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How to Make Money as a Travel Blogger

How to Make Money as a Travel Blogger

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It’s funny, one of the top questions we get asked is, “How do you make money as a travel blogger?”

I have to admit, when I first started blogging, I had no idea that making money from it was even an option. It wasn’t until I started connecting with other bloggers that I realized that I could make money with a travel blog.

From that point forward, I made it my mission to figure out how to make money as a travel blogger!

I assume that is why you are here also. You would like to know how to make money with a travel blog (or really how to make money with a blog period).

The marketing industry as a whole has taken a shift, and companies are realizing that they can get a good return on investment by working with an influencer in their industry.

Why you might ask. Well, because bloggers and influences have a dedicated following of people that look to them as “experts” in their niche.

Influencers build relationships with their audience by interacting with them via social media, newsletters, blog posts, etc. These relationships carry way more weight than a traditional magazine or media ad, thus making influencers a great investment for their advertising dollars.

So, let’s get down to it so that you can start making money with your travel blog as well!

Quick note: this post assumes that you have already started your travel blog. If you haven’t, then that is your first step. No worries though, we have broken it down into 10 Steps to Starting a Blog. With our help, you will have your blog up and running in no time.

*This post contains affiliate links.  By purchasing through these links, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. That Texas Couple is also a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program.  As an Amazon Associate, we earn from qualifying purchases.

How to Make Money as a Travel Blogger

Affiliate Marketing

When I started researching how to make money with a travel blog, one of the first things I implemented was affiliate marketing.

Affiliate marketing is one of the easiest ways for bloggers to make money, especially for beginner bloggers.

Affiliate marketing is when you sign up to become an affiliate for a company. This means that you agree to promote their products on your website and in return you get a small commission. The great thing about this is that it is at no additional cost to your readers.

There are several companies that are easy to get started with. A top affiliate program for all bloggers is Amazon. Amazon is especially good for those with a large U.S. audience.

To make money as a travel blogger with affiliate marketing, consider companies like Booking.com, Get Your Guide, CJ Affiliate, and Share A Sale.

Take note though, there is a science to affiliate marketing. You don’t ever want to appear spammy to your audience, so be careful when implementing affiliate marketing.

I wrote a complete post about Affiliate Marketing Programs for Bloggers that will help guide you along your journey.

Do Freelance Work

computer and person writieng-how to make money with a travel blog

Another great option for beginning bloggers is to use your blog to help you land freelance work. When you first start out, you won’t make much, but as you establish a reputation you can increase your rates.

You can realistically expect $20-30 per post from some blogs and up to $300 for bigger publications like well known magazines and newspapers.

In addition to charging for your article, you can also charge for your photos.

Use your blog as your part of your resume. Let people see your work and your reach. This will give you more to bargain with when it comes time to negotiate payment.

Here are some job boards that you will help you get started in freelance work:

If you’re unsure how much to charge, here is a reference sheet from WriteWorldwide. This chart is based on your first year as a freelance writer and is a per project price.

how to make money as a travel blogger
Chart from WriteWorldwide.com

Ad Revenue

Ad revenue is a great income stream for established bloggers. Basically, you sign up with an ad company and they place ads in the “white space” on your blog. This includes throughout the blog post and in the sidebar (like you see here on my site).

The great thing about ad revenue is that it is a “hands-off” way to make revenue from your blog. This is because once you sign up with a company, then do all of the ad placement for you. They partner with well-known brands, place the ads on your site, and you receive a paycheck every month.

There are many ad companies out there and each has their own requirements to be accepted. Be sure and check them out before applying.

Before signing with an ad revenue company, note that they use different pricing models, so be sure you know what you are agreeing to.

Below is a simple infographic I created to illustrate the different pricing models:

infographic over ad revenue-how to make money with a travel blog

Of course, adding ads to your site has some drawbacks. It does make your site “uglier”. I have found that most visitors don’t mind, and have even commented that they are glad to see us making money for our hard work and time. As you can see, we use Mediavine and I love them.

My biggest piece of advice to monetize your site is to get to 50,000 visitors as soon as possible and apply for Mediavine the minute you do! Mediavine is a reliable, steady income that you can count on every month!

