Pitching Yourself for Travel

Guest Post by: Lisa Ng

One of the major topics on my blog, This Beautiful Day, is travel. But how do I create original travel posts without blowing all of my savings?

As a lifestyle and travel blogger, I rely on pitching tourism boards and hotels when I am working on a travel series or destination story. Often times there are discounted media rates or assistance available to online media depending on budget, your blog traffic and the time of year you are pitching. Tip: you’ll want to avoid pitching a visit during the summer, major holidays and high season.

One of the first things you’ll want to do is identify whom you want to pitch. Visit their website, look for a media room or press page to identify who the public relations person is that you should be emailing.

Here’s how you’ll want to craft your travel email pitch:

Introduce yourself – I jump right into an introduction in the first line of my email – stating who I am, where am I based, which publication I write for and who the demographic of my readers are. Keep this clear and concise.

What is it that you’re looking for? Is it a discounted media rate or a hosted stay? Make sure to put in a specific request for what you are looking for. I never request more than two nights in my pitch email, as I feel that is a reasonable amount of time to get a feel for a property before moving on. Very rarely will a property host you for more than two nights as they do require keeping the space open for paying guests.

What is it that you’re willing to provide? Are you writing a travel guide about the area and hope to include the hotel in your story? Will you be writing a dedicated blog post about the property? State clearly in your email what your objective is and include examples (via links) of your past work. I am quite active on social media that I do mention that I usually live-tweet during my visit and share photos on Instagram.

Show Them the Numbers – Include in your pitch email your basic stats like:

—  Monthly unique visitors + page views

—  Your social media numbers across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest

—  Any awards you have received

—  Tourism boards and hotels you have worked with in the past

—  Any relevant brand ambassadorships

In addition to these quick stats, I always include a copy of my most updated Media Kit with a more thorough description of my readership, stats and advertising rates. Though I am not pitching them to purchase advertising, it’s great for them to know what your time is worth.

Please do keep in mind that tourism boards and hotels receive over a dozen pitches from journalists and bloggers every day. You should have a reasonable amount of traffic coming to your blog and have been blogging consistently for at least six months in order to be successful. It’s also good if you service a niche audience that is loyal and engaged.

Conclusion – Finish your pitch by thanking them for their time and that you look forward to hearing from them. After I have sent the email - I usually follow up after 2-3 days if I have heard nothing back. Sometimes you will hear nothing at all.

Disclosure – When you do finally write your blog post, you are obligated to disclose if your visit was hosted or subsidized. I do this and state that opinions are still my own.

Have you worked with a tourism board, participated in a media trip or worked with a hotel for your travel posts? How did you pitch them?