The minute I walked into the museum, a little alarm went off in the back of my head. I came to a complete stop, looked slowly around at the dozens of beautifully-restored antique cars and airplanes, and said to the museum director, “I can sell stories about this museum to five or six different magazines.” And I did…to the tune of $2,605. One of the hallmarks of a successful travel writer is recognizing a golden story when you see one—a destination or resort or attraction that you can spin off into several stories for several publications. And one of my favorite travel stories tips for newbie writers is to do that and find a way to profit multiple times from just one trip. After you’ve been writing for a while, you’ll learn through trial and error what sells and what doesn’t interest magazine editors. But, you will soon come to recognize golden stories like these when you see them. It becomes a sixth sense. With me, it’s like a light goes on. I instantly know that a story, if angled right, and if pitched to the right magazines, will be a winner. This particular place—the Western Antique Aeroplane & Automobile Museum (WAAAM)—in Hood River, Oregon, registered with me immediately. Inside this astonishing museum is an enormous collection of automobile gems—row upon row of 114 gleaming, highly polished classic vehicles, stretching to the back of a huge, 90,000 square-foot hall—a sight that would bring any red-blooded classic car buff to his knees. And, under the same roof, dozens of historic prop aircraft in mint flying condition. By the time I left this world-class museum several hours later, I even had a rough list of magazines to pitch with this story. Here’s a list of the six magazines that eventually bought my stories about this museum:
- A classic car magazine
- A U.K. military vehicles magazine
- An Australian Jeep magazine
- A World War II aviation magazine
- An aviation history magazine
- A local tourist guidebook
Why should you sell multiple stories about a place? The more stories you sell, the more money you make. And if you can make good money by selling several stories from a visit to one place, it quickly becomes very economical. As a freelance travel writer, this is where you want to be. When planning a trip, you need to ask yourself the following questions: ** Does this place offer potential for several story angles? ** Can I re-sell the same story to different magazine genres with a little tweaking? ** Do I know of several magazines that might go for this story, after I’ve sold it the first time? Stick with it and you’ll be quick to recognize “golden” destinations and attractions. And, here are some things to consider when selling multiple stories about one place:
- Don’t be afraid to pitch any magazine that you think your story would be a good fit for.
- Learn to write in a variety of genres so that you have a wide choice of magazines to pitch your stories to.
- Try to figure out what genre magazines will be interested in your story. Be creative.
- Don’t be afraid to approach magazines in several countries: I sold my WAAAM museum story to magazines in the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia.
I recently sold an article about a Bali resort to a lifestyle magazine. Then, with a little rewriting, I sold it to a vegetarian health magazine and again to a metaphysical magazine. Obviously, not every place you visit has the potential to yield multiple stories, but I’m willing to bet that—with some creative thinking—most do. 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.]