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Issue #223: How to Ditch the Travel Clichés
September 17, 2018
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers and Bloggers!

. . . and WELCOME to all new subscribers! Thanks for joining us.

Editorial: Marketing Tasks To Establish & Promote Your Brand

When you consider the multitude of marketing tasks it takes to promote yourself and your writing these days, it rapidly becomes daunting. So much to do, so little time!

When you’re overloaded, you have a tendency to freeze up and not do anything until divine inspiration strikes — which could take a considerable amount of time!

It’s much easier if you break your marketing and self-promotion tasks down into bite sized pieces, and then just do what you can each day.

Here are some self-promotion and marketing tasks you can do each day — or at least each week — that will advance your name and brand, and help you rise above the thousands of others writhing around in that huge travel writer’s mosh pit.

Without any further ado, here are ten self-promotion tasks that you should be able to squeeze into one week:

1. Post your latest travel story on
2. Post your latest travel story on your Facebook page.
3. Create a Facebook site for your writing self (versus your personal page) if you don’t already have one.
4. Write some updated copy for your writer’s website (You do have a writer’s website, don’t you?)
5. Send out a query letter to a regional, national, or international magazine.
6. Pitch or write a guest blog post and send it out to a high profile writing website. Or, leave well-written, intelligent replies on other travel blogs or websites demonstrating your expertise and sparkling personality.
7. If you’ve authored a travel book, send it for review to someone who has an appropriate website or blog.
8. Start a biweekly or monthly newsletter with writing or travel tips.
9. Write a feature for your local paper.
10. Hand out 5 business cards each day or do 5 email introductions.

This Week's Featured Post

Ditch the Travel Clichés

Hands up if you’ve ever used any of these phrases or words in your travel writing? - A hidden treasure
- Sun-kissed
- Lush greenery
- Breathtaking beauty
- Stunning natural landscape
- Crystal clear seas
- Sparkling blue water
- Pristine beaches
- Snow-capped mountains
- Unique charm
- A quaint village
- A kaleidoscope of colors
- Off the beaten track

If you’re using these clichés in your travel stories, you’re doing your freelance travel writing career a great disservice. Using clichés in your writing reveals a lack of imagination.

When you notice clichés creeping into your stories, it’s time to actively search for new ways to describe your travel scenes.

What are clichés and how can you eliminate them from your travel writing? This article tells you what you need to know to ditch the cliches and improve your writing.

READ THE ARTICLE: Ditch the Travel Cliches

In case you missed it: Writing for Inflights

Last week’s feature post told you all you need to know about writing for inflights.

If you’d like to add inflights to your list of bylines, you’ll want to read it.


Travel Writing & Photography Retreat

December 9-15, 2018 - Hoi An Vietnam

Our Vietnam workshop is completely full.

To put your name on a waiting list in case a slot opens up, go to this link to get your name on the list. We can't make any promises, but if someone cancels we'll let you know.


NEW! Online Course

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.

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.

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.

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!


Upcoming Posts

September 24: How Writing Executive Summaries Can Help Your Travel Writing
October 1: Six Ways to Increase Your Productivity
October 8: How to Get Invited on Press Trips
October 15: Organizing an International Press Trip: Roy’s 12-day Press Trip in SW Germany

How to Dream Up Story Ideas that Sell

It's getting harder and harder to be a generalist travel writer trying to do what thousands of other generalist travel writers are doing; writing superficial Top Ten “listicles”. To be published in paying print media you have to be really creative to come up with unique story ideas that editors haven’t heard before.

Many of my freelance writer friends tell me they have difficulty coming up with multiple story ideas about one place. It takes some groundwork to become savvy at recognizing and mining gold nugget travel story ideas. The following articles point you in the right direction for dreaming up saleable travel stories.

Although there will always be a market for basic roundup articles, the competition is fierce. Editors are looking for new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Many Types of Travel Stories

For novice freelance writers, trying to figure out what story to pitch to an editor is a daunting task because they have no frame of reference.  Often, beginners lack confidence in their story ideas. So where do you start?
Six Ways to Generate Story Ideas that Sell

The best travel story is a result of writing about your personal interests or passions. Anything that interests you will result in an article that has more meaning, more emotion, and a deeper level of knowledge to share with your readers. 
Writing Genres and Your Travel Writing Niche

There are some common travel writing themes for travel articles. Here are a few of them.
The Best Travel Story Taps Into Your Interests and Passions

Round-up travel stories have many similarities.  These are high-level descriptions, or “roundups”, of what a city or destination has to offer.
Roundup Travel Stories are the Most Fun to Write

A huge factor in selling story ideas and getting them published is the quality of your idea. So where, and how, do travel writers start their quest for a salable story? 
6 Tips for Dreaming Up Story Ideas that Sell

Inspirational Travel Quote of the Week

Featured Book of the Month


Everything you need to know about selling your travel articles. If you can’t sell your travel stories, you don’t get to write them.

My freelance travel writing manual, The Complete Guide to Marketing and Selling Your Travel Articles tells you how to select salable story ideas, how to write query letters, how to pitch your ideas the right way, how to find magazines that will be interested in your story, and how you can start selling your travel articles to magazines immediately and reap the fantastic travel benefits.

Here’s what travel writer Mike Gerrard said about my marketing manual.

“I bought this book direct from the author's website and even though I'm a full-time travel writer myself, I learned a heck of a lot from it. We all have our weak spots, and mine is definitely pitching and writing query letters. This book pushed me into action, showed me lots of the author's own query letters that worked, and has now given me a 'to do' list for pitches I want to send. Just reading it reminded me of trips I've done in the last year or two that I could sell more pieces from, and also stuff that's on my own doorstep that I could and should be pitching. Whether you're a professional or a complete beginner, I highly recommend this book.”

Here’s travel writer Chris Backe’s review of my marketing manual:

“Roy is a machine – at least, that’s the only conclusion I have come up with. Having written for over 190 magazines (and reaching the 100 mark in 25 months), you would expect him to have a well-oiled machine and strong sense of process to keep things running. And you’d be right – his six-step ‘chain-link’ process is made out to be intentionally simple and easy to follow. That said, pitching, researching, and collecting good information still requires a fair bit of hard work, and the book offers no shortcuts. The specifics focus around coming up with good ideas, the correct questions to ask, finding the right publications for your ideas.

Creating distribution lists (one for each genre) makes pitching easier, while he encourages no fewer than 17 “essential elements” of a good query letter. Parts of these will sound old-fashioned to the younger set, (“no pictographs of inkwells, suitcases… smileys, [or] pink fonts…”), but will distinguish you as a professional. Chapter eight gets into some of the terminology used as rights go, along with the delightful problem of how to handle multiple acceptances.

At $99 it’s far from the cheapest set of information out there – but getting your first night in, say, a four-star hotel room in Europe means the book has already paid for itself. Highly recommended."


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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