How to Make Money From a Travel Blog

Andrey Novoselov Andrey Novoselov
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If you are looking for ideas on how to make money as a travel blogger, look no further. Earning online with a travel blog is not just a dream, it is possible for anyone who is ready to put in the time and effort. In this post, you will learn about all the travel website monetization opportunities from affiliate marketing and advertising to sponsored posts to selling your own products and more.

How to Make Money From a Travel Blog

How Much Can You Earn From a Travel Blog?

Many beginner bloggers wonder about earning opportunities when they start a blog. The truth is, income depends on many factors. The most important of which are the amount and quality of traffic as well as the methods of content monetization. Needless to say, your niche plays a crucial role too, as does seasonality. For example, as many people travel in the summer, travel bloggers earn more during this time. In addition, proper SEO can be a game changer.

But let’s talk about some numbers. Nick Wharton from Goats on the Road believes that beginner bloggers can make $500 per month after just six months, if they dedicate time daily. After a year, you could be earning $1,000 to $1,500 per month. After two or three years of continuous efforts, you could be earning $5,000 per month or more. Nick himself is currently earning between $15,000 and $35,000 per month through affiliate marketing, ads, and press partnerships. You can find more income reports from renowned travel bloggers in our post.

There’s another case. After one year, We Seek Travel had about 10,000 monthly sessions and made under $800 per month, despite the blogger investing 40-50 hours of time per week. Five years later, the blog generates over $18,000 in passive income per month with around 250,000 sessions, primarily from search engines. This allows the blogger to enjoy activities like Himalayan climbing without working on their laptop, while still earning a substantial income.

Even though it may seem as if the market is full of blogs and competition, this is not true. The industry is saturated with opportunity. There is enough money and partnerships for everyone who is ready to work hard. The sky is your limit if you manage to grow authority in your niche, stand out from the competition, and diversify your income sources.

Who Can Make Money Travel Blogging?

Even if you have just started a travel blog, you can start earning from your website. You need patience, self-control and the mindset of an entrepreneur, not an employee.

To monetize your travel blog, you must attract an audience, join the appropriate partners, and perhaps create a product or provide a service. Meeting the reader’s needs and putting your project over the top must be your priority, not the money.

Affiliate Marketing and CPA Networks for a Travel Blog

The CPA model means you will earn when a visitor makes a purchase by clicking the affiliate link on your webpage, for example, buying a flight ticket, booking a hotel room, buying a backpack for travel and so on. In the affiliate market, these are called leads and partners get paid for generating them. To start, you must join an affiliate network. Several key players are on the market:

  • Travelpayouts;
  • Expedia;
  • Skyscanner;
  • And others.

Travelpayouts Partnership Platform

If you register with Travelpayouts, you gain access to over 100 travel affiliate programs of well-known brands, such as Booking.com, TripAdvisor, Kiwi.com, and many more. To learn more about Travelpayouts tools and how you can use them to maximize your earnings, join Travelpayouts Academy.

The partnership platform doesn’t have any minimum requirements for new users and their projects, so you can join right now and start earning immediately.

To make sure that you can earn in affiliate marketing easier and faster, Travelpayouts shares how to make your project cool and earn money from it. For example, on the Travelpayouts Academy website, you will find free webinars and courses for beginners and advanced content creators. In addition, you can always chat with like-minded people in the Travelpayouts social networks or contact the 24/7 support team with any questions.

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You can also sell various touristic services on your pages, such as cruises, car rentals, travel insurance, and so on. Learn more about affiliate programs’ offers in this article.

Other CPA Networks

You can work with CPA networks, such as CJ or Awin, to sell various travel products and make money with your travel blog. For example, you can join e-shops to sell clothes, power plugs, maps and so on. At this point, you should consider which products your visitors can use.

If your project is oriented toward a local market, research local players, even small ones. You may find unique opportunities for different destinations, for example, working with an exchange office and earning a commission for each traveller you attract.

Tips for Increasing Your Conversion Rate With Affiliate Networks

The best way to boost your conversion is to be creative about your ideas. Here are some tips to increase your conversion rate:

  • Always try different colours and sizes of tools.

In some projects, different colours and sizes have different effects in terms of attracting visitors. For example, red can be attractive for routes to China while white is not.  Some colours attract more attention but can distract visitors from the site’s content. Find a balance between your audience’s attention and comfort.

  • Track your visitors’ activities.

You must know your audience’s interests. For example, collect data about sales and searches of flight tickets to see which directions your visitors prefer.

Use this information to create a content plan that covers your audience’s interests. Adjust your offers according to your visitors’ needs, which you will understand by analysing the data. Of course, don’t forget to try new things. (If, for example, you have a website about Turkey and offer “abroad” tickets such as Istanbul – Berlin, maybe your audience also needs “internal” tickets such as Istanbul – Ankara or Istanbul – Trabzon.

  • Autofill.

If you can predict what your visitors need, you can fill in the form in advance so that your visitors won’t have to think as much. The fewer steps users have to take, the higher the chances they will actually purchase the goods or services.

