How to Advance from Amateur to Professional Travel Writer by Tim Cotroneo

How to Advance from Amateur to Professional Travel Writer by Tim Cotroneo

There are some questions that have only one answer. In the world of travel writing, the answer to whether you need a website to compete is a resounding “yes.” Presenting clips of past articles is essential for succeeding as a travel writer. At some point, it makes sense to develop an online vessel to showcase these clips.

A website is a 365-days-per-year ticket to credibility, and your personal commitment to travel writing. There are specific reasons in which you’ll be eternally grateful for owning a professional website. Let’s look at how getting a website up and running can be a difference maker in your travel writing success story.

Queries to an Editor – A Travel Writer’s Lifeline

You’ve caught the travel writing bug and you don’t want it to go away. A website is a great step towards connecting with the industry’s movers and shakers. Think about how a website validates you with editors, public relations professionals, convention bureaus, other writers, and even friends.

Let’s look at two scenarios. One involves pitching an article query that you’re convinced is a grand slam. The only thing missing from your pitch are the clips showing that you’ve done this before. The second scenario involves the same pitch, only this time, your query refers to two articles on your website. These articles provide evidence of topic familiarity, lively writing, and your ability to mirror the vibe of the magazine you’re pitching. In other words, your website has got your back.

Your website may also present testimonials from industry professionals, a capsule of your previous writing credits, and an About Me page that shows your human side. Adding all these online elements to your query helps an editor say “yes” to working with you.

Working with Convention Bureaus – A Website Introduction

You’re eager to explore and capture the writing essence of a new destination. One of the best ways to set up your travel itinerary is through the destination’s convention or visitors’ bureau. What’s the best way to connect with the people who hold the keys to your desired destination kingdom? Lots of writers or individuals would love to tap into the perks that convention bureau representatives can deliver. Now, put yourself in the chair of the convention rep and ask, “Why should they invest their time and resources with you?”

Contacting a convention bureau representative is an opportunity to show that you’ve researched a destination, that you’re not just looking for freebies, and that your writing will draw future tourists to their area. A great way to convince bureau reps that you’re the real deal is by presenting a website your travel articles. Great connectors include destination roundup articles, articles reinforcing your specialty niche, and providing examples of a previous bureau relationship that speaks to your new audience. A wise travel writer tailors his or her website to meet their future travel writing aspirations.

Public Relations – The Holy Grail

The biggest, most luxurious, and desired properties in the travel industry are represented by public relations professionals. These are the properties that make travel writers drool with anticipation. With few exceptions, the public relations professionals usually take it for granted that the writers they work with on press trips have a personal website. In some cases, the public relations reps will take the initiative, and contact the writers in advance. In these cases, the travel writer is courted by PR personnel.

One of the best ways for the PR people to contact you is through your website. If they’ve reached out to you, that means they’ve already reviewed your website, and determined that you have what it takes to promote their client.

Social Media Building Blocks

There are travel writers who use social media as their main writing platform. There are others who cultivate social media to supplement their writing. The travel writers or bloggers who’ve evolved into social media influencers use their site or blog to engage with a particular audience.

There are also travel writers who use Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, LinkedIn, Twitter, YouTube, and Pinterest to round out their network. By adding social media icons to your website, as well as adding article links to your social media posts, you can build your brand, and expand your reading audience. Think of your website as a key cog for bolstering your Internet and print presence.

Network at Events

The forward-thinking travel writer doesn’t just stay at home and binge watch Travel Network re-runs on television. He or she makes a point of adding travel or education worthy events to their annual calendar. What are the travel niches in which you’d like to flourish? By attending these events, you could be one business card exchange away from meeting someone who can impact your travel writing life. Before you meet this game changer, ask yourself, “Wouldn’t it be great to have a website next to the name on my business card? Couldn’t this single business card addition significantly help my cause?”

The Website Question

At this point you may be thinking that starting a website makes sense but you don’t have the money, time, or technical expertise to begin. Realize that every travel writer before you said the exact same thing. The difference between you and the travel writer living the life you’ve always dreamed of may be just a website away. The good news is sites like GoDaddy not only sell domain names, but also host websites, and have templates beginners can use.

Isn’t it time you turned off the Travel Network and started a travel writer website of your own? If you need motivation to make the website leap, just imagine there’s an editor, convention bureau representative, or public relations professional waiting to review your new site. These industry professionals will be the first to tell you that, when it comes to adding a travel writer website to your portfolio, there are some questions with only one correct answer.

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