We give you 8 ways to make money with a travel blog. Maybe you’re not aware, but it is possible to make money out of travel blogging. This is not easy or obvious. No professional blogger has only one income stream, as they say, “never put all your eggs in one basket”. Monetizing one’s blog requires a well thought strategy, especially because the income it can generate is constantly fluctuating.
From hobby to a well-paid job
We started this website for fun, wanting to share our travel stories with friends and like-minded people. As we spend more time working on our blog, the more we come across the great potential monetizing it has. Indeed, there are many bloggers out there trying to make blogging more than a hobby. To make as their main source of income.
In fairness, maintaining a blog takes a lot of work. It is pretty much a full-time job, depending on how serious you take it.
We thought it could be interesting for you to know a few ways that one can make money from blogging. Escaping 9 to 5 and getting time and location freedom is becoming very popular and it is a reality.
These are 8 ways to make it happen:
1. Affiliate Marketing
Do you know what affiliate marketing is?
In practice, Affiliate Marketing happens when the blogger receives a commission from reviewing/promoting a product or service from a company on their website. They receive this commission if the reader(s) clicks on an affiliate link that the blogger has placed throughout his or her articles, recommending products or services.
Usually, the blogger reviews/promotes products and services that are in line with their blog. There are at no extra costs for the reader. By doing this, the reader is just supporting the blogger.
Many companies offer affiliate programs with different requirements, to which the blogger subscribes. They are usually easy to enter, but depending on the company, they don’t provide high income to the blogger. Some examples of companies offering these are Amazon.com, Booking.com, Airbnb, Expedia.com, etc.
There is a strategy behind Affiliate Marketing that doesn’t consist of placing links randomly. There’s a constant testing of what works and what doesn’t. In the case of travel blogs, there’s a split between accommodation booking, amazon affiliates, travel insurance companies, or affiliate portals that aggregate different types of affiliate programs.
2. Advertising (selling ad space)
Ads can be annoying for the reader, but since a blog’s content is usually free, having these displayed in one’s blog is a way to support the blogger. The profit from selling ads is directly related to the website’s popularity and these are placed throughout it.
There are two main ways the bloggers get paid every time a visitor clicks on the ad, or payment is negotiated for every 1000 “impressions” the ad gets. An impression is the number of times the content is displayed, no matter if it was clicked or not.
There are many ad platforms to choose from that have different requirements. Some common ones include:
1. Minimum traffic (minimum of sessions per month)
2. Traffic country of origin (in the case of Mediavine, they require that part of the audience comes from US and Western countries)
3. Content requirements (high quality, original content that readers engage with).
One of the most popular ad networks is Google Adsense, which is not too hard to sign up but pays little. You can check their requirements here.
A popular alternative is Mediavine, where bloggers can make more money out of it, but it has specific requirements that you have to sign up for. Apart from having to have at least 50k views per month to your website (at least since 2020), Mediavine requires a minimum % of the website’s audience to come from the US and other western countries, because they represent some of the highest paying markets. You can check for more requirements here.
3. Selling own products and services, digital and physical
Selling products online is another way to make money. These can be physical products such as mugs, t-shirts, caps that can have the blogger’s own logo for e.g., or digital products such as eBooks, travel guides e.g. of a place(s) they know quite well, and online courses.
Selling travel photos on a website like Shutterstock is another way to make income. Every time someone downloads the image, the blogger gets a commission.
In general, selling digital products is less time consuming than having to maintain a flow of processing orders and sending physical goods or even providing services. This is a great way for the blogger to have a more independent income source, it all depends on the blogger’s personal preference.
Have you ever heard of subscriptions?
This happens, when readers subscribe either monthly or yearly to a blog by paying a small fee and get access to exclusive content or benefits. These can be exclusive articles, reports, webinars, in-person meetups, etc. These can come in the form of membership (access to a reserved area only accessible to monthly paying customers), freemium (part of the content is free and part of the content is paid for), micro-payments (pay per piece).
Another example is Patreon, an online platform that allows creators to provide exclusive content to readers in exchange for a monthly subscription fee. This is a good source of support for the blogger, especially for those that are enthusiastic about his or her work.
5. Independent travel planning
Another way for bloggers to make money is by offering travel planning advice/services. By being experts on a specific location or have a lot of local knowledge. This goes beyond people reading travel advice shared via the blogger’s website/blog, which is free. When people are looking for a more detailed itinerary with specific recommendations that requires more time and research from the blogger to put together, then they can charge something for this.
6. Organizing tours
This is related to the previous one, when bloggers offer their services as tour guides, by organizing whole tours and proposing their readers to come along with them.
7. Sponsored posts or guest blogging
A blogger can publish sponsored posts, where a company pays the blogger for he or she to display a link to the company’s website.
Bloggers can also write content for another company’s website. These are usually bigger or more popular than the blogger’s website. Guest blogging supports not only the other company’s website but also the bloggers’.
This strategy can be used by small blogs that don’t have a lot of traffic to promote their brand, by being “associated” with a more known and bigger website. In other words, by exchanging links to each other’s websites, the blogger’s website can grow and become more popular.
8. Freelance writing and editing
Why not use writing skills to freelance?
Many bloggers also write or edit articles for other websites in exchange for money. These can be one-off or more regular gigs. There are several websites offering opportunities around the world and advice on how to start this business. Some include: upwork.com, makealivingwriting.com, remotebliss.com/best-paying-freelance-writing-jobs-websites.
How much can bloggers make?
There is no specific number on this, it depends on the type of bloggers, how they decide to make money and how successful they become at it. Many bloggers talk about diversity and diverse income streams. This is because contrary to a typical salary-based job, blogging doesn’t have a one-income source and the stability that comes with it.
Besides, blogging fluctuates according to people’s searches and needs. Many travel bloggers, for example, talked about how some of their income tanked when the pandemic started, simply because people stopped traveling, and had to pivot to other areas.
Blogging, and trying to make it a full-time job does require hard work, discipline, and effort.
Let us know in the comment section below if you like this kind of content and if you would like more details about it.