Life as a travel blogger sounds luxurious doesn't it?! Imagine sunning yourself in the Greek Islands, encountering wild animals on a safari in Africa or indulging at a luxury hotel in Dubai. Well, I'm sorry to be the bearer of bad news but being a travel blogger ain't as glamorous as it seems and it ain't that easy to make money (otherwise everyone would be doing it!). However, there are ways to make money as a travel blogger without selling your soul, whilst leaving some time for fun. I mean that's what it's really about, right? The below ways to make money as a travel blogger are things I personally have seen success with in my blogging endeavours but also things other travel bloggers I know have seen success with.
‘Affiliate’ is a term I had never heard before I became a blogger, but it essentially means receiving a commission for a product or service that you sell on someone else’s behalf. For example, I have a post, 9 Non-Cliché Travel Reads For Your Next Trip, which has Amazon affiliate links to books that I love. If someone clicks on one of the trackable links in that post and they end up buying the book through Amazon, I receive an affiliate commission for that sale. Basically the commission is a thank you for sending a customer their way.
There are lots of affiliate programs out there including Amazon Associates, Click Bank, Commission Junction and Share A Sale. There are also many travel related companies which provide affiliate programs such as Airbnb, Hotels.com and Booking.com. Alternatively, if there is a particular product or service you love, approach the creator and ask if you can be set up as an affiliate. I find the best way to make money from affiliates is to choose a product you are truly passionate about first and foremost. If you don’t truly love it and you’re just faking it for money, this will come across to your readers.
2) Your Own Products or Services
Selling your own products and services is a great way to make money as a travel blogger. There are so many ideas out there you could easily sell, bearing in mind, if you are travelling throughout the year, it might be easier logistically to stick to online products and services that are easy to distribute. It is also important to consider your audience and where they are located geographically if selling physical products, as shipping can be a killer.
Here are some ideas for products you could sell:
- Backpacks and suitcases
- Travel guides and books
- Travel clothing and accessories
- Travel wallets, passport covers and bag tags
- Adventure travel products
- eBooks and printables
And don't forget services:
- Itinerary planning
- Social media for travel bloggers
- Yoga or meditation retreat
3) Online Course
An online course, in my opinion, is the best way to make money as a travel blogger. In researching options for monetization when I was first starting out as a blogger, I came across Melyssa Griffin, who for those of you who don’t know, is the goddess of creating an online business. She talked about how she was fed up with the fact that you need a huge audience of readers and crazy traffic numbers to make any serious income from affiliates. And this makes complete sense. I mean the more traffic you have > the more people click through on your blog post > the more people buy the product or service you are affiliated with. And let’s face it, most affiliate commissions are minimal at best.
But what about if you created an online course which required no outlay except for your time and effort initially, that was at least a couple of hundred dollars in price and could be scaled in the future whether you have 50 or 50,000 people on your email list.
Let’s take a look at the other benefits of an online course:
- Auto-pilot – it can run whilst you sleep
- You are not trading time for money
- There is the opportunity to scale as your audience grows
- Your profit margin is not subject to huge expenses to create
- You can share your knowledge and expertise with an online community
- You'll become an authority in your niche
- You'll have the freedom to travel
When I created my first course Travel Blog 101, I was astounded at the fact people would pay to hear me teach them. I had no idea online courses were such a big thing on the internet these days. I mean people pay anywhere from a hundred dollars to a couple of thousand for a really good online course. The higher priced your course, the less you have to sell to reach your income goals. This for me was a game changer.
4) Sponsored Posts
A sponsored post is where a company or brand pays you to review or write about their product or service. Reach out to brands you love and pitch why you would be a great ambassador for their product and why they ought to pay you to write about it. Some examples I have seen reviewed are backpacks, travel clothing, books and even photography equipment. The sky is the limit when it comes to sponsored posts.
There are also social influencer apps such as Tribe and Cooperatize you can join which keep you updated on sponsored post opportunities. It is important to keep in mind that sponsored posts don’t just have to be in the form of a blog post. Brands pay for social media posts also, providing you have a certain amount of followers. This can be as simple as taking a pic, adding some hashtags and uploading it to Instagram.
5) Sponsored Stays and Famils
Whilst this isn’t technically making cash money, sponsored stays or familiarisation trips can fund your travels that you were going to do anyway and also offer you invaluable experiences. Whether these experiences are physical experiences you can use for content on your blog or networking experiences that will set you up for future collaborations and success. Think about it, if you are planning a trip to Europe next year say, why not pitch to various hotels and tourism boards in the regions you were thinking of visiting anyway. This will save you money to spend on other sightseeing or even extending your trip, thus, allowing you to see explore more and really make the most of your opportunities as a travel blogger.
If you want to start your own travel blog or start monetizing the one you already have, come join the FREE 8 Day Travel Blog Bootcamp and get your blogging butt into gear.
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