It’s pretty clear that this isn’t a road to riches. Traditional publications don’t pay hefty salaries, and it’s difficult to break into them. Freelance writing provides some opportunities for a solid living, if you know how to manage your personal business effectively, but you have to work at it. Starting your own business seems to be the only way to hit it big, but this isn’t exactly news. It’s one of the few ways one can generate real wealth. For writers, however, even this angle may be inherently constrained.
Two recent news stories got my attention and made me think about this.
As the date of a press trip approaches, itineraries are flying around, details are being finalized and media kits are assembled and distributed. Amid all of this, I’ve noticed over two and a half years of travel writing, there is no social media “kit” provided at the beginning of a trip … and it wouldn’t be hard to do. Look at the top of any itinerary: you see property and agency contact information. How hard would it be to include a Twitter account, too?
Hey, travel PR folks: in addition to thinking about the coverage you hope to secure in a magazine or on a blog after the trip has run its course, think about the incremental gains you could realize during the trip itself – especially for a group trip.
When you’re planning your next press trip, consider the following social media essentials:
Writing funny stuff is a pain in the ass. It takes a lot of work, boatloads of creativity and far more effort than I’m usually willing to commit. But, I occasionally go through all of this agony to write something for Cynic Mag … as I did just recently. It’s a funny piece on how today looks from far in the future. It’s worth a look.
Too often, companies interested in launching blogs spend too much time agonizing over the “B” word. Either they fear what they think is the “wild west,” or convention-constrained Gen Xers and Gen Yers get hung up on whether the ultimate creation is actually a “real blog.” Forget all this shit. Look at a blog as a technology platform, and think of it as something to be filled with content that will advance your company in the marketplace. A successful corporate blog will fall somewhere in between. Just keep the following four tips in mind.
Corporate blogging isn’t easy. The rewards are high, and this type of platform will reduce your workload over time (if you’re an in-house writer), though you’ll probably invest all that saved time in producing more content – especially if you’re addicted to returns. Some of the challenges aren’t immediately evident, and you’ll only encounter them when you’re knee-deep in the shit.
For mainstream bloggers, especially, you will run into some unexpected challenges. If you’re used to reblogging news stories or use press releases as a crutch when you’re short content, you’ll have to change your game.
A friend of mine e-mailed me last week to ask where I write. He can’t sort it out through all the tweets and links and so on. I can understand; I’m all over the place. So, if you’re interested in following my work, see the following links:
The one thing I’ve always loved about being a writer is the freedom I have to play with the language. But, for a big part of my life, that appears to be in jeopardy (though not in the blogging world). I have a gig where the literary handcuffs are tightening, and I have no room to operate. It’s a fucking nightmare.
Yesterday, as I walked home (with the feel of a cold starting to set in), I nailed the sensation. I feel like Yossarian is hanging over me. He’s the protagonist from Catch-22 (a fun read). While in the hospital, he was tasked to censor letters home written by enlistedmen. Before long, he got bored. Well, Joseph Heller tells it better …
I was interviewed a week and a half or so ago about the use of Twitter in the travel business. The story is now out on MSNBC! I was quoted about how to use Twitter effectively. Mine was the first tip.
At one point, it looked like I was going to get to use my story about how I helped a friend, Zivity‘s Cyan Banister, find a hotel room when she was in a jam … all via Twitter. But, there was something about a plane landing on the Hudson River which kinda took over the story.
My open letter to Prince Albert II of Monaco is back! The short humor piece I wrote for Cynic Mag earlier this year has been selected as one of the top pieces of 2008. And, all I had to do was sit back and scratch my ass … no effort! It was a fun article to write, and I’m glad (and surprised) to see that it’s still getting props.