Do you want to make money travel blogging? Then this post will give you some great actionable strategies that you can implement right now.

If you love traveling and writing, then travel blogging is your dream profession.

But, is it possible to earn money by writing about your travel? What are all the ways to earn money with your travel blog?

There are people who earn 5-7 figures from their travel blog. But this is not their overnight success. It took a lot of dedication and patience for them to reach this level.

Let’s look at some of the top ways by which travel bloggers earn money.

How much can you earn from a travel blog?

You can earn somewhere between $0 – $100,000 per month from a travel blog.

I would like to say there’s no exact number.

Your travel blog earnings depend on blog promotion, traffic driving strategies, monetization, etc.

If you are looking to run banner ads on your site and earn money, you can earn anywhere between $3 – $15 for every 1000 pageviews on your site. Again this depends upon:

  1. CPC of the keywords that you are targeting
  2. Location – US/UK traffic is profitable than that of other developing countries
  3. Placement of the ads
  4. Format of the ads
  5. Ad network you’re using (more on this later)

If you are selling your own products or affiliate products, your earnings depend upon your selling and copywriting skills. And also, how many targeted visitors you have for your site.

You need to also remember that specific seasons may also affect your earnings depending upon the products you’re promoting. Say, for example, you are selling a travel guide for Bali, you can expect more sales coming to you at the end of the year during Easter and Christmas.

Again, there’s no magic number for what you can earn. But I would say that, if you at least hit $200/month mark in the first 5 months of your new travel blog, you’re on the right track and you can scale things up quickly by replicating the success.

How to make money travel blogging?

There are dozens of ways to make money from your travel blog.

In this post, I’ll be discussing a few of them and also I’ll explain you how to creatively adapt the monetization strategies.

The below techniques are sorted according to the popularity when it comes to making money from your travel blog.

Promote Travel Affiliate Programs

Promote Travel Affiliate Programs

If you don’t have your own products, affiliate marketing would be the best way to monetize your blog.

In affiliate marketing, you promote the products of other people and keep a percentage of commission for the sale.

It can be a great source of income for travel bloggers. I see that for leading travel bloggers, almost 30% – 70% of their income will be from affiliate marketing.

There are some good travel affiliate programs like:

  • Booking.com: It helps you book accommodations and hotels worldwide. You can earn 25% – 40% commission on every order (based on the volume) your customers make on their website.
  • TripAdvisor: People usually check this website for reviews, hotels, and booking. They offer a flat 50% commission on all the sales. You can join their affiliate program through CJ.com
  • Agoda: It’s a property/home booking marketplace. It offers you 5% commission on every sale.
  • Hostelworld: It is a great marketplace to book hostels to meet the real world. They’ve not disclosed their commission rates – perhaps you can reach out and negotiate.
  • Skyscanner: It’s the best website to check the prices and availability of the flights. They offer you Skyscanner affiliates API and also search widget to integrate on your site. They have a 50% revenue share model where they pay publishers half of the revenue that Skyscanner makes per booking from the users.
  • CJ: It’s an affiliate marketplace where you can find affiliate programs from Emirates, Skyscanner, Booking.com, Rail Europe, etc.
  • Rakuten Affiliate Network: It’s also a great network with good products to promote like Virgin Atlantic, Hilton Hotels and STA Travel.
  • ShareASale: It’s an affiliate marketplace where you can find affiliate programs in various categories. There are various travel affiliate programs like Agoda, Qatar Airways, Rio hotels, etc.
  • Amazon affiliates: Amazon also offers an affiliate program where you can promote your hiking, trekking, other travel gears, and get paid.

You can promote these brands and products whenever possible in your travel guides and stories.

If you have a good travel website that can rank for low or medium competitive keywords, you can create travel-related content around the keywords like:

best {restaurants | resorts | hostels} in Bali

best resorts in Bali

{bali | maldives | ooty} tour package for {couple | honeymoon | family}

Tour package for couple

{honeymoon | tour} packages to {Bali} from {Bangalore}

Keyword honeymoon packages

These are the kind of keywords, that you may need to target in your blog posts to get buyer traffic. These keywords are searched by people who are eager to buy a tour package.

