Travel writing sounds like a dream job and in many ways, it is. To many people pursuing an interest or seeking a career in the field, it sounds like it could even be an easy career path to follow. After all, all you have to do is visit some cool places, compile some notes and photos, write some interesting stories and submit to travel publications, right? Wrong. While travel writing can be a fun and adventurous endeavor, it’s a job that require hard work, long hours and lots of dedication and patience and there is more to the business than just writing cool stories if you want to be successful at it at all!
When I first started writing about travel, I thought it would be easy. Reality hit hard and I discovered I didn’t have a clue how to be a real travel writer! I continued to write over the years but my writing was going nowhere. No one was taking an interest in it, no one was offering to publish any of my articles and hardly anyone was even reading, let alone following, this blog. As I was surfing the net one day looking for articles and tutorials on how to be a better travel writer, I came across some information about the. MatadorU Travel Media School
I was intrigued enough to learn more so I kept reading but, like most things I read about on the net that sound to good to be true, I passed it off as some sort of scam or money-grabbing gimmick. It wasn’t until months later when someone recommended the school to me that I started to look into it again but this time with a more open mind.
In the end, I threw caution to the wind, took my friend’s advice and signed up for the travel writing course. It wasn’t a lot of money anyway and what did I have to lose? I started the course immediately and finished it within a couple of months (I was working full-time at that time so it took a little longer than average for me to complete it) and I can 100% honestly say that it is the best thing I’ve done so far to enhance my travel writing.
When I first signed up, I thought the program materials would be riddled with things that I already knew. I was wrong. The course taught me things I had not even thought about. Things that cannot be found simply by doing searches in Google. And I think the reason the course is so effective and full of helpful material is because it is developed by other travel writers and professionals in the industry who have first-hand knowledge of what works and what doesn’t.
Since graduating from the course, I’ve had articles accepted for a number of publications, I improved my blog and gained a large following, I won several travel photography competitions, I’ve secured freelance work with several well-known travel companies and I won two travel blogging competitions…and my writing is much, much better!
So by now, you may be wondering what the course has to offer. Keep reading to learn more!
First of all, each course costs $475.00 (but there are promotions and deals available for students who sign up for more than one course at a time and sometimes there are other promotions throughout the year). With each course, you will receive one-on-one feedback on your work to help you discover what you could be doing better. You will also become part of a large community of other aspiring and professional travel writers, photographers, filmmakers and journalists and faculty consisting of award-winning professionals who have worked with well-known publications including National Geographic. You can complete courses at your own pace. Once you complete a course, you receive a certificate that you can print off along with code you can paste to your own website or blog to let everyone know you are a MatadorU Graduate. And my personal favorite – you will have access to a database filled with up-to-date jobs, contests and press trips that you can apply for. Most importantly, you have lifetime access to all course and website materials which means you can go back again and again.
Here are the courses that are available and a rundown of what they offer:
MatadorU Travel Photography Program
Advanced Travel Photography
Learning the different functions of your camera
Understanding exposure: Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO
How to optimize lighting for your photography
Building a portfolio and publishing it online
Advanced Travel Photography
Creating photo essays that tell a story
Preparing to work in the field
Advanced techniques in post-processing
Developing your brand and marketing it
Pitching to editors and getting published
MatadorU Travel Writing Program
Fundamentals of Travel Writing
Crafting a travel story
Learning different forms of travel writing such as social commentary, narrative and personal essay
Researching, interviewing, quoting and citing
Developing your personal brand and gaining a following
Advanced Travel Writing
Tips on writing about controversial topics
Best practices while on assignment
Pacing, structure, and transitions feature stories
MatadorU Travel Filmmaking Program
Learning about the gear of a travel filmmaker - cameras, lenses, filters, gear, accessories, and software
Composition and getting good exposure
Capturing high-quality audio
Learning about the different styles of travel films
Post-processing procedures such as importing, organizing footage; trimming and cutting; editing sound/music; transitions, effects and titles
Conducting field work
Building your online brand and getting hired
Start your journey into the world of travel journalism here