If you're intrigued by the idea of starting a travel blog and getting paid to share your adventures with the world as you explore, then guess what? You're far from alone!
Thousands of people are setting up travel blogs in hopes of making a living typing up the tales of their incredible journeys. After all, could any job possibly be more fun? We highly doubt it.
But how can you make sure your travel blog stands out and has the key features needed to catch the eye of the right/enough followers? Get in here and see our top 7 online writing courses you need before you start your travel blog.
TravelCon is an annual travel industry conference (2018's festival is September 20-22 in Austin, Texas). While the in-person events sell out pretty quickly, you can usually purchase virtual tickets to attend online.
Hosted by Matthew Kepnes, aka Nomadic Matt, TravelCon will feature speakers and presentations by a plethora of knowledgeable travel writing gurus, as well as networking events, writing sessions, photography tours, and more. Want to really learn how to turn your travel blog into a business? You need to be here.
All TravelCon's content will be available virtually including video of all keynote and breakout sessions, which you can store on your device and watch again later, tomorrow, or whenever you want!
Get your TravelCon virtual ticket here.
Price: $149 (check current price here).
Length of course: This is a 3-day conference.
What you'll learn: This is a conference on travel blog writing, hosted by a bevy of seasoned, successful travel blog writers and other such related professionals. Presented in both beginner and advanced sections, you'll get tips from pros at various levels of the business, participate in workshops and sessions intended to fine-tune writing skills, brush up your photography know-how, get the goods on tech tips, and much more.
Instructor facts: Here are some of the folks who will be presenting:
Get expert travel blog writing tips from Kristin Addis of Be My Travel Muse, Derek Baron of Wandering Earl, Nathan Barry of ConvertKit, James Bradbury-Boyd of Singapore Airlines, Paul Brady of Conde Nast Traveler, Carol Cain of Girl Gone Travel, and many more impressively informed and highly skilled travel bloggers. To see all speakers and presenters, go here.
- Lots of well-informed, seasoned travel blog writers presenting guidance-filled sessions and workshops
- Concise 3-day conference
- Downloadable to your device, so you can view it repeatedly at your convenience
- In-person tickets sold out, only virtual tickets left available
TravelCon is travel blog writing gold. Learn from the pros and do what they do. Although it's sold out in person, virtual tickets are available and you can download the event to your device and watch it whenever you want. We think you should do it, if you don't mind the price.
Superstar Blogging — The Business of Travel Blogging
You needn't fret if you miss the TravelCon conference detailed above — Nomadic Matt's got a few more classes on travel writing you can join on Superstar Blogging!
Superstar Blogging features these great online travel writing courses:
We like this one the best: The Business of Travel Blog Writing
Here's the course syllabus to give you an idea of what to expect:
As you can see, it includes things like:
- Setting up your website
- Hearing Matt's success story with travel blogging
- Building your brand
- Writing viral, engaging travel content
- How to grow your social media network
Plus, you get 10 hours of expert interviews from top bloggers, writers, marketers, and others to help you get your travel blog in super shape super fast!
You'll also get personalized feedback, membership in a private FaceBook group, monthly Q & A seminars, downloadable cheatsheets, special discounts, and updates for a lifetime.
Another nice touch is the money-back guarantee, shown below, which assures students a full refund after a test-drive of 30 days to see if they like the course.
Price: $249.00. You can pay it all at once, or split it into 3 payments of $99:
Interested in more than one class on the subject? There's 'How to be a Travel Writer', 'The Art of Travel Vlogging', and Capture the World' photography course as well. Sign up for them here and get 50% off:
Length of course: 10 weeks
What you'll learn:
This course will teach you how to start your blog, technical skills, creating your brand, optimizing SEO, social media growth, how to get press coverage, and more.
Instructor facts: Your instructors are Matt Kepnes (aka Travel Blogger Nomadic Matt) and WordPress Guru Chris Richardson, shown with their respective bios below:
Superstar Blogging pros:
- Taught by travel blogging and WordPress experts
- Available online, so you won't need to rush to class - you can log in anywhere
- You'll get feedback, monthly webinars, tech support, Q&A sessions, etc.
Superstar Blogging cons:
You'll get lifetime access to your courses when you purchase them here, and the deal on 50% off seems nice if you think you'll want to do more than one. Nomadic Matt definitely knows what he's talking about with over 1.6 million monthly views to his travel blog.
Skillshare — Being a Travel Blogger (even when you're not traveling)
As you may already know, Skillshare is a learning platform offering over 22,000 classes taught online by professionals in their fields, ranging in price and length with many offered free of charge.
This course gives guidance on different kinds of blog posts you can create for your travel blog, brainstorming techniques to help with ideas, and ways to create content for your blog — even during the time when you aren't traveling.
There are 37 different tasks, assignments, and ideas for projects here, and you can do them anytime you wish.
Price: If you sign up here, you'll get a free month of premium classes (more than enough time to watch all the videos and complete all the suggested projects for this class!)
