All Posts in Category: Pitching
Welcome to the Friday Freebie Five, a new weekly feature on Dream of Travel Writing’s Six Figure Travel Writer blog.
Each week, we comb our Travel Magazine Database to bring you five magazine sections open to freelancers around a theme–front-of-book trend pieces, long-form first-person features, short narrative postcards–to inspire your pitches.
“Mini Guide” is a short guide to a city offering suggestions on attractions, accommodation, and food. This is sometimes written by more than one contributor. It starts with a 200-word introduction and is followed by regular sections, “Book it” and “See it.” “Book it” describes, in 200 words, three accommodation options under the subheadings of “Trendy,” “New,” and “Classic.” Attractions are described in the “See it” section, with four options given in about 150 words. Destinations covered in previous issues include London and Tokyo. There is a further section which changes with each guide. Examples include “Eat it” with suggestions for comfort food in Tokyo and “Near it” with suggestions for other activities in England including hikes and mill tours.
Want a Sneak Peek of What We Publish in the Travel Magazine Database?–Check Out These 70 Magazine Sections Waiting for YOUR Pitches
One of the main questions we get from people about how to use our Travel Magazine Database is whether there’s any point signing up if you aren’t already sending a lot of magazine pitches.
Or if you don’t already know how to write pitches at all!
The thing is, we actually created the Travel Magazine Database to teach people how to write better pitches.
Our On-Demand Coaching Concierge Now Has Answers to More than 300 of Your Top Travel Writing Questions!
Before there was Dream of Travel Writing or even The Six-Figure Travel Writing Road Map, there were questions.
I’ll never forget the time I was sitting in a room at the World Travel Market in London after one of the panels had finished up catching up on email, and a British gentleman came up and started chatting with my about what I did.
It was quite a few years ago, long before I ever even considered writing about freelancing, let alone coaching freelance business owners.
We were talking about what I did, and the conversation took a turn that it frequently did back then: a bit of puzzlement when I said that, yes, I was a blogger, but, no, I could not tell him what my blog was. I was a freelance blogger.
So I told him my mantra back then: “If I’m not getting paid, why would I write something?”
Summer is such a tricky time for travel writers.
If you have a family or friends that you travel with, it’s a time with much travel, but a frequent struggle between balancing the leisure side of travel (not just for you, but those you’re with!) with the demands of traveling as a travel writer, and all of the note-taking, picture-posing, and interview-grabbing that entails.
If you primarily get your work travel done in the off-season, summer can be a great time to relax and take a staycation to reset…but only if you have enough paid work on your plate.
Making Your Story About the Journey Rather than the Destination is a Easy Trick for Successful Pitching
I’ve been in a travel writing conference for the last couple days observing something very curious throughout the keynotes.
Both keynotes—one by Don George, who was formerly travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle and Lonely Planet’s annual travel writing short story anthologies, and another by Spud Hilton, the current travel editor of the San Francisco Chronicle, who has won an obscene number of top travel writing awards in that position—focused on storytelling.
Each keynote was excellent, composed of a heavy dose of first-person experience layered with specific, well-articulated and vitally important tips of how to completely overhaul your stories for the better.
But at the end of both keynotes, both speakers were asked nearly identical questions along the lines of:
That all sounds great, but who is really publishing narrative stories like that right now? No one really wants to publish stories about the writer’s experiences with other cultures.
After this question, in both cases, a very curious thing happened.
When the topic of writing feature-length pieces for magazines in heavily formatted articles like round-ups or guides is broached amount freelance writers who don’t have those clips under their belt (yet), one of two emotions usually comes up:
- abject fear at writing something that long for a magazine (and how long it will take them to do it)
- absolute “I got this,” because you write these exact same types of pieces for blog posts
In case you can already tell where I’m going with this, neither of those is the “right” answer.
Our Newest Freelance Travel Writing Business Workshop Arrives in Portland This Week! – Join Us This Thursday Evening
Every spring and fall, when I travel around the work to attend conferences on travel writing, travel blogging, narrative non-fiction writing, freelance business, and the tourism industry, I make a point to bring our signature workshops to as many cities as I can fit in.
I attend about 40 conferences, summits, workshops, masterminds, and trade shows each year to ensure I’m bringing the best, most relevant tips and tactics to my coaching program members and small-group retreat attendees.
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?
We’ve done a huge upload of our webinar library, and you can now grab packages with audio, video, slide, and transcript versions of:
- The Difference Between the Photos You’re Shooting Now and What Magazines are Publishing – The photos you’re shooting for Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and your blog won’t cut it for magazines.
- Creating a Shot List to Organize Your Trips Around Saleable Photography – This one technique will keep you from coming home without the photos you need to land photo contracts with your pieces.
- Plating, Staging, and Food Photography: Bringing Still Lifes to Life – You could pay $1,200 for a weekend food photography workshop, but here’s what you need to know to get started.
- The Art of the Follow Up — The Simple Key to Dramatically More Assignments – Your guide to what might be the most valuable hour of your entire week.
- What Types of Articles Should You Be Writing? – Once you see each article idea in 10 different formats, you’ll never hurt for pitch ideas.
- Mastering Style at a Sentence by Sentence Level – Your pitches will be the only clip you need when the quality of your writing shines through.
- Story Structure to Take Your Feature Travel Articles to the Next Level – Narrative writing can be terrifying. Once you learn the underlying structure though, it’s smooth-sailing.
- Annual Review Part 1: What is Standing Between You and Your Travel Writing Goals – The most likely roadblocks between you and your travel writing goals–and how to tackle them.
- Annual Review Part 2: How to Clearly Catalog the Work and Opportunities You Have Now – To know where your travel writing business needs to go, you need to be honest about where it is now…in numbers.
- Annual Review Part 3: Taking Stock of the Past Year to SWOT Yourself Into Shape – Align your freelance business with the marketplace and the best place in it for you.
- Annual Review Part 4: Getting Crystal Clear on What You’ll Accomplish in the Next Year – Rather than goals–an all-or-nothing approach to what you’ll do next year–focus your year with this method.
- Annual Review Part 5: Mapping Out Your Step-by-Step Plan for 2018 Success – Follow along with your year-long work plan as we workshop three attendees’ live.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a News Brief – Learn the core of how all front-of-book magazine pieces are constructed.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Front-of-Book Round-Up – Hone in on the easy-to-write (and pitch!) staple: the front-of-book round-up.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Trend Piece – An in-depth look at the staple of magazines front-of-book and feature sections everywhere: the trend piece.
- Article Nuts and Bolts: Putting Together a Business Profile – An in-depth look the type of article that should be the bread and butter of your freelance travel writing toolkit.
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.