There are two niches that seem to dominate all others when it comes to content sites. One of them is writing/blogging, a niche that we have spent two years working hard on with Freelance With Us. The reason this niche is so often targeted is because everyone who has the ability to blog has the ability to blog about blogging. It’s a natural progression for many writers, webmasters and bloggers and we find that everyone who owns a string of content websites has at least one site about blogging or writing.
As for travel, well, everyone loves to travel. It’s an aspirational thing, but it’s also an experience thing. The sitcom cliche where the main characters are forced to watch endless home videos from a friend’s latest holiday is so commonly used because it’s true. In the Instagram age it’s less about forcing friends through home movies and more about plastering your profile on social medial, but it’s the same vibe. We all love to talk about our travel experiences. We get a kick out of it. Add that to the fact that we love to dream about it, to discuss other cultures and cuisines, and you have all the reasons you need for why travel is the most popular niche for content websites.
As a writer you can use this to your advantage. If you get in good with this industry then you can make a killing. And you can have a lot of fun in the process as there are some amazing travel sites out there, from Angie’s Ontario to the Huff Post and Good Sam. If you’re not sure how to do that then read these tips:
1. Get a Network of Sites
If you’re just starting out then the very first thing you need is experience. Start offering your services as a guest poster, contributor or editor to travel sites. Sites will either offer to pay you for your work or they will offer a link back to your blog. It’s the latter you need to focus on right now as sites that pay will be less forgiving of a newbie’s mistakes.
So, take the link and point it to a blog that you own. You can start this blog specifically for this purpose and just fill it with some basic travel content. It won’t do you any good right now, but give it a year or two and it will come in handy.
More on that later.
2. Get Fast
You need to write as much as you can on as many travel locations as you can. A good writer can knockout an article in 30 minutes if they are basing it on an experience they have had themselves, as that way they don’t need to research. This is the speed you need to be writing at if you’re going to make a decent living in this industry, but if you’re a little slower it’s fine, you’ll improve as you go on.
3. Get Creative
If you don’t have a lot of travel experience then lie. This is very easily done. Our own PJ Aitken, in his book The Online Writer’s Companion, talks about how he has lived in the UK all his life and never stepped foot in the US, yet he was the leading writer for a major global travel magazine that focused on US towns and resorts. He wrote as if he had been there and had uncovered every nook and cranny like a true travel blogger but he hadn’t stepped foot in the country, let alone the towns.
He was open about this to his client and because the work was good, they didn’t mind. You can research locations using TripAdvisor, Booking.com and Wiki Travel. That’s all you need. So, come across as if you have been everywhere and seen everything and just research your way out of any holes you get into. This way, you begin to think like someone who has genuinely been to every location you’re asked to write about.
Someone asks you to write about Tokyo? You haven’t been, but you wrote about it 3 months ago and can remember enough to knockout that article in 30 minutes.
4. Get Paid
Once you get to this point you can start offering your services as a travel writer on sites like Upwork. By this tim you will know a lot about a lot of locations, you will have an extensive portfolio of written work on many sites, and you’ll have improved your writing and your speed.
5. Sell Links
After a year or two of writing for free and for pay, you should be making a very good living, earning about $50 to $100 an hour and getting 15+ hours work a week. And now it’s time to take it up a level.
Those sites that you began writing for to get experience can now be used to generate guest posts for clients. Rather than selling your services as a writer, target clients looking for backlinks, guest posts, etc., These clients tend not to concern themselves with the size of the article you write and are only interested in where it ends up.
You can get anywhere from $100 to $500 for most basic travel sites and upwards of $1,000 for the biggest and best. By this time you should have a good idea of what those sites accept and refuse, so you can write quickly, close contracts quickly and earn twice as much as you were before.
And because you have links to your own blog on those sites as well, that will now become a big earner too. It will have many quality links coming in, it will be old enough to generate trust from Google and it should have plenty of aged content–just the sort of site that can earn you $200 for a link.
6. Keep The Quality Up
You might feel tempted to start rushing your work, but that will only cause you to lose your positions on many sites and your reputation as a writer. You need to keep the quality up, but if you want to conserve your time better then simply hire a writer to create the articles that you publish as guest posts. You’ll be earning a premium for the post so you can afford to spend money on a good writer and still keep a sizable chunk of the profit.