Now travel writers can monetize their reviews.
In my never ending search for inspiring retreat holiday destinations I’ve just stumbled across a new travel website called Simon Seeks.
The site has been created by Simon Nixon, that’s the guy behind moneysupermaket.com and travelsupermarket.com.
He’s used his internet enabled brain to create what may be the future in travel review websites and may provide the perfect opportunity for travel writers seeking the chance to make some extra money. Simon Seeks (http://www.simonseeks.com) allows travel writers, journalists and even celebs to write reviews of their favorite, most inspiring places in the world and, through affiliate links from the review page, take a share in the advertising revenue generated.
Every guide written is vetted by the Simon Seeks team before it’s posted online and once it’s up there the guide, and author, can be ranked ensuring that the most expertly written and most informative guides return the most revenue for the author.
Writers can be ranked based on a number of factors including the amount of guides written, the quality of those posts and the rating that the guides receive. You’ll have to craft tightly written prose and be quite specific in your review guide though, as the site provides a suggested optimum word count of around 700/800 words, certainly no more than a 1000 (although having said that one guide is 4500 words long…phew!).
I know by now most of you will be intrigued by how the payment system works. You can see how much money your guide has generated for you by logging in and going to your page. All income generated from your guide is paid via PayPal and sent to you in pounds sterling. As far as how much you’ll make is concerned even the site themselves say, it depends. It depends, for example, on the standard of accommodation you’ve linked to and the length of stay booked.
Suffice to say I can’t imagine anyone making a career out of writing guides on this site but I can see travel writers everywhere supplementing their income and finally liberating their writing from the pages of their dusty, well worn notebooks.
What We Like:
The site provides a great opportunity for freelance travel writers with the chance to earn money for their work. The site is clear and easy to use and I particularly love the ‘Inspiration’ tab on the navigation bar of the site. This gives you an easy, visual breakdown of all the categories that may be of interest from activity and adventure to eco-holidays and winter sports.
It looks like the site will build into a fantastic community of clued up travelers. People are already starting to post messages for the guide authors asking for more information and specifics of a particular location (i.e. I can only spend one day in Ko Phangan what are the must do’s?).
Writers (and site editors) are also giving feedback on the structure and layout of guides and, on the whole, it seems that people are listening and making amendments.
What We Don’t Like:
Firstly the search capabilities of the site aren’t specific enough for my liking, I put in ‘gourmet holiday’ as a search term and it returned a couple of skiing holidays on the first page. Understandably people will have written about restaurants in these resorts but it’s not strictly a gourmet holiday…is it?
As it’s monetized and click through links will result in financial benefit to the reviewer I’m not too sure that the guides will be impartial, obviously someone will talk a place up in the hope that their glorious description and irresistible recommendation will result in a click of my mouse.
Something else to be aware of is that in the Do’s and Don’ts section it says ‘Don’t submit guides that have been published elsewhere on the web. This includes your own blog’ I don’t imagine that’s the end of the world though, in fact, it just gives you another excuse to pack your bags and find more inspiring places to write about.
One important word of warning though, before you sign up and start bashing the keyboard with pounds (or dollar) signs blurring your vision, check the small print. I took a quick look at the terms and conditions and it seemed that your reviews and your images can be used by the company, don’t know what affect this has on copyright but it’s worth looking into before you start uploading every page of your travel journal.
Overall the site is a really appealing addition to the travel review marketplace. As director of a travel website myself, and someone who is always interested in finding ways for people to generate an income from their freelance endeavors, this site could be just what all you would-be travel writers have been waiting for.
Have you written for SimonSeeks.com? Share your experience!