How To Make Money With a Travel Blog

Do you love to travel? Do you dream of quitting your 9-to-5 job to travel full-time? If so, you might have the mindset of a travel blogger! Instead of just traveling for fun, imagine making money by writing about the exciting places you visit. That’s what travel blogging is all about!

But before we get into how to make money from travel blogging, it’s important to know that it won’t happen overnight. I’ve personally run a travel blog, and I can tell you that how much money you make and how quickly you make it depends on how much content you create and how much effort you put in.

In this article, I’ll show you the best ways to make money from your travel blog. You can earn money directly on your website through things like ads and affiliate partnerships. You can also use your blog as a portfolio to find remote work opportunities.

How Much Money Can You Make with a Travel Blog?

Once your travel blog is established, it can potentially bring in anywhere from $3,000 to $10,000 per month. But here’s the exciting part: if you diversify your income streams by exploring opportunities like freelance writing, content creation, social media management, and consulting services, you could easily double or even triple these earnings.

Let’s put some real examples on the table so you can get a better sense of what’s possible:

  1. Caz & Craig, the creators of the fantastic family travel blog yTravelBlog.com, rake in six figures annually.

  2. Tim Leffel isn’t far behind, earning over six figures each year. He achieves this through an array of income sources, including his excellent books, five websites, and a thriving marketing company.

  3. Johnny Ward, the brains behind OneStep4Ward.com, pulls in upwards of $30,000 per month from his various websites.

It’s worth noting that I’m not revealing these bloggers’ incomes without their consent. They have all been candid and transparent enough to share their earnings online at some point during their blogging careers.

Read more: Best Ways to Make Money Online

How To Make Money From Your Travel Blog: 9 Best Ways

You have plenty of options to make money with your travel blog. You can search online for ideas or get creative on your own. Here are some ways I’ve personally tried:

1. Display Ads on Your Travel Blog

Display Ads on Your Travel Blog

Ever wondered how those ads end up on our website? Well, they’re automatically placed there by a company called Mediavine, which is a nifty way to make some money. Here’s the breakdown:

  1. Activate a Plugin: You simply activate a plugin on your website, and it starts displaying ads on your pages.

  2. Automatic Payments: These ads are tracked through your ad account, and you’re automatically paid for them. Pretty convenient, right?

  3. In-Content Ads: In-content ads are an excellent way to generate passive income from your travel blog.

But hold on a second; don’t expect instant wealth. If you start a brand new travel blog today and simply turn on the ads, you won’t see any money rolling in. Here’s why:

  • Traffic Threshold: Mediavine has a minimum traffic requirement for joining their program. You need traffic to earn money from these ads.

  • Getting Traffic: To attract traffic, you’ll need to pick up some basic SEO skills and write 3-5 posts every week. Over time, your traffic will grow, and so will your monthly earnings.

  • 50,000 Sessions: Mediavine demands a minimum of 50,000 sessions per month to display their ads on your blog and help you earn. Other ad partners like Ezoic and Google Ads are more flexible and allow you to start right away.

The best part about blog ads is that they keep making money while you’re catching some Z’s!

I’ve personally tried out various ad networks on my blogs, and after some testing, I’ve stuck with Mediavine. Here’s why, along with a few other excellent ad networks for travel bloggers:

  • Mediavine: My favorite! They stand out because they understand the needs of travel bloggers and offer high RPMs (how much you earn per visit). Plus, they’re owned by Conde Nast, a big name in the travel industry.

  • AdThrive: They used to be considered a step above Mediavine, with a higher threshold for new partners (100,000 monthly pageviews). Some bloggers have made the switch, but the RPM increase hasn’t been substantial.

  • Ezoic: They’ve been consistently improving, and their RPMs are now competitive with Mediavine. They’re always eager to welcome new bloggers.

  • Google AdSense: If you can’t meet the traffic requirements of other companies, this is an option. Google Ads allows you to place ads on your site, regardless of its size, but the earnings are typically lower.

