Traveling the world full time is a perfect starting point for travel blogging. Not surprisingly, almost all digital nomads have a travel blog.
For most, it’s a hobby, a way to engage with the people back home. But even if it starts as only a hobby, I know for sure that the idea of making money as a travel blogger has crossed their minds.
I know I’ve thought about it… A lot!
And you as well, or you wouldn’t be reading this 😉
But there are so so so many travel blogs out there. Should you even consider monetizing your travel blog, or starting a new travel blog to make money, as you will be one of the many bloggers?
Is the market saturated?
Yes and no. Let me explain.
The most successful travel blogs started 5 to 10 years ago. Blogging was not yet widespread and it was fairly easy to reach that sweet number 1 spot on Google.
Is it hopeless then, to start a travel blog with the intention to make money?
Not necessarily, because back in the day, audiences were also smaller, and companies were not yet accustomed to working with bloggers. This has changed obviously, and there are still tons of companies not yet working with bloggers.
And even though there are a billion blogs on the world wide web nowadays, most of them are crap. Only a few bloggers really put the right effort on their blog to make it one of the top travel blogs. You could be one of them 🙂
How much do travel bloggers make?
There are ‘professional’ travel bloggers that make decent money with their blogs. Some full-time travel bloggers even make 6 figures per year. Impressive right?
But this is only the top 1%. The majority makes approximately, rounded up, $0.
And then there are those travel bloggers ranking in the middle, earning a few tens to a few hundred per month.
Ask yourself first: how much do you want to earn with your travel blog? Let me phrase it differently:
Would travel blogging be your main source of income?
I hope not…
Making thousands a month with travel blogging is not realistic; not for me and probably not for you.
Is this a setback for you?
Don’t shoot the messenger!
Making money with travel blogging is not impossible, but it is extremely hard to make enough to support you and your family. You need to put a more than full-time effort into your blog, and with kids in tow, you know you don’t have that amount of time available.
Also, it can take years for your blog to grow to that money making proportion, and I assume you want to start your digital nomad life sooner.
What is realistic then?
Diversify your income
In my honest opinion, it’s all about diversifying:
make sure you have multiple income streams.
We have a relatively stable income from our business, but I don’t want it to be our only source. Making some money with travel blogging would be a great addition since I’m already blogging for fun.
Should you start a travel blog to make money?
No, you should start a travel blog because you’re passionate about travel, writing, and sharing. If your only purpose is making money online so you can start the digital nomad lifestyle, then there are better ways (like becoming a location independent freelancer).
But, if you want to make a bit extra, a realistic earning, then yes, by all means, do start monetizing it!
If you don’t have a travel blog yet, read this extensive guide about how to start and monetize a travel blog.
Now, let’s briefly discuss how to make money with a travel blog.
How do travel bloggers make money?
When I first started blogging, I didn’t know a thing about how to monetize a travel blog. But did you know there are 25+ ways to make money with a travel blog?
The most popular ways for monetizing your blog are:
Ads on a blog are very common. Visitors are used to them and this is both a plus and a con. It’s a plus because no one is bothered with them anymore, but it’s a con because people overlook them.
You can advertise directly for certain brands that fit your niche, or you can join advertising networks. These platforms handle the ads for you. This is an easy way of advertising, but you also give up some of the control (and a small fee of your ad income, of course).
There are still lots of visitors who don’t recognize an advertorial for its true nature: advertisement. Unbelievable right? But brands and businesses use this to their advantage by asking bloggers to write an advertorial. Depending on the popularity of your blog (aka the number of visitors) you can ask up to a few hundred for publishing an advertorial.
Not bad for only a few hours work, but do try to be picky as the subject of the advertorial should really match with your audience and niche.
3. Affiliate marketing
For people not familiar with this monetization strategy, it can be complex to understand affiliate marketing. As passive income guru Pat Flynn explains: “Affiliate marketing is the process of earning a commission by promoting other people’s (or company’s) products.”
You can sell your soul to the devil and start promoting every product related to your niche, but it’s a better long-term strategy to only promote products you truly endorse.
4. Publish an ebook
If you have a travel blog (or want to start one), I assume you love writing. Publishing an ebook is not far-fetched, then. Self-publishing your book has become very easy but you should know that the earnings might not outweigh the time and energy you need to put into writing your book.
However, it is also a great way to expand your reach, strengthen your brand and attract new visitors to your blog.
5. Social media
I personally dislike all things related to social media. I know, it may seem strange in this era of social media overdose, and I know it’s regarded a part of blogging, but it’s just not my thing.
However, if you do fancy all things social media, there are tons of opportunities in this area.
Grow your audience first
Now you know the basics of how to make money as a travel blogger. I do want to point one thing out though; for making money you need an audience.
So before you start monetizing your blog, make sure you:
Also, remember that the quality of your visitors is important. You can only earn from visitors that are truly interested in your story and products. Fake visitors may make your audience seem big (which is great for attracting sponsors), but it won’t help you increase your income.
After reading this blog, I hope you have formed some realistic expectations about making money travel blogging. Don’t feel discouraged though, there is still some fish in the see.