Can you imagine what’s the most popular question I get as a full-time traveler and travel blogger?
If you’re a blogger yourself, you’ll know the answer to this for sure. If you’re not a blogger, then you probably already got an idea from the title.
Can you really make money traveling the world as a travel blogger?
That’s what I hear almost every time I’m talking to someone who’s not in blogging business themselves.
“How to make money as a travel blogger?” is another one from those who already believe in travel blogging a bit.
And honestly, I do understand why people ask that so much and it totally makes sense! As blogging and all this influencer thing is taking over every aspect of the online world and seems to be everywhere, it’s still quite a new and undiscovered niche for most.
So after almost two years of living and breathing “travel blogging” every second of every day, I want to share what I have discovered.
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CAN YOU MAKE MONEY TRAVELING AND BLOGGING?
If you’d check your Instagram or YouTube right now you’d definitely see plenty of awesome people traveling the world, living their dream and apparently making a fortune from what they are doing.
And from there you could move to their travel blogs and read a lot of cool stuff from their travels that you can use as ideas for yourself too.
That’s what you see at first glance. But what you don’t see is that all these people are divided into two categories.
Ones are those who CAN MAKE MONEY from travel blogging and will keep doing this for years.
While others are those who want to be travel bloggers but CAN’T MAKE MONEY from their blogs and will be forced to drop this dream after the first year or two.
So what’s the difference between them?
This question kept me wondering for a while until I finally understood! It’s actually as simple as:
1 - Those bloggers who treat their travel blog AS A BUSINESS can make money and will! A LOT!
2 - Those who don’t treat it as a business but more like a diary of their daily life/ travels are those who WON’T MAKE MONEY from it! If money wasn’t a goal anyway, then this way is fine too.
◽ Treat your travel blog as a business? What does it mean?
So many people are “shooting themselves in a leg” as they want their blog to be a source of income to travel the world and have it as a platform how to reach people to influence their lives in some way but they just approach the whole thing in the wrong way!
Simply imagine - if you'd be the reader who wants to find some useful information for your next Bali trip or you want to get inspiration to pick cool destinations for your next vacation.
Would you care to read what some random person had for breakfast or how soft was the pillow they slept on in that cute hotel? Probably not, right?
So these kinds of things are not something that a successful and well-earning travel blog will consist of.
Instead, you have to think what is it that you can help people with in terms of travel and write about that.
To be in the travel blogging business you need to write about things that people want to read and need help with instead of the things you simply want to write about.
You're here to serve your readers and bring them value by helping them to learn what they are looking for.
And when you're able to provide your readers with tons of useful and free information that they love, then you can bring in the products that you're readers would be willing to pay for.
◽ Making money from your blog vs selling out
At this point, some people would shout out “How can you treat your blog as a business?!?! You’re selling out and being fake if you want to make money out of your blog and what you share with people!”
But honestly, who said that business has to be evil?
To me, it always has to be about doing things the smart way.
If you want to be a blogger you probably have some special skill or passion to talk about. You probably want to be able to share that special thing with the world and help people make their lives better through it.
So why not to know your worth and develop your skill into a business where everyone wins?
You're getting paid for what you can do for the world (just like it’s in every other business outside blogging industry)!
It leads to people learning that useful skill from you and improves their lives… and you’re getting paid from that to be able to invest in yourself even more… And that way be able to reach even more people and help more people.
Why is it bad?
◽ The value of investing in yourself
The best and pretty much the only way how to really treat your blog as a profitable business and bring it to the next level is investing in yourself.
Let's be honest here - in order to be a successful travel blogger today in 2018 you have to be a "multimedia guru". Or at least a specialist.
That's simply because writing a great piece of article is totally not enough. That's just 10% of the whole process.
You need to be able to create a great article and build epic visual content around it.
And even more importantly - come up with an awesome marketing strategy to actually get this article in front of the eyes of your readers.
If you're thinking now that you're not good at photography, or you're not comfortable to speak in front of the camera and make videos... well, you'll have to step out of your comfort zone and become everything you feel like you're not. It might sound impossible but it's not.
Nowadays you can learn to do anything! Honestly!
You just have to be interested to learn it! You need to set yourself up with the right environment where to learn of from whom to learn and go for it.
Learning new skills will 100% help you to bring your travel blogging business to the next level. That's how it was for us.
And that's exactly why we created this part of the blog "Travel Blogging Boss", to share step by step how to achieve the blogging success.
There's so much useless information out there teaching blogging, but most of it is worthless in this market where we are today.
So we aim to fix that and share things that really work!
◽ Should you find a role model?
As it's more simple to say that you need to treat your blog as a business that actually does it, there's something that will make it easier.
