For travel writers, marketing and networking are everything.
Why? Because as writers, we need to let the world know we’re out there. And finding the right platform for this leads to more travel opportunities and more ways of getting published.
A few years ago, I stumbled upon TravMedia—the travel industry’s social media network connecting media and PR professionals worldwide.
Nick Wayland, a former travel editor, established TravMedia in 1999 as a way to better research and report travel news.
Essentially, the network enables writers, editors, public relations professionals, and media in the travel world to share content and coverage, and collaborate like never before.
TravMedia currently operates in 10 countries; Australia, the United Kingdom, the United States, China, Germany, the United Arab Emirates, Canada, India, New Zealand, and South Africa. In all, it’s a community of over 40,000 media and PR members.
How it works
Writers with a handful of bylines and bloggers with an impressive following may apply for membership in their home country.
There’s no charge to join the network. The vetting and evaluation process is selective and competitive for new writers, but well worth pursuing.
Once accepted, writers create their professional profile. Published stories can be downloaded directly onto the TravMedia site.
Stories with accompanying photos and taglines can now be seen by the entire network of other travel writers, bloggers, PR agencies, and Destination CVBs (Convention and Visitors Bureaus).
Writers’ travel plans can be posted on the site. This tells editors you may be available for assignments.
“Journalists’ alerts” can also be set up for those needing research assistance or help in setting up personal media trips.
The benefits of TravMedia for writers
Networking carries huge benefits and TravMedia’s goal is to make it as easy as possible for members to communicate with one another via their platform.
Published stories may be read by anyone in-network. And, through TravMedia channels and chat options, editors and PR reps can reach out to writers with invitations to pitch a story or apply for media trips.
For example, I live in California and have written a multitude of stories about this region, all shared on TravMedia.
A PR rep reached out to me through the network’s messaging system. She represents three different in-state tourism boards and was hoping to attract writers to visit and publish their stories, giving the region more exposure.
My posted stories later attracted three other media reps (one even representing China), each offering me all-expense-paid trips to their regions.
Special alerts within the system allow editors to reach out to all writers and request pitches covering specific destinations.
I’ve had two stories published as a result of this outreach process, and several writer colleagues of mine have experienced the same.
One of my “inside secrets” regarding TravMedia is the “updates.” As writers, we’re always looking for new publications to submit our stories to.
So, a few months ago, I decided to take a few extra hours and really read the “updates” each member receives on the site.
Lo and behold, I found publications I didn’t even know existed. Not only that, six of these paid for freelance writer’s work. It was like hitting gold.
TravMedia also features “Movers and Shakers,” where top travel professionals are spotlighted for their roles in the travel industry.
And each week, the network chooses “Featured Stories” by those writers published in well-known publications, or whose articles capture unusual destinations or give a venue a fascinating twist.
An old African proverb says that “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go with others.”
Navigating the ever-changing world of travel writing is so much easier when we network with the industry’s best experts. It allows us to sail more smoothly on a wider sea.