Tag Archives: writing

Four Ways to Make Money Traveling

September 16, 2011

Make Money Traveling

If you asked people what they would do if they didn’t have to work, you can bet most answers would include something to do with traveling. But did you know there are actually ways to make money traveling? These are just a few ways that you can make travel fun and profitable.

Sun, sand and syntax!

Use your writing skill to make money traveling. Image credit: kiwanja, Flicker.com.

Option #1 – Travel writing

Many travel-focused magazines are on the constant lookout for new and engaging articles. While these magazines have high quality standards for content, if you have writing talent and experience, this is a great way to make money traveling. A good place to learn more and gain access to travel writing resources is thetravelwriterslife.com.

Option #2 – Write a blog about traveling or Podcast about it

You may not be able to easily get a job writing for a travel magazine, but you can do the next best thing and start writing for yourself. Many people will be interested to learn about your travel adventures, especially if you can write in an informative and humorous manner. Once you start getting some traffic to your blog you can begin selling travel related products or advertisements. You could also consider writing and self-publishing a travel guide.

If you are more comfortable just talking passionately about where you have been or what you have seen, a podcast may be your best bet to make money traveling. Record a short episode about your favorite traveling experience. Upload it and watch those hits come in; if you can make your listeners feel a connection with your podcast, you can be guaranteed to have them coming back to hear about your most recent adventure. Once you have a sizable fan base, you can began seeking out advertisers or sponsors for your podcast. Visit transtionasabroad.com/navpages/links/best _travel_podcasts.shtml for a list of podcasts that you can listen to for inspiration.

Option #3 – Offer English language tutoring

This obviously won’t work if you are just planning to travel to Boston or New York. If however you are interested in seeing the world, you can cover the costs of your trip and maybe make a little extra by offering your services as an English language tutor. As English has become the dominant language in the business world, the demand for English language tutors has increased. By tutoring you will meet some incredible people and make money traveling.

Do you have an eye for photography? Use it to make money traveling. Image credit: travellingtamas, Flicker.com.

Option #4 – Photography

For the right person who is truly passionate about traveling and photography, travel photography is an excellent way to make money traveling. People not only love beautiful pictures, but also seeing places that they have never visited. Because not everyone has the time or budget to travel around the world, viewing the world through photographs gives them a chance to see what is out there. If you have a knack for photography, it could be worth getting out there and start taking pictures. If there is not a magazine or website interested in running your pictures, start your own website! Check out travelphotographers.net for some more information.

Of course, there are other ways to make money traveling that we did not mention here, and we invite you to join our discussion and let us know some of your favorite ways are that worked in the past.

4 Essentials to Look For in a Writing Handbook

September 13, 2011

Attention college students: as you get settled into your new fall classes and start shopping for the best textbook prices, here are a few things to look for in a writing handbook that will help with your term papers and essay assignments.

Once you get past the introductory writing courses like English 101, your professors are going to expect competent, college-level writing in your assigned essays without giving you a lot of steps and support. Hopefully you learned all of the basics from English 101, and even if you did, an excellent writing handbook can provide a lot of quick support and resources at your fingertips.

All college writing handbooks will give you the basics about starting your essay (brainstorming, mapping, outlining, and drafting), and all handbooks will give you the grammar basics (how to make sure your sentence isn’t a fragment and how to tell if your sentence has a comma splice), but here are a few things to look for in a writing handbook that offer extra support to make your writing shine during college (and maybe beyond college too).

Have you selected a college writing handbook yet? Image credit: Unhindered by Talent, flickr.com

#1 – Sentence Style

In the beginning of your undergraduate days, you will probably be most concerned with creating error-free sentences. However, as you go deeper into your degree field and start taking upper-level courses, correctness is no longer enough; you want to have style. Learning the intricacies of subordination is essential for advanced college-level writing, especially if you want to go on to graduate school. It takes a lot of practice. For example, do you know how to use parallelism in order to convey the multi-part meaning of a complex idea, capture your audience’s attention through stylistic devices, and display a sophisticated level of critical thinking with your grammar? Make sure your handbook has an entire section on sentence style that gives plenty of ideas and instructions for a variety of sentences.

