How to Make Money Travel Blogging and Get Paid to Travel

December 8, 2017

Believe it or not it’s actually possible to get paid while traveling.

Knowing how to make money travel blogging can have a huge impact on your life. With your blogging skills it’s possible that you could earn an income while traveling the world.

When you first get started it might seem daunting but the trick is to keep trying until everything comes together.

stefan in poland

It might not happen overnight but eventually, if you keep putting in the work, it’s very likely that you could turn your travel blog into a money making machine.

Just like with anything that you do in life, you get out of travel blogging what you put into it.

This means that if you’re grinding away for hours at a time every day of the week you’re more likely to experience the success you want than if you just sat around and hoped for the best.

Some bloggers make it look easy to get paid to travel but there is a lot of work that goes into making it happen.

In this post I want to share with you how you can make money travel blogging. I also want to share the different strategies and techniques that I used with my own travel blog.

Hopefully you’ll be able to implement everything I share today and start getting paid to travel as soon as possible.

Let’s just jump right into it!

How to Become a Travel Blogger and Actually Make Money Blogging

affiliate marketing with a vlog

Start Your Travel Blog

If you don’t have one already now is the time to start your own travel blog.

Setting up your own blog doesn’t take much time at all. You can be up and running in just 15 to 30 minutes depending on your skills.

To get started, head over to Bluehost and pick out your domain name as well as a hosting plan.

Follow through with the steps to get everything set up.

Once you have your hosting go ahead and install WordPress. With WordPress installed you can go ahead and pick a travel blogging theme for the blog.

When your WordPress is ready you can finally start blogging and sharing your content with the world.

Feel free to take out look at my post on how to start your own blog if you need help with this step.

You might also find my blogging starter checklist helpful as well.

Otherwise, let’s keep moving on!

How You Can Make Money Travel Blogging

There are quite a few different ways that travel bloggers make money.

There isn’t just one specific strategy or tactic that works for everybody. It’s a good idea to try out a few different things to see what works for you.

Once you find something you like you can scale it up into a livable income that allows you to travel the world full time.

Let’s take a look at the different ways you can make money traveling using your blog.

Freelance Writing

freelance writing for money

Back when I first started my travel blog it was freelance writing where I earned my first few dollars.

I originally started out on Fiverr because I didn’t know better. After using the platform for a few months I made my way on to UpWork where I was able to secure some better quality long-term clients.

At the time I was only making a few dollars per month. It was enough to keep me afloat in more affordable destinations in Eastern Europe.

After a few more months using Upwork I had written quite a few travel related posts on my own blog. It’s at this point that I started reaching out to companies directly and applying for more professional level freelance writing jobs online.

I was probably applying for 5 to 10 jobs each day.

This strategy worked because I ended up with a handful of clients that paid quite well for the content I wrote for them. Not all of them were travel-related but the writing was interesting enough to keep me busy and occupied during the day.

Freelance writing is great because you don’t have to spend the entire day in front of the computer.

You only need to get your writing done to meet deadlines and save some time to apply for new gigs. The rest of the time you can spend traveling and enjoying the cities you’re visiting.

For beginners, I think that freelance writing is the best way to make money traveling.

Having your own blog really helps because you can use it as a portfolio. Businesses and people hiring writers will see you as a more professional individual if you have your own blog.

It also makes it easier to reach out to travel related publications if you have your own travel website. You can direct them to it so that they can check out your writing skills and to determine whether or not you’re a good fit for their business.

How Much Money Can You Make Freelance Writing?

It’s hard to put an exact figure on how much money you can actually earn freelance writing.

There are a lot of variables that determine how much you’re able to earn.

Starting out, assuming you have decent writing skills and English is your first language, I would say that you could earn between $100 and $500 in your first month.

Again, this depends on how hard you work and what your writing experience is.

After one year of freelance writing I would say that it’s reasonable to expect to earn about $1,000 or more per month.

I’m basing this on my own experience and how hard I worked to achieve these income levels.

The sky’s the limit when it comes to freelance writing. It’s important to remember that if you want to earn a living writing and traveling you need to be willing to put in the work from day one.

There are plenty of helpful guides online that you can check out if you want to get into freelance writing. Just head over to Google, do a quick search, and start reading!

Where to Find Freelance Writing Jobs

Here are a few different websites you can check out if you’re looking for some freelance writing work:

Check out this helpful article for even more ideas.

Try to apply to 5 to 10 jobs everyday and keep applying until you have a handful of decent clients.

Affiliate Marketing

using a lead magnet for getting your visitors email

One of the best ways to make money blogging is with affiliate marketing. It’s one of my personal favorites and for travel bloggers it’s a great monetization strategy.

The reason I love affiliate marketing is because once you create content for a specific product or service that you’re promoting you can keep earning from it well into the future. It’s as close to passive income as you can get with blogging.

