If you love to travel, the thought may have already crossed your mind: why not start a travel blog? As a traveler, it not only helps you create a digital time capsule of your journey, but also to share your experience with others. No matter where you go in the world, travel blogging is a very rewarding experience.
It’s important to recognize that any time of blogging requires hard work and dedication, and few people are able to build a blog that supports them full-time. But this shouldn’t deter you. Some people make just enough money to keep traveling, while others are able to pay their bills and build a career around their efforts. Fortunately, there are quite a few things you can do to generate revenue. Here’s how you can make money from your online travel blog:
First and foremost, you won’t be able to make money from your blog if you don’t have the basics down. User experience is crucial to your sales and revenue potential. You should choose the right hosting, pick a domain name that sticks, and choose a platform that’s easy to use and customize, like WordPress.
You also want to be sure your website is optimized for mobile devices, as you’ll find that many travelers (your target audience) will be perusing content on-the-go. Responsive designs are the perfect option, as they increase speed and adjust to any screen size.
Understand Your Hurdles
If you aren’t passionate about travel, and are starting a blog purely to monetize it, chances are you’ll experience even more hurdles. Starting a travel blog requires that you accept the challenges that come, and understand that you could be writing for quite a while before you actually start generating revenue. This is standard for many of the best travel bloggers out there.
Learn About Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is one of the most popular ways to earn money on any blog. Here’s how affiliate marketing works: you include links to items visitors can purchase, and if that individual makes a purchase, you can a percentage of the profits.
For example, let’s say you’re making a travel post about the best backpacks for long-term travel trips. In this case, you would become an affiliate partner with Amazon (or other sports stores) and link to where that customer can purchase each backpack on your list. Aside from Amazon, here are some other affiliate programs that can help you increase your blog earnings:
Use Ad Placement
It might be hard to even imagine your blog with ads, but there are plenty of ways to incorporate your ads in a way that feels natural. And if you have great content, you’ll find that most readers won’t be bothered by it—especially if the ads are relevant to travel, and can actually better the user experience.
If you’re especially worried about the way ads will impact your blog’s aesthetic and user experience, you can send out a survey to your readers a few months after you’ve begun implementing ads. Ask them if there’s anything you can improve. If your readers are bothered by ads, they’ll let you know.
You also want to pay attention to your analytics. If you notice a higher bounce rate and less engagement after you’ve implemented ads, that’s a sign you’re using ads in a way that negatively impacts your readers.
Create An Ebook
After you’ve done extensive traveling, you may be able to create a travel ebook on your own. Be sure to provide readers with a free excerpt. Ideally, you want your ebook to focus on a specific niche. For example, travel blogger Matt Kepnes has several ebooks about budget travel. Let’s said you had substantial experience traveling in a city like Budapest. You might make a city guide and sell it for a few bucks.
Before you create your own ebooks, you should check out how other travel bloggers are creating their own digital guides. You can curate previous posts to help you build out your copy, so you aren’t starting from scratch. If you’re not adept at design, consider hiring a freelancer for ebook formatting and graphic design to give your ebook that extra edge.
Go On Press Trips
Press trips are paid campaigns that send travel bloggers to destinations in exchange for a certain amount of deliverables. In the beginning, these paid trips can be very beneficial to you. You’ll be paid to travel, and can offer valuable advice to your readers. Check out this guide on how to choose press trips as a blogger.
Use Your Blog As a Portfolio
One of the best things about starting a travel blog is that you can use it as a portfolio for freelance jobs. Freelance writing allows you the ability to continue working on your blog while still making money for you day to day life and travel adventures. However, if you’re new to freelance writing, using your blog as a freelance portfolio can help you secure jobs you may not have otherwise. It proves that you have the ability to write consistent, solid travel writing pieces.