So I just started blogging and doing some posts on other sites for pay…but I am confused by what actually qualifies as travel writing. I see a lot of bloggers who have the “travel” title but I always thought of a travel writer as someone who gets published in a place like National Geographic. Am I a “travel writer” if I write about travel, period?
I agree with you to a certain extent that what makes you a travel writer is getting published in high-profile pubs or on major web sites. But it’s more about just getting published. I know there are travel writers who profit from guide writing and articles for lesser-known sites and magazines and books. In addition, I would think this title would be claimed by those who write the majority of the time about travel and who make most of their money from this niche.
Perhaps more importantly, though, is the fact that calling yourself a “travel writer” gives the impression you’re qualified to write about the topic or have some expertise. Does simply writing about your travels make you an expert, especially if it’s on your own web site? If it’s all your own opinion and lacks research or interviews with others, is it really travel writing? If it’s a press trip for your own blog, is it travel writing? I’m sure those experienced Nat’l Geo writers you reference would have much to say about all these questions.
I just read a thought-provoking post that delves into what makes you a travel writer over at Nerd’s Eye View. The author debates whether or not people who call themselves “travel writers” are actually making money solely off writing about travel. She ventures a guess that many so-called travel writers or bloggers actually profit more from advertisements and links or other less-discussed writing. This trend has led to a false sense that everyone can make their bread and butter off travel writing when that’s not necessarily the case.
So what do the travel bloggers and travel writers think? What makes you a travel writer, travel blogger or some combination of the two?