Writing for the travel industry comes with one of the strangest ironies in the freelance world. You spend your days describing exotic destinations while your longest journey is down the hall to your home office. Travel writing is a niche that many writers want to break into. Getting paid to virtually travel all over the globe, research luxury hotels and write about the wonders of the world is a dream job. But, how do freelancers with successful travel writing careers entice readers to pack their bags and hop on a plane to places they have never seen themselves?
Tell a story
Narratives are what make travel articles and blogs pop. Readers need to envision themselves at a destination and a good writer can help them do that through the art of storytelling. Whether you are writing a description of a resort or a destination guide of local activities, try to start with an anecdote and weave it through the remainder of the content. While the details of a location are important, what engages readers is the experience of being there. Merging the two together helps to create a piece that is both enchanting and informative.
Engage the senses
Another way to grab a reader’s attention and help them to envision themselves in a destination is to create a sensory experience. Listing a resort’s amenities may be efficient and accurate, but it’s not tempting. Instead, use the ideas of smell, taste and touch to conjure a vivid picture. Sure, the resort has a pool. But, what does the water feel like as you splash into it? Instead of listing menu items, evoke emotions by describing how the food smells as it comes from the kitchen. Rather than mentioning that there are ocean-view rooms available, describe falling asleep listening to the crashing waves and waking up to the smell of salt air.
Writers typically strive for an active voice instead of a passive one, but it takes on all new importance in travel writing. The lure of travel lives in the opportunities for discovery, adventure and romance. Bring those opportunities to life by filling the page with active verbs. Whether travelers can stroll, hike, dance, dive or swim, verbs bring a place to life and make readers want to get out there.
Know your audience
Travelers are as unique as the destinations they visit. Everyone craves a different experience and environment. While some want a relaxing escape from their routine, others desire an adrenaline-filled adventure. Creating engaging content that converts readers to explorers means appealing to the right audience. If a client isn’t able to provide a buyer profile or target audience, let your research guide you. As you learn about the destination, try to imagine who would most enjoy the experience. Is it family-friendly? Is it an ideal honeymoon destination? Is it for thrill seekers or a more laid-back crowd? Try to personalize the content as much as possible to avoid vague descriptions that don’t hit home with anyone.
Writer Bio: Articles written by Michelle S often come with their own passport stamp. Currently she is trading planes for a sailboat and preparing for a one-year cruise around the Caribbean.