Can you pick up a cow? Seriously, if I offered you a cow but you had to carry it home, would you want it? This is the analogy expert travel writer and editor Jennifer Stevens gave our class today. “An editor needs something she can pick up.” Jen said.  “You can’t give her the whole cow.” Here’s how it’s done… The best ideas are: specific, unique, and targeted to a defined audience, she told us. Instead of: “Here’s an article about things to do in Colorado Springs.” Try writing:

  • “Big Horns, Rabbits, and Dinosaur Bones… Go Wild in the Garden of the Gods”
  • “Pikes Peak: Three Ways to Enjoy America’s Mountain with Kids”
  • “Sculptures, Fountains, Gardens, and Galleries: In Colorado Springs, the Art is Outside”

It’s also in your best interest to “show” the editor that you’re not handing her the whole cow by writing a tight headline for the top of your story. It doesn’t matter at all that the editor might not use your headline for your article.  Your goal is simply to prove that you know how to give her good meat without making her work for it. For example, don’t write this headline: At Home in Santa Monica. Instead write: Retreat by the Sea: Three Romantic Santa Monica B&Bs under $170. Let her see that you understand her readership and that you know how to write a well-focused piece just for her.  It’ll make you look like a pro. And here’s something else… Eighty percent of your success is due to just showing up.  We met a panel of travel writers today who all got their start at this workshop using the same secrets I’m writing about to you today. And they’ll all tell you the same thing.  The one thing they did that you haven’t yet is simply GO FOR IT! 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.]

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