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More top earning guides and advice

Simonseeks recently announced that the second round of earnings has been paid to writers. If you want to find out more, follow this link to Simon Nixon’s blog.
After the first round of payments we promised we’d showcase a selection of the top earning guides and offer advice on how to make your guide one of the highest earners. We did just that, and you can find it here.
We also promised we’d do the same again, based on some of the top earning guides from the second round of payments. So, here goes:

* They might be two very different cities but Robert Butt and Chris Stokel-Walker have themed their guides around nightlife in Prague and Newcastle and packed in lots of useful, practical information. Take a look at Robert’s guide – Raise a glass to Prague’s anti-stag pub crawl – and Chris’ guide – A night out in Newcastle.
Ideally, guides containing recommendations for restaurants, bars, activities and attractions should, where possible, include contact details. These should be formatted as follows: Eat at the Example Restaurant (Example Street, Exampleton; 01234 456 789; www - don't worry about http etc -

* Once again, the guides making the most money feature some carefully-made recommendations for places to stay. The best examples on Simonseeks offer detail of price, location and trustworthy reasons for booking. A good example is Nigel Tisdall’s Six grand hotels that feel really grand. While it’s not a traditional single-destination guide, Nigel has captured the crème de la crème of Europe’s most fabulous hotels and Simonseeks users have been inspired by it.

* European city guides continue to do well on Simonseeks. London, Paris, Nice, Barcelona, Venice, Rome – there is such an overwhelming choice of hotels and restaurants on offer in these cities that Simonseeks users are appreciating the great advice writers on these destinations are providing. Anthony Peregrine offers an interesting angle and pitted two European cities against each other in his guide Toulouse vs Carcassonne.
See our blog on ideas for new guides for the cities Simonseeks users want to learn more about.

* The best writers in the world would struggle to produce a comprehensive guide to New York in less than 1,000 words. This is where themed guides are perfect, as capably demonstrated in Rebecca Whybrow’s guide to the London gay party scene and Jim Severn’s advice on How to ride the New York subway.

* Offering advice on saving money is earning money for Simonseeks writers as budget-themed guides yet again feature in our top earning guides. London on a budget by Sarah Todd is a great example of this.

* Our top earning guides feature photographs to inspire readers. In Tempting Tavira: an Algarve gem, another top earning guide, Johanna Bradley has captured the destination with a lens and shared it with readers.
We also found that writers with complete profiles and a nice, close-up profile photograph did well. Perhaps readers trust the voices of the people they can see?

* The point that you don’t have to be a travel writing professional to earn money through Simonseeks should be made once again. Many of our top earners are travel enthusiasts who are using their passion and knowledge to create great travel guides. In fact, the highest earning guide in September was written by a travel enthusiast.

We want all users of Simonseeks to enjoy a completely open and transparent experience and we hope this helps you understand more about guide earnings.
We’ve cut the time you wait for a guide to be edited - we’re currently editing within five days of submission – and we are still experiencing a tremendous contribution from the Simonseeks writing community. But we’re always glad to see more. We recently posted a blog featuring ideas for new guides – take a look and be inspired to write.
For further advice read our travel writing tips and a recent blog about optimising your travel guides. Optimisation will increase the chances of a high ranking on internet search engines. This will help to increase the amount of people looking at your guide.
As always, we’d be delighted to hear what you think. Please leave a comment below.


Community comments (17)

Yes, it did help, thanks. I've been advising my friends NOT to go! We're off to a part of Spain I know well, in March, so will reserve my efforts to writing about that. Cheers! Myra.

Excellent. Where do you live Myra? Don't forget this is the place you probably know and love the most! Have you considered writing a guide about your home town?

Hallo Jeanette. Am struggling with a conscience problem. I've been to North Cyprus, but it turned out to be not my cup of tea. Is it worth writing the article? I would have to say that a lot of the area is very scruffy. We arrived in the dark and I thought our taxi was driving through many industrial estates - but it turned out to be ribbon development. We stayed in a great hotel, at a discount, the food and service was excellent. There were places of interest, up mountains where they couldn't be spoiled. There was an unspoilt beach where turtles nest, and an impressive Roman amphitheatre, both a considerable drive away. The local people were kind and thoughtful. I'm wondering now what I'm complaining about - but, as I wouldn't want people saving up for beautiful scenery, I would have to write it warts and all. I suppose, looking this over, I should do just that - what do you think?

