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I haven’t taken a writing course since high school, so dropping $400 on this one was a big deal.
This Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course review breaks down my experience with the travel writing course. I’ll also give my honest opinion on if this is worth the hefty price tag that comes with it.
First, let’s start with the questions I was asking before I even bought the course.
Super bummed to discover that travel writing is about 5% this and 95% real work
Q: I’ve been writing about travel for 1.5 years. Will this course teach me anything I don’t know?
In just the first module alone I took two pages of notes. David Farley, an experienced travel writer and professor at NYU and Columbia, gets into the nitty gritty of writing and shares a lot of insight that I didn’t know before. Even the bonus interviews had some awesome, real tips that I can actually put to use today.
Q: Do you really get personalized feedback throughout the course?
You’ll come out of the course with four completed pieces. For each assignment, I wrote a first draft and sent it to David or Matt and they responded with personalized feedback. Then, I made edits and even sent them in for a second round of feedback. This helped me turn good articles into great articles and now I have multiple pieces that I can pitch to start my travel writing career.
Q: How long does this course take to complete?
Each new section is only unlocked one week after the previous one was opened.
At first I found this annoying because I went through all the content quickly, but then I realized it’s actually a great way to force us to slow down and take our time with the assignments.
Being unable to move on fast forced me to put more time, thought, and effort into them and in the end I got better results.
EDIT: Since I bought the course in Summer 2018 and wrote this review, the layout changed from five month-long modules to six week-long modules. However, the content is the same and it seems the only difference is the order you do them in.
Hard at work & definitely not posing
Week 1 & 2 Review
The first module starts out strong. When I took it, weeks one and two were combined into one month long section.
David Farley is a professor and accomplished travel writer, and that professionalism comes across in his videos. This isn’t some salesy spam-filled webinar, it’s the real thing. After years of working online, that’s such a welcome breath of fresh air.
Weeks one and two focus on practical tips that you need to know before you even start writing a story. It’s important to remember that travel writing is very different from blogging, so even though my own blog is moderately successful, there was still a ton of info I didn’t know in this section.
Week 3 Review
Week three is all about editing.
I don’t really have much trouble on this front because I make a living as a writer and I’m well aware of basic grammar rules.
However, I still found a few hidden gems in the section about how to be descriptive and they have honestly helped shape everything I’ve written since. So, this section still gets two thumbs up from me.
Week 4 Review
This week is taken over by Nomadic Matt instead of David Farley. I was really looking forward to hearing from the biggest name in the travel blogging industry but this section let me down a bit.
He focuses on “going viral” but I would have loved to hear more about SEO tips, how he transitioned from blogging to writing a book, his personal journey, or just about anything more than the tiny glimpse we got from him.
If you’re completely new to blogging, though, I think you’ll still find some interesting tips and advice here. Plus, the two interviews with freelance writers this week are very honest and I really enjoyed reading those as well.
EDIT: Unfortunately, it looks like with the new course updates they’ve removed all the extra interviews with travel writers and editors! That’s a shame because they were incredibly insightful and a highlight of the course. If you buy it, I recommend reaching out to them and asking for the interview transcripts.
Week 5 Review
Week five covers two different topics. The first is about writing memoirs and personal essays and the second is about the research process.
David gave some good advice about how to research stories better and how to get more out of interviews. There were also two awesome tips about a great resources for information that I had never thought of before.
The essays/memoir section was originally at the beginning but I think it’s better where it is now, later in the course. Writing a personal essay for the course was the most challenging part for me, and I loved the way it forced me to think and write differently than I ever have before.
Week 6 Review
The final section about the business of travel writing is probably the most helpful in the course.
It starts with some good info about writing a book. That’s not something that’s been on my radar but if it is in the future it’s pretty cool to know I always have access to this guide and can even email David with any questions I have.
Matt also jumps in with some info about monetizing blogs. I’m kind of in this stage with Slight North right now so I appreciated the insight and will definitely be utilizing some of his ideas.
Finally, there’s an absolutely awesome pitching guide with 107 places to pitch and what they pay. I’ve spent sooo much time digging up this info on my own and coming up short, so this is basically worth the price of the course alone.
What You’ll Get With The Superstar Blogging Travel Writing Course
Now that I’ve completed it, I can confidently say I am happy with the course.
The fact that there’s a real person on the other side of the screen motivated me more than anything else. Everyone wants positive feedback, so forming a real relationship with David and turning in regular assignments pushed me to write better content than I ever have before. For me, this is definitely the biggest perk of the Superstar Blogging travel writing course.
In the end I came away with:
- 2 travel articles
- 1 personal essay
- 1 blog post (check it out!)
That’s not all, though. This course also comes with a lot of supporting material that most others just don’t have. When you buy the Superstar Blogging travel writing course, you also getting access to:
- Facebook group where you can ask questions and find help
- Personalized feedback and multiple rounds of edits from David and Matt
- 10+ exclusive interviews with experts in the travel writing industry Unfortunately it looks like these have been removed, but you should ask for them if you buy the course.
- Editing check lists
- A very useful list of places to pitch articles
- Lifetime access to the material – if and when it’s updated in the future, you’ll get it too
Most importantly, the Superstar Blogging travel writing course comes with a 100% money back guarantee. I mean, may as well try it out, right?
So, is it worth the price?
For me, yes.
Honestly, this is one of those things where you’ll get out what you put in. The course has not only helped me hone my writing skills but also focus on the pitching process and hold myself accountable to finally chase down this dream.
Since I started the course I can happily say I’ve been published on the Matador Network and even landed a regular travel writing series on Cincinnati Refined!
I would not have worked so hard to achieve these (or pitched them well) without this course.
I think David Farley is a great teacher and really enjoyed this course. If you take your time on each module, take notes, and write and edit your assignments with care, you’ll come out a whole new writer just like I did.