Last week I got a spammy email telling me how I can travel the world for free. No, it was not YTB rising from the ashes; but an online course to teach me how to become a travel writer and blogger. The premise was that if you say you are a writer, the airlines, cruise lines, hotels, and tour operators will all rush to you to let you travel for free—usually first class. Well, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is. However, I don’t doubt that legitimate travel writers are quite a few notches up from the lowly travel agent! But, all that aside, this email got me thinking.
I am not going to travel the world for free. We all know that. The marketer is hoping to find people that don’t know that. But if you peel back the layers a bit, the fact remains that travel publications are looking for writers. And they are willing to pay. And who better than to write about travel, than someone that lives it? You aren’t going to get rich by any means, but a few dollars here and there may end up buying a weekly pizza for your family (or office).
But the beauty of this is that you can immediately establish yourself as the expert and the “go-to” source for travel. Everyone gets a bio at the bottom of the column, and there is no better place for you to put your website and email address along with a subtle call to action. This can be a solid trickle of prospects for you moving forward.
Of course, you need to have the time. You need to be able to write well (or have an editor). And you cannot try to BS your expertise. But with a bit of work, you could probably pick up $500 a month in fees and any number of new prospects.
So where to go? Who’s hiring?
With the magic of Google, I found a relatively recent article on Medium that lays it all out for you with contact information, requirements, and general payment information. And the publications are not too shabby—granted, some are very niche:
- Go World Travel
- My Itchy Feet
- Outpost Magazine
- Travel + Leisure
- Motor Home Magazine
- Lonely Planet
- Hidden Compass
It’s just a thought. Back when I had my retail locations, MSNBC.com picked me up to write, and to be honest, through the recession, it really helped. If you have the time, give it some consideration. Then let me know how it worked out. And here’s a tip: if possible, get a bunch of content pre-written and ready to go before you publish the first one. That way you will not be deadline-driven and can focus on your business as well. The second tip…try to keep them evergreen so you can slightly modify them if needed in the future!