Four types of target market for travel writers
There are essentially four markets which you should be aiming your travel writing at. Firstly the hardest to break into, newspapers. Then there is magazines, then books and finally the Internet.
As you might expect the tougher the market the more money you are likely to earn. Big newspapers tend to pay more than magazines and books which tend to pay a lot more than the Internet.
The newspaper market for travel writers
For the beginner travel writer getting a piece published in a newspaper might seem like a far off dream. Indeed it would be rare for an amateur to get recognition in a daily national paper.
When you are starting out you need to look beyond the big boys and think local. Everwhere has their local newspapers and these often have small travel sections which require well written travel articles.
The magazine market for travel writers
Breaking into the magazine market can be very tough. This is largely due to the fact that many of the more well known magazines prefer experience and proof of previous writing success. Travel writing for magazines is also considered more prestigous.
The way into the magazine market is not by submitting to The Times Travel Magazine or Conde Nast. You are a small player in this field so you have to think niche markets again. Many specialist magazines need travel articles. For instance adventure and walking, food and drink and the largest specialist market of them all womens’ magazines. The options are endless.
Travel guides and books
Writing your own travel book is not really going to be discussed here. Simply because it is only for experienced travel writers and they are the not target audience of this web site. To write a travel related book you either needs lots of money, fame or experience.
The best way to get into guide books is to actually start at the bottom and work your way up in the organisation itself. This is easier said than done. In order to work for The Lonely Planet or Frommers you would probably need experience anyway.
Some guidebooks do take on freelancers but again this field tends to be reserved for the experienced and published.
The Internet as a market for travel writers
The Internet is an emerging market for the wanna-be travel writer and be a great platform to bigger and richer things. The major downside to the web as a medium for travel writers is the rates of pay. Because so much of the information available on the web is free then this has an impact on how much you might get paid for a piece.
The best way to approach the net is to think of it as a stepping stone. Even if you don’t get paid at least you are getting valuable exposure. A word of warning. Make sure the web site is professional and gives out the right messages. There is no point show-casing your work on a web site that looks like someone’s hobby.
You can of course create your own web site to act as a portfolio or join one of the many travel blog communities. Some travel writers have even been offered jobs by companies purely based on their written submissions to blogs.