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Issue #346: Are You Making This Common Travel Writer’s Error?
March 15, 2021
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Editorial: Are You Making This Common Travel Writer’s Error?

Most beginning travel writers are told they’re supposed to pitch travel story ideas after they return from their destinations. They’re told that after they’ve seen the place and selected some story ideas, then they should go ahead and send out their queries.

This concept of pitching story ideas after you travel is for amateurs. It doesn't work for people who want to earn an income from their writing.

Professional travel writers pitch stories and get assignments before they travel. This requires creativity and a willingness to research your destinations before you travel.

Many new writers imagine it's difficult to pre-sell stories before they travel. But, actually, it’s not that difficult. I’ve pre-sold hundreds of stories before traveling to my destinations. It’s my standard operating procedure.

I wouldn't dream of going on a trip without pitching numerous story ideas beforehand. There are enormous advantages to having several assignments lined up before you travel.

Take my 2019 trip to the U.S. for example. I rounded up four paying assignments worth $4,800 before I even arrived. We travelled to Denver, CO, Detroit, MI and Ohio and since most of our expenses were covered by the local tourist organizations, I made a tidy profit.

Parlaying your assignments with the local destination marketing organizations can reap excellent complimentary travel benefits like free accommodations, free meals, free tours, free tour guides, and often free ground transport. Having assignments before you travel also enables you to focus your travel schedule and spend an appropriate amount of time at the destination.

There may be some editors who prefer you pitch them stories after you return from your travels. However, I’ve found that the two hundred editors I’ve worked with have all been very receptive to queries before I travel.

I would have missed out on several hundred bylines if I hadn't pre-sold my stories. The key is making sure you research your destination thoroughly so you have plenty of viable and interesting story ideas to pitch. Not all these stories will sell, but the vast majority will. And, if the DMOs help with your travel expenses, you’ll make a nice profit when your articles get published.

This Week's Featured Post

Finding Travel Magazine Leads on Vendor’s Websites

During my years as a travel writer, I’ve created my own ‘universal’ travel magazine distribution list. It’s enormous, with more than 500 magazines of all stripes that accept travel articles for publication. 

I’m always looking out for new magazines to add to this list. 

One effective source is magazine vendor lists. For a long time I didn’t bother telling anyone about this because I thought everyone was using them. 

Well, it turns out that hardly any other travel writers utilize this simple source, and many have been surprised when I mention it to them! 

Online magazine vendors unwittingly provide us with nice lists of hundreds of magazines — for free! The magazines you glean from these vendor listings are excellent additions to your master distribution list.

With magazine vendor lists there is some homework involved. The lists, as they appear on the vendor listings, do not give you direct access to the information travel writers need (editor’s name and contact details & writer’s guidelines). But they do provide you with an entry point. 

All you have to do is follow the link to the magazine’s website.  Once you’re there, you look up the editor’s name and contact details and scan through the writer’s guidelines.  Voilà!  

Magazine vendor lists are portals to a treasure trove of magazine leads. Here’s where to find them and how to use them . . .


Upcoming Posts

Mar 22: For Your Best Query Letters Ever: Use This Checklist Before You Hit “Send”
Mar 29: Simultaneous Submissions: Sell More Travel Stories, Faster
Mar 15: Five Rules For Selling Articles And Getting Travel Perks Success Stories

Barb Harmon: A Healing Adventure

“After the death of my youngest son, I sank into what appeared to be a dark, ugly, depression. I lost interest in everything, including a successful online business. 

My grief counselor pronounced a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). I was shocked but relieved when she assured me she could help me cope with the symptoms.

She asked, "What do you want to do with your life?" 

Without hesitation, I replied, "I want to be a travel writer.”

The first step was to gently dip my toes in the water by creating a new blog. I was writing again and it felt good. I spent hours online reading masses of information on travel writing. I didn't know if anyone would be interested in my stories, but I was determined to write them. 

An editor mentioned she might like a roundup story about Guadalajara in the future. She asked if I was interested.  Of course, I said, "yes."  But what’s a roundup story, I wondered?”

Read the rest of Barb Harmon’s inspiring travel writing story here . . .


Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links about How to Sell Your Articles

Getting published is the main objective of freelance travel writers. Every article you write needs to be published somewhere, so you need solid systems in place to do it quickly, efficiently, and successfully.

After all, if you can't sell your articles, you don't get to write them!

Here’s the link to our entire suite of articles on getting your stories published. It’s a gold mine of information. And, it’s free!

Resources for How to Sell Your Articles

Inspirational Travel Quote


Featured Bundle: Travel Writer's Beginner's Pack

If you're just getting started in travel writing, try our Beginner's 3-Pack — the perfect way to kick-off your travel writing career. You get a built-in, 10% discount when you buy this bundle:

1. The Complete Guide to Query Letters - 
Everything you need to know about query letters - and 20 examples you can start using immediately.

2. 125 Websites That Want to Publish Your Travel Stories
 - A list of 125 websites and including more than 50 paying travel websites where you can collect some bylines.

3. 100 Print Magazines That Want to Publish Your Travel Articles  - 
A list of 100 print magazines that want to publish your travel articles. These lists will save you hours of time researching and creating lists yourself. They give you a foundation of sales leads you can use and build upon.

With this bundle you already get a 10% discount over the individual books. You can get an additional $5 off when you use Promo code MA5


Group Coaching Mastermind Community

Our first Group Coaching Mastermind Community kicked off in October, 2020, and we’ve got a global group with members living in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Vietnam and the U.S. We're very excited about this group of writers and our new community! We added new members to our community in early January and they're getting to know the group and participate in writing activities.

If you missed out on the opportunity to join this session, you can get on the waiting list for the next session starting in May . . .

Learn more and get on the waiting list . . .

Live Workshops

People have been asking when our 2022 workshops in New Orleans, Louisiana are scheduled.

Here are the 2022 dates:
June 17-20, 2022, Travel Writing & Photography Retreat
June 22-24, 2022, Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers

We've had lots of interest already. You can sign up for our no-obligation interest list for these workshops and receive our substantial early bird discounts when we open registration:


Did You Know . . .

Our Complete Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers is ranked #1 on’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.

You can access the list of the top ten travel writing workshops at the link below . . .

Travel Writers Exchange workshop list: #1 Marketing Master Class

At Your Service

Coaching and Consulting
Online Courses
Vietnam 1-1 Retreat & Consulting
Expat Consulting


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HERE., 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. 

We're thrilled to announce that is once again on The Write Life’s list of 100 BEST WEBSITES FOR WRITERS! 

You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.

Friend me on Facebook

My 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

Link to Roy's Personal Facebook page

That's all for now. Until next week - just keep pitching! Roy

Roy Stevenson
Pitch Travel Write

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