ABOVE: Writers' Website Planner has a wealth of information (and inspiration) for aspiring writer-publishers.
by Durant Imboden, Europe for Visitors
Web sites about travel writing and publishing
- Writers' Website Planner, by longtime guidebook author Tom Brosnahan, covers topics like "Will I make money?", "Good Website design," "Website hosting," and "Publicizing your site." Tom uses a different editorial approach than we do, using nonlinear "Optimized Hypertext" to deliver information in a way that's reminiscent of a CD-ROM encyclopedia. (Tom uses the same structure for his Turkey Travel Planner, New England Travel Planner, and other "Travel Planner" sites.)
- Transitions Abroad Travel Writing Portal is a collection of essays and links to other resources, such as interviews with well-known travel writers. One of the best pieces on the site is Tim Leffel's "The Seven Myths of Being a Travel Writer", which offers a bluntly realistic picture of the traditional freelance travel-writing market.
- Mona Leeson Vanek's "Advice from the Pros" blog at writerinsidetips.blogspot.com has a page of links to travel-writing and reference sites (including other directories). It's geared more to unpublished writers than to freelancers who are making the transition from print to the Web, but take a look.
- Travel Blog Exchange is geared to part-time bloggers (many of whom are hobbyists), but the site's owners have been successful in recruiting DMOs and major travel vendors as sponsors of their annual travel bloggers' conference, so there may be some value in scanning the site's "groups" or forums.
General resources for publishers and site owners
- MediaPost Publications offers free e-mail newsletters for online publishing and advertising professionals. You can also read stories from Online Media Daily, Online Publishing Insider, and other MediaPost titles on the Web.
- Search Engine Land, founded by legendary search expert Danny Sullivan, is a good place to learn what's happening in the world of Google, Bing, et al.
- Webmaster World has forums about individual search engines, the Google AdSense network, and other topics related to search and the practical aspects of running a Web site. The forums are heavily laced with rants and conspiracy theories by anonymous SEOs, affiliate marketers, and e-commerce types who resent Google's efforts to keep businesses from manipulating its search results, but the posts by "tedster" (a moderator in the main Google forum) are often valuable, and there are nuggets of useful information in the technically-oriented Code, Content, and Presentation forums.
Next article: "Why Web freelancing doesn't work"