1 Dire Reality Check Warning for Travel Bloggers

December 4, 2017
Kelli by on the beach in Playa Dominicalito Costa Rica. See how small she appears among the trees? You really are not as big as you think you are, guys. Accept this reality check warning and humble yourself.


You are not as big as you think you are.


If you were, the world famous brand would you paid you up front for the service you demand pay for.


Guess what?


If you pushed your ego to the side and observed yourself in the light of truth, you are not as big as you think you are.


If you were as big as you think you are, the big company would say:


“Hey John Doe! We want to work with you. We will pay you $500 for a sponsored post on your blog.”


Then you would say: “Thanks Big Brand! I will place your sponsored post for the $500 fee.”


See how easily that works?  *After* you pay your online dues?



But you, being a silly blogger sometimes, instantly sees profits before relationships (newsflash; when you build friendships with big brands by helping THEM first, without serving yourself, those money opportunities flow to you easily), and demands a set price because the “big brand has a huge budget” (yes they do; for established pro bloggers who paid their dues),  you just forfeited 10 or 20 or 30 lucrative sponsored post or advertising opportunities down the road.


Your arrogance, anger, and fear-based bartering just killed the relationship with a big brand that would have introduced you to somebodies.


Not Known to Well Known Travel Blogger


It is tough to go from travel blogging nobody to somebody when you want to squeeze as much money out of the somebodies, when you should be kissing the somebodies’ boots, to move up in blogging circles, to establish your authority, and to see above the bickering, bartering and bitchiness (male and female of course hehehehe….) that permeates travel blogging circles.


Do You Have a Right to Earn a Living?




Do You Have an Ever Greater Responsibility to Be Generous with Your Time and Talents?




Here’s how you do it:


  • open multiple streams of income for your travel blog
  • help as many people as possible for free through creating content on your blog, and through guest posting, and through various online mediums like YouTube and podcasts and live broadcasts
  • promote top travel bloggers on your blog, through social media, and also comment on their blogs effectively
  • work with big name brands for free, whether giving them a freebie link mention, or via a link placement, or via a free retweet, and then, when you build genuine friendships with these folks and their brands, you send off an abundant, authority, expert vibe, that builds, and eventually results in you making more and more money


Your Biggest Fear


The biggest fear that fuels travel blogger pricing delusion is: running out of money.


Feel the fear of losing all your money. It is not pleasant. But necessary. If you want to release the fear, and work for free, to move out of Survival Mode into the Blogging Big Time.


Inle Lake Myanmar


If you do it right, money will keep flowing in.


If you do it wrong, you will fight with people, bitch at big brands, and money will barely trickle in, with that.


Famous Travel Blogger


I am friends with a famous travel blogger. You all know this individual. I promise.


I will not share their name but I will share their story.


They live a brilliant life now. A life few travel bloggers on earth, live. A life far beyond a comp here and a perk there. Their life is all comps and perks and then, they get paid to travel to the world’s most breath-taking spots, and to stay in the finest hotels on earth, and to attend the most Tony Stark Like events on earth.


Do you want to know how they designed this ridiculously rich, fun, fulfilling and movie-star-worthy life?


Said blogger was presented the opportunity to work for one of the largest hotel chains in SE Asia, handling one aspect of their campaign (generic on purpose, guys).


The blogger told them that they would work for free – when most folks would charge a lot of money due to the depth of the work and the immense wealth of the luxury hotel chain.


They simply asked that if the chain liked their work, that they refer them to other luxe hotel chains.


The blogger did a smash up job for free. They got 20 paying contracts from other fab hotel chains via referrals from the first job, and this avalanche of work and exposure was the springboard to being a travel blogger who gets paid handsomely to enjoy the most stunning places on earth.


Your Problem: Detachment


While many travel bloggers bitch and moan about hundreds of dollars and getting their fair share this person detached from making $10,ooo or $20,000 or more to build a friendship with a power broker hotel connected with other power broker hotels that led to a lot more money and even more exposure that led to a brilliant life.




Your problem; before you are a somebody, you do the thing that all bloggers who struggle to make money do…..you fear losing money, so you do the very thing that I did for years (guilty as charged, my little sweet robbins)…..you barter with bottom feeders over tens or hundreds of dollars versus befriending the big dogs who’d introduce you to the big fish who freely pay a lot more money, and who do not barter, but pay and detach.


Fear of Losing Money


I recall receiving my first $500 sponsored post. A wealthy restaurant owner (or, owner of many restaurants) dropped the 5 bills like he was dropping 5 cents. Never checked in again on stats. He did as powerful people do: spend, get more exposure, and work off of a year time frame or even longer time frame, paying to connect with present successes and future power brokers (well shit guys….you do know where I am headed ;).


To reach the point where money flowed in more freely to my blog I had to create helpful content, work for free, promote top bloggers, promote opportunities for free, and then, eventually, as opportunities flowed to me and I patiently, generously and abundantly built up my reputation, I could release on bloggers who wanted to place a sponsored post for $50 versus $500.


The turning point? I largely let go the fear of losing money, so instead of getting angry at people for not paying me, or instead of worrying that I had a business to run, I loved the people, helped them without looking for anything in return, then as the fear of losing money dissolved, I naturally allowed more money into my experience.


You know when you are doing it right? When you are having so much fun, and spreading so much love, through blogging, that you feel no resistance toward someone who wants to place a $5 sponsored post on your blog. You politely decline, then move on in the next 3 seconds.


Your Next Step


If you struggling to make money through your blog, set up income streams, but dagnabbit, help people for free. The easier money flows in when you help folks for free, because doing so dissolves your fear of losing money, which dissolves your heavy attachment to money, which allows paying clients in.


