How to make money on a travel blog is one of the questions I hear from a lot of people especially that I own a few traves sites which have blogs.
Blogging has been one of the methods which attract people because it fulfils a few needs. First of all, as human beings, we need to communicate with other people. Secondly, our education teaches us that if we do not know the answer we should go and ask somebody for it. This is logical because why should we waste our valuable time and “reinvent the wheel”. We simply go and ask.
A well-written blog becomes an answer to questions which other people have. And if at the same time you can make money then this may become the ultimate guide to your new lifestyle.
So let’s dive deeper into methods on how to make money on a travel blog.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click them and purchase a product from my partners we will receive a small compensation. This fact has no influence on my judgement and opinions.
Methods on how to make money on a travel blog
I assume that you are reading this article because you are probably in one of the three groups of people:
- you have a passion for travel
- you have been attracted by the idea to have a wonderful, travel lifestyle which can be seen on Instagram or other social platforms
- you are looking for a side or passive income
- you already have a travel blog and you would like to know how to monetize it
If you are in any of the groups mentioned above then you are in the right place.
For the past years, I have been building my own side income online. I have a few travel sites but what works for me is the mix of a few methods. First is the advertisement.
Advertisements on your blog
I am sure you already know that ads exist but the big question is how much you can earn on them. As always the answer is not simple but let me use my example.
I own a Polish travel website which has a decent mix of monetization and I publish there the following content:
- Cheap flight deals
- Discounted hotel deals
- Packages of plane tickets and hotels
- Vacation deals (discounts, promotions etc.)
For the advertisement, I use Google Ads which works great for me but that’s not all I use. My advertisements are displayed in 3 locations by two companies:
- ads between the posts (Google AdSense)
- ads on my Whitelabel flight tickets search page (Google AdSense + Travelpayouts Ads)
- in the posts (Google AdSense)
This advertisement mix has proven to be the best combination for me. Re/targeted ads displayed by Google between and in the posts attract a decent amount of clicks. The additional combination of ads (Google + Travelpayouts) is displayed every time a person searches for cheap flight tickets. Thanks to this I get more impressions and often clicks as well.
This extra advertisement is possible because I use a Whitelabel feature given by Travelpayouts. In principle, Whitelabel is a web page on Travelpayouts servers. This page is their cheap flight’s search engine with my logo on it. People who visit this site are convinced that they are still on my page. In fact, they visit Travelpayouts search engine customized with my brand name and logo. This builds brand name trust and helps people better recognize my web page as a cheap flight search engine.
And I earn a commission at the same time for every sale via Whitelist page 🙂
So let’s go back to the big question “how much can I earn on advertisements?”. I earn on my travel website around 5,00EUR / 1000 impressions. This means that I make reasonable money starting from 100.000 impressions. That’s impressions and not visitors. The cool thing about the flight search engine is that people search more than they buy. This means that I get a lot more impressions than visitors.
Before we will go to another method of making money on a travel blog let me give you additional info about these advertisement companies.
Well, this does not require much of an explanation.
Google AdSense is a division of Google giant which displays ads on your pages and posts. Registration is free and all you have to do is start getting some traffic before Google will approve your site for advertisement.
You can find a lot of tutorials on how to do it so I suggest that you look there if you want to know how to set up your Google AdSense.
Travelpayouts is an affiliate network focused on the travel industry. Using this network you can become a partner of Booking.com, Hotels.com, Kayak.com and many others. There are even taxi and bikes booking partners in this network.
In principle this affiliate network is based on two partner types:
- Internal which are Jetradar (flight search engine) and Hotellok (hotels search engine)
- External partners like Booking.com, Hotels.com, BikesBooking.com, Kayak etc.
When you build yourself a nice audience you can earn great commissions from their external partners. Their cookie validity depends on the program but it’s mainly around 30 days. This is enough to get the purchase after referring them to your visitor.
Travelpayouts are located in Singapore and they pay via wire transfer or PayPal.
Your own private advertisement network
Depending on your blog range you might consider direct contact with local companies for advertisement.
Imagine if you have a blog about travelling on a budget and you wrote a great article about Barcelona food. You may contact a local restaurant which you wrote about and offer them an advertisement on your blog. Since it would be nearly impossible to measure the number of your site visitors which were redirected to this restaurant you could just ask for 50USD/month.
It’s a small amount of money but if you multiply this by ten cities and ten restaurants you already get 500USD. I haven’t tested this method of making money on a travel blog by myself but I really do not see why this might not work. When you will be an established, well-recognized blogger it will be a lot easier to convince local restaurants or hotels but the principle stays the same.
I know a few digital nomads which were invited by hotels and offered a free stay so that they could write a review on their blog. I also paid a few bloggers for a short 3 days vacation and as a “thank you” they wrote a great article about my travel site.
After all, advertisement is the leverage of business.
Other advertisements networks
Google AdSense is not the only one advertisement network. Recently I’ve noticed that a lot of people surrounding me have switched to other networks. Until now I have not tested any of these myself but I will place some links pointing to such companies so that you do not have to search by yourself.
