Being a Travel Writer brings up images of travelling the world and writing about it. Sounds glamourous. It’s not always like that, it can take hard work. While others are out partying you might be at your computer in your hotel room writing up your notes for the day. Get the lowdown on what its like to be a travel writer in this interview with Baia Dzagnidze who is currently a travel writing digital nomad living in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Tell me about yourself! Where are you from and what do you do?
My name is Baia and I am from Tbilisi, Georgia. I am a journalist turned into a travel writer and blogger.
What does a Travel Writer do?
It’s pretty self-explanatory what travel writer does – travels and writers :)) However, it’s not as easy as it sounds. It surely is a dream job for anyone who likes traveling and writing, but there are a lot of aspects and challenges to overcome in order to be a successful travel writer.
What made you decide to become a Travel Writer?
I used to work as a journalist and an executive editor of a local English-language newspaper here in Tbilisi. After two years, I decided to go on a four-month-long backpacking trip to Southeast Asia. After coming back, I realized I was bitten by the travel bug and that’s when I decided to shift my career into a different direction and incorporate two things I am most passionate at.
How long did it take you to get up and running?
It took a lot of work and persistence. If I recall correctly, I had my first breakthrough with working for a reputable online travel publication after a year of building my portfolio. In the beginning, I used to take any gig and travel writing opportunities I possibly could. I used to pitch to various publications, but as I look back at those pitches, they were horrible. No wonder why I got rejections most of the time :)) Moreover, my home country, Georgia, was not appealing for many publications, even though it still is an emerging destination.
Where do you find clients and resources for your Travel Writer business?
I find clients from different sources. Some find me through friends, some through a Google search where they find my articles for international publications and email me for a possible commission they have in mind. Others I find myself through pitching to print and online magazines. Online platforms such as Fivver can also be a good source.
How many hours does a Travel Writers usually work?
Even though I am a freelancer, I treat my work and blog as a usual office job. So I usually spend around 7-8 hours a day looking for publications, creating pitches, writing articles both for publications and my own blog, editing photos, etc.
How much money can Travel Writers make?
As I am not an in-house writer of any publication on a regular base, my income depends on the publication rates. It’s hard to generalize, as each publication has its own and different rates for in-house and freelance writers. It also depends on where you live and in what currency you get paid. In my case, since Georgia is a budget-friendly country, two or three articles of good rates are enough to support me for a month.
What does a day in your life look like?
I usually work from home, so after a filling breakfast and a cup of coffee, I sit down at the computer to check my emails and follow my to-do list. I spend most of the time in front of the computer, but sometimes I do take a day or two breaks off the screen and spend my time wandering in the streets of Tbilisi or reading a book.
What equipment do you need?
To start with, you should have a laptop so you can write your articles. To help sit comfortably wherever you are a laptop stand will be very useful. To keep your electronics charged in any country a universal power adaptor is a must. Powerbanks are very useful to help keep your gear charged when you can’t get to a power point. Camera equipment will help you take great photos to go with your travel articles.
What are your favourite things about working as a Travel Writer?
The most favorite part of being a travel writer is that I meet incredible locals with fascinating stories to share. I also love the fact that I travel to a country different than usual travelers, and that sometimes I can get experiences a few people can.
What are your least favourite things about working as a Travel Writer?
When traveling to a new country, I need to pay attention to every detail happening around me; I need to have my notebook and a pen always closeby to make some notes. Not to miss anything is quite overwhelming and stressful. And depending on the location, I should be extremely cautious of pickpocketers on top of that.
What do you recommend to someone who wants to be a Travel Writer do?
There are tons of travel writers out there, so finding your niche is especially helpful. Think of what you like about traveling or in general in the world – you can become a travel writer depending on your hobby or interests and find the market for it. There are plenty of writers who focus on scuba-diving destinations for instance, or those who like airplanes and know nuts and bolts of aircraft. The possibilities are endless, it just requires reading and thorough research.
What travel writing services do you offer?
I offer blog post writing, SEO optimization, article writing, and overall content writing for websites for travel agents, companies, hotels, or anyone in the travel and hospitality industry who needs any sort of professional and presentable content for their website.
Travel Writer Job Summary
A travel writer is a person who travels and writes about various travel-related articles for companies and publications. Travel writers may work for a few different companies or publications, both in-house and freelance. Depending on their interest, travel writers report on various themes including transportation, how-to guides, detailed city guides, cultural and historical destinations, feature stories, adventure, ecology, round-up of various destinations, and international events to name a few.
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