Selecting a narrow niche is very important in affiliate marketing to gain readers’ trust. Like trekking, solo traveling, and so on.

Sponsored posts

Featuring a product or service related to the blog post topic, as a sponsored advertisement can be a great way to earn great money.

Finding the offer that’s of great relevance and is in alignment with your readers is very important.

Sponsored posts work great if you have a solid reader base on your blog and social media sites. Yes, social media sites. You can earn a lot of money if you have a good Instagram follower-base and willing to promote products in your stories and posts.

With this, you don’t necessarily need to drive sales to the product owners. You just need to feature their brand or products on your site/social profile and get paid for it.

When your blog grows, you get dozens of sponsored post requests from the companies. However, you can still do the outreach yourself to attract the advertisers.

An example: To just let you know the potential, Esther & Jacob made $28,729.32 in October 2018.

Esther & Jacob earnings from sponsered posts

Out of their income, $19.318.04 are from sponsored product posts and sponsored social media posts. That’s nearly 65% of their income!

Sponsored advertising platforms: The majority of the travel bloggers attribute their sponsored advertising success to the marketplaces like Izea, Cooperatize, Webfluential, Tapinfluence, etc.

Influencer networks

Here’s the influencer networks income report by Lia from SlayingSocial.

Without joining these marketplaces, you’ll be missing out on a lot of opportunities.

I advise you to have about page, contact page, most importantly the advertise and media kit pages on your site to attract sponsored advertisers. You need to showcase your blog traffic, the nature of the audience you have, and also your social media followings in your about, advertise, and also the sidebar of your site.

Also, you need to focus on building your Instagram profile for you to easily attract more sponsored post opportunities.

Here’s a story of travel blogging couple who make up to $9,000 per single post on Instagram. It’s not very uncommon to see popular bloggers making $500 – $1000 for every sponsored post they make on Instagram.

When doing sponsored posts, you need to declare transparently that it is a sponsored post to comply with the laws.

Contextual ad networks

Contextual ad networks

You can’t publish commercial posts all the times. You need to also publish pure informational content that gets good traffic. In that kind of posts, you need to consider adding contextual advertisements.

The earnings of your blog from contextual advertisements depend upon various factors like:

  • CPC of keywords you target in your blog posts
  • Position of the ads placed on your blog
  • How effectively you combat ad/banner blindness on your blog
  • How effectively you do split testing of ad placements and formats using heatmap tools and Analytics
  • How well you optimize your content that surrounds your ads for more effective targeting

Most of the travel bloggers are clueless about these ad revenue-boosting strategies. So, by mastering the above skills you can get a fairly high say 1.5x earnings compared to your competitors.

According to my research, most of the travel bloggers monetize using the below ad networks:

  1. AdThrive (Best for travel)
  2. MediaVine (Best for travel)
  3. Google AdSense
  4. Media.net

These ad networks help you place highly contextual ads in your content. Every time users click on the ads or as the ad has been served you’ll be paid.

As you may have observed in one of my previous screenshots, Local Adventurer made $7,471.03 from AdThrive out of 480,254 page views. That’s $15 per 1000 page views in the travel niche.

For many bloggers, Mediavine was even better than AdSense when it comes to earnings.

 Mediavine  earnings

Amy at Whereeverwriter earned a total of $3,575.05 in February 2018, Mediavine contributed to $1,108.65.

Blog income through ad networks

For Mar, AdSense income is only a fraction of what MediaVine earns for her. The $2928 is the income share made from MediaVine from 350,000 pageviews she got that month.

That means she has made an average of $8.3 for every 1000 pageviews on her site.

You need to also remember that you should have large traffic on your site to earn decent money out of contextual ad networks.

It’s often required that you need to have a quality site with good readership and traffic to get approved with the above platforms.

Be a travel writer

Travel writer

If you have a travel blog, it can act as a great portfolio for you to attract high-paying travel writing freelance work.

As I discussed in my post on freelance writing for beginners, having a niche in freelance writing is important.