Length of course: There are 9 videos for a total of 33 minutes in all. Suggested projects and tasks may take you longer, but there is no deadline.
What you'll learn: You learn how to create consistent content and several different types of blog posts for your travel blog even when you aren't traveling
Theresa Christine is the instructor, and her bio states she is a freelance writer and blogger who has written for Culture Trip, The Examiner, HOW Design Magazine, Wanderful, The Dieline, LunaLuna Magazine, the Burning Man Organization, has had appearances on HuffPost Live, HPL Podcast, and the Women in Travel Summit.
- Short videos encompassing 9 lessons in a total of 33 minutes
- Recommended by 156 out of 159 previous students
- Taught by experienced instructor
- No certificate of completion offered
Skillshare is a good way to learn about topics related to your field of work or hobbies in your spare time at home — or anywhere you can get internet and a quiet space to view the videos or do the assignments. Skillshare also has a Writers Group for aspiring travel bloggers to join in on networking and discussion.
Pink Pangea — Travel Writing Workshop
For all the aspiring female travel bloggers out there, we may have just found your next favorite thing in the world.
Aside from their International Writing Retreats in Switzerland, Costa Rica, Spain, Italy, Israel, and Greece, during which participants write, tour, and indulge in the food, art, and culture of the regions, Pink Pangea also gives online writing courses and workshops — like their Travel Writing Workshop, their Intro to Travel Blogging Workshop, their Travel Writing Intensive Course, and more.
We thought we'd start with the first things first, but take your pick of any of them!
For a beginner blogger's intro to online travel writing, the Travel Writing Workshop stood out for us. (It's only $12, which helps it stand out for us).
As described below, this workshop is designed for both avid travelers and those who do more exploring closer to home. Participants will engage in interactive writing activities to uncover and develop skills for writing about their adventures in a way that conveys the experience appropriately to others.
When you've completed the online writing course, you'll be able to publish your travel experiences on Pink Pangea, gain exposure for your writing, get feedback from Pink Pangea's editor, gain access to a Pink Pangea FaceBook group, and receive a recording of the workshop.
Previous workshop participants have successfully launched their own blogs, written for major publications, and more.
Price: The Travel Writing Workshop is $12, The Intro to Travel Blogging Workshop is $29, and the Travel Writing Intensive Course is offered in 4 parts, all online, for a total of $360.00.
Length of course: You can take your time with this pre-recorded class. After you pay, you'll receive the link to use anytime from anywhere in the world.
What you'll learn: You'll learn through interactive activities how to write about your travels in a way that engages readers, and you'll get feedback from Pink Pangea's editor for guidance.
Instructor facts: Jaclyn Mishal, co-founder of Pink Pangea, is a writing teacher and inspirational public speaker who has worked with Barnard College, Mount Holyoke College, Smith College, Wagner College, REI, Google, and Hostelling International.
Pink Pangea pros:
- Interactive activities to develop your writing skills
- Qualified editor provides feedback on your writing
- Access to Pink Pangea FaceBook group
- Exposure for your writing on Pink Pangea's travel site
- Go at your own pace
Pink Pangea cons:
- Can't think of any
For $12, you'll get a series of interactive writing activities to hone your skill, a recorded lesson you can keep, and feedback from a qualified editor - this class is a steal. Previous workshop participants have gone on to launch their own successful blogs, write for major publications and more. For info on all the workshops and courses available from Pink Pangea, go here.
Gotham Writers — Travel Writing Course
Gotham Writers offers both online and in-person writing courses in New York City in just about every type of writing imaginable.
Since 1993, they've been helping writers develop their skills in business and creative writing.
The Travel Writing course is offered online, and the next one begins October 9th.
The course syllabus is available here for anyone who would like to check it out.
Price: For the online course, it's $409. For returning students, it's $379.00. Registration fees are $25.00, paid once per term.
Length of course: 10 weeks (There's also a one-day intensive offered, but there are no hours or dates posted for any online version of that one yet - only in-person in NYC.)
What you'll learn: You'll get a strong foundation on the basics of travel writing through lecture, writing exercises, and projects to get you started on a shorter piece or a book. Each student will present projects twice.
Instructor facts: Instructor Andrew Collins has written for over 200 Fodor's travel guidebooks, and is editor-in-chief of The Pearl, and Love Wins. He's a contributor to Travel & Leisure, AAA Living, Sunset, The Advocate, and New Mexico Magazine, and a graduate of Wesleyan University.
Gotham Writers pros:
- Offered conveniently online for everyone or in person for those in NYC
- Accomplished instructor
- All review sites carry at least 4 or 5 stars for Gotham Writers courses
- Most student reviews highly recommend Gotham Writers
Gotham Writers cons:
Bottom Line: The Gotham Writers Travel Writing course is a good foundation for writing students who want to take a structured 10-week class with active instructor participation and feedback, discussion forums with other students, etc. You must be at least 18 years old to take this class. If you can handle the price, it's probably worth your while.
