Find out if travel journalism is for you

Find out if travel journalism is for you

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Travel journalism can be a little tricky to get into, it’s even difficult to define at times. Many times it’s confused with travel writing, but in reality they do have many difficulties. Now, the biggest challenge when considering to become a travel journalist is the amount of competition out there. Nowadays, everyone with a laptop, a phone and decent writing skills could easily try to get into travel journalism, and there are so many different sites that are looking for writers that the competition becomes too much sometimes for most to set themselves apart. As for, what they do. Well, similar to a travel writer they usually have blogs and write about the different places they travel to, but different from a travel writer they don’t write about the place itself. Travel journalists on the other hand do write about what’s happening at the place, who lives there, and will rely on facts to share that information with their readers.  The stories they tell will be about so much more than just the place, the best hotels or where to get the most delicious food, instead they will be narratives that will encourage their readers to have a broader view of a specific topic that is related to the place they happen to be traveling to. This narrative will not have traits of creativity, or stories that are not based on facts, because this would then be travel writing, instead of travel journalism. Traditional journalism is one of the jobs that you’ll want to avoid during the new decade, and you can read more about it on the Royal Holiday blog with “Jobs to Avoid Next Decade”. If after determining the main differences from other similar types of writers, you decide that this is for you, then here are some tips to get you started.

First of all, you have to decide to study the right degree to get you prepared for your writing days, which will of course be focused on improving your skills as a writer. By studying journalism, you can ensure not just any writing job, but one with a recognized online blog, magazine, or newspaper. If you are not interested in studying a four-year degree, than you can always check out online courses like at MatadorU in traveling journalism or traveling photography. Some journalists also come from other career paths like communications or philosophy. Making a decision as to what type of journalism you would like to pursue will be your next step. Depending on what you want to write about, it will require you to learn different skills and acquire a specific style of writing. Once you’ve studied, you’ll want to network not only with other writers, but also editors and publishers. The best place to do this is conferences and conventions where influencers from this industry all gather, alongside newcomers to share ideas, experiences and gain essential knowledge to become better at their craft. Besides networking you’ll find that this is the ideal way to stay up-to-date with the field and understand what audiences expect from you. Of course, if you’re ready to get started then you’ll want to get started as soon as you can, even if it’s small. Starting off with local papers or magazines, will be a great way to hone in on your skills, but you’ll need to do your homework and offer them something that they don’t have already, giving yourself a voice, but at the same time making sure it goes in line with the sites profile.

Image courtesy of Yosomono at Flickr.com
Image courtesy of Yosomono at Flickr.com

There are some things that you absolutely have to stay away from to ensure success as a travel journalist. You most definitely cannot be sloppy. Being organized is key to being successful, since you will have to manage your own time and make sure you set goals and work your way to accomplish them. Remember that you are writing as a journalist, so you have to stay away from the style that will take your readers to confuse your writing with your personal journal. Being responsible and punctual with your hand-ins will be important to make sure that you get called back by the editors, and that you don’t get a bad reputation as being a flaky writer. Like in any other field, everything has to be earned. So you shouldn’t be demanding respect, if you haven’t earned it yet. Take your career step by step, and expect the returns to be equivalent to your experience. You do want to set yourself apart from every other writer, so you’ll want to make sure every piece you make has your voice and your personality. Like any other career, you’ll need to invest yourself in it, take risks, but you can never simply not try. Regardless, of what you decide to write about, and where you travel you can always make your plans with Royal Holidays. There are tons of places to go and you can easily travel the world with this career, and write about any topic you find interesting to share with your readers about on your personal blog or on a site that has decided to take you on as a writer.

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