BootsnAll Feature Articles
BootsnAll is seeking feature articles related to indie travel which appeal to a wide audience of experienced travelers.
These articles must directly relate to the ideas of indie travel – experiencing the world first-hand, interacting with locals, and learning to see the world as a nuanced place in shades of grey. Before you pitch any ideas, take a look at our Indie Travel Manifesto to see if your story seems like a good fit. You should also check out our editorial calendar to see what types of specific articles it is that we’re looking for.
Here are some of the topics for features that we are currently looking for:
- Transformational Stories: Has travel had a major impact on your life? Do you have an inspirational story to tell that might help others take that leap of faith and get out on the road? Have you met someone extremely interesting and want to tell their story? We want to hear those stories. Here are some of our best and most successful transformational stories:
- Point/Counterpoint Series: We are launching a new series in 2013 called Point/Counterpoint.
- The idea is simple – on Monday, we publish a practical, how-to type of article – like an article about Travel Insurance on your round the world trip. Prior to publishing that article we would have two writers lined up to take different sides of the argument.
- On Tuesday we would publish an article written by someone who thinks travel insurance unnecessary. They would provide their viewpoint and explanations as to why.
- On Wednesday we would publish the opposing article – someone who thinks travel insurance is 100% necessary for a long-term trip.
- Then later that Wednesday afternoon, we would invite both writers to join us, on video, for #rtwchat on Twitter, a community event hosted by BootsnAll every week.
- Round the World Wednesday: Every Wednesday we publish an article that has to do with long-term, round the world travel. Have you taken a long-term trip and have tips and advice to share? Can you inspire others to take a similar trip? We’re looking for both practical advice-type articles and inspirational articles to share with our readers. Or if you have another unique idea, we’re all ears! Here are some of our most popular RTW Wednesday articles:
- Indie Flight Hacking: We always love hearing about interesting multi-stop international trips. If you like breaking down unique itineraries and creating guides for indie travelers, then check out these articles and pitch your own!
- Destination specific articles: Indie travelers travel differently than other travelers, and BootsnAll strives to be the one-stop shop for independent travel. Our destination specific articles are therefore a bit different than others you might see around the web. They need to have an indie slant while also providing good, practical information for our readers. We want our destinations specific articles to follow a specific template, whether it’s for a city, country, or region. It’s imperative that you have actually traveled in the region you are pitching, so even if you are really good at researching, we want first-hand accounts and information about the place you are writing about. Here are some examples:
- Food articles: A big part of travel for a lot of people is food. If one of the main reasons you travel is for food, and you have a hankering for taking great, mouth-watering photos of said food, then we want to hear from you. We love to hear unique food pitches, so get creative. If you can get an inside track into a particular dish like James Pham, a Vietnamese-American who speaks fluent Vietnamese, did in Pho 101: A Beginner’s Guide to Vietnam’s Most Famous Dish, even better. Here are a few more of our most well-written food articles:
- How does this idea promote long-term, indie travel?
- How does it inspire people to take an indie trip?
- How does it inspire people to change their lives?
- How does it offer practical advice for indie travelers
- How does it offer practical advice for a destination/activity/style of travel (solo, family, volunteer, etc.)
- Has this topic already been covered on BootsnAll or elsewhere on the web? (Do a google search and check our archives)
- Could I tackle this topic in 2000-3000 words? If you’d need more, consider breaking it into sections. If your article would be significantly shorter, there’s probably not enough “meat” there for a feature.
- Does this article prominently feature (or is it mostly about) a single hotel, tour, attraction, or experience? If so, it’s probably not the right fit. Same goes for if it’s extremely expensive or a trip that few people could recreate.
Accompanying photos are required for all articles and are just as important as the article itself. They don’t need to be your own though, and often photos from the Creative Commons are often better quality and complement the article better, so don’t feel compelled to use your own if they aren’t the best. I know it’s easy to fall in love with your own pictures, but you should always look through the Creative Commons for better pictures.
Gathering photos is often more difficult than you’d expect, so it’s a good idea to confirm that usable photos are available before an idea is pitched, or at least before writing begins. It’s not uncommon to spend just as much time looking for photos than it is writing the article, and we can and do reject well-written articles if the photos aren’t up to the same standard as the writing.
Number of photos per article:
All articles should be split up into subsections with subheadings, regardless of the topic. You should plan on having at least one photo per subsection.
Feature Article Requirements & Rights Information
- Word Count: 1200-2000 words is preferred, though the word count will actually relate more to the topic of the article and to the number of points covered within it. We will generally accept anything from 1200-4000.
- Pay: $50 upon publication.
- Photos: One big, beautiful, eye-catching photo (that tells the same story as the text) is required for each subheading. The photos don’t have to be yours – they just need to be Creative Commons licensed and allowed for commercial use.
- Publication Rights: We are only interested in articles that aren’t yet published, and BootsnAll owns all future rights to the paid pieces you publish through us. If you prefer to maintain future rights, please submit your article through our unpaid articles program.
How to Submit a Feature Article Pitch
Help for New Travel Writers
Travel writing sounds like a wonderful job, and in many ways it is. Because of this, there is limitless competition for paying jobs, and unfortunately, there is also huge competition among the publishers and companies, so pay tends to be low.
For some perspective on how things really work, we recommend reading Tim Leffel’s article discussing the Seven Myths of Being a Travel Writer. In addition to being helpful about how the industry works, it contains several tips that will help you figure out the sort of articles that we are looking for, as well as information that helps clarify what we can’t use.