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OK, so you’ve got over your love for simply just “writing” and suddenly want to make some dollar-dollar out of your scummy little travel blog do you? Well, you filthy money-grubbing ho you, it’s a good job I’m on hand with strong advice to impart before you soldier on down that back alley and sell your WordPress wares to absolutely anyone and everyone now isn’t it? Let’s hit this before you get so desperate for coin that you start hacking Nomadic Matt’s PayPal account.
This is One of Those Good News/Bad News Situations
Now, I know you love the green and yes, your travel blog might be kinda mean (in a kick-ass money-making sort of way), but hold your horses and castrate your colts, this isn’t overnight millionaire territory. No Sir.
Really want to make money from your travel blog? Strap in and commit to it for the long haul baby. This is one ride that’s going to take some serious work and effort.
In fact you’re going to have to put in several hundred hours of content building, networking, marketing and community development (all of which my other blogger cohorts cover quite nicely at this ‘ere University) before you even begin fishing for the big bucks.
And that takes time and patience my friends.
That said (and here’s the good news), it needn’t be too long before you start generating a few hundred dollars that will help cover some of your sordid travels and more. Especially if you quit your vices (meth etc), focus and put in a few hours each day.
Take for instance my first travel blog, MySpanishAdventure.com (yes, even I, King of Travel Blogs, had to start somewhere). It took around four months of work (posting three times a week, networking with other niche related bloggers, being active on social media etc) before I began to make the $250-350 a month that took care of my rent while I shambled around Don Juan country.
Yes, four months of work with absolutely no reward.
Yet once the base was there I quickly learned to capitalize. It wasn’t long before I began to consistently pull in a nice amount.
The good news? You can do the same.
Let’s get into the meat and potatoes of this whole making money from blogging lark.
Three Most Common Ways to Monetize a Travel Blog
Three is the magic number. In life, in love and in travel blogging. Focus on these three main income sources and soon your blog will be a robust beast, capable of withstanding any Google algorithmic change and enabling you to sleep heartily under the Cappadocia stars (a travel blogging must by the way).
Freelance & Sponsorship
Let’s start with what I consider the most difficult route first. I’ve lumped in sponsorship mainly because both involve having built a strong platform and recognized authorial voice. In my opinion that takes the most time and effort out of the three.
That said, leveraging your travel blog to score freelance gigs, similar to regular slots like I’ve got going over on the Netflights Blog, is probably the best long term solution to making consistent income. Specialize in a particular area of travel, or be active enough that you become a recognized voice, and pretty soon you’ll be able to pitch your blog writing skills to a seemingly limitless number of content outlets. Yes, it requires you to be somewhat proactive, but the more you get your name out there the more opportunities come to you.
A quick word on sponsorship. A recent trend surfacing from conferences and travel blog chatter is that of the increased activity of travel companies looking for regular specialists to become the voice and face of their brand. Establish your blog well enough and build an attentive audience and a whole number of exciting sponsorship opportunities could open up.
eBooks & Expertise
Using your blog to sell products is another robust way to monetise. The number one product of the travel blogger? The trusty eBook.
Gauge your audience to find information gaps (the Wandering Earl school of eBook writing) and then put something together which people will be prepared to pay money for. Your expertise is a key thing to monetise. The eBook? Possible the fastest and most efficient way.
Ah direct advertising, the biggest way to prostitute a travel blog but by far the fastest and most convenient.
What does it involve? Selling your blog space to SEO (be careful & not a long term strategy) and advertising companies to write advertorials for their clients.
By far the riskiest method out of the three (as it depends on Google ever-increasing changes), direct advertising still has its advantages if you can keep the content tailored to your audience and the outbound text links down in number.
However you decide to earn your travel blogging keep is up to you (thy shall reserve judgement), but there’s no doubt that building a solid platform and audience is the single best thing you can do to make that money honey.
Go forth and earn.
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