Udemy — Travel Writing: Explore the World & Publish Your Stories
Udemy provides the world's largest selection of courses — over 80,000 expertly taught online video courses — with new ones added monthly.
The description of this particular course, Travel Writing: Explore the World & Publish Your Stories, is as follows, written by instructor Dave Fox, bestselling author and writing coach:
"Lots of people dream of becoming travel writers.
This course will help you fulfill that dream.
Discover how to write travel tales readers love,
and how to sell your stories to newspapers and magazines."
The curriculum includes 32 lectures, equalling 3.5 hours of on-demand video broken into sections like:
- Traveling Journaling vs. Writing for Publication
- Speed Journaling and Story Hunting
- Crafting the Story
- How to Capture Details
- Your Cast of Characters
- Editing Your Stories
- Travel Blogging
- How to Make Money as a Freelance Travel Writer
Price: This course is listed now for $11.99. Udemy also notes that these two travel writing courses are frequently purchased together, and would only be $20 if you catch them during the sale (worth a shot!):
Length of course: There's 3.5 hours of on-demand video to view and 9 articles to read.
What you'll learn: This course will teach you how to write professional quality travel stories consisting of great settings, characters, events, and other elements woven together with masterful techniques. You will understand the difference between travel journaling and travel writing for others to read. You'll learn, most importantly, how to "travel with a writer's eye for stories."
Instructor facts: Dave Fox is a professional writer and bestselling travel author, writing and humor coach who has worked as a Public Radio news anchor, a tour guide for Rick Steves' Europe, an international cruise ship lecturer, and opening speaker for Princess Märtha Louise of Norway.
He currently lives in Vietnam, where he works as a correspondent for TTG Asia and freelances for the Straits Times of Singapore and Singapore Airlines' magazine and website. His work has also appeared in books by Rick Steves, Lonely Planet, Travelers' Tales, and the 2014 Moon Guide to Burma.
- Students rated this course 4.6 stars out of 5
- Classes are kept lively, at a great pace
- A fun and engaging, comprehensive writing course
- Currently on sale for $11.99
- Original price might be too expensive for some students
Bottom Line: This is a lively, very comprehensive writing class taught by an energetic and well-informed, accomplished instructor. You may want to watch the videos straight through first, then go back and watch them again while doing the suggested activities and assignments. Some lists given via video by instructor make a great reference to use later, so take good notes.
Travel Writing Workshop, London
The Travel Writing Workshop instructed by Peter Carty is traditionally offered as a one-day workshop for those in London. However, this article is about online classes, and we're in luck. For those who prefer distance learning, there is an online workshop option for those outside of London.
Designed for beginners with no professional training, as well as writers with a journalism background or otherwise who would like help getting into travel writing, the Travel Writing Workshop of London is very focused with a clear goal in mind to get your work published.
Price: For those who prefer distance learning, the online course is £225. Details on booking the distance learning course can be found here. The fee for the one day course is £115, including unlimited follow-up coaching and support. The workshop is also offered in the evening over four dates in October 2018, which is £125, including unlimited post-course advice and coaching.
Length of course: The main workshop is a one day event, but there will be important workshop feedback available afterward as well. There are also the evening and distance learning workshops detailed above.
What you'll learn:
In the workshop, you'll learn how to select subject matter, the secrets of travel research skills, how to pitch successfully to travel editors, ways to improve your travel writing prose, how to write travel content for the internet, how to make money blogging, how to structure your travel features, how to get trips sponsored by travel companies, airlines, etc., how to develop your travel writing career, how to get travel features published.
You'll also receive unlimited follow-up support and coaching for the weeks and months after the workshop ends.
Peter Carty has written for The Guardian, The Independent, The Telegraph, Conde Nast Traveller, Esquire, The Financial Times, and also broadcasts travelogues for the BBC.
He has been giving travel writing courses in London since 1999, delivering unlimited support post-course, fantastic value for the price of the courses, and clear, well-constructed course content that provides sound guidance in a short amount of time.
Travel Writing Workshop pros:
- Available online, as a one day event, or over 4 evenings
- Designed for anyone wishing to learn about travel writing; no need for prerequisites
- Unlimited follow-up afterward
- Taught by well-known and accomplished writer
- Lots of rave reviews from previous students
Travel Writing Workshop cons:
- Maybe not affordable for some students
This is a popular and well=known travel writing course which is taught in London regularly since 1999. Choose the online option, or if you're near London, opt for the one day event, or several evenings. We think it's definitely worthwhile!
And — There ya have it! What do you think? Do any of them look good to you? Did you sign up for TravelCon already? Let us know!
Also, if you don't have time for a class but just want to read some tips from other successful travel bloggers, you can hit the links I shared early on in this article (speakers and presenters at TravelCon) and search their blogs for advice - or if you're strapped for cash, do a browse for some free online travel writing courses here and here. Here's a piece from Wandering Earl on the subject, and here's a bit and a half on how the Young Adventuress does her thing. And in conclusion, I wish you the very best in your blogging endeavors! Please share them below if you get a chance - I'd love to read your latest posts!