I spent a few years working as a freelance journalist, in the traditional sense of the word. I sought out editors at glossy print magazines. I carefully read through the publications, familiarized myself with each section, and crafted tailor-made pitches.
It was fun. But I’d sometimes spend hours on a pitch and never hear back. That’s frustrating.
Furthermore, my success was subject to the desires of the editors. They hand-picked the stories. They ran the show.
On top of that, my name wasn’t well-known. I had to seek out every opportunity. People never cold-called me with jobs or partnership ideas.
That changed as the result of one thing: blogging.
In case you’re not familiar with the term, a “blog” is a website that you regularly update with stories, photos or videos. You can write about anything you want: personal stories, facts and statistics, helpful tips, humor. There is no “correct” format. Just be yourself and do what feels right.
Blogs become successful when they grow a substantial readership. If people like what your write or the pictures/videos you post, they’ll keep coming back – and they’ll tell their friends.
After I began blogging, companies started approaching me with job offers – rather than me approaching them. They asked me to write for their websites. They asked me to help them run their own blogs. They asked if they could put advertising on my site.
That’s one of the many advantages of blogging: publishers seek you out, rather than the other way around.
I don’t do any pitching these days, but I have far more work than I can handle. I hired an assistant to help me with administrative tasks, so I can focus on writing. I regularly turn down assignment offers.
Blogging, in other words, opens you to a world of opportunities.
That’s a great benefit, and it’s not the only one. As a blogger, you can work from anywhere on earth. Paris, Madrid, Fiji, Belize, Estonia – the world is open. The only requirement is that you have an Internet connection. Furthermore, the content on your blog isn’t subject to the whims of an editor. You don’t have to comply with their requests. You determine the editorial style. You run the show.
The freedom of blogging, in other words, relates to both your lifestyle and your work. You get to work anytime of day or night that you prefer, from anywhere on earth that you enjoy. Additionally, you have complete creative control over the content on your site.
On top of all of that freedom, people will approach you with so many opportunities that you’ll get to pick-and-choose.
Bloggers harness their success in many directions: some write books, some teach classes, some give guided tours. There’s no “right” path; as a blogger, you choose how to channel your success in the path that appeals to you most.
But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. The first step is to create a blog and grow your readership.
Anybody can start a blog. In AWAI’s Money-Making Travel Blogs program, I help people turn those blogs and those ideas into something lucrative. Something most people don’t even think about…
I hope you’ll join in on the fun.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]