I'm often asked if travel writing is a lucrative market for freelance writers. Let's face it - the idea of getting paid to sit on the beach, sip on drinks with umbrellas in them, and work on your tan appeals to us all.
I don't know how lucrative travel writing is but it sure is fun! I haven't written a lot of travel pieces and I usually don't set out with that particular market in mind. For the most part, the pieces I've sold have been the result of something I stumbled upon that piqued my interest while doing something else.
For example, a few summers ago I was driving home from Atlanta when I passed a billboard with the word “SPA" emblazoned on it. It was advertising Chateau Elan, a winery inn and health spa a few miles up the road. I'd passed Chateau Elan at least a dozen times before and each time was struck by how unusual it was to see a French chateau amongst the red clay and kudzu of Georgia. The difference this time was that I had just finished working on another piece for Spa Magazine. “Wow, " I thought, “I bet they'd be interested in knowing about Chateau Elan. " I wrote a query entitled Southern Ho'spa'tality. " They liked it and I had not only an $800 assignment, but a 3-day vacation for my family as well.
I didn't have any real travel article clips to send, but did I mention that to Spa Magazine? No way! But, I believed I could do the article, so I wrote a convincing query letter and got the assignment. The magazine loved the article and it definitely earned me points with my wife and daughter.
Travel writing is really not any different than other types of magazine writing. The basics are the same. Keep your eyes open for interesting story ideas, develop a unique slant or perspective, write a well-crafted query letter, do your research, and write a tightly-constructed and narrowly-focused piece. And before you know it, you'll be sitting on that beach, earning while you burn.
The ideas in this article are from, FROM SPARK TO FLAME - a proven, systematic process for fanning your ideas into money-making magazine ideas that make a difference.
©2005 Brad Swift of Life On Purpose Institute, Inc.
This article can be reprinted freely online, as long as the entire article and this resource box are included.
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