Travel blogging can be such a rewarding hobby. It’s one of the best ways to express how you see the world. But make no mistake: it can also become your full-time profession. If you want to skip the 9-to-5 and work from anywhere in the world, this is perfect for you.
The idea that it’s possible to make a living through travel blogging seems like a pipe dream – something you only read about in magazines. However, it’s possible. As with other careers, it involves immense hard work, effort, and networking. To help you make a game plan on how you can earn through travel blogging, we’ve compiled this guide for you.
How to Make Money from A Travel Blog
Anyone can make money from a travel blog by selling advertisements on the blog itself. This is the most direct way of monetizing your blog. When readers click on your ads, you’ll earn a cut from their purchases. Other ways you can earn money in travel blogging are through affiliate links, sponsored posts, offering subscription plans, consulting and coaching, and selling products.
The trick, of course, is how you can go about getting a sizable following and engagement. To give you a clearer picture, here’s how most travel bloggers make money.
7 Surefire Ways to Make Money from A Travel Blog
There are various avenues you can take to earn a profit. It all depends on where you stand in terms of blogging expertise and comfort. Here are some ways you can do this.
1. Sell ad spaces
This is perhaps the most common way of making money through travel blogging. You get to post ads on your blog and make money from the sale of these ads.
Selling ad spaces requires you to set up blank areas in your blog to be used by advertisers.
The most popular kind of ad space you can set up is Google AdSense. This is a program by Google that allows bloggers to insert ads from Google’s range of products. Of course, you must only choose ads that are relevant to your content. Most bloggers earn roughly $300 per month just from a banner ad.
You can also do direct advertising. This means you’ll be getting companies to post their own ads on your blog. This eliminates third-party charges. The good thing about this method is that you get to set your own rates. However, it can take a lot of time to source for advertisers.
2. Write sponsored posts/content
This is the bread and butter of most travel bloggers. Usually, you’ll be asked to write a sponsored post or a piece of content that will feature a company. The post will be labeled as “sponsored” to comply with the law. It can be a product feature or a review.
In 2021 alone, Practical Wanderlust earned $2,700 from Sponsored posts, not counting paid trips, which can also fall in this category.
The trick here is to make the content as organic as possible. Don’t make it sound like an ad. Readers simply won’t take you seriously and will suspect your motives. If the content is legit, readers will appreciate your honesty and they’ll be more receptive to future adverts you post.
3. Promote affiliate links in your content
This way to make money through travel blogging usually goes together with the previous tip. The trick is to promote products that are relevant to your readers.
When someone clicks on your links and buys the product, you’ll earn a commission. This can range from flights, accommodations, gears, travel companies, and many more.
Many travel bloggers also sign up as Amazon affiliates. Amazon is one of the biggest online retailers today and this makes this affiliate program a good choice for most. Here, you can earn 3% to 20% per sale. In an interview with Travel by Maya, Dale from BloggingHerWay shared that she earns between $500 to $1,000 per month through Amazon’s affiliate program. How awesome is that?
One great thing about affiliate marketing is aside from your blog, your link can be used on Instagram, Tiktok, Facebook, and other channels.
4. Offer paid subscription plans
When you offer paid subscription plans, you get to charge your readers in exchange for quality content.
The trick here is to offer additional perks to your subscribers. Give them access to exclusive content, quality posts, more detailed information, and many more. The possibilities are endless.
Of course, you have to keep your content interesting and valuable. If you don’t, subscribers will feel like they’re being ripped off.
5. Offer consulting/coaching services
Many travel bloggers gain a huge following simply because they’re knowledgeable in a certain area.
If you have a niche and you know a lot about it, you can benefit from it and offer a consulting service.
For example, if you’ve traveled to France many times with your family, you can do consulting for a travel agency catering to families who want to explore Paris. For this, you can help them set up hotel accommodations, day tour stops, and transportation.
6. Teach an online course or host a webinar
Being a travel blogger is not just about posting content. It’s also about educating your readers and putting up valuable tidbits that they can learn from. When you teach an online course or host a webinar, you’re basically selling your expertise and your skills.
Many travel bloggers have capitalized on this idea by producing online courses. Some of them are free, while others cost a few hundred dollars.
Depending on the information you’ll be sharing in your online course, you can expect many people to register for it.
If you are already a big name in the travel blogging scene, finding your online course can be a lot easier for your students. Some of the platforms you can use include:
You can always add other extras like bonuses, assets, quizzes, certificates, and more. All of these extras will make your course more appealing.
