Why I’ll Never Write For Lonely Planet

We’ve talked a LOT about products lately.

And rightfully so. Products separate hobby blogs from businesses.

It shows your readers you’re in it for the long haul… and lets you build long-lasting relationships with your readers and other influential travel bloggers.

But it’s not just products.

Every piece of content you produce - whether a product, post or email - should have one goal in mind which is…

Everything you write should build your business.

And if it doesn’t… ditch it.

So why pick on Lonely Planet? Why pick on the most popular guidebook on the market today? Wouldn’t writing for them help build your business?

Well… yes and no.

Writing for websites

If you write for Lonely Planet the website… then yes, it helps your business.

Online readers see your byline and click-through to your blog. Trusted links from authoritative sites improves your search engine rankings. And social shares (Twitter, Facebook, etc.) from your article sends additional traffic to your blog.

(Note: If you are unfamiliar with links, ranking in search engines and search engine optimization, I highly suggest you read this article. It explains SEO for travel bloggers in a clear, understandable way. We’ll cover SEO later in this course.)

Writing for print

If you write for Lonely Planet the guidebook… it’s not gonna help your business.

You get paid (a little) for writing it, true. And it’s a helluva resume builder.

But here’s what it will NOT do:

  • send traffic to your site
  • improve search engine rankings
  • increase social shares
  • make you more money

In fact, all it gets you is a paycheck and a resume. Not bad… but it’s not a business. It’s not something you can build on… or leverage… or automate.

No thanks.

Why (and when) you should write for print

There are times when you should “go print.”

When you’re doing something anyways. For example, my wife Darcie and I are headed to Ecuador. We’ve got a contact at Backpack magazine who’d pay us to write about, you guessed it, backpacking in Ecuador. Since we’re gonna do it anyways, we might as well get paid for it, right?

If you want to sharpen your chops. Working for professional publications forces you to raise your standards. And having an editor helps, too.

When you need a paycheck. If you love to travel and wanna get paid doing it, then print publications may be the way to go. Just make sure you’ve got an assignment before booking that plane ticket.

In Summary

I don’t believe writing for print is the best way to go. But I’ve been a copywriter, SEO, Google analyst and internet marketer… so you can see I’m biased.

Two excellent blogs by travel writers you should check out are Travel Blather and The Grumpy Traveler. They’re both fun, thoughtful reads on the adventures and perils of travel writing.

In the next post we’ll cover a problem you’ll encounter soon enough (and how to be beat it).

To your successful travel blog,

Adam Costa

Editor in Chief, Travel Blogger Academy

P.S. This is part of a 24 part course on travel blogging. If you haven’t already, sign up for it now.

About adamcosta

Adam Costa is co-founder and Editor in Chief of both Trekity.com and TravelBloggerAcademy. He currently lives... um... somewhere.

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  1. It would look great on a resume, to be sure. But I see what you mean about not getting you extra traffic, etc.

    I do wonder though… does LP cross-post stuff between their website and their books?