Travel blogs are great sources of information, inspiration and entertainment for anyone who loves traveling. A huge number of these blogs focus on one specific destination or region with an aim to share their knowledge about this area. They can be used as a resource by tourists, travelers and locals alike. However, some travel writers have turned their hobby into a full-time job – and they’re making more than enough cash from it! Here's what we know about how successful travel bloggers make money.
The exact amount that different travel bloggers earn varies greatly depending on things like where they live, whether they're part of any affiliate program, if they've been featured in magazines, etc. But according to data provided by MediaBistro, here are the average annual salaries of popular international travel bloggers (in US dollars):
Sylvia at Budget Bytes makes $80K per year
Alla Kholmatova at Travel As Your Second Language earns around $72K annually
Rosa at Rosa In My Pocket pulls down $66K each year
Natalie at Nomadic Matt brings home roughly $65K each year
Jenny at Jenny At Large takes home $62K each year
Chris Brinlee Jr. at The Artful Traveller makes less than half of his wife Emily ($39K) due to her higher education level
But even so, those numbers don't tell the whole story. Some of the best known names on the internet today were once struggling freelance bloggers, trying to find ways to support themselves while writing online content. It took time before they found success -- and sometimes they had to look beyond traditional media outlets to do it.
So, what does "success" mean when it comes to travel blogging? And why should you start your own blog instead of using social media platforms? Let’s take a closer look at the factors influencing income growth within this industry:
Success means getting noticed. There are thousands of active travel blogs out there, many of which are hosted on free sites such as WordPress.com. If you want to stand out against the crowd, you need to think carefully about how you present yourself online. Try to create original, engaging posts that will draw readers back again and again. You also need a solid strategy behind your marketing efforts.
It helps if you already work in the tourism industry, either directly or indirectly. This gives you credibility with potential clients that might otherwise ignore your blog because of its lack of 'expertise'.
You have to invest wisely. Getting started costs nothing, but building up a strong presence requires consistent effort over several years. Once established, however, you can expect to see returns on investment (ROI).
What kind of return can you reasonably hope to achieve? That depends entirely on your goals and objectives. For example, someone looking to generate traffic via SEO may be able to increase referrals thanks to guest posting opportunities offered by major publications. Meanwhile, others hoping for ad revenue might consider starting a sponsorship deal.
Ultimately, though, no single factor determines how well you'll fare. Success isn't guaranteed, nor is it something that happens overnight. So, if you really want to succeed, keep working hard until results come knocking on your door.
While some famous travel bloggers enjoy high levels of fame and fortune, others struggle to find regular jobs after dedicating months or even years to their passion project. Many travel bloggers tend to fall somewhere between these two extremes, although it's possible to become wildly wealthy without ever earning a cent through your blog.
Here are just a few examples of highly successful individuals whose earnings exceed six figures per year:
Marissa Mullen: After spending three years researching Central American destinations and then another five preparing her first book, Marissa launched her website Backpacker Broke last summer. Her site features budget tips, DIY projects, and advice on places to go and things to do while traveling across South America. She earned $250,000 in 2014, all while studying abroad in Ecuador.
Mike Wilson: Mike runs Destinations With Dogs, a popular YouTube channel featuring videos shot throughout North America and Europe. He says he has never made a penny off his vlogging, but continues to produce new episodes every week. His subscriber base grew to nearly 100,000 subscribers in 2015 alone.
Matthew Keiffer: Matthew created The Travel Writer after realizing he wasn't going to land a corporate position despite being fluent in both German and English. Today, his blog attracts hundreds of visitors each month, mostly from Germany, France, Spain and Italy. Not bad considering he was living in Scotland when he began!
As mentioned earlier, yes, you can definitely make money from running a travel blog. But it won't happen overnight. Like any other business, you'll probably need to spend several thousand dollars on advertising and promoting your pages. Then there are issues related to copyright infringement and privacy violations, among others. These problems aren't unique to travel bloggers, but they are often difficult to resolve unless you hire professional legal help.