For travelers, affiliate marketing is great because there are plenty of options for products and services that you can promote.

For example, some of the different affiliate products and services that you can promote on your blog includes things like:

  • Car rentals
  • Flight tickets
  • Hotels and accommodation
  • Cameras
  • Travel gear (clothing, shoes, etc)
  • Suitcases, backpacks and other types of luggage

There are a lot of different affiliate programs that you can join as a travel blogger.

You might even have personal experience with some of the different products or services that you’re promoting.

This is going to make it easier for your audience to relate to you and more likely to buy something that you recommend.

How Does Affiliate Marketing Work?

In case you haven’t heard of it, the way that affiliate marketing works is simple.

Various companies will have their own affiliate program. They’ll give you a specific link to use on your blog when you mention the company or product. If someone clicks on this link and makes a purchase then you earn a small commission.

For example, you can use the AirBnb affiliate link in your content to recommend the platform for accommodation. If somebody signs up through your link and books an apartment you can earn around $25 depending on where you’re from.

Another example, let’s say somebody clicks a link for a winter jacket that you recommend. If they end up buying the jacket you’ll earn a small commission on the sale.

It’s that easy!

Many different travel companies have affiliate programs as a way to incentivize bloggers to promote them. Keep an eye out for any programs that might interest you and especially for anything that’s directly related to the topic of your blog.

What are Some of the Best Affiliate Programs for Travel Bloggers?

There are a lot of different programs out there. Some of the best affiliate programs that I would recommend checking out include:

These programs all provide something relevant for travelers.

Depending on the topic of your blog you’re going to want to consider joining these different affiliate programs and promoting their products or services to your readers.

Affiliate Marketing Tips

There are two things to keep in mind if you’re hoping to make money with affiliate marketing.

You need a very targeted audience or a lot of traffic.

I prefer driving a lot of traffic to my travel blog rather than focusing on something too specific in a small niche market.

People online are always interested in travel-related information so there are a lot of opportunities for creating content around different affiliate products and services.

Affiliate marketing can work well if you have a specific niche but I find that having more traffic is going to earn you more money in the long run.

Display Advertising

display ads for blogging

Another one of the easiest ways to get started making money with a travel blog is through display advertisements.

Some people don’t like ads and find them unsightly. Depending on your niche they can be lucrative and a great way to earn some extra money each month.

Similar to with affiliate marketing, you need decent traffic levels to earn a significant amount of money with display advertising.

What is Display Advertising?

You know how when you visit a blog or website and you see ads on the sidebar or throughout the content?

Those are display ads display advertisements.

They’re really easy to start using. Adding them to a blog or website requires a quick copy and paste and you’re good to go.

Personally, I find them non-intrusive and it’s possible to do well with display ads depending on your traffic levels.

Display Advertisement Platforms

Google AdSense is the most popular place to find display ads for your blog. It’s easy to sign up and you can have ads up and running a few minutes after getting approved.

Some other popular Google AdSense alternatives include:

What are the Best niches for Display Advertisements?

Some niches are better than others when it comes to how much you can earn with display ads on your blog.

It’s a good idea to use these ads if you are covering an expensive or high-end topic in your content. Some examples of good niches for this type of monetization include:

  • River Cruises
  • First class flights
  • Luxury travel
  • Resorts and luxury hotels

Anything high-end is going to earn you more money from your visitors with display ads.

How Much Money Can You Make With Display Ads?

There are a lot of variables that determine how much you can earn through these ads.

Personally, I found the average to be $1 per 1000 views for most blogs. For something higher end you can expect $3 to $5 per 1000 views.

For low traffic levels this isn’t going to amount to much.

Once you start getting 100,000 or more visitors to your blog then the earnings start to add up. Otherwise, it might not be worth it to use display ads when you’re just starting out.

Sponsored Posts

what should you blog about

As a new blogger you might not have the opportunity to take advantage of sponsored posts.

Once you have developed and established your travel blog this is a monetization strategy that you should look into.

What are Sponsored Posts?

Sponsored posts are when a brand or company reach out to you and ask you to promote something of theirs on your blog. This can include products or services as well as hotels and any other travel related companies.

Sometimes the company might provide you with the text that they want included on your blog. Other times you might have to create content on your own. It depends on what the company is looking for and what you’re willing to provide.

For sponsored posts you need to consider only working with brands and companies that you believe in. You want to avoid promoting products or services that don’t mesh well with your audience or that you don’t agree with personally.

How to Make Money with Sponsored Posts

As a relatively new blogger you’re going to have to reach out to clients on your own when you’re first starting out. This is going to be the best way to find sponsored post opportunities.

Eventually companies might start reaching out to you but don’t expect that to happen very often.

