Wednesday, 7 January 2009

#70 – Websites that pay for travel writing

Or how to earn money by writing about travel online.

Websites that will accept your travel writing...
The good news is that there are many websites that will accept your travel writing. The bad news is that most of them will expect you to provide it for free, or will pay such a pathetic amount that it’s almost an insult.

...But not pay for it
I’m not going to dignify these sites by listing them. Suffice to say that any site that needs to advertise for travel writers usually hasn’t got enough money to pay them much (if at all). There are hundreds of these sites, most run by a couple of individuals trying to start up their own travel site and wanting lots of cheap content. Some mean well, paying a small fee and hoping to be able to increase their rates as the site grows. Others are clearly out for what they can get.

Travel writer internet forums
What I do find pathetic is that there are writers out there that will fall over themselves to get published on these sites. There are writer internet forums brimming with people who are ecstatic about getting their piece online at WorldTravelGadaboutFunTravel.com (or something like that). Some will even be raving about how they got paid a whole $20 for it.

Well-meaning idiots
These people may again be well meaning, but they’re idiots. For that money, they may as well just put the story up on their own blog. It’s much the same; you’re published, and you’re paid bugger all.

Look for websites that aren’t travel sites
While I would say that all websites are worth looking at when it comes for paid work (after all, there may be some exceptions to this sweeping generalisation that pay very nicely), there is a good general rule to apply. There are plenty of websites out there that pay relatively well, but these usually aren’t travel sites. Most people go to them for something else.

Newspaper sites and portals
It’s obvious that these sites have money because they’ve got a lot of content and a big company behind them. I’m thinking in terms of newspaper sites (Guardian.co.uk pays the same for online articles as it does for print articles) and web portals. Look for general lifestyle sites/ portals such as MSN, internet providers like AOL or Virgin Media, TV company sites such as Sky and even mobile phone companies like Orange.

Money for freelance content
All have big sites that have travel sections, but the travel section is a small aspect of their business. I’ve not approached all of these (and there are many more in the same vein), but I’d wager that they’ve all got money to pay for freelance content. And they’re far better places to hunt for paid work than HaplessWannabesOnTheirHolidays.com.

5 comments:

Ms. Lucy said...

Your article is very interesting and I'm glad you're pointing out the facts about many of these websites. It's sad to see that some writers would sell themselves this short. I agree with you that if you're going to do it for free, then go ahead and post it on your own blog. Thanks.

David said...

Glad you agree. I've no objection to working for low prices per se - if people want to do it, it's up to them - but getting so excited about it is ridiculous.

6p00e5520d21008833 said...

Really liked this honest post, David. Reminded me of one over at travelblather I just read: http://www.travelblather.com/2009/01/earn-money-writing-for-websites.html

For all of us who have dreams of traveling and writing for a living, it's hard to know how to break in. However, from the sound of things, writing for these sub-par startup travel sites won't get anyone very far. Guess I'll look elsewhere...

Thanks and I'm enjoying the blog.

Andrew

6p00e5520d21008833 said...

Really appreciate this honest post, David. Reminded me of one over at travelblather I just read: http://www.travelblather.com/2009/01/earn-money-writing-for-websites.html

For all of us who have dreams of traveling and writing for a living, it's hard to know how to break in. However, from the sound of things, writing for these sub-par startup travel sites won't get anyone very far. Guess I'll look elsewhere...

Thanks and I'm enjoying the blog.

Andrew

David said...

Thanks Andrew. I've read Jeremy's post at Travelblather too. I disagree with him slightly on the amount of opportunities for well-paid work on the web - there are more than you think - but I'm with him all the way on these ridiculous pie-in-the-sky sites.