travel writers video toolbox

Posted by & filed under Travel Writing.

I am always on the lookout for a “work smarter, not harder” kind of skill to add to my writer’s toolbox. So for me, taking the plunge into video seemed like the next logical step and valuable skill to add to my writer’s bag of tricks.

Why? For a few very important reasons:

1. The demand is huge

2. Editors know their readership love video, and they do too.

3. It can showcase a subject very quickly, concisely and in the best possible way.

Food makes you drool seeing a zoom-in on a plate…you can almost smell it. Sweeping scenery videos make you feel like you’re standing on that cliff overlooking a lake. Or, you can almost feel the sand between your toes watching a sunset on a beach.

When you experience a place through video it transports you there. This is especially important now after being locked down for months. People want to virtually travel a lot more because they are unable to physically visit your hometown or city. Video fills that need.

bel woodhouse
Bel Woodhouse

Now is the time to increase your payday by making a short video to show off your hometown. After all, you’re a local and know all the best spots to showcase. You already have the knowledge.

Please don’t be scared to give it a go. Video is very similar to photography and a lot of the same principles apply. Photography is one of my great passions now and being a latecomer to it only starting in my 40s didn’t make any difference.

The way I see it, if you can take a photo you can shoot video. I tried. And it was worth it. Actually it was great fun and didn’t feel like work at all.

Starting was easier than I thought. After following the Travel Videos for Profit course, the process seemed simple. So, I started to play around. My first video was shot on my morning walk the next day. You can see it here. Yes, it has some mistakes, it was my first attempt, but that “beginners” video was seen by an editor and landed me a job that paid $150.

The best part is, you don’t need heaps of fancy equipment. All of my videos have been shot on my iPhone 7.

Now I’m no expert, I still have a lot to learn. But this skill is something editors love. And now is the time to cash in because publications want and need to draw local tourists to their city and state.

You can shoot anything. I’ve done video for local beach clubs, fine dining restaurants, scuba diving businesses and my longest to date, a 10-minute video of my hometown for International Living.

So far, I’ve showcased my home town Cozumel, plus other local destinations in my state: Playa del Carmen and Cancún. You can too. You can start today, all you have to do it walk out the door with smartphone in hand. 

So, get out there and explore on your morning walk and have fun adding this skill to your writer’s life.

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