Travel writing can be a fascinating arena. The subject matter can be just about any locale, from history and biographies to fiction and memoirs. You could be asked to write about Greece or Italy. You might be asked to write about London or Paris. Regardless of the topic you choose, travel articles require that you approach the topic with a unique style and flair, following the basic guidelines established by the travel industry itself:
Writing a travel article for any publication is essentially part writing, part art and science. Travel writing is all part professional reporting, part travel, and all part giving traveler tips. Travel articles are made up of many different styles and methods but generally the best stories tend to share some characteristics, especially: clear writing style, usually with no effect, unless said directly. The magazine you’re working for probably won’t tolerate your writing style (unless you’re writing for them). There is a right way and a wrong way to write for magazine articles, even if they are paid for.
Many people in the travel industry consider travel articles as mere advertising. Some writers see this as an invasion of space and an attempt by the magazines to co-opt the “endless” resources of travel writers into a one-dimensional sales pitch. In truth, the magazine world is far from that and many magazines have long enjoyed solid relationships with travelers and the information they provide, especially when it comes to restaurants, hotels, activities, attractions and much more. Many travelers read the magazines not only for information but also for great writing and interesting articles. When writers are hired by travel publications, it’s not unusual for them to do more than simply write an article or two; they will often write a feature story.
A feature article is essentially a short, gossip-style piece meant to provide some useful information to readers about a subject of current interest or a popular topic of interest. These pieces are normally written by freelance travel writers, although they can also come from industry publications, such as magazines or newspapers. Travel magazines all have their own strengths and weaknesses, so it can be easy to find one that’s perfect for your travel content. Whether it’s an in-depth look at a popular destination or a round-up of must-see sights, you’ll be sure to find something you’ve never seen before in a travel magazine.
While good travel writing helps readers make informed decisions about where to go and what to do, it also can encourage them to travel more. As a travel writer, it’s important to stay connected to your readers, providing them with tips and resources about the places you write about. A good travel magazine will give your readers up-to-date information about great places to visit and areas of interest. It’s important that your articles keep your readers interested, enticed and inspired to take a trip.
Because most travel magazines target a niche audience, they’re also easier to publish online than print publications. If you don’t want to limit yourself to a few national magazines or a small local rag, you can publish your travel pieces online. With Ezine publishing, your articles reach thousands of subscribers – people who have given you their email address in exchange for free newsletters, or who otherwise like to receive your travel pieces in their inbox. The internet makes it easier than ever to get your travel articles out to as many readers as possible.
Another way to market your travel pieces is via magazines and newspapers. Many travel publications feature short feature stories and feature inserts that allow you to plug your business or website. This is often a good place to mention any sponsors you might be using, especially if they fit in with your sponsors’ theme. Magazines and newspapers are both good avenues for promoting your products, since they tend to have a much broader circulation than the internet.
No matter which route you take to promote your travel writing career, be sure to keep track of all the places that you send your pieces. A good way to do this is to keep a list of places you’ve promoted on social media sites, blogs, and via email. When you start seeing return visitors to the places you’ve promoted, you’ll know you’re getting your message across to an ideal demographic. By consistently featuring your destination spots in your writing, magazines and newspapers will reward you with a loyal following of readers who will appreciate your travel content.