Ask a hundred people what their ideal job would be and it is a guarantee that travel writer will come up over and over again. For those of us who love to explore the world, what could possibly be better than sharing our stories, our photos, and getting paid for it? Such a desirable job comes with a lot of competition and the constant battle to be noticed within an ocean of travel blogs. How can we get our work seen, make our stories stand out, and become a success?
When working for Writers Agency, it is your job to get those precious clicks, your work is not finished once the submit button is pressed. You need to make your article the focus of your attention for weeks afterwards, nursing it like a child, checking on it, seeing how it is performing, forcing people to read it. self-promotion is the key. That article will never be read unless you put in the time. Below is a list of things I always do after my articles go online. I have written five articles for Tropicalist and Travelista and I average 1000 readers on each article. I know that in the big scheme of things, 1000 clicks might not seem like much, but for someone starting out, that is a pretty good goal to strive towards. I know that I have a lot more work to do in developing myself as a real travel writer, and I hope that some of these tips will help you guys find success, and give me the inspiration I need to keep pushing.
Tip 1 – Your Established Networks
You wrote 1000 words! You got an article published! Be proud of that!
Get your friends and family excited about your achievement and make them share your work. How many silly memes or fake news articles do your Facebook friends share each day? Why aren’t they sharing your wonderful travel article instead? It is up to you to become a little bit of a nag. Don’t be embarrassed, write a nice note to some of your friends and family, explain to them how important it is to get more readers so that you will be eligible to receive more paid travel writing work in the future. Real friends will totally understand and want to see you to be a success. Remember that some people are not amazing at using social media, help them out. You may need to tell them how to copy and paste a URL to share the actual article. Don’t forget that if your privacy settings are strict on Facebook, even if a someone shares your post, people who are not friends with you may not be able to see it. This is why you should ask your network to share the article directly themselves and make sure you share your articles as “public”.
Tip 2 – Hit Every Platform
Okay, so Facebook is the obvious one, but what else you got?
Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram, Reddit, Google+, Tumblr, Line, WhatsApp, WeChat, Viber, QQ….. The list is endless. We can contact people in a million different ways, and you should be finding ways to share your articles on all of them. Some platforms are harder than others, Instagram – for example – does not let you put an active URL into a photo’s comment, so you can’t simply post a great pic and link it to your article. There are still ways to promote your work on Instagram though. You can have a URL in your profile, make sure your blog is front and centre, people will go to your website and then click multiple articles. Post amazing photos and don’t be shy about hashtagging! The more tags you use, the more hits you will get. Popular tags such as “Wanderlust” and “GoPro” will always get you some attention from strangers.
If you want to keep your private life separate from your author life, have 2 accounts. Have your selfies, cute cat videos, your relationship status, and your mum on your personal account and have your public persona grow a life of its own. Keep your professional account professional and always make your website and your articles the focus. Slip links to your stuff in everywhere that you can. Develop your travel writer personality as if he or she were a character in a book, develop her and make her three dimensional.
Remember that even though it may feel like people don’t use some social networks very much (I’m looking at you Google+), they still show up in search engines. So send out that tweet, plus that Google, start that thread in Reddit slash travel. Make sure that “Writer” is one of your job titles on LinkedIn and maintain a publications list with active links to your stuff.
Tip 3 – Join Groups and Follow Pages
Yes, you will have to be a bit of a spammer for a while. Sorry, not sorry.
Facebook can be as private and insulated as you want it to be, but in order to get your stories read, you will need to get them into public spaces. Goin groups and follow pages related to your article. When I wrote about the tiny Australian beach town of Buddina, I joined every Facebook group with Buddina in the name. “Buddina Swap & Sell” “Buddina Primary School Community” etc. I even followed the pages of the cafes and restaurants I mentioned in the article. One of the restaurants I mentioned reposted the article and I ended up getting almost 2000 views on that story mostly because of their dedicating following loving and sharing the article about their little town. After a couple of weeks or months promoting your article, you can clean up your Facebook and exit the groups, but you will have to get that viral ball rolling to start off with.
Tip 4 – Don’t Let Yourself Get Lazy
You have come this far, keep it up!
We all have busy lives, friends, work, and reality TV shows to watch, but once you have done all the legwork, got your website up and running, paid for the hosting, and gotten a couple of articles published, try not to get bored! Your site needs to be your baby. You need to add to it even when you are not getting paid for it. Believe it or not, I got a real job in Thailand 100% because of my website! I wrote an article about how to get an Education Visa to study in Thailand and I mentioned the language school at which am a student. Next thing I knew, the owners of the school were approaching me and offering me a full-time job writing content for them and taking care of their social media. Your website should be a reflection of you, a portfolio of your life, it should make you look like an interesting, intelligent person who has valuable information and can contribute a unique perspective. Make your site something you are proud to feature on your resume.