writing for airlines

Why Writing for Airline Magazines?



Almost every passenger reads during the flight through the magazine that is tucked into the seat in front of them. Many even take them home. Which means, with more than 250 in-flight magazines, there are lots of possibilities for professional writers to freelance for airline magazines.  Airline magazines have always been good patrons for freelance writers.

When the travel industry is succeeding, there are even more opportunities in the sector. Benefits of writing for airlines include:

  • high circulations of In-flight magazines
  • a wide reach
  • and a long shelf life

Airline magazines are a fantastic addition to your portfolio of published articles. Once you’ve been published in an in-flight magazine it is much easier to get assignments from other prestigious magazines.

What Types of Content do They Purchase?
In-flight magazines purchase many travel articles.  They also have a diverse range of content that includes general interest pieces as well as articles on business, entertainment, health, and lifestyle.  However, there should be some connection to the destinations to which the airline flies.
Getting a Foot in the Door.
If you are just starting out as a freelance writer, you will not have much chance of getting published in an in-flight magazine. Editors prefer to work with experienced, professional writers who have solid credentials.
If you have not yet built up a solid portfolio of magazine credits, begin by writing for local publications or target smaller magazines. Once you get some pieces published in local publications, raise the bar and target some regional publications. In the USA alone there are hundreds of smaller magazines freelance writers can write for.

A few airline magazines in North America include writer guidelines on their websites, but the majority, in other parts of the world do not publish their guidelines online. You certainly can write the editor a friendly note to request a copy of their writers guidelines.

Research the In-flight Magazine
Many airlines make media kits available from their websites. Use it to find out a lot about the airline’s passengers – and therefore about the audience for the in-flight magazine.  It also shows the editorial mission and calendar. Find the airline’s destinations / routes in the media kit as well.  In-flight magazines typically pay writers from $0.70 to $1.00 per word, and sometimes even more.

Read as Many Magazines as Possible
Most airline magazines are available online. Study all the issues for the past twelve, better twenty months and figure out:

  • What features does the magazine include?
  • What writing styles?
  • Lengths of articles?
  • Which destinations did the magazine cover already?
  • What hasn’t been covered for a while, or at all?
  • What is the editor(s) name(s) and title(s) from the Impressum / Masthead of the digital edition, or from the Contact webpage for the publication.

The audience on an airline flight is much more diverse than at other publications, and their magazines must cater to this diversity.  The content is chosen for their passengers to remain happy and calm.  Editors look for content that will entertain and relax their readers, not being controversial.

More Tips What to Pitch
Freelance specialist Gary McLaren: “Pitch a specific idea to an in-flight magazine, and not only a destination. Try to think of an idea that is seasonal or timely for a particular month. But pitch it six months in advance and consider the editorial calendar.”

“Alternatively, try to think of an “evergreen” idea, since in-flight magazines tend to have long lead times, and it may take them some time to consider your idea and respond. Follow the news for airlines in which you are interested. One of the best times to pitch a story is when the airline announces a new route.”

“Editors of in-flight magazines receive plenty of queries every week. However, many of those queries are from writers who do not research the publication properly! If you do, you have much better chances.”



Read also: How to Get Freelance Writing Jobs for Airlines – Lots of Tips and Links

How to Pitch to an In-flight Magazine

Author Gary McLaren offers: The Inflight Magazines Report, a listing of 250 inflight magazines with all details.



How to Repurpose Your Manuscript


Where does your next novel or nonfiction book takes place?  In your hometown or in a foreign city or country?  I bet you did a lot of research to describe those places.  Leverage this research work and all your travel experiences to write not only for travel or well-paying airline magazines, but also for newspapers or lifestyle magazines – print and online.  Travel articles are not for travel magazines only!

Why wait months or years until royalties for your books arrive, when you can easily write articles that pay faster – and a lot more per word count?