If you plan to turn your blog into a career, it's important to understand all aspects of the process beforehand. Make sure you know exactly what rights you hold, who owns them, and how to protect them. Also check out our article on common mistakes to avoid when self-publishing a Kindle ebook.
In short, having a blog doesn't guarantee instant riches, especially if you're planning to use it professionally. Don't give up just yet, though. Keep reading to discover ways to maximize your chances of success.
Tips for Making Money From Your Blog
There's no simple answer to the question of whether bloggers can actually make money. What we can say, however, is that it's easier than you'd believe. Despite the difficulties involved in turning your hobby into a profitable side gig, there are plenty of steps you can follow to ensure maximum ROI.
A good place to begin is by creating a clear goal statement. Know precisely what kind of income you wish to pursue, along with the approximate timeframe during which you intend to reach that goal. Think long term, rather than focusing solely on immediate gains.
Next, decide on a niche market. Identify the kinds of people interested in visiting certain locations, finding unusual experiences, learning local languages, and so forth. Write articles accordingly, ensuring you provide useful resources for this audience.
Finally, consider investing in quality tools and services. One option would be to purchase premium advertising space from companies such as Google AdWords or Facebook Ads. Another possibility would be to sign up for various affiliate programs offering products and services relevant to your field of interest. Finally, you could try selling branded merchandise such as T-shirts, mugs, mousepads, bags, stickers and similar items.
Whatever approach you choose, it's crucial that you stay focused and continue improving your skills. Remember, persistence pays off. Just like with any other kind of employment situation, luck favors the prepared.
For more details on how to set up your travel blog and promote it effectively, visit us below. We offer everything you need to grow your enterprise from scratch right now.
Have you ever considered becoming a travel writer? Or perhaps you're thinking of launching a personal eCommerce store? Either way, you'll benefit immensely from knowing the secrets of successful travel bloggers. To learn more, read our guide to choosing the perfect domain name.
Travel bloggers are making more than $20,000 per year through their writing alone, according to research by digital marketing agency VaynerMedia. This means that any blogger with passion for travelling around the world could potentially be earning thousands of dollars each month as they work towards their dream destination -- all without leaving home. But how exactly does this happen? And what advice should you take if you want to follow in these talented footsteps?
This article will look at some ways in which travel bloggers earn income while on the road, showing you how others have done it before you begin. You'll also learn about the costs involved in setting up a new travel site, and whether or not it's actually possible to turn an online journal into a successful business venture.
The average annual salary of a freelance writer worldwide was estimated in 2015 to be $44,928, so there is no reason why anyone would expect to earn less than that amount from running a travel blog. The actual figure depends entirely on where you live, the size of audience your blog attracts, and the quality of content you provide.
According to Vayner Media's report, one popular travel website earns approximately $6 million annually. That certainly sounds like a lot of cash! But even if we assume (for argument's sake) that many travel sites only attract 1% visitors per day, that still leaves room for plenty of other websites to generate significant amounts of revenue.
So, how do such huge figures compare to those who run smaller travel blogs? Well, when comparing earnings between different types of writers, it's important to remember that not every person has the same level of expertise. A professional journalist may write dozens of articles per week, covering everything from politics to celebrity gossip, whereas someone whose main interest lies in nature photography might produce just two posts per month.
It therefore makes sense to focus on the type of readership that your blog appeals to rather than its overall popularity. By concentrating on topics that appeal directly to your target demographic, your chances of gaining regular traffic increases exponentially. After all, it doesn't matter how big your following gets if nobody reads your blog!
If you're planning to set up a travel-themed blog yourself then here are three tips to help you decide what niche to choose, and how best to go about attracting potential customers.
1.) Research your market well first. If you know nothing about your chosen topic, then you won't be able to communicate effectively to your readership. It's easy enough to find out information relating to general trends within your area of choice, but don't rely solely upon Google searches. Try speaking to friends in related fields if you think something isn't quite right.
