Many people pack a journal to document their travels, as it offers you the ability to later reminisce about the exotic flavors, sights, and sounds you encounter. More and more travelers, however, are beginning to also get paid for their travel writing.
Whether you’ve scribbled a few lines in a notebook or are an experienced writer, there are many ways in which both amateur and professional writers can earn cash for writing about travel which can help fund continued journeys around the world.
I’ve gone further, and for me it’s become a full-time career.
With a bit of self-motivation and willingness to think outside the box when it comes to landing online writing jobs, you too can join the millions of other travelers that are getting paid for their stories which are helping to fund their future travels. Here are some of the top ways you can get paid for your travel writing.
Getting Paid to Write About Your Travels
Overview of Paid Travel Writing Work
Thanks to the internet, no longer is a degree in journalism necessarily required to make money from writing. Countless travel-related websites are continually seeking out content for their various web pages, online blogs, and social media posts.
In addition to writing content for travel websites, you can also create your own blog to start monetizing your travel stories through advertising revenue, affiliate sales, and any products that you may wish to sell such as travel guides.
You can also provide paid content to other travel bloggers who are looking to load up their sites with travel stories and information they are currently lacking – top travel bloggers commonly employ virtual assistants and ghost writers who do their writing for them.
Then there’s freelance writing for travel magazines, writing eBooks to sell on Amazon, and plenty of copywriting jobs out there. With so many different travel writing jobs available online where you can work remotely from basically anywhere in the world, it has never been easier to get paid for your work.
So let’s dive into each one of them in more detail, as to what the job description is, and what you can expect from each.
Sure, you may keep notes in a journal during your travels but you may be wondering if you can use those notes to craft an engaging story people will want to read and share.
One of the best ways to enter the world of paid writing is to sign up with an online content writing company which is eager to work with beginners, help them improve their writing skills, and find them writing jobs.
Most travel writers getting paid for their work don’t actually start off with writing about travel. There are an infinite number of companies always looking for fresh content whether they are selling pet food, blenders, or insurance.
Pro tip: If you’re good at writing about travel, chances are you will be successful writing about nearly anything. You can easily produce informative and engaging work by doing thorough research which is readily available online and creating unique content that will capture readers’ attentions.
Writing for various companies and providing them with SEO-based content is a great way to improve your writing skills and earn money while you gather and write original stories about your own personal travels that you may be able to monetize in the future.
Most writers will readily admit that they don’t always get to write about topics they are passionate about, but it the companies with big budgets such as online gaming and sports betting companies that often pay the most for content for their websites.
So don’t be afraid to swallow your pride in the beginning and be open to considering writing for anyone that will pay. Even seasoned professional travel writers still take on freelance writing work from time to time, often covering topics completely unrelated to travel.
The more you write, the more your writing skills improve and content writing companies will help you improve even faster by providing you with feedback from proofreaders
Start Your Own Blog
Starting your own blog these days is quite simple. The hardest part of setting up a blog is deciding what your blog will be about but if you’re looking to write about your personal travel adventures, then that’s already been sorted.
You can of course decide to make your travel blog more niche such as if you wanted to create a blog about a specific travel destination or region, traveling with kids, or traveling as a handicapped individual.
Creating a blog starts with choosing and buying a domain name and signing on to a web hosting plan. You will then install a content manage system such as WordPress, choose a theme for your blog that appeals to you, and then begin writing and publishing content.
The next difficult task is to begin optimizing your blog content for SEO which will allow your online travel articles to rank higher in search engine results which will in turn make your blog appealing to companies looking to place paid advertisements and sponsored posts on your website.
You’ll most likely be writing for free in the beginning as you build up your blog with content. I recommend you use social media accounts specific to your blog to help gain exposure and drive traffic to your blog. As your blog gains more followers and page views, advertisers and companies will start contacting you.
Make sure you have your contact information and a statement that you are open to paid work or advertising on your site (this is an example) readily visible in a homepage header menu tab so companies can easily get in touch with you.
In addition to getting paid for content you write for your blog, you may also be able to score free travel-related products, complimentary hotel stays, and fully paid press trips when it comes to running a popular travel blog.
Get Paid Writing for Other Bloggers
If you’re hesitant about starting your own travel blog whether you believe it will be too time consuming or you won’t have enough content to publish, alternatively you can think about writing for already well-established travel blogs.
Many popular travel blogs hire freelance writers, even those that are personal blogs run by frequent travelers who may be looking to provide content for their readers on places they haven’t been to yet.
Some travel bloggers don’t actually travel themselves at all and simply create a travel blog in order to earn money from travel related affiliate links. They may actively seek out experienced travelers who are skilled at writing and have firsthand experience about world travel in order to create quality content for their blog which will attract traffic and revenue.
