Travelsignposts.com Writer’s Guidelines
(with thanks to GoNOMAD.com for some ideas)
Travelsignposts is expanding (we grew 60% in 2011). So we need some help to provide more of the kind of content that brings over 115,000 unique visitors to our site every month.
Are you interested in writing for or submitting a guest post to Travelsignposts?
Here’s what you need to know.
What we’re looking for:
Travelsignposts makes a big effort to provide our readers with high quality, informative and entertaining travel articles about places to go in Europe, things to do and real life experiences. We don’t like the usual travel supplement processed press releases, spammy promotional hype or impersonal guidebook descriptions.
Our audience tends to be educated, interested in the world, and often very well-travelled, so what we need are well-written, accurate and detailed articles and destination guides that are above all honest, with a human, personal touch. Yep, we know that’s not easy, and we don’t always reach those standards ourselves, but you have to aim high!
Since Travelsignposts is a travel planning web site, we’re primarily looking for articles that will provide our readers with travel advice in some way but that are also evergreen, i.e don’t go out of date in a hurry. So it follows that we’re not interested in topics that are so time-sensitive they’re only useful to travellers for a very brief period of time.
An article about a particular experience you had in one of our destinations could be OK, but a blow-by-blow travel diary about everything you did on your trip is not what we’re looking for. And anything obviously promotional or spammy – vergeddaboutit!
Read the stories we have up on the site, and format your story the same way. We like short paragraphs, subheads between every few paragraphs, and photos with detailed captions. tweet
If you’re a professional travel writer or a traveller with a strong, engaging writing style and something special to share with our audience, send us your queries; we’ll get back to you promptly. We pay for assigned articles (well, it’s not much but better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick) that are high quality, informative and provide useful guidance for anyone following in your footsteps. Please note that we only pay for articles specifically assigned or accepted on a paid-for basis, not guest posts.
If you have a website, add a link to Travelsignposts’s writer’s guidelines or to a story on Travelsignposts that you like. If you query us and show us a link you’ve put up, we’ll move you to the top of our consideration list. tweet
Add Travelsignposts’s writer’s guidelines and your story link to Facebook, Google+ and other social networks to spread the word. A tweet about it wouldn’t go amiss, either. Help promote us to help us promote you.
Don’t feel you have to limit yourself to straight features or posts. We’re trying to break out of the conventional travel site straightjacket, so be creative. Shoot a one-minute video to accompany your story; send us a audio recording (mp3/4) and photos to go with it; send us a mini photo gallery on a trip that blew your mind; give us the lowdown on a novel approach to travelling in Europe.
We will also include your email/contact details in the story so that readers can contact you with their feedback (we also hope you’ll answer any comments), and are happy to include links to personal websites and mention any books or publications you’ve written in your bio.
Find out what we’re publishing by subscribing to our feed (subscribe in the sidebar on the right) and get all of our new articles on your desktop. tweet
Please read these Writer’s Guidelines carefully before submitting your query. If you have any other questions, please e-mail us at . PLEASE DO NOT CALL WITH QUESTIONS. We’re serious (and we are in Australia).
OK, so we’re looking for Feature articles.
Your feature article has to tell us about a unique aspect of the cultural, gastronomic or physical nature of a destination we cover. We like up-to-date destination pieces about fascinating places. Food is also good. But if you don’t live in a place, the short time you’re there means you can’t cover it all, so pick one really interesting feature or angle and go with that.
If you live in Europe, start with where you live (there’s always some aspect that would be attractive to travellers. Well, nearly always). If you can write a good guide to a local place do the same. Or better.
Details are important. Especially for a sidebar. Where possible, give us names, addresses, phone numbers, prices (yes, we know they’ll get outdated) and web sites. What we’re looking for is the detailed information we’ll need if we want to go there. tweet
Stories should be at least 800 to 1,500 words long (2,000+ and we’re maybe talking about a two-parter). Try to stay focused on the main theme, but don’t hesitate to include interesting asides. The only limitation should be the reader’s interest.
Here is some great advice from Max Hartshorne, Editor of GoNOMAD, at the NY Times Travel Show
- Have a point of view…be unique and have a voice! Strong opinions backed up by facts are much better than bland recitation of facts and history.
- Think of the value you’re giving the reader…what use would your story be to them?
- Write as if they will be printing out the story to take to the same place: what can you do to help them, what would you have done differently, and what would be the first thing you’d talk about if someone asked about your trip.
- Take photos of the specific places, people and scenes you describe. Shots of buildings and winding streets are just not that interesting .But the blue house on top of the hill where the little old man lives is what I want to see.
- Shoot videos… but not too long. One minute of video is an eternity…and people get bored fast. Still, there’s nothing as nice as being able to show instead of tell, and while photos are better than text, video is always better than photos.
