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Issue #322: Can You Make a Living from Freelance Travel Writing?
September 14, 2020
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!

. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.

Editorial: Can You Make a Living from Freelance Travel Writing?

I received this question via email some time ago. It’s a valid question and one that provokes all sorts of evasive answers from travel writers, depending on where they lie along the travel writing spectrum.

The Question

I have a candid question for you. I’ve been told I could never sustain a living by writing solely for magazines. Can you actually earn enough from writing for magazines to have a financially independent life? What's your opinion? Thanks.

Here’s my take on travel writing as a single source of income.

First, I would ask, what income do you consider to be financially independent? $25,000? $50,000? $75,000? $100,000? I know plenty of travel writers with annual incomes along this spectrum, and they’re doing just fine, thank you.

It's common knowledge that travel writing is not a lucrative career. But it can be good supplemental income, depending upon how much time you’re willing to invest in it.

Many people dabble in travel writing part-time just for fun, and get a thrill out of seeing their name in print. Others do it for the complimentary travel perks. Everyone is different in this respect.

If you love to travel and you love to write, it's a good way to see the world and tell people about it and earn some money. 

You would have to be an exceptional travel writer indeed to support yourself solely by writing travel articles for print magazines.

You’ll be surprised to learn that almost without exception, today’s leading travel writers do not subsist solely by writing travel articles for magazines. They have other streams of income mostly related to travel in some way.

And when I say other streams of income, I mean income from truly diverse sources!

Almost all the elite travel writers profiled in our latest book, Rock Star Travel Writers, derive their incomes from many sources. They may be full time writers, but they’re not full time travel writers.

Rock Star Travel Writers consists of in-depth interviews with ten elite travel writers with bylines that make the rest of us drool (National Geographic Traveler, AFAR, BBC Travel, Lonely Planet, Condé Nast Traveler, American Express, Robb Report, Business Jet Traveler, Australia & New Zealand Magazine, plus in-flights like American Way, Hemispheres, Delta Sky and many more.)

Our book also has interviews with budding rock stars just entering the fray. They are meeting with good publishing success, earning money and landing exciting travel perks. If you're a complete newbie, you'll get lots of inspiration by reading their stories and successes.

In addition to showing you how these travel writers have broken through into the best magazines, this book serves an important secondary goal — it gives insight into exactly how elite travel journalists earn their living. It will give you many ideas of how to build your own freelance travel writing business to be more robust and exciting.

You can learn more about the Rock Star Travel eBook here . . .

Do You Have a Travel Website?

We’re currently updating our reference book, 50 Websites That Want to Publish Your Travel Stories.

If you have a travel website that accepts guest posts (paid or unpaid) and would like to have it listed in our book, please send us details at:

This is a free listing. Please be sure to include your website URL and where to find your writers guidelines.

REGISTRATION IS OPEN for Roy Stevenson's

Group Coaching Mastermind Community

Our 12-month Group Coaching Mastermind Community is now open for registration.

Who’s it for?

It’s for you if . . .

- You want to launch your travel writing career
- You want to earn money for your travel stories
- You want to improve your writing skills with regular writing tips & activities
- You want to improve your marketing skills using proven methods and techniques
- You want to learn sales & marketing techniques that get results
- You want to learn photo tips and learn the best way to submit photo galleries to editors
- You want to build your freelance writing business successfully
- You like learning in a low-pressure and supportive environment
- You like the idea of thoroughly absorbing the information over a period of time, in this case - 12 months
- You enjoy learning online, on your own and with a group
- You want to join in discussions with a supportive community of like-minded writers where you can share your goals, frustrations, questions, solutions and successes


Autumn is a great time to get started on a new project. In most parts of the western world it's getting cold and you'll be spending more time indoors. Why not ratchet up your travel writing skills and knowledge?

The online group coaching sessions allow you the flexibility to watch and listen according to your own schedule.

And the writers who have already registered say they're really looking forward to joining the Mastermind Community - for support, inspiration and accountability.

What about you? Are you ready to join us?

You have until September 15th to get 2 months free when you sign up with the one-time payment plan . . .


This Week's Featured Post

Simultaneous Submissions: Sell More Travel Stories, Faster

Some writers still follow the archaic process of writing a query letter to one editor at a time. If you’re still using this system, you’ll grow old and gray before your list of published articles reaches triple figures. And you’ll definitely not earn a livable income.

How can you change the process and improve your chances of getting your story ideas accepted more quickly? My answer: use simultaneous submissions.

With technology at your fingertips, it’s possible to send your query letter out simultaneously to every magazine on your distribution list. Hitting every editor on your list concurrently cuts your waiting time down from weeks to days or hours. 