2.) Make sure you understand your subject thoroughly, however. Before embarking on your journey to establish your own travel blog, spend time familiarising yourself with local events, attractions, culture, cuisine and language. This will enable you to develop authentic stories based on real experiences, instead of relying on secondhand sources of information.
3.) Get creative when finding inspiration. Don't limit yourself to researching images either. Consider interviewing locals, attending festivals or visiting museums to gain unique insights into the areas that you plan to visit. Being open minded is crucial in order to avoid falling victim to tourist traps and taking part in unnecessary activities that have little relevance to your planned itinerary.
With hundreds of millions of users browsing internet platforms every month, it shouldn't come as a surprise to discover that advertisers pay top dollar to advertise on them. In fact, according to AdAge, brands spent nearly $4 billion on advertising on social media sites during 2014. While this number seems astronomical, the reality is that it represents just 0.7 percent of total spending on traditional media ads.
While it's true that creating original content takes considerable effort, it's often easier to monetise existing material rather than trying to rebrand tired concepts that haven't worked in years. However, that said, there are certain things to bear in mind when deciding which travel destinations to feature on your blog. Here are four key points to consider when choosing locations to include in future post titles.
Aesthetics - People tend to judge a location purely by its appearance, regardless of whether they've been there themselves or not. Therefore, try to present places in a positive light whenever possible. Take care to ensure that photos reflect the beauty of your chosen destination and steer clear of overly staged photographs taken specifically for adverts.
Authenticity - When looking for pictures of faraway lands, check carefully to see if they were shot using stock photo libraries. These services usually charge companies large fees in exchange for access to high resolution imagery. As a result, you could end up unwittingly contributing to environmental destruction simply because you thought you couldn't afford better shots.
Interests & Activities - Your ideal reader wants to feel inspired after reading your blog entry. So when picking a place to explore, ask yourself "what am I passionate about?" There's no point featuring a beach resort with gorgeous sunsets unless you're particularly interested in marine biology. Instead, highlight places that offer interesting cultural diversions and quirky entertainment options.
Popularity - Do your homework properly and use reliable data sources. Although it's tempting to base your decisions off gut feelings, statistics show that travelers prefer to stay at hotels that receive good reviews from previous guests. Plus, if you pick somewhere that few people have heard of, you risk alienating your audience.
In addition to paying publishers directly, travel advertisers also purchase space on individual blogs to promote products and services. For example, airlines, tour operators, cruise lines, hotel chains and car hire providers are among the biggest names that buy ad space on travel blogs. Some of the largest travel agencies in America employ full-time staff members to monitor the performance of particular promotions across multiple sites.
Many travel marketers believe that once they successfully convince a blogger to accept advertisements, they can keep tabs on his/her followers' movements via cookies and trackers installed on their computers. They can then use this information to send targeted offers to subscribers, resulting in higher conversion rates.
However, while this practice appears unethical, it's perfectly legal under US law. Furthermore, tracking tools typically used by advertisers are commonly available free of charge, meaning that bloggers aren't necessarily giving up sensitive customer details willingly.
Starting a travel blog has become increasingly common nowadays, with over 50 percent of Americans reporting having visited a tourism web page in 2013. According to recent estimates, almost half of American adults now read travel blogs regularly. With such widespread enthusiasm surrounding the concept, it's surprising that fewer people are turning their dreams of exploring distant worlds into profitable ventures.
Although starting a travel blog requires financial investment, it needn't cost you anything near the price of opening a restaurant. Many of today's leading foodie professionals started their careers working behind bars, restaurants and supermarkets. Those willing to put in long hours and commit wholeheartedly to achieving success in their field stand a greater chance of succeeding later in life. Similarly, dedicated travellers hoping to build lasting relationships with fellow enthusiasts while exploring the globe have nothing to lose and everything to gain.
There are numerous benefits to becoming a successful travel blogger. Not only do you enjoy the excitement of seeing foreign cultures firsthand, but you also get paid for sharing your adventures. Once you've established a loyal fan base, you'll find that you're constantly bombarded with requests from eager readers keen to book trips alongside you in the future. Of course, you must always maintain professionalism and treat your readers respectfully. After all, your job is to introduce people to exotic destinations, not sell them holidays.
