2020 introduced us to the new norm, i.e., working from home. But, if you are one of them for whom this isn’t possible right now and are looking for ideas to earn money online, this article is for you.
Among the many ways you can earn money online, a popular one is writing blogs, especially travel blogs, since they can grow faster. But, there are many key ingredients that we’ll touch on today while giving tips on how to make money from travel blogs.
Factors like the time of the year, business model, audience, and expertise affect how much you earn from a travel blog. It is essential to acknowledge that making money from a travel blog doesn’t happen quickly. But with consistency and patience, you too can charge ahead with earning money through your blog posts about travel.
Table of Contents
- How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money
- How to Monetize Your Travel Blog?
- 1. Multiple Income Streams
- 2. Affiliated Marketing
- 3. Content and Maximising Adsense Revenue
- 4. Product Offerings
- 5. Subscriptions
- 6. Monetize Through Training
- 7. Sell Photos
- 8. Podcasts
- 9. Use Your Blog as a Resume to Get Freelance Writing Work
- 10. Flip Your Website
How to Start a Travel Blog and Make Money
The whole process of money-making from blogging revolves around understanding the internet and how it works. Let’s dive into a few pointers to remember while going about the process of starting a travel blog.
Pick a Specific Niche and Learn about your Target Audience
A general travel blog will not necessarily cut it in this day and age of blogging. Get clear on the concept of your travel blog.
For example, your possible specific niches can be:
- Budget-Friendly Travel blog
- Travel with Kids
- Food Travel
- Travel Fashion
- Solo Travel
- Solo Female Travel
- Road Trip Travel
- Ecotourism etc.
Once you have these down, your blog can stand out from the crowd. Also, conduct research on your target audiences. Learn what types of content they like to see and align it with your ideas.
- Present Yourself as a Travel Expert
The adjacent aspect to keep in mind while writing blogs about travel is your expertise and how you present it to your readers. If you write a complete guide to a destination, it must be your authentic travel experience. Authenticity is a huge factor that can make readers feel connected to you.
Meanwhile, readers often look for the information presented expertly, with timely information and relatable facts and details laid out in a beautiful composition.
It’s also best to plan your travels to give your readers the knowledge they crave. Most importantly, you can specialize in a particular place and concretely know your facts. This way, you can be a reliable source of information. You can write all the posts anybody could ever need on that destination and establish yourself as a respected source. Not to mention, specializing like this is also good for your site’s SEO and Google ranking, not just good for your readers.
- Love Your Blog, and It Will Love You Back
Loving your blog means you should have a passion for the topic and the process of blogging. You must be ready to give all your effort every day.
Passionless work is easy to spot, and you will likely turn people away. But, if you enjoy working on it every day and actively learn to grow your knowledge and implement it, your blog will give you good results sooner, meaning a faster growth in traffic and monetization process.
How to Monetize Your Travel Blog?
Listed below are different online revenue models and popular strategies you can use for digital content monetization and how to go about doing so-
1. Multiple Income Streams
Do you know the saying- don’t put all your eggs in one basket? Well, this applies to money-making through online means as well. You can create multiple income streams, getting them set up as early as possible. Consider installing Adsense and joining all the affiliate schemes you may need. You could also get some Amazon sales pages set up.
Fundamentally, how you make money travel blogging depends immensely on how you want to do it. You can rely on advertising and affiliate sales, or you may prefer to be paid to promote destinations, hotels, attractions, and so on. Some bloggers also sell articles to magazines or other publications, while some rely on selling ebooks and courses.
2. Affiliated Marketing
According to Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income, affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products. The notion behind it is that you promote other people’s products, often through an affiliate network. If people buy the product, you can then earn a commission, thanks to your marketing. The idea of this process is based on revenue sharing. Sellers of a product can offer you (the promoter) a financial incentive through an affiliate program.
Which affiliate schemes make money?