7. Sell products
If you’re a well-known blogger, then it’s a good idea to offer products. Many travel bloggers have done this. The key to selling products is to make them actively associated with your brand. After all, you’re a travel blogger, not an armchair traveler. Here are some of the items you can sell.
Frequent travelers refer to books during their trip. These books can provide them with insights from other people’s experiences. You can also offer a book that’s specifically tailored to your audience.
If you’re a veteran traveler, this is the product to sell. A travel planner is a detailed plan of your travels. You’ll provide your readers with specific information on budget, accommodation, travel, and many more.
You can also offer printed books of your travel experiences, photos, and travel stories. This way, your readers can have something tangible to hold on to.
There have also been many travelers that have published memoirs. Just take a look at how successful Eat, Pray, Love is – it has sold over 10 million copies and was made into a film. Who knows, you may just be the next Liz Gilbert.
If you have a logo, you can use it as iconography for your merchandise. This can be anything that you can use for your brand.
Some travel bloggers have successfully sold merchandise such as tote bags, coffee mugs, t-shirts, caps, and more. The trick is to find the right manufacturer for your products. Make sure you get a good deal and a reasonable price. Want a more hands-off approach? Try brand collaborations. For example, fashion and travel blogger Chiara Ferragni launched a summer collection with Nespresso in 2021.
If your readers like and support your brand, they’ll probably be willing to pay for it.
Tips You Need to Keep in Mind If You Want to Make Money from Your Travel Blog
Here are some tips to follow if you’re serious about making money from your blog.
· Build your audience
You might be making a profit from your blog, but if you don’t have a following, you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage.
You need to build your audience, but don’t just do it for the sake of it. Find out what specific information your readers want and give it to them.
Check the comments section of your blog. See what your readers are asking for, and provide them with what they’re looking for.
Marketing your blog is not just about getting new traffic. It’s also about earning the trust of your readers.
· Know your niche
Narrow down your area of expertise. This will help you be more specific on the kind of content you’re going to put up and the products that you’re going to sell. This will also help your readers find you more easily. Mark Wiens is a good example of a blogger/vlogger who understands this trick. His blog, Migrationology only focuses on street and local food around the globe.
· Work on your reputation
Having a blog or a website is one thing. Having a good reputation is another. Your readers will only trust you if they know that you’re a credible source.
Make sure you have a good reputation. This is not only about honesty but about your expertise as well. If your readers know that you’re just out there to make money, they’re not going to trust you.
For this reason, try to always provide quality information and make sure you give them real value.
So how can you build your reputation as a travel blogger? Simple, be honest, and deliver what you promise.
· Try guest blogging or collaborate with other bloggers
If you want to gain more traffic, you should explore other ways of getting there. Joining forces with other travel bloggers can help you promote your content. It can also help you connect with your target audience.
Collaboration is key. You can write a guest blog post on their website, produce a podcast together, vlog together, or write an eBook together. Your readers will appreciate seeing your content on other sites. You can even get paid if you submit and publish your articles on websites such as:
· Optimize your content for SEO
A lot of prospective readers will search for your content online. It’s important that your blog is easily accessible. Try to use keywords in the title of your blog post to optimize it for search engines. This will help your readers find you easily.
Some bloggers use tools like Google Adwords to know which search terms are most relevant for their travel niche.
· Create newsletters
A newsletter can be a great way to connect with your readers and establish a one-on-one relationship with them. You can offer them something of value and give them information that will help them. You can also use a newsletter to let your readers know about your upcoming travel adventures.
Since a newsletter is a good way to create a relationship with your readers, you can use it for selling affiliate products, merch, and services.
· Create a directory
If your blog becomes so popular that it gets thousands of visitors every month, then it’s time to create a directory. This is a list of all the places you’ve visited, all the travel guides you’ve created, the things you recommended, other bloggers you’ve collaborated with, and many more.
This will help your readers find their way around your various resources.
· Host giveaways and contests
People love giveaways. If you can give away something that’s valuable to your readers, they’ll most likely participate in the raffle. You can give them products that you sell, or freebies from your sponsors. Contests can also serve as great ways to increase your email list.
· Create a community
Being a travel blogger is not just about telling stories. It’s also about making a difference. What are the commitments you’ll make to your readers? Have you made any resolutions to yourself?
