A Travel Writer and Networking-Part I
How can a travel writer network with other travel writers and writers in general? In Part One we’ll see how a travel writer can network and what networking options are available to travel writers. In Part Two, we’ll look at the positives and negatives of networking and how you can improve your networking skills.
A travel writer looking for writing opportunities should be taking advantage of networking opportunities. Start by looking around your local area. Maybe your local bookstore offers book clubs you can join or writing classes that you can sign up for. You never know who you’ll meet, and you may find out about local groups or organizations that are specifically for writers.
Many people don’t know how to network. It’s more than going to a couple of meetings here and there. Networking means changing your perspective on how to market yourself by meeting as many potential employers/editors/fellow writers as you can. You can network when you go to the grocery store!
How to network
Wherever you are, carry business cards with you. You may strike up a conversation with someone who may be an editor, or have a need for a travel writer. Be prepared to give people your business card. Word of mouth is still a viable way to market yourself.
Go to your local bookstore and ask if you can post your business cards and flyers. Some stores have an area for people to advertise their services. People check these areas to find services they need. Take a chance and leave your marketing materials. As a travel writer, you want to market yourself to many people as possible.
As a travel writer, you could offer to teach a class at your local recreational centers or bookstores. Many people love to travel. You could teach them how to travel and teach them the tips and tricks of travel. You may teach a class in your specific niche. Let’s say your niche is “challenging hiking trails throughout the USA.” You could tell people where they’ll find invigorating hiking trails, what to expect, and how to prepare. You may show them items such as hiking boots, ropes, helmet and other pertinent hiking essentials.
Be sure to seek out and join local chapters of organizations for writers – even if there is not a local chapter specific to travel writing, groups dedicated to writers in general will still provide you with opportunities to find travel writing jobs and to possibly meet editors who can help you with your career. If you find a national organization that you like but which does not have a local chapter, consider starting one! One such organization that we encourage travel writers to join is the IFWTWA (International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association).
- local writer’s groups
- Yahoo! Groups
- Local bookstores
- Google Groups
If you choose to sign up with Meetup.com, Yahoo! Groups, or Google Groups, make sure the groups are right for you. Before you sign up, read the policies and ask questions. Some groups may charge a fee or charge for certain events. If you do not have a PayPal account, you may want to sign up for one. Many of these groups use PayPal to accept fees.
Stay tuned for Part II, where I’ll discuss the positive and negatives of networking along with how you can improve your networking skills.
What do you do to network with other travel writers?