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Do you like to travel and then tell your friends about your adventures? Why not share your passion with the whole world? And then, while you’re at it, why not get paid for doing it? Start a travel blog, many have done it before and many continue to feed theirs. Just sign up to the Wordpress platform, on which Destination(s) Europe is hosted, which makes it such a pleasure to browse the site devoted to getaways. Can you make a living from your travel blog? Yes, some certainly succeed and sometimes earn very nice sums. How do they do it? That is what we will discuss here.
In this article, we will talk about how to create a blog without constraints, which questions to ask before starting to write for a more pleasant (and more profitable) site, and how to find the right sources of income. But first we will look at some examples of successful travel bloggers!
It is also possible to monetize your photos. Selling your best travel shots on the internet is an increasingly common practice. We tell you how to do it in this article.
Is it possible to earn a living by writing a travel blog?
The answer is straightforward: YES. Nowadays, travel bloggers living on their passion all have one thing in common: they worked hard to get where they are. And when we say work, it’s not just about writing chain articles. It is also necessary to maintain strong links with their community of readers, and this is undoubtedly what is the most time-consuming.
But if the work is done well – including useful and well-referenced articles, regular dialogue with its community, and well-rehearsed promotions, especially on social networks – then the earnings can amount to several thousand euros per month. Even more, for some stars in this field…
How much can travel bloggers earn?
Of course, the important question right away. Travel bloggers do not go unnoticed, especially on social networks. Here are some of the highest earning travel blogs:
- Nomadic Matt (US): Matt Kepnes, author of the blog Nomadic Matt, is something of a legend in the small world of travel blogging. The American has been providing advice on the internet since 2008, and his income was $50,000 per month in 2017, according to figures provided by the person concerned.
- Wandering Earl (US): Earl is the middle name of a blogger who set off on the road in 1999. His blog is often taken as an example, and for good reason: it features clear writing, wise advice, and direct speech. It’s no wonder Derek Earl Baron brings together a community of tens of thousands of fans, and received, in 2017, nearly 12,000 euros per month.
- Novomonde (🇨🇭): run by two Swiss people, Fabienne and Benoît Luisier, this blog was born in 2013, before a world tour. Now, it earns them nearly 2,000 euros a month.
So yes, writing about your travels pays off. But do not expect to reach such sums by devoting one or two hours to your blog a week. It’s a real job!
Writing your travel blog: four tips before you start
It demands work, but also, of course, a lot of fun. Fortunately. At Destination(s) Europe, we can guarantee it. Here are four tips that we believe are essential.
Take pleasure. Telling friends about your travel is always a pleasure. You remember the good times, the places discovered, and the unexpected encounters. Doing it on your blog should provide the same satisfaction, especially since your audience could be much larger. Writing about a city or an attraction shouldn’t be a chore, otherwise you won’t last, even with the promise of future income.
Maintain the dialogue. A blog is a place of expression that is not a one-way street. Your comment section must be open to allow for exchange. Keep in mind that your readers are looking for advice before they travel. It is obviously important to extend this field of dialogue to social networks: your accounts, if they are well followed, should not just satisfy your ego. Dialogue, dialogue, dialogue! This will also only increase the loyalty of your audience.
Respect the reader. Like many, you want to make a living from travel blogging, and that’s normal. Isn’t making a living from your passion everyone’s dream? But beware, your readers are not your customers. You write primarily to be read, not to sell. Advertisements, affiliate links, and the products you design should not take precedence over the comfort of reading, and the content of your articles. Otherwise, your audience will turn away quickly.
Play with transparency. As a corollary to the previous advice, we strongly suggest that you play with transparency. If you accept sponsored posts, label them clearly. If you have affiliate links, mention it on one of the pages of your site (we do this here). You are not required to reveal any personal information. Many bloggers write under a nickname, specifically to separate their passion from their professional life, but it is important not to hide anything that could put your readership off you. Again: respect your audience!
How to make money with a travel blog?
You are motivated and ready to get started, but if you want to make a living from your travel blog, or at least earn additional income from it, you will have to establish how to do this. We will tell you directly: there is no magic recipe. In fact, everything will depend on the strategy you adopt, your content, and the communication channels you will use.
