I know you have been wondering the possibility to live off a travel blog. I understand your confusion. I once thought the same. A few years ago, blogs were seen as an ordinary online diary. To this day, people still see blogs as a means of entertainment. I can remember on many occasions where I introduced myself as a blogger, and the response that follows is; What is that? A lot of persons are blinded to the possible ways to monetize a travel blog.
More exciting fact on blog monetization is that top-earning travel blogs have different ways to monetize blogs and earn even money than big brands top executives. Zoella and Michelle are clear examples of such bloggers who use tip blog monetization to make money from their blogs. With monthly earnings of above $70,000. Don’t be too excited about this if you are a beginner blogger. You have to know to learn some basic requirements on how to make money off a travel blog or the possibility of getting paid to travel across countries”.
In my early days, I have no idea on how to become a travel blogger and make money. But upon many research, I learned what it entails. You need to see how happy I was when my first client approaches me for a paid sponsored post. At first, I thought it was all a joke. My greatest experience and past mistakes were centered on learning the steps to take, and when to drawback. This was very challenging for me. And it took me time to research and answer know these steps.
How to monetize your travel blog
Many bloggers think because they can make money through different social media platform, then they can make money from blogs. This is completely wrong. To make money off a travel blog, you need to invest a whole lot. It may not necessarily be a financial investment, but enough time, and effort in conducting research. More heartbreaking is that most bloggers research for possible means on ho to monetize a travel blog, but they will never act or follow the steps. It is possible to own a successful blog without using social media. I’m not saying social media platforms are not helpful.
But from my experience, I see social media as a distraction to new bloggers who create more content on these platforms than their travel blogs. The truth is, you have to spot out the social media platform that suits your travel niche and quit every other channel to face your blog priority.
How long does it take to start making money off a travel blog?
Many bloggers think all they need to make the most out of their travel blog is to hit a million views each month. No doubt, the more traffic you get, the more your blog monetization opportunity. But from experience, I have seen travel bloggers who make so much from their travel blog with not too high traffic or massive social media followers. It all depends on how you choose to monetize your blog and your top priorities.
Owning a professional travel blog is not all that easy. This is the secret behind bloggers who quit. They start a travel blog with unrealistic ways to monetize travel blogs. When things are not happening their way within the first six months, they quit. Don’t be deceived; no one can tell you when to monetize a travel blog. Do all the things required. When I was starting up this blog, I was nowhere to be found online, most of the blogs that were leading are nowhere to be found today, because their owners gave up when they couldn’t make enough money from their travel blog.
Before I proceed to mention some of the possible ways to monetize a travel blog, I think it’s necessary to understand how to make your travel blog go viral.
How to get noticed among other top-earning travel blogs
What makes you think to buy a domain, hosting it, and creating a travel blog will bring your blog in front of your target audience? With all the top-earning travel blogs out there, who are willing to spend more money, invest time and effort on their blog, makes it difficult to announce your online presences and get noticed. At the early stage of my blog, I was privileged to work with some bloggers, so I understand this perspective towards travel blogging. Follow the tips below to get your travel blog noticed online.
Pick a micro-niche:
I understand how hard it takes to pick the travel niche and narrowed it down to stories, and full-time travelers. But come to think of it, is this a niche? This is one question you need to answer if you truly desire to monetize a travel blog. For me, it’s okay if this is the niche you have chosen to make money. But I think you can still narrow it down even more.
Travel on purpose – Men adventure travel. Do you see what a micro niche means? My blog viewers know what to expect from me; more exciting is the fact that top travel blogs may not venture into this niche in details. This gives you an edge to own one of the top-earning travel blogs.
Be consistent with your content:
Now you have decided to blog on a micro-niche, be consistent in writing quality, organic, and useful content to your blog viewers. If you blog on “traveling on a budget” don’t write reviews on luxury hotels. Please avoid this miss up even if it is a sponsored post. Your audience will get hurt. They have their reasons for following your budget travel tips and low hotel rates. This makes writing on a 5-star hotel a deviation because your audience does not need it.
Write on facts:
Sometimes, it baffles me how travel bloggers pick up topics and start writing what they know nothing about. It makes you look unprofessional to your blog visitors, and they may never return to your blog. I once read an article from a blogger on “the best time to have fun in Las Vegas” In the same article, he made mention of traveling to Las Vegas on Monday and leaving on Wednesday. So, it baffles how he was able to write on this topic confidently without spending a weekend in Las Vegas.
I understand you need more people to visit your site, and your eagerness to write on trending topics for blog monetization. Instead of writing base on fiction, why not tell a good story, make research from other top-earning travel blogs to create a post. Don’t pretend to know something you only have an idea on. Be real to your blog followers.
Avoid comparison with other travel bloggers:
How to monetize a travel blog should not be your primary focus at this stage. So, stop comparing yourself, your blog traffic, and blog monetization with other top-earning travel blogs. It doesn’t matter your blog niche; you stand a chance to outrank them. Remember, numbers are not the main thing; blog traffic can be manipulated easily to hype a blog.
Travel brands or tourism boards know who to work with, especially when your audience match their target. But if you have no goal, then it becomes difficult to get sponsored deals.
