When you’re just getting started as a travel writer, an ideal place to submit your articles is online.
It’s relatively easy to get published on travel websites because they are screaming out for good content. And they’re a great place to hone your travel writing skills, gain confidence in your writing ability, and most importantly, build up your bylines.
Getting published online is as easy as finding the right publication, reading some of its stories, and checking out the Writer’s Guidelines. Then you can mold your story to the “voice” of the website before submitting it to the editor.
Another important thing to remember is that you don’t always need to match travel articles with travel websites. Last February, for example, I attended a UFO Conference in Las Vegas for free because I was on assignment for four UFO websites. Google “Roy Stevenson UFO Conference” to see the articles I wrote while there.
Here are some trends in online travel magazines today, along with some approachable publications that follow these trends:
Right now, “green” travel is the hottest travel writing opportunity going. There are very few online travel magazines that won’t take a good “ecotourism” story.
What ecotourism topics can you write about? Consider writing about countries and places with great biodiversity of flora and fauna, hotels and spas that practice sustainability, tourist attractions that do not despoil the surrounding area with pollution and litter, places that practice conservation of natural resources, tour groups that use non-polluting transport and that have little impact on the immediate environment, etc.
There are literally hundreds of travel websites for you to choose from that will jump at your “ecotravel” story. Here are a few to start you off:
Most regional travel and lifestyle magazines have websites to promote their magazine and draw in readers. Editors are looking for local writers to submit short “front of the book” stories to place on their websites.
Check out the website of your local magazines and see which ones best match your writing style. The advantage of targeting your regional magazine with a website story or two is that you’ll have a foot in the door with the editor when you pitch articles for the print magazine. Visit your local bookstore to find your regional magazines or do a quick Google search for the name of your city, state, or region and “magazine.”
LUXURY TRAVEL – SPA/RESORT
Despite the depressed global economy, there are still plenty of people with enough money to travel in luxury and pamper themselves in spas and resorts. Some travel websites cater solely to this population, and they are more likely to pay for submissions than their low-budget counterparts. If there is a new spa opening in your area or a cluster of spas where you are planning a trip, pitch this story to spa and luxury travel websites before you leave.
Here are a couple of sites to try:
The new breed of adrenaline rush junkies seeks over-the-top, harrowing near-miss, flirt-with-death action that will make them the office hero on Monday. Examples of these sought-after stories include vacations where you fly vertically over Moscow in a Mig-29 jet fighter at Mach one, take Formula One racing car lessons, and climb high mountains above your technical expertise.
Some approachable travel websites that eagerly accept adventure pieces include:
Today, more and more women are traveling in pairs or small groups, for weekends or longer, on bachelorette trips, cruises, boutique shopping weekends in London or Rome, art courses in Carmel, art museums in Paris… etc.
Many women’s travel websites have sprung up and are getting a lot of readers. They’re seeking articles with a feminine perspective, although you don’t have to be female to write the stories.
Travellady.com, for example, seemed happy enough with my Paris Catacombs article, which still resides on the site.
Here are a few more women’s travel sites to try:
These are some of the most popular topics I’ve observed among online publications. For more leads on websites to pitch with your ideas, try Google. It’s amazing what you’ll come up with when you do a Google search with the words, “food travel websites,” or “adventure websites.”
[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.]