As a final note, it's essential to remember that blogging is a marathon, not a sprint. Successful travel bloggers are committed to building strong foundations for their sites and nurturing audiences over the long term. They're prepared to invest time and energy into growing their businesses, but crucially, they never give up.
"I’ve made mistakes along the way," says author Kristin Wong, founder of Nomadic Matt Blog."You’ll make mistakes. Just roll with it."
Travel blogs are great resources for anyone interested in travelling or who has already started their journey through one of these online publications. They can be used as a way to document each trip, share tips with others, find out about new places, learn more about cultures, get inspired by other peoples' experiences and even plan future trips. And if done well enough, they can bring in some extra income from advertising revenue. This article will take an overview at what's involved in setting up such a website, where the current barriers are in terms of monetizing them, and how this might change in the near future.
The most popular type of adverts on travel blogs tend to be sponsored posts (also known as advertorials) - which means that when someone clicks on an advertisement banner placed within a post, they're taken directly to the advertiser's site rather than staying on the blog itself. The advantage here is obvious: You don't have to pay anything to set up a page promoting whatever product/service you'd like, and you'll receive far better click-through rates since users aren't being redirected away from your own domain name. This sort of sponsorship has been around for many years now, so there are plenty of established companies offering this service. There are also many smaller businesses looking to partner with bloggers for specific campaigns.
Another option would be displaying ads on your pages via Google AdSense, although this isn't really going to provide any significant financial reward unless you attract a large amount of traffic. It's worth noting though that while readers may see the advertisements, they won't actually know where they came from or that you've made money from them - making it difficult to track exactly how successful your campaign was! If you want something simple, cheap and easy, then try placing text links throughout your articles instead. These offer a good balance between visibility and ease of use, and again won't require payment from yourself.
Finally, another common method used to earn revenue from travel sites is affiliate marketing. In short, affiliates refer potential customers back to websites run by publishers, and those publishers agree to give commissions whenever somebody makes a purchase after clicking on an affiliate link included in promotional material sent to them. For example, let's say you wrote about hotels in Europe and agreed with a hotel owner that 5% of all bookings should go towards paying you for your recommendation. Then, whenever anybody booked accommodation using your review, you'd get 5%. Affiliates usually work either full time or part time, depending on whether the publisher agrees to send them commission checks every month. Again, the easiest way to set this up is simply creating hyperlinks pointing visitors to booking services.
All in all, the average annual salary earned by freelancers in travel writing is $36k according to Freelancer.com's 2014 survey data. This figure includes both written content and editorial duties, but doesn't include additional expenses incurred for things like web hosting fees, software costs, etc. However, keep in mind that freelance writers are typically expected to cover their own health insurance coverage, equipment, business cards, taxes, printing & shipping charges and similar before receiving payments. Also, remember that a sizable chunk of this comes from direct sales, meaning that if you were lucky enough to land a contract with an established company, you'd potentially be able to earn significantly higher sums per year.
A lot depends upon what kind of blog you intend to set up, and different types of travel blogs are likely to charge very differently for subscriptions. A personal journaling style blog focusing solely on your own adventures probably wouldn't generate enough interest to sustain long term, whereas niche travel destinations aimed at budget travellers often rely heavily on sponsored partnerships to stay afloat. Sites catering specifically to travelers with children or families are obviously going to need to focus on family friendly topics in order to appeal to a wide range of audiences, just as foodies generally feature recipes alongside reviews and opinions. So, having said that, the following examples illustrate three main ways in which you could approach starting a travel blog and its subsequent monetization strategy:
1.) Sell information products - Many travel blogs sell eBooks detailing particular locations or itineraries. Alternatively, you could create your own eBook(s) and license them under open source licenses that allow individuals to republish the content elsewhere without needing permission from the original creator. The latter route allows you greater control over pricing and distribution channels later down the line, whilst ensuring that no profit margin gets lost to digital storefront commissions.