Warning; do not accept anything that flows down the pike. Only accept sponsored post opportunities and advertising opportunities that benefit your readership. Think not about the money, but value and service, when sifting through sponsored opportunities.


Feel free to reject dirt cheap $20 sponsored posts opportunities from folks afraid to spend pennies but when the big dawgs come a knocking, humble your ass and instantly move up on the blogging income elevator. If you befriend these folks and work for free versus seeing them as a meal ticket, you will become a prospering, full time travel blogger, and you will actually enjoy the journey too.


The Course


Are you ready and raring to build your blogging posture? Are you hungry to build a successful blog from the insight out? Buy my audio course:


11 Fundamentals of Successful Blogging (Plus a Bonus Audio Course)




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Ryan Biddulph

Ryan Biddulph is a blogger, author and world traveler who's been featured on Richard Branson's Virgin Blog, Forbes, Fox News, Entrepreneur, Positively Positive, Life Hack, John Chow Dot Com and Neil Patel Dot Com. He can help you become a full time blogger with this eBook.
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  1. Glad you’re full Israel 😉 Being generous through multiple channels is an awesome way to build bonds with pros in any niche, and to succeed of course.

  2. Thanks for another encouraging and strength-giving article, Ryan! Your blog is really a source of blessing for humanity as you build it out with lots of informative and helpful posts!

    Being silly as a blogger can truly make someone see profits before relationships whereas those money making opportunities will start flowing soon as one continues serving big brands without expecting anything from them.

    Thanks for teaching how to be generous to big brands with time and talents reflecting an ever greater responsibility simply by creating multiple streams of income for a blog, helping as many bloggers as possible through content creation, through guest posting, and through lots of online media such as YouTube videos, Live Broadcasts and podcasts!

    Helping pro-bloggers out without expecting anything in return through social engagement activities, through blog commenting and through so many other ways would really bring forth money making opportunities later. I strongly believe this, Ryan. Thanks for the lesson! I’m fed.

  3. Puts it all in perspective for me, thanks Ryan for another helpful post.

  4. Thanks Charles and likewise dude!

  5. Sweet messages. Continued success and happy 2018. May it be memorable, enjoyable, and successful.

  6. The toughest part of doing this Donna – detaching largely from stats – is that you will be forced to live inside-out, not outside-in. Incredibly uncomfortable. I just received emails from clients a few moments ago. I feel grateful and happy to receive payment from one client and another order from the other client, but past the 4 seconds of celebrating, I dive right back into having fun with giving, working/playing and serving. Big time shift but enjoying the ride and not being too swayed by stats or money, hell yeah it’s been worth it. You are doing the same thing. The toughest hurdle really is unconditional acceptance but the freedom that comes with it is amazing. Thanks for the rocking comment.

  7. Hi Ryan,

    Detachment is such a key factor to blogging success isn’t it?

    I know you know that.

    But we both know that too many bloggers not only don’t understand it, but don’t feel it… in their gut… in their core belief system.

    I’m reminded of the 3 steps to training yourself to accept abundance.

    Intention, attention, and no tension.

    Intention is when you put something firmly in your mind that you want to accomplish.

    Attention is what you do – the attention you give – to actually create it.

    And no tension means that you simply detach from the results and accept what comes.

    It’s also called unconditional acceptance.

    That’s the toughest hurdle for most people.

    Great blog post.

    You’ve taught a vital, pivotal principal to blogging success.


  8. I nodded to every single one of these blocks Nathan LOL. No worries buddy. I ran through them a handful of times, and resisted admitting the truth, but when I honestly owned my stuff, things did turn quite nicely for me. Almost like I went from seeing brands and sponsored post folks as foes, to friends. What a cool and prospering shift. Thanks so much for the comment 🙂

  9. Great post! I definitely can see myself in some of the descriptions here, which is humbling. I’m afraid I’m more short-sighted than I should be when it comes to building the relationships my blog needs to grow. That said, thanks for the wake-up call! Always good for a reality check 😉

  10. It is the secret to online success Joy. I learned it from many top bloggers. Keep giving, and helping, and serving, and success will flow to you surely and steadily, growing exponentially over time. Thanks much.

  11. Joy Says:

    I love the way you have connected blogging to helping others. I have read many experts on this one point, and they all say, that to be a successful blogger or indeed any kind of entrepreneur, your first goal should be to genuinely help others… whatever your area of expertise help people, and business will prosper. Great post

  12. You’re doing it Rhonda. Service is prospering. Even better? When you are helping folks and not fighting them or trying to squeeze anything out of them, success flows your way even more easily.

  13. Rhonda Albom Says:

    Well said. As I was told, over deliver and help others. Their success is your success.

  14. Amy that’s great. Sometimes seeing the right post at the right time gives us clarity in this blogging bit. Goodness knows I blogged with a bloated head early on, then humbled myself and made it all about service. I still monetized my blog but in the same vein, I did not give much though to making money. Just helping folks. Improving your writing is a biggie because the clearer you get on your posts the more you feel open to receiving money for the value you offer.

    Thanks much for reading.

  15. Amy Morton Says:

    This is an awesome blog post. Thank you for writing it. It really puts things into perspective for me as far as moving up the blogging ladder. I love blogging. I have been blogging for nothing these past two years until my content gets good enough to offer value to others, I’m not even gonna worry about the money aspect of it. I am learning as I go, and my writing is getting better & better. Thank you for such an awesome blog post! This really resonated with me.

  16. I left a thought.