How To Write An Article or Review
Publishing Articles On Our WP Site will help you understand some of the important features in publishing an article that is search engine optimized and can be found on a Google search.
Many of our members have seen and read the many reviews that are published on our web site. If you haven’t visited our Reviews section, please take a moment now, to do so.
I have written most of these reviews as part of my job as editor of our web publication, but we are now seeing some very nice reviews come in from our independent staff members.
We now see a much more diverse collection of reviews, which is a good thing, after all – how many can I physically write?
Writing an article or review is also an important part of our members’ learning experiences. Many members will want to write their own reviews on a number of subjects they are interested in – including but not limited to:
- Travel destinations, resorts, hotels, and cruises
- Restaurants, food products, and services
- Trade, consumer shows, and events
- Concerts, music festivals, broadway shows, and museum or other exhibits
- Equipment, including photographic, computer hardware, software and other items of interest to our readers
Articles and Reviews Are Not Only Written By Our Staff
The posts you will see on our websites are also written by our members. The subjects of these articles continue to expand as our members and staff add new content to our site each day.
Our articles and reviews are important for our web site publication and attract readership from a vast number of interested readers and IPA members.
Articles and reviews also help generate search engine traffic to our site. People search for the subject matter or keywords that appear in our reviews so be sure to have those keywords when you do the SEO optimization of your articles.
Reviews on the IPA web site, in general, are an important part of our web publication’s content.
You can even read a review I did when my son married in Montego Bay, Jamaica. I shot photos and video and produced two very nice videos: one a slide show, and the other (which runs a full 30+ minutes) a more comprehensive view of the entire trip including the wedding ceremony.
Articles Serve A Purposes…
Writing a review and articles enables me to contact a resort, cruise line, amusement park, museum, trade or consumer show and request permission to write an article or review. I often have an opportunity to meet with the hotel manager for a tour of the facility or even the captain of a ship for an on-camera interview.
At trade and consumer shows, we interview senior executives of major corporations and talk about their products and services on camera.
This also means that I will receive VIP treatment. In many cases, at the trade and consumer shows, many offer us some of their products at no cost.
At a PhotoPlus Show after one of our interviews, I was “gifted” two large LED Studio Lights. The company was from China and didn’t want to take them back, so it was a gift because I interviewed them and included them in our article and video.
Upgrades At Hotels and Resorts
I always receive some sort of upgrade wherever I go
It also gives me the ability to get better photos, because I am in a better suite or cabin on a ship for my article.
On a ship or resort, the personal tour they give me offers me the opportunity to shoot images of parts of the ship or resort that I would never get to see on my own.
Complimentary Stay or Discounts At Hotels
Needless to say, some resorts will even offer discounts or a couple of free nights stay when they see our web site and the many reviews written. You can use our reviews to help you gain that access and benefits too, but make sure you have a few of your own reviews in your portfolio, because the resort may want to see the quality of your work as well.
Club Med Turq’s & Caicos
See the review I did on Club Med in Turq’s and Caicos. As you will see, I have the ability to interview their senior management and enjoy VIP treatment.
You can imagine how that added to the value of the review for both the resort and, of course, for me and my wife.
I hone my writing skills this way, learn to shoot better images, learn to edit my images and create the little slide shows and videos (which I upload to YouTube or another video sharing site) and produce a great review that helps me gain the access I want for my next project.
You Can Share Your Experiences...
So I have an opportunity to share my experiences with others while I continue to build my writing skills. Now I want you to all understand, that anyone with some decent photographic or writing skills can do as I and other members are doing – so do write these reviews for our site.
They Don’t Have To Be Extensive
They don’t have to be as extensive as the ones I publish on our site and they don’t have to include slide shows or videos, but they do have to be grammatically correct with no spelling errors and of course have interesting content.
You should only spend your time writing reviews that are positive. I won’t spend many hours writing a review and working on the images and video files if it was going to be a negative review.
At IPA we only want to write reviews on products and services we want to recommend to our readers.
It can take two full days to produce a good review at IPA so why write a review that won’t help me gain the access I want for future reviews or help me develop a rapport with those that were kind enough to grant me the access I needed.
As Soon As I Publish My Reviews
I email the public relations or company contact at the resort, cruise, trade show and give them the link to my article.
I am sure when you write your reviews, if you did a good job, you will receive a thank you email from them. You can be sure they will be grateful they granted you the access and any benefits they gave you, today every company can use the good press.
