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How to Become a Successful Travel Writer

How to Become a Successful Travel Writer

You love to travel and explore new places, but you hate when the trip ends. You can write about your experiences and relive them while sharing the excitement with others! Read these ten tips on how to become a successful travel writer.

1. Travel Purposefully.

If you want to write about your travels, you can’t just relax and ignore your surroundings. Travel purposefully. Enjoy every moment of your trip. Take it all in – you can still enjoy yourself, but notice things! Make notes at night of what you saw and how it made you feel. Write as vividly as you can, so when you re-read your notes later, you can remember more. This will help you write engaging articles for your readers.

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2. Read.

Travel writing is a major genre! Look up travel writers and read their books. Find columns online. Read travel blogs. See what is working and what might be your style. The more you read, the better your writing will be!

3. Write.

Sit down and write. Refer to the notes you made while you were on your trip. It might seem intimidating at first, but sit down and write a first draft. It can be bad; no one has to see it! The more you practice, meaning the more pieces you write, the better your writing will get. Most travel writers have a background in English or journalism, but even if you don’t, practice will make you better.

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    4. Find Your Genre.

    You’ve read a variety of travel books and blogs, and you’ve written your first draft. What do you think your genre is? Are your pieces humorous? Do you focus on the setting, using descriptive words to paint a picture? Do you explain the attractions you saw, or how you set up your accommodations? You can be a serious travel writer, writing pieces for blogs that help people plan their own travel adventures. Or you could write about your experiences in a way that people enjoy reading. Explore what you enjoy reading and writing most, and then pick your genre. Having a specific niche will help you while you’re submitting.

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    5. Revise. Harshly.

    You have a first draft, which is a good starting point, but you’re far from done. Take some time away, then read over your work. You’ve taken a bit of time away from the writing, so you’re looking at it with semi-fresh eyes. Are there typos? Can you re-word some of the sentences to make the piece flow better? Did you think of some details to add to round out your writing? Don’t be easy on yourself – you might have to re-write the whole thing! It doesn’t mean you’re a bad writer; in fact, it’s the opposite! You realize that your writing needs work, and you’re able to fix it! There will be a point where you have to stop revising in order to move on with your work, but make sure it’s as polished as it can be.

    6. Share Your Work.

    It’s hard to criticize your own work sometimes because you’re so close to it. Your story is your baby, and you feel protective over your writing. You’ve written a draft, you’ve revised it and polished it until it shines. Now it’s time to share! It might be scary to let people read your personal thoughts, but let some trusted family members or friends read your piece. Listen to their comments and edit your piece accordingly. These people represent your readers, and if they say something isn’t clear, or want more details about a certain attraction, you definitely want to add it in.

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    7. Develop an Online Presence.

    You’ve been writing and you’ve gotten feedback and you’ve made some edits. You’re ready to put yourself out there! Develop an online presence so people can find you and read your work. Do you want to keep a blog? Start one! They’re easy and fun – but be careful posting pieces you want to submit to magazines or journals. Some have rules about submitting things that have been previously published, even if it’s just an online blog. Make profiles on social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, LinkedIn, and more. Be easy to find, but make sure your profile is professional. Engage with other travel writers on these sites – they’ll more than likely be your readers and cheerleaders! Be friendly and approachable and you’ll help grow your audience.

    8. Submit Your Piece.

    Research journals and magazines you’d want to be published in. Look up their submission guidelines and follow them carefully – some mistakes might get your piece thrown out of the running before it even gets to an editor!

    9. Accept Rejections.

    You might not get published the first time. Or the second. Or the third… You can look up now-famous writers and see how many rejections they got at the start. Don’t let it get you down. Did the editor give you notes? If so, make those changes. Did they encourage you to re-submit, or submit different pieces later? Use rejections to push yourself to work harder.

    10. Don’t Give Up!

    You’re not going to become a success overnight. Don’t give up! Keep writing, revising, sharing, and submitting. Tune in to your social network of friends and fellow writers and find support and tips there. The harder you work, the better you’re going to get. Work for it, and you’ll feel content with how your travel writing career is progressing.

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    Last Updated on July 18, 2019

    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

    How to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills For a Swift Career Switch

    Most people grow up with dreams to go to college and graduate with high-paying job offers waiting for them the week after graduation. Others may favor non-traditional career paths. But the desire is the same: to find a job we love where compensation is commensurate with experience.

    However, plans change. For instance, what started out as a dream to be a surgeon is cut short by a nasty injury and you’re debating how to transition into a new role. Or you might be facing being let go from your current employer and are anxious about “options out there.”

