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Today:

*** Where to Find Niche Publications to Buy Your Travel Article
*** The Writer’s Tax Guide — How to Make the Most of Deductions for Travel, Meals, Entertainment, Home Office, and More
*** Practical Writing Prompt of the Week: Revise an Old Story for One of These Niches…
*** Reader Feedback: This Was Well Worth Waiting for…

Dear Reader,

We got a lot of positive feedback on last week’s writing prompt. If you missed it, the idea was this…

Martha Stewart made the cover of a computer and tech magazine because she found a way to cross niches. Her story is in a magazine that wouldn’t normally run a cooking piece because she found a way to make it relevant to their readers. (If you missed the specifics of how she did it, you’ll find last week’s article in our archives here.).

I encouraged readers last week to think about a special hobby or niche they’re interested in and then think about how they could combine that niche with a travel angle — or with another angle altogether.

Here are the two examples I gave:

Love scrapbooking? There are the obvious article angles — like how to scrapbook your favorite vacation photographs (for a travel magazine) or how to scrapbook summer photos or school-year memories with kids (for a parenting magazine).

But here’s one a little more interesting: How about combining scrapbooking and a military niche? You could do an article on how to create for soldiers a set of cards they could then send back home to celebrate things like family birthdays, Christmas, Mother’s Day, and so on.

Soldiers can write letters (and sometimes emails) home. But they can’t easily buy greeting cards. You could talk about how to create the kinds of cards soldiers want, where to find the paper, and finally how to ship them overseas. (This could work for a scrapbooking publication or maybe for a military publication like Military Money, whose 250,000 readers are mostly spouses of enlisted service members — typically 18-to-35-year-old females.)

Here’s another example: Do you love yard-sale and thrift-store shopping? How about an article for music lovers on collecting old records or buying instruments at auctions. (You could sell this to music publications as well as to magazines and websites devoted to collecting things.)

This week, let’s take that a step further. Many people wrote in to ask if we have a list of niches they could peruse for ideas. Here’s what I suggest:

1) Freelance writer, Jennifer Stevens wrote an article for us at the tail end of last year about two of the most lucrative niches to break into: military publications and outdoorsy conservationist’s magazines. You’ll find her article here. This is a start.

2) There’s also a link on our website where you’ll find all the Featured Publications we’ve run since July of last year. There are more in the archives, but this is a good place to start. Inside, you’ll find niches like animal magazines, retirement magazines, gay and lesbian travel magazines, and publications geared toward African Americans, Native Americans, Hispanics, etc.  

3) And then there’s Writer’s Market. This annual publication lists 8,000 or more (mostly North American) publications that buy articles — travel and others. It’s a must for writers.

You can order it online and have a copy sent to you. Or you can save the many, many trees that must have sacrificed their lives for this hefty volume and subscribe, instead, to the online edition, which offers a searchable database and other resources you’d likely find useful. (It’s likely that your local library carries a copy too if you’d rather hang on to your cash.)

I quickly flipped through the index of the Writer’s Market I have here on the shelf and came up with these travel article ideas to pitch to non-travel niches:

** To detective and crime magazines…
A story about the latest travel surveillance technology. London has been in the news for having more surveillance cameras monitoring its citizens than any other major city in the world. Heathrow airport was also one of the first airports to test the full-body security scanner (it sees through clothes and produces a nude image of passengers). What other countries are jumping on board? How far are they willing to go? What’s the scoop on all this new equipment?

** To disability magazines…
(Note: There are magazines geared toward people with disabilities as well as magazines geared toward those who care for people with disabilities. Many have a narrow focus: Arthritis Today, for instance, only covers stories about arthritis; Dialogue Magazine only publishes material relevant to the visually impaired.)
You could write a round-up of travel gear that’s great for arthritis sufferers for Arthritis Today or a restaurant review or city walking tour for someone who’s blind.

Warning: Writers should resist the urge to write articles about disabilities they don’t have personal experience with. Editors do not appreciate articles from writers with unrealistic stories and advice.

** To political magazines…
A story about businesses around the world — a U.S. travel company (or company of another sort) having success overseas or an international company making its way to the U.S… volunteer abroad first-person stories… or personal opinion pieces on free market, private property, or limited government.

Remember to read the Writer’s Guidelines for these publications before you pitch a story. No sense pitching a personal opinion piece to a publication that specifically requests only factual pieces.

Consider submitting photos with your article too.

Last week I told you that Kyle Wagner, Travel Editor at the Denver Post, said she only considers articles with photos these days. Not all publications are the same, but check the Writer’s Guidelines.

It’s likely photos will not only increase your chance of getting published but also earn you extra bigger paycheck.

For advice on submitting the right kinds of photos, check out our Turn Your Pictures into Cash program. Or, if you just need a little help getting your photos into publishable shape, consider our photo tip cards.

Tomorrow I’ll send you an article from freelance travel writer Stan Sinberg on how to decipher the Writer’s Guidelines you’re about to read.
Stay tuned…

And don’t forget to scroll down to today’s writing prompt and get your next story ready for publication.

— Lori
Lori Allen
Director, Great Escape Publishing

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

PRACTICAL WRITING PROMPT OF THE WEEK: Revise an Old Story for One of These Niches

This weekend, head to your local library or bookstore and pick up a copy of Writer’s Market, published by Writer’s Digest. Skim through the table of contents to get your creative juices flowing, and think about how you could revise a story you’ve already written for one of the niche categories listed.

Pick a category and then flip through that section. Read the listings and find a publication or two that you think might suit your needs. Write down the name(s) and website(s) so you can do further research at home.  (Or, if you are a subscriber to the online version of Writer’s Market, then do that initial searching at your computer.)

Either way, you’ll need to then read the full writer’s guidelines for each publication you’re interested in. You’ll find the guidelines (as well as back issues you should also read) on each publication’s website.

If you don’t have a story already in the hopper that you could adapt, then start a fresh one and try to get a draft written this weekend, while the idea is still fresh in your mind.

And remember, you can always send it to Travel Post Monthly: http://travelpostmonthly.com/

READER FEEDBACK: This was well worth waiting for…

“This Workshop-At-Home was well worth waiting for, a cornucopia of tips, resources, ideas. Thank you for making this available for those of us who were unable to be in Portland.” – Cathryn Wellner

[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]

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