Nomadic Matt is the king of budget travel. If you want to backpack, he’s your guy. His site is consistently the top site in this sector and after running it for over a decade, its full of literally thousands of useful articles about traveling on the cheap. He is famous for this. If you have read anything online about cheap travel, you’ve probably heard of him.
However, what you might not know is that he also has an exceptional Media School, where he offers courses on various aspects of getting into the travel industry. These courses are thorough, extensive, run by experts in their fields, and extremely practical to help you reach your goals.
I’ve taken two of them and this website would simply not exist without me having taken them.
The courses available are:
I bought The Business of Blogging at the end of 2017 when I had the seed of an idea that I wanted to start making a travel website about travel by cruise ship.
I had the dream, the love of cruise travel, the ideas, but no knowledge on where to even begin to make that a reality. After researching quite a few courses online, this one stood out, with the quality and quantity of content, and the descriptions of the modules sounding like something that would actually be specific and something I could follow and learn from.
And I did.
It takes you through every step from the beginnings of an idea-ling in your head, to figuring out what you can do with your ideas, how to figure out your strengths, what your niche is, decide on a good name, to then designing and actually setting up the whole site through every aspect. It guides you through choosing themes, platforms and hosts for your site and which widgets are most useful. I didn’t even know these terms before the course!
You then move onto lessons on writing. I have read a lot of travel sites and seen a lot of very bad writing, so looking into basics of writing principles and grammar allows you to stand out from many straight away. Then you move on to building it into something people can read and want to follow.
From there you move onto modules on building your following on social media to build readership, the value of networking and guest posting, before actually learning about monetizing your site, so you can move into the realm of it being something you can earn from, if you choose.
The course comes with ten step-by-step units, which guide you through all these topics with articles, videos, recommended reading, updated links to useful articles, interviews with experts in the area, and homework, which you get feedback on.
It comes with a lifetime membership, so even though the course is sent to you one weekly module at a time for ten weeks, you can go back and forward, dipping in and out of the info forever (which is what I still do). It also comes with membership to its own private Facebook group for students where you can chat, network, ask questions, get feedback and share.
All courses also give you access to the Opportunities Board, where travel sites can post ads looking for writers, collaborators and guest posts. I’ve personally made lots of connections with other bloggers through this, and arranged guest posts, collaborations as well as paid writing work with four travel websites.
The best connection work-wise I made with this was with mega travel site The Planet D, who I write regularly for.
So if you have any sort of dream to create a site that you can work towards using as a business, or a sideline job, or hobby, or you just want to document your travels somewhere properly for posterity, or your friends and family at home to see where you’ve been or for your own memories – this is the course for you.
I genuinely would not have this site without it. So book your place on it now and start working on your dream.
The second of Nomadic Matt’s Media School courses that I bought was How to Be a Successful Travel Writer. I signed up for this in April 2018, the same month I launched my site.
When I started this site, I did so to help people get the most out of their cruise life, giving them advice. But I wanted to do so writing the information in a well-written way.
I’ve read many websites – travel and other genres – which are quite popular and get a lot of readers, but are poorly written.
When starting out in freelance writing, I was commissioned to write a piece for a travel blog, so I read quite a few of its articles so I could write in its style. It was a popular blog with a good amount of traffic and decent following.
What I read were articles, which sounded to me more like dialogue from the 1990s Bill and Ted movies than something you’d ever dare to dream to read in a National Geographic publication.
The whole “Yo bro, you should totally see this waterfall, its bodaciously awesome!” type of writing just didn’t sit well with me.
I knew this was not how I wanted to write.
I’d learned on the Superstar Blogging course that you have to always write for your demographic of reader. But I couldn’t do this. Not even for a (small) fee. So I didn’t.
I’ve always enjoyed writing and English was my favourite subject at school, I read a lot, speak several languages and am a singer with thousands of song’s lyrics in my head. I love words.
I wanted to make sure that the writing on my site would be the best I could offer my readers. So when I read the content of the How to be a Successful Travel Writer course, I excitedly signed up straight away.
I have to say, I enjoyed – and am still enjoying – as I still dip in and out of it, using the knowledge in it regularly, and actually enjoy it even more than the Superstar Blogging course.
I’m not saying it’s any better. I needed the Superstar Blogging course. I wouldn’t have started the site without it as all the info I really needed was in one place. But it also involved lots of aspects such as tech things, and working on the business side of it, which wasn’t my main love.
The actual writing was. I genuinely love the writing course. The main reason for this is the person who crafted it and runs it – David Farley. He is an award-winning renowned travel writer and professor of writing at Columbia University.
Do you know how much it costs to do a writing course at Columbia University?
Here you can get the expertise – the specially tailored, specific, relevant expertise – of David for the very low cost of this course.
There are homework assignments that David Farley and Matt Kepnes (Nomadic Matt himself) give you feedback on and the modules are structured in a way to give you the tools to keep working on your craft and increasing your caliber continually.
It makes you think about your writing, focus on your words and hone your abilities, and it really is a joy to take for anyone interested in improving their writing.
The Superstar Blogging course I would say is essential for anyone wanting to start any kind of travel site or blog. The Travel Writing course will help anyone interested in writing at all nurture their love for it, feed their passion and curiosity for words and help them turn their travel story diary entries into eloquent essays, which can help transport their readers to the destinations.
Take this course if you like to write, or want to learn to write. It doesn’t matter if you want to show anyone your words or if you want to end up honing these skills into something you can be paid full time for – this is an incredibly good value for money way to get a Columbia University quality course at a low online course price.
If you want any proof of how useful David’s course is, check out my Published Pieces section. You’ll see I have over 30 freelance travel writing pieces shown there that I have had published so far.
You may also notice that seven of them are from National Geographic Traveller (UK). I managed to be offered an Editorial Intern for them in August 2018 working there for a month and managed to be assigned these seven pieces. David’s course – that I’d started in the April – helped me achieve that.
I haven’t personally taken the Photography or Vlogging courses (yet), but only as I’m too busy still with other aspects of my site and writing. However, they are on my list to start soon.
I 100% believe that their quality will be just as good as the Blogging and Writing courses, so they will be invaluable resources for anyone interested in improving their photography or film-making skills, whether for fun or to turn it into your new career.
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