Online Travel Content That Sells

ExpediaWhat’s the key to creating successful online travel content?

From blogs, photos and videos to competitions, surveys and social media campaigns, travel companies are very adept at creating content that brings traffic to their websites – but are surprisingly poor at converting those visitors into customers.

So what should these companies be doing differently? In my new role as Editor-in-Chief for Melt Content, I spoke to three travel experts to learn how to create great content that sells.

The interview article was written for Melt Content and published on Travolution. Read the complete article here.

City Vacation Guides for Expedia

ExpediaWe have some exciting news, and it has been a long time coming! Our city vacation guide for Christchurch in New Zealand, which was written back in July, has finally been published on the Expedia website. You can read the overview by clicking on this here link, or check out one of the POIs, Lyttelton Harbour, here.

In fact, Christchurch is just the latest of several city vacation guides we have created for Expedia. We’ve previously written about city destinations in more than a dozen countries right around the world, including Albuquerque (USA), Friedrichshafen (Germany), Hua Hin (Thailand), Rarotonga (The Cook Islands), Edmonton (Canada), and Hong Kong.

You’ll find a selection of our completed guides in Projects. Or click here to see all Expedia’s guides in one place.

Our Latest Private Air Articles

Cities TalkingFor the last year or so, the World Words team has been contributing articles to Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine. And the most recent issue (November-December ’13) has a total of seven of our articles featured. That’s a new high!

In every issue of the magazine we write on a range of topics, from lavish travel to investment destinations to cultural events… and this edition is no different.

The travel destinations we’ve featured vary from the winter wonderland of St Moritz to the watery delights of The Finger Lakes, while other topics covered include London’s Silver Mine, Rossetti’s Proserpine and Harrods’ new whisky.

You can read all our latest contributions on our Projects page, where you’ll also find our work for previous issues, stretching back to November 2012.

Pimsleur Approach Blogs This October

Cities TalkingSince World Words was born back in late 2012, our expert writing team has contributed more than 50 SEO-friendly articles to the blog of the leading language learning company Pimsleur Approach. This October alone, we wrote five articles covering a variety of topics, including tough triathlons, creepy courtyards and – naturally – a little language learning.

You can find all of these blogs, along with a selection of our previous Pimsleur pieces, on our Projects page. Or you can read them individually now by clicking on the links below…

OCTOBER’S CHATTERBOX … Published October 25 … “Welcome to the real lowdown on language learning…”
THE MOST HAUNTED PLACES ON EARTH … Published October 15 … “Discover the planet’s spookiest places…”
OCTOBER’S TOP TRAVEL LINKS … Published October 11 … “Your guide to the best online travel-related stuff…”
THE 10 BEST RACES AROUND THE WORLD … Published October 4 … “From tiring triathlons to Tough Mudders…”
TEACH CHILDREN A SECOND LANGUAGE … Published October 1 … “It’s key for kiddies to learn another lingo…”

Editor Interview with Cities Talking

Cities TalkingWorld Words editor Joseph Reaney was recently interviewed by one of our clients, Cities Talking, outlining all the skills, tips and tricks required to compose great audio travel guides that entertain and inform the listener. Here was one of the questions…

Q. HOW DO YOU TACKLE A BRIEF TO WRITE A CITIES TALKING TOUR?

A. Cities Talking is a wonderful client. They provide a clear brief about the tour they wish to be written and have in-house researchers who send over a long document outlining each and every attraction en route. We’ll then scour these notes, pick out the interesting information and use this to create an entertaining and informative audio script. We also supplement this research with some of our own. In particular, we try to find interesting characters and dig into their personalities.

You can read the interview in full of the Cities Talking website. You will find some of the audio city guides we have written for this client, including on the beautiful European cities Amsterdam, Budapest and Prague, in our portfolio.

London’s Best International Dishes

Forbes Travel Guide has recent published my run-down of the tastiest international dishes to enjoy in London. England’s vibrant capital is one of the most multicultural destinations in the world, with more than 300 languages spoken throughout the city, and with foreign-born residents accounting for a third of the population. This diverse range of influences results in a great gastronomic smorgasbord – so I’ve selected some of the most interesting culinary treats currently being served up in the capital. From Indian vindaloo of ox cheek at Cinnamon Soho to finger-licking Jamaican jerk chicken at Cottons in Camden, you can read all of my recommendations right here.

A Stay at Exclusive Resorts Costa Rica

At the end of April this year, I was treated to five-day press trip to Peninsula Papagayo in Costa Rica, courtesy of the world’s leading luxury destination club Exclusive Resorts. It is an incredible resort in a beautiful location, and the varied activities on offer – zip lining through the forest canopy, jet-skiing around the peninsula’s bay, spotting dolphins on a cocktail-crazy cruise – were beyond my expectations. I subsequently wrote an article all about the destination club for Private Air Luxury Homes Magazine… and this has just been published! You can read it by clicking on the image, or this here link.

On a side note, my team of writers at WorldWORDS also penned more than a dozen articles for the latest issue of the magazine, on topics ranging from repurposing historic buildings in London to magical museum exhibitions in Geneva to legendary farm properties in New York State. You can read the majority of these in the WorldWORDS portfolio, and the rest on the Private Air site.

Audio Guides for Cities Talking

Since May 2013, I have written a variety of audio city walking tours for Cities Talking – and my team of writers at WorldWORDS have written even more!

You can now listen to extracts from one my more recent city guides, on the Castle District in Budapest, by clicking this here link – or if you’re allergic to shortcuts you can also go looking for it in the Eastern Europe section of the Guides & Itineraries page. And if you’re considering a trip to the city, why not download the entire three-hour walking tour through the Cities Talking site?

Plus, as an extra bonus thing, I did this here interview with them. Lovely stuff.

A National Geographic Runner-Up

Way back in October 2012, I entered National Geographic Traveller‘s annual travel writing competition. Now, a mere six months later, I have discovered I was the runner-up! Alas, I missed out on the rather wonderful prize of a 10-day polar cruise to the Norwegian Isle of Spitsbergen, but I did land myself a(nother) year’s subscription to a fantastic magazine! Far more importantly, my article was then also published in the May/June 2013 issue of Traveller!

My near-winning piece was called simply ‘The Flight’, and it began like this:

“I heard the plane before I saw it. Sitting mutely in a pallid departure lounge, the dirty put-put-put of the engine gradually trickled into my subconscious.

Rubbing my face, I turned to the runway and there it was: my peeling, patched-up biplane. My journey had begun…”

Read the entire thing by visiting the National Geographic Traveller website – or by clicking that image to the left.

P.S. Huge congratulations to the winner, Ben Taub. ‘Set in Stone’ is a beautifully evocative piece – a worthy winner!

The New London Correspondent for Forbes

At the beginning of January, I took on a brand new position as the London Correspondent for Forbes Travel Guide. The role involves contributing a monthly selection of Q&As on the British capital, ranging from handy hints like best city bars to cultural insights like quirkiest local customs, as well as writing two blog posts on London-centric topics during the month. With my latest blog published today, here are the four I have completed so far.

- Feast On These Ways To Celebrate Pancake Day … (11th February)
- Taking a Fashion Tour of London … (8th February)
- The Most Promising West End Musicals of 2013 … (29th January)
- Where Are The Best Views of London? … (17th January)

I will be contributing content on London every month for the foreseeable future, so you can can keep track of all my Q&A contributions on my Forbes biography page and watch out for my twice-monthly posts on the blog homepage.