Even If You’re a Pitch Wizz and an Idea Magnet, You’ll Still Struggle to Get Pitches Out if You’re Missing This
People who aren’t happy with the types or quantity of the paid travel articles they’re writing tend to come in two flavors:
- they’re established writers, even established magazine writers, that always work with the same editors and have lost the confidence to pitch new-to-them markets
- they pitch so infrequently (and spend the rest of their writing time writing assigned work for content shops OR for themselves on their own blog or a novel project) that sending five pitches in one month is a serious event
On a very basic level, you could say that a regular, concerted pitching effort could bring about serious changes for people in these situations.
And pitching is actually very easy. It just involves writing 150 to 250 words. That only takes ten minutes! So these folks are all set, right?
At an event for business executives I attended last week, the facilitator shared something that is a bit of a myth in the business world.
The short version is: in a room full of nearly 1,000 entrepreneurs, when asked how they track and check in daily with their goals, it turned out the that four wealthiest people in the room all carried a paper with their goals in their wallet on somewhere else on their person.
Let me say this again, because it bears repeating. In a room full of people who had successfully started their own businesses, the ones who made the most looked at their goals regularly.
Uncertainty causes stress.
I didn’t pull data on this, because I think it’s something we can all agree on anecdotally. Viscerally in fact.
Have you done your taxes yet? If so, bravo!
Every winter, in fact before the holidays, I tell myself that I’m going to get my taxes in early so that I can get my tax refund as soon as possible. I like to think of it as a freelancer end-of-year bonus.
If you work for yourself, that might sound a bit surprising, right? That I’m looking out for my refund (a.k.a. money back) rather than dreading how much I’m going to own.
And I hear that from freelance travel writers often.
In fact, I have been getting *a lot* of questions about tax preparation this year, both from my coaching clients and from folks that have come to the Catskills to join us for a writing retreat.
These webinars are only available at the times listed, live, but you can catch the replay in video, audio, and transcript form, along with the webinar slides, at any time in our on-demand webinar library.
Check out the full schedule of March’s webinars and register for your favorites below.
The Answer to the Perennial Travel Writer Question: How Can I Pitch This Hotel/Museum/Restaurant That’s Already Been Open for Years?
When you start planning a trip on your own or first get the bug of a press trip in your ear, the options of what to explore in a destination are tantalizing.
Nailing down the sense of place, honing in on the food culture in a new place, and the promise of highly quotable sources with exciting stories you would have never thought of all give you a high.
But we all know trips, attractions, interviews, hotels, and meals don’t always live up to our imaginings. Sadly!
Some parts of a trip will be brilliant and bring those great quotes and anecdotes and new story ideas you never would have had at home, but what do you do with the rest of it?
How do you get the best assignment-dollar-worth out of your on the ground research time?
Ever heard of a time peg?
I try not to use the word too often, because it masks much more important issues at stake in people’s pitches, but, at its core, it means pegging or affixing the topic if your article to something timely.
There’s lots of options for this “something timely” that ger thrown around when discussing pitches, from openings of new things to renovations of old things to major anniversaries of even older things.
I cannot tell you how many pitches I saw either related to country of Canada’s 150th anniversary of statehood or the American National Park system’s 100th anniversary of its founding.
When I first started helping travel writers finally reach their goals and dramatically grow their income, I saw, straight away, that the single, simple, easy answer to how to get from where each writer was to where they wanted to be was simple: pitch.
So I worked up live and online programs, workshops, and webinars to combat this great “evil,” the fear of pitching.
But, of the course of that work with writers, I found that while they were telling me their pitches were the problem, the responses they were getting from editors were telling them (and me!) that their ideas were really the problem.
That’s why, based on our live IdeaFest retreat, our new four-week program is designed to provide a serious and lasting foundation to turn you into an idea machine, turning up dozens of article ideas every day. And I’ve already seen the transformation happening daily with the writers beta-testing the program this past month, who regularly share exclamations like:
“The tips were really useful! I managed to double my article ideas for the magazines I identified!”
“Done! Love this exercise. Makes it visually accessible to see all the ideas for one place, along with the magazines and the sections to pitch.”
“This was a super useful exercise!”
“This actually helped me discover sections of magazines I might not have looked at otherwise.”
“As I started this exercise I really didn’t like it too much, but did finally break past a little barrier and thought of some good stuff!”
“Woo-hoo! I managed to find ideas around all nine articles types from the one concept. “
“This was fun! Each trip has so many aspects to share!”
“This was a really great exercise for me, and it helped me realize that even small things from an experience can lead to an entire article.”
Is it just now your new year?
On a recent coaching call, someone explained to me that as they were slammed with deadlines both before and after the holiday, had many family commitments during the school break, and subsequently had to take a trip involving many time zones-worth of jet lag for a family health emergency, she only finally felt, at the end of January, that she was finally in a place to really start the new year.