She needs some focus
Travels writers are, quite literally, all over the map. So their bios often reflect this, with a buffet table of credits and subjects showing their wide range of talent and experience. Like this:
“Terry the travel writer has climbed volcanoes in Indonesia, gone diving in Cozumel, ridden the Orient-Express across Europe, and taken her family of six to Disney World three times. She has contributed to 48 publications including the Podunk Times, Caribbean Photosplash, Budget Flashpacker, and Mom Jeans Monthly. She eagerly awaits her next assignment to go anywhere and write about anything.”
Sure, that may have worked in the old freelance days, when you were pitching anything anywhere to get gigs lined up. In the new self-directed digital media world though, this muddy mix is a detriment. It basically says to anyone reading, “I’m not unique.”
Here, on the other hand, is the bio from Debbie Dubrow, who runs the popular DeliciousBaby blog.
“I’m Debbie, mother of three delicious kids and I write about traveling with little kids. DeliciousBaby is for parents who want to travel with their children, but don’t know how to start or who want to learn how to make travel easier and more fun. I share my own travel stories (in the US and internationally) and my best tips and advice on issues like how to keep kids busy on a plane, surviving jet-lag, and flying with carseats. Many family travel articles in the mainstream media are written by parents of older kids or writers who do not travel. I offer the perspective and real-world tips that only a mom who travels frequently with her kids can offer.”
If you want an expert on family travel with young kids to quote in your media story, or you want to hire a writer to pen one for your publication, are you going to hesitate even an instant before getting hold of Debbie? Of course not, which is why she has been profiled by NPR, Frommer’s, Reuters, Conde Nast Traveler, the LA Times, and on and on. She’s a clear expert on a defined subject, so she does well, professionally and financially.
Christopher Baker’s bio
Here’s a bio from the contributors page of Luxury Latin America, from the main writer of the luxury Brazil hotels reviews.
“Born in Austin, Texas, and raised in Toronto, Canada, Michael Sommers has lived and worked in Brazil as a journalist for over a decade, with his base being the country’s original, and very beautiful, capital of Salvador, Bahia. As a writer and photographer, over the years he has contributed travel articles to various publications including The New York Times, The Globe and Mail, and The International Herald Tribune. He is the author of the guidebooks Moon Brazil (2nd ed.) and Moon Rio (1st ed.), published by Avalon Publishing. You can read his ongoing dispatches from Brazil on his blog Thrill of Brazil.”
If you wanted an expert on travel in Brazil, wouldn’t you just stop looking after you landed on that bio? He’s your guy!
Yes, you can have more than one specialty and yes, of course you can write about more than one subject. But if you want to really be known, have work come to you without querying, and get quoted as an expert, you need to look like an expert.