|Back to Back Issues Page|
Issue #78: The Most Important Skill for Travel Writers
September 07, 2015
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!
I’m taking a break from travel until September 18, when I visit Denver to speak at the Great Escape Publishing Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop.
I always look forward to seeing a fresh and enthusiastic batch of aspiring travel writers at this intensive three-day workshop run by Lori Allen and presented by Jennifer Stevens. This is where I got my training to enter the field of travel writing, so it always brings back memories of how I felt when I was sitting in the audience, trying to figure out how to do this stuff.
Today’s article is the second of my two-part series about what it takes to succeed as a travel writer and blogger in today’s frenetic market.
In this article, I concentrate on the one skill that we all need, no matter how well we write - marketing (and sales).
Without marketing skills, your articles won’t ever get published, and your travel blogs will never get a solid readership. It’s all about sales and marketing.
If selling and marketing your articles (and yourself) makes you feel uncomfortable and overwhelmed, this article will show you four ways to tackle these tasks and make them less intimidating.
We’re also highlighting travel blogger, guidebook author, photographer, and purveyor of travel weirdness, Chris Backe, who curates a most excellent and enlightening blog, One Weird Globe.
The Most Important Secret for SuccessIn Part 1 of this article I talked about some of the basic attributes that travel writers and bloggers need to succeed in this burgeoning and highly competitive field. Characteristics like persistence, patience, and building trusting relationships with editors—and, of course, using your time effectively.
These revelations probably came as no surprise to those of you who are well along the journey of life.
But, at the end of Part 1, I left you hanging.
I said there is one talent (or skill) that shines beyond all others. This is the primary one that has certainly led to my success.
And it is (drum roll here)... sales and marketing.
Most of us have been seduced by the romantic notion that travel writing is all about talent and creativity. Granted, that’s the fun part. But it paints a lopsided picture that has little to do with success.
Many gifted travel writers seldom see their work in print, while other writers with lesser talent—but good marketing skills— manage to shoehorn their stories into practically any magazine they choose.
It may not be fair, but that’s the way it is. The simple and jarring fact is - you need to know how to sell your travel stories.
If you can’t sell your travel stories you’ll never get the chance to write them.
Travel writers who “just want to write” and can’t be bothered learning and refining their marketing skills are doomed to failure in todays’ hyped up market. I don’t know of any successful travel writer without some form of marketing strategy and platform.
Think about a couple of today’s most successful travel writers, like Rick Steves and Bill Bryson. Although they are vastly different in their approaches, they both have very sophisticated marketing skills and have each established a formidable sales and promotions platform.
They sell their stories, books, DVDs, international tour packages and a slew of travel merchandise. They really get “It”—“It” being that their enterprises wouldn’t even get off the ground without effective sales and marketing strategies.
Most of us don’t aspire to be as famous and successful as these guys. But we can learn a lot from these experts.
The way I see it, we have two choices:
Blogger Profile: One Weird GlobeLately, I’ve been corresponding with Chris Backe, a full-time traveler from England and author of One Weird Globe.
He and his Canadian wife, Laura, have been traveling full time since 2008. If ever there was an inspiration for traveling around the globe and making a living via the Internet, this couple is it!
One Weird Globe focuses on exploring oddball travel destinations and the long-term expat lifestyle.
Chris enjoys seeking out weird stuff on his travels and has devoted large sections on One Weird Globe to the high strangeness he’s discovered on his meanderings.
Please share this e-zine with friends, family or anyone who may be interested in travel writing and can benefit from some free marketing and travel writing information.
If you haven’t already done so, please ‘Friend’ me (Roy Stevenson Freelance Writer) on Facebook. My posts are generally travel writing-related and I try to keep it fun.
My Saturday morning ‘Where’s Roy’ Facebook post has been particularly popular! I post a travel photo—usually with me in it—and you have to guess where the heck I am. A few friends and subscribers have proved particularly adept at this.
Please note: Some products mentioned in this e-zine may result in my receiving a small referral fee if you decide to purchase the product. I only recommend products and services that I believe are high quality and can help you be more successful as a freelance writer. Please let me know if you have any questions.
|Back to Back Issues Page|