Many travel writers and aspiring writers rightly ask themselves if they can make a living from the craft of writing. Of course, it can be enjoyable to write about one’s places, learn about fascinating cultures, and taste the different flavors of a delightfully diverse food scene. Still, at the end of the day, passion or interest must be turned into money. Writing about exciting things to do in Egypt or why Portofino is worth a visit – it should be able to pay the bills. And the question is whether the returns are worth it. Here is our answer.
Does Travel Writing Pay Well?
Of course, whether a certain level of pay is sufficient depends on the individual’s perception and circumstances. However, statistics from Glassdoor, the online anonymous forum on employment-related topics, reveal the median annual salary for travel writers is $59,601. On the flip side, the average annual salary freelancer travel writers $54,285. That’s $5,316 less. From these numbers, the answer seems obvious. It is possible to make a living as a travel writer. But there is a cold truth: These are averages. Therefore, each individual’s earnings will in many cases differ from the industry average. A few factors come into play. The main factor is years of experience. But the amount of earnings will also depend on the company one works for, the variety of income streams, the quality of one’s work, and of course luck – even if we rarely admit it.
While travel writing pays well, it’s not always a neat way to go. What most people dream of when thinking about travel writing is to travel the world in business class, hop from one exotic island to another, and eat meals cooked by some of the world’s best chefs – without paying a dime for this glamorous living. Not so well.
The Difficult Side of Travel Writing No One Tells You
While travel writing can pay off extremely well, in most cases, it takes a lot of time, courage and patience to turn it into a comfortable pay range. The truth is, while you can get a good client who regularly submits writing assignments and pays promptly, getting well-paid gigs on a regular basis isn’t easy. One reason is that unlike other specialized niches such as technical or financial writing, travel writing does not require any additional technical expertise other than the ability to write well. Anyone who can tie an elegant sentence into a paragraph or two and make the sentences coherent, descriptive, and fluent will be able to do it. Fortunately or unfortunately, there are many people who can do this. And they are scattered in the farthest corners of the world. As a result, and in this age of the internet, many people from developing countries will accept salary rates – which an American would find ridiculous. Something like $20 for 2,000 words.
Still, that’s not reason enough to give up a passion. Many people have had extraordinary success with their travel writings. There are several ways to overcome challenges and be successful as a travel writer by earning hundreds of thousands of US dollars like Bill Bryson or Roy Stevenson.
- What Is The Best Travel Writing Course In The United States? Although opinions vary, we Online Travel Writing and Marketing Master Class. Travel Writers Exchange also lists it as the best travel writing program.
How Do You Succeed as a Travel Writer?
One way to be successful as a travel writer is to diversify. Here is the truth. Whether you’re writing from home or traveling the world, it may seem like a great way to make money – so much so that it’s tempting to hand over a resignation letter – it’s recommended that you diversify first. Legendary travel writer Roy Stevenson, whose work has appeared in 200 different regional, national and international journals, says of beginner travel writers: “Don’t give up on your day job.” He even goes on to affirm that staying at work should be mandatory. Instead, travel writers should work part-time as they diversify and gradually expand their income streams. This brings us to the next question: How exactly can a travel writer diversify?
For starters, a travel blog can be started. Of course, the content must be stable and platinum quality. This can function as an author’s portfolio. After that, it should be a little less frustrating to submit article ideas to travel magazines. Without an example, few magazine editors will take a second look at an author’s speech. Then there are also job boards like Work, ProBlogger, and Actually. At this stage, the focus should be on getting gigs and delivering articles that customers will like. Of course, fee should be a factor, but not the primary goal.
Once a person has settled into the travel writing rhythm, they can start earning from their blog through ads or affiliate marketing – assuming they start getting a job here and there. Affiliate marketing is where the main travel blog promotes another product or service on its site in exchange for an agreed-upon commission. Other ways to diversify include writing travel guides or books, vlogging and training. If one is lucky, they can sign a lucrative promotional deal with one or two companies. It’s time to fly around the world without paying a dime – sipping champagne and eating to your heart’s content.
A final word: It’s good advice to specialize Even in the travel article.