If you’ve ever felt like you needed some mysterious skills or powerful connections to be a travel writer, I’m here to tell you otherwise. To the uninitiated becoming a travel writer can feel impossible. Yes, it’s tough to break into this coveted field, but it’s possible.
How do I know?
Well, I broke into the travel industry back in 2017 without any special skills or connections.
Turns out what it really takes to be a successful travel writer is the curiosity of an adventurer and an unrelenting desire to see the world. Plus, a passion for the written word. You see, these two things make it easier to share. To share your experiences, thoughts, and sensations in a way that captures the imagination of anyone who reads your words.
Being a tourist is not enough. Just taking a vacation won’t work. You need to travel with an open mind and heart to see what lies beneath. Your job is to recall and express what others miss, to entrance readers (and editors).
The World Has Changed
During pre-pandemic days the travel writing industry was plentiful and lucrative. Even though it was difficult to achieve, the travel writers who persisted enjoyed plenty of perks and rewards.
But the world has changed.
Although I know for a fact that travel media are still sought after for collaboration opportunities, things are different. Both established and new travel writers will need to adapt to the “new norm”. But that doesn’t mean that there aren’t opportunities.
Travel writers will play a big role in helping the travel, tourism and hospitality industry recover. PR agents and travel brands are more eager than ever to work with travel writers to promote their clients and businesses to the world.
As hotels, resorts, airlines, cruise lines, tourism boards, DMO’s and more start to open up for the summer season and beyond, they’ll need the skills that only travel writers can provide.
That’s why I feel there is no better time than now to become a travel writer…
Roadmap for Travel Writers
To help you along your journey, I’ve created a Roadmap to Landing Your First Travel Sponsorship.
This roadmap will guide you through the process so that you always know what to do next.
Inside you’ll find the exact steps you need to take to become a travel writer and land your first sponsored travel collaboration with hotels, resorts, spas, restaurants, or tourism boards.
6 Keys to Travel Writing Success
One of the main steps in the roadmap is building up your portfolio. Either on your own platform (blog) or leveraging the platform of a larger and more established publication.
In order to do that you need to know what editors want…
No matter what, always thoroughly research your markets. Most of the time when you pitch is rejected it’s because you’ve pitched something that doesn’t fit the publication and their audience. Don’t waste your time trying to sell something that they don’t buy. Familiarize yourself with the publication first – read their content! Go back through past issues/posts to get a good idea of what they publish. You don’t want to send a pitch for a story idea that was recently published.
Writing a catchy headline can be a challenge but it’s an important part of the process. Your headline needs to capture the essence of your piece. But it also needs to convey your energy and enthusiasm for the content. It’s a lot to ask from a title, I know. Don’t spend hours obsessing about this though. Use this headline analyzer tool to help you along.
Follow Submission Guidelines
This is just common sense but sometimes requires repetition. The publication and editor know what they want. So, they tend to make this clear in their submission guidelines. The closer you stick to those pitching parameters, the better your chance of getting published. Address the editor by name, provide all the required information, and be polite. Editors are busy people and to build a good relationship means being respectful.
Show, Don’t Tell
This is a vital part of travel writing. Readers need to feel as if they’re experiencing a place with you. Creative language is useful but not always necessary. Use your five senses to recreate the experience; even in a brief pitch. Give the editor an idea of what to expect by putting your best writing in your pitch. Good writing in your pitch could be enough to convince the editor to take a chance on you, even if you don’t have any relevant clips.
We all know a picture is worth a thousand words, so use them too. If you’re a good photographer, make your skills known. Send a few of your images along with a pitch. Many publications will even pay you to use your images along with your content.
When it comes to pitching publications, you need patience. Some editors can take really long to respond while others will get back to you immediately. But don’t be afraid to follow up after a week or two. You can definitely send a follow up email asking for confirmation that your pitch was received. But use the time between replies wisely by formulating new story ideas and pitching other publications too.
Pitch to Travel
There is so much involved in becoming a successful travel writer, but the effort sure is worth it. If you’re committed to honing your skills as a travel writer then you’ll want to enroll in Pitch to Travel. This intensive course was designed for aspiring travel writers who want to perfect their pitch to get commissions from editors and land travel sponsorships with ease. Join the Pitch to Travel VIP waitlist here for an exclusive launch discount!
Do you want to learn how to be a travel writer?
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