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So… How Do You Make Money Travel Blogging?

Last Updated on 12th April 2023 by Sophie Nadeau

Whenever I tell someone that my job is my blog, by far the most immediate reaction I get is: “How do you make money travel blogging?” And while I can’t imagine any other career path where someone asks you how much money you make as soon as you meet them, I totally get it!

I mean, if I weren’t a blogger myself, I would definitely wonder how people make money from their little (and sometimes incredibly large) corners of the internet!

So today I want to lift the lid a little on a somewhat taboo subject when it comes to blogging and discuss how to monetise your travel blog. After all, it is no longer unheard of to make six figures from a travel blog!

How to make money travel blogging: advice, tricks, and tips on how to monetise a blog effectively. For example, create courses, do sponsored posts, sell photography, add affiliate links, etc.

Starting a blog has changed my whole life, and I don’t say that lightly. It’s the single best decision I’ve made, and is the most important financial decision I’ve ever made.

Since starting this site 8 years ago, I have been able to make money to travel to destinations I could only ever dream of, and I have even been able to live abroad, a decision that led to me meeting my now husband (not to mention some of my closest friends).

How much do travel bloggers make?

If you’re wondering how much travel bloggers earn, then the answer is different from everyone, as I’ll delve into deeper in this article. However, as a ball park figure, a typical established blogger can make anything from $2000 – $40,000 and more.

Truth be told, the sky really is the limit! After all, there are numerous blogs out there that earn nothing and there are blogs out there making multi-millions on an annual basis. Don’t believe me, here’s an article about how The Blonde Abroad makes over a million dollars a year.

Are there too many travel bloggers out there?

When I started this blog that you’re reading today back in 2015, I was told that there was too much competition and that the market was too saturated. I was told that I would never be able to make money blogging.

However, I now make more than I would have done with a typical graduate job and reach millions of people on an annual basis.

As with any kind of investment, the best time to start is as soon as you are able to. Of course, the best time to start a blog was yesterday, but the second best time to start one is today!

A note on building a blogging audience

The first thing that you might be asking yourself when it comes to making money from travel blogging is whether or not the size of your blogging audience (blog traffic)matters. Well, as will be the case with many things in this article, the answer depends!

There are some bloggers who have significantly less traffic than me and yet who make more, and there are other bloggers who have more traffic than this blog but make less.

So, while I personally think it’s easier to monetise with a bigger audience (since then you have a greater chance of conversions, affiliate sales, you can make more with display ads), then this doesn’t necessarily have to be the case.

For more information around building traffic, which can then lead to monetisation opportunities, I have a whole guide on how to build a dedicated audience and create a network around your little corner of the internet.

What this entails is months, and often years, of dedication, sleepless nights, and lots of hard work with little to no pay! For more information about building your blog, I wrote a full post about how to become a full-time blogger.

Is blogging dead?

When I tell people that I have a blog, I’m normally met with one of two reactions. The first is, “Oh, that’s really cool. What do you write about?” The second is by far my least favourite “What? Why? Are you a 15 year old in 2006?” This question is asked because many people assume that blogging is dead.

However, blogging is definitely not dead, nor is it going away anytime soon. What has changed, particularly with the advent of social media platforms is the information that’s created on blogs and the type of content that makes money.

Whereas a decade ago, blogs would have been more personality focused (and people can do well with personality blogs still), today blogs are branded entities which are focused on information on a variety of topics.

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How to make money travel blogging

Display Ads

Once you have some traffic on your blog (I don’t think there’s much point in monetising your blog via ads until you have around 35,000 page views per month), it’s worth adding display ads to your website. These are normally banners, snippets of text, etc. that are shown to your readers as they browse your website.

The great things about placing display ads on your site is that they create passive income for you. That is to say, once you’ve set up the ads on your site, they bring you steady income (depending on your traffic) month on month. This means that you have to do little else to make money, leaving you plenty of time to spend working on other projects.

Many bloggers don’t like using display ads on their site as they don’t like the user experience this creates and will openly tell you so. However, with that being said, all of the news sites I read have display ads and as a user, I don’t really mind them.

After all, they’re a great way of monetising articles that would otherwise be hard to make money from, thus leaving you with a lot more creative freedom to create the content your readers will want to see and you’ll actually enjoy writing!

There are plenty of ad provider services available, and I’ve personally been using Mediavine for well over seven years! As of 2023, in order to join Mediavine, you’ll need 50,000 sessions a month and the revenue cut you get is initially 75% of what your ads make.

They then have a loyalty programme and impressions programme, whereby you can earn more than the base revenue share depending on how long you’ve been with Mediavine.

If you make more than $100,000 a year, then you can earn an even greater percentage, all the way up to 90% revenue share, depending on how many ad impressions your site has generated in the past 30 days!

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Affiliate Links

Many people often confuse affiliate links and affiliate marketing with display ads. However, they’re two entirely different ways of monetising your blog.

