Have you ever wondered how to make money as a travel blogger, especially when you see how many are out there doing it? How it is they do it? Is there some kind of secret recipe travel bloggers have and use to make money or is there more than a misty eye?
This was one of the questions we were asking ourselves, too, especially given the fact that one of our premium WordPress themes is for travel bloggers. So, we conducted thorough research, talk to a few people, saw plenty of travel blogs, Social Media accounts, went through niche specific bloggers Facebook groups. All that so we can answer the one question, so many of you are asking:
How to make money as a travel blogger?
Seeing how adventurous and exciting life travel bloggers live one could say a dream life), it’s quite a legit question. Only, is it really so? We know what they portray on their social media accounts and their blog posts, the things that might seem dreamy and easy going. The fact is, to make money as a travel blogger, there’s a ton of work included before hitting that money pit goal. And by that, we mean all that necessary mandatory steps one take to make it out there, which is making a travel blog from scratch, first. One you give your travel blog a life, comes the more exciting and intense part – promotion, promotion, promotion. Engaging on social networks, cross-promotion with other travel bloggers, guest blogging, pitch offering and so much more. All with one goal in mind:
provide the right value to target audience that will attract the right collaboration and bring money.
So, how exactly do travel bloggers do that?
10 ways travel bloggers make money
As stated earlier, making money as a travel blogger really takes a lot of work. Work as time and dedication, but done right, it sure is rewarding. To make it as easy as it gets to learn about all the major ways to monetize your travel blog, we divided this money making tips in two categories:
- Travel blogger’s passive income tips, the work you usually do once and
- Travel blogger’s active income tips, the work you do continuously, as a project or collaboration.
Take your time, find some quiet place dig deep into this article and learn all that we have, then see which of the tips works best for your travel blog.
Travel blogger’s passive income tips
Any blogger’s dream! A list of activities you only do once (or a few times in a more extended period), and the money comes! Well, sort of 🙂
One of the most basic and common ways to make money as any blogger. Display advertising (in digital marketing) are all those banners you see on blogs and sites. They can be in the form of a text, videos, combination of image and logos, or even .gif’s. Either way, it a way for you to earn money by promoting relevant travel agencies and their offers, products, fashion brands and so on. While some debate whether it’s useful to have banner ads on a travel blog or not, the fact is they (still) do bring some money to the blog owners. How do travel bloggers earn money through display advertising? Whether they find clients by themselves or through Ad network agencies, banners bring revenue through these four price models:
- CPC – Cost Per Click, each time visitor clicks on a banner; travel blogger earns a commission. One of the most popular and used models, both by agencies and bloggers.
- CPM – Cost Per Mille aka per thousand of impressions. The more impressions the banner gets, the more extra income travel blogger has. This is the type of price models agencies and clients use when they’re working on a brand awareness campaign, like when they promote a new destination, travel gear, summer travel collection and such.
- CPA – Cost Per Acquisition, a bit trickier price model where a visitor not only needs to click on a banner but perform an action as well. It usually means a very specific action like some form of sign-up or a purchase.
- Fixed-Rate – you get the same amount of extra income no matter how well or not the banner performs. A bit tricky price model in each case ‘cause someone will always end up feeling underpaid or undelivered. Still,
A very popular way travel (and all other) bloggers use as a passive income way of earning money. It’s a referral marketing we described in detail in our how to start affiliate marketing business with WordPress guide, but to sum it up, here goes:
- You have a travel blog where you produce well written, valuable and useful content,
- Connect with the Affiliate Network, which is a mediator and acts as the middle man between the company you promote and an Affiliate – yourself,
- Put links in your blog that suggest and refer products or services that you and a company you’re promoting think will be of value to your visitors.
So, each time a visitor performs an action – buy that product or service as a result of your referral, travel blogger earns a commission. That’s why travel bloggers put a short disclaimer before the post, stating that the post may contain affiliate links and if you click and make a purchase, they earn a commission at no additional cost to the visitors. It’s transparency at its best and a great way to keep credibility and authority.
Another great way to earn money by (almost) doing nothing is to set up Google AdSense to your travel blog. If you’re using WordPress, just follow this easy guide on how to add AdSense to WordPress and start earning money 🙂 Now, how do travel blogger earn money through AdSense? Easy, once they’re approved, Google will begin sending ads that are tailored by the preferences and visitors behavior (retargeting and such). And just as in display advertising model, travel bloggers will earn a commission each time a visitor clicks on that AdSense ad. Depending on the traffic, that can be in a range from a couple of dollars up to several hundred, or even thousands (for huge traffic)!