Using simultaneous queries is a vital cornerstone of my marketing platform. This technique has contributed to the 90% acceptance rate for my articles.  That’s right: 90%! 

If you don’t have a 90% acceptance rate for your story ideas and would like to significantly improve your acceptance rate, this article will show you how to do it.


Upcoming Posts

Sep 21: Finding Travel Magazine Leads On Vendor Websites
Sep 28: Selling and Reselling Your Articles: Three Tricky Situations and How to Handle Them
Oct 5: The Art Of Reselling Your Travel Articles Success Stories

Tim Cotroneo: My Story as a Golf and Travel Writer

In 2011, I attended a travel writer’s workshop and listened to a presentation by a speaker named Roy Stevenson who shared several travel writing tips. I thought to myself, “if I can accomplish half of what this guy has achieved in his short travel writing career, I’ll be as happy as a clam.”

After the workshop my wife and I planned a trip to the Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales. I emailed the golf professional at the island’s only 18-hole course in advance of the trip and presented myself as a golf and travel writer. I thought to myself, “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” On the trip I met with the pro and played the course. 

My First Yes!

During our stay in Providenciales, I noticed a glossy magazine on the coffee table in our hotel room and read it. Upon returning home to Minneapolis, I pitched this magazine a story idea about what I experienced at the golf course when I played there.

The editor said yes!

I wrote the story and got paid $300. I was officially a travel writer and have been writing about golf and travel ever since.

Tim Cotroneo has had an exotic travel writing journey so far. Here's his story, in his own words . . .


Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links about Reselling Your Articles

Here are four articles about how I earn more money for my stories - by reselling, repurposing and repackaging my work in the U.S. and around the world. I do this all the time.

Read the articles to learn about my process and find out how you can do it, too . . .

Five Ways to Sell Articles More Successfully

Earn More: Sell Your Articles Around the World

The Art of Reselling Your Articles

Repurposing Your Articles

Inspirational Travel Quote



"If you can’t sell your travel stories, you don’t get to write them."

My guide shows you EVERYTHING you need to know about selling your travel articles to paying print media.

The Complete Guide to Marketing and Selling Your Travel Articles tells you how to select saleable story ideas, how to write first class query letters and pitch your ideas the right way.

This comprehensive manual shows you how to find magazines that will be interested in buying your story, and how you can start selling your travel articles to magazines immediately and reap the fantastic travel benefits, while being paid for your work.


Here's what Michelle Newman says about this book:

“Roy, although I’ve been contributing to magazines, newspapers, TV and radio for nearly 20 years, your book, The Complete Guide To Marketing & Selling Your Travel Articles is an invaluable tool regardless of one’s level of experience dealing with & contributing to various outlets. Your book is written in a clear, understandable manner that gives concrete examples. Most importantly, it’s enormously informative & helpful.

As I shared with you, in one month I took a brutal hit and my 3 biggest outlets no longer exist or have ceased generating content. So it was back to square one for me - having to reach out and pitch editors and find new outlets.

The query letter section in The Complete Guide To Marketing & Selling Your Travel Articles is an enormous help; it is packed with useful, practical information and not a bunch of fluff.

Thanks one again for generously sharing all of your tips and info that you’ve acquired over the years.”

Best Regards,
Michelle Newman,


Live Workshops

People have been asking when our 2021 workshops in New Orleans, Louisiana are scheduled.

Here are the 2021 dates:
June 3-6, 2021, Travel Writing & Photography Retreat
June 8-10, 2021, Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers

We've had lots of interest already. You can sign up for our no-obligation interest list for these workshops and receive our substantial early bird discounts when we open registration:


Did You Know . . .

Our Complete Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers is ranked #1 on’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.

You can access the list of the top ten travel writing workshops at the link below . . .

Travel Writers Exchange workshop list: #1 Marketing Master Class

At Your Service

Coaching and Consulting
Online Courses
Vietnam 1-1 Retreat & Consulting
Expat Consulting


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HERE., is our information-packed website for travel writers. This e-zine, a series of travel writing books and reference guides, coaching programs, and our workshops all work together to give you guidance in this field.

Our aim is to provide you with practical, nitty gritty information to help you gain entry into the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it. 

We're thrilled to announce that is on The Write Life’s 2020 list of 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS! 

You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.

Friend me on Facebook

My Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs
• links to my travel articles
• magazine cover stories and back stories
• links to resource pages
• links to coaching and mentoring resources
. . .and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed

Link to Roy's Personal Facebook page

That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy

Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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