Niche down. Even if you can write about every topic imaginable, I would highly suggest you pick a niche – say travel, frugal living, outdoor living, and gain expertise in it. With this, you can attract really high-paying writing gigs.

In order to find freelance work, you may need to join platforms like Upwork and others. You also need to note that some of these platforms keep commissions of as high as 20% – 30% of what you earn.

So, I always advise you to get the clients through direct outreach.

You may want to learn the art of pitching projects through email and also cold emailing the website owners after doing thorough research of their needs.

For example, you may want to outreach travel sites for which there are other freelance writers working for, and they’re not covering content regarding the places you’ve visited.

You may also want to model other successful travel freelancers and reverse engineer them.

Here’s some inspiration.

Get to know about the popular freelancers in your space and follow them. In travel space, there are great freelance writers like Kristin Luna, Fiona Harper, who are worth following.

Kristin Luna

A quick research about Kristen revealed that she has contributed to a lot of big brands like Entrepreneur, Inc, Guardian and also other popular travel sites.

I can see their success is attributed majorly to their well-maintained websites, books they’ve published, and magazines they contributed for. These things help them raise their credibility on their blog and social profiles.

There are literally hundreds of travel sites which pay writers, like National Geographic Traveler, The Expeditioner, Go World Travel, Great Escape Publishing, World Nomads, Alaska Airlines Magazine, DesertUSA, Travel Pulse, PathFinders Travel, and others.

The travel niche has the largest number of sites that pay writers for their contributions compared to any other niches I’ve come across – may be due to their diverse location-specific content needs.

Here’s a good roundup of 99 Travel Publications by GoatsontheRoad that pay writers like you.

You can consider writing for these publications, to build your portfolio and also earn money.

If you are a beginner, you can consider submitting some free guest posts on some travel websites to build your portfolio.

Niche

Start with a micro-niche. Don’t straightaway write on anything travel-related all of a sudden. Be a trekking writer, adventure writer, camping writer, etc.

Then, once you gain authority in one of the topics, slowly spread your branches by gaining relevant experiences.

It’s not that easy.

People say that you get paid for what you write about your travel. It’s just a fancy phrase. The website owners are not that eager as you may think to get content written by you.

You need to master many skills before you can top dollars that cover your travel expenses.

  • Writing skills
  • Storytelling skills
  • SEO skills
  • Copywriting
  • Proofreading
  • Basics of WordPress (helps)
  • Photography

These are some of the skills you need to have to be a good travel writer, or else you’ll find a hard time to crack this highly competitive field.

Training and courses

Training and courses

Many popular travel bloggers are also trainers. They train others how to do, what they do. Many of them do social media coaching, Pinterest coaching, Instagram coaching, blog coaching, consulting and much more.

Offering courses

If you’ve been in the travel blogging game for a while you know Nomadic Matt for sure. His course – Superstar blogging is very popular among people who want to learn travel blogging. He teaches you everything related to setting up a blog, branding, SEO, social media, content creation, monetization, newsletters, etc.

Some of the travel bloggers even have best selling courses on Udemy.

Selling courses on Udemy

The above course by Dave Fox from Globejotting on Travel writing is the best seller on Udemy.

You need to be able to find the market gap, and dominate a niche when it comes to the creation of courses. If you’re into Udemy, you need to make proper use of their market insights tool to get the topic ideas that are untapped.

Before deciding upon a topic to create a course on, you need to survey your readers, dig in your Analytics, shoot out newsletters and conduct an AMA to get to know your readers better.

Survey your readers

For creating a quality online course, you need to have a DSLR or a good smartphone, tripod, a quality portable Mic (preferably Zoom H1 or others), a good laptop like MacBook Pro for video editing and screencasting.

That’s it!

You don’t need to be a perfectionist when it comes to creating online courses. You just need to start with a minimum viable product and test the waters in a niche.

Once you finish recording the course you need to make use of platforms like Teachable to host your course online. Then, you may want to market your courses using your blog, social media, email marketing funnels, FB ads, etc.

You also need to have a front-end no-risk offer for your visitors, to attract them into your sales funnel maybe a free ebook, video, email course, so on.

