by Roberta Beach Jacobson
OffbeatTravel.com is a fun e-magazine to read, so it’s not surprising to see it gathering media attention. Editor/publisher Neala Schwartzberg runs the entire monthly magazine herself, pegging it as “Your travel guide to offbeat places and unusual destinations world-wide, with a fresh look at old favorites.”
Right now, she’s in need of destination pieces, places readers might like to visit. To write for Offbeat Travel, you should first send a query email, which should include some information about you (your background and a couple of links to articles you’ve had published). You can email queries to: email@example.com.
Unfortunately, you won’t find any formal writer’s guidelines on the site. I had to e-mail her with my questions. If you decide to do the same, consider asking about article length, how she likes to receive files (in the email body or attached as a Word Document, etc.), and what other details she needs from you.
While she pays $25 for feature stories, she does require some exclusivity. According to Schwartzberg, “Prior and subsequent print is fine, even encouraged, but not the internet.” So basically, if you have a story that’s already been published (or you’d like to publish it) in print magazines, it’s still eligible to sell to Offbeat Travel. However, if it has already been published online, Offbeat won’t take it.
Also, she only wants stories that include photos. Writers can use their own images or source them through tourist boards. Either way is acceptable, and you should submit them as low-resolution files.
Before you consider sending a query to Schwartzberg, check out the articles on her site. I find them engaging, with lots of sub-headers and plenty of pictures. The current features on the main page cover all corners of the globe, from Prague to Kuala Lumpur to Ushuaia, Florida, and Arkansas, so you’re not limited by destination.
However, if you happen to have stories about New York or New Mexico, you’ll find links on the Offbeat Travel site to these two destination-specific blogs.
Offbeat Travel also publishes hotel reviews and travel trivia, but only pays for feature stories. Of course, that doesn’t mean you can’t write hotel reviews and trivia anyway. A clip is a clip, even when you don’t make any money for it. (Keep an eye on the eletter tomorrow and Saturday for more discussion on why unpaid articles are still worth your while.)
Some of the articles in Offbeat Travel are written by people who also write for The Washington Times, the New York Post, TransitionsAbroad.com… and some are even syndicated in national newspapers. But don’t let that intimidate you… in fact, these writers aren’t doing anything you couldn’t do with a few tricks up your sleeve.
[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.]