#2 – MLA/APA Updates

Your professors will expect you to use MLA or APA format (or maybe something else) to document your sources. Make sure your writing handbook has the latest updates. For example, MLA format has now been updated so students no longer need to include cumbersome urls in their citations. As far as I can tell, most of the updates for documenting electronic and online sources are very helpful for students, so it’s better to make sure you’re using the new format.

#3 – Glossary of Style and Usage

There are a lot of things in college writing that your spellchecker will not pick up. For example, do you know whether or not to use “toward” or “towards”? “Further” or “farther”? “Hanged” or “hung”? Do you know the differences between “lay,” “lie,” and “laid”? Should you capitalize seasons? A good glossary of usage will provide easy answers to all of these things and a lot more. If you think your professors don’t notice stuff like this, you’re wrong. They notice, and it doesn’t take very many little usage errors to add up and make an overall bad impression.

Resume

Use a writing handbook to easily develop a spiffy resume. Image credit: The CV Inn, flickr.com

#4 – Resumes and Cover Letters

During college and after, you’re going to need to make awesome resumes and cover letters for job hunting. All of the lessons of effective college writing come into play with these documents that can make or break your job search: how to write for a specific audience (your prospective employer), how to craft concise and impactful sentences, how to persuade, how to use powerful verbs for dynamic style. Making a perfect resume and cover letter is an art form–it takes style. In addition to these features, there are very specific conventions regarding format and presentation for resumes and cover letters. Too many people stop at correct format without making their sentences powerful. You want your writing handbook to give you all of this information within easy reach. Spend at least as much time editing and revising your resume as you would a college term paper that is ten times as long.

Some of you out there might be thinking, why should I bother paying for a writing handbook when all of this information is available online? It’s true that you can find most of this information online, but you have to find it first. As a working writer myself, I can tell you it is much more time consuming to go searching for a usage question online (and sort through all the results that pop up) than it is to flip open my handbook, which is always sitting on my desk.

Do you have any questions about finding a writing handbook? Or do you have any other questions that you always wanted to ask your professors but were afraid to ask? Leave your questions in the comments section and I can give you all of the inside information.

DIY: How to Self Publish Your Books

March 23, 2011

Stephen King faced over two dozen rejections before he was able to sell his first novel, Carrie, to a publisher. Frank Herbert faced the same problem with Dune. But those were the ancient days of the 20th century when using publishers was the easiest way to get you book in readers hands. There was self-publishing–Beatrice Potter self-published 250 copies of The Tale of Peter Rabbit—however, true success would only come through major publishing companies. Thankfully, self-publishing in the 21st century is a little different.

Today, self publishing is ridiculously easy. Through the use of Print-on-Demand (POD) websites like Lulu.com and Createspace.com, anyone can self publish a book. The process is not limited to novels; you can use Blurb.com to create photography or picture books. If your interest is less stiff book and more floppy pamphlet, use Magcloud to create your own magazine.

The greatest feature that POD offers is affordability. These companies don’t charge money to upload or store the book’s files, they only ask from money when they print a book. The neat thing about that is that it’s possible to print one book at a time. This means a writer doesn’t have to print 1000 books at a time and store them until they’re sold. Each copy is printed when it’s bought.

And these services aren’t just for amateurs; established writers are also using them. Guys like Warren Ellis, Cory Doctorow and Wil Wheaton (yeah, the guy from Stand by Me and Star Trek: TNG) are dipping their toes into the POD pool to see what all the fuss is about.

These technological innovations make the gap between author and reader smaller and smaller. Keep in mind that it’s still a relatively new service, so all the bugs haven’t been worked out. And just selling a book on the sites won’t make you an overnight phenomenon. But if you just want a copy of your novel to go on your bookshelf, this is a great thing.