Travel Magazines Are Not the Only Possibility.
Seniors magazines, parenting magazines, business magazines, frugal-living magazines, newspapers – from free locals to national and international, and even pet magazines, they all print travel articles and city profiles.  Here are a few examples of topics that fit into a variety of magazines / newspapers:

  • How to save money when booking a rental car
  • Traveling with Fido to Canada – pet friendly hotels
  • How to spend your waiting hours between flights
  • The Gardens of Venice, Italy
  • Scenic road trips to …
  • Amazing weekend destinations in …
  • Dining and nightlife tips for …
  • Top Ten Things to Do on a Budget in …
  • Most interesting museums to go with kids in …
  • How to save money when taking a road trip
  • Gear and gadgets that cater to your kids travel joy
  • Tips for people with disabilities or medical conditions on air travel
  • Best wine sampling places / wineries in …
  • Marvellous National Parks of the North West
  • Historic places to visit in Southern Great Britain

What Works Best:
The first and most important step is to read many issues of the magazine or newspaper to find out if there was anything similar written before you query them.  Travel articles containing more than the 2,000 words including high-resolution images works usually best.
If you don’t have the necessary skills or equipment to offer stunning photos, contact regional or state tourist sites and ask them for photos to accompany your article.  They are almost always free to use.  It might take a couple of days or even weeks to receive their permission, so contact them early, and once your article is printed, send them a copy and a thank you note.  Another possibility is to check out free photo sites, such as Morguefile.com or any other site as described in a former blog: 7 Free Photo Sources.

Examples of Magazines You Can Write for:
Check out former blog posts where we provided details about magazines, using the search function on SavyBookWriters.wordpress.com and type in freelance writing or writing for magazines. Here are a couple more links:
Canadian Living
Family Fun
Every Day with Rachel Ray
The Ride Journal
Southern Living
Travel Smart
Boat Magazine
Midwest Living
Horse and Rider

Re-Purpose Your Writing Content.
Just to give you an example how you can re-purpose research and content of your novel, that may take place in medieval Great Britain or a travelogue you wrote about a trip to Europe: You could for example write an article about

  • horse staples in the UK for equestrian magazines,
  • bike riding paths in Denmark to a bike magazine,
  • fantastic gardens in Great Britain to garden magazines,
  • how to travel on a budget to European cities for a frugal living magazine,
  • a feature about pumpkin seed pressing in Austria for gourmet magazines,
  • an article about a historic flax or wool mill in France for a sewing or craft magazine,
  • a photo feature that you took in a boutique hotel for a fine interior magazine,
  • how to dress for city trips without looking like a tourist for fashion or lifestyle magazines …

Possibilities to write for magazines other than the traditional travel markets are virtually endless. Travel articles often cover one or more market boundaries.
Leverage every opportunity to “cross-over” into other non-travel magazines with your travel articles.  Best of all: writing for magazines or newspapers will allow you to add a two-sentence bio, including a link to your author website or to your book sales page, which will be then seen by a completely new audience.  A great way of book marketing and to expand your platform and portfolio!

More about writing for magazines and newspapers:







Get Paid to Market Your Book


Social Media has become part of our culture, and it helps to connect with your readers.  However when crawling through tweets and other posts on Social Media sites, one gets the impression that very few links are pointing to interesting, entertaining or helpful content – despite the fact that there are so many talented writers out there who could write great articles or show snippets of their books.  This would make their Social Media presence more valuable and would connect readers with the author’s writing craft.

Question: Whom Would you Believe More:

a) advertisements
b) newspaper / magazine articles
c) reading samples

Most consumers / readers are not excited by pure advertising, they prefer authentic content and like to read writing samples.

Why are authors trying to market their books only with a) when b) and c) are more authentic in the eyes of readers – or at least a mixture of a, b and c?  I am not telling a secret here: b and c are free book marketing.  On top of that: often authors can even make more money with writing newspaper and magazine articles, online or in print, than with their books.