The main sources of income for a travel blogger
Advertising (display): This is classic advertising, the type that have existed since the beginnings of the internet. But since then, we have gone from banners with garish colours and sometimes questionable content to targeted advertising, made possible by the cookies that you sow behind you like a trail of crumbs when you surf, and that allow advertisers to find you. The agencies, which link publishers and advertisers, are numerous, but here are the main ones:
Sponsored posts: If your blog has good visibility and a qualified audience, it is very likely that companies will contact you to offer you sponsored posts which are often very profitable. These will be articles like the ones you usually publish, but they generally praise the company that orders them. In this case, and this is very important that you report this to your readers. You must not deceive them! Depending on the agreement you have made, you either let the company write the article or you do it yourself for an additional fee.
Affiliation: This is the favourite source of income for bloggers (and the one we use). If a reader clicks on an affiliate link posted on your site and subscribes buy the service or product offered, you receive a percentage of the sale. It is therefore important to establish judicious partnerships. Do you have a photography blog? It would make more sense to have links with companies that sell photo equipment than with clothing merchants. Here are the main affiliate platforms where you will find your happiness for a site dedicated to travel:
Direct sale of content: Here is a good method that can make a lot of money, if you have something to sell. But unlike affiliate marketing, you are not selling someone else’s product, but your own, which means you pocket 100% of the profits. This could be, for example in the case of a travel blog, a complete guide to a destination with confidential addresses.
Partnerships on social networks: this is the “social” counterpart of the guest post. If you have social accounts with a certain number of followers, you can negotiate partnerships with brands, similar influencers. Advantages: this leaves your site “clean” of any advertising, and the method is flexible enough that you can have multiple partnerships without them becoming too invasive.
What income strategies to adopt?
We do not advise you to opt for all the formulas described above at once. This is a question of not drowning your visitors under a flood of advertising offers. You will come to realize that not all options are for you.
For example, if you have niche blog, such as about the Brittany coast or Tuscany, where you spend your holidays, specific articles on good hotels in the region with affiliate links can be a good method to make your getaways profitable. It’s a safe bet that your site will not attract tens of thousands of visitors, like a general site would, but on the other hand, those who come to see you will probably already be very interested in the region you are talking about. Their “conversion” into buyers will therefore be easier than on a general site.
Our advice: create Google Analytics and Google Search Console accounts to get to know your visitors better and find out how they find you. You will also be able to modulate your advertising offers. Above all: play with transparency. There is nothing worse for a reader than to realize that they are being played with.
What are the costs of a travel blog?
We have just talked about how to make money with your travel blog. But one question has not been addressed: the costs that this activity can generate. Let’s look at this quickly – we’ll go into more detail in other articles.
Accommodation and running costs
This will be your first, perhaps main, expense item. Admittedly, free blogging platforms exist, but they do not allow you to manage your income as you would expect. If you want to have a firm hand on how to manage your cash flow, you will either have to opt for the premium versions of these platforms (for example the Business version of Wordpress.com), or you will have to pay for hosting and choose a CMS free, which makes it necessary to manage technical hazards and the dedicated space at the host.
💶 How much does it cost? This can vary. A domain name + hosting = around sixty euros per year, at the very least, which is not excessive. The Business version of Wordpress costs almost 300 euros, but it saves you a lot of trouble
You can upload all your blog content, but you can also delegate some of this work for a small fee. For this, we recommend the site Fiverr, where you can find your next article from as little as 5 dollars. Afterwards, it is up to decide how much money you want to invest.
Our advice: as a question of authenticity, do not entrust the main articles of your blog to someone else. This type of service could be used for less central tasks, such as a tourist guide to a monument for example.
Again, this is a very variable budget. We advise you not to bet too much on it, at first. Your goal is to obtain a good organic referencing on search engines in the long term. This will ensure you continuous and quality traffic.
If you want to spend on advertising, avoid relying on Google AdSense at the start. Instead, invest in your future community of subscribers by advertising on social networks. Facebook? Yes, if you want to “push” certain items. No, if it is to acquire more subscribers for your page: your “reach” will be very low.
Twitter ads can be considered, specifically targeting, for example, tourism players. But for a travel blog, where the image has a prominent place, we advise you to invest in Instagram and Pinterest instead.
Well, we hope these few tips have helped you imagine how you could make money with your travel blog. We will continue to write articles on the subject, but do not hesitate to send us your suggestions and advice in the comments.