10 Monetization Tips for Travel Bloggers
Author: Ryan Biddulph | September 26th, 2014 |
blogging tips , blogging from paradise, travel bloggers, travel blogging tips
“Please please PLEASE, I am praying for a sponsored post! Please please PLEASE, I am praying for advertisers to scope me out!”
I can hear it. The quiet, or not so quiet, desperate plea, chanted by way too many travel bloggers.
I have a secret to tell ya: the idea for Blogging from Paradise was hatched in September of 2013. Yep, a year ago, I met a few travel bloggers who wanted to monetize their blogs effectively, but were solely dependent on sponsored posts and ad revenue to foot their bills.
They were sick of traveling home just to make money, to fund their trips.
Wouldn’t it be nice to become a full time, island hopping, professional blogger?
Of course it would.
Now since I’m a bit silly, or I needed to let go my old way of thinking and working, I waited until the Universe forced my hand in June of 2014 before I started Blogging from Paradise, both the blog and the eBook series.
But I have my travel blogger buddies to thank because without them sharing their insights with me I’d never have thought about the neat meld: mixing my experience, and my blog, so nicely.
Blogging from Paradise and Monetizing
Here’s the thing: I rarely if ever talk money on my blog. I sell a lifestyle. I sell being free. Money is but one channel through which you can become free. But going forward I may include more mention of “monetization” because Kelli and I did not pay for plane tickets to Fiji with clam shells, sheep or bubble gum wrappers.
Being able to make cold, hard cash afforded us the ability to leave our employee days behind so that we could become island hopping, globetrotting, full time professional bloggers.
Knowing how to monetize your blog and working with that knowledge persistently can help you crack the “lifestyle engineering code” I often speak of. Kelli and I are blessed. Right now we’re living in Savusavu, Fiji, with one of the best views on earth from the crib.
We’re 50 meters high, above the bay, with sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean to our left. Even the locals say this is quite possibly the best view on the island, and maybe, in all of Fiji.
How in the hell did a former security guard on the dole in New Jersey become a professional blogger, who’s living in Fiji now, and who’s traveled the world non-stop for 40 months? I learned through trial and error how to monetize my blog.
You don’t need to do the trial and error thing. You have my blog, my eBooks, my blog coaching services/know how and 5 year’s worth of experience to access, at the click of a mouse.
Mind Games and Work Games
Today, I’m doing things RB-style. Or Blogging from Paradise style.
All the practical tips/monetizing channels won’t do jack squat for the poverty conscious person. Until you improve your mindset you’ll be blind to my helpful practical/monetizing channel suggestions.
So we’ll dive in to both the mental and physical aspect of molding your travel blog into an income-producing, lifestyle-engineering tool.
Water’s looking delish in Savusavu today so let’s get down to it.
Tie Your Why to Being Free….
….and tie that why to taking people with you.
I experienced a seismic shift by tying a “freeing why” to this blog, some 3 months ago. I went from trying to make money, to desperately trying to make money, to making some nice change….with my old blog…..to starting my new blog, Blogging from Paradise, with the intent that:
I am free to travel and prosper, and I want to take you with me.
Know why you want to blog. Don’t tie the reason to making money. Tie the reason to being free, like, being free, to be location independent (yep no more trips back home to make money for your trips….now you can go back home just to visit your family)….and intend to make your readers free, too.
Changing my blogging reason “why” to being free:
- Inspired a New York Times Best Selling Author to endorse my first 2 eBooks
- Helped me land an invite to speak at NYU
- Boosted my blogging income, like, stupid fast
- Led to me being featured on over 35 blogs in 13 weeks
- Helped me engineer this lifestyle as a pro blogger
In the early days I always wanted to be free, which is why I became a pro blogger many years ago, and why I generated the income to do so many years ago…..but the real fine-tuning came 3 months ago and I haven’t looked back.
Travel bloggers, purify your intent. Blog to be free. This helps you detach more and more from money outcomes, which makes you uber creative and which of course, magnetizes you to prospering ideas, and to money.
DO NOT Rely on Sponsored Posts to Pay Bills
Many travel bloggers follow the herd. Natural tendency, I get it. But people will pay you *regularly* for the privilege of posting to your blog once it’s a privilege to post to your blog.
- Are beautifully branded
- Are community-oriented, meaning a bunch of folks follow and comment on your blog
- Drive steady traffic
- Have serious social proof
Now it’s OK to monetize through sponsored posts but it’s not OK to rely on sponsored posts as a source of steady income. At least, for the type of income it requires to buy plane tickets to Fiji, and to become a pro blogger so you can circle the globe full time, like Kelli and me.
Move sponsored posts toward the bottom of your monetizing strategies.
DO NOT Rely on Advertising Revenue to Pay Bills
In 5 years as a blogger I’ve made roughly…well….little, through ad revenue, and through sponsored posts. On the flip side, I’ve made….well….a bunch, bunch, bunch more through offering my services.
In truth, travel bloggers, you can make a fortune through any channel if you don’t depend on any 1 monetizing channel.
Many travel bloggers follow the ad revenue route as a primary ways and means of monetizing. Unless you’ve been featured on National Geographic, and The Huffington Post, and CNN Travel, and unless you’ve created a branded, high traffic, clever blog, full of riveting images, and content, you’ll struggle to become a full time pro blogger by generating ad revenue.