2. Affiliate Marketing

travel affiliate programs

Affiliate programs are a fantastic way to boost your travel blog’s income because there are numerous travel-related affiliates available. If you’ve ever wondered how to become a travel blogger and make money, affiliate marketing should be at the top of your list.

In essence, an affiliate program is a tracking system utilized by many popular travel brands. Companies like Expedia, Booking.com, Airbnb, and SkyScanner all offer affiliate programs. As a travel blogger, you can earn money as an affiliate by creating special tracking links on your blog. When your readers click these unique links and make a purchase on the company’s website, you earn a commission.

Here’s an example:

Imagine you’ve written a post titled “Best Hotels in Paris” and included special tracking links to each hotel through Booking.com. When your readers visit the post, click one of those links, and book a hotel, you’ll receive a commission—a percentage of their total purchase. If they book a $500-per-night hotel room for an entire week, you can earn a substantial commission.

This approach allows you to earn passive income through your blog while assisting your readers in selecting the best hotels, travel insurance, flights, and more.

When selecting an affiliate program for your travel blog, keep these two crucial factors in mind:

  1. Long Cookie Duration: The longer the cookie duration, the more money you can make. Sometimes, readers click your link but don’t decide to book until weeks later. With a longer cookie duration, you still receive your commission even if they return to the site later.

  2. Good Commission: Higher commission percentages translate to higher earnings. However, be cautious about some travel blog affiliate programs. Some commissions are a percentage of the company’s commission (e.g., Booking.com takes 15-20% commission on every booking, and as an affiliate, you’ll get 25% of that commission, not 25% of the entire order).

If you want to earn money from your travel blog through affiliates, it’s essential to choose the right affiliate programs. Here are some of our favorite affiliate programs categorized by type:

Accommodation Affiliates:

  • Booking.com: Offers a 25% commission of their total commission with a generous 30-day cookie duration.

  • Airbnb: Requires 1 million visitors to qualify and offers a 20% commission with a 30-day cookie.

  • VRBO: Offers a 2-4% commission on a 7-day cookie.

  • Expedia.com: Provides a 3-4% commission on a 7-day cookie window.

  • HostelWorld: Offers a 40% commission rate (off their profits) and a 30-day cookie, ideal for budget travel bloggers.

Tour Affiliates:

  • GetYourGuide: Offers up to 8% commission on a 31-day cookie.

  • Viator: Provides up to 8% commission on a 30-day cookie window, best for U.S. destinations.

Travel Insurance Affiliates:

  • WorldNomads: Offers a generous 10% commission with a 60-day cookie.

  • SafetyWing: Features a 10% commission rate with an impressive 365-day cookie window, ideal for nomadic travelers.

Car Rental Affiliates:

  • Discover Cars: Offers a 30% commission on their profits with a generous 365-day cookie.

Gear Affiliates:

  • Amazon: Known for its high conversion rates, Amazon offers varying commission rates depending on the product category.

  • REI: Provides a 5% commission with a 15-day cookie, although it may not convert as well as Amazon.

Remember that affiliate marketing can be a valuable income source for your travel blog when done strategically. 

Read more: How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

3. Freelance Writing

Freelance Writing

Turning your travel blog into a freelance writing gig is not only a smart financial move but can also benefit your travel blog’s growth. 

When we started our freelance writing business, we didn’t have prior experience as freelance writers. Still, we managed to run it alongside our travel blog, and guess what? It actually helped our travel blog make more money.

Because every time we wrote an article for a publication that had a larger readership than our blog, we strategically linked back to our travel blog. This meant that when people read our published work, they often clicked over to our blog and became regular readers. As we’ve emphasized in this post, the more traffic your blog gets, the more it can earn.

This is why freelance writing is a brilliant way to monetize your travel blog. You not only get paid to write the article, but you also gain valuable backlinks. These backlinks not only bring readers from the sites you write for but also boost your blog’s visibility in search engines like Google. It’s an essential SEO strategy to increase your blog’s traffic.