Travel blogging is pretty much about photography; the ability to portray all those beautiful places travel bloggers visit and experience. With that in mind, there’s bound to be a large amount of all sorts of photographs that will never be used! Unless… Unless they find their life and purpose in the stock photography department, and they do. Some travel bloggers use their photography talent to cash in all those photographs. They sell them on sites like Shutterstock, Deposit Photos, Dreamstime and such. And while the amount may be low for each download, this tip still generates a steady long-term passive income which may only improve the better the photographer a travel blogger is. And if by any chance you happen to be a photography travel blogger, feel free to check out our Pinhole WordPress theme, made especially for photographers to display their talent in the best possible way 🙂
Ebooks and online courses
When thinking about more scalable revenue, more experienced travel bloggers tend to write e-books and whitepapers, or film webinars and online courses. A one-time engagement that brings a more significant source of passive income. I say more experienced because they have more knowledge and value to offer. Not to mention the more prosperous audience, social following, and subscribers they promote them to.
Travel blogger active income tips
Here I listed all those things travel bloggers do on an active base, which requires them to be actively involved in the process.
Sponsored posts or native advertising campaigns is a form of paid ads. The advertiser (a client or an agency) offer a whole content with a link to a company site in the recommended tone of voice that’s aligned with the blogger’s and get paid for it. It is an active income tip because a travel blogger needs to build a connection to either a company or an agency, nurture it and be continuously engaged. Depending on the deal, this type of service can result as an income or a paid trip and such. Either way, the end value is not insignificant at all, and it’s always recommended to have a disclaimer of brand collaboration.
Social media promotion
Similar to sponsored posts tip, this type of service is an excellent way of earning money as a travel blogger. The wider the community you gather around your travel blog social channels, the more income you can gain. It’s one of the most basic and straightforward way travel bloggers make money nowadays. A brand or a company contact a travel blogger with either a hotel/destination/product/service offer which they then promote on social channels. It can be in the form of a photo, a video or a series of Insta Stories which are quite popular. Again, depending on the number of following, that collaboration can be anywhere between tens to a couple of hundreds of dollars! This type of active income is very creative and is doable in many ways:
- Product placements
- Social Media takeovers
How do travel bloggers find this kind of collaborations? They either contact brands or companies themselves or apply to various influencer agencies. HireInfluence, Digital Voices, Viral Nation are some of them.
Unlike sponsored posts where a travel blogger gets a written piece, content creation is a way to make money by writing a complimentary post and get paid for it. Now, this is not about “Look how great this hotel is” or “You’ll have the time of your lives if you visit this place” type of content. No. We’re talking about serious research, in-depth content about a hotel or a place visited, travel service used and such. A piece where a travel blogger writes positive experiences and values visitors can have. Also, as an experienced travel blogger, one can even write content for travel organizations, cities, hotel resorts and other relevant companies in the travel business. It’s called destination marketing, and it’s a pretty lucrative industry to be around, so do more research about it.
Leading or hosting tours and trips
More and more, we see travel bloggers offer tours throughout the city they live in or visit often. In a way, they become the person people trust so much; they want to learn about all the hidden places and gems their city has to offer. Moreover, some travel bloggers even host group trips and serve as both an entertainer and a guide, just as Drew Binsky did on his group trip to Thailand last November.
And in case you’re ever in Belgrade, feel free to discover these most Instagram-worthy Belgrade places we shared. Or contact us for a quick sightseeing tour around the city 🙂
Coaching and public speaking
More and more, travel bloggers are recognized as a valuable members of a global online society. As such, people invite them to speak at various conferences, to host workshops and coach in their line of work. There are so many opportunities in the travel world, and we firmly believe there’s enough space and chances for everyone to share their knowledge about traveling and business around it. Just one look at TravelCon speakers list, for instance, can shed light on how much value and knowledge travel bloggers bring nowadays.
Brands and companies realize how significant impact travel bloggers can have on society, so they invest in them to speak and share their experience from what they do. And if you’re long in the game, the fee keeps going up, for sure!
How to make money as a travel blogger bonus tip
Either way, whatever types of deal you choose to make money as a travel blogger, one thing is constant. You need a website for your travel blog adventure. A place that is well developed, safe and secure, that people will love to come and spend time with. Your blog is the window to all your travel adventures, and you need to make it the best it can be! Both for your visitors and companies, you can work with; they all want to see the value from your web space. And that’s where a well designed and travel optimized WordPress theme steps in. Trawell theme, a professional WordPress theme we made especially with travel bloggers on our minds, flexible and with all the features any travel blogger might have:
- Customizable homepage
- Google Maps integration
- Destinations categorization
- Brand customization
- Various banner possibilities
So, if you’re in the lookout for a freshly new travel-oriented WordPress theme – look no more! Try out our Travell theme for free seven days and experience first handed how well it fits your needs. Because, no matter how big community you build around your social networks, have in mind that it’s not your playground to play on. One never be sure that it’ll stay that way, right? The rules of the social networks keep changing day by day – remember the Instagram followers cut? That’s why it’s essential to have your piece of web and build a strong, stable base for your visitors and community there.
So, you see, if you’re in the travel blogging long enough, there’s pretty much everything and anything you can do. The sky is the limit as they say.
I hope this article shared some light into what kind of things you can explore and pursue as a travel blogger. What would be some other ways to make money as a blogger? Share your thoughts in the comments below and feel free to share this guide with your friends on social.