As my Publisher’s Corner article today suggests, with the accessibility of today’s media we are all suddenly publishers, editors and writers. This week, we want to turn our attention to writing articles, crafting blog posts and press releases. Most travel agents have lots of available “content” stored in their heads. A life-time of cruises, tours, fam trips and property inspections provides an undeniable expertise that is valuable to the public. The ability to write a good article is important for a travel agent. Most travelers recognize the need for knowledge and for tapping into the expertise of other travelers. A solid reference library of articles will be an important resource for clients, one that they will return to again and again. Identifying yourself and your travel practice as a source for valuable travel information will establish an important connection with your agency in the minds of clients when they think about traveling. However, getting those stories poured onto paper can sometimes present an almost overwhelming challenge. Each day this week we will look at a trick of the trade for writing an article that people will want to read.
Most often, it is the title of the article that first draws the reader into the story. Here’s a little experiment you might want to try. On your next visit to a bookstore or the grocery store, visit the magazine rack. Go to the more popular magazines and look at the article titles on the cover. How many of those articles use an action verb? How many have a number in them? How many start with the words “How to”? How many have the word “tips” in them. My guess is that many, if not most, of the covers will have article titles that have some or all of these mechanisms for drawing you into the magazine. We may be onto something.
Let’s start with the power of a Title:
- “3 Tips for Choosing a Cruise Vacation”
- “5 Ways to Save Money on your Next Vacation”
- “Mistakes Not to Make Booking a Tour”
- “10 Travel Scams and How to Avoid Them”
- “25 Best New Trips”
- “125 Amazing Destinations Rated”
- “Extreme Norway“
Who wouldn’t read these articles? People love lists, especially when there is a definitive number attached to the list. The number promises a finite quantity of knowledge that, once learned, will be invaluable. The quantity sounds easily assimilated, or sounds like a comprehensive reference. Numbers draw people into an article.
Likewise, notice the number of action verbs (Choosing, Save, Avoid) and the number of strong adjectives (Extreme, Best, Amazing). These words grab the reader’s attention. Note too how some of the articles stress the reader’s desire to avoid danger (Scams, Mistakes, Save). These articles all promise important knowledge that your readers will want to possess. Your word choices in a title should be concise and packed with meaning.
Spend some time crafting just the right title, one that you would want to read if you saw it on the cover of a magazine. Chances are, your clients will want to read it too.
Tomorrow: Your Writing Voice
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