If you are not so good at marketing, you may want to choose platforms like Udemy or SkillShare depending upon your audience. There, you don’t necessarily need to market your courses and pay upfront for hosting your courses. You just need to share the revenue with them for every organic sale you get.

Travel guides and eBooks

Travel guides and eBooks

Creating eBooks and guides are a great way to diversify your travel blog’s income. You can create PDFs on travel guides, eBooks and much more.

Selling travel guides may be easy for you, if you have targeted audience visiting your blog posts.

You need to have very clear unique selling propositions (USPs) for people to opt for your guide instead of other blog posts. That’s very important.

Here’s an actionable strategy for you.

Google Analytics

Head over to Google Analytics, and find out your popular blog posts. Now look for some opportunities, wherein you can create travel guides and sell them in your high-traffic posts.

In your travel guide, you can also do affiliate marketing by linking out to hotels, travel gears (with Amazon affiliate links), tour packages, air travel, etc.

After creating a PDF eBook, you can make use of WooCommerce, EasyDigitalDownloads, GumRoad, or Instamojo (India only) to sell your guide. Many bloggers even list their guides for $1 or a $2. Because it’s the volume game.

Income generation through travel guides

Here’s the case study of AdventureInYou, where they generated $730 with their two travel guides! You can consider printing those travel guides and selling them on Amazon.

Travel guides on Amazon

A quick search on Amazon for the term travel guides will give you great inspiration about what’s possible.

You need to make sure that the travel guide you write should be practical, not theoretical. It should genuinely help people willing to commute to the place.

If you are writing a personal travel story, give them a clear context in which they should read the story to create a maximum impact. You need to learn the art of effective travel and visual storytelling to be a great author.

And also, don’t forget to address the different types of audience you’ll be addressing.

Selling photos and videos

Selling photos and videos

As a traveler, you’re very fortunate to capture the great moments across the globe.

If your photography skills are not up to mark, you can consider upgrading your skills and click professional photographs and shoot your travel experiences.

You can sell those images and videos in sites like Shutterstock, Foap, iStockPhoto, ScienceSource (only scientific, history, and medical specific photos).

You can also upload your videos on platforms like Shutterstock, Pond5, Getty’s, and others.

To be honest, these days selling stock photos has become very saturated.

You need to be really clever to find a market gap and promote yourself with creative strategies for this to work. For you to find market gaps, you need to be able to find the queries buyers are typing in but not finding relevant stock photos. Make use of tools like Stock Photo Research to get a clear idea.

What mistakes travel bloggers make? (Learn from experts)

#1. Esther and Jacob

Esther And Jacob

Know your value and know your worth. Early on, it's easy to get excited at any company that's willing to pay you for your blog.

Don't be overeager by taking anything that they give you. No matter what size is your audience, you have something of value.

There are a bunch of different ways you can make money as a blog, but one skill that is important to develop is sales and negotiation. It can be intimidating to do, but a few basic skills can go a long way.

– Local Adventurer

#2. Daniel Noll

Daniel Noll

One common mistake is that travel bloggers can sometimes be tempted to do everything and do all things to all readers in order to gain the audience and in order to earn money from different types of brands in different segments or genres.

They can also be tempted to have expectations that results can and will be achieved overnight.

This deadly combination can lead to blogger burnout aided by simply trying to do too much. This, in turn, leads to brand dilution as one's audience can become confused by a different message or product/service being marketed to them every other day.

And not only do audience become confused, but so does Google. For us, we had a period years ago where we said yes to many different types of companies and projects in a short period of time in order to “make it.”

We eventually experienced some burnout. But we also eventually realized that it’s better professionally and personally to focus on particular aspects of one’s brand, write and create to that focus, and pursue and develop a few high-quality relationships and campaigns to complement that. Long-term success will likely depend on it.

– Uncornered Market

#3. Chris Christensen

Chris Christensen

The biggest mistake I made in the early days was to sell SEO links. People will pitch you all the time that they want to buy a link on your site.