Building a community is similar to building a brand. It may take a lot of time, but you’ll be able to reap more benefits in the process. Just like you’re a travel blogger, your readers are also travelers. They love to share their experiences. Let them do so by allowing them to add photos, videos, or comments on your blog. Don’t just let them do this. Interact with them.
Once you establish a community, you’ll notice that your traffic will start to go up. This is because you’re creating a space where your readers can share, comment, and interact with each other.
One group we love is Girls LOVE Travel on Facebook, which has over 1.2 million like-minded followers.
· Try vlogging
Being a travel blogger means telling stories, and in today’s era, video is king.
Vlogging is a great way for you to share your experiences with your readers. It’s not always about seeing another country or another place. It’s also about seeing the sights and sounds, and the people that you meet along the way. It’s also a great way for you to create content, encourage engagement, and connect with a new audience.
If you’re not comfortable vlogging in front of a camera, you can also try scripting your videos. This can help you share your experiences through words, which may be easier for you to do. Some of the best bloggers who have made a successful blogging-vlogging integration include Fun For Louis, and Christine Kaaloa of Grrrltraveler.
· Start a Podcast
There are many people who listen to podcasts while traveling. Whether they’re commuting to work or driving around the city, a podcast can be a good companion.
Some travel bloggers have successfully turned their podcasts into a way to earn money. You can record your podcast while you’re on the road and monetize it through ads or affiliate links.
· Have a social media strategy
Social media is the best way to connect with your followers. Make sure you use different social media platforms to promote your content.
Make sure you have a social media strategy. Don’t just spread your content on all the available platforms. Make sure that whatever you post is optimized for each platform.
Twitter, Instagram, TikTok, and Facebook are some of the most popular platforms today.
· Attend networking events
Networking is a good way to get new connections and expand your network. It’s also a good way for you to know about events and new opportunities to earn income.
There are many networking events that you can attend as a travel blogger. Some travel bloggers, PR companies, and tourist boards also host networking events. Some tourist travel boards that offer paid press trips include:
· Greek Ministry of Tourism
· Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority
· Costa Rica Tourism Board
· Department of Tourism Philippines
One example of a good agency paid campaign is STA Travel which commissioned travel bloggers and filmmakers like Jack Harries to make videos for the Philippines.
· Be patient
If you want to be taken seriously as a travel blogger, you have to build your reputation. This takes time. Accept the fact that you won’t be earning a lot of money in the beginning. Once you gain traction, your website will start to earn money for you.
The Real Truth: Expenses You Need to Prepare For
While you can definitely be a one-woman team, it makes sense to invest in your blog if you want it to be your major source of income. Here are some expenses you should account for.
You’ll need a good coach to guide you through your blogging journey. A coach will help you achieve your blogging goals and help you deal with any difficulties you’ll encounter along the way.
· Virtual assistant
Approximately $15 per hour
If you’re too busy to manage your blog, then you may need a virtual assistant. VAs have the skills to manage your blog for you.
· Management tools
Approximately $15 per month
You need to use the right tools to help you manage your website. There are many tools available for bloggers, especially for those who are creating travel blogs. Some tools you need include:
o Grammarly to edit your blog posts
o Plannable to plan consistent content posts
o Convert Kit to make Newsletter Management easier
Approximately $50 per month
No matter how good your content is, you can’t expect to earn money from it if you don’t market it. For this reason, you should invest in marketing tools.
There are many ways to advertise as a travel blogger. For example, you can use Facebook and Instagram targeting to your advantage. This is not only affordable but also very effective.
· Freelance writer
Approximately $100 per post
Writing blog posts can take a lot of your time. Not only do you have to write them but you also have to optimize for search engines and other things. For this reason, it makes sense to outsource your writing to a freelance writer to help you create, edit, and optimize your content.
· Hosting, domain, themes, security
Approximately $100 annually for hosting and security
Approximately $500 one-time purchase for your theme
While you can start your blog for free, it’s a better idea to invest in a good hosting package. This way, your website will load fast, and it will be safe from security threats. You can also look for a reasonably priced domain and good themes for your website.
If you’re passionate about traveling and sharing your experiences with other people, you can definitely earn money through travel blogging.
Do you already make money from your blog? If so, what’s the best tip you have for other bloggers? Are there other ways that we forgot to mention? Share with us your experiences.
If you found this article helpful and would like to learn more about making travel blogging your profession, check out our other article, how much money you can make from travel blogging.