Ever dreamt to get paid to travel? You can now make that a reality. If you already have a travel blog, or you are thinking of starting one and you don’t know where to begin, well, I’m here to help you out.
Travelling can be great. What’s better is getting paid to do so. But do you have an idea about how much money you can make blogging?
A report from Glassdoor shows that it ranges from $19K – $33K a year for a ‘Blogger’, to others that do ‘better’ with a salary of $24K – $79K annually.
But there are bloggers like Tim Ferris, Nomadic Matt, JustAGirlAndHerBlog and Young Adventuress that make over $150k a year. Or if you want to aim for the stars like Johnny Ward, who earned $1 Million in 3 years!
This sounds interesting, So how do I get started?
To be a professional travel blogger means to be able to make a living off of it. In order to do that, you need to entirely dedicate yourself for that output. Or you could simply want to do that as a part-time profession. Making enough to sustain a mediocre roving lifestyle. Whatever that may be, only the time you dedicate to travel blogging will tell the difference.
And as cliched as it can get, once you are sure that travelling is your cup of tea, nothing can stop you. You know that you will be prepared for whatever the world throws at you. But before I introduce you to how to actually make money from travel blogs, it is fundamental that you keep a few things in mind.
Before you think of the money
When you’re searching for travel tips and leads, there are hundreds of websites that you come across. Although some of them are great, there are only a handful few that are REALLY honest about the true horrors that also come with the perks of travelling.
Which is why I prefer looking into sites that are created by bloggers. I am looking for their honest opinion. Not for the sites that only are beautifying to promote a particular place/product.
If you didn’t know about the horrors that come with travelling, then you have been misled your whole life. Everyone encounters a few mishaps that are sometimes even humorous, but nonetheless, we all do.
With that out on the table, let me tell you that I am no professional but just a regular travel blogger. Most importantly, I am a reader. But what I do know, is that blogs that show originality and passion have more credibility. And it is necessary that you mention them to be unique and utterly honest to your audience.
That’s precisely what everyone consciously or not, is looking for.
So if you already have a travel blog or you are thinking of making money from one, let me give you an insight into what us readers are really looking for.
Nobody wants to read the same repetitive, flattering, sugarcoated absurdity. If you want to really make money from your travel blog, then you have to be creative and honest about what you really think about the context.
And being honest may not come with many perks.
You can’t just live off on blogs by taking a chance that there will be someone that’ll read it. That’s not plainly good enough.
You do not need other bloggers as your audience. They will probably read yours to compare it to theirs or to flood you with hate comments.
What you need is a normal audience. Readers, just like you and I who are searching for authentic, personal opinions on what we need.
Be professional and be smart about it.
If it’s going to be a personal blog, then we want to hear your personal opinions on it and not some sugar-coated nonsense.
Either you do it with passion or you do not do it at all.
If you are running a blog then you probably already know why you are doing it and you know what you are blogging for. If not, then you need to figure that out and stick to it.
Once you start blogging and become ‘internet-famous’, or not, you will be offered many platforms and deals to travel. Some of them may be to falsely promote a product or a place.
And as tempting as that sounds, you can consider it. And if that’s your jam, then lying about it to travel (for free) isn’t going to help you as a blogger.
At least not in the long run.
Sure, the commission will get you the money, but you will lose the authority over being genuine. Then you may as well call yourself an advertiser.
With that, no one will take you seriously.
Any website promoting their products can give us all of that. But what can make you that one red poppy amongst all yellow?
Stand out, be creative, be honest!
If your purpose of having or starting a blog is only to meet your selfish needs then I’m sorry, but you this won’t let you make money from travel blog for long.
You should probably drop the idea right away.
I won’t deny that it will get you the money, but like I’ve already emphasized the importance of your passion behind it, it is essential that you stick to your morals and ethics.
Yes, you can look at blogging as a full-time profession. And to do that, you need to treat it like a business. Though that is primary, there are hundreds of such writers that do that already.
You need to be serving a higher purpose to attract a greater audience.
Remember, you can never please everyone. Because even if you are the juiciest, ripest and the sweetest peach in the world, there will always be someone who hates peaches.
So once you know your motives and have your purpose straight, any tom, dick or harry’s opinion shouldn’t really matter.
What matters is your purpose behind what and why you are doing it. Eyes don’t lie – trust me your blogs won’t either.
I will say this repeatedly – Be original. Be creative. Be honest. And the only way to be all of them is to Be You.
We’ve all been in that place where we think how can I be original when everything I want to say has been said already? Take inspiration from other bloggers, but make sure what you write is your own opinion.
Find your voice and let everyone hear it. Not everyone will like what you say, but nobody wants to hear the same thing over and over again.
How To Make Money from A Travel Blog
If you ask me how much money I make from my travel blog, I’ll be honest and tell you that it ain’t much.