Nothing’s more exciting than seeing your content published on the pages of notable travel magazines. While it may be difficult getting featured in National Geographic or Condé Nast Traveler, (though here is exactly how to pitch National Geographic) there are countless magazines that are open to freelance travel writers if you can produce unique content.
While it may be more thrilling to see your articles in physical print, there are far more opportunities to get paid work for digital content on travel magazine websites. After all, popular travel magazines have far more digital readers than print readership and they are not restricted to a set amount of pages for each physical magazine issue which makes the competition for getting published in print fierce.
The key to getting content published by a travel magazine whether it be in physical or digital form is to familiarize yourself with the brand’s writing style and guidelines which are often listed on their website.
You may be asked to send through article proposals or fully completed articles. Some magazines will require a minimum or maximum word count and may even require you to provide photography. Each magazine is different in their requirements.
While many travel magazines no longer require you to have a journalist degree in order to accept your content, your chances of success will depend on your creativity, writing skills, and whether you can provide content that is suitable for a category they are actively seeking at any given period.
Online Travel-Related Websites
If writing freelance articles for travel magazines isn’t panning out, there are thankfully plenty of other travel-related websites that are readily seeking content and many of these are willing to pay more than the popular travel magazines.
Countless travel businesses including airlines, hotels, travel insurers, and tourism boards now have blogs on their website in which they pay writers to provide continual content for. For instance, here are articles I’ve written for Marriott.
Travel companies use SEO optimized articles to attract people searching online for various travel related stories or information who will then hopefully be tempted to purchase the products or services they are selling in addition to providing the reader with an informative and engaging read.
Many travel companies post their writing employment opportunities on job search websites or you can simply reach out to their media team to inquire about potential online content writing jobs that are available.
Pro tip: Don’t be afraid to pitch to car rental companies, cruise companies, and travel agents. You’re bound to score jobs the more companies you reach out to.
There are also often opportunities to run a company’s social media accounts or act as a copywriter to create persuasive marketing and promotional materials for them that may be in the form of online banners that advertise sales or a newsletter that gets sent to a their email subscribers.
Companies also need quality writers to craft press releases that help spread the word of special news relating to their company such as the opening of a new hotel or launching of a new cruise ship.
Write a Travel Book
Writing a book as opposed to a web article obviously takes a great deal more time and effort to produce but there’s the potential to make a great deal of money from a book.
While online travel articles generally range from 800-2,000 words in length, a travel guide or non-fiction travel memoir eBook often falls in the 50,000-100,000 word count. But when creating a book, you first need to decide what kind of book you want to create.
Do you want to create a travel guide filled with helpful information other travelers will find useful or do you want to share your epic travel experiences with readers in order to inspire them to travel as well.
A personal account of your travels is often much easier and more enjoyable to write as opposed to an informative travel guide. With a non-fiction travel book, you get to reminisce about your past journeys and share your personal experience without needing to be as concerned with providing the latest travel information for a destination.
With a travel guide, you generally need to cover a broad range of topics that may include the best hotels and restaurants in a destination, best ways to get places, top attractions, latest safety advice, and approximate travel costs. Because readers will be relying on your information to literally guide them through their travels, the information you provide needs to be accurate and up-to-date.
Pro tip: Most best-selling guidebooks are also generally filled with colorful photos which you may need to take yourself unless you are willing to pay for professional stock images that can be used for commercial purposes.
Once you finish writing and editing your book, you’ll find it’s rather easy to self-publish your work these days. You can publish eBooks and paperbacks for free with Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing. After signing up, you can have your book published within minutes and appearing in Amazon book search results within 48 hours.
You then have the potential for your book to be seen by millions without ever needing to contact a pricey publisher. Of course, to get your book noticed and selling, you will need to promote your book through your personal website, social media channels, or by running an Amazon ad campaign.
Sell Your Travel Photos
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and if you find yourself having difficult putting pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard), then you may want to try to sell your travel photos.
Most travelers capture moments form their travels and if you find you’re pretty good at photography, you can try to make money from your captivating images.
There are countless royalty-free stock image sites you can contribute to such as Unsplash or Pixabay, and while they don’t directly give you a penny for the images you upload, you can accept and receive donations from people that download and use your images.
Unsplash Profile with Donation Link
You can also use your account profile to land photography jobs or drive traffic to your personal website where you may be selling your photography or earning affiliate/advertising revenue.
Other stock image sites like Shutterstock allow you to earn money from your photos each time they are downloaded by their customers. The company claims to have already paid out over a billion dollars in royalties to photographers. Signing up is easy, as is uploading your photos, creating a portfolio, and tracking your earnings.
These are just some of the ways travelers are monetizing their travel knowledge and experiences. Becoming a travel writer allows you the freedom to work remotely which will let you enjoy travel more freely and continuously if you wish.
While it may seem like a bit of a hustle in the beginning, with enough determination and creativity you can earn a decent income through travel writing.