Questions to Ask a Travel Writer
Any writer can research the number of pickpocket crimes in Paris or the coolest surfing spots in sunny SoCal. Anybody with a computer can find out who’s who among the star sightings at this year’s New York Comic Con, or how to book a summer tour to Machu Picchu. However, if you want to hire blog writers with a knack for travel writing, you need a true blue traveler. I’m not talking about someone who ventures out of the metro area for a quiet drive in the suburbs. A Traveler—someone who has seen it, done it, smelled it, and lived to tell about it.
Where’ve You Gone?
First things first, ask your potential travel writer where they have been. To be a fair-weather weekend traveler won’t cut it here. A travel writer by definition should have some long distance travel experience that takes them out of their comfort zone. Otherwise, they are just someone going on a visit somewhere, not someone with travel experience. If you are trying to reach a global audience, clearly your travel writer should have visited at least one country outside of their own, and particularly a region that will be targeted by your website. For instance, for a website that provides instruction for European languages, a travel writer should have stepped on the soil of Europe.
What’s Your Travel Style?
Every traveler has his own style. Some travelers thrive on saving Euros, pesos, Dirhams and dollars. Others would prefer to sacrifice sightseeing in order to sleep in luxury. You’ve got train sleepers, airplane fliers, hitchhikers and boat riders. Do they have their pilot’s license, which allows them to travel on a whim? Are they travelers who have only boarded a cruise ship? Do they have firsthand experience riding a bike across Western Europe, or have they sampled every beer from here to China? Understanding what kind of travel writer you are working with puts into perspective what they have to offer. Consider that as an angle for your content.
Where Are You Now?
The good thing about travel writers who travel is also quite possibly the worst thing about travel writers. They are always going or coming, which can create havoc for those interested in hiring these niche writers. The best method for hiring a travel writer is via the Internet. Let’s face it. The Internet is a global equalizer. No matter where your future writer is traveling, they can typically access the World Wide Web. Take advantage of this and reach out to potential travel writers via email, their personal writing blogs, or job boards. Traveling takes money, and travel writers have the advantage of working wherever they land.
Now that you know how and where to find them, it’s time to give a travel writer a whirl. Even if you don’t have a travel related website, a travel writer can offer the most interesting and open minded perspective on life. British travel writer Freya Stark relates travel to writing best with this bit of wisdom: “Travel does what good novelists also do to the life of everyday, placing it like a picture in a frame or a gem in its setting, so that the intrinsic qualities are made more clear. Travel does this with the very stuff that everyday life is made of, giving to it the sharp contour and meaning of art.”
Miranda B is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.