We’ve been talking about FAM trips this week. Sure those FAM trip invitations are a welcome sight in your inbox, but when you’re first starting out as a writer, you may not be on the list for invitations. And even after you’re an established writer, you may want to travel on an individual press trip tailored to your specific interests. Here are a few tips for how to network as a travel writer:
- If you’re new to writing and have never been published, start by blogging about your hometown or nearby communities. Remember, every place is a destination. Once you have a few blog posts under your belt, reach out to a local restaurant or attraction by contacting the media relations personnel. Tell them you’re a travel blogger and are interested in covering their event, restaurant, etc. Give them your website information and inquire about media rates. Often those inquiries will lead to a complimentary meal or free admission to an event or attraction.
- To establish credibility, join an organization like ITWPA. I used my membership in ITWPA to help me obtain a complimentary ticket for sailing on a wooden schooner in Annapolis when I first started writing. In turn, the owner of the schooner put me in touch with the Annapolis tourism representative who offered to set up a weekend for me in her charming town. That led to a friendship that resulted in many more invitations and a lot more contacts in the industry, too.
- One of the most important aspects to becoming a successful travel writer isn’t writing – it’s networking. I cannot stress enough how important it is to mix and mingle with destination representatives, editors, and other travel writers. Sign up for mailing lists for destinations you’re interested in visiting. Send e-mails to introduce yourself. Attend a travel writer’s workshop to meet editors and other like-minded writers. All of these networking strategies will help you develop relationships that will ultimately lead to the travel you desire.
- Over time, I’ve established numerous relationships with tourism marketing representatives. These relationships have led to travel throughout Europe, Central and South America, and all over the United States. If I want to travel to a specific destination, I reach out to the media contact with ideas for articles and specific places I want to cover. If the destination requires flights, I may need a letter of assignment. If it’s close to home, providing links to my previously published work, names of publications where I plan to submit the articles, and a link to my blog is usually sufficient.
Always remember to write the article or articles promised. It won’t be long before you have more press trips than you can handle. And that is an excellent problem to have! Share on Facebook [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. Sign up today here and we’ll send you a report, Get Paid to Travel as a Travel Writer, completely FREE.]