If you think you might be interested in ad revenue, here are some companies to consider:

  • Mediavine
  • Google Adsense
  • Monumetric
  • Ezoic
  • Infolinks
  • PropellerAds
  • Media.net
  • Ad Thrive
  • Revenue Hits

Write an Ebook

When asked how to make money as a travel blogger, many bloggers respond with the fact that they create and sell their own products. One such product that is popular in the blogging community is an ebook.

This is a great entry level product because ebooks are easy to make and are usually priced where most visitors can afford them.

Thus making ebooks a great intro into monetizing. They also allow you to “test the market” to see if your topic might be popular enough to warrant you creating more products on it. These other products could include an online course and personal coaching on the topic.

While you don’t necessarily need a lot of traffic to your blog to make your ebook successful, you do need a good marketing strategy and a topic that people are interested in.

You can write your ebook yourself or hire a ghostwriter to do it for you. Sites like Upwork and Fiverr are good places to look if you want to hire a writer.

The same thing goes for your cover art. You can create your own cover using a program like Canva or Photoshop, or you can pay for a service like 99designs and have a professionally designed cover.

The great thing about ebooks is that you can repurpose current content that is on your blog, just add more to it to ensure that you are giving your readers a new and different experience.

You can sell your ebook through your own site, or use a third party seller like Amazon.

The great thing about publishing is that if you have a cover designed, your ebook can turn into a print book with the click of a button.

Create and Sell An Online Course

how to make money with a travel blog

Creating and selling your own online course is a great revenue builder for bloggers.

I know, this one can be a little intimidating. Most bloggers feel like they have to be a complete expert on something to teach it, but that is not true. Take it from me, a former public school teacher, you just need to be smarter about the subject than the person you are teaching. LOL!

You also have to be able to present the information in an understandable, organized manner. Presenting the information that you are teaching in a way that makes people understand it is the biggest obstacle to teaching.

The online course industry is growing year by year and will continue to grow, so you might as well get in on the action.

Think about your skills and what you could teach people. Identify a problem that your readers have and then come up with an organized plan to help teach them to solve or deal with the problem.

You can choose to host your course on your own website, or use a third party site like Teachable, Udemy, Thinkific, or Podia when you are read to release your product.

Sponsored Posts and Content

One of the main answers to the question of how to make money as a travel blogger is to have sponsored posts and content on your website and social media channels.

This is the grand vision that everyone has of being a travel blogger. “I will get paid to travel the world and write about it.”

After affiliate marketing, this was the second way that we started monetizing our blog. Even when our blog was just starting out, we began pitching to brands for sponsored posts.

While our first few sponsored posts were in exchange for comped tours and stays, now, we are able to not only receive comped travel expenses but are also able to charge a fee for our services.

Some of our sponsored work includes:

Travel blogging is a lot of work, and a lot goes into creating good content, so don’t be afraid to ask for compensation. Think about it, you are the writer, photographer, editor, and marketing coordinator for each and every post you create. That is your time and money and you deserve to be paid for it!

When you are ready to start pitching to brands and/or tourism boards, be sure that you are remaining true to your brand. Your readers and followers are here because they love what you have to offer, so don’t be a “sell out.”

The key to getting to this point it to create great content and have a loyal and engaged following. This allows you to have concrete evidence to present to brands showing that your work is worth their marketing dollars.

Do Public Speaking Engagements

how to make money with a travel blog

Public speaking is an incredible way to make some money and to expose your blog and brand to new followers. Granted, you will need to be a little more established and have a good following in order to participate in public speaking engagements, but you will get there.

There are speaking engagements all over. You can apply for paid speaking engagements at travel conferences, business conferences and events, private fundraisers, and so much more.

Marketing yourself as an expert in you field is a must to land this type of work.

Work as a Virtual Assistant

Becoming the virtual assist to an already established blogger is a great way to make a little extra money and learn in the process.

Think about it, if you are a virtual assistant for a blogger, they are going to teach you what they know in order for you to help them get the work done.

This is like a paid mentorship program!

Virtual assistant work is usually found through networking and interacting with other bloggers. One of the easiest way to do this is by joining blogger communities on Facebook. There are so many travel blogger communities out there, and once you join, you have a load of knowledge and networking right at your fingertips.

Offer a Paid Membership Service

Membership sites are becoming extremely popular these days. All it takes is you offering content of value to your members.

This allows you to provide a forum for them to meet and connect while you provide them with exclusive tips, content, educational videos, etc. each month.

