Jen Stevens here again today as your guest editor. I’m sitting in for Lori, who’s still in Paris.
People have been calling all week to register for our upcoming Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in Denver.
But a handful of skeptical readers, though intrigued by the workshop, have called to ask: How realistic is this, honestly? Can I really get published? Can I really visit places, free?
For the record, the answer to both those questions is: Yes. Absolutely. You can get published. And you can land yourself great travel perks, too.
Are you going to see your by-line in Conde Nast Traveler right off the bat if you’ve never written a travel article before? Not likely.
Can you just call up a city’s tourist board and say, “Hello, I want to be a travel writer, could I come for free?” I wouldn’t advise it.
But aim for a smaller-market publication and write about someplace close to home, and immediately your chances of seeing your name in print go way, way up.
And once you have a few published articles you can wave around… then you’ll have the credibility you need to land those great travel perks.
It’s like anything else in life: You get out of it what you put in. But in this case, what you have to “put in” is actually really fun. I mean, you could go to a new museum exhibit and write about it… or spend a weekend camping in a nearby national park and scribble a page with tips about good tent spots and hikes… or go out to dinner and write up two or three paragraphs recommending the place…
Here are some success stories your fellow readers have sent in over the past two months alone.
None of these folks had ever published a travel article before. But they took those first, small steps to get started. And quickly they were on their way —
** 1. Richard Callaby took The Ultimate Travel Writer’s Program and then landed a free month-long stay in Rome, Italy, to learn Italian and write about his experience: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/?p=589
** 2. Laurie Racca came to our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in San Francisco last year, and then snagged a regular gig as the Sacramento Outdoor Travel writer for Examiner.com: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/?p=595
**3. Dawn-Marie Hanrahan landed a column in her local paper, snagged a long-weekend, expenses-paid jaunt to British Columbia, and then sold a story from that trip to another publication: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/?p=596
**4. Linda Steinmuller attended our Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop a few years back in New York and then approached her local community paper in Brooklyn. Today, she’s authors a regular travel column there: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/?p=597
**5. Rachel Christophe Baker combined her idea for a travel article with know-how from her day job to land a by-line in a nursing journal: http://www.thetravelwriterslife.com/?p=598
I hope you’ll take ten minutes to read those stories. You’ll see, when you do, that while they’re all unique, most have one thing in common: The writers began by writing about someplace — or something — they know.
It turns out that right now is a great time to be writing about where you live. Because times are tough and people are reigning in their overseas travel budgets, publications are looking for more domestic, more “local” coverage.
Plus the kinds of places you’ll likely write about — museums, parks, restaurants, theaters, attractions of all kinds — they’re finding remarkably creative ways to attract visitors today. I’ve spotted everything from “brunch with your dog” to “sleepovers at the zoo.”
Stay tuned… tomorrow, I’ll show you how you can cash in on this “local and quirky” trend. If you know the best places to eat, shop, and visit in your town, you’re already on your way to a by-line.
[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.]