Want to be a travel writer? Read this: Travel Writing 2.0

Dr. Jessie Voigts's picture

Whether you're a travel writer and want to up your game, or are interested in learning about becoming a travel writer, I've got the resource for you. Tim Leffel, of Perceptive Travel and Travel Writing 2.0 (read my interview here!), has updated his classic guide to travel writing and brings with it an awareness of this new media landscape we live and work in.

Want to be a travel writer? Read this: Travel Writing 2.0

In this book, Tim covers travel writing in a digital age, the 104 faces of a travel writer, traditional and digital opportunities for travel writers, the craft of travel writing, self-promotion, social media (yes, the two are different), and more - and brings the collective wisdom of travel writers to bring you their perspectives on these topics, as well (including yours truly). It's well worth reading, and digesting, and re-reading. There is much here to savor, learn from, and use to improve your travel writing - and grow your business. Highly recommended.

Tim Leffel. Want to be a travel writer? Read this: Travel Writing 2.0

We were lucky enough to catch up with Tim, and ask him about the updated book, inspiration, the collective wisdom of the travel writing community, and more. Here's what he had to say...

Please tell us about your new book, Travel Writing 2.0...
There are plenty of travel writing books and courses out there already, but most of them focus on the craft of writing and how to build a great story that will resonate with magazine editors. In this age where gatekeepers have lost their power and top bloggers often reach more readers than the most famous magazines, a new approach is required. Keep taking checks from the old guard if you can, of course, but the real payoff now is in forging your own path and becoming your own publisher with something original to give the world. 

What inspired you to write this book/update your Travel Writing book?
In 2010 I published the first edition, which talked about how to be a successful travel writer or blogger in this new digital age. Since then, the environment has changed even more and a lot of magazines and websites mentioned previously are no longer in business. Also, a lot of blogs that didn't even exist then have turned into six-figure businesses for their founders. So if anything, the outlook is even more optimistic now for the hustlers willing to read this and take action. 

Who is this book intended for? 
There are two target audiences. The first is those who are just starting out as travel writers and want to avoid years of trial and error mistakes. The second is those who are doing okay but want to step up their game and start earning more money for their efforts. I'm intentionally discouraging the third group, the ones who most books like this try to attract: the dreamers who think this will be an easy and fun way to travel the world without much work. 

What might readers be surprised to discover, in this book? 
Newbies might be surprised about how long it takes to actually start making money at this. Experienced writers might be surprised to discover how many earning opportunities there are that they hadn't even thought about before. Also, that there are actually travel writers making more than $100,000 per year. Quite a few of them, actually! 

You tapped into the collective wisdom of the travel writing community - what themes arose from them? 
The old guard is frustrated about declining freelance rates, while the new guard is frustrated about not being properly valued for their influence. In both cases, it's a frustration over doing great work that isn't being compensated well. They all get insultingly low offers on a regular basis. This is a universal problem in the arts that is not going to go away, but I'm encouraged that this time around, more people seem to be finding creative ways to make a buck without selling themselves out. We can whine or we can take action - and more people seem to be taking action now. They say no to the bad deals and make their own deals when the right ones are not coming their way. The next biggest frustration is probably editors who don't answer queries. Nobody likes being ignored. 

What's up next for you? 
I get a lot of consulting requests, but it's hard for me to drop everything and spend time answering questions from writers. So in March I'm launching the Travel Writing Overdrive course for those who are serious about drastically increasing their income. There will be a self-study version and a more hands-on mastermind group version where peers will help out and hold each other accountable. I'm excited to give more actionable information and coaching that can't take place in a book format. Otherwise, I'm continuing to rock my five websites and blogs. 

Tim Leffel and family. From Want to be a travel writer? Read this: Travel Writing 2.0

Is there anything else you'd like to share? 
I'd just like to encourage people to realize what a golden age they are living in and to take advantage of that if they have a great idea or a strong passion for something that other people care about. It's never been cheaper or easier to launch an online business, and it's never been easier to attract a tribe of people who care about what you care about. If you hate your job, your commute, and your cubicle, why are you still there? The current business environment does not favor those who default to inertia. 

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