People often ask me how I make money as a travel blogger.
It’s a funny question – I think if I had a traditional job working for a company, I wouldn’t get asked this question, however, it just goes to show that blogging is still a relatively new career path, and people are curious about how it works.
The truth is, blogging is my dream career and I’m fortunate enough to do what I love full-time. I make more money than I have in previous mind-numbing jobs, and I’m my own boss!
Why Blogging As A Career Is Great
One of the best rewards of working for yourself is that you get to choose what work you do and who you work with. Before quitting my job to blog full time I worked in many different roles. I worked in retail management, communications, as an International Travel Agent, and as a journalist and editor.
After eight months or so I’d grow bored of being told what to do, or working hard to make someone else a lot of money while I was struggling to pay my bills. Working for someone else limited me to how much I earned. When you work for someone else, your worth [what they pay you] is basically decided by your employer.
I wanted unlimited earning potential- but I also wanted to do something I was passionate about and make a positive difference in the world.
Some folk also question the ethics of blogging too – and that’s totally fine, it’s good to question stuff. In this blog post I’m going to tell you all the ways I make money blogging. I might even convince you to try blogging too!
Blogging Is Hard Work Too
I’m not going to sugarcoat blogging as a career; I work extremely hard. Blogging is a lot of hard work, and the common saying is ”making money from blogging is a marathon, not a sprint.”
But now that I’m a full-time blogger, I could never go back to the 9-5.
I can take days off whenever I want; I can work from bed if I want to. I also get to travel a lot, and sometimes my travel is even paid for. Every day is different, and I earn money while I sleep [passive income is great!]
Here are all the different ways of how to make money as a travel blogger.
How I Make Money As A Travel Blogger
Scotland Travel Consultation
After travelling Scotland for the last five years, first as a tourist, and now as a local, I have an enormous amount of information in my brain about the best way to plan a trip here.
I dabbled with creating itineraries for clients and written itinerary reviews, however, I found the most valuable service for my clients is meeting face to face over Zoom.
I charge $95 USD for a 1-hour Zoom session. My clients can send me their itinerary beforehand so I can take a look and come to our meeting prepared with suggestions, or I can help a client design their itinerary from scratch based on their wants and needs.
I also map out their itinerary for them using map software, and send a follow-up email with any links I mentioned throughout our call. They also get a recording of our Zoom call, and my map of recommended pubs and restaurants throughout Scotland.
In total, this takes me between 2-3 hours work per client. It’s also great because I get to meet so many of my readers and chat about my favourite topic: Scotland!
Having ads on my blog
One of the main reasons I was able to quit my job and blog full time is because of a wonderful company called Mediavine.
Mediavine is a full-service ad management company that is responsible for running ads on my website. Out of all the ad management companies, they’re the best. Why? They’ve won multiple awards for best workplace, they’re actively anti-racist and provide many valuable resources, and they also donate to a lot of charities.
In a nutshell, when people visit my website and scroll past ads [or click on them and make purchases] I get anything from a couple of cents to a couple of dollars. This may not sound like much – but trust me, it all adds up. I currently make enough money from ads on my website to pay for our mortgage!
Some people may find ads annoying, but I like to think of it this way: I am providing helpful, free content on my blog, and the reason I can provide this content for free is because I am able to monetise by having ads on my site.
All ads are tailored to your search history and online activity, and I do not run ads on my website that include gambling, spam, politics and religion etc.
Another way I make passive income is by recommending products, services and experiences I use and love.
Most businesses have an affiliate programme you can join. They’ll give you a special link so they can track any purchases made through that link. If anyone clicks and purchases something using one of my affiliate links, I get a small kickback at no extra cost to the buyer.
Some of my favourite affiliates include Booking.com, Get Your Guide, Auto Europe, Awin and Amazon.
Working on campaigns with tourism brands
I often work with tourism brands in Scotland and beyond to promote their tour, accommodation or service.
I create bespoke packages for brands [each business or brand is different, so they have different requirements] and offer things such as social media promotion, a blog post for my website or theirs, photography, videography, and graphic design.
I only work with businesses and brands that I would personally recommend to friends and family; eco friendliness, high quality service and excellent value are always something I look for in a business when deciding to work with them. I am quite picky when it comes to working with businesses- but so far I have been lucky to work with some fantastic brands!
Selling my photography and making videos
Recently I purchased a bunch of videography gear, so I can create videos for my YouTube channel or for clients. I don’t monetise YouTube [yet] but my videography and photography skills come in handy when creating packages for campaigns.
I think it’s important to diversify your skills as a blogger. Businesses want to work with bloggers because we can offer a wide variety of ways to market their business.
Even though the equipment is expensive, you can make good money from photography and videography. It took me just two freelance jobs to pay for my videography gear.
While this isn’t strictly making money from blogging, my blog has taught me many skills I’ve been able to make money from, and website design is one of them.
I’ve designed and created over 30 websites for business owners and other bloggers since I taught myself how. This was primarily how I made money in the early days of my freelancing and blogging career.
These days I’ve cut back on website design because I prefer to write content for my blog and social media channels, but website design allowed me to get by when I was travelling and freelancing before I earned enough money from my blog to go full-time.
I’ve recently launched wall prints for sale in my Etsy store. Previously I’ve had success selling my travel photography and canvas prints on my blog.
I’m also currently writing a book about my hike of the Scottish National Trail, so that is something I’ll have for sale on my blog in time.
Lots of bloggers have success with writing ebooks about the travel destination they blog about and selling courses [usually blogging or social media courses].
You can get really creative when deciding what products to sell on your blog- I’ve known one blogger to knit scarves inspired by her favourite country, and they were very popular!
If you’re interested in more ways to make money while travelling, here is a great list of some of the best travel jobs by fellow blogger Project Untethered.
Got a question about making money from blogging? Drop it below!