The Six-Figure Travel Writer

All Posts in Category: The Writing

When Was the Last Time You Met a Travel Magazine Editor?

I just returned a few days ago from the Book Passage Travel Writers and Photographers Conference and was delighted to see the seats full of writers who are already making freelance travel writing their full-time occupation or are on their way there.

But even more than hearing their stories of taking the leap, quitting their previous professions, and making travel writing work for them, I loved seeing them interact with editors.

It is so easy to have an “us vs. them” mentality about editors as a freelance writer.

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Need a Getaway to Get Things Done? Summer and Fall Catskills Writing Residency Dates Available!

If you have never tried it, the short-term (s*ht gets done) and long-term (you can 30,000-foot perspective on how you spend your time and what you’re really doing with your travel writing) benefits of taking an individual writer’s retreat are addicting.

At a conference recently, I heard author, restaurateur and actor Madhur Jaffrey explaining that she doesn’t know how her recent book would have gotten done if she hadn’t spent a week more or less in bed surrounded by papers working and sleeping in equal fits, problems immersed in the text of her project.

But even if you’re not working on something on the scale of a book currently, a residency can also guide you to what it is you should be investing your time in more deeply, as this peek at the famed MacDowell residency explores:

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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?”

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Want to Take 50% of Registration for One of the Top Professional Associations?

A very cool opportunity came my way this past week that I am excited to share with all of you.

​If you regularly join us for our new weekly webinar, you may have heard me rave about a conference that I went to earlier this spring/late winter that was bursting with editors that were friendly, easy to connect and chat with, and from very high-profile outlets.

I also mentioned that the conference itself was very expensive for an association conference and so it probably wasn’t the best fit for many of you.

But… (there must be a but, right?)

They have a really attractive promotion going on right now for membership to the association (the International Association of Culinary Professionals), which includes recordings of many of the sessions with editors I found particularly valuable from the annual conference.

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When Can You Write the Same Things for Magazines Your Writing for Your Blog?

I say this a lot. And a lot of you are already very aware of without me having to mention it, but…

The kind of writing that flies on blogs is *very* different than what appears in print magazines.

The perennial question, however, is how?

In many ways, the way people (editors, namely) talk about this different calls to mind the famous U.S. Supreme Court ruling that said:

“I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description [hard-core pornography]; and perhaps I could never succeed in intelligibly doing so. But I know it when I see it, and the motion picture involved in this case is not that.”

Besides “you know it when you see it” , what can I point to that separates the type of writing that appears on the web  from what appears in print?

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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.

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Are You Too Afraid of Writing Round-Ups for Magazines–Or Not Afraid Enough?

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:

  1. abject fear at writing something that long for a magazine (and how long it will take them to do it)
  2. 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.

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Are Newspapers Really Dead? (And How Learning to Write for Newspapers Will Actually Help You Write Better Online)

I’m sure you’ve seen or heard it in the news regularly.

Newspapers are dead.

Especially newspaper travel sections, right?

I can count on one hand the number of dedicated, just travel, newspaper editors remaining in the U.S.

Newspapers have taken numerous content turns, from Jeff Besos of Amazon acquiring the Washington Post and bringing his unique business sense to it to the Tribune corporation, known for the Chicago Tribune, which has pioneered a new business model very heavy on centralized content that is syndicated out and, at times, written entirely by machines. Besides Besos, celebrities like Ashton Kutcher are even buying newspapers.

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More than a Dozen New Travel Writing Videos Available to Power Up Your Business!

We’ve done a huge upload of our webinar library, and you can now grab packages with audio, video, slide, and transcript versions of:

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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?

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