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How To Monetize A Travel Blog: 10 Clever Strategies + Profit Plan [Ep. 45]

By Jessie Festa. This episode on how to monetize your passion for travel is sponsored by Travelpayouts and also contains affiliate links to trusted partners I think you’ll love!

Want to learn how to monetize a travel blog?

Well, you’re in luck, as in this episode we’ll be talking about how to start a travel blog and make money!

By the end of this episode, you’ll understand:

  • How to monetize your passion for travel through blogging
  • How to start a travel blog with a profitable foundation
  • How to create a profit plan for your blog (workflow included!)
  • 10 creative ideas for making money blogging
  • Important blog monetization rules that can help you see success quicker
  • And more!

On that note, let’s dive into the episode.

How To Monetize A Travel Blog Step-By-Step [Podcast Episode Audio]

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Free Travel Blogger Resource Library

To help you really jumpstart your blogging success, I’ve added 55+ blogging resources like printables, video tutorials, and workbooks into a FREE resource library for travel bloggers.

These resources are meant to help you grow your traffic, community, and income faster and with less overwhelm!

Grow Your Blogging Income With Travelpayouts

This episode is sponsored by Travelpayouts, the largest affiliate platform designed for travel content creators.

Travelpayouts helps bloggers earn on all types of travel services including flight tickets, accommodation, tours and activities, car rentals, insurance, and many others by connecting over 100 trusted travel brands with over 300,000 content creators globally.

Bonus: You can click here and use code “JESSIE24” to get $50 added to your first payout!

Increase Your Traffic & Income These Helpful Tools

HeySummit (14-day free trial included). Create unlimited easy to run online events with all of the customization and flexibility you need to provide an exceptional experience for your audience.

Keysearch (get 30% off with code “jessieonajourney30”). This inexpensive tool allows you to kick your Search Engine Optimization (SEO) up a notch to more easily rank on Google’s first page and increase your traffic. We’ll be going over this tool in-depth as the course goes on.

Surfer SEO. This tool is like employing an SEO expert on your team (without the 4-figure monthly price tag). You’ll get specific recommendations tailored to your blog for how to optimize your blog posts for SEO and rank in organic search results. You can see my video tutorial here, too:

Teachable. This is my favorite platform for creating profitable online blogging courses. Their support is fantastic, too. My affiliate link gets you a 14-day free trial — no credit card required!

ConvertKit. A feature-rich yet user-friendly email marketing platform made by bloggers for bloggers. My affiliate link gets you a 30-day free trial — no credit card required!

Deadline Funnel. This powerful tool allows you to create real limited-time offers; as in, once the tripwire deadline is over there will be no way for a person to get back into the funnel to get it again.

Beaver Builder. I personally use both their theme and plugin. The plugin allows you to create beautiful landing pages using a user-friendly drag-and-drop page builder.

Interact Quiz Maker. This tool allows you to easily make beautiful and engaging quizzes that can engage your audience while growing your email list.

Ultimate Bundles. Become an Ultimate Bundles affiliate for high commissions. You can also apply to have your own digital products included their bundles for even more potential income!

Create A Blog Post From Scratch Template. This template will help you create an SEO-optimized blog post from start to finish – affiliate links and email opt-ins included!

how to monetize a travel blog

How To Monetize Your Travel Blog [Episode Transcript]

Let’s be real. When you’re first starting out, waiting for your blog to start making money can feel like watching paint dry — if watching paint dry also entailed doing a ton of work.

But, here’s the thing:

Simply writing blog posts, even if you stay consistent, does not on its own lead to income or help you get to a point of full-time blogging.

In order to make money blogging — and truly see sustainable results when it comes to travel blog monetization — you need to have a profit plan.

Which is exactly what I’m going to help you create in this episode. In fact, I’ll first be sharing a plug-and-play workflow you can steal to map out your profit plan, followed by a list of powerful ideas for monetizing your blog, increasing your income, and taking your business full time.

