Make Money with a Travel Blog
When I first began Daves Travel Pages back in 2006, I didn't do it in order to make money with a travel blog. In fact, its main aim was simply as a way for family and friends to see what I was up to as I travelled, look at some pictures, and maybe get a bit jealous! This was in a time before Facebook, smartphones, Twitter and super fast broadband. Astonishing to think how quickly things have changed in just six years!
Perhaps I wasn't being visionary enough at the time, but roll forwards six years to 2012, and I realise that it is now indeed possible to make money with a travel blog. I am not talking huge sums here, I certainly won't become a millionaire, but I am talking enough money to pay for my daily expenses when out on the road. (It's probably important to mention at this point that I could be described as an ultra-budget traveller, living off less than $10.00 a day!).
So, how is it possible to Make Money with a Travel Blog?
Many people, when looking at how to make money with a travel blog, will begin by focusing on Adsense. For those that don't know, Adsense is where Google makes its vast amounts of cash! It basically involves a publisher side and an advertising side. The publishing side wants to appeal to a certain demographic group to advertise their products, whilst the advertisers want adverts to put on their sites. When an advert is clicked, the publisher is charged, Google makes money, and the advertiser receives a percentage. The initial aim of many people looking to make money with a travel blog, is therefore to make money from Adsense.
This all sounds very simple, and a quick search online will reveal many people who claim to make thousands out of Adsense. My experience here though, is that despite a steady flow of visitors to Daves Travel Pages, the percentage of people that actually click on adverts is very low. With all my sites combined (4 in total), I receive no more than 200 pounds a year through Adsense.
In fact, Adsense makes the smallest fraction of my online income. It's something that's nice to have, but I don't let my life revolve around it. This is because I have discovered two far better way to make money with a travel blog, and these are by selling advertising space directly to people, and by allowing guest posts.
I have never actively gone out and sought advertisers for Daves Travel Pages, and instead, people have approached me. What these people are after more than anything, it seems, is not only a box on the front page which advertises their product or website, but more importantly, a link into their site from mine. This is because, for whatever reason, my site is considered to be reasonably powerful in terms of its SEO and ranking within Google. (OK, I have put a lot of work into that!). So, it then becomes a case of what space on my website is worth. I am working towards having a maximum of 10 front page sponsors, and charging them $1.00 a day. That's $3650 a year, which is a good source of revenue when out on the road.
Up until 6 months ago, I had never heard of guest posts as a way of making money with a travel blog. Perhaps I just live a very sheltered life though! However, over the last six months, I have been approached by dozens of people who want to write a guest post for Daves Travel Pages. Not only this, but they want to give me money for it as well. Free content + cash for the win!
Now, I am quite mindful of this, as obviously I don't want any old piece of rubbish being put on my site, and I don’t want to link out to rubbish sites either. With that said, I have been accepting guest posts for a while, and I am very pleased with the results. It is in fact now my highest form of website income, although I will not put figures here. Again, this is something I have been passive about. People have just approached me for it. I dare say it would be possible to “put myself out there” a little more, but I am quite happy with the way things are at the moment.
For anyone looking to make money with a travel blog, the last two suggestions have been the source of the greatest income for myself, and I hope for you as well. Building the authority of your travel blog is the key to making money with it, and so its important to spend some time looking how to best promote and optimise your site.
If you would like to get in touch with me about guest posting or advertising on Daves Travel Pages, please email me at dave (at) davestravelpages.com