- Take Good Photos
As an editor at Go World Travel Magazine, I spend a lot of time wading through submissions in our slush pile. Since our site is very visual, photography is often as important as the story — and it’s one of the first things we consider when we look at a submission.
Many destinations provide free photography for press usage, and we often those. But you shouldn’t rely on PR photos to sell your story.
At Go World Travel, we cover many unusual destinations, and stock or press photos aren’t available. If you can’t provide photos to accompany your winery tour in Bulgaria, then chances are, we can’t run your story.
You don’t have to be a professional to take nice photos. Today’s cameras and editing software can do most of the work. Take an afternoon class on basic photography and you should be able to shoot basic photos that will compliment your work.
- Please Don’t Quit Your Day Job — Yet
For most travel writers, travel writing will not be a sole source of income. Travel writing works better as a co-career along with a flexible, but reliable profession.
Several of my travel writing friends also write in other fields. For example, one friend writes grants for a non-profit, another covers health articles. Being on staff at a travel publication is an excellent way to obtain steady income in travel writing, but like most 9 to 5 jobs, this can also restrict your travel.
Another option is to find an internationally marketable skill that can be done overseas, such as bar tending, teaching English or working in a sports field like diving or skiing. Then you can live abroad, and write on that country from abroad.
- Don’t Get Left Behind
The field of travel writing has changed a lot in the last decade, and it continues to evolve with the times. Not long ago, most travel writers saw their work published in print. Today, online publishing is much more common.
If you haven’t learned how to write for online publication (short and sweet, using SEO-friendly keywords), then you might be left behind.
For today’s travel writers, an online presence is a must. Do you have a blog or website? Editors want to see your website or at least emailed clips to your work, not mailed photocopies.
Having your own blog, being able to reach out to editors on Twitter or other social media platforms and promoting your work through social media are excellent ways to stay ahead of the game.
Author Bio: Janna Graber has been a travel journalist, editor and video producer for more than 15 years. She is the editor of the World Traveler Tales anthology series and managing editor at Go World Travel Magazine.