- Media..net – just another advertisement network
- Revenue Ads – claims to be the best in the industry 🙂
- PropellerAds – they have a nice selection of tools and interesting way of creating ads
When you start looking for other advertisement companies, I’m sure you will find many of them but for the beginning, Google AdSense is fully enough.
Making money on a travel blog with affiliate marketing
Affiliate marketing is in principle recommending a certain product to your site visitors. Every time a person visits your site clicks a link and purchases something on your partner webpage, you will receive a commission. All affiliate systems work like this.
The affiliate principle is quite simple but making money with is not always so easy. There is a lot of people who just think that placing a link is enough to get a sale. They publish crappy content full of affiliate links without any value to their readers.
When you look closely at this text then you will notice there are a few affiliate links inside. For example, if you will register to Travelpayouts using the links in this post then I will get 5% of what you will earn.
I am not hiding it in any way like other bloggers do. In fact, I am willing to help you make money on your travel blog with this affiliate network. If you will have any doubts or questions about Travelpayouts then please let me know. You can use my contact page. I will do my best to respond as soon as possible because you see, I get only 5% of your success. And because of this, I am truly interested that your business grows as big as possible.
Let me give you a few details about affiliate networks which you can use to make money on a travel blog.
Travelpayoutrs affiliate program
As a partner in this network, you will receive from 50% to 70% of their commission for plane tickets and hotels. This sounds interesting but before you will jump-start to open your account there please remember that their commission is on average 2,2% of the order value. This means that when you refer a customer which buys a plane ticket through their webpage you will receive around 1% commission.
Is it bad? I don’t think so.
Consider my statistics. For every 1000 searches, I get on average 100 tickets clicks and 5 sales. The average sale is 400USD for me so for every 1000 searches I earn about 20USD + Travelpayout advertisement & paid clicks (I will explain this in another post so that you can understand this different income streams). This is not bad considering that it is an almost passive business.
Additionally, you can make +5% of income from everyone you refer to this program but for me, this is just a bonus. I joined this affiliate program to make passive money with my travel site. It was not easy because I am compeeting with big companies like Skyscanner, Kayak etc. Still, for a lot of long-tail keywords, I was able to rank quite well.
Let’s take a look at another program.
Commission Junction affiliate program
Commission Junction is one of the oldest affiliate networks which you can find online. They have a decent payment rate and an interesting partner offer. Currently, when I’m writing this post I have a partnership via CJ with LAN Airlines, AirWander, Skyscanner and AXA for travel insurance which I also offer on my travel site.
The only disadvantage is that they have a really slow site and they do not offer too many interesting widgets.
Anyway, it still a decent affiliate site for making money online.
Make money on a travel blog by creating content
Creating content is actually one of the most lucrative ways to make money online. Every time you write a post, guide or create anything you own it.
It belongs to you!
You may ask for the most ridiculous price. As long as there is somebody else on the other side of the transaction who is willing to pay – it makes sense.
Let’s be honest. Creating your own content is not easy and probably you will not hit the jackpot at the beginning but do not worry. There is always another way.
If customers will not be interested in your product you can always give it away for free to people who will subscribe to your e-mail. By now you’ve probably seen this method which offers a free gift after signup. Don’t get me wrong. I am not saying this kind of free gifts is worthless. I am just saying that you always should have an open mind and look for new possibilities to use your resources. This way you will use your creative mind to find another way to make money on your travel blog.
Let me show you more examples of such methods to make money.
Create and sell your own digital product
As I said before creating your own content is the best way to be rich. What I like the most with online content is that you only create it once. Then you just replicate the product and sell it over and over again. You can sell such digital products on your own website or on a different digital platform. I will give you a few examples in a moment.
Create and sell city guides
City guides are something most of the tourists need. From my experience, a good guide should not cost more than 10USD. This way you can attract a lot of customers who do not like to go through all the search engines, blogs etc. This people just want to have one guide with the most interesting places to see in each city.
You can also offer a discount for another guide and this way anchor your customers to your brand. Adding a mailing list with a reminder will help you stay in contact with your potential customers.
What’s great with this method of making money online is that you create it once and then replicate. Of course, you can do some upgrades, changes etc. but the principle is still the same.
Remember to choose something special which is not available in any free guides like LonelyPlanet etc. Something that will be like your “signature”. This may be a special location or some local interesting food. It may also be an event which is interesting like “James Bond 007 was filmed on this beach”.
Write and sell books
Now, this is one of the interesting things to create. Writing books these days is easy and convenient. You have all the tools which you need and you just need some imagination to start going.
Your books can be about your travels, adventures or guides “how to”. When I think about it maybe it should be “how I travelled the world in 80 days for 1000USD”. This would be interesting to read.
Let me give you another example of great niche example which is travelling speleologist. I know you need to learn how to do it but after you will you can describe your journey.
I would start with a short description of how nonsense my life was before I started to walk through caves. Then I would describe a method of overcoming adversities and what I learned in the process. Adding some fun adventures with a few scary things (trapped in a cave for a few days etc.) and you could create an interesting story.
Not even mentioning that it may become an idea for a movie 🙂 I am trying to give you a point that today anything is possible.
