Are you a travel blogger who wants to make money? Or perhaps you want to start a travel blog to earn money?
The good news is once you have some traffic and visits coming to your blog, the making money part is easy.
There are many ways you can earn money from a travel blog.
The trick to making it work is finding the right income streams which work with your content. It is also a good idea to have more than one way you earn money. Then if one income stream dries up, you still have money coming in from other streams.
Read on for top tips and advice on how to make money as a travel blogger.
11 Ways To Make Money As A Travel Blogger
Affiliate marketing can be very lucrative for a travel blogger.
The great thing is once you have affiliate links set up it can be a good source of passive income (earn while you sleep!)
How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?
It works by writing posts that review and recommend products, trips, services, flights and accommodation,
If readers click through from a link on your site and buy something that’s recommended, you (the writer) can earn a commission.
The very successful travel blogger Nomadic Matt has a lot of articles on his site which earn income from affiliate marketing.
This one on How To Choose a Backpack has links to specific backpacks. If people click on these links and buy a backpack, Matt will earn a small commission on the sale.
Travel bloggers can also recommend holidays, trips, travel insurance, days out, excursions, car hire, credit cards, cruise trips, flights and other services that can be bought through specific providers. If people purchase what you are recommending through your link you earn a commission.
Some well-known websites that offer affiliate programs include trip advisor, lastminute.com, Groupon and Airbnb.
Often the best way to earn money from these types of affiliate programs is to write about a specific niche in your area. You can niche down about specific locations where you could recommend hotels, services, days out etc in that area. One example is this Salou Travel Blog – see a post here about hotels in Salou. The links in this post are to sites where if people book, they will earn a commission on the booking. Salou is a great place to write about as it is a very popular tourist destination, so people search for information on the area.
As well as travel affiliate programs you can also gain affiliate income by reviewing physical travel products. Companies like Amazon will give you a commission if people click through from your blog and buy from their site. The commission tends to be smaller as the products tend to be cheaper to buy. However, if you have a review site or article with physical travel products that get a lot of traffic, it can add up to a significant income. For example, articles such as packing lists for specific locations can be a good proportion of traffic.
The important thing when earning money through affiliate marketing is to only recommend products and services you yourself would buy and use. It works through building up trust from the reader.
Google Adsense and other Ad Providers
You can put ads on your website for advertisers such as Google Adsense.
The advantage of these kinds of advertising programs is that they are easy to set up. There is no customer interaction to worry about. You earn money simply by people clicking on the ads that you display.
The disadvantage is that the money you can from each ad click is small. You need to have a high volume of traffic to get a significant income.
However, some people can make a significant amount of money from Google AdSense. It’s also worth considering as just one type of income stream and build up others alongside it.
Online Courses and Ebooks
Once you have built up an online following for your blog, another way to make money is to sell online courses and/or write ebooks imparting information that they will pay for. Here are some ideas:
An ebook – what problems do travelers have that you have the answers to? Perhaps it’s knowing how to travel on a budget, all the information on a specific location, advice on traveling with kids, being a lone female traveler? If people are searching for the information that you have, you can write about it and sell it as a book.
Ebooks aren’t the lucrative money maker that they once were as now there is a large range of cheap books available on sites like Amazon because of the ease of self-publishing. However, ebooks are good for helping to build up an email list that you can use to market other products and services and you can still earn a small income from them too.
Courses – could you put together an online course that will help other travelers or travel companies? Can you teach the basics of how to learn a language in a short course for your readers? What about an online fitness program for travelers?
Think about what skills you already have that you can convert to an online course and teach to travelers on the go.
Many travel bloggers create a travel blogging course – teaching people how to earn money from travel blogging. If you get good at blogging, this is another stream of income that could work.
Sell Your Photos You Take For Your Blog
If you take a lot of photos on your travels and your pictures are of professional quality, you can submit them to a photo sharing site such as Shutterstock.
If your photos are accepted, you will earn a commission every time somebody downloads them. This can add up to a nice amount of passive income over time.
Another option is to set up your own photography site on a platform such as smugmug.com and promote and sell them from there.
Provide Your Own Travel Services
If you build up a significant following and love the people side of things, why not provide a service to your readers:
Tours – create your own tours that you lead. If you have a niche following, could you put together a retreat, a walking holiday or another trip in an area that you love and are familiar with? Start small with a group of like-minded travelers, create trips and add your own commissions on the top.
Put on events – you could create meet-up events for like-minded travelers. The event can charge a fee to cover costs and make money. These work well in cities where there may be other travelers who may also be interested in attending. You could invite an expert in your field to come and make a speech.
