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Issue #451: 8 Ways to Enhance Your Travel Writing Brand Using Facebook
December 04, 2023
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!
. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.
EditorialWe’re two-thirds through our three-month long-stay in Da Nang, Vietnam. We’re enjoying every moment of it! It’s been a lot of fun catching up with our expat and Vietnamese friends. We’ve caught up with local restaurateurs, coffee baristas, our friends who provide laundry and spa services, plus some expat friends who remained here during the COVID epidemic or have returned for a visit. It’s fun to see what’s changed and what has stayed the same since we left in August 2021.
We’re staying in the An Thuong Tourist District. This series of 200-meter-long streets is packed with nail salons, spas, restaurants, coffee shops, and hotels. Tourism here has recovered considerably and our friends here tell us that it‘s up to 50% of pre-COVID, so it’s still pleasantly quiet rather than bursting with demanding tourists.
500 Print MagazinesIf you purchased 500 Print Magazines That Want To Publish Your Travel Stories, the December issue (#4) will be available on the 15th of this month. You'll receive an email with a login link, but in case you don't, you can access the login page and input your login credentials at this link
In the December list (Issue #4) you’ll receive another 50 magazines plus 9 bonus magazines — along with a wealth of information about each magazine. (In total this month you'll have received 171 magazine listings so far!) We’ve also included some introductory materials about pitching your story ideas to magazines. Be sure to download both files.
We're also including a Revisions document with a few updated links and information. This will be updated each month as needed, so be sure and download it to get the latest information on sites that have made changes.
If you have any problems downloading any issues, please get in touch with us at email@example.com and we’ll be happy to help you.
We’re looking forward to hearing from you about which magazines you’ve pitched successfully and what stories have been picked up by these magazines.
PitchTravelWrite.com is in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 2024 Annual YearbookWe’re absolutely thrilled and proud to announce that our website, www.PitchTravelWrite.com, is listed in the 2024 “101 Best Websites for Writers” in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s Annual Yearbook. This is our 5th consecutive year listed on this prestigious site — and we’re the only travel writing website on the list!
The 2024 Writer’s Yearbook is a comprehensive, all-in-one resource for writers who need a boost to finish the year on a strong note or start planning their new years’ writing goals. Featuring the top websites and markets for writers, plus articles on freelancing, creativity, writing book-length works, and attracting an agent, this special publication has something for any writer looking to get their work published. You can find details and order a copy of the Annual Yearbook at the links below:
Funds For Writers NewsletterI'm thrilled and honored to have guest posts published for two consecutive weeks in Hope Clark’s excellent “Funds For Writers” newsletter.
My first post, "How To Presell Your Travel Stories” shows how and why travel writers must sell their stories before they visit their destinations.
Here’s the link
Northwest Travel & Words Travel Writing ConferenceBack in newsletter #449, we introduced new freelance travel writer Bianca Dumas to our readers. She’s selling dozens of articles to a wide variety of magazines—and making it look easy.
Last month, Bianca was one of 30 travel writers invited by Allen Cox to attend the Northwest Travel & Words Conference.
Here’s Bianca’s report on how the conference went down:
On November 14, 2023, we wrapped up the 3-day Travel and Words conference, offered by Allen Cox of Northwest Travel and Life Magazine. The conference was held in downtown Missoula, Montana, co-sponsored by Destination Missoula. We were offered a discounted rate to stay at The Wren hotel, where we gathered daily for breakfast. I was an invited writer, and this was my first travel writing conference.
The array of writers and destinations was impressive. While the conference was focused on showcasing the Northwest, I was surprised at how broad this region is. It included destinations from the Washington and Oregon coasts, Vancouver and British Columbia, Alaska, Idaho, and Montana. Yuma, Arizona, though not part of the region, was also included. There were about 30 destinations in all.
I later realized that Allen had invited the number of travel writers to match the DMO’s (Destination Marketing Organizations) — there were about 30 writers, as well. This would matter later when we were paired up for meetings. Many of the writers at the conference publish their work in Northwest Travel and Life and come from that region; but New Mexico, California, and Arizona were also represented. I flew in from Utah.
The event opened with a welcome reception catered by area restaurants and held in the conference room of the Missoula Library. After the opening presentation, our table spent the time getting to know each other. The attendees were very open and supportive.
The first full day of the conference was held in the Missoula Community Theatre. After introductions, the writers began rounds of Destination-Journalist Meetings, which were patterned after speed dating sessions. These were 15-minute rounds in which the destination and writers would find out what aspects of their markets and magazines or specialties were a match. When I was first asked what I specialized in, I rambled. I’ve been published in a very broad array of magazines, on a very broad array of topics. For example, I’ve written about my favorite cookbook, the history of American women in Britain at the turn of the century, and the time I worked at the Indianapolis 500. I wasn’t sure how to present myself, so I found these early speed dating sessions mentally taxing.
