I am often asked – Mariella, can I travel and make money? Or I get the dreamers who ask – what will it take for me to quit my job and just travel but still earn a living? The answer is very simple. Yes you can! Actually, nowadays it is much easier to money from a travel blog than ever before. If you know a little bit about social media – you are already 50% on the road to making money from a travel blog. So here are my best 10 Tips on how to make money from a travel blog.
1. Become an Instagram Influencer
It is really so very easy to monetize your travels today. Becoming an influencer is a relatively new and although it is already quite competitive, it is fun and most people are already doing this without realizing that they can make money from it.
Travel and Instagram are possibly the best bet put together. You can make money on Instagram as long as you can visually express yourself. Instagram has millions of users and they are ready to be tapped into! How would you like to get a paycheck for your dreams and passions? Yes you can make a living with traveling – thanks to Instagram. Instagram is the place you go to and share your images as you go and discover the world. You have to distinguish yourself with a style that becomes your niche. For example, I do female flying solo. You may want to do traveling below the age of 20, or you may want to explore travel and fashion. Whatever, it is that takes your fancy and is your real passion – is what you can do. Once you build an audience that is wide enough you are on your way to monetize your pages.
The highest earning travel influencers combine their Instagram pages (hence their audience) to their travel blog or other services such as planning trips for clients. This is where you start making money through your Instagram page.
Here is an example of a first class Insta and Travel Blogger who is absolutely raking it with her posts! Lady in London!
2. Your Blog is Your Gateway to Success
So you want to be a travel blogger right? Well that is easy enough. You travel, you record your impressions, and you write quirky stuff about it. Writing is an artform, and in this case you are giving a personal rendering of yourself. So make it reflect your personality.
Your travel blog can be your gateway to success. Be fun, be funny, be personal, be serious. Be whatever it is you are but make it real. However, each and every post your write is actually your resume.
Once you have established a blog – this can become your resume to get freelance writing. You can start off getting paid anywhere between $50-$100 per post you write – if you are capable of writing. You can charge even more once a publication that you will be writing for can see that you yourself have some reach.
If you write a good freelance article and this gets shared – you can practically assume that they will be your clients for life and that you will get multiple commissions. So build your trust. Research properly and just be yourself. And that is just another way on how to make money with a travel blog.
3. Affiliate Marketing is A One-Time Set up for Passive Income
If you think that affiliate marketing is overrated then please think again! It is never too early or too late to start with affiliate marketing. Shopping trends today clearly show that there are more and more people who look for information and make decisions online. Every decision which come from your Ads or your resources will earn you money. It is as simple as that.
Affiliate marketing may look as a far shot. HOWEVER! And I cannot not emphasize on the however, once it is set it is a passive income.
I would set affiliate links earlier rather than later on the posts I write. Later, as your blog gains more interaction, you will find that your old Aff Links will start to kick in. Drop by drop your bucket will fill. Do not spam your articles with Aff Links, but placing information which someone else in your niche is selling is easy and valuable to your readers. It may take a while to see results but you need to see the bigger picture.
Here is one of the best Affiliate Links I use – for Education and Income
My only real and hand on heart advice on this is that you should only add links to promote sites or services that you really believe in and that are relevant to your niche.
4. Happy Snappers – Sell Your Photos!
I took this photo at about 6.30 a.m in Mont Choisy Beach in Mauritius – it was my morning walk and I saw the perfect rainbow. This photo is totally unfiltered but it is real and in my opionion it is the perfect rainbow. Naturally if you are askinghow to make money from a travel blog, then photography needs to be high on your priority list. However, with a little bit of time you can transform any good photo into a magical photo simply by tweeking it a little bit. I played a little bit around and this is what my photo looked like in the end.
It is not necessarily a saleable image but it could well become one. This job was done on PHOTOR and I left the watermark there on purpose to see the difference.
So selling photos online is yet another way on how to make money with a travel blog. And this can happen even when you are just starting out. Great photos on Instagram are also a great way of selling yourself and ensuring that you have a following that grow.
5. Paid Campaigns – Work hard on them
Let us get this straight. If you are interested in how to make money from a travel blog – there is certainly no get rich quick scheme. You will first need to be enjoying yourself, and building your writing and your image portfolio and then it happens!
