SPECIAL SECTION: San Antonio Workshop – Day One
On-The-Ground Reports from the Lucrative Traveler Conference in San Antonio, TX
Ten new (and overlooked) places to get published… FAST!
By Sue Wright
Dear Travel Writer,
Our first annual Lucrative Traveler Conference has begun. And I have to tell you, we sure wish you were among the 55 folks here with us.
It’s interesting… at some conferences, you know, the attendees all come with a rather uniform look — school teachers or dentists or accountants.
We, by contrast, are a refreshingly diverse group — among us a dog trainer, a windshield repairman, a pianist, a CPA, an interior decorator, an attorney — you get the idea.
But we all share a love of travel and have one singular goal in mind: to learn what it takes to vacation anywhere, anytime, and make a six-figure income while we’re at it.
Here at the swank Emily Morgan Hotel across the street from The Alamo and a short stroll from the River Walk, we’re not only being pampered (if only you could have tasted the blackberries at this morning’s coffee break) but we’re also being treated to the kind of information it would take us months — years more likely — to track down on our own.
Clearly, the speakers have made it their mission to save us the time, trouble, money, and frustration they invested in learning their respective crafts — travel writing, photography, and import-export. Their attitude is: We made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
Before I get into the nuts-and-bolts, let me back up for a second and introduce myself properly.
My name is Sue Wright. I’m a freelance writer and photographer, and I’ll be your on-the-ground reporter for the next three days.
The first thing I want to report is how “enlightened” I’ve felt more than once today.
I’m not talking religious conversion here. I mean, simply, that it’s been a series of “ah ha” moments. And it hasn’t just been me. Everybody around me has shared the same reaction.
A speaker will say something that seems simple enough. It’s just that it would never have occurred to me. And all of a sudden I can see how this little tidbit is going to make an enormous difference in the way that I approach the stories I write, the photos I snap, and the products I consider for resale in the States.
Here’s what I mean. Today’s FREE LESSON, if you will:
One of the most lucrative markets for travel articles isn’t in travel publications.
Steenie Harvey — an expert freelance travel writer whose articles have appeared in all the major British papers, the Washington Post, The World and I, and well beyond — shared this money-making insight:
Don’t just target travel publications and newspapers’ travel sections when you’re defining your stories. Plenty of general interest and more specialized publications run travel features too — and pay handsomely for them.
As Steenie told us, “I once sold a piece about one of Ireland’s oldest horse fairs to the U.S. magazine Horse Illustrated — and I’ve only been on a horse twice in my life! Another article on the annual pilgrimage to Ireland’s holiest mountain was a cover feature in St Anthony Messenger, a U.S. religious magazine with a Catholic readership.
“These ‘specialist’ magazines may even offer far more generous rewards than publications that concentrate solely on travel.
“Thought religious magazines were lousy payers? St Anthony Messenger paid me $1000 for the text — and my husband got $400 for his eight photographs. And that article appeared back in 1995.”
Here are eight not-so-obvious magazines Steenie suggested you might want to take a look at:
*** Across the Board www.conference-board.org — Steenie had success here with a story about how its fed-up-with-flying executive readers could exchange air miles for things like hot-air ballooning.
*** Advocate www.advocate.com — Gay and lesbian magazine with plenty of travel features with a gay-friendly theme. Switzerland…Transylvania…Provincetown…Gay Cruising in the Med.
*** Army Times www.armytimes.com — In their R&R section, articles on Paris’ Great Outdoors; Biking in Texas; WWII Battlefields.
*** Brides www.brides.com — Includes travel focus on honeymoon destinations (e.g. Hawaii) and short snippets for features such as 100 Sexy Beaches, Cities and Country Retreats.
*** Doctor’s Review: www.doctorsreview.com — Recent travel articles include Arizona Beyond the Deserts; 9 Caribbean escapes; 10 of the World’s Hottest tax Havens; Great Sleeps in the Bahamas; Singapore Sling:this island nation packs an exotic punch.
*** Forbes Magazine www.forbes.com — What travel destinations are the world’s business leaders reading about? Look in the Lifestyle section and you’ll find articles on the World’s Greatest Palaces; the Lajitas Dude Ranch in Texas; a review of the hotel Martinez on France’s Cote d’Azur; Macao – Asia’s premier gaming destination.
*** Horse Illustrated: www.horseillustrated.com — February 2006 issue includes an article about ‘Great Horse Towns to Visit’.
*** Native Peoples Magazine www.nativepeoples.com — Recent articles include The Exotic Guatemalan Highlands; Arts and Crafts Revived.
When you start to broaden the scope of the publications you target, you not only increase your odds of landing assignments — you’re casting a broader net, after all — but you decrease your competition, too.
Think of it this way: A travel editor at a travel publication has an inbox overflowing with travel articles. She knows exactly where to find the stories she wants. Travel writers come to her.
By contrast, say it’s the “lifestyle editor” at a more general-interest publication that’s in charge of tracking down a travel story or two a month. That’s only a small bit of what she does. She’s much less likely to have hundreds of travel writers knocking on her door.
(She may well have hundreds of writers knocking… it’s just that a much smaller number of them are likely to be travel writers.) All the better for you!
See you again tomorrow, and thanks for reading.
Freelance Writer and Photographer
[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.]