You have now created a new contact for your future requests and to vouch for you should you need it for other assignments.
It is a win-win situation; one that helps you by building your confidence, photographic and writing skills, a better portfolio on our site. It also gives you more credibility and makes you better at what you want to achieve as a member of IPA.
When you write about a company or event, it gives them free positive publicity. On the internet a simple Google search can find your article in a heartbeat.
They can find a negative comment too, so try not to leave negative comments, you are not a reviewer, you are a journalist.
Remember, IPA does not ask these companies to advertise on our site, we do not ask these companies for any financial support. In many cases, we are doing this for content for our websites and for the credibility our articles will give us.
Many of the videos I have produced have been uploaded to YouTube. I have received many thousands of views on them over the years. I earn money on my videos. Only pennies on each click, but I have hundreds of videos with millions of views and that does mean dollars every month.
Look at this one for the Independence of the Seas with over 250,000 views.
Discounts and Upgrades
Understand that a discount on a hotel room or an upgrade means nothing to these hotels or resorts. An empty room has no value to them at all, so to fill it with a journalist or photographer who will give them positive coverage is truly a win for them too.
When they attempt to put me in a standard room, I remind them that the review, photos, and video I do may not project the image they want potential guests to see. At that point, I will pull out my iPad and show them some of my work and that usually gets me the VIP suite in that resort or hotel.
Museums, Amusement Parks, Trade and Consumer Shows
We want to continue to encourage all of our members to write these reviews because they become a critical component to your IPA portfolio and they are easier to write since you know what the subject of your article is going to be before you start writing.
When looking to gain important media access, those people in the PR departments of the resort, cruise line, restaurant or venue want to see who you are, your skill level and where your reviews are published.
If you can’t supply samples of your work, a PR Rep will usually refuse any access and not grant any special media perks.
Publishing reviews on our websites is one way to supply visible samples to those that grant access or benefits.
I suggest you send them to IMPress Magazine to see our work there. Even if your work is not on our site, it shows them the quality of the work we publish on IMPress.
This will usually be enough to convince them that you are a member of our staff and we do quality work.
Some Quick Tips…
When you upload your article or review, read the ones currently in our Reviews section and let them be a guide only.
Depending on your style of writing and your photographic talent, yours might look different, but that might be good too. Each one of us has a different style and if you pick up a newspaper or magazine, each writer there also has a different style.
We Encourage Individuality
Viewing my reviews or other member reviews should simply be a starting point. Each one of us has our own style of writing, photography and even how we might interview and company spokesperson. We encourage you to develop your own style and just go for it. You will be surprised by how well you will do after a few tries.
Quality Photos and Videos
All reviews published on our site should be accompanied by quality photos. If you take them yourself even better, but you can supplement your photos with others that might be available on a web site or on a simple Google Search. Be sure to check the “Rights of Use” on Google to be sure you can use a copyrighted image without violation of the owner’s rights.
Many photos can be obtained and used with permission from the companies you write about and some are available on their web site under their Press Room or Media links.
Permission To Use Images or Video
Ask their permission to use their photos or copy, give them a photo credit and you are usually good to go. We encourage our members to use their own original work, but it is fine to fill in if need be. We do this often on our product and show reviews and find it is easier to grab an image from a companies web site or take a screenshot which we often do so we can show their products the way they want them shown.
Stock Shots & B Roll
Companies hire the best photographers and videographers to take these product shots video clips. They make them available in their press kits or on their websites for members of the media for publication. At every trade show you cover, you will find CD’s full of their stock photos for publication.
B Roll refers to the video clips available to the press for use in our videos and articles. You will see some of these in our Cruise and travel videos. Those beautiful arial photos you see on some of our articles were provided by the companies.
As far as the accuracy of your content, go to the companies web sites where you can find all the facts about their products and services you may need for additional information and ideas, there is nothing better than the internet and a few choice Google searches to give you the facts and information you either didn’t know or forgot.
New Programs & Features Coming Soon…
There are many exciting programs and features planned at IPA and the website will be the place to visit. Here you will be able to read many how-to articles that we hope will give you the knowledge, direction, and confidence you will want. Not only to produce great articles, photographs and profiles but it will encourage you to look for other career and work opportunities too.
Please read other posts on our website where you will find tips on how to gain media access or how to review products for our site and join us at IPA.