However, if your prediction is wrong and your visitor is not interested in the service you propose, the result may be extra effort for the visitor, whom you may lose as a result. Don’t overthink for your visitor; find a balance.

  • Place affiliate tools where users expect to see them.

Imagine that a visitor is reading your article about travel in Japan, in which you share suggestions about where to stay. The user wants to book, but … doesn’t see an option to do so. For example, you placed a search form at the bottom of the article, where the user can’t easily find it.

To avoid losing the sale, place affiliate tools where the user expects to see them. Think logically and, of course, don’t hide tools in hard-to-reach places.

In the affiliate marketing arena, many successful people make profits from travel websites. Look at their websites; analyse their advertisements, sales and placement/choice of tools. Use their successful ideas to increase your earnings.

One website that earns from affiliating is mauritaniaairlines.com. They share their ideas with us in this article. Also, an article is available about the 10 most famous travel bloggers; check it out here.

Contextual Advertising — Google AdSense

Contextual ads can be displayed related to the content of your webpage or to visitors’ interests. These advertisements can boost your earnings.

The main player in the international market is Google AdSense. If your project works with a local market in a language other than English, you can check local players such as sClick in Czech Republic, etc.

Conditions of Google Adsense:

  • At least 50 visitors to be accepted;
  • Average gain between 15 and 80 cents for each click outs;
  • Payment is once per month;
  • Minimum payout is around $100, it depends on the currency of your project.

The quality of your traffic and competition between advertisers in the area affect the click outs. Average earnings in Google AdSense per 1,000 page views from the USA is $3.38, while the average click out is $0.33.

A screenshot showing average earnings in Google AdSense per 1,000 page views from the USA

Average gains in Google AdSense per thousand page views in Europe (Czech Republic) are $0.82, while the average click out is $0.16.

A screenshot showing Average gains in Google AdSense per thousand page views in Europe (Czech Republic)

How to Increase Your Conversion Rate

A website’s traffic not only increases conversion but also has a huge impact on travel blog monetization. Let’s look at one situation. You have a blog with 1000 visitors daily. How much do you earn? Three to five dollars on a good day? If you increase the conversion rate, you could earn more from the same number of visitors.

In Google AdSense, you earn by clicks, so you must persuade your visitors to click the ads. Of course, openly persuading your visitors to do so is against AdSense’s rules. Instead, test various methods and choose the best one. Following are some ideas for improving your conversion in Google AdSense:

  • Try different colours in advertisements;
  • Use different types of advertisements;
  • Put them in a better place.

After testing, some affiliates see that their income level decreases. If this happens, you can return to the default conditions, as they could already be the best ones. However, do not give up right away; if you start the test, wait at least 3-5 days to get the full picture.

Custom Ads for a Travel Website

Another way of getting advertisers is to work on your own without an intermediary. If you have high traffic or a well-known travel blog, you can attract custom advertisers. They deal directly with you, and you earn directly from the adverts without losing commission to a middleman.

There are two ways to search for advertisers: passive and active. In the passive way, you will create a contact page on your website and wait until advertisers contact you. In the active way, you will find advertisers by sending them offers.

If you create a media kit and an email with your domain and then send offers to companies, you can be more productive.

While sending the offers, you should individualize them for each company. It’s important to describe your website’s visitors and explain to the advertiser that your audience is right for their business. In addition, traffic statistics and your audience profile, including ages and locations, can clarify your offer to advertisers.

Alternatively, you can simply add a link Google Analytics or the service that you use for collecting data.

How much you can earn from these ads depends on many factors. However, the amount must be at least twice more than the ads on contextual advertising. You can sell not only banners but also sponsored posts. Advertisers buy them to promote their products or simply as one part of their search engine optimization strategy.

Selling Your Own Products

You can use your travel website to sell your own products, like guidelines, travel consultancy services or insurance. This will help you move from blogging to business. For example, if you have a travel website for Europe or the USA, you can offer consultancy services about getting a visa for those countries. Additionally, you can sell travel tours and maps, or offer a service that sends goods and souvenirs from the country.

To be successful in this area, you should carefully consider what problems your visitors experience and what you can offer as solutions. You can work with any types of products. Electronic products, like eBooks, are the easiest to sell but don’t limit your ideas to just this area. Be creative and sensitive to your visitors’ needs.

Ideas for Increasing Your Conversion

As mentioned above, it is important to consider and increase your conversion rate while trying to make money from travel sites. You may have great traffic but if you have a low conversion rate, you will not earn much income.

To earn on a travel website, selling your own product is mainly an issue of your visitors’ trust. To increase your conversion, you must increase your visitors’ trust in your brand. Following are some tips to raise your conversion.

To make your visitors trust your brand more:

  • Provide correct information about your product;
  • Offer quick support to help your customers;
  • Include a section where people can comment on and rate your product. This provides more objective information to your visitors.

You can also use marketing tricks to increase your income:

  • Make the offer time-limited; for example, ‘just for today’;
  • Limit the number; for example, to only 100 people;
  • To show that your product is valuable, make visitors work for a discount; for example, ask them to share their email addresses.

If you aren’t a professional marketer, don’t play with marketing tricks too much, as it is very easy to achieve the opposite result – people will buy less.

