This post isn’t so I can humblebrag about my revenue streams and how I make money while I travel. The most useful blog posts I have read are financial reports that explore the finer details on how exactly you make money with a travel blog.
It’s all dandy if I show you websites where you could make money online but then what does my blog become? A glorified search engine, displaying thoughtless results to your queries.
You might have started your blog because you are passionate about travel, fashion, relationships, entrepreneurship, baking, anything! But you’d be lying if there wasn’t a part of you that wants to make it your full-time career. That’s the dream, isn’t it?
When you’re a newbie, you can become overwhelmed by the possible ways of monetising your blog. I want this post to help you find the ways that you can start monetising your new blog, even if it’s only a few months old!
Affiliate Marketing - $50
I’ll give it to you straight, you will get little from affiliate marketing when you are starting out as a blogger. Unless you win the viral lottery and cash out on your 6 seconds of Internet fame, it’s going to be an uphill struggle to make a decent amount of income here.
I would recommend focusing on building a consistent audience of around 5,000 monthly unique users before you slap banners across your blog posts or write about anything with the intention of gaining traction with affiliate links.
That’s not to say it won’t happen! If you are an SEO maverick, you could get an article on the first page of a trending Google Search query. You could also write a blog post that goes viral and you’ll be kicking yourself that you didn’t monetise it.
AWIN is my go to site because of their friendly user interface and monolith of premium advertisers. They boast pretty much all of the relevant advertisers for travel bloggers such as Agoda, Lonely Planet, Canon, Booking.com, lastminute.com, and LateRooms.com. This means you can manage all of your affiliate programs from one website.
And, yeah, if you haven’t already guessed. This is an affiliate link for AWIN (it’s worth signing up).
Influencer Marketing - $350
This is a big one. Seriously, it is so much quicker to build a loyal social media following than it is on your blog.
Instagram is huge right now and if you haven’t already joined, you’re not too late to the party. Get on it now and start capitalising on the global micro-influencer trend. Advertisers want you, and you want their money.
Think of it this way, you are doing them a favour! Facebook and Google advertising costs way more than you are going to charge them to reach thousands of people instantly.
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Shall I jump? 🏃💧 #liveforthestory ⠀ ⠀ I had the fear of a thousand men as I stood at the edge of Gibitngil, aptly named "Funtastic island" by the locals in Cebu, Philippines. Trying to stage a photo only made it more difficult while our lifeguard mocked me from dry land.⠀ ⠀ Canon is looking for a storyteller to send across the globe for 365 days of summer! Sound like you? Share your summer story, tagging @canonuk and #liveforthestory. Check out @canonuk to find out more! #ad
TRIBE is by far my favourite influencer app. They get a bad reputation for the reason that most of their campaigns ask you to buy products beforehand. But it’s a rapidly expanding platform with plenty of apps to promote (free downloads) and well-known food and drink brands (stuff you might buy anyway or for a couple of £$€). Some of them like Canon UK who I worked with thanks to TRIBE, asked for one of my existing travel photos.
To join TRIBE, all you need is 3000+ real followers on just one of three platforms; Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
You can find more influencer marketplaces in my blog post…
I have found that aside from influencer marketplaces, I score most of my sponsored campaigns via email. So remember to include an email address on your profile for business inquiries.
Sponsored Blog Posts - $300
Similar to influencer marketing, you’re going to get approached by companies for your amazing content creating skills.
However, there’s a fine line between a genuine campaign and a company that just wants to use you for a backlink. There’s one major rule here; NEVER promote dodgy sites, it really isn’t worth it. This will damage your SEO long-term when you could by then be making some real cash-money.
Try to work with brands you already know and love. That way, you won’t lose your authority and you will attract better opportunities as you grow into a trusted and respectful brand.
Most of these opportunities will come through email so make sure you are contactable. And for the last time, if you want to be treated like a professional, invest $10 / year in a custom domain!
You can also go after sponsored opportunities yourself by signing up to influencer programs such as Cooperatize.
Freelance Writing - $200
I am a Skyscanner Elite Contributor. I have also worked with Matador Network and The Guardian Media Group.
Unless you are getting paid as a ghostwriter, most large publications are happy to link to your blog. This is a golden opportunity to increase your Moz DA score and Google Search traffic.
You can discover where to find publications that will pay you in my blog post;
Paid E-Guides - $100
Using e-guides as an opt-in incentive are a sure-fire way to increase your email subscribers. But how about selling them? For many bloggers, selling e-guides can be a passive income revenue stream that keeps on giving. Once you have written a guide, it’s there forever and it can continue to earn you money in your sleep.
For me, my Instagram Hashtags e-guide is a nice extra that makes a sale every few weeks. It’s not a huge amount and the money comes directly from my readers so I decided to invest that money into a cause I believe in, Lendwithcare.
When you buy my e-guide, 100% of the payment goes to micro-finance entrepreneurs in developing countries. I even cover the PayPal fees! It makes me feel good and it’s relevant to That Travel Blog’s mission, helping entrepreneurs. In a selfish way, this campaign has also led me to opportunities with other cool brands I care about.
Unless you have a unique story, just 1 blog and an Instagram account will be difficult to turn into a full-time career! There’s too much competition.
If you really want to travel indefinitely without living on a shoestring budget, think big! I used to think 1 Instagram account was enough. Now, I manage 22 Instagram accounts for various niches/ideas, my own companies, and clients. I’d like to manage 100 social media profiles by the end of 2017.
Some bloggers claim to earn up to $1,000 / month for a website generating anywhere from 25,000 to 100,000 unique monthly users.
Mediavine is a premium network and they only accept bloggers with over 25,000 monthly unique users. I’m not quite there yet!
Another paid e-guide?
For the most part, I’d like to keep my e-guides free as opt-in incentives to entice more subscribers for my blog content. However, if there’s something particularly technical like my 800+ hashtags. I will sell the guide and use the money to further micro-finance entrepreneurs in developing countries through my Lendwithcare team.
Have I missed anything? Let me know in the comments how you make money with your blog.
Thanks for reading. Make money, go travel!