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Issue #370: What’s the Most Important Ingredient for Success in Travel Writing?
October 04, 2021
Greetings Fellow Travel Writers!

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

Editorial: Travel Bloggers: What’s the Most Important Ingredient for Success in Travel Writing?

I’m often asked by novice travel writers if there’s a single element, or skill to consistently utilize to get travel stories published?

Sadly, there’s no single ingredient that stands out above all others. There are simply too many variables to consider.

There is, however, a rough formula. It involves many talents to be successful in freelance travel writing, but each one individually can be learned and improved upon if needed.

This formula includes patience, persistence, good writing ability, the ability to spot a good travel story, and sales and marketing skills. There are several other factors which I elaborate on further on our website,

Each factor is a vital link in the chain for freelance writing success. And, you must maximize each of these links when preparing your queries.

If you perform each step well, statistically your chances of seeing your story published, and getting paid for them, will improve.

Having said all of the above, there is one action that will get you published more frequently: the more stories you pitch, and the more magazines you pitch, the more you’ll get published. 

You need to keep churning out a high volume of queries, and you need to do it consistently. I’ve often sent out 3-5 queries every week — and sometimes more! And, I’ve sent these queries out to every magazine I thought would be good targets for my stories.

For several years, I was writing up to 15 stories each month. Once I wrote 10 articles in 12 days. Another time, I had to write 30 articles in 50 days. That’s how things can snowball if you continue pitching stories to multiple magazines and do it consistently.

Soon I found myself spending less time pitching and more time writing.

I forged longstanding relationships with magazine editors, some of which I still maintain today. I pitched new story ideas when I sent each my submissions to each editor. I pitched multiple story ideas in some of my queries (more than one story idea in each query letter). 

This may all seem daunting if you’re a novice writer, but after a year or two you get much faster at researching story ideas, preparing your distribution lists, writing your query letters, and writing your articles. Much faster!

Here are some freelance writing tips that helped me get published prolifically, right from the start of my travel writing career. They'll help you get published more frequently too, and will boost your success in breaking into freelance travel writing.

This Week's Featured Post

One of My Most Potent Travel Writing Secrets

Those of you who have studied my eBooks and newsletters understand that there is far more to travel writing success than just doing one task well.

Getting your stories published, and getting paid for your work, is really due to getting a combination of things right. (See our Editorial, above.)

One of these techniques has always seemed like common sense to me. But when I talk shop with my travel writing peers, they overlook this most obvious link in the travel writing chain: research.

I received this question via email some months ago . . . “Roy, how can I draft a detailed query letter about a place and pitch stories about a destination without even having gone there first?”

My Answer: I research my destinations extensively before I travel. I've pre-sold hundreds of articles about the attractions at my planned destination before I even visit the place. This has added up to tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of assignments.

Researching your destinations positions you as an expert on the topic and shows you’re qualified to write the piece. It can make or break your pitch.

Here’s what you need to know to successfully pitch a story before you travel

Upcoming Posts

October 11: My Winning System for Generating Articles that Sell
October 18: My Diverse Travel Writing Assignments
October 25: Successful Travel Writing Tips for Beginners Success Stories

Learning To Cope With Grief Led Me To Travel Writing

A session with my grief counselor inspired my next chapter as a travel writer.

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. Months later, after closing the shop, I began to see a grief counselor. When she pronounced a diagnosis of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, I was shocked but relieved when assured she could help me cope with the symptoms.

One suggestion to help cope was journaling. While that didn't interest me; writing did. As a former Education Manager for a large international cosmetic company, I spent many a night, penning seminar and print material content.

The majority of my life has been spent writing in some form; little did I know writing was about to change the trajectory of my life. It was a grey, rainy day when my counselor asked, "What do you want to do with your life?" Without hesitation, I replied, "I want to be a travel writer." Something stirred inside upon hearing those words; the sun came out, and I knew I was going to be okay. There was life ahead waiting for me to take the first step toward it.

I can thank Google for bringing Roy Stevenson across my path. An editor I frequently worked with, mentioned she might like a roundup story about Guadalajara in the future. She asked if I was interested. Of course, I said, "yes." Two minutes later I was googling roundup stories, and Roy's name popped up.

After reading Roy's article, Why Roundup Travel Stories are the Most Fun to Write, it was apparent his site was the 'mother lode' for aspiring travel writers.

I was hooked, and soon afterward ordered his e-Books which I refer to often - every time I peruse a book, something new jumps out at me. Here’s the rest of Barb Harmon’s absorbing and successful travel writing journey

Pitch Travel Write: Most Requested Links About Improving Your Travel Writing

As travel writers, we put words together to paint pictures of our destinations. Writing about a place we love seems like such an easy thing to do. From the readers perspective, we live a charmed life.   But, as you know, there’s much more to the travel writing craft: Things behind the scenes that your reader doesn’t know about like . . .
  • How to say the words in just the right way
  • Sharing valuable information to catch their attention
  • Knowing how to keep them engaged
All of this, and more, is part of travel writing.

There’s also a lot to learn about controlling your time and freeing yourself up from mundane tasks so that you can spend more time on the things you love to do – writing about travel.

This resource page includes information about topics that focus on your travel writing craft, including how you can improve your writing and increase your productivity – and get those articles out to editors.

Here's the link to our free Travel Writing Craft Resource Page

Inspirational Travel Quote


Featured Book for October: How to Break Into the Luxury Travel Writing Market

Would 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?

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.


When you buy this book in October you can get $5 off the regular price if you use promo code oct5 at checkout:


Don't forget to use promo code oct5 at checkout to get your $5 discount.

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, Indonesia 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 January 2021 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 January 2022:

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:

Get on the 2022 Workshop Interest List

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

Online Travel Writing & Marketing Master Class

Now, 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.

    Who's it for?

  • If you’re a novice 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 our Live Master Class, here’s the opportunity to attend anyway - without any travel costs and at a substantially reduced cost!
  • 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 Marketing 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.


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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