Hi Myra
Sorry to hear your holiday was a little disappointing, though it sounds like there were some redeeming features!
Our new dos and don'ts state:
"Do write about a place that you know and love – your aim is to inspire people to go there and you can only do that if you have real enthusiasm yourself"
I think even a dream holiday at a five star resort in the Maldives would have some downsides, depending on your outlook, but it's up to you whether you feel your guide would inspire people to visit (keeping in mind the very different reasons people travel) and whether or not you would want it too! By all means tell a "warts and all", but remember that ideally guides on Simonseeks should be about places you'd tell your friends to visit. If you'd advise everyone you know to stay away at all costs, perhaps a guide is not worth your efforts.
I hope this helps and I really hope your next trip is more rewarding!

Help, please. I decided to put in a better photo of myself, and couldn't get it accepted - a note to the effect that the avatars were wrong, etc. I've tried other pics on my simonseeks page with no luck. I have now tried uploading any old picture - ones that have been accepted for articles, and nothing works! Any clues what I may have done? I'm off to Cyprus very soon, and hope to come back with another article, and pics!!! Any clues?

Hi Myra,
I'm not sure what's happening here but have asked our very capable technical team to step in and help. Will keep you updated on whatever it is that's caused this strange problem. Thanks for letting us know.

This has now been fixed.

Thanks very much. All I've got to do now - is get to Cyprus! Myra.

I really don't see what difference it makes whether the writer is classed as a travel professional or enthusiast. What does matter is the quality of the writing and the fact reviews offer a taste of everything.

I have read what, in my opinion, are poor guides from both professionals and enthusiasts on Simonseeks and equally, again in my opinion, some truly inspired writing.

As I have said in previous blogs I believe there has to be as wide a range of reviews as possible and we should not get hung up on reviews having to have as many "where to eat and drink" recommendations as possible even if they are the kind of reviews that make the most money for writers.

I want reviews to inspire readers by offering as wide a range of locations, experiences and ideas as possible.

Thanks for the tips, they register, eventually. Can you tell me again how we actually make money - is it interest in ads on our site, or is it actual bookings?

Hi Myra. You can find out more about calculation of payments on Simon's first blog post about earnings ( or in the terms of use on the site.
We aren't giving away the exact formula of how we work out what writers are paid - we've revealed that both page impressions and bookings are important - but the blog above gives you a really great indication of what boosts a guide's money making potential. These aren't blueprints for the ideal guide; just pointers to help writers who want to make the most of their writing. I hope this helps.

Thank you - that was exactly what I wanted, (I knew it must be somewhere!) I now know I have to temper my 'nice jolly read,' style with a bit of savvy. It makes it all so interesting!
A side issue you may be able to help with. My second article 'Brittany and Loire Atlantique borders' has been in limbo for a while - marked Accepted, but not edited. I've made and submitted the suggested changes, but can't see any way to go forward.

Happy to help Myra!
On the other note, there's nothing further you need to do here apart from update your guide as you see fit. If you've made the changes Cathy mentioned (and we thank you for it!) and wanted to let her know, all you need do is comment on the guide or reply to her comment. She'll be able to read that. However we publish some 50+ guides every week, and while we'd love to go back and re-rate and make fresh comments on older guides, we simply haven't the resources to do this. We will of course address any specific questions or issues though.
I hope you continue to enjoy writing for Simonseeks.

OK I've got that now! I've got a third article submitted, quite soon I'll have the hang of it all! The bliss of your site is that you do tell newcomers what you want, and how to go about it. I'm going through the 'practice makes perfect,' stage. No pain, no gain!

Hi Jeanette. Ref: my Cahors article, I realise I was slipshod - just thought I knew how to spell Pyrenees! How wrong could I be? Making advised changes now and hoping to re-submit soon. Myra.

Hi Jeanette,

Thanks for the tips - always good to know how we can improve. You say the writer's profile and photo may have a bearing on how well a guide does. Do you know if classing yourself a "travel enthusiast" or "travel professional" has any bearing? I suppose we're all travel professionals on here now, even those who only earn a pound or two a month!

Hi Richard. Looking at the current writers' rankings, our top ten is made up of four enthusiasts and six professionals (our number one is an enthusiast - you are currently sitting pretty at number 17 - well done!). I know that doesn't directly answer your question, but I hope it goes some way to showing that it doesn't really matter what you class yourself as in terms of the rankings. Some readers like the voice of an enthusiast, some those of professionals; but most will simply want an informative and inspiring guide (and maybe they think it doesn't even matter what the writer does for a living?). There is currently no way to filter a search by either professional or enthusiast, though there are discussions taking place here at Simonseeks HQ around this - what do you think? Would it be a good idea? Do you prefer guides written by enthusiasts or professionals or are you not bothered either way? I'd be interested in your thoughts on this.