If this idea seems too far away from your personality then you can write about food travels. People love to read about small, special places where they can eat this one and only… pizza/baguette/hot-dog or whatever.
You just need to remember that you need to have a special story related to the place.
You see most people are not just buying food which tastes great. They often buy the idea that “this specific pizza, was made by a 67 years old man which is the last one in the family who knows hows to prepare it. And the recipe was passed in this family from father to son for 300 years (…)”
🙂 Give it a piece of your soul and you will see remarkable effects.
If you would like to know more about how to make money online as a writer then I’ve written a detail guide how to do it. You can find it here.
Create and sell courses
This is another great method of making money on a travel blog. You can create courses on travelling or how to create a travel blog. It actually does not matter as long as you offer the highest quality content to your customers. You need to take care of their needs as a priority. The money will take care of themselves.
You can sell your courses on your website using a few simple WordPress plugins or you can use websites like Udemy. It’s a digital platform for selling online courses. The disadvantage of this platform is that they will take a commission for the sale. On the other hand, they have a huge audience so you can show your product to a lot of people quickly.
As always the choice is up to you.
Sell your travel photos
Today you don’t even need a special camera to make beautiful photos. Sure, in the evening or at night it is a lot better to take photos using a fancy digital camera. But in the beginning, it’s not necessary to invest in any special equipment.
Some people have a special gift or simply predispositions to make great pictures. If you are one of them you can sell your photos on your blog and then create a course how you made them. This way you combine two methods into one. You might also create your blog in a way that it contains photos and guides how you made them. This way you can charge your visitors with a monthly fee for access.
Wouldn’t it be great to have 1000 subscribers maying 10 USD per month for accessing your photos and guides?
We are talking about 10.000USD per month!
Now tell me: do you have any interesting photos which you’ve made and which are just stored on your hard drive? Isn’t it a waste?
Example sites to sell your photos:
- Visual Society – you can sell your photos there
- IStockPhoto – a digital agency where you can sell your photos
- Dreamstime – this company gives you 60% of their earnings for selling photos.
- Shutterstock – one of the largest stock photos. They have an affiliate program so you can get some money back once you register with them. You can register here.
- 123RF – this one offers only 25% provision
- Getty Images via Flickr.
Before you will decide which one to choose, pay close attention to how much they are offering for your photos. After all, they belong to you and you may offer them on your own blog and get 100% of the payment. You just need to get the right traffic.
Write articles as a freelancer
I haven’t written any article as a freelancer but I have bought a lot of them. There is always a certain point in blogging when you run out of time to write another article. Many people skip the publishing date but it’s not a good idea.
Whenever I’m in a situation when I can’t publish my own article I always have a few of them hidden in my Drafts. I always order evergreen articles in advance. I buy “city guides”, “the best beach in Italy” or “how to pack to a single bag for one month vacation”.
Another one my rules is that these outsourced articles have to be written in a certain way and they need to stay valid for the next few years. This way I maintain a decent level of services which I provide to my readers.
Well, you can be on the other side of this business. You can write articles as a freelancer. Usually, I pay around 45-60USD per 1300 word article so it’s not bad for a start. Ten articles and you should have more than five hundred dollars.
If you would like to start then you can use on the following websites:
- Freelancer – a large base of freelance writers
- Upwork – another website for freelancers
- Fiverr – I use this one
- Writeraccess – I use it sometimes. It’s a dedicated platform for writers.
Create videos on YouTube
14th February 2005 Youtube was born. Since then the website became one of the most popular sites in the world. According to Alexa Youtube is the second most popular website just after Google. Youtube is surely one of the best places to locate your videos. You can easily add them to your WordPress posts and make your site look more “alive”.
Placing videos on your blog may also improve your rankings . Better user experience means users will stay longer on your site. Google will see this and may give you extra points for that. And you should already know by now that better ranking = more visitors = more money from your travel blog.
Once you will decide to open your own YouTube channel there are a few tools that might come in handy:
- Canva – This is an online graphic editor and it’s free! Thanks to Canva you will be able to create Pin photos with wonderful text for your Pinterest account and also thumbnails for your Youtube channel. Canva is easy to use but you just need to pay attention to which elements you are adding. Some of them are not free. To be honest I already can not live without this tool.
- Filmora – This one is another great tool but unfortunately it’s not free. I mean there is a “free” version but it adds a watermark to all the movies created which covers the video too much – at least it did some time ago when I switched to premium. For 13 USD/month, you can have your own home video studio. This easy to use video editing software will help you create by yourself your own videos with text, beautiful effects, transitions and many more. By the way, this is not an affiliate link! They don’t pay me anything. I’m just using this program and it really works. Plus it is super simple to use. You just drag and drop your content (photo, video, mp3 etc.) and add it to the proper layer.
As you can see there is a lot of methods of making money on a travel blog. I am sure that this is not all of them.
I encourage you to leave a comment to this post and if you find this post helpful then please share it with your friends, family or anybody who can be interested. This way I may be able to help more people and after all this page is all about helping others.
This post contains affiliate links. This means that if you click them and purchase a product from my partners we will receive a small compensation. This fact has no influence on my judgement and opinions.