In no particular order, listed below are some of the affiliate schemes that make you can utilize to make money-
- Amazon (books, travel gear, and more)
- Hotels Combined
- 12Go Asia
- Get Your Guide
- Any hotel booking and clothing sites you regularly use
- Whichever travel insurance you use
Word of advice– if you don’t genuinely recommend or use a product, it’s best not to try to sell it. Selling through any of these sites without understanding SEO or getting your website the traffic of a targeted audience can be difficult. So, it’s best not to put all of your eggs in the Amazon basket. Their affiliate payment rates have been down and are constantly fluctuating, and this could continue. Always be sure to check the percentage each type of product on Amazon will pay. Affiliate commissions have been reduced in some areas more than others.
Additionally, also try to diversify and find other routes to affiliate revenue. You can also join Awin– it is conducive in that they have offered many companies and products on their books. The primary key, however, is only to promote products that you genuinely love and use yourself. A customer’s trust always has to come first to successfully market products.
Correspondingly, targeted traffic is another factor to consider while going about the process of affiliate marketing. Think about it; it would be pretty pointless to put some random affiliate links into your travel posts or your website’s sidebar if the people reading those posts aren’t looking to buy. The skill, thus, lies in getting the right people on the point of purchasing onto your pages. You can get targeted audiences via Google search (SEO and Keyword research) or from social media.
In like manner, you can take The Points Guy (Brian Kelly) as an example. He is a travel blogger who runs a blog about smart insights into how travelers can benefit from free travel experiences through maximizing reward points earned by opening and spending money on travel benefit credit cards. Every time readers read his blog and click on one of his affiliate links for a credit card deal, and sign up, Brian Kelly either gets credit card points or a cash reward. This is a prime example of how affiliate marketing operates.
3. Content and Maximising Adsense Revenue
It requires skill to earn from Google Adsense. It involves keeping your customer’s eyes on pages longer and setting up ads where eyes linger. Initially, you can’t join a premium advertising agency until you have good website traffic. Beginners, for the most part, can start with Adsense.
As the publisher of a travel blog, advertising can provide a significant revenue stream for your online travel content. More often than not, advertisers are willing to pay to gain exposure to your audience. Like how a newspaper with a large circulation can charge advertisers more; the more popular your travel site or blog becomes, the more you can earn.
You can also offer advertising space on your site directly. While it does make your site a little less put-together, most readers don’t mind them. This is what’s called a “direct deal.”
On the other hand, you can also use an ad network, such as Google AdSense, to sell your ad space on your behalf. AdSense works by serving relevant ads that appear on a specific page of your travel blog. For example, if you create a travel blog about adventure travel, and you’ve just uploaded a post about a trip to the Everest Base Camp, AdSense might show an ad about travel insurance, traveling to Nepal, or warm clothing. As you are the site owner where the ad appears, AdSense compensates you when a user views or corresponds to an ad.
Many advertisers can make online ads relevant to the content and readership of your blog, and many are also keen to pay a premium price for your ad space. The basic gist of the matter is this- keep people looking at your Adsense ads longer, and draw their eyes and time to the places the ads are. Features like pictures, captions, videos, charts, tables, text boxes, or anything mixed media draw the readers’ attention. Work on those features to maximize your AdSense revenue.
The next best tip is to keep content long to allow more ads to display.
Finally, ad networks have become more sophisticated over the years, with better options to monetize than just using Google Adsense. You can try out Ezoic, AdThrive, and Mediavine ad networks besides Google Adsense as well. Each of these works as a good Google Adsense alternative. It would help if you had the aim to get your traffic up above 50K sessions per month.
Having this sort of traffic can allow you to join ad networks like Mediavine fast. Of course, keeping the reader’s eyes on pages longer isn’t just good for your ad revenue but also good for your Google ranking.
4. Product Offerings
You can sell things to make money from your travel blog. Many bloggers establish a presence on an eCommerce platform as a way of monetizing their blogs. They create an online store and start selling products. You can start doing that with your travel website as well. The products that you sell could be physical or digital. Taking the example of an adventure travel blog, you can sell t-shirts displaying your logo or even digital guidebooks for exotic destinations.
