Learning how to write stories from different angles is essential skill for any travel writer.
Most of us have to operate on a shoestring budget, hence the need to make the most of our working trips by writing more than one story and submitting it to various publications.
But having this skill has nothing to do with writing blah numerous stories just to feed content farms and then hope and pray that you’ll earn serious moolah from ad revenues.
Rather, this skill is a matter of quality over quantity, and by learning how to write several types of stories about one destination will not only bring in more revenue but will also help you build a writing portfolio and/or drive traffic to your growing travel blog.
1.Research story ideas prior to your trip
Don’t leave home without researching as much as you can about the country that you will be visiting. You might have been invited to join a Fam Tour but this doesn’t mean that you’re confined to writing about what’s included in the organizer’s itinerary.
There are so many ways to do travel writing apart from the usual city guides or hotel reviews. If you did your research, you’ll find several facets of that country worth looking into.
These include, but are not limited to, its architecture, cuisine, religion, art scene, language, etcetera. With so much information available online and off, it’s so easy to craft at least three to five story ideas which you can develop and submit for publication.
2. Use your career expertise in crafting ideas outside of the travel niche
Writing about your travels need not be confined to travel writing per se. In fact, this is the time to use the expertise that you developed, in your day job or in your previous jobs, to craft ideas outside of the travel publication niche.
For instance, if you spent most of your career in sales and marketing, then perhaps you can write about destination marketing or profiles of famous entrepreneurs in that country. Or perhaps there will be an international marketing conference that will be held in that country you’re visiting. Figure out a way for you to get in and write about the conference agenda. You can pitch these ideas to business magazine or blogs that focus on building online businesses.
3.Get to know the publications or blogs that you want to get published in
Pitching doesn’t start with covering a story but with understanding the target audience of the magazine and/or blog that you want to write for. You may have just visited one country or one city but it’s very possible to write three or five different stories that will cater to different types of readers.
The easiest way to know more about these publications or blogs is to read them frequently – not only the content but the comments section where you’ll get the idea of what interests their readers. You should also read the About, FAQ and Submission Guidelines pages so you can tailor your pitch based on their respective editorial standards.
4. Use interviews to give more depth and variety to your stories
Stop relying on casual observation or the usual background information that you can read on any Wikipedia entry. This will not only bore your readers but will limit your capacity to write more stories. While background data can give context to the story that you’re writing, your story will fall flat without some interesting quotes.
So interview as many people – experts, fellow travelers, travel agents, business executives, artists, etc. – in fact, anyone at all who can lend more depth and color to the stories that you’re writing. This also makes your story more authoritative which will perk up the interest of an editor looking for contributions.
How do you find multiple story ideas from your trip? Share your tips!