How to Make Real Money Writing Travel Articles: Part One
(A Three-Part Series to Help You Double, Even Triple, Your Writing Income)
By B. Howard in Cleveland, TN
Part 1 – The Types of Articles that Sell and Resell Best
There are two secrets to making real money writing travel articles. The first is to write articles you can sell more than once. The second is to support your articles with stunning photographs.
Over the years I have sold more than 600 articles to magazines and newspapers all over the United States and in England. Some of those articles have sold many times. An article I wrote some years ago for PHOTOgraphic magazine eventually sold 11 times. Another written for Tours and Resorts sold 14 times. Yet another has sold 17 times.
Most of the articles I write sell at least a half-dozen times. Initially, each article will sell for $250 to $450, and occasionally for much more. Re-print sales on those articles will run anywhere from $50 to $250. That means any given article can bring in as much as $2,000 or even $3,000.
Write one new article a month and you will have an annual income in excess of $30,000. Write one every couple of weeks and…. well, you get the idea. Today, I would not consider writing an article unless I knew I could sell it at least five times.
The truth is, these articles don’t have to be complicated or even very long. I rely on a tried-and-true format for producing an endless string of resalable articles. Next week, I’ll show you how it works. In the meantime, here are five tips to help you produce articles that will sell… and sell again:
1.) For an article to sell multiple times, it needs to have universal appeal. In other words, it should be an article that will interest a wide cross-section of readers, which means you’ll need to thoroughly research all of your target publications. It may be that you can find five magazines that regularly publish music-related travel articles. And maybe all five will publish your music-related piece. But chances are you’ll have more luck targeting a more general audience — the over-50 traveler, for example.
2.) The easiest article to sell contains between 800 and 1,200 words. Editors, especially newspaper editors, can often find a spot for shorter articles even when they might not have planned such an article.
3.) You should include with your article at least 10 outstanding photographs. Great photographs will sell almost any type of article
4.) Write your piece in a free-and-easy, conversational style. (You’ll find excellent, concrete guidance abut how to do that in Lesson 13 of Jen Stevens’ The Ultimate Travel Writer’s course.)
5.) Make sure your piece is thoroughly proof-read. Check your grammar and eliminate typos. Ideally, get someone to read it through before you submit it. Don’t expect an editor to do this for you, especially if you are trying to break in. The easier you make it for an editor to publish your work, the more success you will have.
As your articles sell, you’ll begin to build a database of clients — that is, editors who like your work. That database is the key to making real money writing travel articles, because you can go back to editors you know again and again. And if you’re easy to work with and they like your stuff, you’ll have no problem selling them every new article you have to offer.
Next week we’ll focus again on reselling articles for big profits and talk about the easiest kind of “resellable” article you can write. Plus we’ll tell you how to shoot the photographs you’ll need to support it. Then the following week we’ll focus on that all-important database… how to expand it, and how to turn into a pot of gold.
[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.]