Travel Writing: Syndication With a Twist
The typical freelance writing process involves coming up with an idea and then querying a magazine, ezine or other publication for a one-time working relationship.
Sometimes, as you get to know an editor, you establish a rapport that leads to multiple writing assignments.
As a freelancer, those are the gigs I like best – the ones that keep me busy, not just with one article, but with regular work. Ones I can count on to keep my fingers moving and my checkbook in the positive numbers.
A situation like this unfolds gradually as you build a relationship with an editor. You never know where or when this type of positive karma will fall on you. It just happens.
What if you could make it happen? What if you could create a situation where you work with certain publications, producing articles for them on a regular basis – for pay – and not have to worry about the whole querying process at all?
The scenario I’m describing can be achieved with syndication. However, I want to introduce you to a concept beyond syndication that I like to call syndication with a twist.
I bet there are lots of editors out there who would love to publish your pieces on a regular basis. There’s only one problem: budget. Many editors are working under tight budgets – some tighter than ever before– and there may not be enough resources to pay a freelancer for a weekly or even monthly column.
Don’t let that faze you. It’s time to get creative. Enter syndication with a twist.
You are a travel writer. You share your experiences, knowledge and all things travel-related with others. You provide a valuable service to readers.
Your worth doesn’t stop there. Your writing can benefit demographics beyond readers.
Q: What do people want to do after they’ve read a good travel article?
A: They want to travel.
Your words benefit the travel industry, and there are businesses out there willing to support you as long as it brings customers to them.
Any business or individual involved in the travel industry benefits from people reading about travel. Think travel agents, airlines, luggage manufacturers, hotels, resort owners, photographers who specialize in passport headshots – and the list goes on. Identify businesses that currently pay for advertising, preferably in print media or online. They already have money in their budget to pay you – even if they don’t realize it yet.
As a travel writer, you can enter into a partnership with a travel-related business or individual and an editor of a newspaper, magazine or online site. Approach them with this proposal: You provide travel articles on a regular, agreed upon schedule. The newspaper or ezine publishes the articles, along with a short blurb about the business sponsoring the page. The business pays you, often from their advertising budget.
Why would a business pay you for an article over a regular advertisement? One word: Psychology. An ad is an obvious appeal for customers. An article is a community service. It gives without taking, so to speak. Also, readers will spend more time looking at an article than an ad. There’s your sales pitch.
The result at the end of the day? You write regularly for pay. The editor gets good, quality copy for the publication. The business receives positive press by sponsoring a column.
Bottom line? Everyone wins.
Are you pursuing syndication opportunities? Share your advice!