Travel: it’s what you’re passionate about. Whether you love to go out until the wee hours of the morning bar-hopping in Barcelona, or enjoy a leisurely drive through French wine country, or try to find the highest mountains to climb, adventure is what you do best. Now that you’ve been blogging about your experiences for awhile, you may find yourself wondering whether you could make any money from your website. After all, wouldn’t it be great if you could be paid to write about what you love doing and use that money to pay for more travel?
Luckily, you most certainly can. Even though you’re going to have to put some serious, hard work on your blog, your efforts could really pay off. After all, it won’t be just your friends and family and the random nomads you meet at hostels who comprise your audience anymore; you could potentially influence thousands of people and make money in the process. Here’s how to get started:
1 Write fantastic content
If you’ve got a travel blog, your content is probably already pretty good. After all, who doesn’t love reading that blog post about the 10 best churches to visit in Rome, or the best surfing guru in Lisbon (complete with quotables like, “stay calm, and the waves will feel calm, too…”)? And if you’ve been posting for a few months, it’s pretty likely you’ve developed a voice your readers recognize and love hearing over and over.
That said, there are still strategies you can use to make your content even better, which will make all the difference when it comes to turning your blog into a legitimate business. Considering we now have an attention span that’s shorter than a goldfish’s — studies have demonstrated that people generally lose concentration after a mere 8 seconds — you’re going to need compelling content that employs real marketing strategies like SEO, length and style considerations, and including the right media. For more tips on how to write high-quality content, check out this guide from Kissmetrics.
2 Share on social media
It doesn’t matter how good your content is if no one is able to see it, which is why it’s so important to share your blog on social media. If you’re already following a couple bloggers or travel websites on Facebook or Instagram, you know they get a lot more traffic to their blogs by sharing posts on social media, whether it’s the guy who offers everyday saving tips to inspire your budget or the girl who takes selfies from buildings high in the sky. They are harnessing the power of more than one outlet.
Research your ideal consumer –– this Hubspot guide offers tips for understanding your customer persona — and find out what platform(s) they use most often. Every time you write a blog post, be sure to share it there, but also spend some time researching how to optimize your posts for individual platforms; for example, hashtags are much more important on Instagram or Twitter than they are on Facebook. In fact, tweets with hashtags get twice as much as engagement as those without. You’ll want to take these factors into account and tweak your posts accordingly.
3 Use affiliate advertising
Once you’ve gotten enough followers, you’ll be able to score some affiliate links, which are sure to make some money. You may have even made purchases yourself through affiliate links in your favorite blogs or while scrolling through Instagram, and you probably didn’t even realize it.
If you don’t know what an affiliate program is, here’s the short explanation, according to Entrepreneur: “Affiliate programs function basically like any other form of text, video or banner advertising, in that you’re paid to place an advertisement for a service, product or company on your blog. What’s different is that affiliate program ads require not only that your visitors click an ad but also that a sale results from the click.”
Affiliate links can be more naturally incorporated into your blog, so you don’t turn off your followers with spammy, unappealing ads. You’ll be able to work with businesses you believe in and show ads that are legitimately interesting and relevant to your audience; for example, a finance blog may partner with a crypto company like TrustToken, since bitcoins, cryptocurrencies, and ICOs are all relevant industry terms for their website.
By 2020, U.S. affiliate marketing spending is expected to rise to $6.8 billion, so take advantage of this burgeoning market simply by placing ads alongside your high-quality content.
As you can see, it is possible to make money from your travel blog. The best part is that the more you post and the more you engage with your audience, the more money you can (and will!) make. So if you love to write and you love to travel, it’s a no-brainer. It’s time to get started now.
What do you think is most interesting about your travel blog? Where do you go and what adventures do you have to share?