The key here is that you have to be providing real value and exclusive content to your members so that they will stay engaged and keep subscribing.

Start a Podcast

how to make money as a travel blogger

When asked how to make money as a travel blogger, many people’s answer is to start a podcast.

Now that people have more time to listen to things, Podcast are becoming so popular. Embrace this and start a fun and interesting podcast around your specific niche and the things that you love to talk about.

This is another area that you can use to not only make money, but also to get your blog and your business more exposure.

Start a Coaching Business

If you offer a specific service or course on your blog, then why not take that even another step further and offer to do personal coaching on the topic.

So often, people want one on one attention to assist them in accomplishing a goal. By offering this service, you can charge a fee and help someone in the process as well.

Many bloggers who sell ebooks and courses offer personalized coaching to help their readers apply the concepts they are teaching.

Take note though, you don’t have to be an established blogger to start coaching. You just need to have knowledge on a topic that people want help in.

To get started, you should write very specific, targeted blog posts on topics that your readers care about and could need assistance in. Speaking on podcasts and at events on your topic can help you get customers quickly and easily.

Sell Product

Another way that travel bloggers make money is to sell products directly to their audience.

Once you have an established following, then the next natural step is to start selling products to your readers. Just pay attention to your audience and what their needs are and then target those needs with specific products.

Opening an ecommerce store is actually really easy. You can host the store right on your website using plugins like WooCommerce, Shopify, and Easy Digital Downloads. You could also consider doing an Etsy store as well.

When transitioning to an ecommerce store, check to see what the fees and minimal payouts are, just so you can find the best fit for your needs.

Many travel bloggers do this and sell their own travel themed t-shirts, jewelry, cups, etc.

Host a Trip

how to make money as a travel blogger

Travel bloggers get paid to host trips as well. This is a great opportunity to make some money and to meet your followers.

To accomplish this, host in an area that you are very familiar with. That way you feel comfortable and are able to truly lead the group and ensure that they have a great time.

Begin by negotiating group rates with the accommodations and attractions that you will be using. Then, market the trip to your audience. You can market the trip on your blog and your social media.

When pricing your trip, be sure that you have accurately calculated the cost of everything you are providing, and then add in a percentage for yourself. I mean, you are taking your time and expertise to organize the trip. You get paid for that!

Ask for a deposit up front from your participants. This money will help you to get started and secure reservations with little to no cost to you.

Sell Digital Products

Digital products are a great way to monetize a travel blog (well any blog, really). Once you create these products, they can generate income for years to come. Granted, you might have to go in and do some updates here and there, but overall, digital products are a great generator of passive income.

Think outside of the box for this. We have already mentioned courses and ebooks. These are both great examples of digital products, but they are not the only examples.

Many travel bloggers offer Lightroom presets as digital products. You could also do printable items like vacation planners, social media templates, budget trackers, etc as digital products for sale.

Really, the sky is the limit here!

Host a Virtual Summit

Virtual summits and web conferences are so popular these days, so why not take advantage of that and host one yourself?

While these conferences are usually free, they are only for a limited time. The money-making part of this comes into play when you charge for access to the information on an unlimited basis. Think of this as an “all-access pass” to the conference forever.

A great way to get started is to partner with other influencers/bloggers in your niche and you all join together to host a virtual summit.

In addition to charging for the all-access pass, you can also make money by selling products related to the topic.

infographic on how to make money with a travel blog

Final Thought on How to Make Money as a Travel Blogger

As you can see, the answer to ‘how to make money as a travel blogger’ is multi-faceted. These are many ways to make money with a travel blog.

While it is easy to start a blog, blogging alone will not generate an income for you.

Diversifying your revenue streams is so very important, as is understanding the type of traffic that is needed in order to generate revenue from the different sources.

When starting out, be sure to target areas that you have the followers and traffic to generate an income. Once you start seeing the money come in from your blog, you will be addicted!

What other tips do you have in order to make money as a travel blogger? Comment below and let us know!

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Michelle Snell founder of That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel

About The Author

Michelle Snell is a travel writer, history buff, wine lover, and enthusiast of different cultures. Michelle enjoys bringing places to life through her informative writing style on her blogs, That Texas Couple and Totally Texas Travel.  Her practical tips and suggestions help make travel dreams a reality while immersing her readers in the history, culture, and food of a region.  She is happiest sipping wine in Italy or chilling on a beach with her husband, Marty.

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