How To Monetize Your Travel Blog

Every writer worth his or her salt should be keeping a blog. Whether you’re into crafts, cats, computers—it doesn’t matter. Write and do what you love is the number one rule for writers, and your blog should be a reflection of who you are as a writer.

But how do you pay the bills when you spend so much time working for free? These simple tips will keep you plugging away at your craft without breaking your bank.

1. Advertising

Instead of going through a middleman, like Google Adwords, reach out to your advertisers directly. The best part is that you don’t need to do all the grunt work in this respect. You can simple put a link labeled, “Advertise with Us” on your homepage. The link should take prospective advertisers to a page that highlights your traffic statistics, other advertisers and blog mission. It should also contain a link where prospective advertisers can contact you or your staff. Granted, you must have decent blog traffic to make any money using this method, but if the numbers are there, your advertisers will flock to you. You could sell your services to a travel agency offering package holidays. Once you’ve started getting offers, you can draft up a contract and start raking in the dough.

2. Sell Yourself

Instead of writing for yourself for free, reach out to magazines and publishers. You’ll have a better chance of getting a nibble if you’re already published and have samples, called clips, but if you don’t have any previous work to show, don’t worry. Writing personal essays is one of the best ways to break into the market because travel essayists write their articles before they pitch them to editors (as opposed to regular essays and columns that are accepted based on a pitch and previous clips). Writing freelance travel articles can pay your way to the best travel destinations and even get your blog more traffic.

3. Write a Book

Whether you decide to self-publish or go a more traditional publishing route, you can get your name out to the masses by writing down your experiences and selling them as one product. While travel essays sell on blogs and in articles, they don’t always sell well for first-time authors. Unless you have a travel essay blog that gets a ton of traffic or a really unique hook, you might have a hard time selling your stories to big publishing houses (or even self-publishing for the masses for that matter). Selling a how-to book or a travel review guide on the best travel destinations or package holidays are evergreen products that every traveler needs. You can make money while promoting your blog in your book and increasing your following.

4. Turn to Crowd Funding

Crowd funding has become an extremely popular way to make money while doing what you love. Some websites allow you to ask your fans for funds to complete a large product, like a book, which you would send out to the masses in electronic or hard copy form by an agreed-upon date. Some crowd funding sites allow you to offer a monthly service, where your fans could sign up to receive a smaller service or product several times a month, with a monthly cap. For example, if you wrote a collection of travel essays or travel tips, your fans would sign up to receive these items as you release them. They would set the price they want to pay for each installation (for example, $0.99 for an essay) and set a cap on how much they could be charged per month. If you get 50 fans who want your essays and are willing to spend up to $10 a month for your product, you could end up with an extra $500 a month.