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How To Make Money With Your Travel Blog

spare changeThere are a number of benefits of maintaining a travel blog and you can add making money to the list by incorporating some of the following methods. The amount you can earn varies and is based on a number of factors but you can ensure even few extra dollars a month which you can use to save or spend on your upcoming travels.

It’s a matter of building useful links into a well thought out travel blog and considering turning some of your travel knowledge into services.

1. Focus On Your Content

Your primary focus should be the quality of the content you are posting on your travel blog. You can’t make every post perfect or great but you want to have a product that people will find useful and want to read. The more people you attract the better your ad revenue is likely to be, but more importantly you don’t want to turn away your audience in the pursuit of making a few bucks here and there.

  • By maintaining a consistently and well written travel blog you’ll establish a trust with your readers. They’ll be more inclined check out the services and links you have on your site if you can show they’ll provide value.

2. Google Adsense

Probably the most popular and easiest way to monetize your blog is to join Google’s Adsense program. Set up an account and paste the code into your blog posts on in the sidebar and Google will custom tailor the adverts to match the content on the pages they are displayed. Each time someone clicks on an ad you’ll earn a small amount of money and Google will send you a check (or Paypal deposit) for every $100.

Adsense Tips:

  • Configure the ads to match the background, color, and font of your travel blog.
  • Place the ads in prominent positions across your blog but don’t ruin your design to do so. Here are Google’s recommendations for Adsense placement in blogs.
  • Make sure not to ask people to click your ads or click them yourself since Google may suspend you account.  Read their terms of service carefully.

3. In-Text Advertising

There are several services that offer in-text advertising such as Infolinks and Kontera. Personally I’ve found Infolinks to be less obtrusive and offer higher payments per click. I’d recommend that you try both however and see which works for you. Set up is free and easy and both services allow you to customize how the links will look and the number that appear on each given page.

4. Affiliate Sales

You can sign up for programs like Amazon’s Associates or Commission Junction to develop banners and links for travel related products. Anytime someone follows one of these links and purchases a product or service you’ll get a little bit of money for it. Never advertise products you wouldn’t buy yourself (jeopardizing the relationship you have with your readers) and place a disclaimer (here’s the Travel Blog Advice disclaimer) somewhere visible on your blog letting people know you make use of affiliate links.

5. Blog Contests

Contest Beat and Contest Blogger post a number of free contests with cash and gift prizes everyday. Most are asking for essays or interesting photos, two things your travel blog is already filled with. Even if you don’t win a prize you’ll at least have a post or two for your travel blog. I also run a number of contests on my other travel blog foXnoMad and if you’d like to get the latest news about the next one consider subscribing to my bi-monthly newsletter.

6. Paid Reviews

Some travel bloggers have had some success writing paid reviews of products and services using Pay Per Post and Review Me. Based on the popularity of your blog you’ll get paid a few bucks for 100-400 word reviews you post on your travel blog. You can choose to disclosure whether or not a review is sponsored (which I strongly recommend) some services like Review Me don’t force you to always write positive reviews so be honest. Your readers will appreciate it.

7. Be An Expert Of A Destination or Travel Service

Being a frequent traveler or an expat can make your specific knowledge of a place or specific aspect of traveling a valuable tool for others. Consider offering your services by converting your knowledge into tours or setting up holiday arrangements for others. You can also try your hand doing some travel writing by offering your services on site like eLance or by submitting some travel posts to Matador.

Stay Focused and Realistic

I’ll emphasize again that it’s important to make quality content your primary focus but not be discouraged from making a little bit of side money from your travel blog as well. It’s just a matter of prioritizing them. For those of you who want to expand your travel blog into a network of sites you can leverage to increase your earnings and a more detailed account of how to increase your earnings, I’d recommend you check out Matt Kepnes’ eBook, How To Make Money With Your Travel Blog.

[photo by: on2wheelz]

{ 19 comments… add one }

  • Dave and Deb October 20, 2009, 19:33

    Great advice. Reading over your post makes me think that I really need to start adding more information in my posts. It is great to have sites like this to remind me about things. People are looking for solid information and recommendations. I need to do more of that. Cheers and loving the new site!

    • Anil P. October 20, 2009, 20:59

      Thank you for all of the support and encouragement. The travel blogging community wouldn’t be the same without you!

      I’ve found that informational posts with a personal touch generate a strong response. While there are some travel bloggers with very popular travelogues, it’s easier for other to connect when the idea is made a bit more general.

  • John Bardos - JetSetCitizen October 21, 2009, 11:29

    Great advice Anil.

    I still wonder if the work is worth the effort in the travel niche. It seems a lot of people are working really hard for small amounts of money. It would be great to hear more success stories like Matt’s.

    How about sharing your experiences monetizing your blogs? 🙂

    • Anil P. October 21, 2009, 19:59

      Hi John,

      It’s a lot of effort but I think many people don’t focus the effort properly i.e. start trying to monetize first before pegging down a niche, developing a site, or focusing too much on making big bucks. It’s hard from a single site to pull in a lot of money, some do it, but not most. Having said that, making a little bit of extra money can’t hurt.