All content must be original (that’s a no brainer) and must not have been published elsewhere on the Internet. As mentioned earlier, anything obviously promotional or spammy or which requires extensive editing to correct grammar and spelling errors will not be published. We’re also keen on sidebars: they should include names of businesses mentioned in the article along with contact information, prices, availability, and amenities. Please include as many relevant web sites as possible.
The number of photos needed differs depending on the post, but we need at least one image we can use at or near the top. It can be your own photo or a photo that’s Creative Commons licensed – but in any case you must have the right to use it. Don’t forget, we’ll also need a photo of yourself to put at the end with your bio.
Links are good, but they must be relevant. Affiliate links of any kind are banned. At the bottom of your article or guest post, within your author’s bio, you can link to your personal blog/website and Twitter/Facebook/Google+ account. Depending on the context of the post, we may or may not be able to link to your site within the post itself – and we reserve the right to remove links (especially if you’re linking to your travel business). If you’re a business, it’s probably best if you explore our sponsored post opportunities instead.
We’ll promote your post on Twitter and Facebook, recognizing you as the author with links to your Twitter or Facebook account as appropriate.
For features, query first with a one-page email describing the proposed article (indicate availability and format of photographs), date of trip, your background and/or writing experience (links to your writing samples online is good), which area of our site the article is for, when you can deliver it and confirm that the article has not been published elsewhere. Don’t send us a query that is too long, think single A4 sheet as a maximum.
Note: Simultaneous submissions should be clearly noted.
How to send material accepted for publication:
UPDATE: We now operate a private team blog for the purposes of article submission, review, contact etc., so if you write for us, we’ll set you up with a log-in; it makes things a lot easier.
Once a guest post or article idea is accepted, send the final product to us via email () in two formats: a Word file (so we can see your formatting) and a .txt file. If you’re comfortable with HTML, you can send just the text version of your post with all the bold and italics (and other) formatting already encoded.
Along with this, send us low res photos, detailed photo captions, a headshot of yourself and a one-sentence bio to accompany your story. Don’t forget any sidebar material.
Send any photographs we’ll need for the post, or links to Creative Commons photos you’d like to use. For any photos you’re sending via email, please crop them to at most 1200 pixels wide.
If you’ve got several photographs available, you might like to use Google’s Picasa, Smugmug, Flickr or other similar site to create an online photo gallery and send the link to us. This enables you to write all of the captions and makes it easy for us to select and retrieve the photos to use with your article. Sending many different jpegs wastes a lot of time for everybody and we prefer this method. Make sure that your gallery is viewable to the public or send us a log-in! tweet
BE SURE THAT YOU OWN THE RIGHTS TO ANY PHOTOS YOU SUBMIT!
Travelsignposts will not be liable for any copyright issues regarding unauthorized use of photographs. It is up to you to make sure that we have permission to reprint any other person’s photos.
Frankly, it’s best to shoot your own photos and just submit these, or obtain permission from tour operators and tourist boards so that any photos sent to us can be legally used on our site. Please indicate the name of the photographers so that we can put photo credits next to all images.
We do have an extensive library of travel photographs, so if you’re stuck we can probably find something relevant, but don’t bet on it.
All photographs must have the photographer’s name, names of subjects (if possible or applicable), and descriptions of people and places and activities in the photo clearly indicated. In some cases, photographs of people must have subjects’ permission for publication, and we may ask you for this.
Queries and submissions may be sent to us at or mailed to:
29/4-8 Kareela Road
All guest posts and articles that appear on Travelsignposts are edited. We don’t expect to edit them heavily (that’s your responsibility), but we may change titles, rework openings or conclusions, or correct grammar and spelling. Don’t be offended by this – we’re just trying to make every post we publish as successful as possible. We also know what generally works well with the Travelsignposts audience.
Bylines should be a sentence or two explaining who you are and what you do. Feel free to include up to two links in it. Some authors include a link to an RSS feed here, which can be effective. Your byline will appear at the bottom of your post. Affiliate links are not permitted, as you’d expect.
When we pay for an article, Travelsignposts purchases First Worldwide Electronic Rights. You also grant us a non-exclusive, perpetual licence to reproduce the piece (including photos) in any way we see fit after initial publication. We also publish ebooks and we will be using a lot of our site content for this new medium.
If you’d like to alert the readers on your blog or website to the post’s existence, you musn’t republish the entire article as it appears on Travelsignposts. Posting an excerpt with a reference to the full article on Travelsignposts is fine.
We pay via Paypal, and payment is made upon publication. Travelsignposts can offer writers links to their personal or business websites and include writer’s email addresses so that readers can provide feedback to you (this is at your discretion). Travelsignposts pays US$25 for features that are assigned and sent to us as designated above with good photos, captions and the word file.
Authors who have had articles (as opposed to guest posts) accepted must email a simple invoice to Tony Page at Travelsignposts Pty Ltd with your Paypal account details, postal address, phone number and other contact information.
Questions? Email us at