My guest today is a freelance journalist, photographer, videographer, and editor. Today Mary Charlebois and I discuss What Tourism Boards are Looking for When Working with a Travel Writer.

Mary is a lifelong traveler, in part due to her Nomadic mother, who often handed her the map and asked her to choose the destination and route.

Today, her home base is Fort Bragg California on the wild and remote Mendocino Coast. She is a features contributor for two regional newspapers, Independent Coast Observer and Fort Bragg-Mendocino Coast Packet. She is a recurring contributor to GoNOMAD, Trivago Magazine, Short Weeks-Long Weekends, Links & Libations, The Travel 100, and a bi-monthly contributor to ByWAYS Magazine. In the last four years, her work has been published in 27-publications, both print, and web.

In the past three years, she has worked with more than 35 PR companies and tourism boards and has almost completely booked her travel calendar for 2019, which is all hosted by tourism or PR companies.

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Show Intro:

  1. Facebook Group Social Share Threads
    Facebook groups with sharing threads have been a ghost town for at least the last 6 months. I belong to a few as well as run the Aspiring travel writer evergreens threads group. I’m wondering: a) has the ‘newness’ of FB groups has just worn off in general b) if you are finding the time invested in the sharing threads is not worth the payoff c)  social shares of your articles, comments on articles & visits to your website from the threads are not your focus at the moment. A bigger question might be — is social media losing some steam? Do you find yourself on social media as much as you used to be? Does it still hold the same importance in your overall blogging or freelance writing  Please let me know in the comments below!
  2. Why Writing Longer Content Improves Website TrafficMy challenge for you is to write an epic, all-encompassing article that dives deep into a story or location. And the catch it is must be at least 2,000 words. Listen to the intro to today’s podcast episode to find out how this will help increase traffic to your website!A few examples of articles with a large word count that are driving lots of traffic to my travel site, 52 Perfect Days:

What Tourism Boards are Looking for from Travel Writers with Mary Charlebois

Listen to today’s episode to hear Mary’s Step by step process to reach out to a tourism board and why she turns down group press trips. We also chat about why you don’t have to accept what you are offered regarding payment for freelance work and should negotiate your rate as well as how to properly research a destination before pitching a tourism boardThis is “What Tourism Boards are Looking for from Travel Writers with Mary Charlebois“.

Full episode >> listen to today’s episode

travel writer Mary Charlebois

Top Takeaways from the Podcast with Mary Charlebois:

  • The importance of focusing on niche topics as a writer. 
  • Why Mary has a website for her portfolio as well as a travel website.
  • Why having multiple writing outlets is important.
  • Why you must create direct relationships with outlets.
  • Why having multiple outlets helps land more media trips.
  • Why you can’t be a one-pony show.
  • Tips to find monthly or weekly writing gigs for publications.
  • You don’t have to accept what you are offered (regarding payment)
  • The high and low of what you can earn for freelance articles.
  • Why the Writers Market is a great resource to get published, market, and sell your writing.
  • Step by step process to reach out to a tourism board.
  • Besides outlets, what a writer needs in their arsenal.
  • How to turn your words into dollars for a destination.
  • How to show a tourism board you can deliver.
  • How to properly research a destination before pitching a tourism board.
  • Why Spring is a great time to work with tourism boards.
  • Overdelivering to your destination host is what get’s you a return trip.
  • Why Mary turns down group press trips.
  • Why she is in search of a story and not a list of what to do in a location.
  • Why you need to look at this as a team; the writer, editor and PR person
  • How Mary determines what story to tell and provide the editor.
  • Why you should check out the ‘press’ section of a destination before you pitch or write your story.
  • Mary’s process for booking 30-day media trips.
  • Why it’s hard to write about different locations than you are currently traveling in.
  • Mary’s follow up process after a trip and before coverage begins.
  • Why she always over-delivers on coverage.

Full episode >> Listen to Episode 143 Now!

Episode Resources

Short Weeks Long Weekends
Writer’s Market 2019: The Most Trusted Guide to Getting Published
Luxury Lifestyle Magazine

Connect with Mary Charlebois

Portfolio –

Website –



Connect with Alexa, Break Into Travel Writing & My Travel Blog

The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group


  • Loved this episode about Pitching Brands, Destinations & PR with Mary Charlebois of WhereMaryGos  on the @writetotravel podcast! [CLICK TO TWEET]

Hope you enjoyed this episode and are inspired to think about how you can set goals for your blog in 2019! Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

Feedback on the Podcast If you have any suggestions for upcoming shows or a question for an upcoming episode, leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this podcast, I’d be extremely grateful if you would take a second and leave me a review and rating over on iTunes. Taking a minute to do this allows me to help more people with this podcast, so I really appreciate it (once on that page, simply click on the “View in iTunes” button to leave your review — thanks very much!)

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