    Whatever the case may be, switching careers can be intentional or unintentional. What matters is that you’re well-prepared, and the only way to do so is to learn new skills — hone in on your transferable skills.

    Why Hone in on Your Transferable Skills?

    There are several reasons you need to develop these skills if you want to go far in life and your career. In a nutshell, honing in your your transferable skills can lead to:

    Better Job Offers

    Continuous assessment and improvement of your skills widens the pool of job offers for you to make selections from. You’re no longer tethered to one industry as you’re able to lead your career by design, not by default.

    People with transferable skills on a resume also open up opportunities for more potential employers.

    Increase in Pay and More Responsibilities

    You’ve heard the saying “with great power come great responsibility.” In your case, transferable skills make you more marketable to employers which could lead to pay raises.

    Although this isn’t an automatic process– you have to be proactive about what you want in the marketplace, there is a chance that these pay raises will come with change in titles and roles.

    A Shot at Entrepreneurship

    Yes, changing career paths also includes the possibility of working for yourself. With these skills and work experience, you could live anywhere in the world and design a life and career you want.

    We’ve talked about why you need to strengthen your transferable skills but what are some these skills, and how can you work on them?

    13 Tips to Sharpen Your Transferable Skills

    1. Update Your Resume

    You might be surprised to know this but yes, updating your resume is a skill. The very first thing you should do while thinking about switching careers is to highlight attributes that make you very desirable candidate to employers.

    Think about your volunteer experiences, freelance projects, and school projects. Although they might seem insignificant, they demonstrate your ability to deliver results that several companies are looking for.

    While you might have held several positions since college, switching careers will require you to have a different type of resume.

    There are three different types of resumes: functional, chronological, and a combination resume. However, if you are looking to switch careers you’ll want to have a functional resume. A functional resume is strengths-based that emphasizes skills that are transferable rather than a collection of dates and job titles.

    2. Brush up on Your Communication Skills

    Every attempt to get ahead in business and in life starts with the need to communicate effectively. Whether it is interpersonal, intercultural, or multi-generational, the ability to be seen and heard while respecting the boundaries of work relationship matters.

    That’s why it’s one of the top skills you need to master. Strong communication skills allows you to effectively tailor your messages to specific audiences, which will make you a stronger asset to any organization.

    To hone this skill:

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    Pay attention to your listening skills. To communicate effectively, you need to first learn how to understand others.

    Your ability to decode overt and implied messages, no matter how nuanced they are, is key to knowing how to foster deep relationships with others.

    This article can also give you effective ways to enhance your communication skills:

    How to Master Effective Communication Skills at Work and Home

    3. Learn Technical (or Business) Writing

    Another form of communication, writing, is a skill that can take you anywhere.

    Companies communicate a lot through written memos, emails, newsletters, and other audio-visual means. But at the crux of this all is someone or some people who are tasked with translating the organization’s vision into statements anyone can understand.

    To hone this skill:

    Consider taking some free or paid classes online. You can accomplish this through several community colleges or online platforms like Lynda, Udemy or edX .

    4. Practice Public Speaking and Presentation Skills

    No matter how intelligent you are, no one will take you seriously if you’re unable to pull off a decent level of persuasion through presentation skills.

    Most presentation can be done through either electronic devices or require your physical presence. Your chosen career may require you to be in front of several hundreds of people or you could be charged with developing materials for presentation.

    To hone this skill:

    Volunteer to lead projects that give you some responsibility for putting together presentations.

    Also, try taking courses that will improve your public speaking skills if you feel lacking.

    These tips on public speaking would be helpful too:

    The Ultimate Public Speaking Tips to Hook and Impress Any Audience

    5. Get Comfortable with Identifying Problems and Solutions

    Every organization has got its problems no matter how greener the grass is on the other side.

    How to hone this skill:

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    Practice being resourceful.

    Do you know where to find every company policy on the intranet in less than five minutes?

    Think about a time you noticed some inefficiency at work and proposed a solution. Think about instances where you lent your voice to a cause which resulted in improved processes for your department.

    No matter how small or inadequate you might feel, you’ve got some problem-solving skills that some organizations want.

    If you look for more ways to improve your problem solving skills, take a look at this article:

    6 Effective Ways to Enhance Your Problem Solving Skills

    6. Recognize Your Team-Building Ability

    Your ability to smoothly switch careers also depends on how well you can energize your team, especially if you’re aiming for a leadership role. Unfortunately, team-building usually isn’t something you learn on the job in most careers unless you hold a managerial position.

