Are you ready to hit the big time (and the big bucks) as an aviation writer? Photo -D Ramey Logan

Are you ready to hit the big time (and the big bucks) as an aviation writer? – Photo: D Ramey Logan

You may think that it’s easy to come up with great content for AirlineReporter. Go to a new country! Fly on a new aircraft! Attend a media event and report on an advancement in aviation technology! All those things are hard – they also aren’t things you can do all the time. We aviation writers have a system for making great content that is guaranteed to get us not only respect, but also hopefully some views. My peers are going to despise me for sharing this insider’s guide to making viral aviation content, but I don’t care about them – the world has to know.

Here are my seven easy steps to create a viral aviation news story that’s ready for stardom!

A Delta Air Lines Regional Jet landing at JFK.

A Delta Air Lines regional jet landing at JFK – Photo Credit: We do not know, but whoever owns it, just let us know if you do not want us to use it. As long as we say that, we are not breaking any rules.

STEP ONE

Focus on an event that would be completely unremarkable if not for the fact that it happened on a plane. Consider the following example: “I was the only passenger on a bus. The end.”

Boring, right?

Fear not! With a simple “find and replace” command – from bus to plane – this is now worthy of stopping the presses. All you need next is a selfie where you look suitably smug. Get ready to say “Good Morning America!

STEP TWO

Use pictures of airplanes to establish context. However, most readers can’t actually recognize planes in photos, so instead of wasting time that could be better used towards generating clicks, try this easy solution: Google “passenger plane” – then copy/paste the first result you can find without copyright restrictions. The photo isn’t the right size? Who cares?

Consider this helpful example:

I bet that Delta passenger had a great flight! Image: Airbus

I bet that Delta passenger had a great flight! Photo: Source

Now you’ve found a photo you can use for every article you write from here on out for the next 20 years! Imagine the time savings!

STEP THREE

Have you ever had a vague sense that things are getting worse but you can’t describe how? Do you think that your gut feeling outweighs the effort to collect data to prove your point? If so, the internet needs to hear about it. The comments section will validate your inherent sense of nostalgia. Every story should reference how “flying used to be,” without actually thinking through what flying used to be like.  Where is my hot meal, free bags, smoking section, and DC-10 service between STL and DFW?

Do you remember when planes were bigger? Image: Airbus

Do you remember when planes were bigger? Photo: Internet

STEP FOUR

Describe your sense of entitlement towards airlines in great detail. For example: Have you ever thought that you “just deserved” that upgrade because you asked nicely? What about that time you asked for a whole can – and they just gave you a cup? When they mispronounced your last name – did the flight attendants really mean “sorry”? We’ve all been there.

As long as you take it personally- you’ve struck gold. People like to talk about how they feel vaguely ripped off and will appreciate your journalistic integrity for pointing it out.

I wonder what dogs feel when they fly. Image: Airbus

I wonder what dogs feel when they fly? Photo: Google Images

STEP FIVE

Delays are a conspiracy against you and you alone. Ever miss a connection that cost you a few hours of precious vacation time? Have you felt like only your suitcase went missing? Take these slights as personally as you would a threat against your life. After all, with their wealth of resources, free time, and pure cartoonish malice; airlines can afford to target passengers individually just to ruin their holidays.

Expose the secrets of these conspiracies that just so happened to turn your flights to Bloomington into a nightmare. THE WORLD MUST KNOW!

I wonder what dogs feel when they fly. Image: Airbus

Wait until you solve the mystery of why your bag is still in LA! Photo: my mom

STEP SIX

Do you ever worry that your readers have not flown on a plane or even been to an airport since 2001? Sounds like you need to give them a refresher course in how to travel for the holidays! Luckily for you, there’s always a holiday coming up. With your helpfully regurgitated advice on how to better stand in line, you might just save someone’s Christmas/Easter/Arbor Day/Festivus! That makes you a hero.

I wonder what dogs feel when they fly. Image: Airbus

Fly into Columbus Day with confidence! Photo: Airbus (hopefully you know that all the photos above, actually are cited to Airbus — the A380 is the author’s)

STEP SEVEN

Still haven’t got your creative juices flowing? That’s okay, I’ve been there. Why not just abandon your story and post pictures of kittens with nonsensical captions? No one really cares about planes anyway. How could they? There’s kittens to cuddle!

He doesn't want your holiday to be a CAT-astrophe either! Photo - Jason Rabinowitz?

He doesn’t want your holiday to be a CAT-astrophe either! Have to love #TravelCat – Photo: Jason Rabinowitz

Awwwie, they’re just too cute.

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CONTRIBUTOR - SEATTLE, WA. Bernie has traveled around the world to learn about, experience, and photograph different types of planes. He will go anywhere to fly on anything. He spent four years in Australia learning about how to run an airline, while putting his learning into practice by mileage running around the world. You can usually find Bernie in his natural habitat: an airport. Email: bernie@airlinereporter.com.

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9 Comments
Mark of OKC

Well Bernie, I hope a doctor will not be needed to remove your tongue from the cheek it is firmly implanted in. Enjoyed reading these “insider guides…”
Carry on.

Hilariously captures how spammingly obsessed some media are with some minute or not quite relevant stories, and even how Jason throws in an occasional cat here and there. But I doubt that writing “As long as nobody minds we do not violate the law” is legal.

Andrey,

You would be surprised how many people steal our AirlineReporter photos and have something along those lines written on the caption, some how thinking that makes it okay :). They get a little lesson!

David, AirlineReporter

David,

We all learn and grow in the process. Not just photo-wise. 😉

Andrey, AviaScope

JL Johnson

Nice. Took the edge off of an otherwise busy, stressful and very serious day. Well done, Bernie!

Off topic, but why haven’t you guys developed a mobile friendly site? Terribly hard to read your articles on my phone.

Oh how I love a good bit of satire. Some of my favorite stuff to write though I am no one near this good.

Temo Madrigal

I liked this… a lot! Good job, Bernie!

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