If you want to know how to make money travel blogging, then you need to find out from some of the experts that do. They know how to travel the world and make money at the same time.
I’ve asked for help from some of the top travel bloggers on how it’s done.
How do travel bloggers make money?
The answers they gave me, really opened my eyes to some ways I hadn’t thought about.
This post contains some affiliate links
Here are all of the experts and their answers on how to make money travel blogging
Paul Johnson from A Luxury Travel Blog
“For us, the most lucrative ways to make money through travel blogging are by working on custom campaigns with larger brands. We have worked with airlines, international car hire companies, tourist boards, governmental organisations and hotel and resort chains on a variety of projects.
But such campaigns need not be limited to travel brands – we have also worked with peripheral brands such as credit companies and other financial institutions, car manufacturers and retailers on a variety of projects where there has been a wish to incorporate a travel or lifestyle component to what they do.”
Ann from Ann Cavitt Fisher
“I’ve been at this for 2.5 years now, and what I have to say is — don’t become a travel blogger because you think you’re going to make money — at least not anytime soon. It takes regular work to produce good content, and I see a lot of people try it thinking that they’ll take some short cut and magically end up with free trips and making big money in affiliate sales.
This year I have begun making some money through a site called Cooperatize: sponsored blog posts. I am going on several trips sponsored by CVB’s here in the USA. My next goal is to grow monthly pageview traffic to meet requirements to get accepted at Mediavine — I have several blogging friends who see good income from this.
The whole thing is, of course, about growing monthly page views, unique visitors, AND your presence on the Social Media channels. Until a travel blogger has that, they simply aren’t going to make much — if any — money at all.
When I started my blog over two years ago, I figured it would take four years to grow it to the point I was seeing meaningful income from it. I love the writing and photography. I go to conferences like TBEX and NATJA to network and to learn. For me, it’s a long game play.”
Rob and Gemma from Le Bon Lifestyle
“Mine is pretty simple. Build a brand you believe in and don’t sell out – stick to your principles and give marketers a clear message on your niche and target audience. Play the long game.”
Sam from SOS Travel UK
“I would say the best way to make money travel blogging is through sponsored posts, affiliates and travel writing for others.”
Cacinda Maloney from Points and Travel
“One way that travel bloggers can make money travel blogging is by working with brands. Personally, I contract with brands by working with them on campaigns in social media. For instance, I just worked with a brand that was promoting Hong Kong Tourism via a Twitter chat and a blog post.
I helped them to promote the twitter chat and I also wrote an article for them on my website. This is an easy way to make money travel blogging.
Other ways would be through Ambassadorships, which I also do quite often and I am a brand ambassador for Travelocity, Rocky Mountaineer, Delsey USA luggage, and FlipBoard. Contracting with companies is a great way to make money doing this profession.”
Shruti Prabhu from Siddharth and Shruti
“While affiliates and sponsored posts do help in bringing some money on the table, we have realised that offering services can bring in more consistent income. Services can be anything that you can spare time for or have talent in, like being a virtual assistant or a freelance photographer.
If you have any talent in design or photography, you can get work to earn a decent income while on the move. As a digital nomad, location independent jobs are the best of both worlds. If you do not have any such skills, you can still offer services as a proofreader, travel research assistant or a social media manager.
Since you do these things for your own blog anyway, you already have the skillset and experience. You can even become a regular paid blogger for travel companies. Think more than just your blog and it opens up a myriad of opportunities.”
Jarryd and Alesha from Nomadasaurus
“One of our recommended ways to make money travel blogging is through affiliate marketing. People trust bloggers to give honest recommendations of destinations, accommodations, products and services, and as such they often make purchases based on what they’ve read on a blog.
By utilising affiliate marketing, which is where you receive a small commission at no extra cost to the consumer if someone purchases an item you recommend through a trackable link, you can grow your own passive income. Once you’ve started a blog, this is an amazing way to build your business in a scalable way.”
Chris Kamberis from Trip and Trail
“There are many different ways to make money from travel blogging and it all depends on the areas of expertise that each person has. I’m primarily a photographer so most of my income comes from selling my stock or assignments and from creating videos (it doesn’t have to be strictly about travel).
Other people write or do marketing and social media managing for companies that outsource these fields. Others sell products/services or do a little of everything. Anything is possible as long as you understand the business side of it.”
Keith and Tina from Retire Early and Travel
“Some ways to make money as a travel blogger, especially if you’re just starting out, is to consider an exchange instead of a payment. Approach a destination, hotel or tour and offer to promote them on your blog and social media in exchange for what they have to offer.
The value of what you can get depends on the value you can deliver. So the smaller the audience or reach you have, the less value you should expect. This is easier if you ask for travel in the off-season. As your blog grows, you can move into shoulder and even in-season. Keep in mind that the more niche your travel blog is, the smaller an audience you will need to be successful.
Another way to make money is to sell your travel pictures or videos. You’re already taking these for your blog, so why not try selling them. You can either sell them directly to the business you took the pictures or video of. Or try your hand at listing them on one of many stock photo sites.”
