Ask Matt: Getting Started as a Travel Writer

Hi Matt,

I’m in the process of permanently moving to Southern Italy to write professionally while teaching English.  I’m writing you this email in hopes that you might give me a tip on how to get started with writing professionally.  You appear to have found success and I’m taking a shot in the dark asking for a tip or a recommendation.  Do you know of a particularly informative book?  Is it necessary to begin blogging in order to entice publishing opportunities?


Hi Faith,

If you’re starting from scratch, then you are going to have to invest some time and money into getting things started properly.  I did my minor in professional writing and spent about 8 years freelancing to get where I am (which is nowhere nearly as successful as it may look on my website), so be ready to put in a lot of time and effort to start making money.  That being said, if you follow the instructions and advice from the following resources carefully and remain diligent you can probably make a go of it.

First, to get an idea of what you’re getting into, start by reading these articles I wrote for Transitions Abroad. They focus on blogging, but give you an idea of one potential income stream and what it takes to get started.

Then, buy and read these three books, written by two of the most successful contemporary travel writer/bloggers, which contain a wealth of  information about travel blogging and writing travel articles for publication:

Next, consider taking this relatively inexpensive online travel course. They have turned out some very good travel writers in the past (including Nomadic Matt) and also offer some support to help you get started:

Finally, work your ass off, persevere, and keep chipping away until you’ve found a niche that works for you and makes you money.  Good luck!

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