    The good thing is that you possibly know one or two things about team-building. Think back to moments in college when you had group projects with colleagues and had to work with 3 to 4 other strangers for months. Were you able to get past your differences and disagreements to focus on the uniqueness of everyone at the table?

    Making a career switch might require that you work with multidisciplinary teams whether you have a deep knowledge of what the other team does or not. I can easily think of doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and social workers working closely to achieve the goals in a patient’s care plan.

    How to hone this skill:

    Look for collaborative projects and team building activities that excite you and challenge yourself with new possibilities.

    Try some of these tactics to keep your team motivated as well:

    17 Proven Tactics for Motivating Employees and Building a Stronger Team

    7. Lean into Your Leadership Skills

    Although similar to the previous point, leadership skills extend far beyond building teams, managing time sheets and correcting behavior.

    What I’m referring to here is your ability to develop a vision, believe in it, and inspire buy-in from everyone involved. This isn’t about knowing how to run a particular machine; it’s about how to lead a team of people with various backgrounds, experiences, and ideas of how things should be done.

    How to hone this skill:

    Although more complex than the rest, it all starts with an introspective look into your strengths and weaknesses. Then get a mentor or a coach who can bring out your leadership qualities so you can operate from a place of strength.

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    Learn more about the effective leadership types here:

    5 Types of Leadership that Help You Build a High Performance Team

    8. Improve Your Analytical Skills

    Are you good at taking large amount of data and interpreting them? Your skills could come in handy.

    Organizations are looking for people to make sense of the data around them, explain how it affects profitability, and make projections based on it. Best of all? You don’t need to be an accountant to be analytical.

    How to hone this skill:

    Try taking data interpretation classes online or at a community college. Learning Microsoft Excel or Access is also a plus. If you’re ambitious enough, you could consider getting additional certifications to up the ante.

    Take a look at these ways to help sharpen your analytical skills:

    What Are Analytical Skills and How to Strengthen Them For Success

    9. Don’t Discount Your Time Management and Prioritization Skills

    How good are you when it comes to deciding how important tasks are, organizing schedules, and coordinating plans?

    Should you be willing, there is a market waiting for you out there. Organizations and busy executives are always looking for talented individuals to outsource these tasks to.

    How to hone this skill:

    Although not everyone possesses secretarial superpowers, you can improve this skill by focusing on taking huge tasks and breaking them into smaller goals or steps in order to achieve a bigger goal.

    Here, you can learn to prioritize to achieve more:

    The Ultimate Guide to Prioritizing Your Work And Life

    10. Embrace Your Creative and Critical Thinking Side

    Although it’s often believed that creativity is for the arts and right-brained people, I believe everyone is capable of being creative. In fact, most organizations recognize creativity as a vehicle that will drive successful inventions in the future.

    How to hone this skill:

    Try doing something fun. As simple as this sounds, you’d be surprised to learn how much. In fact, behavioral and learning scientist, Marily Oppezzo, says taking a walk might be all you need to get your creative juices flowing.[1]

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    Anyone can be creative, you just need the right way to train your brain:

    What Is Creativity? We All Have It, and Need It

    11. Don’t Stop Learning Tech Knowledge and Skills

    Being tech-savvy is a huge plus. If you have an affinity with computers, software applications and are abreast of technological improvements, it is a transferable skill that is worth highlighting.

    You don’t have to be a young college graduate with silicon valley dreams to work

    How to hone this skill:

    All you need is the determination and the readiness to learn. This article will give you some ideas on the types of skills to learn:

    How to Improve Your Computer Skills to Get Ahead in Your Career

    12. Build Networks and Relationships

    You aren’t free from networking. Not at the moment. With your goal to switch to a different career, your networking skills will come in handy.

    Fortunately for you, networking doesn’t have to be so hard.

    How to hone this skill:

    Attend conferences and job fairs. Chances are you already have people in your network you can move you closer to your dream career.

    To enhance your networking skills, take these steps:

    How to Network So You’ll Get Way Ahead in Your Professional Life

    Final Thoughts

    Although there are several people with the same qualification and degree(s) you possess, what ultimately determines hireability comes down to a myriad of things such as culture fit, how teachable you are, cultural sensitivity, inter-generational awareness, and your ability to navigate uncertainty.

    You have a chance to stand out by letting your dream companies know how these soft skills make you an invaluable asset, and how saying ‘YES’ to you is a win-win for both parties.

    Happy career switching!

    More Resources About Career Advancement

    Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

    Reference

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