That evening, the writers and destination marketers continued getting to know each other during a guided tour of Missoula’s new Butterfly House and Insectarium and later over dinner at the University of Montana’s Payne Family Native American Center. I was exhausted from hours of talking, so I walked back to the hotel after dinner, but a tour of the Montana Museum of Art and Culture was offered to those who wanted to keep going.
I was able to walk to The Wren, our conference hotel, on well-lit streets and pedestrian-friendly bridges. The Wren has been repurposed from what I’m told was a dark and dingy hotel that hadn’t been updated since it was built in the 1960’s.
It was redesigned by a Bozeman-based group that focuses on transforming dated lodging and revitalizing the neighborhoods where these hotels are found. The Wren is now a basecamp for all the outdoor activity that Missoula has to offer.
On the second day of the conference we met again at the Missoula Community Theatre. A notable presentation was given by Tami Fairweather of the Adventure Travel Trade Association. Her topic, “Trends in Adventure Travel,” was very helpful. She defined adventure travel as travel that includes nature, physical activity, and culture, and said that 90% of tour operators now offer these three facets to guests. She also addressed the need for recognizing that sustainable travel goes beyond environmental concerns.
“Good places to visit are good places to live,” she said, meaning that good tourism ought to improve a place for the local residents, not deplete it. I was glad to hear that this is the new trend. I see tourism in Utah diminish the available resources and housing for locals, but as writers we can shift the way we promote tourism, and help make our communities more livable.
We continued with our speed dating sessions, and this time I really enjoyed them. The night before, I’d spoken to my husband, who has attended a lot of business conferences. He suggested I boil my work down into three categories. I could simply say that, for this audience, my specialties are RV Travel, Skiing, and Profiles. This simplified the conversations and allowed me to relax. It also made the sessions more fruitful. After that, the destinations did my work for me, offering me detailed stories that would be easy to pitch. I was also invited to contact them about upcoming press trips to their regional ski resorts and cross country ski trails.
Finally, Allen announced the location for the 2024 Travel and Words Conference. It will be held in Tacoma, Washington, in the first week of October. Matt Wakefield of Travel Tacoma shared a few proud words about his city, noting that it’s the hometown of glass artist Dale Chihuly, and that visitors can expect that influence to be prevalent throughout the city and Hotel Murano, the conference hotel. “It’s going to be awe-inspiring awesome,” Matt said.
Allen is from Tacoma and chimed in. “I still today see Mount Rainier and never get tired of it,” he said. “It alone is a reason to visit Tacoma.”
Most people went to the airport in the hours after the conference, but I was among the small group who stuck around for one more night in Missoula. Emily of Destination Missoula took me hiking up Pattee Canyon to support me in an assignment to cover Missoula’s cross country ski trails. After that, we went for a beer at Gild, one of Missoula’s ten breweries.
As I was walking back to the hotel, I saw travel writers Pam and Gary Baker sitting near the window of Pangea Bar and Restaurant. They waved me in, and we shared a bottle of wine and some dessert. They were friendly and generous, ready to share everything they know about travel writing. I came home full of ideas and new contacts. I also feel I’ve got a few new friends.
Have You Written a Travel Memoir?If you've written a travel memoir or compiled a travel anthology, please feel free to send me a PDF or kindle copy to review. Reviews will go out on my social media & in my monthly newsletter (2000 travel writers & bloggers.) Please send PDF attachments to me at roy_stevenson[at]hotmail.com
8 Ways to Enhance Your Travel Writing Brand Using FacebookSeveral years ago, I thought Facebook — and social media generally — were a waste of time (gasp!)
It is true that social media has only helped me secure a handful of travel writing assignments from print magazine editors. However, I’ve learned to use Facebook effectively to enhance my image as a travel writer and my marketing platform, which have indirectly helped me snag assignments and press trips.
You can do this too, but you’ve got to be creative and have a strategic plan. Just slapping anything up on your Facebook page and hoping something sticks does not work.
Here are 8 ways to you can use Facebook to boost your professional brand.
Are you utilizing Facebook as effectively as you could be?
Introducing Diane McLeish, Our Latest Success StoryWe love hearing how our website, workshops, coaching, and eBooks have helped aspiring travel writers get their stories published.
Diane McLeish, originally from South Africa, tells her freelance writing story here. After reading my article on writing about museums, she put my advice into practice and has been well-rewarded for her efforts.
