If youíre an aspiring travel writer, then SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is good news for your career. Writing free articles specialising in travel content for the internet is a great way of getting experience in this highly competitive field. Many companies today are looking for travel content for their websites, and rather than pay a copywriter big bucks to write a bespoke article for them, they can go to any one of hundreds of directories and download an article for free. The standard of writing can vary drastically from one directory to the next and it ranges from sub-standard to excellent. If youíre going to go down this path for some experience, you should start as you mean to go on and ensure that you are producing the highest quality travel content you possibly can; you never know where itís going to end up.
Edit, Edit, Edit
And then edit again. Thereís absolutely no excuse for errors in grammar and spelling. If you arenít sure of the basics, then do a refresher course or at the very least, buy a book. Nothing looks worse than a careless typo, except perhaps a dodgy sentence structure! Things to look out for are missed words, incorrect punctuation and misspellings of names or places (particularly important when writing travel content). Using the spell check function on your computer is not totally reliable; sometimes the program simply replaces words with another which can completely change the meaning or structure of a sentence. Itís not enough to run a quick eye over the document and assume that if thereís no tell-tale underlining that everything is fine. A good writer must also be a good editor. Read the article several times thoroughly and you may find that in the process it can change quite radically from your first draft. If there are only three things you learn about writing, make it these; edit, edit, edit.
The Yawn Factor
When youíre writing travel content what youíre really doing is painting a picture of a destination and making your reader really, really wish they were there; or at least making plans to get there. Try to find a unique angle or attraction and donít wheel out the well-known, and well-documented, facts. Make some time to really understand the place you are writing about so you can evoke the character and authenticity of the destination in your article. Remember, you need to stand out from thousands of other articles written about the same country or city, and if your article is not only well-written, but interesting too, then you are half way to winning the battle.
The Facts and Nothing but the Facts
Unless youíre writing about a fantasy destination, one of the most vital things when writing travel content is to check your facts. Donít try to cut corners and make things up; somewhere along the line, someone WILL pull you up on it. Before you even put dainty fingers to the keyboard, make sure you have researched the major facts and not just in Wikipedia. Be prepared to be able to back up anything you write about with the appropriate data, and never be tempted to add in a Fourth World War or a new geographical landmark just to make things more interesting.