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Going Global: Tips for Travel Writers

Traveling the world and getting paid to do it. What could be better? Just the words “travel writing” conjure images of lying on the beach with a laptop, posting the details of your latest adventures. After all, as the saying goes, “If you love your job, you’ll never work a day in your life.”

Unfortunately, as is so often the case, the reality of travel writing isn’t always as glamorous as the fantasy. It’s tough, competitive, and requires a bit of perseverance (and luck). But it’s also incredibly rewarding, and a great way of getting in touch with the world.

Today, we offer five travel writing tips from those who have “walked the road” already, and are willing to share their advice with aspiring writers like yourself.

1. Don’t quit your day job (at least not yet). You should write about travel, first and foremost, because you enjoy it. Travel writing is, unfortunately, one of the lowest paying writing genres, despite being one of the most competitive. Only a small percentage of writers are able to make a living at it.

2. Find your unique perspective. Enough books on Thailand have been written to fill a small library; remember though, Thailand’s not your subject—it’s only the setting for your subject. Maybe you want to write about Muay Thai schools, or medical tourism in Bangkok. Define your niche! That’s how you’ll stick out in an overcrowded marketplace, while establishing yourself as an authority.

3. Pay your dues. Write about travel as much as possible. Post small travel pieces to your Facebook page, for example, or start a blog at one of the free hosting sites. At the same time, read as much travel writing as possible. What do you like about other writer’s articles? What do you dislike?

4. Leave your computer at home. Internet cafes are readily available in most foreign countries, in addition to the business centers that many hotels have. You should be packing as lightly as possible, and a laptop is added weight you just don’t need. You can use cloud storage to save your drafts, or just email them to yourself.

5. Know what to leave out. The airline lost your suitcase, and you had to borrow underwear from other travelers at the hostel for the first two days? As traumatic as that may have been for you, there’s a good chance that your reader won’t care. Stay focused on your niche and subject, and make sure that everything you write contributes to them.

We hope you’ve found this useful! Check out the Trafford Bookstore for some great travel stories from our authors, and speak with one of our publishing consultants when you’re ready to join our writer community!

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