      As for myself monetizing is something I’m working on – but when things really changed for me was when I stopped focusing on it sometime ago. I always try to create a quality product and worry about monetizing later. Now that I’m working on creating more passive income streams I’ve been using a lot of material and advice from several eBooks, including Matt’s.

      You’ve actually given me a good idea for a future post(s) where I can share my strategies and experiences that hopefully others can learn from.

  • Rachel January 7, 2010, 11:37

    Hi Anil,

    I have a question about the ads you posted above; will there be any conflict if I use Adsense, Infolink and Amazon Associate on the same blog?

    • Anil P. January 7, 2010, 11:47

      Hi Rachel,

      No, running Chitika, Infolinks, and Amazon affiliate ads don’t violate the Google TOS. You can run all of them concurrently.

  • Michael June 12, 2011, 15:53

    Anil,
    Thanks for all you do with your info blog here. It is certainly an invaluable service to us all. Regarding making money from travel blogging, I have these questions:
    -How many blogs should I create to begin making a few hundred to a few thousand per month (and eventually a lot more) – 20? 50? 100? Build blogs continually?
    -How many campaigns should I be running in a blog (I use Wordpress)
    -How often should new content be added to a blog to keep it crawling higher in search engine rankings?
    -Do you recommend the book series Laptop Lifestyle or the book Get Rich Click (which apparently cover blogging as well as other ways to make money online)? And how does Matt’s ebook compare?
    Thanks, Anil

    • Anil P. June 14, 2011, 02:57

      Hi Michael, to answer your questions:

      -How many blogs should I create to begin making a few hundred to a few thousand per month (and eventually a lot more) – 20? 50? 100? Build blogs continually?

      That’s very difficult to say since there’s no average rate for a given site. In the beginning focus all of your effort on your flagship site.

      -How many campaigns should I be running in a blog (I use WordPress)

      What type of campaigns?

      -How often should new content be added to a blog to keep it crawling higher in search engine rankings?

      Pick a rate you can be consistent with; personally I wouldn’t go below less than a month as a minimum SEO baseline.

      -Do you recommend the book series Laptop Lifestyle or the book Get Rich Click (which apparently cover blogging as well as other ways to make money online)? And how does Matt’s ebook compare?

      I haven’t read either that I remember so I can’t make a comparison to Matt’s ebook. Though, if I were in your shoes starting out, I’d probably buy all 3 to learn as much as possible. That’s the type of reading I did when I was starting out.

      Hope this helps but if not let me know!

  • dtravelsround June 23, 2011, 01:05

    solid advice! thank you for sharing. 🙂

  • Magnus October 4, 2011, 18:37

    I really like your site, very good information and you have encouraged me regarding my travel blog.
    I’ve a question. I’m a swede who has moved to Brazil and live here and I have started a travel blog about Brazil, 2 weeks ago. How long should I wait before I add some google adsense, in-text advetising and affiliates?

    thanks for a very good site.

    /Magnus

    • Anil P. October 5, 2011, 06:25

      Although there is no one ‘right’ time frame, I would say 6 months to 1 year depending on how fast your audience grows. Focus all of your effort on that before getting involved with advertising.

  • GRRRL TRAVELER October 7, 2011, 21:25

    Thanks so much for your posts, Anil! I’ve been blogging for a while but I’m only now starting to pickup on the social networking and monetization part. I occasionally get emails from potential advertisers, guest bloggers and people wanting to exchange links. I haven’t known what to make of it or how to respond, so I’ve been avoiding it all. Bad, I know. Your posts are helping me make some sense of options and things to consider. They’ve been REALLY helpful!

    • Anil P. October 9, 2011, 07:20

      You’re very welcome and glad I could help. If you have any specific questions or topics you’d like me to cover, feel free to ask 🙂

  • Simon P May 22, 2012, 08:46

    I hope to secure direct advertising on my travel blog some day but in the mean time I think there’s no harm in trying AdSense, Infolink and affiliate sales. It’s something I’ll look a bit more into after this excellent article.

    • Anil P. May 22, 2012, 10:25

      There is no harm; I would suggest giving several methods a try and not bothering with ones that don’t have an appreciable return. Users generally ignore and don’t like advertising so keeping only what’s bringing in some decent money is a good way to balance the two desires.

  • Kyle September 6, 2012, 17:16

    I know it takes a little while to bring in traffic to your site but how long did it take for you to start seeing money from your monetization efforts that wasn’t a negligible amount? I’ve started my own travel blog and money is not my primary concern right now but was wondering.

    • Anil P. September 6, 2012, 17:21

      My memory is terrible but about 12-18 months or so after I decided it was something I was interested in pursuing.

  • The Guy March 12, 2013, 10:48

    Thanks for the advice which is all very valuable.

    I began my site 6 months ago. After 3 months I started receiving advertising requests for sponsored posts which has really been my only source of income so far from it. I have Adsense but very few clicks on it so far.

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