The Art of Making Money Whilst Travel Blogging Mbali October 11, 2016 MESSFashion Want to be a travel blogger? Tune in as we give you a step by step guide in to the mind blowing world of adventure without going completely broke. Travel blogging is easy. Just get on a plane and take a few pictures right? Well, not quite! To be successful as a travel blogger it takes time, skill and preparation. It’s never as simple as jumping on a plane, you need to know how to get the best travel deals, who your audience is and most importantly how you will fund your global adventures, and those are just the minor details. Before you even start a blog, ask yourself-are you ready to sell everything and constantly be on the road? If yes, then it’s the right path for you. But bare in mind, travelling is not the only part of it whilst on the road you need to maintain your blog not only by taking pictures but monitoring your progress. Before we get to the details of setting up the blog, the burning question on every bloggers mind is how to make money from the blog or how to fund the trips. Well it’s quite simple but a lot of work goes into it. Create and sell your own goods. Creativity costs you nothing but is the most rewarding when used right. Use your knowledge and skills to market yourself. Sit down take the time to write an ebook about your experiences the only thing it will cost you is time. Brian Clark of Copyblogger says, build an audience, ask them what they’re willing to pay and give it to them. Book a speaking event engage with people create a communication platform that will allow you to create and provide what they want with your name on it. Give advice, teach a seminar, share your knowledge. Advertising Advertising is a great source of income especially if your blog gets a lot of traffic. Dealing directly with advertises will result in a higher income and better working relationships. If you’re willing to have a few adverts, then it’s an easy way to make some extra cash without adding to your work load. Affiliate marketing and text links are also an option. With affiliate marketing links, you make money when the reader clicks the link and buys a product from that website. Amazon is a good example of this. With text links, you are charging someone money in exchange for a link to their site. Unlike affiliate marketing, you do not make any money beyond that (usually). We would advise you to avoid text links they can be harmful and when using text links to make sure it stays on your sight. You don’t want to lose your readers. Consulting and freelance gigs Your blog will soon be the go to for any potential clients. It’s where you will get to show off your work so take full advantage of it. Advertise your services. Offer to take photos or even edit them and throw in some text offers as well. The more you offer the more people you reach. Offer face-to-face consultations to help others get started or even offer to take clients abroad with you. Offer services that are worthwhile and something you can deliver in an exciting way. Print Pull together a collection of your best work as done by travel bloggers Matt Kepnes, Tim Leffel and Adam Costa. It’s a fun way to get your work out there and cater for an audience that may not be solely focused on the digital aspect of blogging. Saving money on travel costs The thought of paying for all the flying you plan on doing can be daunting. So why not use customer loyalty programs. Credit cards and certain airlines do offer miles and points that can help cut your travel costs. You will have to spend some money at some point but knowing where you can save is a must. Keep an eye out for promotions and agencies generally have good deals. For those who would like to work as you travel why not teach languages or volunteer broad. There are a number of different ways to travel for free or without breaking the bank and if you can incorporate your blogging than go for it. Caz & Craig Makepeace of yTravel Blog Is a 6 figure salary a possibility? Absolutely! Caz and Craig Makepeace created their successful travel blog yTravel in 2010 and it now has an income well over six figures. yTravel gets more than 310,000 visitors monthly. Caz and Craig also engage with more than 100,000 followers on social media. They have partnerships with companies like National Geographic, Lonely Planet, Canon and Ford-just to name a few. The point is it’s a marathon not a sprint and when done properly it pays well. Christy Woodrow the owner of Ordinary Traveller has also managed to find her niche earning herself well over six figures through her travel blog she launched back in 2011. Christy made her income from photo sales, freelance work, sponsored posts and paid projects with tourism boards. Her income came from different sources and not all at once with certain months generating more than others. The point to take away here is that it is possible but it does require a lot of focus and passion for what you’re doing Now that that’s out the way here are a few basic tips to get you started. Start a blog Well this one goes without saying. Set yourself up before you even think of anything else. The web is littered with a number of sights ready and waiting for you to set up your blog. Pick what suits you and is photo friendly. The majority of your work will be video and images so choosing something that will love your work as much as you do is key to showing it off. Know your niche It’s no secret that the travel blog market is extremely over saturated- so it’s good to know that you’re in for some serious competition. The best way to get around this is making your content so niche that you’re the only one doing it. It’s obviously not as easy as it sounds and most importantly it will take a lot of time. Travelling and documenting your travels is very time consuming so patience is a must. From editing images, uploading them and building a good following, high expectations at the beginning of your blogging journey may disappoint you. Keep at it. All good things come to those who wait. Use your tools Are you an amazing writer? Well good for you, that’s one less thing to worry about. For those who are average writers, that’s not a problem but just be aware that producing good quality wok will take you slightly longer. More important than your writing skills is how you get your content to your desired audience-use your tools. Social media is the best way to get to people no matter the medium you use. If you’re not a great writer use images or videos they work well with travel content. Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Youtube are a great platform to show off your talent and skills. Beware it doesn’t become to commercialised stick to your niche and don’t sacrifice your originality to fit in with the latest fad. Remember you don’t need to use every single one of the listed and other platforms use what you’re good at and what fits your work. A lot of time will go into it so make things slightly easier by mastering a few at a time. The web has a high number of free basic editing tools have a play around and see what works before committing to one. Sign up for a trial period and see how it goes. The point is to set everything up so you know what you’re doing before jet setting to the nearest island. Make things simpler for yourself. Image:Forbes.com You need to know what you’re doing There are a lot of online courses covering ways to make it as a blogger. Sign up for a photography class, do a short analytics course. Although time consuming and costly these qualifications help you build a solid foundation for what is soon to be a business and not just a blog. You need to be digitally savvy to make things easier for yourself and to give your work an advantage. Are your articles SEO prepped? You don’t know? Well find out by learning about SEO and how to make it work for you. Do some research-figure out how to get a domain name and where to get good deals. As wonderful as it sounds travel blogging is very costly so bagging a bargain anywhere you can is always a good idea. Branding is a very important part of creating your image. Who do you want to be known as? Have you got a good name that won’t need to be adjusted in future? Think long term. Will the name and image you chose still be catchy? The best way to decided is too do a little digging. Look at a few blogs that are doing well and see how their branding links up with their content and see how that could work for you. Build an email list, share other blog posts – always interact with people in the same field it helps you get to know how they work and builds a good working relationship. It helps you network outside of set events and keeps you up to speed with what’s happening in the travel blogging world. Plus, it doesn’t hurt to be friendly – go on make some friends. Finally, always write useful content. If it’s not informative it’s irrelevant. People want something new, so, give it to them. The best way to find out what the public want to read is by looking up the questions being asked on online forums like Reddit. If you can answer those for them or conduct your own research. Try having a few guest contributors from time to time. It will help you tap into their audience giving your blog some attention too, use your contacts to help establish yourself. Is it worth it? If you want it, it’s always worth it. remember good things take time. Terrible writers get better over time; athletes get stronger as they train. So remember the more you do it the better you become at it. blogging is time consuming-travel blogging even more so. You need to set a reasonable timeline for your expectations based on your current skills and how well your travel blog develops. Think of the areas you are going to visit and why other people would like to hear your opinion about the place or look at your images. It’s all about how you gift wrap. So, do you really want to share your travels and adventures with the world? Than it is definitely worth the time, money and stress to get it going. What are you waiting for? Get started. We did just tell you it’s a very time consuming business.