Yesterday I sent you some of our best success stories of 2009 to provide a little inspiration and motivation to get your travel writing or photography dreams off the ground in 2010. Today’s article, from editor, freelance writer, and author of the Ultimate Travel Writer’s program, Jennifer Stevens, gives invaluable insight into the kinds of stories that are going to sell best in 2010.
It’s just the kind of insider tip (straight from a travel magazine editor) that will make breaking into travel writing — staying ahead of the competition and selling travel articles — quicker and much easier.
Scroll down to find out what it is…
Have a great weekend,
Director, Great Escape Publishing
Selling Travel Articles: Better-Than-Bargain Stories for 2010
“Bargain Europe”… “Caribbean on the Cheap”… “Top 10 Value Destinations”…
It’s no secret that bargain-minded stories are selling like hot-cakes right now. It makes sense. Readers aren’t feeling flush, and they want to wring the most they can from their limited travel dollars. But face it: Publications can only print so many of these things.
Here’s a trick for selling travel articles to bargain-saturated editors looking for ways to put a little lipstick on “cheap”: Look for experiences that have a “bargain” built in. And then focus your piece not on the value element, but on the experience itself. Here’s a great example from the New York Times about a parade of classic cars taking place in Paris tomorrow. Here’s another one I spotted in Holidays with Kids, an Australian magazine, about an exhibit of masterpieces from Paris, on display at the National Gallery of Australia in Canberra (see page 12). In National Geographic Traveler I ran across this piece about enjoying Mardi Gras in New Orleans out in the neighborhoods instead of in the French Quarter.
What all these stories have in common beyond the fact that they profile a low-cost or free activity is that they encourage readers to enjoy the flavor of a place. They’re essentially bringing “local” activities to the attention of tourists. Think about how you can do that, too — both at home and when you’re on the road — increasing your chances of selling travel articles. If you want to write about where you live, check the local activities listings — do you see anything that you as a local take for granted, but a visitor might never stumble into without somebody like you talking about it?
If you’ll be traveling, check the “local” listings in the place you’re headed. Most tourist boards and local papers have these things listed online so you can access them from afar. And when you get there, chat up the folks behind the desk at the hotel, taxi drivers, waiters. Ask people what they’ll be doing with their own families while you’re in town. They’re bound to offer up all sorts of story ideas.
[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.]