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Issue #217: Creating a Successful Blog: 8 Things You Need to Know
August 06, 2018
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!

Welcome to all new subscribers!

Watch For Those Spur-Of-The-Moment Travel Stories

I’ve always recommended that you pitch your travel stories and line up multiple assignments before you visit your destination. Being thoroughly prepared and well organized is crucial for efficient cost-effective travel writing.

That’s what I preach to my coaching clients and it’s what I teach in my Travel Writing and Marketing Master Class. Get your ducks in a row before you leave. With advance assignments, you can get help from the DMO to plan your itinerary and request those money-saving comps.

However, you also need to be open to new potential travel stories while you’re on the road. I’ve uncovered hundreds of new story ideas while I’ve been traveling. These new story ideas have significantly boosted my income and bylines. So, keep your “story antennae” up when you’re traveling!

When you encounter a tourist attraction, or a place, or a person you think would make a good publishable story, there are several things you must do immediately. Don’t neglect these steps or you’ll lose the story before you can even launch it.

1. First, be sure to take plenty of high res photos. And I do mean plenty of images. Shoot the attraction, place, or person from multiple angles. Shoot it from close-up and from a distance. Do not skimp on your photography. In this age of digital memory cards, there is no reason why you shouldn’t take dozens of photos of any place that has potential for publication.

If you can offer the editor a gallery of high-res images to accompany your story, you’re much more likely to land the assignment.

2. Next, collect all pertinent brochures and business cards. Write down the attraction’s website address. If you have the time, take copious notes in your writer's notebook. You do carry a notebook with you at all times, don’t you?

Taking notes while you're actually at the place, or immediately afterwards, is critical. You won’t remember the important details the next day; those details that can often make or break a story. Jot down your impressions of the place and why you think it would make a good story. Write down in your notebook the travel writing basics about the place: who, what, where, when, why & how.

3. Then, locate the person who supervises the attraction and introduce yourself. Tell him or her that you’re going to pitch a story about their attraction and that you’ll be back in touch when you need further information and quotes.

4. Finally, when you get back to home base do further online research about the place to see if it has some “juice” and create your query letter and distribution list.

I’ve reaped new, unplanned assignments from every press trip of Fam tour I’ve been on. I love it when I’ll be strolling along a new destination and see something about a place that hits me like a bolt of lightning; “wow, that would make a great story!” And usually, they do!

As I mentioned at the beginning of this editorial, pitching story ideas ahead of your trip is the preferred way to do things. My Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class explains how to do this. To learn more about this online course, scroll down to the Master Class announcement in this newsletter.

Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

December 9-15, 2018

Hoi An, Vietnam

Registration is open for our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 9-15th.

This unique destination retreat includes creative travel writing and photography workshops.  You'll learn the skills you need to be a successful travel writer and how to produce quality photographs to help you tell your story.

The ancient town of Hoi An, Vietnam was a SE Asian trading port in the 15th through 19th centuries and is a UNESCO World Heritage site. The town continues to thrive today as a trading port, center of commerce and tourist destination. 

Hoi An is especially loved for its beautiful lanterns that decorate the streets by day and magically transform the town into a colorful wonderland every night. 

At the retreat you'll learn the craft of travel writing while touring this extraordinary destination.  No experience is necessary! Just bring an open mind, a laptop, or simply pen and paper.  Your sense of curiosity and creative juices will flow no matter which tools you use.

We’ll explore the fascinating local attractions and experience true Vietnamese culture — all while learning the craft of travel writing and photography from a seasoned travel journalist and photographer.

We'll spend three hours each day in classroom instruction including writing and photography activities.  The rest of the time you're free to explore Hoi An, relax with a spa treatment, go on a bike tour and practice your writing and photography.

There are 3 seats remaining. Grab one now and join us in Hoi An this December for an unforgettable experience!


NEW! Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class

Our 2018 Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class is now available as an online course. We recorded it LIVE, for the people who weren’t able to attend in person.

Who’s it for?

If you’re an aspiring travel writer, or you haven’t had much luck selling your articles to print magazines, this Online Travel Writing & Marketing Workshop is for you.

If you weren’t able to travel to the Live Master Class in Seattle, here’s the opportunity to attend anyway - with no travel costs!

If you work a full-time job and can’t get time off to attend the live class – you can still attend on your own schedule after working hours.