Regardless of whether your products are physical or virtual, you will need to set up a system for accepting payments. For this, you can make use of plug-ins, such as MidTrans Payment Gateway– an extension for WP Travel Engine that allows tour operators to accept trips and tour payments via Midtrans, one of Indonesia’s popular merchant services. Other essential plug-ins also include PayU Money Payment Gateway. This extension allows you to accept trips and tour payments via one of the leading financial services from India, PayU Money.
Similarly, if you prefer, you can also have a look at the article that depicts in detail How to Choose a Payment Gateway for a Travel Agency, for additional information.
You can charge a regular fee to add a new income stream! If your travel blog has an active community who are eager to know more about your work, you could use a paid membership or subscription model as a way to generate revenue from your travel blog over the long run.
This business model includes your readers paying a fixed amount regularly, typically monthly or annually. You can produce recurring income by collecting a membership or subscription fee from readers this way. This kind of continuous cash flow presents a potential for a more stable, predictable, and accurate revenue stream.
You can even offer your subscribers or members premium content in exchange, such as a learning resource, videos, or extra services and tools. You could merge several of these elements to suit your travel blog.
6. Monetize Through Training
If you have a travel blog that lends itself to training services, you can earn money by establishing and charging for online courses or coaching packages. When you create self-guided teaching materials, such as travel videos or downloadable ebooks, you offer your audience members to proceed at their own pace. You can also strategically gauge their interest in other topics to cover as people progress through your course.
However, developing an online curriculum requires a significant amount of time and resources upfront. Thus, you will need an engaged audience to make this viable. Accordingly, you can also offer live video coaching to increase your revenue and be paid for your time. You can also include strategies to communicate with your students via email or within your blog itself.
7. Sell Photos
Photography is a large part of travel blogging. Beyond everything, what better way is there to inspire people to see the beautiful places you share? Thus, having a visually appealing travel website is essential. Since Instagram is a valuable marketing tool, it is a great way to get paid work!
Identically, you can also sell stock photos online, with some people making a decent passive income this way. While the rules can be strict around what you can have in your image, traveling and having a backlog could make it worth the rules.
Some of the best places where you can sell your travel photos are:
When you look at the result, there are not many travel bloggers who have a podcast. But this can be another great way to make money, and you can contribute something truly unique in the already incredibly saturated pool.
Not to mention, the podcast’s popularity is skyrocketing, especially since the pandemic. This can be a significant opportunity for travel bloggers to develop quality content that has not already been thought of.
If you’re unsure what to talk about in your podcasts, create a list of interesting personal stories. People love to hear lengthy personal stories and personal insights. This is one of the central reasons why people love podcasts. Sticking to the travel topic, you can talk about your crazy travel experiences, what you learned from different cultures, reviews, and more.
Much like your blogs themselves, you can use advertising to generate revenue from your travel podcast as well. Usually, the advertisement sales happen either directly between the brand and podcast or by using an agency as a broker.
Meanwhile, a commission from affiliated products or programs is also another standard income stream for travel podcasters. You can mention products on your show, give listeners a specific discount link, and receive a percentage of each purchase using the URL.
A famous example of a travel podcast is The Thought Card. Hosted by Danielle Desir, The Thought Card podcast talks about world travel, how to pay off debt without risk, and deals with the process of building wealth. The podcaster Danielle offers her audience insight and information about how to make smart financial decisions to accomplish both travel and financial goals. Furthermore, you can also have a look at the 10 Best Travel Podcasts You Should Be Listening To, for insight into the best podcasts to sink your earworm teeth into.
9. Use Your Blog as a Resume to Get Freelance Writing Work
Your blog is your platform that can ultimately help you build your brand as a freelance writer. After all, your website is a tangible fragment of your platform that you can easily navigate and create pages to show to the world. Your prospective employer can also use your blog as a reference during the hiring process. Not to mention, having a section dedicated to “places I have been published” on your website’s landing page can boost your chances of getting more freelance work. Moreover, having your own blog also presents you with the opportunity to establish yourself as an expert on your niche. Your blogging website itself can also act as a portfolio for you over time.
