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Issue #354: How to Create Your Own Travel Writing Niches
May 10, 2021
|Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!
. . . and WELCOME all new subscribers. Thanks for joining us.
Editorial: How to Make The Most of Magazines You’ve Broken IntoFor many years I had a productive relationship with Lost Treasure magazine: 22 published articles, starting from 2011. A few were cover stories. Lost Treasure focused on helping treasure hunters look for any form of lost treasure. It was all about using metal detectors to hunt for artifacts and coins and jewelry on beaches and in ghost towns; finding legendary lost gold caches; exploring gold and silver and copper mines; and gold prospecting in rivers. It even featured stories about ancient Spanish sunken treasure ships off the Florida coast.
I used my travel assignments with Lost Treasure to land some world-class press trips and Fam tours, so they’ve been gold mines for me (pun!) These pieces revolved around what happened in historic gold mining towns and what there is to see and do today in those same places.
Assignments with Lost Treasure enabled me to tour atmospheric ghost towns in Washington and Oregon, plus several towns with rich mining histories like Tombstone and Bisbee, Arizona, and Sacramento, California.
Lost Treasure assignments landed me great Fam tours in Alaska, that mother lode of 19th century gold rushes. I was given VIP treatment by my hosts in Juneau, Haines, Skagway, Ketchikan, and Fairbanks. I've stood in many an icy Alaskan mountain stream surrounded by magnificent forests, panning or sluicing for gold.
Lost Treasure assignments took me overseas to Arrowtown in New Zealand’s South Island and a fascinating 2,000-year-old Roman gold mine in Wales. I’ve visited huge gold dredges that look like prehistoric sludge-eating monsters, and fascinating museums. I’ve visited gold prospecting stores and met captivating people on these trips. I’ve been taught how to pan for gold nuggets by living history re-enactors with long white beards.Lost Treasure gigs helped me build bylines and gain confidence. They helped me hone my writing skills. But above all, they were fun! They took me to places I would never have visited — and I got paid for my efforts.
Many of the writers I’ve worked with got started by having their stories published in Lost Treasure magazine, too. These writers include Pam & Gary Baker (pictured at right), Kerrie Etson, Betsi Hill, Jessica Pickett, and Jed Vaughn. Some of their articles were cover features, too.
Sadly, this popular magazine closed its doors in December 2018. R.I.P. Lost Treasure magazine.
Magazines come and go — and your “regular” magazines may not be around forever. Make the most of the magazines you’ve broken into while they last. That includes using your assignments to land press trips to new places.
This Week's Featured Post
How To Create Your Own Travel Writing NichesIt's not easy being a generalist travel writer these days. Trying to do what thousands of other generalist travel writers are doing is difficult. It’s hard to sell your travel stories because there’s so much competition.
While I recommend that travel writers pursue and pitch general travel magazines, the writers who develop their own specialty travel niches become masters those topics. They’re able to thrive in many arenas.
This tactic has enabled me to sell more than 1,000 articles to 200+ magazines, custom publications, in-flights, on-boards, specialty journals & trade magazines. Apart from general travel magazines, my stories have been published about classic car museums, history & historical places, expat life, yachting & sailing , communications, museums, military vehicles and military history, gardening, film festivals, and several other topics.
From my experience, mastering multiple topics enabled me to be published more frequently.
Having several specific travel niches is important. I believe diversifying your writing genres is the best approach for successful travel writing.
When you diversify, you’ll often find editors approaching you to write articles for them, instead of the other way around.
Here’s how and why you should become proficient in writing about many types of travel topics.
Upcoming PostsMay 17: Five Highly Effective Ways To Sell Your Travel Articles to Print Magazines
May 24: The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Website Resource List
May 31: The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Website Resource List
PitchTravelWrite.com Success Stories
Tim Cotroneo: My Story as a Golf and Travel Writer"In 2011, I attended a travel writer’s workshop and listened to a presentation by a speaker named Roy Stevenson who shared several travel writing tips. I thought to myself, “If I can accomplish half of what this guy has achieved in his short travel writing career, I’ll be as happy as a clam.”
