All Posts in Category: Content Marketing
Today’s holiday trivia: As part of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, December 28 is a day for pranks (similar to April Fools Day in North America) in Spain and Latin American countries. Pranksters or “inocentes” trick their friends and family; even newspapers, radio and TV stations have been known to participate by providing false stories.
The town of Ibi in Alicante, Spain, celebrates the festival of Els Enfarinats each year, as well, with participants in the day-long festival dressing in mock military uniforms and staging a mock coup while a band of street musicians tour the city. The “military” exercise their authority under a blaze of fireworks, flour bombs and eggs, surrendering at the end of the day with a traditional dance.
I’ll never forget when the gentleman who runs the program in which I got certified as a business coach yelled at me about my pricing.
If you’ve every had a writing gig where you’re writing blog posts for $20 or $50 and spending several hours on each, you’ve probably had a similar conversation with me, a friend, or a significant other.
In that case, you may have heard that you are undervaluing yourself or your work, or maybe that you’re making things harder for all writers by creating unrealistic expectations with clients, or that you’ll never meet your income goals if you persist in spending that long on work that pays those rates.
At Dream of Travel Writing, the situation is a little different.
I don’t take any salary from running the company, and this was actually never my goal.
On a coaching call yesterday afternoon, I had a conversation that I have much more often than I would like.
This freelancer had a client that had landed themselves with a cold email–the first of the kind for this writer–and landing the gig filled her with so much pride and positivity.
At first. (There must be a but coming, right?)
The bumps started small. Her client insisted on providing her all of the blog post ideas, but would only give them one at a time. And not always on-time.
This left the freelancer constantly having to rush to complete the blog posts assigned, often dropping other things to do so. We talked about how to move the client into giving her batches of post ideas at once, and that helped. For a while.
Join Us at Early-Bird Prices for Our Winter Retreats to Up Your Skills, Surround Yourself with Other Hard-Working Travel Writers, and Spend the Winter Somewhere Cozy
Our retreats at our private location in New York’s Catskill mountains are not conferences. They aren’t workshops. And they aren’t classes. They’re retreats.
We’ve decked out the space with everything you need to get your focused-writer on, including:
- workplaces for all moods, from desks with huge windows looking out on nature to comfy, sink-in chairs for snuggling in to couches piled with pillows and blankets (hey, it’s winter!) and an actual pub
- thousands of magazines to get your pitch-idea juices flowing and inspire you with top-tier writing
- hundreds of books on the craft and commerce of writing along with the tomes from the top travel writers in the world to help un-stick your writers block
- all of the coffee, espresso, and tea
And you experience all of those things whenever you want on your own with our Creative Residency Program.
So when we do a retreat, we kick things up the personalization in five big ways:
- All of our retreat content is focused on exactly where you are. I literally present the programs differently each and every time, taking into account the skill and travel knowledge backgrounds of each individual present that week or weekend.
- Our retreats are kept uber-small so it’s not possible for you to get lost along the way. This group size allows me to constantly check in that the concepts we’re discussing are hitting home with each and every person there, and revisit, re-explain, or further break things down so that each person moves through the content with the group. No writer left behind.
- You get one-on-one time to dig really deep down into what YOU are stuck on. In each of our weekend and week-long retreats, you get one-on-one time (typically two one-on-one) to make massive progress quickly, in the middle of our educational content, so that we can slough off wherever you’re stuck and get you charging through to completing your goal for the week or weekend.
- We focus on the experiential. As we move through the information covered in each event–whether focused on building your business, working with magazines, learning how to be a travel writing in the field, or building your own travel content marketing gigs–we heavily alternate between hearing, doing, and discussing. In medical school, they have an maxim, “See one; do one; teach one,” that allows them to level up their students quickly through difficult tasks, and we give it the travel writing treatment. If I were to just teach you what to do and let you go home and (hopefully find the time and then) try it, you would never making nearly as much progress, if any at all, as you do by hunkering down to give something a try right away and then discussing what did and didn’t work and why so you’re prepared and patterned with how to do something the right way when you do get home.
- You learn from a multitude of experiences. While we alternate learning by knowledge acquisition (listening) and learning by doing (exercises), the sharing time our small group size allows is also a crucial part of expanding your horizons and sparking new ideas. As you listen to how your peers have dug differently into the exercises based on their life, work, and travel backgrounds, your pre-conceptions about how things should or need to be done will naturally expand, showing you more ideas for yourself that fit you.
We’ve currently got early-bird pricing (more than 25% off!) for four of our events coming up this winter.
If you’re not interested in working with tourism boards or travel companies, now or in the future, today’s missive is not for you.
However, if you are, I’ve just returned from an event that was a big investment by us for you guys: the conference specifically for Directors of Marketing and Digital Marketing Managers at top CVBs.
I always advise going to conferences where your clients, rather than your peers, are to learn what are the problems your clients are actually facing (rather than what you see to be their problems or simply the things you want to pitch them whether that is a pain point for them or not).
But it’s even more fascinating to see how your potential clients are trying to solve their problems when it is so, so far off base from the best practices that are second nature to you.
This past weekend, I had the privilege of spending three days with highly motivated, hardworking, and inspiring travel writers for our TravelContentCon retreat event.
We took our first three sessions up on the top of the Catskill’s famous Sam’s Point lookout as we explored what content marketing means today, and that’s when the magic began.
With our early bird registration, we offer a chance to get a huge discount (more than 25% off!) for being one of the first to snag a spot in one of our live retreats at our private retreat location in the Catskills.
We’re especially excited to open up this batch of retreats, because they’re one of the sweetest times to be in the Catskills—literally!
Summer retreats get to take the best advantage of our on-site farm, with salads festooned with edible flowers, more than a dozen different types of heirloom tomatoes, and special produce we grow from all around the world.
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 April’s webinars and register for your favorites below.
For the large subset of travel writers who come from blogging, specifically writing on their own blogs without someone overseeing the writing or editorial direction, 1,000-word articles don’t inspire trepidation. They write 1,000-word blog posts all the time!
But as you spend more time reading magazine articles, you’ll very quickly find that a 100-word magazine article tends to have as much information as a 1,000-word blog post simply because in print, space is at a premium.
Every block of text could potentially be replaced by an advertisement (and this is often what happens when your story gets killed last minute!).
Today’s holiday trivia: In many European countries, the celebration of Christmas on December 25 pales in comparison with January 6’s Feast of the Epiphany–also know as the visit of the three wise men or magi. Presents for children arrive on the eve of the Epiphany rather than Christmas Eve, though they are not delivered by a jolly man. In Italy, gifts are ferried about by La Befana, a witch with a long nose and speedy broomstick who leaves garlic and onions, in addition to the usual coal, for bad children or parents who haven’t left her a glass of wine.
There are so, so many opportunities out there for travel content marketing.
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.