YOUR LOCAL KNOWLEDGE PAYS AT WCITIES
By Roberta Beach Jacobson, in Karpathos, Greece
WCITIES, founded in 1998, publishes travel information on 1900 cities in over 70 countries and makes for the content available for syndication. The end-users are travelers — both business and leisure.
Douglas Madey (the content department contact) is looking for short reports (he calls them Points of Interest or POIs) of about 100 words each.
So if you know of a trendy attraction or a little-known event in your city that you’d like to share your knowledge of, WCITIES might just be the right place for it.
You don’t send queries. Instead, simply go to the website and click on the button to “become a contributor.” You’ll find it on the homepage, on the lower, right-hand side. You make initial contact by filling in your name, e-mail address, and location on a simple web form. Then, a few hours later, you’ll receive, via email, the writer’s guidelines plus a checklist of what to cover in your write-up.
The checklist includes no major surprises — just the standard fare like an attraction’s address, operating hours, what credit cards are accepted, etc.
Your next step is to search WCITIES to see what’s already been covered in the city you wish to write about.
(I discovered, I must tell you, that finding new material to contribute may be easier said than done, though it probably depends on your city of expertise.)
I used Frankfurt, Germany as my example and found page after page of suggestions on where to stay and where to eat; what trade fairs to catch; what museums, neighborhoods, and parks to see; as well as transportation hints, and more.
I worked in Frankfurt for 17 years and consider myself quite an expert on the city. And I have to say: I was surprised — and impressed — by the amount of information I found on Frankfurt at WCITIES. It felt like a complete guide book, only broken up into small chunks.
Once you decide on your first city (you’re not limited to a single destination), your next step is to send Mr. Madey a writing sample about an original attraction or event not already covered on the site. (Make sure it includes everything on that WCITIES checklist I mentioned.)
As the POI is only 100 words, you can’t afford to waste a single one. You want your piece to jump off the page with practical, actionable information about your city.
The pay is $10 for each posted POI, paid via PayPal.
WCITIES buys all rights, as they syndicate all this collected travel material and sell it to clients like American Airlines, Yahoo!, and Amadeus among others.
So even though you won’t make a bundle writing these POIs… it does give you an easy way to gather a few clips. And if you have done research for another article, this is a great place to recycle your information and use it to generate a few more dollars.
One last note: WCITIES also accepts photographs for their website. Again, you make your submission via a web form. You’ll find details for submitting photos on the WCITIES homepage too, right under “become a contributor.”
[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.]