HOW TO BECOME A PROFESSIONAL TRAVEL BLOGGER – STEP 5
MAKE MONEY WITH YOUR TRAVEL BLOG
Hello and welcome back to my 6 Steps to become a professional travel blogger!
When I tell my friends and family I want to become a professional travel blogger, there is always one question: Can you make money with blogging? It is a very important question because (in my opinion) it seperates the hobby travel blogger from a professional travel blogger.
But to make enough money for living is almost impossible with your blog alone! 90% of the travel bloggers who say they live from blogging work as freelancers, journalists, web designers or social media consultants. It is a fact that most of the travel bloggers CANNOT live from blogging as their only income. At the beginning of your travel blogging career you should try to see any income generated by your blog as an extra! DON’T GIVE UP YOUR JOB!
Never forget, a blog also costs money e.g. travelling costs, insurances etc. Unfortunately some travel bloggers only show you their monthly income but not how much money they spend to keep their blogging life alive. I promise to give you a detailed insight into our professional blogging life with income and expenses as soon as we are professional travel bloggers. I hope we will achieve this goal in 2016… it is a long way.
Anyway, it is possible to live from blogging. If you have a great blog and a bit of luck, you can turn your hobby into your job. A job… yes right. You need to work… very hard… almost every day 5-8 hours. Sometimes more. You need a tremendous amount of effort and patience to get your blog to the point where you earn money. But hey – you have to work anyway (unless you are the daughter or son of Bill Gates), so why not working while traveling and enjoying our beautiful planet?!
There are different ways to make money as a professional travel blogger. To make it more clearly, I seperate between money that you can make with your actual blog (I call it online) and money you can earn besides your laptop (offline). I am sure there are more professional terms for it, but hey, I am German, so don’t laugh Oh yes, before I forget: I don’t give tips for freelance work etc. There are hundreds of great tips in the web already. Okay, ready to go? – let’s start.
YOUR MEDIA KIT
A media kit is a MUST HAVE if you want to make money with your travel blog. A company will only work with you, if they have decent information about your blog. They invest money, so of course they want something in return…. tough life A media kit is the perfect tool to present your travel blog in a professional way to potential clients. The perfect media kit needs to have a nice layout and, as usual, I recommend to keep it short and simple. It should include the following details and facts:
- Name and logo of your travel blog
- SHORT introduction and biography about yourself (with picture)
- Travel blog statistics: Visitors, unique visitors, page views, (time on site, return visitors, demographics)
- Social media reach: facebook, twitter, instagram, email subscribers etc.
- Publications: Magazines, websites etc. AND brands you have already worked with
- What kind of services can you offer: Product reviews, advertising spaces (with sizes and rates), sponsored facebook posts etc.
- Benefits for the potential client: Engaged readership, unique giveaways etc.
- Contact information
I am working on our media kit right now and hope I can show it to you in a few weeks. (Sorry, but you know I am lazy). By the way, you should start having a media kit right from the start, so go and be creative! Don’t do it like me and start with it after many months have passed. And don’t forget to update your media kit on a regular basis.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY
The dream of every travel blogger – also for BoB
Banner advertising is an easy way to make money but you don’t generate a huge income. Some travel bloggers don’t like the idea of banner advertising for the following reasons: It usually doesn’t look nice, especially if you use Google AdSense, AdChoices etc. You usually earn only one or two dollars per thousand impressions (called an CPM). If you want to make more money with these ads, your reader needs to click them (called CPC) and therefore leave your site… Why do you want someone to leave your site? So, you just earn a few dollars and need many thousand clicks. Also most of the experts say you shouldn’t use ads on your blog until you have 100,000 clicks a month minimum! I totally agree with all the points.
you don’t need to work with Google AdSense and co. Someone gave us a brain, so use it and try to think out of the box. Find a partner for your site. Sell advertising space to other bloggers on a monthly base. Create cool ads that fit into your blog. Make it look professional and it will be more successful for you and your partner. It is more work – but it’s worth the effort.
Easy system: You recommend a product → someone buys it via your blog → you get a commission.
The good thing about affiliated links is it works for all kind of products. You should concentrate on your niche and try to sell products within your posts. One example: If you write about your new camera and recommend it to your readers, why not selling this camera via Amazon? Some travel bloggers do have a tremendous success with affiliated links and you should use them as well. There are thousands of companys who offer affiliated programs. Here are just a few:
Rakuten Affiliate Network
Sponsored posts is a popular way to earn money with your blog, but a high controversial one as well. Because two types of sponsored posts exist:One for visibility and one for SEO.
The first option is a good and legal way to earn money. The advertiser pays you money to get more visibility and brand awareness to increase sales.
