Many of my freelance writer friends tell me they have difficulty coming up with multiple story ideas about one place.
And on press trips, I’ve noticed that so many travel writers arrive with only one assignment in hand. No matter how many things they see on the press trip - and they see a lot - they usually only publish one article afterwards.
This breaks my heart. So many opportunities to get published are being overlooked!
I think it’s important to sell multiple story ideas about a place and I always do it.
Try it! If you’re not sure why you should, here are four reasons it makes sense:
As a freelance writer your time is your currency. Anytime you can get multiple stories from one place or topic, you save yourself a lot of time.
Think about it. You research the destination only once. You make one trip and get published multiple times. That's productive!
This brings up the second reason – profit.
If you’re getting multiple articles published you’re getting paid for each article, not just one article. I have to assume if you're reading this, you want to make some money as a freelance travel writer.
The standard travel writer’s attitude of publishing only one story about a destination is grossly inefficient and definitely outdated. Maybe it worked way back when magazines were paying top dollar. And it worked when a writer was a full-time employee of a magazine and only had to produce one story because he was getting a regular paycheck.
But it doesn’t work for freelancers.
I can’t think of any reason a freelance travel writer would only pursue one story about a place. It makes no sense to limit yourself and your income potential.
The reality is travel writers today aren't paid much for travel stories. Most press trips last three to five days. Those press days are precious time away from your desk where you can be earning money in some other way.
Do the math: You're away several days on a press trip, it takes time to sell your story and it takes you another day or two to write the story. If you get paid for only writing one story, you’re probably only earning minimum wage, at best. More likely you're losing money. If this is just a hobby, then it’s not a problem for you.
But if you want to earn money, writing one travel story is seldom profitable. Selling multiple story ideas about a destination makes it far more profitable and worthwhile.
The third reason to sell multiple story ideas about your destination is to build solid relationships with your host Destination Marketing Organizations (DMOs).
The DMO media reps are thrilled when you produce multiple articles. They view you as a more productive resource for their region because you reached more than one audience.
It builds a solid relationship and pleases your hosts. You feel good that you delivered on your promises and made them happy, too. And, most importantly, they're likely to invite you back again.
Finally, when you pre-sell multiple story ideas about your destination, you are more likely to be hosted with better complimentary travel assistance in the future. Notice I used the word "pre-sell" in the previous sentence. This is important.
My strategy is to presell articles before I travel.
When you have a list of confirmed assignments before you take the trip, your hosts will ensure that you see and do all the things you need to deliver on those assignments. It makes the trip very productive and pleasurable.
These two success stories aren’t flukes. I sell multiple stories about my destinations like this all the time. It maximizes my time and profits, makes the DMOs happy and makes me look good.
Here are a few more examples of other multiple story ideas I’ve harvested from one place:
One of the keys to producing multiple story ideas about one place is to write in a number of genres. That way, when you find a place that is suitable for several genres, it pops out at you.
For example, the WAAAM
article I mentioned earlier was sold to a general travel magazine, two
aviation magazines, two military vehicle magazines and a car magazine.
That's four different genres for one museum!
When you write in several genres it becomes a lot easier to extract numerous stories from one place. You develop a “sense” for the potential of every place you visit.
Obviously not every place you visit has the potential to yield multiple story ideas. But I’m willing to bet that most do – with a little creative thinking and research.
Ambitious travel writers work on developing their “multiple story angle” sense. After a while it becomes second nature.
This practice inevitably leads to multiple stories and a bigger income from each place you visit. I can't think of any reason that you wouldn't want to do this. Can you?
Do you want to learn about travel writing sales and
marketing techniques that work?
This manual has every tool and technique that I use to pitch and sell - and then resell - my travel stories. I hold nothing back. Reading this manual is like looking inside my marketing brain.
Roy Stevenson is a professional travel writer and the author of www.PitchTravelWrite.com. Over the past nine years, he’s had more than 1000 articles published in 200 magazines, trade and specialty journals, in-flights, on-boards, blogs and websites and has traveled on assignment around the U.S. and to dozens of international destinations.