It’s the dream job, right? Making a living traveling the world.
In fact, one company is hiring a globetrotter to be a brand ambassador for a whopping $10,000 a month!
While you might not be lucky enough to land the best job on the planet, you can still earn enough money on your travel blog to cover expenses, or more if you play your cards right. Here are three ways for the entrepreneurial travelers out there to turn their travel blog into a revenue machine.
You First Need an Audience
Simply put, to earn money with your travel blog, you need to first have an audience of people visiting your website or interacting with you on social media. The more visitors and influence you have, the more likely brands are to work with you and the more money you can charge when they do.
So how do you quickly and easily build an audience?
- Find a unique niche: Whether you already have a website or not, you can always narrow your audience down and grow your blog through niche marketing. Let’s assume you’re starting from scratch. Take a few minutes to think about how you can approach traveling differently. There are thousands of generic travel websites, so try to find a narrow audience. For instance, create a travel blog that solely talks about dining like a local while traveling – DineLikeALocal.com
- Post awesome content: Content reigns in the blogosphere so the better quality your content, the more people will visit and share your posts. How do you create awesome content? One way travel bloggers can create great content is to share photos or videos of their adventures. Don’t worry; if you’re a new blogger who doesn’t have a ton of personal photos yet, you can use a free stock photography service like Shopify’s Burst to supplement your own photos.
- Post frequently: One of the most difficult parts of being a travel blogger is the time commitment that it takes to post content. You’re not going to grow your audience as a travel blogger if you’re not posting regularly. This includes blog posts and social media posts. Commit to publish at least once a day to start, and as you start earning more and more money from your site, you can hopefully turn it into a full-time gig with multiple, engaging posts every day.
- Promote the hell out of yourself: Great travel bloggers have no shame in asking for help – this is particularly true as it relates to growing your brand name. Take time to engage with other travel bloggers, join Facebook groups, and don’t be afraid to ask for other people to share your website, photos, or other branded assets. Also, great travel bloggers will start building and using an email list from day 1.
Sell Your Own Products
One of the best ways to earn money on your travel blog is to sell a product to your visitors. This is one of the most stable revenue strategies out there and one that directly correlates to your effort.
If you plan to sell a product on your travel site, you must first learn what your audience is most interested in. For instance, let’s say you decided to create the local dining blog that we mentioned earlier. It’s very likely that your audience are foodies or people who are interested in learning more about interesting cuisine.
Knowing that, you could create your own cook book sourcing the best recipes from whichever cities you have visited. You then download an ecommerce solution for your website and put the book for sale online. Even at $4.99 – you could earn $500 a year by selling eight a month.
Books are a popular product for travel bloggers, but you could sell other things too like services. For instance, take awesome photographs or create paintings from iconic locations and sell your creative work on your blog. The opportunities are endless, but by selling your own products or services, you can start converting your visitors into customers.
Inevitably, as you start to grow your travel brand you’ll face this exact scenario. Someday you’ll receive an email from someone telling you how awesome your website is and that they would love for you to cover their brand – they may say something like “I think your audience would really love our product.”
This is the perfect opportunity to approach them with a sponsored post opportunity. A sponsored post means that in exchange for creating or sharing a piece of content that markets the brand, that brand will pay you. They get their brand in front of your audience and you earn money for renting out your platform.
Sponsored posts can be a win-win situation for you and the brand, but it’s important that you don’t lose your audience’s respect by selling ad space in the form of posted content. Your visitors are use to a certain type of content when they come to your website so if they find that they are suddenly being pitched a product instead of seeing awesome photos or videos of your adventure, you may very well alienate your fans.
Look for sponsored travel post opportunities that give you freedom to choose the topic, format, and style. If you’re not free to control the content entirely, you should still make sure to label the post as sponsored and be as transparent as possible with your audience.
Affiliate marketing isn’t quite as popular as it once was, but it’s still one of the most effective ways to earn passive income through your travel blog. Affiliate links are links placed throughout your blog that are tied back to another company’s product or service. When someone from your website clicks a link and then purchases from the company your link directed them to, you earn a commission.
Many companies will offer life-time commission on a customer, so if you happen to land a whale who travels the world first-class and stays at 5-star hotels, you could earn a nice chunk of change from their purchase. The tough part about affiliate marketing is that many people are already tied to some other account, so to make up for that you should try reaching out to new companies that don’t have as many customers established.
The three strategies above just scratch the surface of truly monetizing your travel blog. Remember, if you really want to make a living with a travel blog, you have to be active and focus on growing your brand. Once you start getting an active community, the money will start rolling in.