Earning Potential:

Expect to earn anywhere from $50 to $4,000 for a single post. In our experience, the average payment for a 2,000-3,000 word article is around $75-$100. If you can write an article in just two hours, you’d be earning around $50 per hour.

Top Websites to Find Freelance Writing Jobs:

We’ve compiled a comprehensive list of 99 Websites That Will Pay You To Write, but here are a few top picks for 2022:

  1. Transitions Abroad

    • Pay: $75 – $150 for articles ranging from 1,250 to 3,000 words.
    • Note: They seek high-quality and unique content.
  2. World Nomads

    • Pay: $0.50 cents per word (usually around $600 – $700 max per article).
    • Note: Keep an eye on their site for freelance writing opportunities; they pay well.
  3. Matador Network

    • Pay: $50 per article with photos.
    • Note: Matador is one of the largest travel blogs and offers press trip opportunities for travel bloggers.

By combining freelance writing with your travel blog, you can not only increase your income but also supercharge your blog’s growth and visibility. It’s a win-win strategy!

4. Sell Digital Products

Travel blog course

One of the most effective strategies to generate income from your travel blog is by offering digital products. These digital treasures can take various forms, such as ebooks, courses, videos, photos, and more. Here’s why this method is worth considering:

The beauty of digital products is that you only need to create them once, and they can generate income for you over the years. While some information-based products might require periodic updates, the effort is well worth it.

Believe it or not, some bloggers are raking in over $1 million annually by selling digital products. That’s not too shabby, right? While your earnings may vary, it’s a promising revenue stream.

On our travel blog, we’ve successfully generated thousands of dollars each month by selling digital products like ebooks and blogging courses. We offer a free beginner’s course on travel blogging and an SEO course to help aspiring travel bloggers turn their passion into a profession.

While there isn’t an endless variety of digital products for travel bloggers, we’ve tried them all and can recommend a few:

  1. Digital Courses: This is the top choice for earning money through your travel blog. You can create a course on various topics, from travel tips to starting a travel blog, and sell it through platforms like Teachable. Check out our guide “How to Make Money Selling Online Courses“. 

  2. Ebooks: We’ve been selling ebooks for years and have earned thousands of dollars from them. Ebooks may not have the same price tag as courses, but they’re still a great option. Consider using platforms like E-Junkie and Amazon to facilitate ebook sales directly on your website. Need some help? Here’s a simple guide “How to Make Money on Amazon KDP“. 

5. Sell Travel Merchandise

Travel t-shirts

Selling merchandise associated with your travel blog is a fantastic way to boost your income, but it’s not without its challenges. 

Selling merchandise, such as T-shirts, hats, iPhone cases, and photographs, isn’t as straightforward as offering digital products. You’ll have to deal with customer returns, shipping logistics, and potential manufacturer issues.

We ventured into the world of selling merchandise shortly after launching our travel blog. While we did earn a few hundred dollars (mostly from friends and family), we didn’t dedicate much effort to selling merchandise to our readers. However, some bloggers are raking in tens of thousands of dollars per month through merchandise sales.

Fortunately, several companies, like Teespring, Shopify, and Printify, have simplified the process of selling merchandise. They handle the nitty-gritty details such as customer returns, customer service, sales funnels, and more. Your job? Create appealing designs and market them to your audience.

Not all merchandise sells equally well. For instance, studies have shown that black T-shirts outsell other colors 9 out of 10 times. Here are some of the best-selling items for travel bloggers:

  1. T-Shirts: Selling T-shirts is arguably the most lucrative way to make money through merchandise sales as a travel blogger. Don’t limit yourself to branded shirts; consider incorporating fun travel quotes, captivating travel illustrations, and humorous travel jokes.

  2. Hats: While hats can also be profitable, they might not sell as well as T-shirts unless you put extra effort into promoting them. Apply the same strategies you would for selling T-shirts.