Writing Sponsored Posts

Publishing sponsored posts is a great way to make money online with a travel blog. Sponsored content can be quite diverse. For example, it can include product and service reviews, sharing your personal experience with a particular brand, publishing an interview with the brand’s representative, etc. In all these cases, the company will pay you to promote them on your website using your personal tone of voice. Nobody knows how to speak to your readers better than you, so brands tend to give creative freedom when it comes to sponsored posts.

How to land sponsored content partnerships? You can reach out to brands yourself and offer an opportunity to publish a sponsored post about them. Make sure to introduce your blog, describe your target audience, and explain how it is relevant to the brand. It is usually easier to get sponsored posts from niche-specific companies. For instance, if you write about traveling in a van, you could reach out to van rental brands. Bigger blogs with high domain authority tend to receive sponsored post opportunities in their mailbox, as brands reach out directly to these bloggers.

Ideas on How to Find Sponsorship Opportunities

  • Make sure to create a Contact page or Work With Me page so that interested clients can easily contact you.
  • Remember to grow your Domain Authority (DA) so that brands will want to get a backlink from your blog.
  • Be careful about the links you share. Google requires that sponsored posts have no-follow links to the brand they advertise. You must also clearly disclose the partnership in your post. This is a good SEO practice that helps improve your search ratings while building trust with your audience.

Networking With Other Travel Bloggers

Networking allows you to target larger audiences, learn from other bloggers, and grow projects together. The key to success as a travel blogger is often dependent on the people you know or, in other words, your network. By simply reaching out and staying in contact, you will more likely learn about earning opportunities, new market trends, and so on.

Networking also helps grow your readership base through cross promotion, guest posts, etc. Reaching a broader audience is a surefire way to drive traffic faster and boost both your conversions and earnings.

If you are just starting out, don’t let feelings of insecurity prevent you from networking. Making contacts is possible even at the very beginning of your journey. Here are a few ideas:

  • Start commenting on other blogs. This will allow you to introduce yourself, build connections with other bloggers, and encourage them to check out your content. It is important to bring value in each comment and not spam just to take up space.
  • Reply to newsletters from other bloggers. Blogging can be a lonely job from time to time, so many bloggers value receiving feedback from their audiences.
  • Link to other blogs on your website. When creating content, you can sparingly share links to other blogs so your readers can find more relevant information and learn about great bloggers in your niche. Not only will you not lose your current readers, you will likely get contacted by some of the bloggers you referred to, as many publishers regularly monitor their backlink profile.

Learn more networking best practices for travel bloggers in our post.

Selling Your Travel Photos

Another great way to make money with a travel blog is by selling your photos online. There are many photographers out there who are not earning enough money only because they have not learned how to make their work profitable. Good quality travel photos are always in high demand because there is a growing number of blogs and brands in the niche. If you know how to capture a memorable moment, you can start making money with your photography.

One of the options is to sell photos on your blog. If you already have an audience, start by marketing your photos to them. For instance, create a separate page with all the photos you want to sell and encourage your readers and partners to check it out.

Alternatively, you can share your work on special platforms designed to help photographers earn money. Usually, these are stock sites, such as Shutterstock, Adobe Stock, Unsplash, GettyImages, etc. The price depends on the license, quality of the photo, number of downloads, etc.

Working As a Virtual Assistant for Other Travel Bloggers

Working as a virtual assistant can require you to complete a variety of tasks, from writing content to setting up schedules to reaching out to your audience and more.

Helping out a fellow blogger will help you not only earn some revenue, but most importantly, acquire first-hand experience and understand how you can grow your own blog. Such opportunities are easier to find through personal networking, but there are also some platforms to look into:

You might be surprised by how many bloggers need help getting their business going, as they are swamped with to-do lists and are ready to outsource some routine tasks.

Using Your Travel Blog to Get Freelance Work

Freelance writing is one of the biggest sources of income for many bloggers. Having an established website helps enormously when it comes to showcasing your work, growing your name in the niche, and landing freelance gigs. You will get a chance to set your own rates and build beneficial partnerships. Among your readers, there might be other beginner bloggers or companies who enjoy your voice and want you to help grow their business. As a result, a travel blog can be a great promotional tool for your writing.

Furthermore, you can market your writing services on other platforms to increase your reach. For example, check out these 99 platforms on which you can earn as a travel writer.

Other Ways to Make a Profit

You can also make money with your travel blog by simply asking your readers to fund your work. If you have a loyal audience who enjoys your content, this can easily encourage them to donate a bit of money to keep their favorite blog going.

Established bloggers are often offered chances to go on paid trips. Usually, they receive flight tickets and/or hotel stays for free in exchange for writing a review on their blog or company website. Meanwhile, most bloggers try to take advantage of the trip and write as much content about the place as possible for their own blog.

Another option is to start a podcast. Podcasts are a growing niche, as more and more people prefer to learn new things, for example, on their way to work. You can invite guests, such as niche experts, and conduct interviews.

Travel blogging offers a limitless number of ideas for getting money from the travel niche; share your own ideas in the comments.

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