How often do writers ask themselves, “Can I make a living as a travel writer?” Truthfully, writers ask themselves that question every time they get online or read a magazine. Writers are researchers first and writers second. During the process of research, whether online or in print form, they are repeatedly assaulted with ads trumpeting the fabulous life of a travel writer. What is not revealed in these ads is the time and methods needed to make a living as a travel writer.

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Where to Apply to Become a Travel Writer

Some writers are lucky enough, or persistent enough, to have developed networks while in college or university. Some became part of the blogging universe during an early stage in their lives. Most writers do not have these advantages when they begin their productive writing life. To apply for the writing life, you must find a way to be noticed. Writing a travel piece and presenting it in either email or snail mail form does not guarantee publication. Ted Leffel, an experienced and successful travel writer, pointed out in a piece about travel writing in Transitions Abroad, that writers have two trails they can venture along to get their travel pieces published: The traditional magazine or newspaper route, the blogging process.

How to Start Writing Travel Pieces for the Print Industry

The travel writing industry is deserting the print industry at an ever-increasing rate. Some travel magazines still exist. The best method to gain the attention of an editor is to send a brief, and exciting Letter of Inquiry. In the print industry, these letters are the preferred method of introduction. A writer that uses this method is more likely to get a response than one who submits an unsolicited article. Some of the larger magazines will pay on acceptance, but most settle upon publication which may be six months or a year down the road. Those looking to make a living off travel writing will not initially succeed at covering their expenses — only those who have proven themselves reliable over years of writing command the high fees from these publications. As recommended in Fodor’s Travel, writers who are entering the travel writing industry should begin at the local level, gain an audience, and then branch out.

Can Blogging in the Travel Writing Industry Bring in a Living Income?

There are over 100 million bloggers online, each with their niche. Travel writers abound on the net, and only those who make a marked gain a following the brings the attention of clients interested in paying for your work. With a travel blogging site, the cost of publication is minimized, and writers are continuously published through their blog. The trick is to gain enough followers to attract clients who wish for the writer’s opinion on their establishment. That is where fees escalate. According to Forbes, the process requires a long game attitude by the blogger—a minimum of six months of constant blogging activity and up to three years. Once a following of 4 million or so is reached, large fees become a reality.

Can I Make a Make a Living as a Travel Writer?

The answer to that question is a qualified, “Yes.” Writers who find a niche that attracts an audience can make a living as a travel writer. The slot must be unique, entertaining, and informative. Otherwise, the writer is merely following the path of others.