We have covered how to write a killer travel article. So, you’ve written your article and you reckon it’s good enough for the world to see. You want to submit it to a publication. But how?
Ask Your Contacts
If you know someone in the industry, don’t be afraid to ask for help. They may not have much clout but will probably be able to point you in the direction of someone who has. Warning: don’t exploit your contacts. Asking for help once is okay, but doing so repeatedly will annoy them. Ask a specific question: “I have written [the article], and I think it might be suitable for [a publication] so who would you suggest I talk to?”
Pick the publications you are interested in. Look at them long and hard. What is the average length of their articles? What is their tone? What demographic is their audience? What is their average age and income? Don’t just send your piece out to anyone or everyone. Focus on a chosen few, and make sure your article’s tone will appeal to their audience.
Do Your Homework
Now you’ve found some relevant publications, find out who the editor is, or the features or travel editor if it’s a middle-to-large company. Check the first few pages of the magazine for contact details, or call the company. Check the spelling of their name. Find out their email address and pitch your article, with a deadline so you can offer it to someone else if they’re not interested. Use the words “exclusive offer”.
If you hear nothing in a few weeks, follow up with a phone call.
Pitch Your Article Before You Write It
This can be preferable if your main aim is to be published, in case you’ve written your article but it doesn’t fit the publication’s criteria. Give the person a short synopsis (including your hook) and ask if they’d be interested. They may not commit outright, but you’ll be able to gauge their interest much better this way. They may also offer some guidelines to help you tailor your article to their needs.
Pitch With Their Needs in Mind
Don’t say, “Will you publish me pleeeease?” You have to sell the article: what’s great about it? How does it fit their audience? They are looking for ways to fill their publication with quality content. Show them you can help. Got some good travel pics too? Even better.
Don’t Get Disheartened
Editors are incredibly busy people working to tight deadlines. Many receive more emails than they have time to respond to, and some publications are simply disorganized. My first travel article was published without anyone even contacting me first, due to staff changes happening at the time.
If they make it clear they’re not interested, ask for some feedback. If you’re not having luck with the big players, try some smaller magazines or papers. Also bear in mind that many travel sections are left to employees to fill with sponsored junkets and it’s hard for outsiders to squeeze into the remaining space.
Make the Agreement Clear
When you hit the jackpot and they want to publish, get in writing the payment amount, the approximate date it will be published and when they’ll pay you. This varies from country to country but generally when it’s published you send an invoice with your tax details and the agreed amount (usually a standard per-word amount). If you haven’t been paid by the agreed date, don’t be afraid to follow up.