All writers working for What A Ride are required to read this document.
What Does Writing for What A Ride Entail?
We are about powersports touring in Ontario. But what does that mean exactly?
The content we produce—whether it’s a story, video or social media post—should always include a “call to action.” This is the desired action we want the reader or viewer to take as a result of the content. It can be as simple as inspiring them to plan a trip, or as direct as getting them to book a specific hotel or attend a particular event.
We provide stories to VerticalScope, Digital Era Media Inc. (DEM)/MyDealers.ca, Resorts of Ontario, and a number of other Ontario websites. Your story may appear on any website we deem fit; in some cases this will include crossposting and/or reposting. Our content is promoted through a variety of social media platforms.
How we define powersports
We are dedicated to promoting Ontario as a destination for visitors who are travelling by, or are using, powersports vehicles while in the province. This can include riding a motorcycle from the USA into Ontario and touring the province for a week, or trailering ATVs from Quebec into Ontario for a weekend of riding our trails.
Powersports vehicles include: motorcycles, scooters, dirt bikes, powerboats, personal watercraft, ATVs, side by sides, UTVs and snowmobiles. If the vehicle is not on this list, we do not cover it. No sailboats, bicycles, etc. It’s not a judgment, it’s just not what we do.
How we define touring
Touring means spending one night or more outside of your home city in the province of Ontario, preferably in a paid accommodation with a fixed roof (i.e. not camping.) Ideally, we want to encourage people to spend at least two nights at a paid accommodation within the province. Paid accommodations include: motels, inns, lodges, etc.
What about camping?
We occasionally cover trips that include camping, but our main goal is to encourage economic development in Ontario’s tourism sector. The best measurement of this is overnight accommodations in hotels, motels, inns, lodges and resorts. So in some rare occasions, we will accept stories that include camping, but with the aim of showcasing the route, rather than camping itself.
Who is our audience?
60% of the time our aim is to target visitors from the USA, with the remaining 40% being split between Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, the rest of Canada and Europe—in that order of priority. If we are targeting Ontarians, the goal is to get them to leave the city or town they live in and spend two days in paid accommodations while touring one of the regions in the province.
What areas do we cover?
While we aim to cover all of Ontario, there are thirteen organizations within the province that focus on marketing specific regions. A complete list can be found here. Whenever possible, we want to link to their tourism products for powersports, trail systems, and main marketing websites. Accepted assignments will always include a call to action.
All What A Ride content goes through an editorial process during which you may be asked to make or approve corrections. While our process is not rigorous, it is industry standard. As such, we ask that you be available to work with us on your story until its completion.
There are generally two rounds of edits and copy edits on any given story, so please consider that when bidding on work. The story is generally not complete until you have completed edits requested of you.
Your process will generally look like this:
- Choose a story from our list of story concepts
- Pitch your approach to our editor
- If they accept, research and write your story
- Collect photographs and post story with photos to the CMS
- Submit the story to our editor for a first round of editing
- Make changes to the story based on editors notes
- Second round of edits if necessary
- Copy editing for grammar and punctuation
- The story is published and you submit your bill
- You share the story on your social media, we share on ours
Rights – Photo, Video and Written Copy
Writers, editors, videographers and photographers retain any and all rights, but you will grant The New Business an irrevocable, non-exclusive, perpetual, fully paid-up worldwide license, with a right to sub-license, to use, execute, reproduce, display, perform, distribute internally and make modifications and/or improvements to the property. A complete version of our contract with content creators can be found here.
All new authors are paid $150 regardless of experience. Once the quality of your writing has been proven, rate increases can be discussed.
Current authors will be paid on a sliding-scale based on editorial quality, photographic quality, and traffic to article.
Stories that generate more than 1000 pageviews in the first month of posting are eligible for a $100 bonus. Stories that generate more than 10,000 pageviews in the first month will receive a $1000 bonus. Pageviews will be calculated internally using Google Analytics.
Generally, expenses are not covered by What A Ride. If you are participating in a Media FAM (also called press trips), some expenses may be covered by the province of Ontario. Please verify before incurring any expenses.
If your writing does not meet our standards, or you are interested in this type of blogging but don’t know where to start, we suggest a travel writing course such as this one.
There are 10 main types of stories we produce.
Timely industry-facing news copy relevant to the latest events and trending topics within your sector. As fundamental building blocks of a conversion-focused content strategy, they promote your position as a niche authority, build search visibility and draw traffic.
- Viral/”Feel good”
- Listicle, “Top 10” lists, etc.
Irresistibly clickable headlines paired with catchy, sophisticated Top 5-10 lists (or similar), ranking everything from the latest trends to industry tips, insights and best practices. List articles win traffic and encourage social sharing to promote audience engagement.
- Trip Story/Ride Report
Modern. Informative. Trend-focused and self-referential articles that emphasize personality and tone. Blogs serve as accessible overviews of the latest industry events, updates and buzz. They further your organization’s brand voice while attracting and engaging readers.
- Feature Blog
Stylized, long-form articles that feature sharp commentary, exclusive interviews or insightful advice. Pull in your target audiences and keep them on your site with this unique copy that both embodies and enhances your brand.
- Interviews and Profiles
Unique, exclusive interviews with industry experts or customers, crafted in Q&A or feature format. These pieces draw clicks from your target audiences and create opportunities for media coverage of your brand.
- Video Content
Videos get people excited about a destination and activity. Professionally scripted, produced and edited videos created to your spec as part of an annual plan. Ranging from on-location corporate presentations to studio-based news digests and animated product or service demonstrations. Videos build brand presence, drawing eyes and clicks across search, social and email.
Tangible proof that marketing is an art. Attention grabbing, highly creative infographics and visual content centred on data, processes, trends and best practices relevant to your industry. Designed and published as part of an annual plan. Custom graphics super size presence across social sites and catapult brand awareness.
Highlights of your newest products and services, or your most recently published headlines, rolled out according to your customized annual plan. Custom newsletters drive site traffic through strategic links and maximize opportunities to cross-sell into your database.
All stories must specifically mention businesses in the area and link directly to their website and/or social media. All stories must include a link to the relevant RTO or product page (e.g. www.RideLakeSuperior.com or www.NorthwestOntario.com). Please check the spelling of business names and that links are in working order. Whenever possible, we prefer an official website URL over a Facebook page, Yelp, or other third-party listing. Again, we cannot emphasize this enough, all stories must contain a call to action.
All stories must be accompanied by photos. You may use our Flickr to source some photos, or find them in the public domain on the web.
Photos should be 300dpi and
Why don’t we ask for regular 72dpi web sized photos? Mainly because many screens are now capable of showing higher resolution and we may eventually need to use a photo in print. If we do, you will be asked for the rights to do this beforehand, and will likely receive additional compensation.
If your story is for WhatARide247.com or NorthernOntario.Travel you must add your stories directly into the CMS (http://www.northernontario.travel/user). If you do not have a login, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, copying email@example.com. If your story is for any other platform, please provide it in Word or Google Doc format, with pictures embedded and attached separately. Photos should have proper filenames describing the image and location the photo was taken.
The main measurable on video content is views and time on video.
If you’ve read this far and think you and your work are well suited to What A Ride, we’d be glad to hear from you. We are not currently accepting new story pitches, but we do have a list of stories we are looking for authors for. If you’d like to apply to write one of these stories, please use the form below.
Currently we are looking to assign authors to the following stories.
To submit a proposal for one of these stories, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.