Some travel bloggers provide paid content for members. This is extra content in addition to what they provide for free. One example is the membership site created by Nomadic Matt. There are three different levels of membership that include free ebooks, access to Facebook groups, tickets to events and extra posts and content for other nomads and adventurers.
Travel bloggers can also earn money writing articles for publications and other websites.
If you get a following on your travel blog and you write well, you may find you are approached and asked to write a paid article. This may be particularly true if you have a niche.
Make sure that you have a page on your website where it’s clear how they can contact you. Make it super easy with a big button which says “Work With Me”, “Contact Me” Or “Media and PR”.
You can also give yourself a head start in this area. Pitch your article ideas to editors and show examples of your work on your blog. Research websites and publications which are a good fit for your content and contact them.
Be prepared to be rejected – a thick skin may be required.
Travel companies and brands may approach you to do a sponsored post.
This is generally an advertisement post written by you, If you do this it is probably best to do sponsored posts that are focused on your specific travel niche. Otherwise, they can seem inauthentic. It’s also a good idea to try out what they are offering before you agree to a sponsored post.
Earnings from a sponsored post can vary greatly. Sponsored posts can be very helpful to a new company or brand starting out, but they may offer low amounts from about $50.
As your reach grows, the amount you can expect from sponsored posts grows to the $1000 range and more. The more you are paid, the more the brand can expect from your work such as banner ads and mentions in other articles as well.
Brand Ambassadorships are like sponsored content and posts, but it is a relationship that runs for much longer. They hire the blogger to write posts, do social media postings, advertising and post images over a period of time. Bloggers can expect to be paid monthly.
Again, the more traffic you have, the easier it is to build these kinds of relationships.
Again, if your blog has a following it may be a good platform to get paid for public speaking. This can be for networking events, events organized by tourist boards and travel companies.
If you are interested in this, it may be worth starting off by offering your services for free at smaller events. This can help build up your experience, testimonials and get your name known.
As with freelance work, having a page on your blog where you promote yourself as a public speaker can help you get gigs.
Here is an example of a public speaking page.
A press trip is a trip where a hotel, tour company or tourist board invites members of the media to promote their location and/or brand. This is done through blog posts, stories, pictures and videos.
They normally come with a condition that you write an article or do something to promote what they want to your readers.
Press trips are great but you need to be clear about what they are offering and what they expect to get in return.
Some press trips aren’t paid but you receive the accommodation and travel for free which obviously cuts down a lot of your travel costs.
Other press trips pay you. The fees vary considerably but the more reach and credibility you have, the more money you are likely to be offered.
There is lots of information online to find out more about press trips. Vicky Flip Flop (another great travel blogger) gives some top tips on getting your first press trip.
There are other options where you can make money from traveling online.
Vlogging – having a youtube channel can be lucrative. This article explains how a travel vlogging couple earns up to $6000 per month.
Becoming a social influencer – you can use platforms such as Instagram to become a social influencer while traveling too. Social influencers who do well tend to have a following of 30 000 people or more. They often have long standing relationships with brands that they promote to their following. On top of their social media they may also have a blog and vlog.
How Much Can a Travel Blogger Make?
It varies. It can be very lucrative. Johnny from One Step Foward has earned in excess of $2million in just over 10 years of blogging.
However, smaller travel bloggers won’t be earning anywhere near as much as that.
It takes time to build up an income but a monthly goal of having $1000 a month after the first year is an achievable goal. The more you do and the longer do it, the more lucrative it will become over time, especially if you are prepared to put in the work.
It also is worth taking time to learn the ins and outs of making money from your blog. Read advice from people who are professional bloggers as well as travel bloggers. Learning skills such as SEO, social media, how to write good blog posts and writing the best headlines will help you get where you want to more quickly.
Find lots of advice by Googling. Start reading and learning to help grow your blog.
What are the Top-Earning Travel Blogs?
There are many successful travel blogs. It’s worth exploring them and learning from the best. Here are five:
NomadicMatt.com – lots of top tips on traveling around the world on a budget. Nomadic Matt has managed to monetize his website extremely well with lots of income streams including affiliate marketing, selling products and a membership site.
One Step 4 Ward Johnny, describes himself as an Irish guy who left home 10 years ago with no money. He started blogging as he traveled and earned over $2million USD in the process. Way to go!
Dave and Deb at the planet D. This couple have over 1 million monthly readers and they started their blog 8 years ago.
Monica has the Travel Hack has over 150 000 monthly readers. She is a UK based travel blogger who started with budget travel and has evolved her blog to suit her lifestyle. She now has a family and children.
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