All Posts in Category: Pitching
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.
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.
Our Last Holiday Special Offer…An Opportunity to Be the First to Access Our Newest Way to View All Our Resources: Webinars, the Travel Magazine Database, and Our Q&A Library for Coaching Students
Today’s holiday trivia: While king’s cake or Gateau des Rois has becoming associated with North and South American Mardi Gras festivities, it was originally consumed on Twelfth Night, the last day of the 12 days of Christmas. Each cake, or pudding in the case of Britain, had a bean or charm baked in. Whoever found it–assuming they didn’t choke on it–was said to be blessed with good luck for the year ahead.
We’ve let you know for months this was coming, and now it’s finally here!
If your circumstances–time-wise, financial, or just not being ready quite yet to pull the trigger and dive headlong into travel writing–make it so that our coaching programs aren’t the best option for you right now, but you follow our webinars and new magazines in the Travel Magazine Database, we’ve got something that might be just what you need for where you are right now.