It was New Year’s 2014 and time to figure out what I wanted to do for the rest of my life. Thirty-plus years into a successful nursing career, I was ready for something different. Something fun for my retirement years.
I discovered Great Escape Publishing and the rest is history. Over 320 published articles later, I am one very happy lady!
In these past five years, I’ve honed several techniques that ensured my travel writing success. These worked for me, and they can certainly work for you.
1. Practice Your Craft Every Day
I made a promise to myself that in order to not forget everything I’d learned about writing through GEP, I needed to do something daily related to my travel writing.
This included researching paying publications, jotting down ideas for a story, penning that story, or crafting a quality query.
It didn’t have to be a major task each day, but keeping in practice made the whole process so much easier.
2. Build a Solid Database of Publications
Every successful travel writer will tell you they spent hours researching publications that accept freelance submissions. This can be done in a number of ways.
I’d stop at my local bookstore and peruse the magazine section. I conducted online research and picked up a Writer’s Market guide. Even the grocery store and car wash introduced me to some local publications. It took time in the beginning, but was worth it down the road.
3. Network with Other Writers
When I began to surround myself with other experienced writers, that’s when the magic started to happen. Why? Because networking is paramount to a successful writing career.
Navigating the ever-changing travel writing world can seem overwhelming. It’s impossible to know everything, but if we network with others, we all know more.
The best networking can be done at a travel writing workshop, or by joining a travel writer’s program and professional travel writer organizations.
Networking has netted me press trips, new publications, writing invitations from editors, and so much more.
4. Embrace Marketing and Social Media
Marketing is the business of promoting and selling a product or service. So, what does that have to do with travel writing?
Very simply, the first product we’re selling is our story. The second product we’re selling is ourselves.
To sell a story we have to get the attention of editors. This is done by crafting a top-notch query and story idea so intriguing the editor can’t help but say “yes.”
Selling ourselves involves letting others know we’re out there. Get business cards made. You never know when opportunity will knock.
And make sure to create a social media presence. Once editors and tourism board reps knew I was out there, they came knocking on my door, and it hasn’t stopped since.
5. Establish a Pattern of Excellence
Your writing needs to be top drawer, giving editors exactly what they’re looking for. Strict adherence to writer guidelines and delivering captivating articles on time or ahead of time buys huge favor with editors.
First impressions matter. Have a good product, be a good product, be proud of your work, and it will be noticed.
These techniques put into daily practice really work. And when you do, in the words of Dr. Seuss, “And will you succeed? Yes! You will, indeed! 98 and ¾ percent guaranteed.”