If you want to be a travel writer and make an income from your words, the first thing to realize is that travel writing doesn’t have to mean flying places to report back to a publication. But you can still travel here, there, and everywhere and write about travel. Just not necessarily destination pieces.
Travel writing can take many, many forms, and the travel writing mind map can give you ideas on how to put your travel knowledge and skills to good use. I’ve shared the travel mind map before, but in this post, we’ll delve into exactly how to use it to find more paid writing opportunities.
The first thing to remember is that you can use many different types of writing to share your love of travel: blog posts, destination pieces for magazines, copywriting for travel-related companies, email series, and more. Here are some ideas.
You may not immediately think of a pharmaceutical company when you hear the word “travel,” but there’s actually a correlation here. Traveller’s diarrhea is a common problem for people who travel overseas. There are medications on the market for this, and a person who loves travel would be the ideal writer to come up with ad copy for this medicine. So you could pitch pharmaceutical companies with an idea for advertorials or ad copy.
People have more options than ever when it comes to transportation for their travels. Use this to your advantage to find more freelance writing opportunities. Let’s take boats and ships, for example. You could write ad copy or blog posts for a cruise company. From there, you can branch out even more into family-friendly cruises, luxury cruise companies, or faith-based cruise trips. All these companies need ad copy, and some will need advertorials or blog posts.
Let’s stay on the topic of water travel for a minute: you could also write ads, blog posts, email series and more for companies that cater to the adventurous: white water rafting, canoe trips, and more. And since a lot of these types of travel also feature retreats, you could reach out to retreat houses to see if they need web or ad copy, blog posts, and more.
For air travel, you could write directly for airlines, but you could also branch out into product descriptions for travel-friendly companies, such as those who make travel pillows, luggage, backpacks etc. And don’t forget that most airlines also have an in-flight magazine, so if magazine writing is your thing, make sure to pitch them! As always, familiarize yourself with the magazine and read all writer’s guidelines (if available) before pitching.
If you are a parent or caregiver for children, you probably know a thing or two about travelling with them. Consider pitching parenting magazines or blogs with articles about how to travel with kids. The opportunities are endless with this topic: activities to keep kids busy on a flight or on a long road trip, how to adventure with kids, long-term travel with kids, products for easy travel with kids, and the list goes on.
You could write directly for hotels or motels, creating web copy or advertisements. You could pitch hotel aggregator websites such as hotels.com, kayak.com, hotwire.com, expedia.ca, and more. You can pitch blog posts (if they don’t have a blog, suggest one!), ad copy, or hotel descriptions.
Volunteer travel is a popular topic with young people in their early 20s. Consider pitching publications that target this age group to write articles or blog posts about volunteer travel.
Nomadic culture is growing in popularity, and there are several websites that accept guest blog posts (and pay for them). One of these sites is worldnomads.com, but there are many others.
People around the world are discovering the benefits of house sitting in exchange for a place to stay. Consider writing ad copy or blog posts for house sitting companies or house exchange websites.
Location independence is another hot topic at the moment, and it fits well into the category of travel. To be location independent, people also need to be financially independent. Consider writing for personal finance websites about debt repayment, or consider writing a case study about how someone travels the world because they have no debt.
If you study the travel mind map closely, you’ll find even more ideas on places to pitch. These topics are all related to travel, but they’re diverse enough that you won’t die of boredom writing about one topic for the rest of your life.
Want step-by-step instructions on how to create your own mind maps for freelance writing success? Check out the book on Smashwords!