Not very much from advertising on my blog itself and freelancing. Mostly from affiliate marketing and consulting. And quite a bit from sponsored blog posts and social media campaigns.
1. Google Adsense
One of the most common and popular way to earn money with a blog is by Google Adsense.
It is Google’s advertising network that places all those sponsored ads you see on websites. You can place the ads through Google and get paid in return.
How does this work?
Google Adsense has the ability to produce highly targeted adverts for the webpage it displays the ad on. Once you have enough number of people viewing your blogs, you can apply for Google Adsense.
This in turn generates high returns for the advertisers and the publisher (you).
In order to add google advertisements to your website, let me guide you through a few steps.
- You must, obviously, have a fully functioning website.
- Apply for Google Adsense.
- Google will send you an email to verify your address.
- Once your account is approved, you can log into your account to get the necessary HTML code.
- Paste the HTML code into your blog.
For further details on Google Adsense, you can click here for a guide through the process.
2. Amazon Affiliate
Ever heard of passive revenue? That’s the dream, isn’t it? To make money while you sleep. And Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways you can do that.
Most of my blogging revenue comes from affiliate marketing. In the most laymen term, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. You earn commission for every single sale you make with the help of your marketing.
One popular affiliate marketing program is Amazon Affiliate. When website owners and bloggers who are associates create links and customers click through those links and buy products from Amazon, they earn referral fees.
- It’s free to join and easy to use.
- It provides customers with the convenience of referring them to a trusted site where they can immediately purchase the products you advertise on your site.
- And when they do, you can earn up to 10% in referral fees.
An example of article promoting affiliate product is this article about best handheld hiking GPS reviews. The article reviews 10 high quality handheld hiking gps of 2017. Notice that different products are links to Amazon. Every time a visitor clicks on any of those links, goes to Amazon website and buy a product within 24 hours, the website earns commission.
So as an affiliate, all you need to do is link Amazon’s products on your blog. Every time someone opens the link through your blog and purchases a product, you get paid.
Simple as that!
3. Make Money with Sponsored Posts
Once your blog is doing well, you will have companies approaching you for a sponsored post. You either will have to write an article or mention it as a post on your own blog.
Sponsored blog posts is another way of making easy money with a travel blog. Here, you will have to post or write an article to promote a specific company, brand, product or service.
And like I mentioned earlier, honesty is key. You can, however, specify that it is a sponsored post or not. That’s all on you.
But whatever you do, be sure that you give your honest opinion about the post you are writing on your blog.
For instance, a solar phone charger company may want a sponsored post about your experience with their product on your travel blog. You do that and share a couple of photos, you get paid by the company.
Other than writing articles on your travel blog, you can also promote such things on your social media pages and get paid for it. You can share the links on sites like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and many others.
4. Sell Photos
Whether you have a travel blog or not, you obviously will be taking hundreds of photos when you travel. Not just for your blog but to also share a few on your social media.
Did you know you could sell them for money?
Who will buy them?
Approach businesses like tour companies, travel agencies, outdoor brands, trek travels, tourism boards, media outlets to use them for their marketing or advertisements.
So remember to take your camera and take nice pictures the next time you are travelling. If people like your photos, companies may contact you to purchase them. They may even offer you money to take photos of a particular destination.
5. Create a Product and Sell It
This is a very interesting method of earning money through your travel blog. If you are creative enough, then you may be leading on to something really big.
Once your blog is a big deal, you can create your own product.
Just as an example, a multi-dispenser like the GoBout. This product keeps all of your liquids like shampoo, body wash, hand wash, oil, cream etc in a single container for easy portability.
A convenient product to take around while travelling.
If you can create a product like this, you can then use your own blog to promote and sell it. With the right marketing strategies, you will have tons of buyers. And if your product is legitimate and genuine you may even get famous!
If not a product, you could even try writing a book. Compile travel tips or your experiences or both together, and contact a publisher. Or you could simply print it out, then use your blog again to sell it.
In the end, it doesn’t really matter how you are earning money as long as you are earnest about it.
There are probably thousands of travel bloggers that may be doing a lot better than I am. The internet and some of them may give you an insight into many tricks and shortcuts to make easy money with your travel blog.
But there are no shortcuts to any place worth going. Always keep this in mind.
If you’re looking for shortcuts, then these will only help you in the short run. Focus on something that will benefit you for the longest time.
And if being a professional travel blogger is something you really want to be, then it requires a lot of dedication and commitment. Focus on creative content and keep it honest.
Be the authority and you will go a long, long way (pun intended!).
About the author:
Raushan is co-founder of Rara Theme, a WordPress theme development agency. He is also a blogger and writes about travel and public speaking. He started blogging around 3 years ago as a hobby and now makes living from it. When Raushan is not working on Rara Theme or blogging, he is either traveling, practicing public speaking, learning salsa or reading books. You can connect to Raushan on Facebook and Twitter.