What they do not point out is that they are trying to fool Google giving them a higher rating and it is against Google's terms of service. More importantly for travel bloggers, it can get you banned by Google.

I got threatened years ago and have been scrupulous about links on my site since, but some travel bloggers have seen all their search traffic go away overnight.

– Amateur Traveler

#4. Yoshke Dimen & Vins Carlos

The Poor Traveler

One of the common mistakes bloggers make is monetizing too early. There’s nothing wrong with monetization, we love monetizing our blog, but I believe there is a right time for it.

Before implementing revenue-generating measures, it is important to build your brand first, establish your name in your chosen niche/market, and gain the trust of your audience.

If you have all these three ticked, monetization, be it brand partnerships, advertorials, or affiliate arrangement, will be much easier and much more effective.

– The Poor Traveler

#5. Melvin

Melvin

The first mistake is by focusing on yourself & your site. But the client is not really interested in that. The client wants to know how you can help him to solve their problems. The more you help him, the more money you can earn.

For example, we have created a new video format, where videos got a length of around 15-20 minutes and are a mix of a guide and travel show. A client of ours was looking for 3 minute videos, which was not really what we wanted. So we made the client happy, created 3 minute videos, focused on the POIs (points of interest) and which were our priority.

We even lip-synchronized the videos for the German market, which was another wish of the client, which we would normally not do with our videos. These videos got us the job and the money. On top of that, we included in the package 1 long video version, as I was quite sure, that this would be of great value for the client in the long term.

Another common mistake is, that the blogger does not know their value. It is extremely important that you understand your value! How much is a photo worth? How much is a photo worth on Twitter & how much on Instagram?

What's the value of your follower's engagement and the reach you can provide for your client. It's not enough to just come up with a day rate and then just to create content. You can't charge one client €2000 and provide them with 3 social media postings per day, plus one article. And then another client offers you “only” a free trip & you give the same amount of exposure and content.

To understand your value, you need to check your stats and what average reach and/or engagement a post gets. Then you have to see what prices are on the market. If you don't know what other bloggers are charging, check advertising prices.

The average CPM (Cost per Mille (thousand)) for online ads in the USA in Q4 2017 was $78.47. If our campaign then costs only €30 CPM and even included content production, then this is super awesome and saves the client a lot of money.

We are able to create cheaper videos in high quality, than standard media agencies. And not just that, we have our own distribution, which is far cheaper than advertising online. And that all in one package. This is an easy sell, as I know and understand the value we provide.

– Travel Dudes

Final words

Like any other niche, travel blogging also requires a lot of patience and persistence. You can’t simply quit your day job and hope to replace it with travel blogging.

If you are not a traveler, willing to start traveling and start a blog, you need to be warned that blogging can take upto 5 – 7 months to earn you money – provided you’re in the right direction.

I hope you found this post helpful.

If so, make sure you share this post with your fellow travel bloggers.

Akshay Hallur

About me

Hi, I’m Akshay Hallur. The founder of this blog BloggingX and many other online ventures. 

I’m a professional full-time blogger, a digital marketer, and a trainer. I’m here to help bloggers like you to create an outstanding blog and earn money from it.

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I’ve put so much effort writing this blog post to provide value to the blogging community. It’ll be very helpful for me, if you consider sharing it on social media networks.
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18 thoughts on “Top 7 Ways to Make Money Travel Blogging (5 Travel Experts Speak Up)”

  1. Hi, Thanks for mentioning the general mistakes that happens while Make Money Travel Blogging. It’s very useful.

  2. Hi, This is a great list to create a lot of information. Some of them are in my radar all the time and few of them were new to me.Keep posting such wonderful posts.

  3. Hello,
    Now this is something I was looking for
    in a while, a blog with the best information
    on how can I make money from travel blogs.

    Thank you for sharing this amazing article.

  4. I’m impressed, I must say. Rarely do I encounter a blog that’s both educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something which not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy I came across this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  5. After a Long search, I found this post and I must say that this post worth my research and provide me all knowledge and clears my confusion about travel blogging

  6. I need to thank you for this wonderful Article and also Thanks for this valuable information and all the guidelines you provided About SEO

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