As you may know, I set a goal at the start of the year to get my first freelance travel blogging job. I did actually get my first client soon after but this wasn’t travel writing- it was for a fitness app. I picked up a couple of other one-off jobs throughout the year but it was never really anything I was particularly enthusiastic about.
After many months of trying, I finally secured my first travel blogging job last week. I’ll be writing for a travel and attractions website a few times a month. And while I won’t be making a living out of blogging anytime soon, it’s a great foot in the door. Here are my top tips for getting your first gig as a newbie writer:
Sign up to freelance websites
Getting my first writing job (the fitness one) on Upwork was quite difficult. As I had no reviews on my profile, nobody was getting back to me about the writing jobs I applied for. To resolve this, I did a few simple jobs like iPhone app testing. This gave me good profile reviews and made me appear more trustworthy. I was offered the fitness app job soon after. Once I had my first writing job in the bag, more offers started flooding in from clients viewing my profile.
Set up a blog
If you don’t already have your own blog- set one up now. If you want to write blogs for other people, it’s a good idea to have writing samples. A blog acts as your portfolio- it’s a way to showcase your skills and personality. It was a mix of the travel posts on my blog and my previous Upwork reviews that got me my first travel blogging job.
A great way to get yourself known is writing for other blogs. It allows you to connect with other bloggers and showcase your work. But as well as that, you can use your guest posts as “work experience” to get your first paid travel blogging job. Just find some blogs that you like and contact the owner to ask if you can write for them. Or have a look at this great list of travel blogs that accept guest posts.
Don’t undersell yourself
If you’re using a freelance platform to look for work, don’t let clients take advantage of you. Obviously as a beginner you can’t charge sky high prices for your services. But don’t fall into the trap of writing for next-to-nothing either. Believe in yourself and your abilities and charge accordingly. When starting out, I listed my blogging services as $1 per 100 words. I received emails asking if I’d write thousands of words for pennies but I refused. The rates I’d listed weren’t unreasonable and I knew that. I actually ended up getting $2.50 per hundred words for my first ever writing job on Upwork!
A friend of mine reminded me today that this time a year ago was when I first told him about my dream to get paid for travel blogging. At the time I didn’t actually believe anyone would want to pay me to write for them. But here we are. If I can do it, you most certainly can too!
I hope this post has been helpful. Are you a freelance writer or travel blogger? How did you land your first gig? Please share your tips and advice in the comments.