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Ka-ching! How your back stories make you money.


You may have noticed a theme through-out most of my stories on this blog. These are the stories that don’t outwardly appear to make me money. They are my personal adventures.

If you are attempting to break into the travel writing industry to pad your pockets and get published in the outside world don’t write stories like this!  The readership of the travel magazines aren’t interested in that story. They prefer the why, where, when, how and what of a destination or service provider that only applies to themselves and their journey. It is your job to make that happen; where to eat, how to get there, the weather at certain times of the year, you get my point.

The average tourist who reads my stories from Barbados for example, may never want to visit the island in the West Indies – explaining how I swore at a person on Miami Beach because he scared me is significantly different than describing how to get to the beach, the best time be on the beach, the sights, sounds and the smells …

As a paid travel writer I must write what the masses want to read, not my crazy-ass adventures that either scare people off or cause them to think I’m a lunatic.

This blog mainly consists of the stories I can’t monetize on, I do that outside the virtual world in hard-copy. They are simply my back story, my virtual memories.

Granted they make for a good read, but they are better suited to a different genre or readership if my intent were to capitalize on them.

I have been asked a number of times how I make money through storytelling. The point is I don’t. Travel writing isn’t about a story so much as allowing your voice to shine through the words that explain the 4 W’s and the H. You see the general public isn’t too interested in the 5th W – the who, so leave yourself out!

The majority of works published hard-copy are written in the third person – depending on the magazine, there is a small exception to that rule.

It’s ok to write about the good, bad and the ugly just remember this rule, leave the you out of it and keep your voice through-out (in the third person perspective.)

Shoot for a good range of verbiage and atmosphere that marries nicely in between fiction and non;  a little flowery and a lot informative.

If you are thinking at this moment, “Oh Crap! That’s how I write!” don’t freak out and delete your blog just yet!

I have been in this business (and the newspaper) for over 25 years, have been published and sponsored for travel assignments both locally and abroad too many times to count and I’ve learned, my back stories play a significant role in my success because they allow a glimpse into my personality and my writing ability, offer subtle undertones which sponsors either desire, crave or despise.

Blogging your back stories is also a great way for you to discover your self and your voice as a writer and an even better way for a sponsor or employer to decide whether that voice is a good fit for the upcoming assignment. Whether it will speak to a large readership.

My stats on this blog aren’t off the charts, I’m new to this scene, but I’ve still been commissioned and sponsored based (via the blog) on my range of voices and writing ability.

The bottom line is this, when you discover your third person voice, sponsors will discover you too.

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