But first, speaking of profit plan, I want to direct your attention to my free 4-day Profitable Travel Blog Makeover course.

The course takes you from setting up your profitable brand through growing your traffic and visibility all the way to monetization, so you’ll be able to better implement what you learn in this episode.

In fact, the free course comes with a printable workbook that will help you actually map out a profit plan for yourself. Feel free to even pause this episode to go grab your seat in the course.

Oh, and while we’re talking about freebies, make sure to join the Travelpayouts affiliate network for free and then use code “JESSIE24” to have $50 added to your first payout so you can start making money right away! If you’re interested in seeing success with affiliate marketing for travel bloggers, joining this network is a smart move.

Grabbed your blogging freebies? Then let’s dive in!

Creating Your Blogging Profit Plan

Okay, so when creating your profit plan, I find it really helpful to start by setting blogging goals. Think of your big goal for your blog and work backwards. For instance, if you want to earn $100,000 through your blog, what steps would you need to take to get there?

Well, for one, you’d probably want to create a product. From there, you’d want to map out a product launch plan to make sales, and then set up some evergreen strategies to consistently sell your product.

Or, maybe your goal is to empower 1,000 women to travel solo by the end of the year, so you create an online membership for solo female travelers.

Potentially, your goal is to get 100,000 pageviews per month to your blog to grow your Mediavine income and what you earn through banner ads. So, you work backward and say, Okay, I need to pinpoint a few powerful traffic-generating strategies.

Instead of writing whatever I feel like, I’m going to invest in a keyword research tool and focus on writing six SEO-optimized posts each month — and have two of them be focused on promoting affiliate links and increasing my affiliate income for additional revenue. Moreover, I’m going to learn how to promote blog content so that people truly click over and read it.

Or, maybe you want to sell a blog for profit. If this is the case, you’ll want to pinpoint what needs to be done to prep your site so that it fetches the highest price possible.

Basically, define your goal and then work backward to pinpoint the milestones you need to reach to complete it — including your next action step; as in, the one you will take today.

Now, it’s not enough to just think about this profit plan or declare your goal to yourself. You need to actually map it out in your planner or your project management software.

What I like to do is take a piece of blank paper and create a box for each month of the year.

In that box, I’ll input a major milestone or a profit-generating event like a product launch or promoting an affiliate offer.

This acts as a sort of reference key to pair with my paper planner, where each month during the second week of the month it says “Promo Planning” for the entire week. This is my reminder to grab my reference key and look at what I’ve listed as the focus for the following month to start creating the assets.

For instance, if it’s the 2nd week of March and I open my planner to the Promo Planning week, I can then look at the reference key and see that in April I’m speaking at a virtual summit. This tells me that I should use my time to plan, create, and schedule the promotional assets for the summit.

Again, if you need a bit more help mapping out your profit plan I’ve got my free 4-day Profitable Travel Blog Makeover course + workbook.

Okay, so maybe now you’re getting an idea of the blogging workflow you’ll use to create your profit plan. But, what are some milestones or action items you can focus on that actually work well — even for newer bloggers?

That’s what we’ll cover right now.

Idea #1: Create a profitable content plan.

Maybe you write posts based on how you’re feeling on a given day, or maybe you have an annual blog content plan mapped out in advance. But, my question to you is:

Is this content plan profitable? As in, does it lead to blogging income in some way?

There are many ways to make your content profitable, though one simple way is to add affiliate-optimized posts to your schedule. So, you might say that every fourth blog post you write is going to be one that is geared toward generating affiliate income.

I’ve got an entire episode on affiliate marketing for bloggers, but in short you want to choose an affiliate partner with a high payout and write a post focused on buyer-intent keywords — as in, keywords that attract people with their credit card in hand ready to purchase.

You can Google buyer-intent keyword examples, but here’s one right now:

Let’s say you’re promoting World Nomads Travel Insurance. Writing a post on “The Best Travel Insurance For Americans” would convert much better than a post on “My Favorite Cities In Europe” where you simply link to an insurance provider.

