Frequently Asked Questions
We already have almost 40 members of Travel Writing Partners signed up. I'm getting ready to send out our first newsletter... but I thought I'd address some questions here, that I've been asked already, so I can link them to the newsletter when I send it out.
If you have questions yourself, please feel free to use the COMMENTS section below to ask your questions (or email them to me at: TravelWritingPartners@gmail.com) and I will either answer in the comments, OR possibly include the question here by editing the post.
Q: I'd love to be able to write off travel on my taxes... how does that work? What can I write off?
A: First, let me explain my background in taxes... I worked for eight years for two of the top "tax strategy" guys in the US... Murray Bradford, of Bradford and Company, and Sandy Botkin, of the Tax Reduction Institute. So basically, what I did was teach people how to make things deductible. I taught a short course and if they wanted to learn more they bought Murray or Sandys home study courses (both are excellent and can save you thousands if you are self employed).
So basically, the short answer is... you can write off airfare, cruises, hotels, transportation, half of your meals and 100% of incidentals, such as shampoo, grooming aids, etc.
Now you have to be traveling for a business where you have a "reasonable expectation of a profit" down the road. But guess what? The legal tests are easier to meet than you would think AND you NEVER have to actually make a profit, just have an "expectation" to. The IRS can not disallow your deductions for failing to meet your goal, what counts is that you TRIED... your ACTIVITY.
One of the things you will be getting as an official member of Travel Writing Partners, is ongoing courses, webinars, etc., that outline the tax law, and how to get it right. The cool thing is, the things you need to prove your business activity ARE your business activity (photos, your travel journal, etc), so all you need to add is the "profit motive" side and you're good to go. I'll be helping with that. Read more on my background.
These webinars will be found in the PASSWORD PROTECTED area of the site (coming soon). Your password will be mailed out to you once we have that area set up.
Q: I travel a lot for my business, but I don't really have a travel blog or site. Can I just link to my regular business page?
A: Absolutely! That's a great idea as ALL exposure is good. You could even link to your LinkedIn or Facebook profile if you want.
You'll notice that Eric O'Grey is actually an executive with a large corporation. He also doesn't have a travel "blog" but he DOES have his "Eric and Peety" site where he inspires people though public speaking to adopt dogs and get in shape.
If it can help your core business to have more web traffic and exposure, then being a contributor could help you get a new client! For instance, one of our newest members is a Real Estate Agent (Linda Walters) and she is writing about HER town (Orlando). You never know, it might bring her a new client or two! Linda is also a Novelist, with 5 published works, so linking to her website (her new site is under construction), will also increase her traffic and, hopefully, book sales!
Q: I'd like to get started writing about my local area. Do you have suggestions about how to get started?
A Yes! How about, the next time you go out to eat at a "Mom & Pop" type restaurant, you write a feature article about it? Snap some photos to go with it (submit it here).
The more great coverage we have of businesses, the easier it will be to land you FREE MEALS and perks down the road! After all, if you were a restaurant owner or manager, wouldn't you LOVE to have an nice article like this.... "Lake Nona's Sweet Mama's Lives Up to it's Name?"
And how about "family fun" activities? Have you taken the kids anywhere lately? A park? The beach? Mini-Golf? All can be great story ideas and will encourage other businesses to request a FEATURE STORY!
Q: Do you have "Assignments" available?
A: Not yet... but they are coming! Soon we will have our "password protected" member areas up. These will be where you can find out about "assignments." For instance... You sign on and see... "Barclay's Steak House" is offering a dinner for two in exchange for a feature story. You can volunteer for that.
It will also work in reverse. You can post your willingness to cover your area, OR that you will be traveling to "X" in June of next year. When you post that, our "Travel Coordinators" will see it and can go to work securing you assignments and FREE perks to compensate you for that coverage.
Q: How can I make money writing or taking photographs?
A: Several ways. For instance, if you are out and about you can find us "advertising leads." Maybe you talk to a restaurant manager and tell them about us. Just ask if he would be interested in getting some information about advertising or being featured in the site. If we sell an Ad... you get 30% of the commission for just flipping us the lead! IF you SELL it (perhaps you get home and shoot him an email yourself and he signs up online), you get 100% of the commission.
70% of advertising costs are paid out as commission (I'm guessing this is the best payout in the business).
Also... If you have a paid Ad placed within the content of your feature (whether it is an article or a photo gallery), you receive 30% of the Ad revenue from that ad. This basically means that if you write an article, and sell the ad yourself... you keep 100% of the Ad revenue (minus any PayPal processing fees).
"100%" pay out means you can create your OWN business, within the TWA magazine!
So, money wise it would look somewhat like this... Ad cost $200.
You just referred the ad... 30% of 70% = you get $42* for the referral
You sell the ad yourself... 70% is commission = you get $140.00*
You wrote content that we placed the paid Ad in = you get $60*
You wrote or produced the content and you just referred the ad = you get $102.00*
You wrote or produced the content AND you sold the ad = you get $200*
* NOTE: the actual amount to you will be a few dollars less due to pay pal transaction fees.
Now, we are going to start out keeping our advertising costs VERY low because, of course, we are building our traffic. As our traffic increases, we will be able to raise the advertising costs.
There will also be some other ways you can make money... for instance, if you are able to make some phone calls or send out some emails from home, you might want to be one of our "Travel Coordinators" OR one of our "Marketing Partners."
Also... keep in mind that anything you write for us here, you could potentially sell to a print publication, or use later to produce your own "eBook."
GET STARTED! .
.. go here for more information on how to get rolling with Travel Writing Adventures!
Sue Copening is Editor of Travel Writing Adventures Magazine and founder of Travel Writing Partners cooperative.
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