There are two things that especially impress me about Diane’s entry into the freelance writing field:
First, she took advantage of a difficult situation -- the pandemic -- to learn a new hobby and explore places in her own backyard (Kenya).
Second, she learned about how to resell her articles from reading my articles and put that learning into practice several times already. This is an advanced skill!
Upcoming PostsDec 18: Why “Practice Makes Perfect" is Terrible Advice For Travel Writing
Jan 15: Guided Tours for Travel Writers: What’s Good About Them
Feb 12: Building a Professional Website for Freelance Travel Writers
Inspirational Travel Quote
Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links - Building Your Travel Writing PlatformFor the professional 21st century travel writer, a marketing platform is no longer a ‘nice-to-have’ option—it’s become essential. Before the hordes of travel writers and bloggers entered the arena, you could slide by with just a decent story idea and a well-crafted query letter.
But now, sales and marketing skills have become increasingly important — critical even — to get your stories published in the highly competitive print media field.
What’s a marketing platform and what do you need to do? You’ll find all you need to know in these articles.
You need a marketing platform to stand out from the thousands of other travel writers and bloggers that have taken up the freelance game in the past few years.
MORE RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL WRITERS
Featured Book: How to Land Press TripsWho doesn't like press trips to exotic and exciting destinations?
Since starting my freelance travel writing career, I’ve been on more than 200 press trips & fam tours in 25 countries. Places like Belgium, Wales, England, France, Germany, New Zealand, Bali, all over the U.S.A., and many other exotic and exciting destinations.
I tell you this not because I'm showing off, but because you too can get regular press trip & fam tour invitations.
Books about travel writing might mention that press trips are available to travel writers, but they fall woefully short when it comes to telling writers how to actually get these press trip invitations. Most veteran travel writers keep this information to themselves.
My manual, How to Land Press Trips and Fam Tours, tells you exactly what you need to do to get invitations to press trips and fam tours, and how to organize self-guided press trips.
Get $10 off for the month of December when you use PROMO Code: HTLPT
“I was extremely impressed with Roy’s last book, so reviewing another of his books was a no-brainer. Roy takes a simple, logical approach to getting invited (or getting on the list) by the folks that have the budgets to offer them. Reality checks are aplenty, and he links to several excellent sites or conferences to stay in-the-know. There are also several sample letter templates to borrow from, along with an entire chapter on etiquette (which could easily be titled ‘How to ensure this isn’t your last fam trip ever!’)
At 75 pages long, the only thing it really lacks is fluff. You can breeze through the basics in a single sitting, but actually taking action will be your bigger challenge. The book does everything it can to offer tools and advice, but it’s still up to you to follow it.”
-Chris Backe, OneWeirdGlobe.com
At Your Service
PitchTravelWrite.com, is our information-packed website for travel writers. This e-zine, a series of travel writing books and reference guides, coaching programs, and our workshops all work together to give you guidance in this field.
Our aim is to provide you with practical, nitty gritty information to help you gain entry into the travel writing realm and all the enjoyment that comes with it.
Awards and Accoladeswww.PitchTravelWrite.com, our travel writing website has had a banner year! The accolades just keep pouring in!
Our website was selected for the 2023 Writer’s Digest Magazine’s “101 Best Websites For Writers” in the June issue. We’ve previously been chosen for Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites For Writers in 2016, 2020, 2021, 2022, & 2023. WD doesn’t bestow these awards lightly. We’re the only travel writing website on the lists!
And Writer’s Digest Magazine also chose our website for their “Best Genre/Niche Websites for 2023.” We’ve previously been listed in Writer’s Digest Magazine’s “Best Genre/Niche Websites for 2020, 2021, 2022, & 2023.”
A few months ago, our Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class has made Reedsy.com’s Best Travel Creative Writing Classes for 2023 list. There are only 21 travel writing courses on this worldwide list!
And, in December 2023 we were awarded the honor of being listed in the Writer’s Digest Magazine’s 101 Best Websites for Writers in their 2024 Annual Yearbook.
We at PitchTravelWrite.com are proud to announce that our website made TheWriteLife.com’s 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS 2020 & 2021! We at PitchTravelWrite.com are proud to announce that our website made TheWriteLife.com’s 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS 2020 & 2021!
thewritelife Best Websites 2021
Friend me on FacebookMy Facebook page is about freelance travel writing. I frequently post about:
• links to other well produced travel websites and blogs
• links to my travel articles
• magazine cover stories and back stories
• links to resource pages
• links to coaching and mentoring resources
. . .and plenty of other useful information to get you up to speed
That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy
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