How to become a travel journalist – 5

Timing

You’ve been travelling. You’ve discovered your own favourite corner of the world and written a wonderful story.  Your camera is brimming with lots of juicy shots. In other words – you feel confident this one will sell hands down.

Believe me, I have been there… only to find out that it doesn’t sell. Why? Why? WHY? There’s nothing like a rejection to fuel your insecurities as a travel journalist. Isn’t the text good enough, funny enough, informative enough? Aren’t the pictures colorful enough, plentiful enough, strong enough?

Well, it may have nothing to do with the quality of your submission. It may be top notch, and something editors would be fighting to get their hands on. However, timing is critical when you present your articles.

A ski holiday in the Alps is not something to send out for assessment in May. I have found editors to be just as influenced by the season we’re in as everybody else. They may be planning their articles ahead, but chances are very slim they will actually buy something that is totally out of season. On the other hand, if you wait too long into the autumn months to present them with your article on skiing in the Alps, you risk missing the slot.

To sum it up, you’ll need to be one step ahead. To give you an idea of how to work, you’ll need to start planning your Valentines article in October (Paris, Rome, Venice – don’t worry – there’s no need to reinvent the wheel every time).

Being one step ahead of the seasons will make you more desirable to the publishers

Sending your potential clients a piece especially written with Valentines in mind in November shows that you are on top of things and will give them one less thing to worry about.

By March you should have your summer articles ready. Where’s the best surf? What’s new in Mallorca? And by August you should be thinking autumn city break destinations like London, Berlin and Madrid.

 

Good luck, it’s already January the 8th and high time to finish off your articles intended for the Easter holidays.

 

Part one of our series which focuses on how to make money as a freelance travel journalist.

Part two is for those of you who are not sure whether you are travel bloggers or travel journalists.

Part three reveals a trick or two about how to write about the essence of a place. A must have skill for all travel writers!

Part four deals with photography. How do you make your images publishable?

 

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3 comments on “How to become a travel journalist – 5

  1. Pingback: How to become a travel journalist – 6 | Photito's Blog – a travel journalist's confessions

  2. I have absolutely enjoyed and bookmarked all the articles in this series. I have started my freelance activity some 2 years ago and although it’s getting always better, it still is incredibly tough. I have a personal website that I love updating and I like preparing professional pieces, I can’t think of doing a different job, I would go crazy working in the same office Monday to Friday 9-5, but I have no illusion my job is less hard than others, in fact it’s really common for me to work 12 hours a day! Your advices are very real and inspiring, I’m on assignment now and will look at collecting material also for different potential articles.

    • Hi Angela,
      Thanks for your enthusiasm! Couldn’t agree with you more – it’s not a walk in the park, quite the contrary at times. But hey, who’s complaining! I’ve visited your blog which looks lovely. Inspiring stuff! Glad you like the pieces on ‘how to become a travel journalist’. I am only sharing my own experiences here, and I am not at all sure this applies to all aspiring travel journalists around the world, but at least I hope it’s a start. Best of luck with your current assignment! Take care, Vibeke

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