The World of Travel Writing

It’s human nature to want to feel a part of something. That’s one of the main reasons people join clubs and organizations. When I made the transition from full-time nursing to full-time freelance travel writing, I realized that as exciting as my new life was, I wasn’t part of a team like I had been at the hospital. Much of the work I was producing was now being done in my home office, practically in solitude.

Message in a bottle washed up on the ocean shore

So, I began to venture out. I joined my regional Travel Massive group. Next, I became a member of IFWTWA. Before I knew it, I was reaping the benefits of these formed relationships and my affiliations with other groups as well. Let’s look at the way professional organizations like IFWTWA can benefit travel writers and bloggers from an insider’s perspective.

Receive Encouragement and Support
Joining an organization allows for bonding due to a shared sense of mission, interest and values. Obviously, we are all members because we love travel. We are storytellers and content creators who do this through our articles, photos, and videos, and by utilizing radio, television, and tourism mediums.

We have opportunities to share one another’s content through social media outlets like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. And by doing so, this not only increases our outreach as travel specialists, it also invites the public to come along with us on our exciting adventures to exotic destinations.

Collaborative posts are another way our members can feel part of the “team.” Posts like the Valentine's Day Dining Guide: Our Travel Writers Offer Their Favorite Romantic Restaurants published by Food Wine Travel Magazine provide opportunities for writers to share information about their favorite restaurants and destinations. Again, these articles are shared on social media platforms giving each contributor and the organization greater exposure in the world of travel.

Tap the Power of Networking
I’ve often said that “None of us knows everything, but each of us knows something, therefore, we all know more.” One of the ways we find out what we don’t know or want to know is through networking.

When we interact with others—on a press trip, at a writer’s conference or even through an online group, our base of knowledge increases tenfold. The sharing of information creates endless possibilities. We find out about publications looking for freelance writers, which editors are the best to work with, the contact information for tourism board or cruise ship reps, or even how to draw more followers to our website or social media platforms.

On my most recent media trip to Valle De Guadalupe, Mexico, there was so much information shared between our group of attendees that it was mind-boggling. We shared story ideas, identified new writing opportunities, and even picked up a few photography and videography tips. We wouldn’t have learned any of this new information if we hadn’t signed up for the media trip in the first place. 

Open Doors for More Travel Opportunities
Let’s face it. We all love to travel…and eat…and drink wine. And if we could do that more often when it’s not all coming out of our pocket that’s even better.

One of the benefits of being an IFWTWA member is just that—the opportunities to travel for our careers. Members can reach out for media trip opportunities that are offered to our members to apply for on our website and on the Facebook Group page. These trips include both unofficial and official-IFWTWA sponsored trips, and the good news is that IFWTWA is always planning new trips for our members.

Hone Your Writing and Photography Skills
One of the best ways to improve our craft is to see how other colleagues are finding their paths to success. How are they finding more followers on their websites and social media pages? How are they monetizing? How are writers breaking into well-paying publications? What are the tricks photographers are using to get those incredible awe-inspiring shots?

Eventually, each of us would figure out the answers to these questions but navigating some of these issues can be quite cumbersome and time-consuming if we’re doing it alone. And there’s no reason to when you’re part of a supportive group of like-minded travel professionals where you can reach out for help and advice.

Educational opportunities abound and members will have the perfect chance to learn more about honing their craft at the upcoming IFWTWA conference in Santa Fe, New Mexico this November. Have a topic you’d like to know more about? You can make those suggestions right on our Facebook Group page.

When all is said and done, each of us decides how much we get out of the group or organization we’re a part of. How much we put in is directly related to how much we get back. One thing is for certain however. None of us ever has to feel like we’re an island. We’re not out there alone.

Find out if IFWTWA is right for you, too.

Ibn Battuta once said “Traveling - it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”

Noreen KompanikSan Diego travel writer and photographer Noreen Kompanik discusses travel writing, media trips, and shares tips for both the destination and writer.

Over 400 of her published articles have appeared in 38 different digital and print publications and she’s landed seven (7) cover stories. Noreen is a regular contributor for several magazines and also publishes stories on her site, What's In Your Suitcase? 

Noreen also pioneered a member's only private travel-writer’s program known as the Travel Writer’s Café for Great Escape Publishing and will be launching a Travel Writer’s Branding and Mastermind program in mid-2019. Above all else, Noreen loves to write about her adventures with her husband, family and friends. Like most people, she believes that destinations are multi-faceted. Therefore, her articles often cover the gamut of travel pieces, history, outdoor adventure, wine and other libations, and coffee. 


 

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