Travel Writer. Travel Writing. Such an alluring job!
Maya Angelou once said, “You can only become truly accomplished at something you love.” If you are the one who loves to travel and loves to write, this is truly a great option for you.
Do you aspire to pursue a career in travel writing?
Yes, the job is pretty fascinating. You get paid to travel too! What can be better than this?
Travel writing makes you travel, see the world, meet people, inspire them to follow their dreams and learn from them. You pen down every smallest detail of your travel experience to get your reader candid with what you experienced.
In short, the work experience is incredible!
- 1 Travel Writing
- 1.1 Don’t just write, show!
- 1.2 Do you know, people love to read about unusual destinations? Why not explore one?
- 1.3 Don’t stress if your first draft isn’t as good as you expected it to be.
- 1.4 Tell your story bit by bit.
- 1.5 Write What You Know
- 1.6 Content, Concept & Visuals
- 1.7 Engage With Readers
- 1.8 Success
- 2 The down side
- 3 What’s your story?
Writing a travelogue as a travel journalist or being a freelance travel content writer comes with a great responsibility and challenges to face. Writing is an art form that takes a lot of practice to have mastery in. Writing about travel isn’t like any other form of writing. With a knack of good story angle and imagination, you can grab attention and captivate readers.
Don’t just write, show!
That’s the thing about writing, it can make one travel anywhere without actually moving.
Remember the time when you decided to travel to your favourite place by reading blogs or articles on Lonely Planet or National Geographic? That’s the magic required in your writing. The magic that makes them fancy the place and actually end up visiting it.
People admire travel freelance writers for a lot of reasons. The possibility to control work as desired is one of the major reasons that make people wish the freelancers’ lifestyle. Travel freelancers build good relationships with people, editors, readers, and admirers. They consider their relationships as true motivation and cherish them forever.
On the other hand, freelancers are always in a quest of the ‘right mood’ and ‘the zone’ to get going with the writing. You see, writing is something that really can’t be forced.
Encouraging people to travel to a specific destination requires strong persuasive skills. There are a number of travel guides out there, then why should the reader read your travel piece? The answer is simple. To see from your eyes. To have your text create the desired impact on the readers, you should dig out the angles the travel guides don’t cover. The task may need a lot of research and scrutiny, but totally worth it!
You may be passionate enough to meticulously string words together to share your story but your readers crave for hidden gems and inside info. You need to understand their queries and give them what they desire. The golden rule! You excellently written piece is of no use unless it doesn’t serve the purpose.
Do you know, people love to read about unusual destinations? Why not explore one?
When a person inquires about any destination, the chances are likely he wishes to visit the very place. The internet is flooded with blogs and articles on different exotic destinations such as Rome, Italy, France, Venice and more. People do like reading about unusual destinations too. Writing about an unusual destination can be a tricky one. You need to have a good angle to win people over the destination’s worthiness.
As a reader, wouldn’t you be enticed to read about Cultural Discoveries in South Korea, Snowmobiling and Sledding in Alaska or explore Rainforests and Deserted Beaches in Madagascar?
Don’t stress if your first draft isn’t as good as you expected it to be.
Writing is a craft you never perfect. Not exactly sure what we are putting down on paper, we just write, write and write for the very first time. There is nothing wrong with us! According to Ernest Hemingway, “The first draft of anything is shit.” It is absolutely fine to craft a raw first piece. Upon its completion, you read it. And that is when you learn what is missing from the writing and what needs to be improvised. Thus, you write again.
Tell your story bit by bit.
It is completely up to the writer if he wants to unfold the travel tale chronologically or thematically. Write in the order that best builds excitement in the reader’s mind. You article/blog lead should be compelling enough to catch readers’ attention. Moving on, the body should be written in a way to keep the story flowing. Avoid any unnecessary information or element that can break the reading flow of your valued readers.
Write What You Know
You are the creator and the destroyer of your own story. There must be better writers than you, but what you can do with your story is all up to you. You can either make it or break it. Write what you know and exactly how you know. Feel free to cut out any information about which you are uncertain. When in doubt, cut it out! Cover all aspects of your story and your job is done. Let the reader take a call on that.
You probably didn’t have any formal training for Travel Writing. So, here are quick tips that can help you improve your travel writing, reporting or blogging.
- Read good travelogues/blogs before writing
- Stick to storytelling format
- Keep it short
- Be 100% original
- Focus on emotional appeal
- Read and edit your text
- Know the publication/website/platform/blog you are writing for
- Maintain your own blog
- Ask for feedback
Content, Concept & Visuals
Primarily, find your niche. Will it be about travel in general, certain city/country, family travel, solo travel or luxury vacations? Get it all figured out beforehand. Read a lot of good travel blogs, articles and books and learn from them. Once you know what they write and how they write, you can come up with your own approach.
Then comes the Content. Good content calls for an action. Be able to write content that is unique, interesting and informative. There is no excuse for misspellings and poor grammar. Keep an eye on the language!
Next is Concept. The writing concept! You should figure out the concept of your writing before drafting your first piece. It is beneficial in a long run since this practice helps you understand where your interest and expertise lie in. Say, your article can be theme-based, destination based etc.
It’s always suggested to start with a narrow focus and then branch out. In other words, don’t try to cover everything and anything about the destination that you know.
Your write-up is incomplete without complementing images or visuals. True it is, a picture is worth a thousand words. In order to ensure a better reading experience for your readers, add pictures and videos to the article. Another advantage of using visuals is that it breaks the monotony of reading text. Much needed!
Engage With Readers
You write for your readers. Your readers may be your friends, family, blog visitors or followers for now. But don’t you wish to spread your word to as many people as you can? This can be achieved via networking.
Networking has always proven fruitful for a business or an individual. It is a never ending process. When you get social and connect with other people, you gain their trust. They start believing in you and follow you and your work. This is how you expand your readership. Never settle for less!
Let your valuable readers experience your exciting travels with your writing. If required, help them to recreate a similar trip if they desire so. By making your writing captivating, you will give reason to the readers to visit your blog/website again. And once you have returning readers, half the battle is already won. This means they love you and your work.
Be open to feedbacks! Always make your readers feel you are there to listen to them. Ask your readers for their feedback and suggestions. Be active in responding to comments and emails.
Do you have an unstoppable desire to succeed? Sure you do!
With such a high competition in the field today, the travel writers who stick with it in thick and thin are the ones who taste the success.
Success comes to the one who is patient and persistent. It is like a drug. Once hit with success, you will crave for more. Keep yourself motivated and keep going!
The down side
Travel writing is reckoned as one of the top 5 most overrated jobs in the world. Amused, aren’t you? But why? How can this fun job be overrated? Reason being crappy pay, no job stability and there are millions of trip advisor critics ready to blow your job.
What’s your story?
Tell us if you are pursuing your dream too. Share your writing story in the comments below.