Writing and working and traveling and writing and working …

I haven’t been able to post here on the blog as much as I’d like lately because I’ve been busy with work projects and planning for a big trip, which was also work related. Here’s a quick update on what I’ve been up to, starting with a quick explanation of my work situation.

I am a full-time freelance writer. No, I’m not writing the great American novel {although I like to tell people I’m writing the dirty version of Fifty Shades of Grey just to see their reaction}.

I am a journalist and also have experience in public relations writing and creating marketing copy. You can see my portfolio at melindaschnyder.com. I write articles for magazines and newsletters, news releases for companies, scripts for marketing videos, copy for marketing materials, and the list could go on and on but those are some examples of work I do often or have done recently.

What do I write about? Whatever people pay me to write about :) Nah, actually, I’m trying to not whore myself out. I want to write about things that matter to me {but mama does need a new pair of shoes once in awhile}.

Join me at TBEX

This is one reason I went to TBEX last week. TBEX stands for Travel Bloggers Exchange. From what I gather, this group started years ago when blogging was new and not everyone had a blog. It was a way for the few travel bloggers in the world to exchange ideas about this new platform.

As with food blogs or lifestyle blogs, the number of travel blogs has blown up over the past few years because someone like me can now start her own blog {thank you WordPress} with little expense or tech know-how.

What was once a small gathering of travel bloggers – an early conference attracted only 200 participants even though it was in a prime location of New York City – is now the world’s largest gathering of travel bloggers, writers and new media content creators. Each year TBEX has one North American conference and one in Europe.

I signed up for the conference last fall after stumbling upon the TBEX group online and seeing they’d just had a conference in Keystone, Colo. That conference drew 700 and the one I went to in Toronto, Canada, last week drew 1,300! That should give you an idea of the growing interest in travel blogging.

I went with the goal of developing more contacts within the travel industry – with publications or websites, companies or tourism groups and also among other travel writers.

During my first stint as a full-time freelance writer in the early 2000s, I wrote a regular feature for The Wichita Eagle on regional travel destinations. Even though Lee and I travel all over the place, what the newspaper really needed were articles about places people could drive. I had a blast getting to know more about the region I live in and the only reason I stopped doing it was that I got lured back to the corporate world and the newspaper could no longer accept my freelance articles since I worked for a corporation that it also reported on regularly.

The majority of my current work is in the aviation business because I know that industry well and I live in Wichita {Air Capital of the World}. I’ve spent about a dozen years either working in the corporate offices for general aviation manufacturers or working for them on a contract or freelance basis. I enjoy using my expertise in this industry, especially when I get to tell the story of how a company or individual has used their airplane to grow their business or serve a community, and I’m fortunate to have made good friends in the industry who I enjoy working with.

My goal is to continue to work with the aviation industry while spending an equal amount of time developing my expertise on all things Midwest-travel. I want to get paid to write about why people should land in these so-called flyover states. TBEX was a great opportunity to learn from others and to help me focus on what my niche should be. I spent quite a lot of time in advance of the conference researching who I wanted to meet, getting my online portfolio in order, etc. Now I need to spend even more time taking action on what I learned.

I’ll be writing more about my experiences at TBEX — what I learned about the travel industry and blogging, and what it was like on the world’s highest full circle hands-free walk (1,168 feet above ground!).

CN Tower EdgeWalk in Toronto during TBEX

That’s me hard at work in Toronto, experiencing the EdgeWalk atop the CN Tower.



This entry was posted in travel, Work.

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