And it is nothing new, if you work in marketing. From Coca Cola to Volkswagen to IKEA, content marketing is getting more and more foot hold. Read an article “Why Content Marketing Works”.
All these companies have to employ and pay a lot of money to “story tellers”.  However, you as an author, you have done the “content” part already in writing your book, you just need to use your content and “market” it, in order to give your readers samples of your writing or make them curious about your new book.  Study after study have shown that this marketing method can be hugely effective for turning your audience into paying customers.  When it’s done well, a content marketing strategy entertains your readers and shows them how good you are at writing.
Learn from these Writers:
In previous blogs we explained how: “Smart Authors Get Paid for Marketing Their Books!” and “FREE, Brilliant Book Marketing to a Million Audience“.

Write Something of Value for Readers.
– which is “by chance” part of your book, such as travel tips to the location of your books plot, museums, festivals or public transportation that are mentioned in your book.  You have to do your research for your books anyway, why not use the material you gather and write several articles that you can offer to the media – always mentioning your book.  Another way of content writing: Try to write as many guest blogs as possible for top bloggers that are high in Google and Alexa rankings.  It will give you and your books more exposure and new readers.

Why Asking for (media) Book Reviews?
When you could get both: book promotion and at the same time (often) being paid?  I know, it is a new concept to many writers, but when you think about it – it makes really sense: why use your time and effort to chase reviewers, when you can use your energy to leverage your books content and your research content – to create articles that you can pitch to both, print and online newspapers and magazines?  Read the stories of writers who have just done that.

Perfect for Shy Writers.
Content book marketing is also perfect for shy writers who might cringe at stepping outside their comfort zone.  They can promote their books at the end of each article they write and even add links to their website or book sales page.  Use sentences from your articles to build interesting posts and tweets.
BTW: Traditional media is more and more outsourcing, barely any full-time writing staff is left, which means they are open to pitches from freelance contributors…

Josh Pigford, a Social Media Marketing Guru, Wrote Recently:
“The bottom line is that people trust editorial content more than they trust advertisements (only). Do the right mix. Whether your business is as big as Colgate or whether you are a one-person start up, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be able to utilize this simple fact in order to engage your audience and build your customer base.” And Joe Chernov brought it to the point: “Creating content that is so valuable that people would pay for it, yet you give it away for free, is a reliable way to earn the public’s trust.”
Where to Find Markets for Your Writing?
Get the comprehensive guide to find publishers, agents, magazine and newspaper editors and thousands of addresses to online writing markets – including the online version and the latest additions and changes for a full year:  The Best Resource for Writers in 2016

Do’s and Don’ts in Content Writing and Blogging.

  • Headline attention – encourage readers to read the next line
  • Use keywords that resonate with your audience
  • Simple and direct works well
  • Exciting, interesting, controversial, sensational all work well
  • Numbers / lists / real data works well
  • Just don’t be boring
  • Don’t forget to install an opt-in email list to be able to contact your readers and fans!

Writing content will not transform your book into an overnight success, but it is a wonderful option for a long-term strategy, to build your author’s platform and it gives your readers a sample of your writing.


How to Make More Money as a Writer

In many blog articles I encouraged writers to use their writing skills and even details from their research or their manuscript and start to make way more money with magazines articles or online content.  
And at the same time promote their books in the byline.  A great help how to start, where to find the latest contacts and how to pitch your writing to editors, can be found in this Yearbook for authors – including constant updates.

I just ordered the latest edition of the 2017 WRITER’S MARKET Deluxe Edition, featuring 7,500 links – a comprehensive guide to find publishers, agents, magazine and newspaper editors and an abundance of addresses  to online writing markets – including the online version.

“The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published”
Their title seems to imply these “yellow pages” for writers are just to find book publishers.  No, it’s only a part of it!  Since 1921, Writer’s Market has been the “freelance writer’s bible”, providing contact information for thousands of editors and agents, tips on manuscripts formatting, query letter clinics and more.

Online Version Included!
Now it’s all available online, in a searchable database of information that can be personalized to meet your specific market needs.  You can search through the thousands of markets in seconds, easily eliminating those that don’t fit your criteria.  You also get daily market spotlights, a guide to Web resources for writers, tips on getting published, news from the publishing world, online submission-tracking tools, and more.  WritersMarket.com is continually updated, so you can be sure you are getting always the latest information available:


NaNoWriMo – and What Then?
Whether your goal is to publish a book, write a magazine article, or freelance for local businesses, this Yearbook, together with the latest data helps you to achieve your dreams.

