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Issue #219: Are You Making These 7 Travel Writing Mistakes?
August 20, 2018
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!
Welcome to all new subscribers!
What’s The Most Important Attribute for a Freelance Travel Writer?
Successful freelance travel writing requires a combination of skills, but there’s one attribute that seems to stand out above all others. Before I tell you what it is, read these emails that I received a few months ago from two aspiring travel writers:
Email #1: “I've been besieged by an abundance of rejections and no responses. I've poured my heart and soul into pitching with minimal success. Rejection is very hard to take when you know that your ideas have merit. Whatever I'm writing doesn't appeal to editors.”
Email #2 “I am a failure at pitching stories. I either pitch the wrong stories, or I pitch the right stories ineffectively, or I pitch the right stories to the wrong publications. I get into projects that interest me and then I try to create stories that will sell. Except that they don’t. I do not seem to have a good sense of what will sell and what won’t sell.”
Both novice writers complained of the same thing—their early attempts at selling their stories had been disastrous. They were disheartened and were contemplating giving up the game.
This is a normal reaction. Most people would walk away from travel writing after these dismal experiences!
Few of today’s flourishing travel writers have escaped the ravages of failure and rejection. But I've seen so many writers persist and eventually break through into the travel writing stratosphere.
In my soon-to-be-released book, “Rock Star Travel Writers” - a series of lengthy interviews with eleven contemporary elite travel writers - one key quality surfaces repeatedly: tenacity. (a.k.a. persistence or perseverance.)
Here’s an amazing story of tenacity from Mark Andrews, one of the travel writers featured in my book:
“I’ve lived in Asia since the end of 1998. My initial writing progress was slow. My real break came after I moved to Shanghai in 2004. There was a large number of English magazines, both lifestyle and business, aimed at expats published there. From 2005 I began to write for a number of these on a sporadic basis.
From 2007 I have worked on a completely freelance basis with no contracted hours. My first two articles paid $150 each. The higher paying breakthrough for me was actually with newspapers, rather than magazines. It was my twentieth article back in 2006 and it appeared in the South China Morning Post, who over the years, have been one of my best customers.
It took me another six years to break into airline magazines and land my best-ever paid article. In 2012 I landed an article in American Way, my first inflight, at $1 a word for 1,200 words.”
It took Mark six years to break into freelance writing! Yet today he makes 100% of his living from freelancing and thoroughly enjoys the lifestyle that comes with it. That’s tenacity.
Here are a few more quotes from some of the other writers featured in our upcoming Rock Star Travel Writers book.
“Certainly, a thick skin and degree of tenacity are things you have to develop very quickly.”
“Ability to handle rejection, tenacity, writing skills, and style versatility.”
“Persistence really is key, even if you’re a great writer.”
“Perseverance is key; don’t take rejection or editing personally, and just keep working at it if you truly find you have a passion travel and writing.”
Whatever happened to the two writers that sent me those depressing emails a couple of months ago? I just received this email from one of them:
“The month of July (2018) is off to an excellent start. I just got my first byline in United Airlines Hemisphere's magazine about a Hong Kong medicinal snack and my 3rd story for Grand magazine was published. Now I can say I've been published in an inflight magazine! In June, my stories appeared in Destinations, Getting On Travel, Wandering Educators, Canadian Jewish News and Real Food Travelers.”
The second novice writer is still trying to break through. He may or may not succeed. Perhaps I’ll receive a similar “good news” email from him sometime soon.
Tenacity. Persistence. Perseverance. Words to write by.
Travel Writing & Photography Retreat
December 9-15, 2018
Hoi An, VietnamWe only have one space left in our Travel Writing & Photography Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam, December 9-15th.
If you've been thinking of joining us - now's the time to grab the last seat . . .
Register for the Travel Writing Retreat in Hoi An, Vietnam
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's one seat remaining. Grab it now and join us in Hoi An this December for an unforgettable experience!
NEW! Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master ClassOur 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.
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:
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
Are You Making These 7 Travel Writing Mistakes?Learning the art and craft of freelance travel writing requires generous amounts of patience and time. As with any new endeavor, novice travel writers tend to make certain mistakes. Experience too many of these at the beginning of your travel writing journey, and you might decide to quit before you give yourself a chance to meet with any success.
These mistakes can easily be avoided if you understand why they’re mistakes, and if you know what to do to avoid them.
Here are the top seven mistakes beginners make, along with tips about how you can sidestep them …
Upcoming PostsAugust 27: How to Prepare a Destination Summary for Your Story Idea
September 3: Travel Writing Templates to Save You Time and Help You Earn More Money
September 10: Writing for In-Flight, On-Board, & In-Room Magazines
September 17: Tips to Avoid Cliches in Travel Writing
We've Been In The NewsAre you a random writer or a systematic writer? Read my checklist to see what you’re doing right (and wrong!) - and what to do about it.
Link to Writers Weekly article
Your Travel Writing PlatformFreelance travel writers need a marketing platform as much as authors. Here are some tips on how to build your travel writer’s platform and what content you should post on it.
Building a Professional Writers Website and Why You Need One
4 Reasons to Get Published on Travel Websites
How to Ask for Testimonials from Editors and CVBs
Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week
Featured Book of the Month
HOW TO BREAK INTO LUXURY TRAVEL WRITINGWould 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 FacebookMy 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.
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!
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