All Posts in Category: Content Marketing
And, yes, cold pitching absolutely does work, when done right.
But not like this:
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!
How to Sell Your Blogging Services to Tourism Boards and Travel Companies (Even When They Don’t Say They Need Writers)
Almost universally, when people start travel writing, or even considering whether it’s a viable possibility as an actual income-generating career, they google some form of “paying travel websites,” “travel writing jobs,” or “travel magazine pay.”
On a recent coaching call, a writer I had asked to assemble lists of online markets (places to writer for) that interested her around certain themes like running, New York City and the Hudson Valley, and expat life, ran into this issue. Rather than focusing on legitimate markets around her specific areas of expertise, she embarked on some general googling. It wasn’t an inspiring journey, to say the least.
If you came to travel writing from first writing you own blog, you no doubt ran into a serious internal recalibration the first time you wrote for another website or magazine.
It’s less about the deadline than the readership. When you have you own site, there’s a certain level of confidence that you know what the readers are there for, what interests them.
With a new outlet, especially the first time writing for it, it’s all too easy to question everything you write as to whether it’s”good enough” or “what the editor wants.” Or to have your piece sent back for extensive revisions because what you had in mind for the piece is very different than what the editor understood from you pitch given her background with her own magazine.
In many conversations with readers and workshop attendees, I’ve found that when it comes to content marketing, it’s an entirely different ball game.
I am so pleased to share that a lot of the folks that have been following the travel content marketing webinars are already getting responses to their pitches, setting up calls, and sending proposals:
“I just wanted to let you know that I have a phone call set up later this week with a tour company in Tokyo who have approached me about writing for their company blog. Thanks to your webinars over the last month, I feel like I have so much more knowledge going into the call. So I just wanted to say thank you for all your advice! Fingers crossed it all works out!”
“Listening to your webinars it has encouraged me to seek out social marketing jobs. I have landed 1, have a conference call with another and emails into 6 others.”
In the last three weeks of webinars on travel content marketing writing, we’re looked at:
- How to Earn Big with Travel Content Marketing Writing – We talk about the different opportunities for travel content marketing writing–from blog posts to content strategy to choosing and editing photos for Instagram–what kind of pay you can expect (and the low-paying types of work you should always avoid), and where to start looking for these opportunities.
- How to Locate the People Who Need Your Travel Content Marketing Writing – We continue looking at where the big money in travel writing is hiding this week in part two of our series on travel content marketing writing: how to identify the people you can approach for this type of work, whether companies or tourism boards.
- How to Craft a Travel Content Marketing Pitch that Gets Attention – In the third portion of our coverage on travel content marketing writing, I break down the steps of putting together your own pitch to send cold to companies and tourism boards you think would benefit from your services, including powerful statistics on content marketing ROI to include and just how much information to give away to keep your prospect interested without setting them up to go execute your plan without you.
I remember when I first made the investment to attend my first travel writing conference (and also my first small business/freelance conference–another milestone and a *very* different type of experience and ROI!).
Your first conference, when you don’t know anyone, is a blur and a rush and a throwback to junior high school if you head to a huge event.
There are so many different types of travel content marketing writing you can pursue, and there’s space in the market for you to specialize in any one of them and build a sustainable six-figure income with just a handful of steady clients:
- Email newsletters
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Case studies
- White papers
- Sales copy
- Product descriptions
- Sales sheets
- Event books
- Custom magazines
- and more
But the more pressing issue is where to find those clients, and, more importantly, how to make sure you’re don’t spend a ton of time researching a prospective client only to find they could never afford you.
Aside from breaking into $1/word magazines (though those are honestly so much work they’re often not worth the time!) and setting up relationships with editors so they pitch me article ideas to write for them instead of visa versa, one of the most important ways I grew my income as a new travel writer was by setting up my own travel content marketing clients.