In today’s slow economy, freelance travel writer Jennifer Stevens sees a glass half-full. Sure, times are tough. But that doesn’t mean people aren’t traveling, she explained. It just means they’re traveling differently. And it doesn’t mean they’re not reading about travel. They’re just reading with a different mindset.
The key to selling lots of articles during a recession, Jen said, is to understand where your readers are coming from.
She pointed out that if you stay on top of the current trends, you’ll be plugged in to what editors are looking for right now. And, ultimately, you’ll sell more articles.
One trend that’s right out in the open is “thrift.” It’s chic to save. Shopping at secondhand stores is in. So is cooking at home — and making enough to have leftovers. So what does that mean in terms of travel?
Here are a few of the ways Jen suggested you think about casting your story ideas to capitalize on this trend:
— Provide solutions. How can people save when they travel? Try how-to pieces with a good-value angle. (Instead of a full RV, rent a pop-up camper. Instead of staying overnight at the luxury resort, enjoy the spa for the day and stay at a nearby B&B for half the price.)
— Show readers where they can find “affordable luxury” People are loathe to give up the luxuries they indulged in when times were flush. How, today, can they find that same sort of pampering but on the cheap? Look near home. And look, too, at “second-tier” cities that offer hidden gems — less-expensive spas, hotels, restaurants.
— Profile more affordable destinations internationally. Everybody knows about Paris. But Buenos Aires calls it to mind – and it’s a fraction the price. Don’t go to Barcelona when you can live large for pennies on the dollar in Budapest instead.
— Think locally. Niche publications are hanging in there – and even thriving – and so are “regional” publications, like city magazines. So keep on top of what’s going on right in your hometown, or somewhere close by. Suggest road trips. What can locals see near home that costs less than it would to take a flight and stay in a hotel somewhere?
Jen profiled 11 more current travel writing trends this morning, including things like Nostalgia, Back-to-Basics, and Ecology. And she talked about how, exactly, you can translate those trends into articles that editors will snatch right up.
Even if you couldn’t be here with us, you can still listen to her entire presentation on trends, and read along on her Power Point presentation, too. We’re putting the slides, along with all of the other workshop presentations, into the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop-At-Home package.
It’s the next-best thing to being right here at the workshop. And arguably, it’s even better. You can follow along at your own pace in the comfort of your own home — stopping and rewinding whenever you need to. And we have some sessions going on here simultaneously. So while the folks with me in Denver have to choose the speaker they’ll go hear, you don’t have to. We’re recording the whole thing. You get everyone.
[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.]