Until relatively recently, travel was something that was enjoyed by rich people or people who had saved up for their adventure. The only people making money from the travel industry were transportation companies, travel agents and businesses that supplied accommodations or activities for travelers.
All that has changed. You don’t have to look for games of online blackjack to make money from travel blogging. You can open a travel blog and make money by chronicling your journeys. There are many ways to support yourself and your traveling activities through your blog.
Today, those tactics go beyond selling links and creating niche websites. Earning money by blogging your journeys isn’t something that you can do overnight. But with some determination, hard work and a belief in yourself, you can earn enough to keep the money coming in while you explore the world.
The most lucrative product sales involve your own products (your own course, ebook, guided tour, etc) but in the meantime you can sell through affiliate marketing. It takes a while for your blog pages to get indexed by Google (even a year or two) but in the meantime, you’ll have time to build up your audience. Once you’ve started, more and more people come to your site. They’ll get to those older pages and voila – your affiliate links will be there for them to click.
You can become an affiliate for a number of different sites including hotel and booking sites, sites for travel insurance, Amazon, Groupon, etc. As you build up your reputation as a knowledgeable expert in the field of travel, you’ll be building up your readers’ trust in your recommendations for products to be sold.
Some tips for writing a good affiliate post:
- Make it all about you. Share your experiences with the product or service.
- Add an image (or multiple images).
- Review products that make sense to the blog. For instance, camping tents might be a good fit for a travel blog. Beauty products would not.
- Consider video posts. Research shows that video posts get more engagement than written posts and inspire more trust.
After you’ve gotten your affiliate marketing set up, you might want to try selling some of your own products – ebooks, courses, etc.
As you travel, you can get income through freelance writing. You can use your blog to showcase your writing skills and get gigs. Different sites pay at different levels but you can start out on a low level, get experience and exposure and gradually, you’ll be able to charge more.
In addition, if you have a decent ranking on Google, you can charge the site an additional fee to add the link to your own blog and extend the reach of the customer’s post. In fact, you may even develop a relationship with the customer and get him to add a link to your blog to the post that you’re writing for him/her.
Good images sell. Not only for your own site, since it’s important to make sure that your own blog is visually appealing, but featuring quality photographs in your blogs will also give you exposure. If you’re an especially good photographer you can sell your images as online stock photos.
Collaborate with Other Blogs
Working with another blogger can give you the access to information that you need to build up your own blog. Sometimes older, more successful bloggers are looking for personal assistants who can help them keep up with all the demands of postings, social media, communication with readers, responses to questions and queries, etc. As you work for someone else, remotely, you can learn the tricks of the trade that you can then apply to your own blog.
The best way to find such a job is through in-person networking. Connect with other bloggers online, reach out through social media sites or go to an industry fair or workshop. Alternately, if you’ve found a blogger that you really like, ask if they need some help. A lot of bloggers need help to grow themselves and don’t know how to get the assistance.
As mentioned previously, video content is one of the best ways to gain exposure for your blog. Creating video content doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t write, but it does mean that you should vary your content with some video posts.
Creating good videos on a consistent basis is a good way to build up a YouTube audience. You can then encourage viewers to visit your blog and/or develop an income stream by putting ads on the videos. Your video blogs won’t turn into cash quickly but over time you’ll build up a consistent audience which can then share your videos and help you expand.
There are a lot of public speaking gigs that bring blog writers into the public eye. Many of these speaking engagements don’t pay but they do help you establish yourself as an expert in your field. Once you’ve established your blog and have a few hundred posts to which you can point, you can volunteer your services to non-profits, travel groups or other organizations who have audiences who might be interested in hearing about your experiences.
After each engagement, you have one more referral that can help you build up your reputation as an authority in the travel industry. Little by little you’ll become known as someone who provides a worthwhile service which will help you achieve your goal of getting your name out into the travel public’s eye.