How Travel Bloggers Make Money: Get Paid to Travel
How Travel Bloggers Make Money
Table of Contents
- 1 How Travel Bloggers Make Money
- 1.1 What do Travel Bloggers Do?
- 1.2 How to Start Travel Blogging
- 1.3 How do Travel Bloggers Make Money
- 1.4 Conclusion: How Travel Bloggers Get Paid
When people ask me what I do, and respond “travel blogger” I usually get a confused look back. Questions arise from ‘what is a travel blogger?’ to ‘you actually get paid to travel?’ And the answer is YES. In this post, I will let you know how travel bloggers make money.
It sounds like a dream job, and it really is! (You have no idea how many pinch-me moments I’ve had) But a lot of work went into where I am today. In this post, I am going to let you know how I got started, how you can too & how travel bloggers make money. Let’s get into the post.
What do Travel Bloggers Do?
First, let me explain what travel bloggers actually do. This is not a one size fits all job, so each travel blogger is different. However, the majority of travel bloggers do the following:
- Research and plan travel: If a trip is not hosted, travel bloggers have to research their own trips. To find inspiration to where to go next I look at Pinterest for ideas. Sometimes I’ll find a place that I never heard of and am captivated to visit. Like when I visited Cefalu, Sicily. It was the ultimate Sicilian gem.
- Write about the experience on the blog: After a trip, it is time to write about the experience. I like to add details on logistics, so if someone else is planning a trip they have a better understanding of how to get around, etc. It usually takes 1-2 days to complete a post.
- Take Photos and/or Video: The best lighting is during sunrise & sunset, so travel bloggers are on sun time.
- Post on social media platforms: Instagram, Pinterest, Youtube, Facebook, and emerging platforms.
- Network: It is important to pitch new business, and connect with existing clients.
- Everything Else: Besides the above, travel bloggers are running their own business so at the end of the day, they are wearing all the hats. From SEO, branding, web development, conceptualizing new ideas and trends, legal, contracts, negotiations, soliciting, and finances.
It’s not a Vacation
There might be a misconception that travel bloggers are on an endless vacation… or just fly drones and listen to tropical house music. But a lot more work goes into it than you’d think.
We are not sleeping in and laying by the pool until dinner. For example, during a hotel trip, which I will go into detail below, we have different contracted deliverables we need to complete which can look like:
- photography/ videography for marketing purposes
- daily Instagram stories and posts
- a blog post or Youtube video.
How to Start Travel Blogging
Does Travel blogging sound like the job just for you? This is how you can start travel blogging. I am not going to sugar coat it: it will take some time in the beginning to grow, but it is possible.
First, you are going to need a blog and social presence. I wrote a step by step guide on how to start a profitable blog and how to set up your Pinterest account for beginners. Pinterest plays a huge role in my blog and accounted for 72% of my traffic last year.
In the beginning, it is important to just start your blog, focus on quality content with your unique voice and perspective.
Once you have created quality content, and begun to build an engaged following, you can then leverage that to start collaborating with brands. The time frame will be different for everyone.
There are Pinch Me Moments:
Imagine sitting 51 floors above Bangkok, on a trip to Thailand, having a 5 course Michelin Star dinner overlooking the city lights. That was me 3 years after starting this blogging journey. It was one of the most overwhelming & happiest feelings I have felt. All I could think was “is this real”. All the work and dedication was so worth it at that moment, and I want you to achieve the same thing.
My Ultimate Pinch me Moment
How do Travel Bloggers Make Money
But how to travel bloggers actually get paid? I am going to spill the tea below. Just like with any blogging niche, travel bloggers earn money through many different revenue streams. Here are the examples I will explain below:
- Press Trips
- Hotel Campaign / Hotel Collaboration
- Sponsored Brand Trips
- Promoting a Brand on Location
- Advertising Income
- Affiliate Income
- Product Income
What are Press Trips? Press Trips are travel trips organized by a Tourism Board of a country or city to promote the destination. These trips usually involve a group of bloggers/ media on a detailed itinerary. Press Trips can also be self-guided without a group or tour guide.
All of your expenses on the trip including flight, hotel, activities, and food are covered. And in some cases, travel bloggers will be paid on top of everything. In exchange, travel bloggers have a set amount of deliverables to produce for the client when on the trip.
Press Trips are a great way to build your blog and social content, without having to pay out of pocket. I have been multiple press trips from highlighting wellness in Thailand, being culturally emerged in Malta, and discovering the charm in Jacksonville Florida.
Hotel Campaigns are organized by a hotel to promote their property. Just like Press trips, all expenses are paid and the blogger agrees to a set amount of deliverables. On top of all expenses paid, some campaigns will pay you for the deliverables produced.
Usually, hotel campaigns happen in destinations that have a lot of competition on the market. I have had most of my hotel campaigns in the Caribbean including Mexico, and the Dominican Republic.
An example of a hotel campaign I did was promoting Occidental Costa Cancun, an all-inclusive resort in Cancun Mexico. I produced photography for marketing purposes, created daily Instagram Stories, wrote a blog post, and posted on Instagram.
Another Hotel Campaign in the Dominican Republic:
Now there is a difference between a hotel campaign vs a hotel collaboration. Usually, with collaboration, the travel blogger would be the one reaching out for a stay. In that case, the hotel does not cover any flight or travel expense but will host you in exchange for content.
Sponsored Brand Trips
Sponsored brand trips neither involve a hotel or a tourism board, but just a specific brand. Basically, the brand will cover your travel expenses and pay you to promote their product in a specific location.
An example of this would be when I promoted Mophie’s phone chargers. This was a campaign where I had to travel to 5 cities in the USA in 10 days, all the while staying powered with their phone chargers. I produced content and promoted the product through stories and posts on my Instagram page.
I traveled to Charleston, Miami, Orlando, New Orleans, and San Antonio Texas all in 10 days. It was such a fun concept and a great trip.
Promoting Brand on Location
The examples above involve a brand or organization to cover your travel expenses. However, there are trips I take on my own. And to keep costs down and to make money while traveling, I pitch brands to create content while on location.
This creates an organic angle to your content, all the while being in a stunning location. I’ve promoted a range of brands while on location from clothing, suitcases, products, beverages, etc.
One example was promoting Samsonite suitcases when I was traveling to Italy & Greece. It was an organic way to incorporate the product, and the background was stunning.
Besides actually traveling, bloggers make money through their own blogs through advertising income, affiliate income, and potential product sales.
Affiliate income is when you promote a product or service and when someone clicks your link, you will receive a small percentage of the sale. Rates vary per brand and product but is a great way to make an income recommending products that you love and use.
A way that some travel bloggers make money without actually traveling is through advertising income on their blogs. Depending on traffic and advertising rates, this is a great way to make monthly passive income.
At first, I used Google Ads on my blog which gave me some income, however, it was not much. Once I reached the threshold for Mediavine and got accepted I’ve made 7X the amount per month.
A great way to make additional money through your blog is by selling your own product. Products can be digital, physical, or service-based. Examples of products can include E-books, selling & licensing photos, courses, consulting, coaching, etc.
Conclusion: How Travel Bloggers Get Paid
If you have made it this far, thank you for reading.
First, build your blog content and your unique voice. From there you can start pitching yourself to brands and travel companies.
As you can see there are multiple revenue streams for travel bloggers to make money. But the biggest advice is don’t put all your eggs in one basket. It is best to diversify your income because campaigns may not always be happening.
Thank you for reading! Save this post to your Pinterest boards