This is because, in the first example, the searcher is clearly looking to purchase travel insurance, whereas in the second example, the searcher is really looking for Italy travel planning help.

Another example could include promoting Amazon affiliate products in an article on the “best hiking backpacks for women”. In this instance, you know the searcher is looking to make a purchase.

Important note here:

Doing keyword research and optimizing your blog posts for Search Optimization — or SEO — is essential here. It can be difficult to rank in Google if you don’t do this research, meaning the content you’ve worked so hard on might not get seen.

My favorite tool for doing keyword research is Keysearch, which really provides all of the information you need to find niche keywords and get your posts ranking. Here is a quick video tutorial:

You can click here and use code “jessieonajourney30” for 30% off Keysearch!

Now, another tool that can help with optimizing your content to rank in organic search results is Surfer SEO.

Instead of simply giving you data about other sites that are ranking, Surfer SEO analyzes your website to make tailored recommendations for:

  • specific keywords to target
  • specific ways to optimize new content
  • specific changes to make to old content to improve its chances of ranking
  • specific missed opportunities for internal and external backlinks
  • specific on-page SEO optimizations (such as optimal word count, title length, image count, etc)
  • and much more

Did I mention the tool gets specific?

In short, you’ll get a step-by-step SEO workflow that can help you grow your traffic and increase your rankings – no guesswork required!

Here is a quick tutorial going over some of Surfer SEO’s powerful features:

While you’ll need a paid plan to get everything I showcase in the video, they do offer a free AI Article Outline Generator to give you a small taste of the platform. This tool can really help you write blog articles faster.

Now, as we discuss content planning and optimizing, remember that your content plan also includes your emails and your social media shares, so make sure to weave in promotion of products and affiliate offers there, too.

Quite often, I’ll write a strategy-focused email or a list of tips that promotes relevant affiliate partners.

And if you’re curious how travel bloggers make money on Instagram, this is one strategy.

Pro tip:

As you’re thinking about how to niche down, possible travel blog niches, and what you want to focus on, remember that what is ultimately important is writing about the same topic consistently. This will help you rank for that topic (so your affiliate content gets seen) and will help you grow an audience around that topic (so people click your affiliate links).

Idea #2: Promote recurring revenue affiliate programs.

If you want to become the most successful and richest travel blogger out there, this tip can help set you on the right path.

Now I mentioned working with high-paying affiliates at the beginning of the video, but I want to expand on this here to discuss recurring commission affiliate programs.

Basically, through these programs you’ll continue to earn affiliate commission for as long as your referral stays a paying customer. To find these programs, you’ll want to think about recurring payment products and services — like VPNs.

From there, put the work into getting creative with how you promote these partners. Yes, blog posts, storytelling emails, and social posts are great — but why not reach out to the partner to see if there are ways you can work closer, such as co-hosting a webinar that puts your affiliate in front of your audience and promotes them with your affiliate link?

Or, maybe you have a product, and the partner can give you a free trial to share as a bonus for new customers using your affiliate link.

Or, you could utilize one of my favorite strategies for promoting affiliate partners…

Idea #3: Host a free challenge that promotes an affiliate partner.

I love this strategy!

You want to think about the problem that your affiliate solves. It should be a problem that your audience faces — so that your affiliate can be the solution.

For instance, if you help travelers explore the world with their family on a budget, you might create a free challenge focused on planning a budget trip and highlight Scott’s Cheap Flights, a company that has an affiliate program.

If the affiliate partner you want to promote doesn’t offer a free trial, reach out to them to see if they can create one for your challenge.

To sweeten the offer, consider adding your own bonuses to anyone who stays a paying member of the affiliate.

Idea #4: Take part in or create a product bundle.

If you love growing your blog quickly, this strategy is for you.