After the workshop my wife and I planned a trip to the Turks and Caicos Island of Providenciales. I emailed the golf professional at the island’s only 18-hole course in advance of the trip and presented myself as a golf and travel writer. I thought to myself, “I have nothing to lose and everything to gain.” On the trip I met with the pro and played the course.
My First Yes
During our stay in Providenciales, I noticed a glossy magazine on the coffee table in our hotel room and read it. Upon returning home to Minneapolis, I pitched this magazine a story idea about what I experienced at the golf course when I played there. The editor said yes!
I wrote the story and got paid $300. I was officially a travel writer and have been writing about golf and travel ever since."
Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links about Dreaming up Story IdeasIt's getting harder and harder to be a generalist travel writer trying to do what thousands of other generalist travel writers are doing. You have to be really creative to come up with unique story ideas that editors haven’t heard before.
It takes some groundwork to become savvy at recognizing and mining gold nugget travel story ideas. A huge factor in selling story ideas and getting them published is the quality of your idea. While this may seem self-evident, finding an interesting story to pitch is a daunting task for novice freelance writers.
It takes some experience to know what constitutes a viable travel story. And deciding whether a story idea is a dog or a shooting star is an important first step in the pitching process.
So where, and how, do travel writers start their quest for a salable story?
Here are 6 tips to help you . . .
If you want to boost your bylines, try my winning system.
These seven techniques can be used to constantly generate salable ideas . . .
There are some common themes for travel articles, there are travel articles that focus on "the best" that a place has to offer, and there are
travel stories based on specific areas of interest.
This might include things like
adventure travel, beer and wine, just to name a few.
This post will give you some idea of the types of travel stories you can write and sell.
Inspirational Travel Quote
RESOURCES FOR TRAVEL WRITERS
Featured Book of the Month: 100 PRINT MAGAZINES THAT WANT TO PUBLISH YOUR TRAVEL ARTICLES
Where do travel writers find magazine leads to pitch and sell their stories? My reference guide, 100 Print Magazines That Want To Publish Your Travel Articles, is a great place to start your search.
This compilation is far more specialized than what you find in Writer’s Market. Compiled over ten years from a wide variety of on-line sources, field resources and book references, this comprehensive listing also includes international publications for the English-speaking market.
If you want to be a successful travel writer and get your articles published in paying print publications, you need to be highly proficient at finding travel magazine leads.
Having a solid list of magazines makes it easier to find assignments that will help get you invited on Press trips.
You can get $5 off the price of the book if you use promo code MY5 at checkout:
BUY THE BOOK
The list itself is well-organized and offers a paragraph or so for every noted magazine (though some descriptions do look copy-and-pasted from a magazine’s own page ). Look for the website, a link to their guidelines, the editor’s name, and an e-mail address – note of course that you’ll want to confirm everything’s still up-to-date before sending off your pitches.”
“Writers will be hard-pressed to find a resource as great as Roy Stevenson's, "100 Print Magazines that Want to Publish you Travel Stories." This is packed with insider details and contact information that
will help any writer winnow down markets by developing target-specific lists for publishing their articles.”
Group Coaching Mastermind CommunityOur 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 June . . .
Live WorkshopsPeople have been asking when our 2022 workshops in New Orleans, Louisiana are scheduled.
Here are the 2022 dates:
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 TravelWritersExchange.com’s Top Ten Travel Writing Workshops.
You can access the list of the top ten travel writing workshops at the link below . . .
Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master ClassNow, you can study our Marketing Master Class for Travel Writers online for only a fraction of the price of the live class! We recorded it LIVE in Seattle, for aspiring travel writers who weren’t able to attend in person.
At Your Service
If you know someone who will enjoy this newsletter,
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.
You can see the entire list by visiting their website - click on the graphic to view the list now.
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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