I made this same mistake at the early stage of my blog, focusing on daily visitors without making quality content a top priority. Some brands prefer to work with small bloggers whose visitors are their target audience. Then the vast figures from other travel blogs without focus.
Put your creativity to work:
If you visit most travel blogs online, you will notice similar topics. No doubt you will get enough visitors from these writeups, but not loyal followers, because they can get the same writeup elsewhere. Don’t be the type of blogger who is only interested in making their blogs remembered through funny, sensational, and exciting write-up.
I’m not saying these articles are wrong. But you will find it challenging to monetize a travel blog and earn a living from it, especially when you are just starting up. People have been writing on a similar topic before you came in, now you are doing the same, it will be difficult to outrank them.
Network with top travel bloggers and ask for advice:
Networking with other travel bloggers ahead of you is another significant step to success. Most times, all we see are competitors. Although this is true, you will get to understand better when a network with other bloggers in your niche. Remember you all are colleagues, they will help you out in your awkward moment.
I’m not saying you have to network with every travel blogger you come across. It’s similar to a real-life situation, where you can’t make everyone your friends. Some bloggers don’t like networking with others don’t force it. Build your network with people that have similar interest and goal. To have access to those you can network with, send them an email, interact with them on social media, or attend conferences, and watch out for their informative contributions.
Social media is one of the popular ways to market your blog, but it is not the best option. As I earlier mentioned, you don’t need to be on these social media platforms to make your travel blog successful.
The use of Facebook to promote our post was previously viable, but these days their policy has limited their users on who will see their post. If you want your target audience to see your post, then you have to spend a lot of money.
Instagram is gradually following the steps of Facebook since the platform is under the same company. They keep limiting the number of people who sees your post. In some cases, not all your followers see your post. Before now, more than 50% of my followers see my post without sponsoring it. These days it is difficult for 10% of my followers to see my post. This is how bad it is.
Working on your SEO:
Search Engine Optimization means all the technique applied to make your post appear in search results. This is where you should focus on. It takes a lot of dedication to actualize this, but when you finally get it right. You will enjoy your blog, monetization.
I prefer using an email newsletter to drive traffic to my travel blog then social media. A newsletter is like interacting with existing blog followers while trying to get new subscribers. You can get blog visitors to subscribe to your newsletter through an opt-in form pop-up. Please learn the process involved, because it can mess up your brand if not done correctly.
Different ways you can make money from a travel blog
I know you have been waiting for this session on how to monetize a travel blog. This part of my blog post outlines the common ways you can make money off a travel blog. However, these are the possible means to earn money from blogs but not limited to them. Due to the innovative nature of blogs, more creative ways to monetize a travel blog is discovered daily. So, I will talk on those I have used on my blog and was very productive.
A sponsored post is paid blog post request from companies or top brands who are interested in your blog content and blog followers. They are ready to pay you according to the worth of your blog just to have their post published on your travel blog, while you link back to their corporate website. A sponsored blog post is a lucrative means to monetize a travel blog. It takes the form of a product review, a sidebar link, advert in a newsletter or a guest post.
Beginner bloggers are used to this monetization strategy. These companies like your content and will like to have you write a post on their brand for more productivity. Some SEO companies partake in a sponsored post just to add a link for a fee because it increases their chances of ranking top on search engine results.
Banner advertisement is based on the number of traffic on your travel blog. So, I don’t think it’s wise for startup bloggers to place a banner on their site. The primary purpose of your travel blog has to be fulfilled to some extent, before using this kind of ads. Else your blog visitors will start seeing you as someone who only wants to make money from them without adding value.
Sell your travel photos:
Photography is a significant aspect of a travel blog. As a travel blogger who wants to monetize a travel blog and earn from it, you should spend quality time learning your way around the camera, also learn how to edit pictures. Photographs create more opportunity for me to make money with my travel blog. Appealing photos are needed when writing on your travel experience. You can also post these travel pictures on Instagram to attract your potential customer who will contact you for paid work.
There are different websites where you can sell your photos online. Many bloggers earn a living from this medium. Shutterstock.com and royalty images some of the platform you can use to sell your graphics.
Some travel bloggers create videos and use them on their travel blog or publish it directly to their YouTube channel, but you barely see a travel blogger using both platforms at the same time. They prefer to stay dedicated to one of the platforms.
If you can create digital videos and stay consistent, it will easy for you to build a YouTube audience and monetize a travel blog. It is a great way to join top earning travel blogs. Similar to other means of monetizing a travel blog, Video creation takes a long process. But if you are committed to it, it’s income potentials are limitless.
Most travel bloggers often mistake branded content to a sponsored post. They are not the same. Branded content is a short or long-term contract from top brands, who want to invest in your blog in exchange for a link. Link-building marketers are less concerned about the growth of your blog. They pay you to get backlinks through a sponsored post.
Contrary to link-building marketers are branding marketing agencies. They sponsor and monitor your brand to see it grow. It is more like working and earning with a company that deserves your service.
These are the ways you can monetize a travel blog. Although there are other ways, the ones mentioned in this post are those I’ve tried that has flexible payment. The main thing is to be innovative, work hard, and keep making research on new and exciting ideas. Put your energy on things you can do better than other top-earning travel bloggers, and you will make money with your travel blog.
Let us hear your experience on different monetization medium you are currently using to make money from your travel blog. Leave a reply below.