Since the travel blogging industry is pretty big there are a lot of people out there who are doing great with their business.
Bloggers like Kiersten from The Blonde Abroad or Brew Binsky are a living proof that you can make money from travel blogging and have the freedom to live the kind of lifestyle you want.
So a good way how to not get lost in all of this is to pick a role model. A blogger who you look up to. Once you've picked them, take a deeper look in what they are doing.
How are they building their business? What kind of materials are they creating? What kind of Marketing tools are they using?
Think about what are they doing great from your point of view and what do you see that could be done better.
Then use these lessons to perfect your own strategy and way forward.
You don't need to invent new blogging formula here. Find what already works and use it.
Just don't copy other people 1 to 1, as that's a road to failure sooner or later!
Instead, take the best examples you can from your role model, add your own personality to it and you're on to something great. Trust me on this!
These are all the basic elements that describe a successful travel blogger that treat their travel blog as a business and are able to help people.
They are the ones able to make money out of their blogs and invest it back in their blog to help even more people and grow this business.
HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER?
Now that it’s answered that you CAN make money from a travel blog, the next question is how to make money as a travel blogger?
This is a question to which you’ll find answers in pretty much every existing travel blog out there.
And that's just because this is a popular keyword that bloggers and companies use to bring traffic to their websites.
But when it comes to the answer you'll mostly find all the same bullshit in each and every one of those articles.
99% of those blogs will tell you that there are a million ways and name stuff like affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, ads and the worst one - wasting your time for a veeery small money on Upwork.
While in reality none of these will actually help you make a good money and some will even keep you back from doing that.
Here I can share 2 of the most ridiculous jet common tips that you'll find in those articles.
1. Find a temporary job in the hostel where you're staying or at a local bar in the city where you're hanging out.
This seems to be a popular way how to get a bit of money to cover your accommodation or food costs when you travel on a budget. Now if you really think about it - you most probably can't even legally work in a country where you're traveling on a tourist visa.
And did you really quit your decent banking job (or the thing that you were doing back home before blogging) to be a bartender or a receptionist abroad working for shelter and food, instead of killing it as a travel blogging rockstar?
So the only gain here is to make some cents as a receptionist or bartender if you have some time to kill, but NOT THE WAY HOW TO MAKE MONEY AS A TRAVEL BLOGGER.
2. Finding freelance jobs on Upwork.
Again, while the idea of making some extra money online could work for freelancers, this is NOT a way how to spend time in order to build your travel blogging business.
By being pretty much a slave and working for $5-10 per blog article you write for somebody else, spending hours on it, you're stealing yourself the time you could work on your blog and grow your own business.
So this is another not so perfect answer to the question of how to make money as a travel blogger.
What most of the articles talking about making money as a blogger fail to mention is the only thing that you actually need to concentrate on to make it all work. And most probably just because they don’t know it themselves.
◽ The rare truth
To be honest, I’ve seen only 2 travel bloggers out there that actually share their successful blogging strategies with their readers.
Not the fake strategies that used to work years ago or never even worked at all, but the things that really work now!
And no surprise - they are both saying the same thing that I’m going to tell you right here:
🆘 You need to concentrate on your mailing list to be successful with your blog. You need to surround yourself with people who are truly interested in your content and the way how you can help them in life.
🆘 You need to stick to the rule “As long as your mailing list is growing, your business is growing”.
If somebody tries to teach you to concentrate on social media and build your following there first or to try as hard as you can to get your page views to a certain number before you start to work on gathering your loyal readers, I strongly suggest not to believe them.
As these are the things that actually keep you from being a successful, big money earning blogger.
Of course, it’s not all that simple, but concentrating on the right things is the first step in the right direction. The direction of success!
After that comes the next steps of what to do with your mailing list.
How to monetize it?
How to help these people to improve their lives?
How to improve your own life as a successful blogger and online business owner?
How to become a travel blogging boss?
Finding the right answers to all these questions has been such an exciting journey with The Travel Leaf blog.
AND I’M DEDICATED TO SHARING IT WITH YOU IN DETAILS RIGHT HERE TO CHANGE THE WAY HOW PEOPLE SEE TRAVEL BLOGGING AND BLOGGING IN GENERAL:
💡 How we managed to land 5k hotel collab at the 4th month of blogging?
💡 How we managed to make enough to be able to live and travel in 3 different continents over the past year?
💡 And most importantly - how to create a freedom to live the lifestyle you want and where you want?
I believe that online entrepreneurs (aka travel bloggers) are the ones who will change the world for good and I’m excited to be a part of it.
And I want you to be able to be a part of it too if you want!