If you’ve wanted to attend our live master class but can’t get your schedule to fit with the dates it’s offered – here’s your opportunity to attend at your own convenience.

What’s included?

Everything from the classroom sessions at the Live Master Class held in Seattle in April, 2018 is included – except now you’ll get to experience it in the comfort of your own home. And you can “attend” class at your own pace.

The training is organized into 5 of the most important travel writing topics:
1. All About Marketing & Selling Your Stories - 27 video sessions
2. How to Work with Tourist Organizations and Land Press Trips – 9 video sessions
3. Building Relationships with Editors – 6 video sessions
4. How to Improve Your Travel Writing to Make it Sparkle and Sell – 17 video sessions
5. Success Panel of New Travel Writers – 4 video sessions

That’s 63 recorded video sessions in all (20+ hours of training)! It’s broken down into bite-sized pieces so you can absorb it at your own pace, whenever you’re in the mood. And you can go back and listen again to any topic for a refresher and review.

Now you can get exactly the same information, techniques, tips, and tricks that participants heard in the live Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class for half the price of the Live class - and without the travel costs!


This Week's Featured Post

Creating a Successful Blog – 8 Simple Things You Should Know

Many travel writers I meet want to start a blog. But how do you create a successful blog – one that earns income?

Last year I attended a lively panel presentation about travel blogging by four apparently successful bloggers, at the International Travel Bourse in Singapore.

I was surprised to learn that none of them had succeeded (yet) in monetizing their blogs. These bloggers had managed to score some free travel and product sponsorship. And they’d all been working hard on their blogs for several years. But they weren’t bringing in any income.

Welcome to the wonderful world of travel blogging!

Here are tips for aspiring travel bloggers who want to create a successful blog and earn an income in this highly competitive arena:


Upcoming Posts

August 13: Following Up On Your Queries
August 20: Seven Beginner’s Travel Writing Mistakes That Can Jeopardize Your Success
August 27: Preparing an Executive Summary for Your Story Idea
September 3: Travel Writing Templates to Save You Time and Help You Earn More Money

We've Been In The News

I was surprised and delighted to learn that a Grade 12 Humanities and Social Sciences student at the Philippines’ University of Baguio created a blog about my career as a travel writer to fulfill a graduation requirement in Creative Non-Fiction.

Here's the link to the Student Blog

How to Resell Your Travel Articles

Resell your work in US & around the world. I do this all the time. Resell your stories to the same type of magazines in different countries. Here’s how I resell my articles and get a bigger bang for my buck. Here are links to my articles about Reselling, Repurposing, and Repackaging your articles.

Five Ways to Sell Your Articles
Earn More - Sell Your Articles Around the World
The Art of Reselling Your Articles

Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week

Featured Book of the Month


Would you like to stay at luxury resorts, villas, and lodges—for free? How about being treated like royalty in high-end resorts?

Would you enjoy personalized tours with your own guide and driver?

Does being pampered with lavish treatments in some of the world’s most beautiful spas sound good to you?

Would you enjoy eating at some of the finest restaurants in the world—for free? Or wine tasting at some of the world’s most gorgeous boutique wineries?

My 12-chapter, 130-page manual will walk you, step-by-step, through the luxury travel writing process. You’ll learn how to get luxury travel assignments and leverage them to land luxury travel trips.

I’ve used these techniques to land assignments at dozens of the finest luxury resorts and spas in the world.

This manual contains an up-to-date list of 150+ print magazines and travel websites that publish luxury travel articles. 

It’s the most comprehensive list of luxury magazine outlets you’ll find ANYWHERE. Having immediate access to these lists alone is worth the price of the eBook, saving you hundreds of hours of research.


Friend me on Facebook

My Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• travel writing & blogging conferences,
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs,
• links to my travel articles,
• travel writing themes,
• links to reputable travel writer’s groups, associations, and newsletters,
• magazine covers stories and back stories,
• links to resources pages,
• links to travel writing archives,
• links to coaching and mentoring resources,
• and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed.

Link to Roy's Personal Facebook page

Please share the e-zine with friends, family or anyone you know who's interested in travel writing. They can sign up for the newsletter and get free marketing tips each week at this link:

Sign up for my weekly marketing tips

That's all for this week.

Until next week, just keep pitching!


Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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