Today is Day Two of our How to Make a Six-Figure Income Traveling Conference and freelance travel writer, Jennifer Stevens, took the mic this morning to talk about selling travel articles to editors.
“Don’t introduce yourself,” she said. You’ve got less than a minute to sell your story idea to an editor in an email, she explained. That’s one to two sentences. Five sentences tops.
If you waste those sentences explaining who you are and why you’re interested in writing for the publication, you’ll likely cost yourself the sale.
Instead, Jen said, jump right into your story with a line or two about what your article is about and why it’s a good fit for the editor’s readership.
Below I’ll include pieces of both the good and bad examples Jen gave us in class today. Give them a quick read and you’ll instantly see why one is better than the other.
Tomorrow we’re going to wrap up here in Panama with a challenge. I’m going to challenge all the attendees with us this weekend to a race. The first attendee to earn $8,000 in a single month using the secrets he or she picked up at this event will get an extra $1,000 from me to tell the story in this newsletter.
I’ll give you all the details tomorrow and I’ll see if I can’t think of a way for you to join this challenge and earn a quick $1,000 too.
Stay tuned. And don’t forget to scroll down for Jen’s good and bad example of how to sell your story idea to an editor.
BAD EXAMPLE: Email to an Editor
Hey [Editor’s Name]:
My name is [Writer’s Name]. I’m a freelance writer living in Aspen, and I’d love to work with you!
I’ve written for television news, entertainment television, various periodicals and loads of other publications. I love to travel, and I think I see Aspen (having moved here from Los Angeles, after the entertainment industry wore me out) through the eyes of a tourist. I’d love to contribute – in anyway possible…
GOOD EXAMPLE: Email to an Editor
Dear [Editor’s Name]:
Surrounded by burgeoning vineyards and poppy fields, the historic Canal du Midi is a snaking corridor whose walls are mighty tree trunks, and whose ceilings are leafy branches casting shade along gentle waters. It’s the setting for a barge hotel cruise amidst the soft breezes and brilliant “light” found no where else but in the South of France.
I traveled to the Languedoc region last month and I’m happy to present this story for your consideration. It involves a couple of days on the barge cruise and also visits to nearby Beziers and the walled city of Carcassonne. The trip includes forays into the surrounding culinary opportunities — the local cheeses, wines and other regional delights being produced — many of which were accessible by the bikes provided on the barge. Natives often open their homes to out-of-towners and are eager to share information about the area’s specialties, and the story includes an “If You Go” about where to stop, dine and chat.
I’m now pitching it to newspapers and offer you first rights in your circulation area. The story runs 1,200 words. I’m certainly hoping you strongly consider using it — just in time for the summer tourism season.
For a look at my credentials and where I’ve been published, please click on (website here).
If you give me the word, I’ll mail you many excellent digital photos on disk. I have pasted several below for your review, followed by the story.
Thank you very much for your kind consideration.
[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.]