  3. Backpacks: Only a few online stores allow you to sell custom-designed backpacks. Printful offers a good system for this, and your travel blog readers may appreciate having a unique backpack from you.

  4. Travel Photos: Some travel bloggers have earned decent money by selling their travel photos. However, selling physical photos can be challenging. If you want to explore this avenue, consider using platforms like Etsy or Shutterstock to sell both physical and digital photographs.

Selling merchandise tied to your travel blog can not only boost your earnings but also enhance your brand’s visibility. If you’re up for the challenge and creativity, it’s a lucrative way to monetize your travel blog.

Read more: How to Make Money Selling Merch

6. Paid Press Trips

Paid Press Trips

If you’re eager to travel and earn at the same time, paid press trips are your golden ticket. These trips are an incredible way to not only see the world but also make money while doing it. 

We’ve been fortunate to experience some paid press trips over the years, sponsored by tourism boards, hotel companies, tour operators, and airlines. These trips typically involve the sponsoring company covering your flight, accommodations, organizing tours, and, as the cherry on top, paying you for your services.

Once the trip concludes, you’ll have certain deliverables to fulfill for the campaign. This may include creating blog posts, videos, social media shares, photos, and features in your email newsletter.

The key to securing more press trips is consistently exceeding expectations. We take our press partnerships seriously, and ensuring our partners see a positive Return On their Investment (ROI) is a top priority. Always create exceptional content that genuinely showcases their product or service.

Attending conferences can be another gateway to more press trip opportunities. Arm yourself with business cards and a media kit, and prepare to mingle and network with potential partners.

Landing press trips can be challenging, but attending conferences where industry bigwigs gather is a strategic move. Here are some of the best conferences to make valuable contacts:

  1. TBEX (Travel Blog Exchange): One of the world’s largest and longest-running travel blogger conferences, TBEX has drawn prominent names in travel and travel blogging since its inception in 2009.

  2. TravelCon: Hosted by renowned travel blogger Nomadic Matt, TravelCon is among the premier events to network with travel companies and secure paid partnerships.

  3. Digital Travel Summit: Organizing conferences since 1999, Digital Travel Summit has hosted five different events around the world, offering ample opportunities for networking and partnership building.

Paid press trips not only allow you to explore incredible destinations but also reward you for your travel tales. If you’re passionate about sharing your experiences and collaborating with travel brands, it’s an exciting way to monetize your travel blog.

7. Sponsored Posts

Sponsored Posts

Sponsored posts are a common and accessible way for new travel bloggers to start earning money from their passion. 

As your travel blog gains momentum and attracts a larger audience, it also increases in Domain Authority (DA), a score ranging from 1 to 100 that estimates a website’s overall SEO health. The higher your DA, the more appealing your blog becomes to potential advertisers.

When your DA climbs, you’ll start receiving emails from companies interested in paying you to include their links on your site. But here’s the catch: Google’s guidelines are clear that you must mark these links as “no-follow” and inform your readers that they are paid links. This practice not only aligns with good SEO but is also ethically honest.

Before proceeding with sponsored content, make sure the advertiser agrees to these terms. If they’re on board, you’re ready to start earning.

While the heyday of sponsored posts may have passed due to Google’s crackdown on unscrupulous practices, there are still avenues to explore:

  1. Facebook Groups: There are select Facebook Groups where bloggers share their sponsored post contacts. These groups tend to be exclusive, and you may need to provide your own contacts to gain admission.

  2. Your Inbox: As your blog gains traction, you’ll naturally receive emails with sponsored post opportunities. Be cautious, as many of these may come from spammy companies looking to bend Google’s rules. However, with some diligent filtering, you can uncover legitimate opportunities each month.

Sponsored posts can be a stepping stone to monetizing your travel blog. Just remember to maintain transparency and adhere to ethical SEO practices while collaborating with advertisers.

8. Run Your Own Tours

Run Your Own Tours

Imagine traveling with a group of like-minded readers and followers, exploring stunning destinations while getting paid for it. It’s not a far-fetched dream; running your own tours is a fantastic way to monetize your travel blog. 

