Make Money While Traveling The World. Start A Blog.
I recently asked a room full of ordinary Americans “what kind of people get to travel?” The response from an overwhelming majority was “rich people“. Another popular response was “lucky people“.
I don’t consider myself to be rich by any means, and I like to think that I have created my own luck through motivation and determination. I decided a long time ago that there are no rules to life, and that anybody can live the life of their dreams.
For me that dream is travel, a dream which is continuing to be funded, in part, by this travel blog. While you can quite easily travel the world on the cheap (ie free accommodation, volunteering), and even travel the world while in debt, you still need money to make it happen and keep you on the road.
Travel blogging is just one of many ways you can make money while traveling the world. However you don’t have to write about travel just because you’re traveling. You should choose a focus which interests you – something you are passionate about which will hold your interest, even when money may not be coming in. No matter which focus your blog takes, there are always opportunities to earn money.
It’s important to remember that blogging takes a lot of time and effort, more than most people can possibly imagine, and that money won’t start coming in until you have built both a readership and a reputable brand. For many bloggers this can take at least a year. But if you’re looking for some extra cash to put towards your travels while keeping people up to date with your adventures, you should think about starting a travel blog.
Better at writing great emails than proper travel pieces? Some of the best bloggers aren’t necessarily the best writers. Some excel at photography instead. Some are phenomenal at engaging with their audience via social media. Others are incredibly savvy businessmen/women who have built their blog around a successful business model. So to succeed at blogging, always start by recognizing and playing to your strengths.
Here are some of the ways blogging has allowed me to make money while traveling the world.
We highly recommend Sharon Gourlay’s “How to Make Money From Blogging” – She details strategies for monetization and the exact methods she uses to make an annual $150,000 income.
A sponsored post is one in which the content has been created specifically for an advertiser. In fact, this post is sponsored. Sponsored posts can range from a promotional article endorsing a product or brand (which this is), to creating a general blog post and placing an embedded link back to a targeted website/company.
Companies paying for embedded links but not necessarily promotion, do so in order to boost their SEO (Search Engine Optimization). They’re after “link juice” – the more authoritative websites which link to yours, the higher your website will rank in search engine results (the basic gist).
Depending on the quality of your website, bloggers can bring in anywhere between $50 – $400 per article. While there is no industry standard, $100-$200 is a fairly reasonable expectation, remembering that more often than not, you may be negotiated down on price.
But how do you find these mythical sponsors? After 8 months of building my traffic and brand, sponsors began coming to me. However I also took steps to ensure my name was out there as much as possible.
Highly recommend joining sponsorship marketplaces like themidgame – a free platform which showcases your influence to potential sponsors. You create a professional looking profile and connect your social media and website accounts to showcase your influence. It’s fast, easy and free, and combines all of your metrics in the one place, creating an instant media kit which updates without any maintenance on your part.
You won’t be logging on to these kind of websites everyday, however it’s a great idea to set up a profile and leave it running in the background – you’ll get an email each time a sponsor has work for you.
Sell advertising space on your website – but don’t be blinded by cash. Once your website becomes popular you’ll start receiving advertising offers on a daily basis. Consider whether there is any point to advertising products which are not related to your brand and not interesting to you or your readers.
Affiliate advertising is where you gain a percentage of each sale referred from your website. More and more companies are offering affiliate programs. Once again, consider whether a partnership of this kind will be (a) beneficial to both parties and (b) is related to your brand and readers.
Currently an affiliate for Hakka Tours, I earn 10% of each NZ Adventure Tour sold within 90 days of a reader clicking through from my website. Check out companies like Agoda, Orbitz and Amazon as a starting point.
Yonderbound is also a fantastic platform to check out, offering the option for affiliate marketing to everyone whether you run a blog or not. It’s a hotel booking platform which lets you earn money online by sharing your travel insights in the form of hotel reviews. You earn a 70% commission of the profit every-time a hotel is booked through one of your reviews. It’s as simple as signing up at Yonderbound.com and creating reviews!
Personally yet to use contextual advertising, many friends have found it reasonably profitable. In a great post about how she affords to travel from blogging, Sabrina Iovino of “Just One Way Ticket” sums contextual advertising up as follows:
Google Adsense & Mad Ads Media are both quite similar in look. The only difference is that Google Adsense pays per click, while Mad Ads Media pays per views. Many people don’t like to use contextual advertising on their blog because they have probably earned only a few cents and thought it’s not worth to give away the space. I agree, if you don’t have at least 15k visitors a month, don’t bother with Google Adsense. Mad Ads Media pays on average US$1 per 1000 views, which would make US$50 if you have at least 50k views per month.
Travel blogging has the potential to open the door to a range of paid freelancing work. If you’re a good writer, start pitching story ideas from your experiences/destinations to magazines and newspapers. If you’re a good photographer, try and sell the photographs you take.
Freelance as a website designer/consultant, book public speaking gigs, write and sell ebooks; think outside the box and sell yourself and your specific skillset.
Once you’re a pro blogger, consider using your knowledge and expertise to coach others wanting to do the same. Blog mentorships and coaching/consultations are beginning to see a rise as a viable business option. However to be taken seriously it’s advisable to have substantial experience and actual expertise on a subject before selling advice on it.
For examples of the leading programs currently on offer, Mike and Anne Howard of Honey Trek offer Trip Coaching (teaching client’s everything they need to know to take a long-term trip–anywhere in the world and on any budget.)
Once you’ve figured out how to make money with your blog, you’ll want to make sure you get to keep as much as possible after paying taxes. So, make sure to keep track of your blog-related expenses throughout the year so you don’t forget deductions when preparing your return.
Also, make sure you use the proper legal structure for your situation. The right legal structure can have a significant impact on your bottom line.
For example, US citizens who live outside the US can often reduce their tax bill very significantly (maybe even to $0 per year, perfectly legally) just by using the proper legal structure. This article explains how this all works.
This post was sponsored by themidgame. All opinions expressed here are, of course, my own.