While with display ads you get paid per 1000 sessions/ page views on your site, affiliate links are when you get a small commission of the purchase price when someone clicks through to the website in question and purchases something.

Typically, bloggers will only get paid in the instance of affiliate links if someone purchases something by clicking on the unique affiliate link which is found on the blogger’s website.

If you can buy a product, there’s probably an affiliate programme for it! When it comes to affiliates for travel bloggers, popular affiliates include hotel stays, car rentals, activities, and so forth.

While some companies also pay a few cents for generating a ‘lead,’ most don’t Some popular affiliate programmes among bloggers include, Amazon, rewardStyle, ShareASale (sign up here) and GetYourGuide.

Selling Photos

If you have a good eye for photography, then brands, companies, and even other bloggers will often approach you asking to purchase the rights to use your images. Selling your photos can be a lucrative way of making some extra money on the side.

When selling images, be sure to determine the usage of the photo (as this will change how much you should charge), as well as how long the photo will be used for. For example, how many people will your image(s) be distributed to?

Are they for a small blog post, or will they be used as the front cover of an advertising campaign? In order to get an idea of how much to charge, there are plenty of resources available online.

I personally don’t really reach out for these opportunities as I prefer focusing on other aspects of monetisation. However, for some people this is a good chunk of their income!

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There are several different types of press trips that bloggers can take. These are sometimes referred to as FAM trips (familiarisation trips) or media visits and are created by DMOs (Destination Marketing Organisations) or Tourism Boards in order to promote a specific destination or event.

Other times, press trips can also be organised by companies who want to increase brand awareness; i.e. a fashion brand who wants to promote their new line in a far-off destination, a camera brand who wants to create a campaign involving their new range equipment, or a company such as a cruise line or travel company.

Most press trips are ‘unpaid’ in that the organiser typically offers the blogger expenses (meals, activities, flights… Pretty much everything!) in exchange for social media coverage and content to be posted on the blogger’s own website. Sometimes, the company will also ask for specific deliverables such as mentions of a certain place or destination.

Paid press trips are often seen as the peak of blogging as bloggers will get paid to travel and create content about their experience. While some bloggers charge a daily rate for attending trips (anything upwards of $50 to in the hundreds or even thousands), others will charge for deliverables following the trip.

For example, on one paid press trip I attended, I was expected to create a post for my own blog, a post for the DMO’s blog, and provide 5 photos to be used for content marketing following the trip. 

In saying this, on both paid and unpaid trips, I make it clear that I retain editorial control over my content as I would never want to say/ promote something to my readers that I don’t believe in!

As of 2023, I have not been on any press trips in years and, for the most part, would like to keep it that way, preferring instead to focus my time and effort into creating more passive income.

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Once upon a time (okay, only around a decade ago), a popular way of making money travel blogging was to sell do-follow links. This meant that a company would pay to have some link juice from your blog to theirs as a do-follow link would tell search engines that the other website was worth crawling.

Today, selling do-follow links is against SEO guidelines and can incur a search engine penalty on Google. I have personally never sold a link as I’m generally a risk-averse person and don’t believe that the risk of being penalised by search engines is worth the cash or my brand!

I also never accept ‘Guest Posts’ or post infographics on my blog as I want my reader experience to be the best it can possibly be. Sponsored articles, when done correctly, should be a win-win for everyone involves.

This is where a company will reach out to the blogger (either via social media or by email) and asks the blogger to talk about their product in an article in the form of a review, etc. All sponsored posts should be clearly marked as sponsored and the links to the company should be no-follow.

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I’ve placed sponsored social media posts in an entirely different category than sponsored posts on the blog as it’s a whole different kettle of fish.

After all, nowadays (and since the rise of micro-blogging platforms such as Instagram), many people don’t have a website and instead make all of their money through promoting products and brands on Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat, or Twitter.

Creating promotional posts on Social Media typically involves retaining creative control while producing content which will showcase a photograph or text-based image to promote the brand or company in question. For travel bloggers, this can be anything from advertising the suitcase you bring on holiday to the hotel you stay in.

Another monetisation option which I haven’t tried yet, but am going to start looking into is sponsored newsletters. This is in the same vein as sponsored posts/ videos/ social media posts, and is where you have a sponsor for when you send out an email.

Monetise Videos

It’s now 2023 and if a photo can tell a story of a thousand words, a video can tell a million. As travel blogging evolves, so do the ways in which people make money.

From making money by creating reels, TikToks, and selling footage to brands to creating your own YouTube channel, there’s no shortage of ways to make money from long or short form video content.

Making a podcast

There are so many mediums when it comes to making travel content online these days that sometimes it can become overwhelming to think of them all!

Well, one of the newer ways that content creators are monetising is by creating podcasts. Though slightly harder to monetise than some of the other options on this list, the most popular ways to monetise podcasts are by getting sponsors or by adding ads.

