When I think “travel writing,” the first thing that comes to mind is a full-featured human interest story of National Geographic proportions. You know, a journalist in backwoods Papua New Guinea, eating horsehair and chilling with the tribal locals around a sweet-potato barbecue pit, mentally taking notes for his next piece on epic undiscovered places.
But travel writing is about far more than the National Geographic Explorer—or the glossy covers of luxury travel magazines. Good travel writers wield an impressive repertoire of superpowers that you can put to work for your hospitality business. When you hire travel writers, you employ a powerhouse of marketing services, ranging from informing travelers on the unique beauty of your destination to harnessing the power of a network of nomads around the globe who just need to be told about your hospitality business and why it’s top-notch.
Superpower #1: A network of possibilities
If you’re in the hospitality industry, you know the power of networking; you wouldn’t be where you are right now if it weren’t for friends and connections. Those connections might look more like luck than strategy, but a capable writer will introduce an audience to your services in very purposeful ways.
This is especially vital in the hospitality industry. Travelers thrive on community, and they’re constantly passing on tips for the best places to visit, the best hotels. Once you’ve got an “in” on that community, you’re golden.
Don’t tell me how educated you are. Tell me how much you have traveled.
To snag a travel writer with this type of experience, research their experience and ask for clips beforehand. Most importantly? Ask them how much they’ve traveled, because frequent travelers have more access to that network than those who go on a once-a-year vacation.
Superpower #2: Website traffic, clicks, and chatter
Travel writers—like all good copywriters—know the secrets to driving traffic to your website, targeting the audience that will be interested in your hotel or service, and delivering compelling information in a fun, straightforward way.
Blog posts, e-mail marketing, and other targeted writing campaigns generate online chatter about who you are and what you’re doing. That leads to more credibility and more business.
Superpower #3: Making your place into a destination
You might be located in New York City, Quebec, or Santa Fe, New Mexico. No matter where you are, your home is someone else’s destination, and potential travelers need to be given a sense of that place’s personality and magic before they step on a plane.
Travel writers will do their research to write a place’s personality into your copy.
It is not down in any map; true places never are.
Chances are good that someone going to Santa Fe wants more than a hotel with a gym; they might want to know about the best spot to catch a one-of-a-kind desert sunset at the end of the day. They want to know what a map won’t tell them. That kind of insight into a destination will give travelers a respect for your business and a desire to go see for themselves.
Steffani J is a freelance writer available on WriterAccess, a marketplace where clients and expert writers connect for assignments.