Welcome to the final installment of my 6-part series “Blogging Secrets Revealed,” where I’ve been sharing insider knowledge to help those of you wanting to start your own travel (or non-travel) blogs and turn them into income-generating businesses.
So far, we’ve gone in-depth on:
- 11 Essential Questions For Better Blog Clarity
- 7 Ways To Find Out Who Your Readers Are
- 10 Simple Tactics For Gaining Blog Traffic
- 22 Awesome Ways To Engage Your Blog Readers
- 19 Essential Tools To Grow Your Blog Business
- Your Ultimate Guide To Blog Monetization (this post)
Tip: Ever wish you had a coach helping you along your blogging journey? Join Travel Blog Prosperity for just $1 for October. For less than the cost of a cup of coffee, you’ll get an entire month of teaching. Read full details here; but hurry, as early bird bonuses expire September 22, and doors close for good on September 30!
And now, if you’ve ever wondered how to make money blogging, here are 13 creative ways.Want to make #money on your #blog? Here are 13 creative ways other #travel #bloggers earn money… Click To Tweet
1) Vicki Garside, from Make Time To See the World
“I’ve added a social media management service to my blog, specializing in Instagram and Pinterest for travel bloggers and travel brands. I focus on these two platforms as they often yield the highest return, with a highly engaged following on either platform boosting a bloggers profile and increasing direct traffic to their website (which is great for affiliate marketing).
Social proof is becoming more and more important in this technological world, and I love to help people harness its power through profile optimization on both platform, hashtag usage on Instagram, effective keyword usage in Pinterest, and designing beautiful pins that people can’t help but share.”
2) Tia Brown from That Golden Life
“We monetize our blog a few different ways; sponsored posts, affiliate links and selling products. For sponsored posts, we reach out to brands and companies that align with our niche of outdoor adventures. We try not to post more than one sponsored post every week to keep our feed authentic.
We also love affiliate links! This is like a “set it & forget it” way of making money from your blog! Hotel affiliate links are our biggest money maker. You get a percentage of what the hotel was booked for.
Lastly, signing up for a network marketing company where you can promote & sell products or even creating your own line of products is where the big money is at. I personally am a distributor for Senegence, a cosmetic & skincare line and it’s been a great way to make extra money and incorporate those posts organically into our blog. If you have the audience, why not monetize it? With selling your own products, you get a bigger piece of the pie.”
3) Sherry Ott from Ottsworld
“Last year I started pitching projects that were more content oriented. I did a big 2-week hike in Costa Brava and was hosted by the tourism board. I had talked to the tourism board and found out they were focusing on hiking that year. I did the typical blogger stuff, took pictures, updated my social accounts daily, and did live broadcasts while hiking on the trail. After that I wrote a couple of blog posts, and provided them 10 pictures for their digital marketing use. This is all pretty normal stuff. Sometimes you get paid for it, sometimes you don’t.
However, for this project I also produced an ebook about the hike (a guide to the coastal trail of Costa Brava) that they own. They are using it as a free download on their website for marketing purposes. Now I have a project that I can definitely get paid for. They get exposure to my audience and professional content for their use. Once the ebook is live on their site, I write one more blog post promoting the book on their site. I pitched the idea to them with a price tag that covered my time/work on producing the book and ensuring all travel costs were covered by them.
I’m starting to pitch similar projects now to other tourism boards and travel companies. Many companies are looking for well produced content for their own uses in addition to influencer exposure.”
4) Kristen Slizgi from The Luxury Travelist
“When we first started our blog, we had many inquiries from readers asking for advice and help with planning their trip. Since we focus on the affordable luxury market, we had an influx of 20 – 30-year-olds eager to work with a concierge company that was affordable. We realized that our content was attracting a certain type of market and with the inquiries for help with travel planning, we realized we could offer BOTH services: content for reading and travel advice as well as building out client itineraries.
Our platform provides readers a chance to read through our content, become inspired and then book through us which is how our blog ended up making money. It was quite simple as there was a demand, and we listened. We have also partnered with hotels, restaurants and tour operators around the world to secure loyal partnerships which in return gives us a percentage of commission when booking our clients with their company.”
Connect with Kristen on Instagram
5) Kara and Nate from Kara and Nate
“First off, as Youtubers our primary method of monetization is obviously YouTube Ad Revenue. However, unless a channel goes viral, there’s no way it could make enough money from ads to support full-time travel, so we developed additional sources of income.
The first is Patreon. Patreon is a platform that allows creators to receive reoccurring funding from fans in exchange for small rewards such as a postcard from every country we visit.
Next, Amazon Affiliate Income. Amazon is a huge e-commerce that everyone already trusts, plus we get paid for anything that is bought within 24 hours of clicking our link (even if it is not the product we recommended). We promote our Amazon referral links by publishing packing lists, vlogging gear lists, etc.
The final way we monetize our vlogs is through other affiliations. This includes everything from online travel agencies such as Booking.com to individual hotels and tour operators. We often partner with hotels and tours to promote our services in exchange for a complimentary stay/tour. When people watch our vlogs they get a better understanding of travel experiences and are more likely to book with the same operators.”