In short, new, or even vet travel bloggers, rarely become famous in days, or weeks, or months, or even, years…..so that means no add revenue for years in most cases, which means many trips back home, to work, to build your savings, to fund your travels.
Move ad revenue – like sponsored posts – to the bottom of your list.
I just released a fun, prospering eBook for my travel blogging buddies (#3 in my series, writing #4 now).
Pick it up to learn how to monetize your travel experiences, because I know you have a bunch of them to recount.
I’ve also published 2 other eBooks – and an eBook combo – here:
I’d appreciate you til eternity if you can share those pages with your travel blogger buddies.
Selling eBooks establishes your authority, improves your writing skills, strengthens your travel blogging brand and of course provides you with steady, persistent cash flow.
Many travel bloggers give away eBooks for free. All well and good, but if you’ve struggled to monetize, sell a few or a bunch, too. Don’t rely on advertisers to come to you, with money in hand. Create something inspired based on your travel experiences to help your audience and to monetize your blog intelligently.
Connect with Folks Who Stand out from the Travel Blogging Crowd
Folks like my travel blogger friends Rambling Mandie, Sabina (Girl Vs Globe), Mapping Megan, The Guy (Flights and Frustrations) and Lash are brilliant story tellers, branding pros and social media wizards. They are really, really good at connecting with folks to expand their presence.
They each understand that blogger outreach makes your travel blog go. Because we can’t do this on our own; we need the help of skilled, authority bloggers who will inspire us, promote us and who’ll bless us with prospering ideas.
So promote the heck out of folks, not looking for anything in return, and you’ll connect with so many friends who’ll help you in so many different ways…..including, helping you monetize your blog.
Offer Blog Coaching Services
Does your blog look great? Have you blogged for months, or years? Well, you can likely offer your experienced, expert opinion as a blog coach for a fee.
I offer blog coaching services (clickie clickie) to help travel bloggers:
- Gain clarity in picking their specific niche
- Gain clarity in building their brand
- Build a professional, income-generating blog
- Engineer a freeing lifestyle of extended travel
- Boost traffic
- Monetize intelligently and effectively
You can do the same if you have 6 months of experience both building your blog and observing other top travel blogs. Spotting patterns on successful blogs – including your own – helps you see what works, and what doesn’t.
Travel bloggers should monetize MAINLY through offering services. Once you’ve learned a skill, and offer the skill as a pro, you’ll understand why Kelli and I have been traveling the world for 40 months as pro bloggers.
We didn’t wait around for advertisers to offer us money. We learned in-demand skills, and we offered our pro services to develop consistent, lasting sources of recurring income, to pad our savings and of course, to fund our travels.
Become a Freelance Writer
I’m a ghostwriter. I write content for people who want to hire bloggers to write their content for them.
Freelance writing, or ghostwriting, is a simple way for travel bloggers to monetize their skills.
One note: you’ll need to venture outside of your travel niche, to write about other topics, to make a living doing this…but what seems sweeter to you?
1: Traveling back home to work a job, or to do odd jobs, to make money, to fund your trips?
2: Traveling full time by researching different topics, and by practicing your writing skills daily, to land paid jobs?
I went with #2. Sure hasn’t hurt me.
Write, write, write, and seek out jobs on boards like Problogger.net.
Monetize your blog intelligently by attracting recurring, persistent work, and income. Develop bonds with clients. Over deliver. Write to hone your skills and research other niches through Google to cover a wide range of needs for a wide range of clients.
Express Devout Gratitude for What You Have
Do I seem like a happy guy? I am. I have down moments but I am largely grateful. I felt rich the second I woke up. Not because I was looking for riches, or Paypal payments, or checks, or for my pension to have jumped overnight, but because I chose to feel rich, through the process of expressing devout gratitude for my life and everything in it.
Money, and money-making, creative ideas, both form a beeline for the grateful person.
Work on your inner world. Be grateful. Watch how easily you’ll monetize your blog and just observe how freely money finds you.
Create Content that Knocks People’s Socks off
Money responds to value. So knock people’s socks off with long form travel blogging posts peppered with brilliant imagery, in-depth content and yep, with your unique blogging voice.
This takes work, but again, if you value freedom, and nonstop travel, above all else, you’ll put in the work.
Challenge the time excuse. Challenge the family excuse. Challenge the travel excuse.
5 years ago I was a broke, fired security guard who never left the country, or was never on a plane. My last vacay was in 1989 to South Carolina.
5 years later…look up and down my blog. I over delivered, and impressed folks, because I valued freedom above all else, and worked to hone my writing/blogging craft, and in so doing became a pro blogger.
Create monster value. Work to do this. Value your freedom, to stay inspired. You’ll monetize your travel blog like a boss.
Connect with Me
This blog and brand is for you.
I’ve engineered a freeing lifestyle and want to share my insight with you.
Leave me a comment.
Buy my eBooks. Hire me. Gobble up my 2000 to 3800 word, free posts, going back to early July.
Learn from my failures, and successes, to cut your learning curve. You can do the full time, pro blogger bit, because I did it with ZERO blogging, traveling and business experience.
I believe in you.
Subscribe to my blog. (scroll up TOP to find the form)
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How do you monetize your blog?
Are you struggling to do so?
Are you a full time, pro travel blogger?