Having a travel blog is a natural fit for many digital nomads. It allows them to combine their savvy web skills and their passion for travel. But, can you make money with a travel blog these days? The market is over saturated (some might say) and there are more and more travel bloggers competing for the same dollars.
I think you can still make money being a travel blogger… and you should! There’s always a unique way to market yourself, a niche to take or a community begging to be built.
So, once you start this travel blog to chronicle your journey and share your travel expertise, how can you get it to earn you your first dollar?
10 Ways to Earn Your First Dollar on a Travel Blog
1 – Amazon Affiliates
Amazon affiliates are a great way to start earning money on your travel blog. Right a packing list of what gear you travel with, a review of your backpack or a great book. They’re helpful to your readers and an easy way to pick up commissions.
2 – Hotel Affiliates
You don’t need your readers to actually make a booking at a hotel to earn a commission on hotel affiliates. Programs like TripAdvisor and HotelsCombined pay affiliate commissions per lead rather than per booking. This means you can earn from 25 cents to around $4 when someone clicks through a hotel affiliate link and performs an action over on the affiliates page (like searching a date, location or clicking an ad.)
3 – Affiliate Another Blogger’s Product
Many bloggers create ebooks and courses for their own audiences and offer a commissions to bloggers who promote them to their own. There’s no database for these deals so you need to approach the bloggers personally.
4 – Create Your Own Product
If you’ve got the capacity, create a digital product to sell. Base it off some of your existing content that’s popular with your readers. This could be a guide book to a certain location, a how to do what you do book for wannabe bloggers, a short course on something you’re knowledgable on. Anything really!
5 – Sell Your Photographs
If you’re a great photographer, sell your work! You can do this on stock photography sites or on a more personal basis. Consider approaching resorts you stay at and offering to take new images for their social or website.
6 – Manage Social Media
Managing social media for brands or bigger bloggers is a great way to use your existing skillset in social media and get it earning for you. This could be a specific social media like Pinterest or Instagram or a more general role.
7 – Freelance Writing
Freelance writing is ideal for bloggers. Hop onto Upwork and look through the job listings. There are plenty of roles out there.
8 – Sponsored Content
Once your blog has been established for a little while you’ll start to see offers for sponsored content and links start to roll in. These can be a good money maker for new bloggers. Don’t discount them as a piece of your income pie.
9 – Press Trips
This may take a bit of work but many tourism boards and DMOs pay bloggers a daily rate for press trips. Some also then pay them again for the content they produce. Get into some Facebook groups and build connections to find these.
10 – Display Advertising
Google Adsense is a good way to start monetizing your blog content. It might not add up to much at first but the more readers you have monthly, the more you’ll earn. It’s one of those things that just grows and grows as your blog ages.
If you combine all these ways to make money with a travel blog you can quickly start to earn a decent living through travel blogging. It’s all about making that first buck and then building multiple streams to form one big river of income. Good luck!