2.) Set up a membership site - Another way to make money travel blogging is to launch a premium subscription club or newsletter. Here, memberships are charged based on various tiers ranging anywhere from monthly ($29), quarterly ($59) or yearly ($99). Users can opt into these plans themselves, or you could consider bundling together multiple lower priced options to form a "bundle" (e.g. a 12 month membership package costing $179). Whatever model you choose, you'll need to decide on a fair price point that ensures affordability for prospective subscribers. To ensure that you retain existing clients, it's advisable to limit the number of free trials offered during signup periods. Otherwise, you risk losing them to competitors once you begin charging for access.
3.) Charge advertisers directly - As mentioned earlier, the best way to generate passive income from your travel blog is to establish relationships with advertisers willing to sponsor relevant content. Typically, these deals come in two forms: Either advertisers will place static banners across your site, or they'll negotiate customised ad slots (i.e. placement next to certain articles). Banner placements are sometimes referred to as Sponsored Stories, and involve showing a single image or video accompanied by a callout box linking to the advertised product. Customized ad space is less intrusive and appears inline with regular blog entries. Although this requires putting aside larger portions of earnings until revenue begins rolling in, the upside is that advertisers are only charged when actual views occur. Some travel bloggers prefer to avoid running sponsored stories altogether due to user privacy concerns, especially regarding cookies inserted onto browsers to identify unique viewers.
As stated previously, earning substantial amounts of cash from a travel blog takes considerable planning and preparation. That said, there's no reason why anyone shouldn't give it a shot. With dedication and persistence, you absolutely can turn your passion project into a lucrative career path. Just bear in mind that building a sustainable online presence takes hard work and patience, and success isn't guaranteed regardless of experience level.
It doesn't matter whether you wish to pursue a solo lifestyle adventure, backpack through Central America or embark on an expedition cruise along Russia's fabled Northern Sea Route, the initial setup cost for your travel blog will depend largely upon the platform you select. Popular platforms such as WordPress and Blogger are free to use, but you're limited to a maximum file size of 100MB. On top of this, you're required to pay for hosting fees (usually between $5-$10 per month) and domain registration (typically between $8-$18 annually). Unless you have unlimited funds, you're unlikely to afford everything upfront. Fortunately, several third party providers exist that specialize in helping aspiring bloggers raise capital through crowdfunding by selling discounted packages consisting of hosting + domains + extras. We recommend GoDaddy Hosted Domains and Bluehost Web Space.
Fortunately, we live in exciting times. Thanks to the advent of cloud technology, virtually any programming language can be learned with minimal effort thanks to tools like Heroku, AWS Cloud9 IDE and GitLab. In addition to providing improved scalability and flexibility, serverless computing enables developers to deploy code instantly and eliminate downtime entirely. By utilising the power of Amazon Lambda, you can write functions that process requests and trigger events without ever worrying about servers crashing unexpectedly. Similarly, MongoDB databases, Redis cache layers and NodeJS applications can all be deployed automatically via scalable PaaS solutions such as DigitalOcean Spaces and Rackspace Cloud Functions. Finally, modern social media networks such as Facebook and Twitter allow small teams to collaborate remotely from wherever suits them best. Tools like Zendesk, Typeform and Slack enable seamless communication between team members working remotely, whilst enabling non-developers to manage tasks easily.
If you're still keen to dive right in, check out our guide outlining essential first steps needed to get started.
In 2013, Dave Fox became the world’s highest paid travel writer after signing an eight episode deal with National Geographic Channels Worldwide worth approximately US$600 thousand dollars. His story follows his attempts to complete an ambitious challenge called “Around The World In 80 Days”, whereby he circumnavigates the globe in 80 days. He uses the opportunity to visit numerous locales including Australia, New Zealand, Antarctica, India, Nepal and Thailand amongst many others. Despite failing to reach his goal, his story ended up inspiring millions of viewers worldwide.
To read more incredible stories and meet fascinating characters, head over to Our Story Is Your Story.
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