There 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.
- 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]