel writers write for. Get in touch with those editors, introduce yourself, and send them some pitches along with any samples that would help convince them.
See every trip as an opportunity
Treat every trip as an opportunity to write.
You may not always be traveling to an exotic location, but it does not matter. You could write a story from a trip that you took in the past. And, even a local trip can be inspiring, depending on the angle you choose for the story, especially if you sell your piece overseas.
For example, a generic piece on Niagara Falls is not very original for a publication in Toronto, Canada – considering that it’s in the neighborhood – but if you focus on the wonders of the falls during winter, this is a totally different story!