I just returned home from a full week exploring national monuments, museums, wineries, and restaurants. For the first time in my life, I flew in a helicopter and held a Burmese python around my neck. I went horseback riding, visited fun roadside attractions, and took photos of mountains at sunrise. The highlight of the week, though, was riding in the back of a pickup truck right alongside cowboys on horseback as they rounded up a herd of 1,100 buffalo. It was like being in the midst of a western movie, dust kicking up, whips cracking, and hooves pounding. Most people have to stand far back on a hill using binoculars to watch the annual event, but there I was, bouncing along, hanging onto a rack in the truck while balancing my camera, shooting picture after picture – coming away with around 500 of them altogether. Now I have over 30 posts I can write for my blog from that one trip: a trip that would have cost thousands of dollars for everything that I did while I was there. What did it cost me? The cost of getting to the airport and my baggage fees. Everything else was picked up by the hosting state’s department of tourism, knowing that they’d get lots of press from the trip. The experience provided great networking opportunities, too. I was one of 20 travel journalists from all over the world on the trip, including editors from well-known travel publications. I forged relationships with several of them, who will not only remain friends, but excellent contacts for writing opportunities, as well. Two short years ago, I was just entering the travel writing world, and the life that I’m leading today was only a dream — a dream that I’d had for years. I made the dream a reality, and as my blog continues to grow, so do my travel and networking opportunities. To make your travel writing dreams a reality …
- Start a travel blog, the easiest and fastest way to break into travel writing, since you can publish what you want, when you want.
- Contact the convention and visitors bureaus of the areas you want to cover and ask to be added to their media list. Tell them you are a travel writer, and send them a link to your blog.
- Attend media events, and don’t be shy. Introduce yourself to the hosts, give them your business card, and then send them a link to whatever you write. Very often they will link to it on their social media channels.
Network with other writers and bloggers in your area or in your niche. You can find them by searching on Facebook or other social media outlets. Share on Facebook [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. Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]