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Imagine yourself on the trip of your dreams: a palm-ringed island, the beauty and history of Paris, the intoxicating allure of the Napa Valley. Now imagine that with only a pen, a camera and a little curiosity, all of these incredible travel destinations are within your reach.

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The world of freelance writing can be tricky, but once you’ve discovered just how to capitalize on your skills and showcase your talent, it can all pay off. 

Here are three things I’ve learned about freelancing over the years:

1. You need to be your own best advocate

When it comes to freelancing travel writing, no one is going to do the work for you. 

There won’t be any official boss telling you to pitch this idea or take that story. Freelance writing is up to one person, and one person only, and that’s you. 

Be creative in your pitching, reach out to publications whose work you admire, and foster relationships with editors, even if it seems unlikely they will accept your story idea. Once you’ve made a connection, keep working at that relationship, and make yourself a shining star in their eyes: one who’s not afraid of hard work. 

Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way

At the beginning of your freelancing career, reaping a laundry list of benefits might seem like a lofty dream way in the distance. But I’m here to tell you that it’s not. 

Once you start to establish your portfolio and have consistent connections to a steady network of industry pros, the offers usually start rolling in. Suddenly, your inbox will become your best friend, full of perks, press trips, and giveaways. 

Don’t be afraid to be picky, but at the same time, realize that as you first start out, taking advantage of seemingly less-than-desirable offers will eventually lead to incredible trips, top-of-the-line gear, and a bevy of offerings that sound too good to be true – but they are that good!  

Passion alone won’t pay your bills, but hustle will  

Passion is great and can be part of what elevates a writer from good to great. Writing about beloved hobbies, places, and adventures can be accomplished, though, by anyone with a knack for delivering an experience through words – in other words, a person who’s capable of putting pen to paper. 

However, this does not always result in success as a writer. There’s nothing to be glorified about being a starving artist – so don’t let yourself be that person. 

Here’s what to do: Get up early. Have a list of story ideas ready to pitch to editors, and, when you’re turned down, pitch somewhere else. 

There’s no substitute for hard work and undying dedication. Work late, work weekends, and work often – if you do that at the beginning, you won’t have to do it forever. 

Whatever you do, know that being a successful freelance writer has everything to do with the amount of hustle you’ve got inside of yourself. 

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[Editor’s Note: Learn more about how you can fund your travels and make an extra income with photography, travel writing, blogging, and more in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.  Sign up here today and we’ll send you a new report, Five Fun Ways To Get Paid To TravelA Quick-Start Guide, completely FREE.]

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