BootsnAll Writer's Guidelines
We believe travel is vital and transformational.
Since BootsnAll’s inception in 1998, we have believed that travel transforms us. Travel erases borders. Travel is aspirational, inspirational, and fundamental all at once. We even co-wrote the Indie Travel Manifesto because we wanted to put words around some of the reasons #WhyWeTravel.
We want to continue to bring new voices into the conversation. We want to ask the question “Why do you travel?”
Anyone can contribute and take part in the BootsnAll Community.
For timing, your pitch will be reviewed and it may get immediate interest if you nail the tips below or it may sit for a while as we work on other pieces (it’s a big site and a small team). We intend to get to every submission within a week, but if we don’t, please look over the tips again and resubmit.
Here’s what we offer:
- We provide a platform of more than 100K followers across social platforms and a 300K mailing list.
- We offer 1 link in your biography to the site of your choice
- We do NOT offer paid commissions, as we don’t have advertising or a paid part of the site.
BootsnAll Submission and Style Guidelines
By contributing to the Bootsnall community, you are agreeing to our Terms of Service. When you submit, you also agree to receive emails from Bootsnall. You can unsubscribe any time.
- Only on-brand submissions will be considered. We are having a conversation about #WhyWeTravel. For a post to be considered, it must always be focused on the power, value, possibility, and community of travel.
- Want ideas right away? We will often publish Calls For Submission by email to our list.
We have been moving towards transformational stories since 2011, detailed guides to off-the-beaten-path locations, and content with a strong takeaway for other travelers. We’re looking into WHY we travel. The Indie Travel Manifesto and posts in our RTW Wednesday category provide a good insight into what we’re looking for.
To find your best submission idea, look for topics you have experience in or a travel moment that changed your life. Try to find a travel problem that needs to be solved, or take a stand on a travel topic. Always consider your readers and what they should take away from your story.
Who is the BootsnAll Audience?
We reach everyone from family travelers to solo travelers, backpackers to retirees. If they’re passionate about transformation through travel, they belong in the Bootsnall Community. Travel isn’t just about vacation… it’s about the stirring in the soul, the widening of the mind, and the deepening of connection to the world and others. Our audience understands that.
Writing Style Guide:
Jargon, Acronyms, and Buzzwords
Explain any specific terms the first time you use them, and avoid unnecessary jargon. Don’t assume our readers are specialists in your topic.
When building off of another traveler’s work or quoting them directly, include their name so we can grow as a community. When citing a statistic, please include a reference and a date. And of course, Wikipedia doesn’t count.
We avoid link spamming and keyword spam. Writers may include a link to their personal website in the bio.
We do our best to keep your unique writing voice clear throughout the piece. However, we do adhere to basic conventions concerning grammar, sentence structure, and clarity. We reserve the right to make small edits accordingly and may occasionally work with writers directly on larger structural content edits.
Follow AP Style guidelines regarding numbers, capitalization, abbreviations, and punctuation.
Great introductions are attention-grabbing, clearly explain the main focus of the article, and focus on what our readers can expect to gain from it. Answer the question “Why should the reader care?” right away.
For especially long articles, we will often add an “Editor’s Note” or “TL;DR” to summarize the content of the article. Shorter articles may not need this add-on. In general, conclusions should leave the reader with a strong takeaway to apply to their own travels. You may also consider listing next steps for the reader to take.
If you include photos, images or artwork with your post, you must own the work or have explicit, written permission to publish it. If no images are available, we prefer to publish plain text rather than using stock images. All videos or audio included with the work must have an embed code.
Writers retain full rights to their work, but we ask that they not share it to another publication for six months after it goes live on Bootsnall. You may submit previously published work, but you must include all appropriate credits and links back to the original. By accepting our terms and conditions you acknowledge and grant permission to have the work re-published.
Some General Writing Suggestions:
- Be clear; say what you mean. Don’t beat around the bush.
- Avoid cliches and what not.
- Start sentences without the school essay crutches of “Furthermore,” “However,” "Look," "Listen," "You see," or "Now."
- Rip out the “seems” from your language and just make a declaration. Life is short.
- Write with active sensory verbs. "The Parisian air felt icy in my lungs." "The city of lights looked frosted under the patchy blanket of gray clouds." "Paris was cold." See what I mean?
- Don’t lose your takeaway in description.
- Rhetorical questions are confusing in writing, don’t you think?
- Avoid fluff.
4 Tips to Get Published:
#1: Be On Brand
The most common mistake we see from contributors is sending us unrelated content. We are all about travel, and we like to think past the shallow end of the pool if possible. Pick a subject that we write about like:
- Round The World (RTW) Travel, Travel Hacks and Tips, Why Travel is Good For You, Gap Year Travel, Family Travel Planning, Solo Travel, Sabbatical Planning, Digital Nomad Lifestyle, Slow/Long-Term Travel, Study Abroad, Working Abroad. Or, take a look at the Indie Travel Manifesto for inspiration.
#2: Be Of Service, Don’t Be Promotional
You’re going to get a byline with a link to your site or podcast or tee shirt shop - and you can talk about what you do as long as it’s valuable to travelers - but if your submission is a fluffy press release it will be outrighted to an eternity in PR purgatory.
#3: Make the Editor’s Life Easier
- Run your piece through an editor like Grammarly or double-check it yourself before submitting to catch errors like misspelled words, sentence fragments, and punctuation.
- Double-check that you have attached your writing to the submission.
- If you’re sending a pitch, please include writing samples.
- Please… only one space after a period or colon. It’s the bane of every editor’s existence to have to substitute typewriter-informed spacing with 21st century spacing.
#4: Be Legal and Ethical
- It should go without saying, but we will not accept material that is sexually explicit or contains profanity, hate language, or slurs. This includes text, video, and/or photos that are part of submissions.
- You MUST own all images and work included in the submission or have appropriately credited the owner.