Meg Jerrard from Mapping Megan
She recommends Content Based Advertising
“Also known as sponsored content, content based advertising is one of the best ways to make money as a travel blogger. A sponsored post is one in which the content has been created specifically for an advertiser to promote their product or service to your audience.
These can range from a promotional article endorsing a product or brand (see this example), to creating a general blog post and placing an embedded link back to a targeted website/company (see this example).
Depending on the quality of your website, bloggers can bring in anywhere between $50 – $1,000 per article. While there is no industry standard, $100-$200 is a fairly reasonable expectation when you’re starting out, and you will have the opportunity to raise your rates as your influence grows, remembering that more often than not, you may be negotiated down on price.
But how do you find these mythical sponsors? After 8 months of building my traffic and brand, sponsors began coming to me. However I also took steps to ensure my name was out there as much as possible. You can do this by joining sponsorship marketplaces like Tapinfluence – these are free platforms that connect bloggers with sponsors, and there are a million like it out there.
You create a professional looking profile and connect your social media and website accounts to showcase your influence. It’s fast, easy and free, and combines all of your metrics in the one place, creating an instant media kit which updates without any maintenance on your part.
You won’t be logging on to these kind of websites everyday, however it’s a great idea to set up a profile and leave it running in the background – you’ll get an email each time a sponsor has work for you.”
Gary Arndt from Everything Everywhere
“There really are no trade secrets. Every single blogger is going to have a different path for making money. It will usually be a mix of display advertising, affiliate marketing, brand ambassadorships, running tours, and product sales. You basically need to try many things and see what works for you.”
Matthew Karsten from Expert Vagabond
“I’m a big fan of affiliate marketing. Recommending products & services to your readers, in exchange for a commission, using special tracking links. The key is to only recommend things you’re actually using (or have used) yourself.
Some good affiliate programs for travel bloggers to get started with are Amazon.com, Booking.com, and GetYourGuide.com. Now, your earnings from affiliate marketing are directly related to your traffic levels and reader trust. Both of these things take time to build up. It’s a long-term strategy.
However the best part about affiliate marketing is that it’s passive income. Once you’ve done the initial work, you’ll receive steady monthly income from it, requiring minimal effort to maintain it. This allows you to focus on other aspects of your blog, and gives you piece of mind & stability. Less worrying about when (or if) your next freelance project will present itself.”
Amanda Williams from Dangerous Business
“That’s a tricky question, because there’s no “right” or “wrong” way to make money from a travel blog. From my experience, the most important thing is to diversify your income – as a travel blogger, you’re going to need multiple income streams in order to make steady money.
Some ways that I personally make money from my blog are through advertising, affiliate marketing, and working on branded campaigns with companies and destinations. Other bloggers also sell courses, write books, lead tours, and do consulting work.”
Sabrina Iovino from Just One Way Ticket
“Affiliate Marketing is my favorite way to make money, once implemented it’s passive income over years.
Affiliate Marketing means you earn a commission from products you love. This can be the flight engine you use, the hotel booking website or your travel gear.”
Eva and Tom from E & T Abroad
“We earn money from our blog with affiliate marketing and advertising. These are probably most common ways how to earn money with a travel blog. Then we use our blog to make our travels cheaper. We are writing a post about some tour operators, hotels, etc in exchange for a complimentary tour, hotel room. We don’t “earn cash” in this way but it’s already saved us quite a big stack of money during our travels.”
Linda Aksomitis from Guide 2 Travel
“Travel bloggers have the perfect content to repurpose into a revenue stream writing and selling ebooks. You already have the stories and the photos, so it’s just a matter of deciding on the theme of a book. Many bloggers give books away as an incentive to join an email list, so that’s one way to put your ebook to work increasing your income.
However, selling your ebook through Amazon and other online retailers can boost your income in a much more tangible way. How much can you make? Well, the K-Lytics May report showed the top nonfiction travel book was selling around 900 copies a day!”
Jeremy Scott Foster from Travel Freak
“Don’t Put All Your Eggs in a Single Blogging Basket”
“There are many ways to make money blogging—and that’s actually my best tip! Because there are so many ways to make money travel blogging (affiliates, ads, eBooks, courses, shops, running tours, niche services, etc.) the best thing to do is to create multiple income streams.
I recommend focusing on your passive income streams first as this can eventually run on auto (something like ads and affiliates) and then you can focus your efforts on the other more time-consuming avenues of making money (like creating products or running tours). This can require a lot of work up front—and you’ll need to research how to do SEO and CRO—but it’s worth it.
If you choose just one monetization model and something happens (let’s say you get kicked out of the Amazon affiliate program), you lose out on your only stream of income overnight — literally. Focus on finding more than one way to collect coins and you’ll always be making money.”
Wrapping everything up
I appreciate all the expert travel bloggers that took the time to contribute to this article.
Do you know how to make money travel blogging? Are there any other ways that you know of? Feel free to write about it in the comment section below.