“You can succeed best and quickest by helping others to succeed.” – Napoleon Hill
Sharing what you know in networking groups for travel writers builds your identity as a professional travel journalist, shapes relationships, and keeps you visible. However, without experience or published articles under your belt, you’re left wondering what to contribute.
Here are 10 ways for new travel writers to contribute to a group… and make themselves both visible and valuable:
1. Share resources you find. As a new travel writer, I signed up for email newsletters and researched writer’s guidelines and destinations. After signing up for a weekly newsletter that included writer’s guidelines for a variety of outlets, I shared the sign-up page with a closed Facebook group. In another list, I found an outlet for articles on boats. Knowing a couple of other writers who enjoy writing about sailing and boating, I sent them links to the publications’ writer’s guidelines.
2. Share leads. After reading a round-up article on historical hotels that included one in Santa Fe, I gave that lead for an in-depth review to someone traveling Route 66.
3. Share local hotspots. One week, a “Ten Best List” from Fodor’s popped up in my inbox. It included a new restaurant in Nashville. At the Ultimate Travel Writer’s Workshop in New Orleans, I met someone from Nashville, so I forwarded the information on that restaurant and suggested a chef profile.
4. Promote other writers’ work on your social media. It’s a perfect way for a junior travel writer to pay it forward to those who have helped them.
5. Share article ideas. If something sparks a great article idea that you aren’t interested in writing, do you know a subject matter expert in that area? Contact the expert and suggest the story angle. It may be just the thing to help them through a writer’s block.
6. Share the “ah-ha” moments. I had a breakthrough on what to do when photos don’t turn out. Not wanting to give up on the accompanying article; I came up with several solutions and shared one on the Travel Writer’s Café.
7. Share learning materials. Post the link from a website that has a treasure trove of tips for travel writers. If you found it helpful, others will, too.
8. Share things you’ve learned. Learning a new writing tool can be a struggle, so if you’ve mastered it, share your lessons learned.
9. Share your expertise. If you’re an expert in other areas (for example, a realtor with tips on photography or social media), you could share those with an audience of travel writers. A lot of information is transferable from another field to travel writing.
10. Celebrate! Don’t hesitate to share a new byline. It isn’t bragging. It provides someone else with a new outlet to add to their database, a new venue to explore for a different story idea, and exposure to your writing style.
Even when you are inexperienced, you have a lot to share. Being on the sharing end of the network builds confidence, self-esteem, and a positive reputation for collaboration. Share generously; it will come back to you.
Try it. Share something today.