How to Pitch to a Travel Magazine

It’s interesting how things come at just the right moment. As I continue to update this site, I often wonder how to “take it to the next level.” Especially now, while I’m out backpacking across India, I want to find a way to get my work into the hands of someone who can publish it elsewhere. How perfect that this guest post from Ed at Vagabundo Magazine is on that very subject!

Along with his article, I’ve included some of my favorite photos from my own travels across the world. Hover over an image for a description...

BOH Tea Plantation in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia
BOH Tea Plantation in the Cameron Highlands, Malaysia

“Are you a budding new travel writer? Wanting to get your name out there? Need to know how to publish your travel content?

First of all, your pitch to the travel magazine of your choice needs to be perfected. A majority of aspiring writers may make a few common mistakes without realizing it, seeing as they work alone. If you class yourself as one of these writers, all you need is a bit of coaching.

Whether you are in journalism, communications, tourism or any other related program, these guidelines will enable you, the aspiring travel writer, to make a better pitch to travel magazines.

Temple Dagoba in the Beatles Ashram ( Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram) in India, Rishikesh
Temple Dagoba in the Beatles Ashram ( Maharishi Mahesh Yogi Ashram) in India, Rishikesh

First of all, the format is key:

  1. Introduction – give the editor a brief introduction about yourself. Do not give a huge essay about your life’s story. They will not be interested but rather want to see what you can do for them. Just a brief introduction will do, and then you’re one step closer to getting into the coveted circle!
  1. The Resume – send a couple examples of your published work. They will want to see if your style fits in with their publication. If they reject you, it’s often the style rather than the quality of your writing. If you don’t have any published work, send links to one of your articles on a network whether it is a blog or other online community. If you don’t have any published online content to choose from, then send in a few written articles for non-paid opportunities first in order for the editor to gage your ability.
  1. The Pitch – Using a grabbing point for an excerpt of your article, this is your chance to win over the editor with your writing skills. Alongside your excerpt, you should include an explanation of the article you want to write and why it may fit in the travel magazine. Do not send the finished product straightaway as to save yourself the work in case you receive a rejection. Remember, images can tell a thousand words. So include links to photos you wish to include in the article. Perhaps set up a flickr account?
  1. Saying Thanks – end your pitch with a quick thank you and your contact information.
Half Dome and Yosemite Valley on a foggy May day
Half Dome and Yosemite Valley on a foggy May day

So you have got your format sorted out. But mistakes can still be made. Here are some top tips to ensure you have a successful pitch.

  1. Template – becoming a serious travel writer will involve a huge amount of pitches. Therefore crafting each pitch will take up all of your time, and so it would be useful to create a template that you can simply adjust based on the magazine you are pitching. But above all else, do not make the template look generic.
  2. Edit – make sure your grammar and spelling are correct. Editors will not take you on if your article is riddled with them.
  3. Get to the Point – Keep your pitch as brief as you can. The editors are busy and the last thing they want is to read is a waffling pitch.
  4. Quality Control – Send your best work and ideas that fit with their website. Sending sub-par work may result in them ignoring your emails.
  5. Keep it Relevant – ensure your pitch matches what they are looking for. Do not send all your pitches as they may ignore you and miss a great piece.
  6. Research, Research and Research! – Read the articles from the magazine to gain an idea of the style and writing they are looking for. Especially look at their formatting and submission guidelines to follow their style.
The Route 66 logo is painted on this segment of classic road near Essex, California
The Route 66 logo is painted on this segment of classic road near Essex, California

If you have adhered to these rules then you are ready to pitch!

Good Luck!”

This article was written by Ed Rex of Vagabundo Magazine. He is an intern there and will shortly be publishing articles from his travels in South East Asia, Australasia and USA this year.

He also runs his personal travel blog at Rexy Edventures. Follow him on facebook, twitter (@rexyedventures) and at his blog.

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