Making money with your travel blog is easy – how much you make is a different story. I’ve previously covered how to make money with your travel blog and reviewed Nomadic Matt’s ebook of the same name but wanted to focus on some of the effortless ways to have a few cents roll in every month.
How you leverage and scale these offerings varies and with a single blog you’re unlikely to be rolling in the dough. You can however monetize what you already have with relatively little effort using these technologies.
Note: Before incorporating any advertising into your main travel blog spend the time to make it blend well with your site. Don’t just throw ad banners and links up at will without considering design. Otherwise you’ll end up detracting from your content which is your travel blogs most important offering.
1. Google Adsense
Most travel bloggers begin their monetizing efforts using Google’s Adsense program. Setting up an account is painless and Google lets you run 3 banner (text, image, and video) ads per page as well as a set of links. Basically whenever anyone clicks an ad you get a bit of money and more money if people buy anything from those sponsors. The content for the ads are determined by the content on a given page.
- If you put ads in your sidebar, make sure they line up. Having gaps or uneven borders looks bad and hurts your blog.
- Use Google’s Adsense heat map for blogs and place your ads where they’re most likely to be clicked.
- To avoid violating them, you’ll need to read Google’s terms of service (TOS).
Chitika works like Adsense, advertisements based on search terms and you get paid per click. The only difference is that the ads only appear to people who find your blog through a search engine. This means Chitika won’t be visible to your regular readers. Chitika also doesn’t interfere with Adsense or violate any of the Google TOS.
- In my experience the largest Chitika ads placed above post titles worked the best.
- Unlike Adsense, Chitika sends payments once a month no matter the amount earned. (Google pays per $100 you earn.)
There are many in-text ad services but Infolinks and Kontera are both good companies with fair offerings. In-text ads pop up when the mouse hovers over them and like Adsense and Chitika you get paid per click. Both Kontera and Infolinks also let you restrict how many ads pop up on a given page and tweak the ad colors and look.
4. Traveler Affiliate Programs
There are a number of affiliate programs for products and services for travelers by travelers. You don’t usually get paid per click but rather a percentage of the revenue earned from a product or service sale. I’m only listing a select few below so please add some of your favorites that I’ve missed in the comments.
- World Nomads – Travel insurance banner ads, links, and more.
- Matador U – Find out more on getting approved into the program and becoming an affiliate for Matador’s travel writing courses.
- How To Make Money With Your Travel Blog – Matt’s book is very popular and recently went on sale. Join his affiliate program and earn 50% of each sale from your site.
- Commission Junction – There are many travel-related affiliate programs you can sign up for on Commission Junction.
- Overcoming the 7 Major Obstacles to Traveling the World – I run an affiliate program for my recent ebook. You’ll get 50% of each sale from your site and I’ve found the most successful affiliates to be those who reviewed the book on their sites.
A Little Bit Of Change For Your Travels
In the coming weeks I’ll be talking more about moving on to the next stages of monetizing and sharing some of my personal experiences with my travel blogs and websites. Although these methods listed above probably won’t get you an airplane ticket anytime soon they might by you a beer every now and again without taking much of your effort.
[photos by: alancleaver_2000]