You go somewhere a.maze.ing.
You take *tons* of photos.
The light is even fantastic, even though the weather forecast was crap.
All in all you can’t believe your luck (because we all know how easy it is to plan a big day of shooting only to have it foiled by weather, equipment issues, construction, or an entirely unrelated personal emergency), and you are sure you have a memory card full of excellent shots to sell, use on social, and support an epic photo essay on your blog.
How many hotels can you think of off the top or your head? How many destinations around the world? How many cities where visitors take tours during their stay?
In just the tour and activities market alone, in just the U.S., there are 68,000 companies valued at 20 billion. That’s not even the size of fish you’re probably going after. There are many, many more that are smaller and don’t have in-house staff devoted to their content marketing.
Every year when I attend the ITB Berlin travel trade show, more than 10,000 destinations, hotels, travel tech companies, and tour operators cram, often sharing several to a table, into a space the size of 30 football fields and pay anywhere from $4,575 to $38,200 to be there for just 2 days in front of around 160,000 German consumers and trade visitors (i.e. less than the monthly visitors of the vast majority of these organization’s websites every month).
Tourism boards in cities as small as Ontario, California (population 173,212), and Columbia, Missouri (population 120,612) are spending $1.9 million and $1.2 million, respectively, per year on tourism marketing and promotion. Destinations like Florida (population 20.61 million) and Philadelphia (population 1.6 million) spend more like $76 and $19.5 million respectively.
A little while back, someone wrote me a question for the Monday Mailbag series that I wasn’t quite sure how to answer: what are some great examples of company content marketing writing (particularly blogs) and magazine articles?
Hard to answer, not because I haven’t seen them, but because there are so many!
Wanted to make sure you heard a few quick things about today’s call:
Our webinar will take place today at a very different time than usual as I need to catch a flight to a get down to a writing conference in Nashville before our weeklong boot camp starts on Sunday.
(I’m so excited to see some of you there! We have been working so hard on the outings, set up, and menus for this week to welcome writers coming from as far as Argentina to take their career to an entirely new level! If you’re interest in joining us for next spring’s bootcamp, you can take 25% off now in our summer’s last hurrah sale!)
Our topic for today may literally be the most important thing that we will every cover in a webinar.
- TravelContentCon: Friday, January 12 – Sunday, January 14
- Freelance Travel Writing Bootcamp: Sunday, February 4 – Saturday, February 10
- IdeaFest: Friday, March 16 – Sunday, March 18
- Pitchapalooza: Friday, April 13 – Sunday, April 15
But how do you know which event is for you?
Check out our step-by-step workflow to figure out which event best fits your needs right now in your travel writing career: Read More
We’ve been talking in the past few weeks about how the best-paid travel writing gigs are typically not advertised, but you can find them or create them for yourself with some very easy online research.
But my absolute favorite–in terms of the type of writing as well as the pay–type of blogging for travel businesses is hiding in a completely different way. It’s not just that it’s not advertised. You
It’s not just that it’s not advertised. You shouldn’t even be able to tell that freelancers are writing these blog posts at all.
If you’re in the U.S., I hope you had a great Labor Day weekend!
In France, they call this time of year the réentrée. It’s when people return from their idyllic French summers in their country homes or those of their friends (you know, the A Year in Provence life we have all dreamed of at one point). Children get ready for school. And the combination of cooling weather and shorter days subconsciously make us begin preparations for the coming bleakness of winter.
For travel writers, however, fall has the cheerful advantage of being the time we pitch stories to magazines or next spring and summer, as we’re always living in the future due to the rhythm of the printing press and its deadlines.
In that vein, I’ve already set up our calendar for travel, workshops, and weeks open for our $150/week individual creative residencies, and I feel silly keep those dates from you, as I know many have already asked me when the next batch of retreats will be, because they couldn’t make the dates this summer or fall work.
Welcome to a new feature here at Dream of Travel Writing–the Monday Mailbag! We often get questions from readers, folks in our accountability group, or coaching program members that we think would apply to a lot of you.
Now, with permission, agony-aunt-style, we’ll be sharing a new one with you each Monday. If you have a question you’d like to see included, please send it to us at questions [at] dreamoftravelwriting.com and make sure to include a line saying we have permission to reprint your question.
On to the tricky travel writing questions!
We all write online, right?
We write social media posts. We write blog posts. We write for other people’s websites (whether for pay or as a guest post).
On our blogs, voice matters. The “product” you’re selling (whether to advertisers, those providing free trips, or other types of sponsors) is often eye balls. And your voice and other unique aspects of your style are what distinguishes you in that race for eyeballs.
On travel company websites, the product is what they’re selling. It’s laid out there in black and white. Tours, safaris, hotel rooms, you name it.
With tourism boards, they’re selling a destination, its hotel rooms, its restaurants and its experiences.
The words are not the product.
There are a lot of changes coming to our at-home programs–the versions of our live events, like Pitchapalooza, that take place over several weeks that you do from home rather than our location in the Catskills.
- major changes coming to ensure participants participate and finish their programs
- moving to a university-like model in many ways–your lessons and homework are when they are, and they’re due when they’re do–to move further away from the issues with online courses that people never finish
- new TravelContentCon and IdeaFest programs on the horizon
- IdeaFest (live or at-home) will now be a prerequisite Pitchapalooza (live or at-home)
- groups will be smaller and prices for some programs will change, but there will be much more personal attention as a result (in some cases more similar to a limited-term intensive coaching program, like at the retreats) and it will allow me to even run programs with just three people at a time if that’s who we have at that time (see–extra personal attention!)
- participation in group discussions (on a discussion platform for pitch- and idea-related programs or in group calls for TravelContentCon) will be a core component as it is essential to success–MFA programs are based on group critique sessions for a reason Read More