Developing a niche as a traveling music writer

A reader named Jake recently wrote with a question about kick-starting a music-writing career from the road. “I’ve been a music writer for about two years now,” he wrote, “and before that I wrote often about my European travels during my time studying abroad. I would welcome and appreciate any advice you have on how I could go about developing a niche for myself as a “traveling music writer” in a way that would still enable me to live. I don’t need a lot of money, and I’m not very high maintenance, but I would like to break even during this adventure.”

This is what I told him:

The good news is that it sounds like a great plan! The bad news is that these schemes are hard to front-load and pitch in advance (especially if you don’t already have a lot of editorial contacts in place) and really require you to have that specific music-travel experience first.

So what I’d do is just save up some money and hit the road on your own dime and your own itinerary. While you’re on the road, pour all your effort into making your blog the best travel + music resource out there. While you’re doing this, you can pitch and write stories for as many freelance venues as possible. After a spell — say, one year, if you work hard — you’ll have the kind of expertise and body-of-work that will make you a go-to guy in this field. And then maybe you can roll it all into a living (but even then it won’t be an extravagant living).

And even if you can’t roll that initial one-year trip into a career, you’ll have a blast traveling the world in the process!

Posted by | Comments (2)  | March 30, 2009
Category: Vagabonding Advice

2 Responses to “Developing a niche as a traveling music writer”

  1. Cate Says:

    What a great niche-music and travel.Make the most of the internet,if you have talent people will hear it and talk about it.I think it’s really important to make your blog stand out,look professional and brand it. Use your blog like a resume. Build up a following,become a specialist and believe in yourself. Once you have it up and running send me a link.I’ll be your first fan.