You’ve probably seen people promoting different themed product bundles before, where there are a variety of digital products created by different bloggers in one bundled product. The bundle is typically sold for a very limited time at a huge discount — like 98% cheaper than if you purchased each product individually.

Often how it works is the contributors promote the bundle as an affiliate with a high commission rate — typically about 70%.

But that’s not the only perk.

Because so many different bloggers are promoting the bundle, you then get in front of new audiences — especially since everyone who purchases the bundle will then grab your product and most likely join your email list.

If needed, I recommend creating a digital product to put into a relevant product bundle if you don’t have one already.

Ultimate Bundles is a good place to start with this, as they offer all sorts of bundles of various topics — from blogging to travel to photography to self-care and beyond (so if you also want to know how to make money from travel photography, this can help!). I’ll link their affiliate application in the show notes.

And remember, if you can’t find a bundle to be a part of, you can always organize one yourself by reaching out to other bloggers in your niche to collaborate.

Idea #5: Take part in or host a summit.

Another type of group event that can ramp up your visibility and revenue is taking part in virtual summits.

Similar to bundles, you’ll likely promote the summit as an affiliate with a high commission rate of about 50%-70%. If the summit is free, you’ll earn the money on the upsells promoted at checkout — such as a Pro Pass that snags the attendee lifetime access to the summit session replays.

Again, if you can’t find a summit to apply to speak at, you might consider creating your own. You can use a tool called HeySummit to set this up really easily and even onboard affiliates to help promote the event.

Remember, too, you can start small and have 10-12 sessions and then create a larger event as you get more comfortable.

Idea #6: Organize a collaborative event.

As mentioned above, these could include things like summits, blog giveaways, and bundles — but doesn’t have to be.

One thing I did last year was team up with other bloggers in my niche to each offer an opt-in freebie, which we promoted as a free bundle giveaway with limitless winners. Each contributor also promoted the giveaway to their audience — which meant everyone got in front of each other’s audience and grew their email list.

While this in itself doesn’t lead to income, keep in mind that a well-nurtured email list can convert really well, so growing your list can lead to increased income that goes beyond one-off sponsored posts!

Idea #7: Pre-sell an online course.

Looking for travel blogger jobs and projects that help you stay consistent in your business? Launching your own online course, or potentially your own online school, is a smart option.

So maybe you’ve been hearing about the power of creating an online course — but you’re not sure you want to do all of the work to make one just to have nobody purchase.

One solution is to pre-sell the course. This entails getting people to purchase before you create the entire thing so that you’re earning money prior to the course start date. In short, it’s one of the best ways to validate your business idea.

Yes, you will want to have an outline of the what the course will be so you can accurately promote it, but you can basically have a promo period that happens before the course start date and then drip out the content weekly. This also allows you to incorporate feedback from students into following lessons to better serve them.

If you’re not creating an online course, that’s okay, you can adapt the steps I just mentioned to fit your own product. I’m just a huge fan of online courses since they have the potential to earn you a lot of money and work well for bloggers of all niches.

By the way, I use Teachable for my courses. My affiliate link snags you a 14-day free trial of their Pro Plan, which is the one I use.

Idea #8: Host a webinar.

Now there are two ways to go about this. The first is to host a free webinar and pitch a paid product at the end. When executed correctly, free webinars can convert really high — since you’re giving people a taste of your teaching style and empowering them to take action.

Your other option is to host a paid webinar. Since people associate webinars with being free, you might call it a workshop instead, but the idea is you’re hosting a high-value live class where students leave having learned something, or better yet, having had some kind of transformation.

Pro tip:

These smaller workshops can also help validate a larger course idea! In fact, you might even consider pitching a larger course at the end of the workshop, potentially with a limited-time discount and bonuses.

By the way, in the show notes I’ve shared a link to a past podcast episode on how to successfully host live webinars as well as my WebinarJam affiliate link, which snags you two weeks of their webinar software for $1.