6) Neil Fahey from The Bushwalking Blog
“In late 2013, when The Bushwalking Blog was in its 5th year, I saw a need amongst my readers and the general Australian outdoors community for an affordable and easy to use emergency beacon hire service. I purchased two PLB emergency beacons, set up a simple landing page as part of The Bushwalking Blog, performed some SEO optimization, and had my first booking within a few days. Since then, my PLB’s have traveled much further than I have. My best estimate is that my customers have hiked, biked, and paddled them over 7,000 kilometers in total, and they’ve been sent to every corner of the country.”
7) Cori Carl from 15 Miles
“Lots of travel bloggers have books, but they’re usually travel guides. After immigrating to Canada, my wife and I self-published a book with step-by-step instructions on how to move to Canada as a skilled worker. Canada has revamped its immigration programs in the past few years, so all the existing guides were totally obsolete, making ours quickly become a top Canadian immigration guide. We spent about $50 on marketing during the first week and have been making about $500 a month since.
Most travel blogs and digital nomad sites gloss over the details of visas, permanent resident status, taxes, and the other hairy issues of living on an international scale. We’ve learned that people are eager to learn the ins and outs of moving and living abroad from someone who’s actually done it.”
8) Bonny Albo from Bonny Adventures
“While traveling and writing for Bonny Adventures, I discovered a huge gap with offering housesitting services. Yes, there are a handful of companies that manage to do an okay job of connecting housesitters and homeowners, but I didn’t like the heavy competition and zero guarantees. So, whenever I want to housesit somewhere specific, I take out ads focusing on my target market, and send them to one of my pieces about finding a housesitter or becoming a housesitter. Every time I’ve done this I’ve been offered some amazing housesits, and also get affiliate income from housesitting services. Win-win!”Ever wanted to make #money #blogging? These 13 #travel #bloggers are here to tell you how! Click To Tweet
9) Chris Backe from One Weird Globe
“Like most bloggers, I make money from sponsored posts and the occasional affiliate link. Call me old-fashioned, but I think of my books as a creative money-maker. I’ve written dozens of books, most of them based around specific cities or regions. Itineraries are a planned step-by-step journey across the city or region, while guidebooks offer a curated selection of places across the country — plan your own trips! Most months, my books add three figures to my bank account.
As a bonus, once the book is written you have a built-in audience to sell it to. After all, people who like your blog will probably like your book! Be sure to add value to your books any way you can, from maps to directions to links from one part of the book to another.”
10) Stéphanie and Peter from Tourist Exclusive
“We have found that a lot of luxury hotels are clueless on how to create content that is really engaging for their audience. When we enter in a hotel we go through it with the eyes of travelers and as entrepreneurs – where could they improve, how could they create a story or show an experience.
After that process we write up a report and present this to the hotel manager or the general manager. We have seen about 200 different 5-star hotels and know what works and what doesn’t. We share our knowledge and this way we make the experience for everyone better.”
11) Heidi Nicholl from All Glamping
“My creative monetisation is to sell gorgeous enamel camping mugs and water pitchers. I import the enamelware from Kashmir and I’ve set it up so that stock gets mailed directly to two wonderful social enterprise fulfillment centers. The fulfillment centers (one in the UK and one in the US) both support people with disabilities to work within their own capacities. This means that I can make money when I travel, I can provide a source of gorgeous camping mugs because people who read my blog clearly love camping (and beautiful things)… and my customers and I can do good work together providing employment for people who really appreciate the opportunity to work and be a part of the community.”
12) Soraya from Soraya Beheshti
“I have had an online store featuring ethical, cruelty-free and fair trade products for several years. I use internal links from my blog posts and recipe posts to point to these products, but my favorite way to monetize is through affiliate codes and links. I reach out to brands whose quality and product offering I am impressed with. I ask for a discount code that I can offer to my followers, which benefits them, and I receive a small commission each time a transaction is made using the code. I will only do this with brands whose products I have purchased or used many times and have been consistently impressed with, as I believe very much in promoting companies who have dedicated themselves to making the world a better place and empowering the global community, each step of the manufacturing process.
I also founded a non-profit organization that serves displaced communities and refugees around the world. We are currently developing a mobile app to facilitate skill and service exchanges between refugees and citizens using a non-monetary economic system, since refugees are not permitted to earn money in many countries. In order to secure donations, we set up a crowdfunding campaign, and are currently developing a 100% plant based cookbook filled with traditional home-style recipes from Syria, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan and Kurdish areas. Since the ebook costs nothing but time to make, it is a great way to monetize. We can sell the book for $12 to people all over the world, and will be able to raise a significant amount of money for our cause. Ebooks are definitely a resource bloggers should utilize. I plan to make many more in the future!”
13) Michelle Schroeder-Gardner from Making Sense of Cents
“One way I make money though my blog is by creating a course. I created Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing after regularly earning $50,000+ per month through affiliate marketing on my blog. I now sell this course and earn anywhere from $20,000 to $50,000 per month, and it’s quite passive since I already created the course and it pretty much sells itself on my blog. Plus, I get to help other bloggers increase their blogging income.
Creating a course is something that more bloggers should do because there is probably something you’re an expert at that you can help other people improve on. I’m extremely glad that I created and launched this course because it has opened up so many doors for me!”
Connect with Michelle on Instagram and Facebook