10. Flip Your Website
In simple terms, website flipping is when you invest in already money-making websites and improve them by either increasing the traffic or by making more money from the same amount of website visitors (or both), then selling the website for a profit. In an even more laymen term- flipping is basically purchasing a product, repairing or replenishing it, and then selling it at a higher price.
While this sounds simple in words, the actual process of website flipping can be arduous. From picking out the right website to submitting months of work for an improvement in its search rankings- a lot goes into the actual procedure. It is important to know however, that website flipping isn’t something that you can use to make a fortune quickly. The whole procedure of flipping a website depends largely on understanding how the market works, how to attract buyers, and choosing a site that is capable of making you a decent sum.
Nevertheless, website flipping can create new opportunities for entrepreneurs, particularly for those with an eye for marketing and design. Since the main goal of website flipping is not to create a new audience, but instead to capitalize on an existing market, you can utilize the umbrella niche of travel to optimize the website to maximize traffic and revenue.
Some of the best reliable places to buy and sell your websites are:
Flippa is a platform you can use for pretty much anything. Moreover, you can also find options at all budgets. For example, you might find a cheap $1,000 website right next to an established site going for $600,000+. You can use Flippa to buy and sell basically any online entity, including domain names. You can also use it for websites, blogs, eCommerce stores, Amazon FBA stores, apps, SaaS tools, and more. As for commissions, you will be charged both a listing fee and a commission for successful sales. The listing fee for established websites is $49. The commission can also range from 10% for businesses up to $50k all the way down to 5% for businesses over $100k. To get started at Flippa, you can either buy or sell an online business by registering for a Flippa account.
Empire Flippers sites usually go on the higher-end as a site making it to the marketplace can mean that it’s legit. For example, sites on Empire Flippers go for prices in the hundreds of thousands or even millions. Empire Flippers is suitable for any type of online business, including websites that are monetized via ads or affiliate products. This also includes eCommerce businesses, Amazon FBA businesses, eCommerce, SaaS tools, and more.
As for commissions, Empire Flippers uses a tiered commission structure. You will get a 15% for sales under $1 million, with it getting progressively lower as the deals get bigger, capping out at 2% for sales above $10 million.
SideProjectors works for any type of online business. You can use Side Projectors for eCommerce stores, content sites, SaaS tools, and more.
For seller commissions, you will not be charged any type of commission rate. When selling a project, there are options to pay for premium listings, but these are all under $10 per month.
FE International primarily focuses on eCommerce, SaaS and content websites such as blogs and review sites. All the properties that they sell have been done due diligence on, so you can be sure that only established, authenticated sites make it into the marketplace.
For seller commissions, FE International generally charges a varied fee ranging between 10-15% depending on the size of the deal (lower commission for larger deals).
There are no listing fees either. You will only pay if your website sells. But since FE International has a 94.1% success rate, your website will probably sell.
Sedo is only for domain names, and it offers a myriad of different options in that regard. You can sell/buy domain names at a fixed cost, sell/bid in a marketplace, or use Sedo’s broker service (which is a good option for high-value domain names). Sedo’s commission varies by the type of sale too. In general, you will pay between 10-15% of the final purchase price.
Travel Blogging is a beautiful passion that you can use to generate money doing what you love. While there may be a few hassles along the road initially, being consistent and chugging along can result in you making more money through your travel blogs in the future. This is a process that requires consistency and patience.
While many would consider this a “passive income” scenario, making money through your blogs requires a significant amount of effort on your part- with regular blog uploads and maintaining your website. But with the right strategies mentioned above, you too can start earning from your travel blogs! There are many examples of bloggers who have found immense success doing what they love. If you want, you can check out our 15 Highest Paid Travel Bloggers who Make Thousands of Dollars for a more comprehensive list.