Tough Times for Travel Writers
Times are tough. If you haven’t broken through to legitimate inflight magazines, or the Conde-Nasts and NatGeos of the world – it’s getting tougher. Matador never paid well – now they don’t pay at all – except for “solicited content.” VergeTravelMagazine used to pay $90 per article – now it’s down to $60 (and it might take over a year (one whole year)) to get “published.” Startups want “partners” (code for unpaid “exposure”). Not sure what the solution is. If you refuse to sell your intellectual property for the price of a sandwich – or if you refuse to give it away for free – you remain “unpublished.” The heavy-handed threat is – “if you don’t do it – someone else will.” What if NO ONE submitted articles for less than $.10 per word?
Hi Mike, I agree with your comments. I am amazed at the number of jobs advertising $10-30 for a 500 word article. It is, quite frankly, an insult. I don’t accept any job that offers less than $0.40/word. I am fortunate enough to have another profession so I don’t rely on writing for my income – which means I can pick and choose. The situation will never get better for freelance writers until all writers refuse to sell their skills for a pittance.
Hi Mike, as somebody starting out in this field (whilst relying on an uninspiring bar job for income) I have also become frustrated at the lack of opportunity and given work away for free in the hope of exposure. Do you have any tips on who does pay well and gives inexperienced but passionate writers a chance?
Ben, There are several “lists” online (https://writeworldwide.com/travel-magazines-pay-writers/ etc). And Jilian Kozak has posted a piece on writing pitches (on the dashboard/forum pages). A majority of the larger players prefer pitches to finished articles – but frankly, pitching ideas hasn’t worked out very well for me – it might sound paranoid – but I frequently come across stories that seem eerily familiar months after I’ve made similar pitches. You’ve just got to keep plugging along – and keep writing. Great photos help.