The second option is, the advertiser wants you to place a link or article written by themselves for SEO purposes. They very often try to target websites with a high PageRank and request a “Do follow link”. The problem: This way of “link selling” offends Google’s policy. You run the risk of being penalized by Google and you could be removed from Google’s results entirely. Not worth the few dollars – so double check, what kind of offers for sponsored post you get!
If you want to be on the safe side, sign up for Themidgame.
This platform is used by many successful travel bloggers for a good reason. It is not only for free but also reliable and very professional. They have great advertisers and you can be sure that everything is legal. I will write an article about themidgame in the future. So stay tuned!
A good way to generate some extra cash are posts with product placement. Some companies are willing to pay you money, if you write about their product. This option of generating income is only possible if you have already a decent amount of visitors. When you are new in the blogging world it might not be the first option. Anyway, it is important not to write about everything. You should always stand 100% behind the product and it is super important to be honest. Always. No exceptions. Also, don’t post a sponsored post every week. Your readers will realize it and will have the feeling that you just publish “bought” content.
I think this is even better than a normal product placement. Find a brand or product that is relevant to your audience. Remember that you have more than just a blog. You could share the product of your partner on your social media channels, publish review videos on youtube and so on. It is only important that you disclose a partnership post etc. to your audience. It is not just a legal requirement in some countries but also a fair way to deal with your readers.
I don’t know why so many travel bloggers don’t have a donation option on their blog. It is the easiest way to generate income right from the start. Of course it should not be just the normal paypal donate button. Again, be creative and think a out of the box. Give several options to donate and show them what you actually do with the money. You would be surprised how many of your readers are willing to help you with your blog. If you want to help us, you can do it HERE Thanks!
Thank God we live in the 21st century. Nowadays EVERYBODY can write an ebook and sell it via Amazon or the own blog. Many travel blogger write great books about almost everything important regarding travel. It is probably the best way to generate high income IF you do it right. If you are seriously interested in selling an ebook, I want to give the following advise. Your ebook needs to be super cool… but really SUPER cool. It doesn’t matter, if you sell a book for US$1,99 or US$99,99. As soon as people buy it, it it has to be worth the money. I write a book myself and you can buy it in 2023, until then I highly recommend to read these 2 great books to get an idea:
How to travel the world for 50 dollars a day – by Nomadic Matt
How to create a travel life you love – by Ytravel blog
Monitoring and coaching other travel bloggers
If you read this post, you probably have the same dream many of us have. Traveling the world and making money with travel blogging. Successful travel bloggers use their expertise to give seminars about blogging. You normally pay a decent amount for it and I think it is worth every cent. I really wish I had a few lessons about blogging before I started blogging myself. The whole blogging life is so complex that it is almost impossible to be a good blogger right from the start. A blogging course will save you money and time.
Once you have a few hundred thousand visitors a month, you should really think about selling your knowledge. Of course, not everybody loves to stand in front of a class and to teach foreign people. It also needs a lot of time for preperation and organisation etc. but it is a great way to earn money, so keep it in mind for the future.
If you are a succesful blogger already, people love to see you on stage. I am sure there are paid opportunities but most of them are not paid yet (at least what I know) BUT imagine to hold a speech at the ITB, the WTM or the TBEX. Potential sponsors and new partners will see you on stage and I am sure you get a few great deals afterwards.
Paid press trips
It always sounds like the dream job. Someone pays you to travel! Yes, this really exists But why do you think they do so? Nothing is for free. They expect hard work and that’s what you have to do. You spend hours a day with writing, posting and sharing. And once you are back home – more writing, posting and sharing awaits you. You should only except trips that fit your niche. Don’t be afraid to refuse an offer. Oh, and of course you should always deliver what you promised.
Okay, these were just a few ideas how to make money with your travel blog. I am definitely not the expert regarding this topic. That’s why I want to point out a few great articles and books written by other travel bloggers. They show us that it is possible to live from blogging. But they all have one thing in common: They work very hard, have many great ideas, know how to write entertaining content and are creative. Learn from them and your chances to become a professional travel blogger get much better!
Nomadic Matt: How to make money with your travel blog
Great posts from other travel bloggers:
Y travel blog: How we make money travel blogging
Just One Way Ticket: How can I afford to travel and how much money I earn from travel blogging
Twenty-Something Travel: How I make money while traveling
Keep Calm and Travel: How to monetize a travgel blog
As always, I will keep this post updated. As soon as I have a new idea how to make money with your blog, I will let you know.
Do you have other ideas? Did I forget anything? Please leave a comment or send me an email. You are also more than welcome to subscribe to our newsletter for updates. Don’t forget to have a closer look on STEP 6. This step might be the key to your way to become a professional travel blogger.