Digital Nomad Desires: Make Money Travel Blogging
When we started out on this digital nomad journey, the first idea that kicked it all off was starting a travel blog. As we mentioned in our previous Digital Nomad Desires Introduction post, having a blog is a great way to keep family and friends up to date with our movements, but it could also be a potential way of making money in the future. Though we often get asked the question; can you really make money travel blogging?
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Yes, you can. There are many travel bloggers out there earning an income from their travel blog. Some are earning just enough to pay for a few beers each week, but others are earning thousands of pounds a month. We’ll explain how later in this post.
It’s the successful bloggers like Goats on the Road and Nomadic Matt who inspired us to create Finding Beyond. These guys have been able to continuously travel the world for as long as they want because their travel blog pays for them to do so. They are the definition of a digital nomad and proof that you can make money travel blogging.
Travel Blogging Is Not Easy
Now we’re not so naive that we think this is going to be an easy journey. Yes, we’ve read lots of travel blogging success stories but we’ve also read enough about the realities.
Out of all the blogging niches, travel is the most popular and saturated, along with health and beauty. I read somewhere the other day that how to be a travel blogger is one of Google’s top search terms! That reveals a lot about the popularity of travel blogging and the competition already out there. Because of this, it’s going to be very difficult to make money travel blogging.
However, on the flip side, more and more people are turning to travel bloggers for a source of travel information. In the US it’s currently 33% and growing!
We also know that it’s going to take a lot of work. We have a new found appreciation for travel bloggers since we started Finding Beyond. When you read/hear travel bloggers stating that travel blogging is a full-time job, they’re telling the truth!
Travel Blogging is a Full-Time Job
Since temporarily relocating to Chiang Mai in Thailand, we pretty much spend all day Monday to Friday working on the blog. We also do bits and pieces at the weekends but try to step away from it. It’s not a simple case of spending just a few hours a week writing a couple of posts and that’s it. We’re sure that’s what a lot of people assume. There’s so much more to travel blogging, or any other blogging, than that.
The below list will get longer as our blog grows, but at the moment running Finding Beyond involves the following.
- Post writing
- Photo taking and editing
- Social Media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest)
- Other Marketing
- SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
- Website building/designing (using WordPress)
- Website analytics
- Networking with other bloggers
- Research (lots of it!)
We’re in the hardest part of our travel blogging journey. We’re starting out, learning the ropes, making mistakes and trying to build an audience. We hope it gets easier! 🙂
Travel Blogging While Travelling
The big test for us is how we’ll manage to keep up with it all while on the road. We had a taste of this while in Sri Lanka earlier this year. I managed to keep up with two posts a week and Shelley worked on growing our social media following, but there was no time to do anything else. We were, of course, spending lots of time seeing Sri Lanka! If we want to be successful at this then we need to somehow fit all the rest of the work in.
To make things harder, many countries do not have reliable internet connections like we have at home and here in Thailand. Without access to the internet, we have no way of working on the blog. Even writing will be difficult as I often use the internet for keyword and other research.
Next month we fly to the Philippines, a country that not only can I never spell correctly the first time, but also has terrible internet. This is likely to cause some stress when we cannot get work done, but we’ve always wanted to go there. One thing we do not want from this blog is for it to spoil what we both love doing; travelling. If it gets in the way so much that we stop enjoying our travels, then we’ll give up the blog in an instant. We really hope it doesn’t come to that.
We hope that our plans to stop at destinations for longer periods will help. Spending those longer stops enjoying living in a fantastic country, like here in Thailand, and also catch up on blog work. We think it has to be the only way to make it work.
How Can We Make Money Travel Blogging?
So to the big question. How can we make money travel blogging? The below list is what could potentially happen if we keep going and grow our audience large enough. We’ve read that there’s no point trying to monetise a blog until you have around 15,000 hits a month. At the moment we’re a long way off but maybe one day we’ll get there.
Make Money Travel Blogging by:
Affiliate Links – We ourselves include links within the content of a blog post which link to another site. The aim of this is to hope that the reader clicks through and makes a purchase on that other site. We would then collect a commission for that purchase. An example of this could be a travel related product on Amazon. Some companies could also pay us for a reader only clicking the link or making an enquiry at the other end.
Sponsored Posts – A company pays us to write a post for Finding Beyond that includes a link to their site. An example could be a link to a particular hotel or tour company.
Reviews – A company pays us to write a review on Finding Beyond. An example could be a camera bag for our camera equipment.
Advertising – A company pays us to use some physical space on Finding Beyond to advertise their product or service.
Social Media Shout Outs – A company pays us to tell our social media followers about their service or product.
To make money travel blogging we could offer services that are not directly connected to our own blog.
Copywriting Services – We could offer writing services to other travel related websites, magazines and newspapers.
Other Services – Running a successful travel blog involves a lot of expert skills and knowledge. In time, we could offer those learnt skills to others for a fee. For example, there are many travel bloggers earning money by offering SEO and Social Media advice/help.
Wish Us Luck 🙂
We’re going to give travel blogging a real shot. We’re taking it seriously, done a heck of a lot of research, invested a bit of money and a tonne of time. If it doesn’t work then at least we’ve tried our very best.
We’re aware that the odds are against us. We know there’s a ridiculous amount of competition. Most people fail and make not a penny, but maybe we could be one of the lucky ones if we stick with it for long enough. This time next year we could be making an income through all those streams above. We could join some of the other bloggers by being proof that you can make money travel blogging. Fingers crossed!
However, we’re not putting all our eggs in one basket. If we’re totally honest, we’re not confident enough in our blog to believe that it’s 100% going to work. So with our little spare time in Chiang Mai, we’ve been researching and attending digital nomad talks on other ways of making money online. In the next post, we’ll share some of the other popular businesses that enable the digital nomad lifestyle.