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By Roberta Beach Jacobson, in Karpathos, Greece

Study writer’s guidelines for just about any travel publication and you’ll discover editors like sidebars. I like sidebars, too. Since I’m usually paid by the word, I try to add a sidebar to increase my earnings.

We all know we can list resources in a sidebar (like contact details for the hotels you’re mentioning or pertinent books and/or websites), but I challenge you to go a step further.

Use your imagination to come up with eye-catching sidebar content to keep editors coming back for more.

Here are some of my most-sold ideas for sidebars (those marked ‘if applicable’ I normally include for foreign destinations):

* a travel quiz
* local cuisine recipe
* a restaurant review
* where to stay
* list of area cybercafes
* list of tour companies
* highlights of local music (or brief profile of local musician)
* area flora/fauna
* write-up about local sports team
* details on wheelchair-accessible buildings (hotels, restaurants, bars, museums, places of worship)
* how to get there (air/sea/rail schedules)
* public transportation overview
* detailed chart of costs (such as entry fees to a museum mentioned in article – for kids, adults, seniors, groups)
* local shopping hours or even shopping tips
* smart local buys (specialties, such as handicrafts)
* how to use a public telephone, if applicable
* write-up on a local holiday/festival
* unusual local custom/superstition
* your favorite season there
* description of local currency, if applicable
* consulates/embassies addresses, if applicable
* health info (such as immunizations required), if applicable
* basic phrases in the local language, if applicable
* timelines
* oddball area attraction not found in tour books
* details about the local climate pegged to what to pack
* your own sketch/illustration
* know-before-you-go roundup

[EDITOR’S NOTE: Roberta’s travel articles have been published in Travel Smart, Transitions Abroad, The Educated Traveler, International Living, The Athens News, The International Railway Traveler and JustSayGo.com. She has contributed to travel books by Lonely Planet, Survival Books, and Travelers’ Tales.

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.]

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