I’m anticipating many changes in the travel copywriting and content creation world in 2014. If you are a company in the travel and hospitality industries I would like to ask you a question.
Is your content addressing the need of your ideal clients or are you still stuck with not knowing how to create content? Since returning from South America, I’ve done research and discussed with my clients about our travel copywriting services and strategies.
Here are five tips to hiring a travel copywriter:
One: Knows and understands your ideal client’s needs
Hiring a travel copywriter or content writer who can’t feel the emotions and hear the voice of your ideal client is not going to cut it. A travel copywriter who has not been overseas or never went through immigration and customs will not understand the hassle your ideal client may have to go through. So if you need content for tips to international travel or lessen your stress when traveling overseas – a travel copywriter who has not been through the experience may not be able to write effective content.
For example, when I wrote for a wellness and travel company, one of the prerequisites was that I try out their products. I smelled and touched them, wore them on my body and used them. That was the only way to understand the products and successfully describe the texture, smell and anything that the ideal client needed to know and feel before making a purchase, which leads us to tip #2.
Two: Knows the products or services
Just like the tip above, I need to know the products or services that I write about. I have more authority and power in my copy and content when I know the products or services well.
I’ve not been to Africa. When I was hired by Sandfield Travel to rewrite content on their website two years ago, I felt overwhelmed and charged way less than what I would have normally charged. I researched, studied the photos, watched videos and worked really hard in ensuring the content was SEO-friendly and keyword rich.
In my opinion the content could have been better if I had walked the streets of Uganda or personally volunteered in the orphanages. I’m just being honest now that I have done more travel copywriting compared to two years ago.
If you are marketing a destination and need someone to work on your blog, email newsletters and social media platforms, make sure you take this tip into consideration. This is connected to tip #3…
Three: Have first hand experiences (in the travel and hospitality industries)
Not all travel copywriters have traveled to every country in the world but some of us travel more or less than others. After traveling to South America for eight months (39 countries in total), I know I can write better content on South America now compared to last year.
All I had was just second-hand information. At the moment I know how it is like to have altitude sickness, I can describe in detail the city of Cuzco or Machu Picchu or the difference between the Otavalo Market in Ecuador and the Witches Market in Bolivia.
Another crucial first hand experience that sets a travel copywriter apart from others is an experience in the travel industry. If we had time, I would sit with you over a cup of coffee or tea and tell you all the tales of being a travel agent/tour consultant/ticket agent/tour guide and more (12 years of tales!!). Nothing beats first hand experiences.
Four: Understands WordPress Content Management System (CMS)
WordPress is no longer just for bloggers. Companies like CNN, eBay and Oprah are using WordPress. I am referring to self-hosted WordPress websites. It is user-friendly, allows you to update or edit your content without the need to code, mess with html or hire a techie person to help you out.
You can easily go into your back office to delete, add or update content, images or videos.
Most travel and hospitality companies hire a travel copywriter because they don’t have the time to write, manage and publish content through blogging and other platforms. A travel copywriter that can do all the work for you and understands WordPress CMS will free up your time and let you focus on other money making activities.
Within WordPress you need a travel copywriter that understands meta descriptions, focus keywords and other things related to producing and publishing relevant content on your website.
Five: Knows how to seamlessly connect your blog content, e-newsletter and social media platforms
You are not optimizing your content marketing strategies if you are not connecting your blog with a newsletter and social media platforms. A travel copywriter that uses all these three channels constantly in his or her own business understands your needs as well.
I believe in being consistent in writing my own blog posts, newsletters and engaging with followers on Twitter. I must admit I am not always consistent in my social media platforms but I’ve not stopped blogging and publishing my weekly newsletter since I started blogging in November 2010 even when I was traveling at sea and in the remote areas of Peru. That’s what it means by ‘walking the talk’!
Finally, a travel copywriter that believes and sticks to deadlines and cares for your success.