There are a few websites that you can sign up for that makes it easier to find sponsored post opportunities.

These websites include:

Check out this helpful post for more information on landing your first sponsorship.

After signing up for these platforms you can begin contacting different clients and companies right away. It helps to have a media kit prepared as well as a template of what you’re able to provide.

How Much Money Can You Make With Sponsored Posts?

There are a lot of variables that come into play with how much money you can earn through sponsored opportunities.

Avoid contacting companies or trying to gain sponsored posts when you’re a brand new blogger. These companies likely aren’t interested in working with new bloggers.

You’ll have better luck contacting them once you’re established and already getting decent web traffic.

With a somewhat established blog I would say that you could earn between $50 and $200 per sponsored post. The amount depends on your blog metrics and what is the client is looking for in exchange for sponsorship.

Coming into sponsored post opportunities can be sporadic and it’s not something I’d recommend as a sustainable blogging income source.

Selling Your Own Product or Service

selling a product or service

As a travel blogger you’re able to build an audience that’s always interested in what you have to share. This opens up a lot of opportunities for promoting your own product or service.

People are always looking for help or more information when it comes to traveling.

You need to find what your audience is looking for and provide them with a product or service that can help them with their current problems.

Having your own product or service for sale is another reliable way of building a passive income through your blog. As long as you’re able to drive traffic to your blog then you should be able to sell something to your audience.

Some different products or services that you can offer as a travel blogger include:

  • Ebooks/destination guides
  • Trip planning support
  • Tour guide services
  • Travel blogging coaching/courses

If you’re able to help people out with their travel-related problems then you should look for a product or service that you could offer them.

This can take time to develop, especially things like writing an eBook or creating content for a course.

Depending on your travel style you might be better off staying put for a few months and working on something rather than visiting somewhere new every few days. This would give you plenty of time to create something that you can offer for sale while still building your blog.

Selling Your Travel Photos

selling travel photography

I’m not sure how I feel about this method. Everybody has a camera these days and you would have to be an extremely skilled photographer to make money selling travel photos.

Despite my opinion, there’s no reason not to try and this is still a suitable method of making money with your travel blog. You can use your blog as a platform for promoting your photos and even your photography services.

I recommend setting up a store on your blog where you can display your best photos for sale. Anybody interested can check them out and after making a purchase you can send them high-quality prints.

There are also different networks where you can upload your photos and sell them directly to people looking for specific image content.

These networks open you up to a much larger audience of people. They’re great to use in combination with your own blog especially if you’re just starting out and not getting that much traffic yet.

Some of the different stock photo companies that I recommend include:

Depending on the quality of your photos you can use social media for promoting them as well. Instagram is a great place to share your best photos and get people interested in your content.

On Instagram you can include a CTA in your description telling people to check out your blog or shop if they’re interested in buying your photos.

How Much Money Can You Make From a Travel Blog?

working online passive income

Unfortunately, the numbers aren’t in your favor if you’re hoping to make money with your travel blog.

A few years ago there was a survey on ProBlogger that asked how much bloggers earned each month.

The results weren’t that surprising and you shouldn’t let them deter you from starting. Just remember that many bloggers fail despite all of their effort.

From the survey, 9% of bloggers claimed to earn between $1000 and $10,000 per month.

4% of them claimed to earn more than $10,000 per month.

This means that the remaining 87% of bloggers earned less than $1,000 per month. The most surprising thing is that the majority of people claimed to earn less than $3.50 per day, or a little more than $100 per month.

For most people, earning $100 per month isn’t enough to enable them to travel at all. Even for a few hours of work it might not be worth it to earn $100.

It’s hard to say how much you can make with your blog.

I believe that one of the deciding factors is how hard you’re willing to work and whether or not you quit too soon. I would argue that many people give up too early and throw away their chance of earning anything with their blog.

At the bare minimum I would recommend grinding away for at least one year to see how everything turns out. If after this time you haven’t made a single dollar then yes, you should probably quit.

However, it’s hard to say what you’re going to learn along the way. You never know how your blogging journey is going to turn out.

Final Thoughts

fitbit tips

Hopefully I’ve given you a better idea of what you need to do to start making money with your travel blog.

It’s a lot of work but if you want to be able to travel full-time then these strategies are something you’re going to need to look into.

Before just quitting your job to travel the world I recommend having at least 6 to 12 months of living expenses saved up. This is a great buffer to keep you afloat if you want to quit working and dive right into blogging.

A safer alternative would be to build up your blog while you’re working. This way you can learn  the ropes before you take off. Your job is going to be your safety net and you can spend time learning how to blog the right way.

In my opinion, if you work hard I can’t see why you can start making money with your travel blog after just a few months. Eventually it starts to snowball and becomes possible to earn a livable income travel blogging.

There are heaps of people doing it so you should give it a shot!

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