Want to break into travel writing? Do this.

When you think about the dream job - being a travel writer is up there for many people. Being paid to travel the world sounds idyllic, and while there are undoubtedly downsides to the dream (let's save those for another post), let's be honest - it's a pretty sweet gig. I'm not a full time travel writer by any means, but this week I'm heading off on a four day press trip to tropical North Queensland. A couple of people have asked me the best way to break into travel writing and I believe there's one very easy way to get started ... 

How to find editors' contact details

You’ve got a great idea for an article for a magazine, newspaper or website. You want to pitch it, but you have no idea where to find the editor’s contact details. While there is no one way to locate every single email address or phone number for an editor, there are a number of tools and strategies you can use to find the right person to pitch to (and some may surprise you).

February - back on track (sort of)

None of us know what life has in store, but when you’re a freelancer, you never quite know what work has in store for you either. By the middle of February I had hit my income target, but I was also grappling with the idea of pulling out of writing a commissioned article on a very difficult topic. My family and work situation changed at the end of the month, meaning I’ve had to re-evaluate the time I can dedicate to my freelance business.  

A beginner's guide to TravMedia's IMM

If you're interested in travel writing or a career as a travel writer, I heartily recommend attending TravMedia's international media marketplace (or IMM as it's commonly called). It's been likened to speed dating for people in the travel industry and I think that's a pretty accurate description. It's fast, furious and fun. And at the end of the day many writers walk away with offers of famils or press trips. So how can freelance writers get the most out of IMM? 

From lawyer to freelance copywriter - meet Libby Hakim

Libby Hakim is a quiet but extraordinary achiever - a former lawyer, Libby now works full time as a freelance copywriter, SEO writer and digital content specialist. She's an incredibly versatile writer and is just at home writing technical white papers as she is penning an article about how tidying may just change your life. I was so thrilled when Libby agreed to be part of this Q&A - she spills the beans on the benefits of writing for agencies, why she resisted writing about the law and her advice for those dreaming of being a freelance writer. 

7 publications that pay well for personal essays

Despite some people saying that the personal essay boom is over, I'm seeing little evidence to suggest that readers' appetites for candid, revealing and thought-provoking first person pieces are sated. For freelance writers, the advantage of writing a personal essay is that you are drawing on your own experience, so there is very little need for external research or case studies. Many writers also say that writing down their own experience and sharing it with others feels validating, affirming and therapeutic. 

January - a slow start to 2018

After a hectic November and fairly busy December, January was really quiet for me. I didn’t feel much like pitching, instead I wanted to hang out with my family and have some down time. Towards the end of the month I started pitching, because I realised that even though I had invoiced for a good amount of money, not having lots of commissions means that a few months down the track, my bank account will take a big hit.

Anatomy of a feature article

In the survey I sent out a few weeks ago, lots of you mentioned that you’d like to see how one of my feature articles developed – from the initial idea and pitching the editor to interviewing case studies and experts, writing the article, submitting it and being published. In this post I take you through an example of a feature story and all the steps involved in getting the article published in one of Australia’s newspapers.

Where to find the best story ideas for articles

It’s the moment many freelance writers dread. An editor asks if you’ve got any ideas to pitch, a client wonders what you think would make a good subject for an article for their business blog or you want to break into a dream publication, but your ideas have dried up. So where do freelance journalists and writers get their great ideas from and how can you ensure you have an endless supply of unique stories that editors will find irresistible?

December wrap-up and my income for 2017

On the the first of December I decided I would take my foot off the gas, and only pitch stories that I really felt strongly about. Financially, the pressure was off a bit because October and November were such big months and so I started to relax. I had lunch out with my partner and friends, I went for long walks, I started to ride my bike again (hello quad muscles), and I felt rejuvenated. This is my last post for 2017, and one where I outline my yearly income for the year.

Five ways to get the new year off to a great start

The ham, turkey and pudding may have barely settled in your belly (if you celebrate Christmas), but almost as soon as the festive season is over, the new year looms. Lots of freelance writers have told me that they want 2018 to be their year - one where they start a new type of writing, earn more, quit their day job or build up their side hustle. Whatever your aim for 2018, it’s worth ensuring you have done these five things to ensure the new year gets off to a strong start.

The 9 lessons I learnt from my first year of full time freelancing

2017 has been a huge year for me. I started in January not knowing how I would go trying to earn a full time living from freelance writing for magazines, newspapers and corporate organisations. I’m so glad to say that it’s been a success. I’ve never felt more motivated, more productive or more engaged in the work I’m doing. The year hasn’t been without challenges, though.

November - the month I hit $100K

There’s no beating around the bush. I’ve had a massive month, and one that tipped my total commissions for the year over $100K. Much of that has been earned through feature writing for magazines and newspapers  – something I never thought was possible. Especially given this is my first year of full time freelancing and until now I have never earned over $20K in a year from my writing.