How to make money from a travel blog?
So, can you really make a living traveling full time?
Sep 21, 2019
The simple answer is- YES.
There are many ways of making a living with your travel blog, however, not everyone know exactly what they can do to make their blog profitable.
I hope that this post would shed some light on the options you have as a travel blogger- to make money!
The first ways of making money from a travel blog relate to the blog itself!
these are techniques to generate income from
the people who read your travel blog!
# 1 - Google ads
Google ads are not dead!
They are still a great way to make a living- once you have enough traffic!
Setting up Google ads would require already having your blog live, having a gmail account, as well as following their steps to integrate their ads with your website’s technology. (easier than it sounds:))
You can choose different types of ads, basically featuring different ads to different viewers- based on their interests and search history.
Your revenue comes from views of the ads (impressions) and from clicks generated on your website.
Having Google ads requires ORIGINAL CONTENT!
If you use copied content or simply “rephrasing” existing buzz-articles- Google can ban you! So make sure you create original content for your blog!
#2 - Travel-related Affiliate links
There are so many ways to make money as an affiliate- if you have a travel blog!
You can choose to affiliate with different hotel-booking companies and websites, as well as flight-purchase websites, and use these links in your blog!
For example: being an affiliate of Booking.com
When you’re an affiliate of the hotel-reservation site Booking.com you can use your affiliate links to:
recommend a specific place you’ve stayed in
provide a list of top places to stay in a certain destination, based on Booking’s ranking
Add a booking.com widget to get people easy search-access to Booking-site- straight from your sidebar!
Same logic applies for other flight/insurance/hotel affiliate programs- but not just!
There are a lot of items that other travelers might want to get- the bag you’re using, cool phone cases with Eiffel tower on them, Posters with the map of the world, passport cases- and so many other items- that you can easily become an affiliate of using affiliate programs like Ali Express, Etsy, RedBubble, Amazon, and more!
#3 - Non-travel related Affiliate links
Your affiliate links don’t always need to be travel-related!
as a travel blogger you might attract attention to what you’re wearing, or everyday items you use that have nothing to do with traveling!
You can have a section in the blog with affiliate links to things you’re wearing, and items you’re using in your business, or as every day accessories.
You could also simply place a banner in your sidebar, affiliating Amazon, Ali Express, Etsy, etc, in their category pages- or sections of trending items!
#4 - monthly paid advertisement slots & features
Welcome to the big leagues!
While you can affiliate hotels, airlines, insurance companies, people selling online courses, etc, you could also create direct connections with people/companies- offering them a slot on your blog’s sidebar!
For that you’ll need a page (advertise here) that has a contact form
as well as a media kit- a document/presentation to send to potential “buyers” that explains what is the type of advertisement you can offer them, what are the prices, and what is the nature and volume of your audience!
Relying on that page to “work for you” – is not the way to go.
Try reaching out for companies and offer them paid-monthly-advertising in your blog.
YES- you’ll need to explain to them why they should pay you
& YES- you might need to start small with small vendors or low prices,
BUT- it’s worth it when you think that these advertisement slots were there ANYWAY.
Wow, so much potential in one blog!
But there’s actually more you can do to make a living
while traveling- using your travel photos
& social media profiles
# 5 - sell your travel photos
if you’ve taken awesome photographs during your travels- you can also sell them!
websites like Shutterstock are a great place to make money from your photos- however- you need to mind their guidelines for photo approvals, make sure you’re not advertising photos of people who didn’t give their consent, as well as tag each photo with as many tags as you can think of!
Click here to read more about how to join Shutterstock as a photo-seller!
Shutterstock might be the biggest site to selling your photos- but it’s not the only one!
Etsy, the online market for handmade goods, is not just a market for jewelry items and crochet!
One of their biggest trends is the rising of Instant Download items- which basically means- you’re selling a file to clients, worldwide, that once uploaded- that file will be sent automatically to your clients without you needing to do a thing!
You could use Etsy to sell “just” the photos, mostly using bundle packages, and making them available for commercial use. Or- you can sell them as wall art printables!
To find out more about selling printable wall art on Etsy- read my blog post : 12 Useful Tips for anyone selling Printable wall art on Etsy.
#6 - design items with your photos for pod sites
POD (print-on-demand) websites are websites that hold a stock of items- that they can print on.
Once a purchase is made- they print your design on their items and ship them to the customers. Allowing you to fully embrace the “work from anywhere in the world” motto of the digital nomad.
My personal favorite POD website is RedBubble!
I have been selling there for over 3 years, and I love their system, easy payment processing, and product quality.
What you see on the photo here (or below for mobile) is my top selling item- a dress with MahJong cubes (believe it or not).
When clients purchase from RedBubble, they know they are purchasing from RedBubble, and that RB would send it to them, while paying a fee to the artist who made them.
Once a purchase is made of one of my designs– I get an email alert, and my commission (that is a number that you can actually set up manually!).
Every 15th of the month, and if I passed the $20 threshold – I get the money to my Paypal.
Yes, this design is not a travel photo (as I am not a travel blogger:)), but there are a lot of artists on RB selling products with travel photos, especially frames artwork. So, have a look at RedBubble and see if this could be your way to money-making 🙂
It’s absolutely free!
#7 - Sell items with your photos using pod services
While websites like RedBubble, Society6, FineArtAmerica (and others) offer you their platform to design your items and earn commission- other POD services offer you a white-label service.
