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So, you want to be a Luxury Travel Writer?
5 tips to get you there.
“What it’s like to be a full-time luxury travel writer?” I am often asked this question or a variation of it. And I often receive messages and comments such as “Oh wow, I didn’t know that about you,” “I want your life,” and “Can I be your assistant.”
As you can imagine, being a full-time luxury travel writer is a fabulous career. I know I am very fortunate to make my living this way. It’s not all luck, though. I possess an extremely strong work ethic and am relentlessly dedicated to my clients. Believe me, luxury travel writing is not all jet-setting and gadding about while sipping Champagne.
I just shared 5 tips on my Instagram account answering, “What it’s like to be a full-time luxury travel writer?” I’ve expanded them to give you a better glimpse into my universe and to help you land the job of your dreams.
1) Be selective
Don’t be all over the map. If you choose luxury travel, then stay with it and post accordingly. You are building your brand, so be choosy in what you share on your pages and what assignments you accept. Make sure everything adds value to your brand as well as the brand that you will be promoting. Look at the big picture of your travel writing career rather than chasing individual assignments. I have turned down endorsements that don’t match with my lifestyle and brand image. It’s not always easy turning down money, but you must look past today and to the future.
What are your thoughts on this?
2) Over deliver
Always over deliver on everything asked of you. Always.
Keep a balance in that formula. When I am working on a campaign, my typical travel day may start at 6 a.m. and sometimes end at 2 a.m. Then, it’s rinse and repeat for however many days I’m on the assignment. Where do I get my energy? I love what I do! You must love what you do or you will not want to get up!
Background story: I worked in cyber security in my previous life. Stress drove me to take a year off to unwind and travel. I work a lot harder now than at my corporate job. Recently, I was pretty ill on an assignment. I pushed myself and did my job for 5 days straight while feeling sick and tired. This is what it takes, and it is completely worth it to me. I am grateful for being able to do what I love.
How do you maintain a work-life balance with your clients?
3) Create informative and useful content
Don’t just plop a picture on Instagram. Even worse, don’t post five pictures within 30 minutes. Tell your audience what the picture represents. How does the place make you feel? Why would the audience want to visit this location, stay at this hotel, book this cruise?
Tour guides provide great topics and interesting facts to share with readers. Side pet peeve: On a recent excursion, the guide was very informative, and I was trying to video for Instagram Stories. Another guest had to say “uh huh” after each of the guide’s sentences and ruined my video. Be cognizant of your surroundings.
Make your content conversational. Include your audience. It isn’t all about you!
4) Build your brand
Your job is to build your brand first to attract clients. I see a lot of folks overextending their content to other sites and neglecting their own. I am guilty of this as I travel quite extensively. Typically, I don’t include guest writers and it has been challenging.
Do you have any suggestions on not overextending yourself or your content?
5) Be consistent and show up
Be visible with high quality content. Typically, I take loads of photos and videos to use after I return from my trips. Try not to post the same image from the same location, or at least change it up with useful captions for your fans. Change up your content. I suggest incorporating videos into the mix.
What tips do you have about being consistent?
The above 5 tips aren’t in order of importance. I think they are equally important and you can’t be a successful luxury travel writer without incorporating all of them into your product. It’s necessary to work on these consistently to attract the assignments you want.
Lastly, read a lot. Read everything – bios, captions, posts, and between the lines. Research someone before suggesting collaborating on a project. A follower emailed me a personalized message after reading my Instagram tips. In return, I included something positive I learned while perusing their work.
It’s like any career, becoming a successful luxury travel writer doesn’t happen overnight. It requires hard work, focus, and persistence. You can do it if you have the drive and pay your dues. Adventure awaits if you are ready to explore the world.