Idea #9: Create and promote a compact product.

Compact products are smaller, budget-friendly products that are packed with value. For instance, you might create a workshop, a collection of high-value printables, or an ebook sharing your workflows for how to do something. It’s typically something you could sell for less than $50.

These can be an easier sell than a larger product but should still deliver the promised outcome.

You can promote these right on your site.

You could also take this idea a step further to create a tripwire funnel — which is a high-value, low-cost offer that is only available for a very limited time, like 15 minutes. You’d promote this product on the thank you page of your opt-in freebie.

The thing is, the product should a) solve the same problem as your opt-in freebie so that you’re serving the same audience and b) only be offered for a limited-time.

For instance, maybe the value of the product is $149; however, in the tripwire funnel people have 15 minutes to purchase it for just $24. You can use a tool like Deadline Funnel to make the offer truly limited time — adding a countdown timer and having it truly disappear after the time is up.

Bonus: Deadline Funnel comes with a 14-day free trial!

And finally, let’s chat about idea #10: Build out your backlinks.

While this isn’t necessarily a way to make money, it is truly one of the best ways to grow your traffic. In fact, if you haven’t been at least creating internal backlinks between your posts, I recommend you make that next month’s big focus.

Whenever you publish a new post or update your old content, you should be working to add links to old posts in it as well as links from old posts to it.

What I also like to do for my destinations and main topics is create Content Silo Pages. These are link-heavy resource pages that form a sort of tree with your content.

For instance, if the page is about Solo Female Travel you might then break that up into three sections — like Travel Safety, Solo Destinations, and Solo Travel Tips. Then from there you can break it down even further by adding posts that fit into that category.

Additionally, I’ll use Keysearch to research what questions people have about the topic and answer them on the page. Again, code “jessieonajourney30” gets you 30% off of Keysearch.

From there, I like to add these pages to my main menu, which gives them instant backlinks from all of my posts since the menu is at the top of every post. This can also help boost traffic, so I want to have my opt-in and some relevant affiliate links on these pages.

Of course, you also want to work to get backlinks from other travel blogs, too! These act as a vote of confidence and helps your site build trust in the eyes of Google.

Alright, now I hope you enjoyed this episode.

I hope you feel inspired and empowered to create a profit plan and add some income-generating events to your calendar.

Don’t forget to grab access to the free 4-day Profitable Travel Blog Makeover course that I’ve linked in the show notes, as it can help you monetize your blogging business faster and with less overwhelm.

I’d also like to thank our sponsor, Travelpayouts, for helping to make this episode possible. Remember, you can click here to join their affiliate network and use code JESSIE24 to get $50 on top of your first payout so you can start monetizing right away.

And of course, make sure to subscribe so you don’t miss future episodes sharing these bite-sized strategies for bloggers who want to turn their blogs into profitable full-time businesses.

Happy blogging!


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Winners can choose from:

  • How To Grow Your Blogging Income Through Facebook Ads
  • How To Land Paid Press Trips As A Travel Blogger
  • How To Make Money (Fast) With Affiliate Marketing
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  • How To Start A Blog, Grow An Audience & Make Money
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Grow Your Blog With These Helpful Past Episodes:

13 Clever Ways To Grow Your Travel Blogging Income

How To Get Featured In The Media As A Blogger

Monetize Your Email List With 4 Smart Strategies

Create A Profitable Automated Email Sequence (With Template!)

Content Marketing 101: How To Create & Monetize A Blog Series

9 Clever Ways To Increase Your Blog Traffic

Making Money With Webinars: 10 Do’s + 3 Don’ts

How To Create A Profitable Blog Brand

Grow Your Blog Fast: 12 Quick Wins For More Traffic & Income

How To Create A Free Resource Library That Grows Your Email List

How One Woman Quit Her Job To Pursue Full-Time Blogging

How To Create Opt-In Freebies For Your Blog

What tips would you add for how to monetize a travel blog?

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