Once you build your audience – you will see that paid opportunities will come your way! You can actually pay your way on holiday with product partnerships. Let me give you a quick example. Once you build your credibility you can get yourself free lodging. For example – in my recent post about Malta – Where the Heck is Malta? – I explained how many times I have Instagram influencers asking me to host them for a week or so in my boutique hotel Casa Birmula – and I do for free over and over again.
What are the advantages gained? Well the Instagrammer or Influencer gets free accomodation. The hotel in return gets free exposure. Naturally, I do not entertain every Social Media Influencer for free. I check their following and the type of client base they are targeting.
But I do allocate a room for a few days per month in return for exporsure. Here are some of the influencers who have stayed for free at my hotel! Mariana Calonso and Jelena Dragovic – both have numerous coverage of Malta and CasaBirmula on their instagram sites.
We are living in the age of selfie – sticks and selfie photos. Photography has once again become super relevant and it is so easy to do it with our cell-phones today. And it is never too late to start! Way to go and it is awesome and fun.
6. Use your Video Footage and grow a YouTube Channel
Notwithstanding, that writing and a static blog will give you all the information that you need to refer back to – there is no question that today we are very visual. Vlogs as they are known today are really visual blogs – less said and more seen – kind of thing. Vlogs are very popular especially with millenials as a easy mean to making the message arrive easily at its destination.
In order to make money with videos, you will need to be consistent and again it will entail building an audience. YouTube Ads are certainly another way on how to make money from a travel blog. It is relatively easy to upload a video on to your YouTube site but if you really want to hit a target audience, you will still need to prepare information about your destination and give a great transcibed description beneath the video.
Here are the Top Three YouTube Vloggers who will charm, entertain and bewilder you – they all make over a million $ from Vlogging:
Fun For Louis – with 2.01 million subscribers
Mr Ben Brown – 685k subscribers
Hey Nadine – our Lady Hero with 487k subscribers
7. Placed Advertising
Placed advertising is the easiest and most passive on incomes – however you do need to grow your blog audience before this will start giving you some revenue. However, the earlier you do it on your website the better it grows as your site grows stronger and has more engagement.
The downside to placed ads is that it is rather invasive and that it does spoil the general look of your site. However, placed advertising is another way on how to make money from a travel blog – it is another stream of income.
8. Become a Virtual Assistant for other bloggers
If you are new to the business and you do not have a good following yet, then working for an established blogger will help you learn, get experience and definitely become more effective with your own blog. It will also give you the opportunity to start living your dream with a sure foot!
You may be thinking – how do I become a virtual assistant to an established blogger? Well as with other jobs, there is a job industry for travel blogging. You could start off by attending some industry events. My favorite is TBEX which has two conventions – one in Europe and one in the USA. Another place is TRAVEL MASSIVE. Travel Massive are a very comprehensive service provider and if you browse their site you will immediately understand the variety of opportunities you will come across.
The bottom line is always your personality that will sell your work. Networking is important and therefore a conference is really going to cut the chase and find you one to one interaction possibilities.
9. Set Up your very own Podcast
There are really very few travel bloggers who actually have a Podcast – so this is a great oppotunity to tap into a fairly new niche of how to make money with a travel blog. This is not a saturated market as are many other niches on Podcast and ready for the taking. Naturally, you will need to set a style that is unique and contribute something that is quite valuable.
If you are not sure on how to start your own Podcast, you may want to head over to My First Podcast and start off there
Last but not least – if you are really passionate about your subject – and already have some good experience – and have the nerves and personality for it – then you could become a public speaker. Public speaking will lend you a lot more gravitas and also been a great feature in your cap to hold even more authority.
This is a very early image of myself some light years ago addressing a gala conference on the role of women in finance.
It is quite a career change for me – but every step of the way it was a beautiful experience and simple added value to whatever it is that I decided to do later in life.
So to conclude – if you are still wondering how to make money as a travel blogger – I hope that I have quizzed your interest enough to start with one or more tips from my top ten picks. What is more important than anything else is that you should have fun doing it and that it suits your personality.
Just a final one before I go – if you were also wondering how much a top travel blogger makes – look out for the couple from It’s a Lovely Life – they make something like 250k a month! Thats a target to aim for!
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