It really does seem like the ultimate dream doesn’t it? All those perfectly tanned and perpetually smiling travel bloggers and vloggers who seem to be constantly globetrotting, whose only concerns are which cultural treasure they’ll decide to visit that day, or which exciting local cuisine they’ll sample. While the life of a successful travel blogger seems like one of uninterrupted leisure, it is actually work. Yes, these bloggers and influencers do, to a certain extent, get paid to travel, but they’re also funding their dream life through a lot of hard work along the way. Here’s some of the main ways that full-time travel bloggers in 2018 make their money.
Building a Large Audience
This one is pretty obvious; you can’t make any money if no-one is reading your content. That’s why any ambitious travel blogger who takes the trade seriously will invest plenty of time at the beginning in making sure they have as large and as wide an audience as possible. This can be done by having a unique selling point (USP), an angle which makes you stand out from all of the other travel bloggers out there. Whether it’s that you’re travelling with your twin brother, a former banker who gave it all up to go travelling, or just have a strong and passionate interest in a particular world region, there’s always an interesting angle you can use to give your travel blog a sense of identity and make your brand stand out. It’s also crucial to build up your audience by communicating with them regularly and making sure you’re always posting plenty of exciting content. After this, it’s a lot easier to make money.
Working with Brands
This is the key part of making money as a travel blogger. Most successful blogs will use their image and brand to collaborate with suitable brands on content for the large audiences they have built up. There’s no shortage of brands of all sizes who regularly work with travel bloggers to advertise their products and services, and it is by far the most lucrative way of making money as a blogger. Some choose to do one-off product placements with companies that reflect their brand (e.g. a wellness travel blogger collaborating with a spa company). Others can enter longer-term partnerships with companies, with the Mr Green affiliate program being a good example of how bloggers can secure a steady revenue stream by adding banners and adverts to their website. All the big travel bloggers collaborate with brands and it’s a great way to fund your globetrotting adventure while getting a message out to your audience!
Some serious equipment and skills are usually needed to make money from travel photography, but if you have them then it can pay off massively. Taking those Instagram-perfect shots of remote villages, sandy beaches and shimmering city skylines can do a lot more than just boost your social media cred. Media outlets, publishers, marketing companies and ad agencies are all known to pay good money for great travel pics, and it can be a great source of revenue when you’re on the move.
If you have any moneymaking tips for aspiring bloggers, let us know in the comments.