Special-Interest travel articles are articles that focus on a specific activity as it relates to a travel destination. These specific activities (or special interests) can be anything from diving to mountain climbing to shopping to gardening. Basically, any kind of hobby is a special interest. And when you write a travel article geared for such hobbyists, you can easily increase your chances of selling it.
How? Because you’re expanding its marketability. All of a sudden it’s not just the editors at travel publications who might be interested, but the editors at niche publications, too.
Say you’ve written an article about yoga retreats in Costa Rica, for instance. You could certainly sell that sort of piece to a straight travel magazine. But a niche publication like Spa Finder might well be interested too…
(If you’re a student of The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program, this isn’t news to you.)
What’s more, when you think along the “niche” lines… you immediately increase the number of articles you can produce — and sell — from one trip. And that means you can be making more money every time you travel.
Say you’re exploring Belize. You could write one general destination piece about the country and be done with it. Or you could, in addition, write a piece on the best jewelry finds… and another on the most affordable dive packages… and another on inland birding excursions. Sell all four of those articles — rather than just the one — and all of a sudden, you’re making a lot more money from that single trip.
In today’s issue, below, freelance writer Jerre Repass profiles three off-the-beaten-path markets you’ve probably never thought about… three places where a “niche” piece could do very well.
As always… keep me up-to-speed on your travel-writing or photography success. If you have a story to share, send me a quick note at email@example.com.
Have a great week,
Director, Great Escape Publishing
A HANDFUL OF NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PLACE TO GET PUBLISHED
By Jerre Repass in Brinkley, AR
“Take a nickel until you can get a dime,” an old lady once told me.
You see, while we may dream of the front-cover feature in a high-end travel magazine and fantasize about selling the screen rights to our books, we travel writers are likely to have the most success by starting small.
The good news is: There are hundreds of not-so-obvious places to get published along the way to big-time success:
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PLACE #1: Local “welcome-to-our-hometown” magazines.
These magazines are great for new writers. Their focus is generally on giving local information to new residents or resident wanna-be’s. And the competition is scarce. All you need is a travel-type article that simply and specifically explains what’s great about where you live.
** WHERE TO FIND THEM: Check your local chamber of commerce or convention and visitors’ bureau. Sometimes several cities will team up to cut costs, so check neighboring cities too.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PLACE #2: Real-estate magazines.
Writing for the real-estate market is a lot like travel writing. All the same rules for success apply. One magazine I’m in negotiation with serves relocating retirees to three Southern states. I’d be a real dope to offer them a wonderful article about Montana! The mission of this particular magazine is to get some of those snow birds to retire where they have enjoyed vacationing.
Retirees may be there for the rest of their lives so the focus is somewhat different than a travel article for vacationers who will be in the area a week or so. Think long range and focus on season passes to parks and museums, educational possibilities, even clubs and organizations they may have belonged to back home.
** WHERE TO FIND THEM: They may be somewhat camouflaged as lifestyle or recreational publications, but you can get there by going in the back door: Call some of the high-end retirement villages and ask where they advertise. When you have the names of the magazines, you’ll have a new market to pitch to.
NOT-SO-OBVIOUS PLACE #3: Niche or “hobby” magazines.
Do you know about model trains? Patio gardening? Parenting your grandchildren? Chances are, there’s a magazine out there for fellow enthusiasts. Combine that special interest with a travel angle, and you’ve got a saleable story. Take patio gardening as the hobby, for instance. How about a story laying out a walking route in x city that takes you past wonderful gardens. A quick warning about this one though… many hobby magazines have lots of folks who so love the subject they will write for free. That is not to say there is no value in the clip, but there may not be much money.
** WHERE TO FIND THEM: Visit the magazine wall at a large book store, and you’ll find magazines devoted to virtually everything. And, too, search online for additional publications — both print and online — where you may have good luck pitching articles.
[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.]