Last updated on July 8, 2020
The idea of being able to travel the world and getting paid for it might seem far fetched for a lot of people. After all, if it was possible, everyone would be doing it, right?
The truth is that most people think like that, and only a few have the courage and gusto to follow through and actually try to become successful travel bloggers.
We’re not saying that everyone who tries makes it, but there are definitely people out there who are making money with their travel blogs. But is it possible to make a real living while being a travel blogger?
The Short Answer is Yes!
It’s perfectly possible to make money with a travel blog, and there are plenty of people who make a good living doing it. That doesn’t mean it’s easy, however. If you look at people like the travel blogger Jasmine Alley, she had to work hard to get from 2k to 50k Instagram followers in 18 months. She also found a way to diversify her income by adding some revenue streams, and she did more than just post photos and travel guides. She diversified her blog by adding content on how to become a successful travel blogger, for instance, which brought her a whole other audience.
Bloggers like these can make anywhere from $30,000 to $40,000 per year, but there are many that are making more than $10,000 per month with their travel blogs. These are usually those who have been long established and had the time to build relationships with major companies. They can also command higher rates for publicity.
So, now that you know that it’s possible to make a living as a travel blogger, how do you actually do it?
Make Sure You’re in it for the Right Reasons
First, you have to make sure that you actually enjoy traveling and aren’t only in it for the money. If your goal is simply to make a buck, your heart won’t be in it, and it will reflect in your efforts. Some people will sense it and won’t like you as much. Your lack of passion will start to show and you’ll become inconsistent. You should also know that you will need to have legitimate experience with traveling and the places you will be covering.
This means that you will need to spend significant time in the destinations you’ll be talking about, or else there might be some errors, and these will be called out by your followers. It will also affect the tone and quality of your posts. There are tons of people who write about places they’ve never been, but who wants to read some factsheet about a country? Being able to speak from personal experience will make your blog posts much livelier and more immersive.
Once you’re sure of your intentions and are ready for the time and effort it takes to manage and populate a blog, you can start getting down to the technical part.
Get a Blog
You first need to have an actual blog to be a travel blogger. But don’t worry, even if you know nothing about web design and coding, there are tons of sites and services that will make things super easy for you. WordPress is the most common option, but services like Squarespace are even simpler, though they might be a bit more limited.
However, before you set up your blog, you need to find a name. This name will be very important as it will be part of your brand. You also want a name that is catchy, easily shareable, and one people will remember.
You want a name that doesn’t limit you to certain kinds of travel, or certain regions. You also don’t want to age yourself or the blog by focusing on a specific age group. And try to avoid cliché terms like “nomad,” “vagabond,” or “wanderlust” as they’ve been overused and will dilute your brand.
Once you have a name, you can work on finding a domain and getting hosting. Getting a domain is super easy, as long as you can find a name that isn’t taken. We suggest you get your hosting and domain from the same provider as you’ll usually be able to get a discount and try to go for a dedicated server so that you won’t have to share bandwidth with other sites which could affect your site’s performance.
You will also need to learn about SEO before getting started. You don’t have to be an expert, but you have to know the fundamentals and the errors you need to avoid.
If you don’t know already, SEO is the science of optimizing your content for search engines, and it will be one of your most important and powerful tools when trying to get traction. What’s great about SEO is that it can give you tons of free organic traffic after a while, and the more attention you get, the better you’ll perform with search engines.
You should know that SEO is not about tricking search engines. It’s really about posting content people will like and will want to share. The more activity a blog post produces, the more positive indicators it gets, and the more visibility it will give your website as a result. So, it will be important that you learn SEO at the beginning, and consider working with a team later on.
Create Multiple Streams of Income
Diversification is the name of the game when it comes to blogging, and the more income streams you have, the more opportunities you’ll get to get paid. One of the simplest ways to earn income with a travel blog is by using Google AdSense. Google AdSense will allow you to add a small snippet of code to your website and have contextual text, image, or banner ads on your site.
Another way to make money is through affiliate marketing. While some will display banners with affiliate links, the best ways to make money with affiliate programs is to weave links into content or have reviews. When adding links to content, you want to do it in a natural way, and speak about products you actually use and love. This will make things more genuine. You also have to make sure that you notify readers that there might be affiliate links in the content, as it is required by FCC rules.
Other streams of income for travel blogs include, but are not limited to:
- Email Marketing
- Paid Contracts
- Paid Reviews
So, as you can see, there are tons of different ways to monetize your blog. It will be up to you to find the best for you and concentrate your efforts there.
Make Good Use of Your Content
Good content is gold and can be used in so many different ways. You could repurpose content by having it syndicated, for instance. This is when authority sites post one of your posts with a link back to your site. This will not only be beneficial from an SEO standpoint but will bring you traffic from the site’s audience. You could also turn some of your content into a YouTube video and get you even more visibility. You always have to find ways to stretch your content and improve your old content as well.
As you can see, making a living as a travel blogger is possible. However, it’s far from easy. So, make sure that you have the passion and dedication for it before you start, and learn from those who did it before you.