Recently I did a case study about Ryan Wilkes, who has captured the imagination of his readership with his website Wilkes Media and YouTube channel A Path Less Traveled.
Ryan’s story got me wondering: how hard it is to learn how to become a travel blogger and get paid. Do travel bloggers make money? And just what are the travel blog jobs out there?
What is a Travel Blogger?
“A travel blogger is typically someone who creates an income from writing about travel related activities on a website or blog they own, or writing articles on sites managed by other people. Income can be generated through advertising (such as google adsense), affiliate marketing, products and services or a combination of activities.”
However, I think this is quite a narrow scope and I quite liked the definition given by Pam Mandel (NerdsEyeView.com) in a recent comment around travel bloggers. Pam said:
“A travel blogger is someone who has a blog about travel, that’s really about it. Whether or not they take that occupation (or hobby) seriously is another story”
I’ve considered these definitions and have taken a healthy dose of inspiration from Ryan and his enthusiasm for travel to come up with my own definition below:
A travel blogger is someone who has natural curiosity and an adventure for life along with a desire to share and inspire others through their love of travel writing, photography or videography online. (KD Forsman)
In my humble opinion, the income generated by the blogger doesn’t come into it, it’s all about sharing adventures and experiences. What do you think?
How to start a travel blog – where do I start?
Is this a personal journal for fun or do you plan to create an income from travel blogging?
If you are thinking about starting a travel blog, I recommend that you spend some time thinking about what your goals are and what you want to achieve from your blog. Is it just for your own interest, or to share memories with family and friends, or are you working towards something bigger like generating some additional income from your effort, or perhaps you want your blog to be a way to fund your next adventure, and/or be your main source of income. If you’re ready to get started you can create your new travel blog here.
What type of traveler are you?
Assuming that you DO want to monetize your travel blog, it’s well worth working out what kind of niche your travel blog is going to focus on, as travel in itself is probably too broad a topic. Here’s a useful article on Wealthy Affiliate about why choosing a niche is so important.
Recently I met a wonderful woman who was traveling around New Zealand as a solo traveler. She planned to start a blog about her experiences as a single female traveler and some inadvertent discrimination she’d experienced. This is a perfect angle for this particular traveler to explore through her blog and her adventures:
I get sick of turning up at a restaurant and being asked, Oh, is it just you? Or finding that I can’t book a tour as there’s a two person minimum. Everything is geared up for couples and groups… solo travelers are often overlooked, but we’re just as important. (finding your niche)
Here’s some questions to think about:
- What kind of travel do you enjoy?
- What type of traveler are you? Solo traveler, couples, family… perhaps there are other factors you consider when traveling such as health and mobility issues, dietary requirements, interested in LGBT friendly accommodation etc.
- Do you plan on exploring faraway places, or a bit closer to home?
- What type of travel experiences appeal to you? Adventure travel, eco-travel, backpacker, luxury etc.
- Perhaps you’re a foodie and want to search out the best restaurants around the world – or fancy yourself as a motel reviewer?
All of these things can help shape the direction and purpose of your travel blog.
Choosing a domain name
Once you have determined what type of travel blog you want to create and what type of niche you are going to focus on, think about a suitable domain name.
A domain name is the name you give to your website and will become an important part of your personal brand, so make sure it reflects the direction you have set for your website and your personal style.
Have you thought of a domain name for your travel blog yet? Type it in the box below to see if it’s available:
Best WordPress Themes for Travel Blogs?
Unleash your creativity
The cool thing about Travel Blogs is that you can be super creative with your website and make it visually appealing.
This is very true for Ryan’s travel Vlog The Path Less Traveled.
Ryan has developed a very strong personal brand through his YouTube channel and on his related websites Wilkes Media; both are stunning examples of creativity through pictures and videography.
When you create your travel blog, there are plenty of options for hosting your website, including free or paid hosting plans. I personally recommend WordPress for building your travel blog as it’s free, easy to use, extremely flexible and there’s a huge range of themes and plugins that you can utilize on your site.
Free hosting is a good way to start, I recommend hosting your WordPress site with SiteRubix, as your website can be created on their free plan and easily upgraded to a premium hosted plan as your business needs grow. SiteRubix also gives you access to an internet business community where you can access, support, coaching, training and tools to help you build your site. Having training and support that you can rely on is an essential foundation block for any successful online business and/or blog.
Choose a stunning theme
SiteRubix gives you access to literally thousands of free and premium (paid) WordPress themes and many will be suitable for Travel Bloggers. Here’s a few examples of free themes available on SiteRubix that you can use to build website:
All SiteRubix WordPress themes are fully responsive, meaning that they display well and function correctly on any size device from a personal computer, down to a tablet or mobile phone. This is critical as a huge proportion of all website traffic occurs via a mobile phone or other portable device.
Do travel bloggers make money?
The short answer is yes, and no.
The income earning potential of a good travel blogger can be at the top end of that with some bloggers earning $60-70k per month, but they are the exception, not the rule. Many travel blogs are created without the purpose of creating an income, so there’s a real range of travel bloggers and websites out there.
However, aspiring for a monthly income between $1,000 to $10,000 is very achievable, it all comes down to the popularity of the blog, the amount of traffic the website is getting each month and how well the website converts visitors into a loyal following and/or customers. Getting lots of eyes on your blog, website traffic, is a critical success factor.
Here’s a few ways that travel bloggers can generate income through their website:
- Affiliate Marketing
- Writing sponsored posts (paid articles on your site which promote a specific product or brand)
- Influencer and social marketing
- Product reviews and industry commentary
- Selling your own travel related products
- Other paid advertising
- Paid article writing
- Google adsense
What types of travel blog jobs are out there?
There are two main types of travel bloggers out there, freelancers and those who are employed within the travel industry.
Freelancers are self-employed and can control the direction and content of their own site. To be a successful freelance travel blogger, it’s important to put out quality content whether that’s written, photography or videography; and create a strong personal brand.
Many travel related businesses now maintain a blog on their websites, so there’s opportunity for content writers to get part or full time employment as travel writers. Examples of these types of businesses include:
- Travel magazines and other publications
- Hotels, Accommodation and online travel agencies
- Tourism promotional groups – regionally, nationally, globally
- Adventure tourism activity providers
- even unlikely employers such as insurance companies (as they may sell travel insurance etc.)
- Travel review sites
Some organizations will offer free travel packages, accommodation or adventure tourism experiences in exchange for an article or review on the travel bloggers website.
If you have an appetite for adventure and your ready to start your own travel blog, you will need a great travel partner. Wealthy Affiliate is my #1 pick for travel writers and bloggers who want to start a travel blog and/or build an online business. Wealthy Affiliate is the perfect travel partner for your next adventure.
What’s your dream travel destination?
Are you a luxury resort kind of traveler, or would you prefer an intrepid journey off the beaten track? Drop me a line in the comments section below, I’d love to hear from you.
Thanks for reading, Cheers, Karen