Currently, the market listings are largely from the U.S. and Canada, with a few from the United Kingdom, Australia and other countries.  If you’re looking for market listings in the United Kingdom be sure to check out Writer’s Market UK.  Writer’s Market is an invaluable tool that authors are recommending again and again. There are two more valuable guide books:
Guide to Literary Agents 2017
Novel & Short Story Writer’s Market 2017

How to Make Money as a Writer:  Order it right away – or put it on your Birthday-Wish List!




Why and How to Pitch Story Ideas to Magazines



Part 1 of 2
The odds of winning the Lottery and becoming a millionaire are approximately 1 in 14 million. For
authors to find a publisher, the odds are somewhat better. Maybe 1 out of 500 or 1,000 queries,
depending on the agent / publisher, might lead to a contract. These publishing professionals
receive 150 – 500 unsolicited book pitches per day! from writers.
No matter if you send a query to the editor of Amazon Kindle Singles  – if it is a short story – or to trade publishers, you have to compete with several dozen or even several hundred other writers.
Competition for writers when pitching at magazines and newspapers is less fierce.

How to Calculate a Book Page
Have you ever calculated how much time and money you invested in your book(s)? Added up the
hours you were sitting on your computer, typing away … and then the time you spend editing?
Multiplied by $30 or whatever you think is your writing-hour is worth? Divided the amount of your
editing invoice by the pages of your book?

Higher Compensation for Articles?
You will be surprised how much (or better said often how few) you earn net per page within a year
or two – after subtracting your costs. Compare this to earnings you can make with a couple of pages
for a magazine or a newspaper article. The average page has 450 words double-space and most
magazines pay between 50cents and $1.25 per word, airline magazines even more. Lets just take
a short article, containing 1,000 words (a bit over two pages): You will earn a couple hundred
dollars! Compared with your books content of several hundred pages you are better off, writing
more magazine articles.

You Don’t Need to Write Completely New Articles
As an author you did a lot of research already for your book, and you wrote a manuscript. What is
easier than to “re-work” this content? Tips how to do this can be found here in our former blog

Selling Argument: Author Platform/Brand
When you pitch your story to a magazine or newspaper editor you can show them your following on
Google+, Twitter, Facebook etc. and offer to post and tweet the article to your Social Media
presence. However, there is less time necessary to market an article, than to do the same with a
book. The story will be available in print only for a day, a week or latest a month, but it will be on the
internet for years to come.

Get Links to Your Website or Author Page
No matter if you get published paid (or unpaid at Huffington Post for example): Your website or
author page link is garantied, included in the short bio about you as an author at the end of the
article. It will be a longterm boost and a reference piece for your future publishing career.

To Sum it Up:
What is the benefit for you as an author to pitch to magazine editors?

  • Higher compensation / per page or word
  • No completely new content necessary
  • Build your platform and brand
  • Earn more money – and faster!
  • Less competition with other writers
  • Less time necessary to market an article
  • Articles will link to your site and market your book

Use your writing to earn more, to spend less time “marketing” and do what you like to do most:
WRITING!  Read more in our next blog, how to pitch to magazines.



If you would like to get more support in all things publishing, have your book intensively promoted and learn how to navigate social media sites – or to learn how you can make yourself a name as an author through content writing: We offer all this and more for only $179 for three months – or less than $2 per day! Learn more about this customized Online Seminar / Consulting for writers: http://www.111Publishing.com/Seminars  Or visit http://www.e-book-pr.com/book-promo/ to advertise your new book, specials, your KDP Select Free Days or the new Kindle Countdown Deals.

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Tagged: benefit of writing magazine articles, calculate the cost of publishing, freelance writing opportunities, Higher Compensation, make money with writing, winning the Lottery, writing for airlines

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