Brand Takeovers

Another way to utilise social media in order to make money is by doing brand takeovers, particularly on Instagram. When you do a takeover for brands, you are effectively creating the same kind of content you would create for your own channel (stories, photos, videos, etc), but for the brand’s channel. 

Consultancy Work

Consultancy work is relatively new to me in comparison with some of the other ways I monetise my blog…However, I have to say that I’m absolutely loving it so far!

As a blogger, you develop a lot of skills, such as SEO (search engine optimisation), branding, curating and growing social media accounts… You get the picture! I now offer consulting services for Pinterest & SEO. For more information, email me [[email protected]].

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Freelance Writing

While this way of making money blogging isn’t strictly linked to having a travel blog, it can be a great way to make money travel blogging and build your portfolio while you’re building your own website. When I first started out, I began to create other content for other travel bloggers.

This not only gave me experience in blogging (as well as the opportunity for getting feedback from bloggers, thus increasing my knowledge of the industry) and increased my online presence but also increased examples of previous work I could showcase to others.

Nowadays, I tend to stay away from freelance writing as I can typically make more by writing on my own sites and monetising the content myself. Creating content for my own sites also provides more of a passive way to gain income.

Working as a VA (Virtual Assistant)

Somewhat in the same vein as freelance writing, working as a Virtual Assistant for another blogger is a great way for earning some money while learning the ins and outs of the industry from a more experienced blogger.

Selling Products

Whether it be an organised trip, a course, or an e-book, there are a million and one products you could create and sell via your blog. The list is quite literally endless.

Examples of travel bloggers selling products include destination retreats, selling courses on creating and monetising a blog, presets, and creating destination guides.

I have recently created my first ever product, a digital guide to Paris. Update: As of 2023, selling digital products has been a good extra source of income for my site and has helped me diversify my income as a travel blogger. I have also recently started selling presets for Lightroom.

Brand Ambassadorships

These contracts are typically different from sponsored content or affiliates as they’re long-term partnerships which are meant to help both the blogger and the brand.

Typically, the blogger will be paid a monthly retainer and create content for the brand on an on-going basis. This can either be by continuously promoting the company or product on their own blog, creating deliverables for the brand, or a mixture of the two.

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In conclusion…

So, as you can see, there are a million and one ways to make money travel blogging and how to get paid to travel! Some methods are straightforward, others you have to get more creative with and work harder at.

However, I truly believe that with a little time, patience, a lot of hard work, and a whole load of passion, it’s totally possible to turn a travel blog into your job.

Finally, in time I learnt that if you want to truly make something of blogging, then you’ll need to invest a small amount. This is especially true of little things like going for self-hosted from the get-go.

When it comes to managing your audience, one of the best marketing methods is to start building your email list! These are people who want to be kept up to date with your content and who genuinely want to hear from you.

In order to manage your list and create beautiful emails, I recommend using Flodesk. Get 50 percent off a subscription by using my link here or the code ‘SOPHIE’.

If you’re really looking to take your website to the next level, I also recommend investing in some professional camera equipment. For a full rundown on what I use, check out this guide to the best of travel photography gear.

Blogging resources

Hosting: For my blog’s hosting needs, I use Lyrical Host. I find their customer support and help to be some of the best I’ve ever had during my time blogging and couldn’t recommend them more! If you use my affiliate code ‘solosophie’ then you’ll get 10% off your first hosting plan payment. See more details here.

Email: One of the best ways to capture your return subscribers is by building an email list. I personally love Flodesk. Sign up using my link or the code ‘SOPHIE’ to get 50% off your subscription. See more details here.

Affiliate programmes: As well as display advertising, one of the best ways for bloggers to make money is by using affiliate programmes. In order to refer tours on this website, I use numerous providers. This includes Get Your Guide and Share a Sale.

Grammarly is a good tool to check through your work for grammatical errors, spelling mistakes, and bad phrasing. Find out more about Grammarly here.

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Looking for ways to make money blogging? Here's your complete guide on how to monetise a travel blog and see the world!
How to make money travel blogging: advice, tricks, and tips on how to monetise a blog effectively. For example, create courses, do sponsored posts, sell photography, add affiliate links, etc.

Sophie Nadeau loves dogs, books, travel, pizza, and history. A fan of all things France related, she runs when she’s not chasing after the next sunset shot or consuming something sweet. She lives in London but travels as much as she can. Subscribe to Sophie’s YouTube Channel.

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Friday 3rd of August 2018

Hey Sophie! Thanks for the shoutout! We're so glad you're a Mediavine publisher and proud to play a small part in your success. If you ever have questions about revenue, optimization, etc., please reach out to us at [email protected] — Susannah at Mediavine


Friday 3rd of August 2018

I have been casually finding posts like this and I am actually giving it a thought. It scares me a bit, but we'll see :)


Thursday 2nd of August 2018

very hard to earn money but this tips will help me to get better way. Thanks for sharing.

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