Welcome to the second installment of my travel blog “explained.” Please follow along to avoid my mistakes and get travel site tips from my successes, every week. Last week, I got a lot accomplished — most everything on last week’s list. I want to personally thank all the notes of support that help me chug through it all.
On the plus side, my video interview with the press officer for Thailand, Peggy (offering some great advice for beginners looking to break into the perks of travel writing), went better than expected. I also reached my goals in submission reading, phone calls, and social networking. Making my web site plans public has been helpful.
On the minus side, I pitched a writing contest to a big PR firm representing a major tourism board by phone (I am keeping the tourism board and pr firm’s name to myself to protect the innocent) and was told that my idea was the same as “begging for coverage” — a reaction far from what I expected. However, I have another idea that I will be presenting in the near term in writing, but the experience did teach me the value of having a strong plan-B prepared when discussing projects with a future media partner.
On a technical front, I had a disaster while upgrading TWL to WordPress 3.0 (the latest and greatest version of the blogging and content management software) and found my site didn’t like this move at all. My site was down for the better part of the day with odd visual and navigational problems. Upgraders take note, always back up everything: database, files, and folders before doing any auto upgrade. Luckily, I did, which made re-installation possible. Still I have a problem with the comments section of TWL articles.
And now the plans for the week…
I only had three new articles submitted this week from new writers, creating space to catch up with articles. I plan to respond to all articles submitted up to May 30, putting me one only month behind. It would be progress in the right direction for ITKT.
I am still working on a story about Japan, in a guest blogger capacity, and the next installment of my favorite Inspirational Books series, 35-31 for TWL. I plan having both finished this week — although I always will give myself more leeway with the Japan article.
I will be attending a Mexico travel media forum on Wednesday. The event is hosted by a fun PR firm owner who I have worked with several times over the last couple of years. After the forum, I will video our discussion about industry advice for writers. I have high expectations of her genius being captured on mini DV.
I received confirmation I will visit Thailand for ten days in mid-July on a press trip. The trip will be sponsored by an airline celebrating its 50th anniversary. I visited Thailand for the first time about two years and found a strong Buddhist vibe, beautiful beaches, tasty food and speeding, and reckless, tuk tuk drivers.
I look to promote my current Lonely Planet Giveaway by working with contest and giveaway sites. I have a list that has helped some in the past, and has been a good source of newsletter sign ups.
Stumble Upon has helped me develop a few future partnerships from like-minded writers and has helped create several good spike in traffic. While I will continue to pursue online relationships through SU, I am not sure whether it would not be better to focus on finding the right audience for particular stories. Lots of SU traffic, less newsletter and stickiness from the readership that comes from SU. So far, short term solutions to long-range goals.