(This post is a guest contribution by Mr Ryan Biddulph. Read more about him in the author bio below the post.)
How to Make Money Online with a Travel Blog
This post may confuse you.
You may want to know the latest and greatest techniques to monetise your travel blog.
I hate to take the wind out of your sails, but you need a reality check.
This is a good thing. Because over my nearly nine years long blogging career I have seen thousands of travel bloggers bite the blogging big one, trashing their blog and travel dreams in the process because they never cracked the travel blogging code.
I found it so frustrating to observe that I even created a blog and brand specifically geared to assist travel bloggers on their journey.
I know your pain. I struggled similarly. For years. But I had to own my failures to change course. I had to see where I mucked things up in order to become successful.
One of my chief errors: believing that some tool, technique or income stream would be the answer, the key, the *ultimate* money maker for my blog and my career.
Boy, was I wrong?
You, Mr. or Mrs Travel Blogger, are the money maker. You render useful service through your free blog posts, videos and podcasts. You use tools like self-hosted WordPress blogs and various income streams through which to deliver valuable help and through which you receive money.
Too many struggling travel bloggers look to the tools aka income streams when trying to make money online instead of at themselves, which is like believing a hammer can actually drive a nail into a wall without your assistance.
The tool user – you – not the tool, gets the job done.
With this idea in mind let’s discuss how you can set the foundation to earn income through your travel blog.
1: Tie Your Reason Why to Fun and Freedom
This is far and away the most important tip to follow. If you have a poor or weak driver, you will struggle to make money with your travel blog.
Most bloggers pick lame drivers: money, fame, or maybe you just want to cover the bills for the next six months. These low energy motivators bring low energy, failing results.
Tie your reason for blogging to something fun and freeing.
I love blogging. I love travelling. By creating “Blogging From Paradise” I decided to follow my two greatest passions. The alleged work that I do is really play. On top of that, the work is the reward. All else – money, traffic, internet fame – is extra, or icing on the cake.
This is the exact attitude you want to adopt to really earn that sweet coin through your travel blog.
2: Solve Specific Problems Via Posts
Money makers are problem solvers.
You may cover a wide range of travel-themed topics via your blog, but at the end of the day, you want to solve a specific problem for your readers to position yourself to earn money.
People will pay you to coach them, to write their content or to buy your products or services if you solve their problems via your free content and premium content.
Write blog posts. Film videos. Record podcasts.
Whether you are creating a guide to see a major city or delving into how to survive a long haul flight create a valuable, in-depth resource with each blog post to position yourself for a lucrative travel blogging career.
3: Guest Post on Travel Blogs
Guest posting is one secret of my blogging success.
Last week I was published on both Positively Positive and Lifehack. The 3.5 million Facebook fans of these collective communities were introduced to me, my blog, my 126 eBooks, my four courses and my Blogging From Paradise brand.
Guest posting leverages your presence quickly.
● Build friendships with top bloggers by promoting them and by commenting on their blogs
● Write 1000 words daily in a Word document just for practice; trash the document after you hit your 1K
● Many blogging buddies will invite you to post but if you do pitch your blogging friends, stress the benefits of accepting your guest post for their audience.
● Make sure your guest post fits the tone and voice of the blog.Guest posting builds your friend network and exposes your blog to a large volume of targeted readers. Both awesome factors for making money through your travel blog.
4: Comment on Top Travel Blogs
Can you get paid for sharing your opinion online?
No; I am not talking about paid surveys.
I am talking about blog commenting.
You can get paid – indirectly – for sharing your opinion through blog comments if you post an in-depth, personalised, valuable comment on top travel blogs persistently.
I have landed consulting clients, course customers, eBook and audio book customers and freelance writing clients who found me through my blog comments.
In less direct fashion, the traffic you drive through comments and friendships you establish build your travel blogging exposure dramatically, laying the foundation for a profitable blogging campaign.
5: Diversify Your Income Streams
I thought of creating Blogging From Paradise after speaking to a travel blogger in Kathmandu, Nepal.
She had some success over the years but saw her income evaporate overnight. Why? She depended solely on sponsored post and advertising revenue to make money through her blog. As many travel bloggers do.
This is a mistake because both ad and sponsored post money are spotty until you attract a huge, loyal following.
Open multiple streams of income through a wide array of products and services.
● Blog consulting/coaching
● Freelance writing
● Create online courses
● Write and self-publish eBooks
● Self-publish audio books
● Earn by paid tweeting
● Various consulting streams
● Affiliate marketing
I earn income through each stream above. I also make money through sponsored posts and ad revenue, but the bulk of my profits flow through rendering services and selling useful products versus waiting around for someone to pay me for the right to post something on my blog.
I hope you didn’t skip ahead to tip #5. If so, you are missing the point.
Figure out why you are travel blogging. Do you want to be free to see the world? Good. Do you want to make loads of money and get comped at 5-star hotels? Bad. Get rid of those greedy or fearful, outcomes-based drivers. Focus on fun, freeing drivers.
Solve specific problems via your blog posts. Profits lie in problems solved. This idea may seem confusing, but the free content you share through your blog is the real money maker. Income streams are channels through which you render premium services and receive money.
Network like a champion to increase your visibility, to make friends, to serve large, targeted audiences and to boost your travel blogging cash flow. I prefer guest posting and blog commenting as a rich, robust, 1-2 punch to leverage your presence and to make friends. It gets easier to make money when you appear to be all over the place.
As for the actual income streams, you do establish, make sure to diversify these channels. Toss in a few active and passive streams to maximise your blogging profits. Do not rely solely on sponsored post and advertising revenue like many struggling, failing bloggers. Offer something useful for your readers. Get paid to solve their problems. Increase your online cash flow.
What tips can you add to this list?
Ryan Biddulph is a world renowned travel blogger who has been featured on the sites like Richard Branson’s Virgin Blog,Forbes,NeilPatelDotCom,ProBlogger and BloggingTipsCotCom. He is also the author of a good variety of e-books mostly for bloggers which can be purchased from the Amazon.You can reach him via his blog Blogging From Paradise.