Get Started Travel Writing
Have you ever dreamed of travelling on someone else’s dime and writing articles that actually pay? We all start out small, maybe writing for free until we build up our portfolio but we must get to the point when we know our writing has to have a monetary value. This interview in the newsletter gives us some simple tips on how to get started.
Interview taken by permission from: The Right Way to Travel newsletter Sept.3/10. For the whole story and more fascinating opportunities go to:
TRWTT: What was your article about?
GINNY: I started on the island finale of the trip because it looked
more manageable. I thought I could finish it faster and get my byline.
The safari part of the trip was so mind-blowing and overwhelming that
I told myself I would “save it for later.”
Word to the wise: keep up with your writing, because before you know
it, you’re off on another trip and the commitments and deadlines start
to pile up.
TRWTT: How and where did you get it published?
GINNY: I got published in Travellady.com. It was unpaid, but it was my
first thrilling byline. And I’ve been hooked ever since.
TRWTT: Besides building credibility and getting published, did you get
any expenses paid, or were you able to get special rates and deals as
a travel writer?
GINNY: Not on that trip. But I have on others I’ve written about. I
usually travel everywhere for at least half-price, with many side
trips and excursions tossed in for free.
TRWTT: How do you go about securing discounted travel and perks?
GINNY: I often start the barter process with an e-mail to a manager,
telling him or her about an upcoming “Travel Writer Visit.” I am quite
direct in asking whether they offer special rates for travel
journalists, and I mention an interest in a place/event/excursion of
theirs. Sometimes that’s enough to do the trick, but only if you try
not to travel during peak seasons.
I have to say, another “perk” of all of this is that my husband has
become a very good photographer, and we work in great partnership to
get the travel writing done. It’s terrific to have someone fun to
share these adventures with.
TRWTT: Do you have any tips for someone who’d like to get started
writing travel articles?
GINNY: Sure. My number one tip is the best tip I’ve received — to
start locally and write about something you know, in your own
backyard. One article I wrote was about New Glarus, Wisconsin,
“America’s Little Switzerland,” where I have been going for 20 years.
It got published in German Life — a very beautiful, glossy magazine
— and was distributed in nine countries.
My second tip is: Don’t over-direct your writing. When you’re getting
started on a new article, it’s important to just start writing, let it
flow, then go back and finesse.
Tip 3: Skip the flowery adjectives and power your story through the use
of verbs with muscle. I believe that’s one of Jennifer Stevens’
Tip 4: Just ask. You won’t get a discount or an article
published if you don’t put yourself out there and ask for what you
TRWTT: Where are you off to next?
GINNY: I plan on going to Ecuador — into the Amazon Rainforest and
then to the Galapagos Islands. I really love wildlife and nature and
this looks to be a dream trip.
If Ginny can do so you can you. I went on my first “fam” / familiarization tour this year, all expenses paid to Dawson City, Yukon. Yukon Tourism treated the three of us travel writers like royalty. From it I have contacts for more articles, contacts for my book launch up there next summer, and a better idea how this works and what is expected. I want more!
Happy writing and raising the bar on your own expectations!