That means- you don’t “host” your sales through the POD site- but you utilize their factories for your own store!
That store could be on wordpress (woo-commerce), Etsy, or a number of other platforms that integrate with POD vendors.
Printful, Pritify & Gooten are the leading POD services for this type of money-making, and they will allow you to set up your travel photos on items like: mugs, bathroom mats, backpacks, iPhone covers, stickers, magnets, and more!
In this case- the client comes to your shop, and sees that you made these items (with the help of what Etsy refers to as a “production partner”).
Each of the items you’ll sell have their own manufacturing cost and shipping cost.
You can see these prices on your POD service, and when you design them with your photos- you have the option to set up a new price- one that your clients would see- and pay!
Once a purchase is made-
Money comes to your account from your buyers, and you pay the manufacturing and shipping costs to the POD service. The revenue? is yours to choose.
#9 - sell anything else you make or find locally!
The fact is- that once you have a following that loves you – you could sell anything that you love.
A lot of travelers sell things they made using local materials, or things they’ve purchased along the way in unique destinations.
This might be a trickier business if you’re selling items that need to be shipped- while traveling- but a lot of travelers create local connections where they go to, and have these locals ship the items to the buyers- once a sale is made.
Sort of like a very personal and specific drop-shipping business.
#8 - sell social shout-outs
Got a lot of followers on social media due to your travels?
Utilize them to make money!
While a lot of people are looking for guest-posts or sponsored ads, some people still want the ever so quick- social shout-out!
Check out Fiverr for this type of service, and you’ll see a lot of people offering sponsored Instagram/Facebook/Anywhere posts for companies and small businesses all over the world.
The money-making options here are all up to how many followers you have, and how much engagement you have on your channel.
You can provide this service to only-travel-related companies, or just start shouting out whatever comes your way that fits your style and passion <3
Want more? Let’s continue!
here are some more ideas that you might find
help you make your living as a traveling blogger
# 10 - start a dropshipping business
I am not going to go into the “moral” issues some people have with dropshipping, as in a way- it’s no different than what every single store does with the items they purchase- and sell with a profit.
Dropshipping could be an amazing business for travelers, and as a traveler with a travel-loving following- the easiest items to start dropshipping would be travel related.
If you don’t have the skill-set to create your own shop from scratch- you can use Shopify, a platform that allows you to easily build any e-commerce business, and connect it to a dropshipping service.
I personally LOVE Oberlo!
It’s a dropshipping vendor with connections to thousands of products from China, the US, all over the world, really… And in it you’ll find a HUGE variety of different categories and niches.
You could set up a dropshipping shop with 200+ products in days, or choose several items and promote only them!
In this case, in terms of money making, the process is similar to selling POD items on Etsy-
Client goes to your shop, purchases- sending the money to you.
Once you use Oberlo + Shopify (or any other kind of dropshipping integration) the sale is automatically transferred to the vendor- which in turn- charges you with the costs of manufacturing and shipping.
#11 - Plan trips for other travelers
There are a lot of people out there selling their travel knowledge in a direct way!
I often go to Fiverr as a default (after all, been selling there for over 4 years now…), and there I found several people offering services of planning other people’s trips for them.
However, this is a service that you can offer using any payment-based platform, even Etsy, or sell directly from a page on your website- that leads to contact/paypal.
When you have a travel blog already- this becomes easier!
Create a page on your blog that describes your service, what countries it applies to- and how to contact you/purchase the service. (if you did choose Etsy or Fiverr to charge payment for this service- add those links to that page on your blog).
Once that’s done, go back to ALL the posts you have from countries/cities you feel like you know enough about to plan trips for others, and on these posts, at the end- write down that if people like this destination and want you to plan their vacation there- they should click HERE (and by HERE, I mean the page you’ve created for this purpose).
#12 - Start a youtube channel
YouTube is not dead, it’s still alive and kicking, and people visit it a lot when planning their trips.
Make high quality videos of the places you’re visiting, talk about where to go in those destinations, and what to do there.
You could make these videos as personal or as general as you’d like,
Make them about traveling, or about being a digital nomad,
and use them to make money with Youtube/Google ads, or even to promote any of your other money-making methods mentioned here.
You could also make general traveling videos sharing your experience, that are not destination-related, such as:
How to pack your carry-on for long flights, how to pack a suitcase for a long trip, how to find cheap flights, etc.
#13 - offer travel content writing services
A lot of bloggers don’t know it- but the skill of content writing is not one held by all people of the world.
If you blog-well, phrase yourself accurately, you could sell that service to other people as well!
Leaving aside that fact that you could simply write content and blog posts on any-niche, it’d be easier for you to sell people a service of writing travel-related blog posts when they can see your writing quality through your blog- while also feeling like – you know what you’re writing about!
You can offer these services on platforms such as Etsy, Fiverr, Upwork, or sell them directly through a service-page in your blog.
Being a traveler yourself- you are also more likely to meet other travelers- who might be willing to pay you to ghost-write for their blog, on destinations they haven’t visited yet, or even have you go over their existing travel-posts and help them with the layout and grammar of that post.
Wow, we’re done.
13 money-making methods, that each holds a world of it’s own inside.
I get a lot of people telling me that this is not SIMPLE at all.
But it is.
It might not be easy, or fast, but the steps are easy when you research everything and follow the guidelines and instructions provided to you by each platform you choose to make money through.
use the photo here to pin this blog post to your Pinterest- and always have this list tips handy when you need it!
SAFE TRAVELS <3