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Top earning guides and advice

Last week we announced that the first earnings have been paid to writers. If you haven’t read about it already, find out more here.

We also promised we’d be showcasing a selection of the top earning guides and offering advice on how to make your guide one of the highest earners.

We’ve analysed 20 top earning guides on Simonseeks and compiled a few short tips to help you earn more:

* The guides making the most money feature plenty of thorough, detailed hotel recommendations that list prices, reasons for staying there, and top tips, such as where the best rooms are in the hotel. For examples, see:

Five budget places to stay in New York by Fred Mawer

Classic Cotswolds country escapes by Lisa Pollen


* Useful, practical information is packed into the guides that are doing well. Authoritative recommendations for restaurants, bars, activities and attractions are backed up with contact details. Have a look at these two examples:

Barcelona’s brilliant! By Allie Reynolds

Drink beer and eat for free in Granada by Victoria Brown


* European city guides do particularly well when it comes to earning money. With an overwhelming choice of hotels and restaurants on offer in big cities, readers are appreciating the kind of advice being given by our top earning writers. Guides to London, Barcelona, Paris and Venice are proving to be valuable to Simonseeks users:

Paris pas cher by Belinda Archer

Bath: the UK’s most romantic city by Gilly Pickup


* Everybody loves a bargain and budget-themed guides are earning money for Simonseeks writers. See:

London on a budget by Sarah Todd

Five budget places to stay in Barcelona by Fred Mawer


* Sometimes a city is too big for a general destination guide; this is where themed guides come in useful. For an example, see:

Inside guide to vintage London by Katherine Smith

Themed guides also work by holiday type, such as:

Holidays for tricky teenagers by Louise Roddon


* We’ve said it before but a picture really does paint a thousand words. Our top earning guides featured plenty of photographs to inspire readers. For guides with a decent selection of pictures, see below. 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?

Simple pleasures on a city break to Venice by Allie Reynolds

Egypt’s lucky Sharm by Joanna Booth


* You don’t have to be a travel writing professional to earn money through Simonseeks. Many of our top earners are travel enthusiasts who are using their passion and knowledge to create great travel guides.


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.

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 (7)

I've used both `contact us` and `report a bug`. No problems, good response.

Hey Tracy,
yeah baby let loose with your frustrations....but if you ask me [yes i know you didn't]..just take a chill pill hun,
As d-ream would sing, "Things can only get better".. go on, sing it with me..
yeah this is oh so funkadelic!! i love it, women letting loose, yeah baby!! lol

GOne back through the blog and see others are commenting on the fact that contactus doesnt work so no point wasting my time mailing you there. Anyway it seems appropriate that other writers should see thisd issue.

YOu have rejected my guide because in another post it clearly states that a guide that needs work will SAY WHY and BE GIVEN A RATING - neither of these did you do and therefore this guide is in the trashcan

I have given a great deal of time to helping you out with the many bugs and I feel that I could at least have expected one line stating why I had been rejected. What is your qualification to be an editor on this site anyway?

Your guide is most certainly not in the “trash can”, as you fear. Your contribution to the site so far has been worthwhile.
Your guide was returned to you so that, together, we can resolve the problem. You still haven’t made clear to me if you are still having to deal with this hotel recommendation bug – I can only assume you are as none of your recommended hotels were entered using this tool. This part of the process is vitally important as it helps you, as the writer, to earn money from your guide. This is the reason I did not simply publish and ask you to do it afterwards: I wanted to resolve the issue before publication so that you could be earning your potential reward as soon as your guide went live.
The contact us pages ( certainly are working. I know one of your previous messages through contact us had been resolved through a reply from an editor to one of your blog posts, so perhaps that is why it went unanswered. Please check all replies to your posts – we are here to help and will continue to do so in any way we can.

As I read it you rejected the guide without giving me a reason. If it's only because the hotels arent listed why didnt you say so? Why dont you publish it and tell me to put the hotels on in edit. I dont see why I should be penalized for another 19 working days because of your site problem.
FYI I did report the hotel failure though contactus twice and never received a reply. When I told an editor he said he couldnt find my mails - Another problem

ALSO FYI You have a problem in the left hand sign in screen - it doesnt remember my password - I have already had to request a new one a couple of times

Seeing as there seems to be no way to communicate with you in your rejection of my fourth guide - I will have to reply to you here. That's your comment and reason for rejecting - that I should HELP you sort out your hotel listing problem. This is what we wait 6 weeks for.
I should read other guides for inspiration - your rating is the same as mine and your number is barely higher so I suppose I should not hacve expected much input. The calchaqui guide has hotels and restaurants listed as you want so whats the problem?
Dont think I can be bothered to help you when you cant be bothered to comment decently to someone who already has 3 good guides published here

Thanks for your comments Tracy. I fear you’ve misunderstood the note I left when I returned your guide to you. I’ll copy it again here: “Thanks for the guide Tracy. I know you experienced problems with the hotel recommendation tool. Are you still experiencing these? Can you tell me what's happening and I'll try and get it sorted. Let me know which browser you are using too. Thanks.”

We’d like to know if you are still experiencing the glitch that you had previously experienced when trying to add hotel recommendations. If we can work together to find a solution to the problem then this will not only help your guide, but will help other writers who might be experiencing similar issues. We can only do this if you advise us of problems you experience. A very small minority of users are having problems with this tool, so we have to be informed of it before we can fix it. You can report problems through the contact us ( pages or, if you experience a bug, via the report a bug page (

I’m sorry if you feel I haven’t commented “decently”, but we have certainly not rejected your guide. I returned it to you so we can resolve the hotel recommendation glitch, if you are indeed still experiencing it.

With regard to your comment about waiting six weeks, I’m sorry that it took 19 working days to look at your guide. We experienced an overwhelming response from writers and have worked hard to tackle the backlog of guides. We are now editing guides in less than the ten working days currently advised on the site.

I know the other editors have responded to your posts before, have you checked all replies? On all occasions they have attempted to address the issues you’ve raised.

Thanks again for your time and comments. Please feel free to contact us direct through the contact us page ( on the site.