Running your tours is a facet of the travel blogging business that holds incredible potential. Close blogger friends we know have earned over $20,000 in just one week of leading tours with their enthusiastic community.

Are you an avid hiker? Plan thrilling mountain treks for your followers. Do you appreciate fine wines? Craft a 7-day adventure through the vineyards of Tuscany. The possibilities are endless. Traveling with your readers not only enhances your connection with them but also elevates your travel blogging journey.

To get started, you need to build a loyal audience. Once you’ve achieved this, there are three primary approaches:

  1. Create Your Tour from Scratch: This entails visiting the destination, experiencing the hotels, testing out activities, and meticulously planning the entire tour on your own.

  2. Partner with a Local Tour Company: Consider collaborating with a local tour company at your chosen destination. They can provide pre-arranged experiences, transportation, and accommodation, streamlining the planning process.

  3. Leverage Influencer Tour Companies: Influencer tour companies work with bloggers who have a substantial following. They handle everything from logistics and marketing to customer service and tour execution, making it the most hands-off option. However, they typically take a larger cut of the earnings.

Monetizing your travel blog through your own tours not only offers financial rewards but also strengthens your connection with your audience. It’s a win-win scenario that turns your passion for travel into a thriving business.

9. Work as a Virtual Assistant

Virtual Assistant

Your journey as a travel blogger equips you with a treasure trove of knowledge about blogging and running a successful online business. Why not leverage that expertise to earn extra income by working as a Virtual Assistant (VA) for other bloggers? Here’s how it works:

As you continue building your travel blog, you’ll amass valuable insights and skills that are highly sought after by fellow bloggers. They’ll hire you to assist them in managing their own blogs, which can encompass various tasks such as creating Pinterest images, handling social media, or serving as their primary editor.

During our time as VAs for other blogs and websites, we dived into tasks like growing Pinterest reach, crafting blog posts, editing, and much more. Active participation in Pinterest Facebook Groups for Travel Bloggers allowed us to expand the reach of our pins, which, in turn, delighted our employers.

While we weren’t among the highest-paid VAs, there are VA professionals making upwards of $10,000 per month from the comfort of their own homes. It’s a lucrative and flexible gig worth considering.

Here are some key places to explore when hunting for virtual assistant opportunities:

  1. FlexJobs: This extensive online platform boasts over 5,000 businesses and features thousands of virtual assistant job listings. It’s known for connecting diligent VAs with verified employers, offering a trustworthy job-seeking experience.

  2. Upwork: Upwork is a user-friendly platform we’ve personally used to hire our own staff. It allows you to post the jobs you need or apply for those posted by others. With numerous Virtual Assistant-type jobs available, Upwork offers ample opportunities to kickstart your VA career.

  3. Freelancer: As one of the largest online marketplaces for freelance and virtual assistant work, Freelancer connects millions of users across the globe. With its vast user base, you’ll find plenty of freelance VA gigs to explore.

Becoming a Virtual Assistant can be a rewarding venture, allowing you to monetize your blogging expertise and help fellow bloggers succeed in their ventures. It’s a win-win situation that transforms your skills into a valuable income stream.

Final Thoughts

In the world of blogging, your travel blog can become a reliable source of income, albeit with a different kind of reliability compared to a traditional job. As a travel blogger, you won’t face the risk of being fired or laid off once you’ve built a steady income stream.

To successfully monetize your travel blog, you’ll need to invest ample time and effort. This includes writing numerous blog posts, promoting your blog, and continually honing your skills. However, the good news is that a significant portion of your earnings as a travel blogger can be passive income. Once your blog is established, you can generate revenue through ads and affiliate partnerships without constantly being glued to your laptop.

It’s truly a dream job, and now that you’ve learned it’s possible to earn up to $30,000 per month from it, why not take the plunge and start your travel blog today? Here’s a guide to starting a WordPress blog.

Leave a Comment