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Using Your Blog to Fuel Your Travel

A recent Pew Research study found that three out of ten U.S. jobs, or 30%, are held by the self-employed and those who they hire. (1) Technology has opened the doors to a flood of writers, photographers, and designers who work while they travel. Online websites that offer products and lessons to people across the globe allow solo entrepreneurs to make money while on the road.

But is the dream of earning passive income online just that--a fantasy world filled with vain ambitions?

I believe that it really comes down to how much effort you put into your craft. If your willing to learn new skills and try different avenues to earn a respectable income you will. If you sit on the couch and throw shade at the people who try (and sometimes fail) to build a sustainable blog that allows them to travel then you have no room to complain.

Here are eight ways to earn money from blogging to fuel travel.

Destination Marketing

A great way to start earning an income online is destination marketing. This basically means promoting a city, town, or region through online media to attract new tourists. Hotels frequently hire bloggers to write guides about local areas of interest.

I partner with Arrivedo to create guides for hotels in my local area. It’s possible to reach out to hotels and do this on your own through your own blog once you establish yourself as an expert.

PAY: Starting out hotels usually offer a couple free nights at their hotel in exchange for a guide. As you gain experience you can expect to make $300-500 per guide.

Displaying Ads

Don’t expect to make mounds of money through advertising from the get-go. Build up a loyal audience first. Google runs a program called AdSense that displays ads relevant to your content. You get paid when people click on the ads on your website.

PAY: Depends upon the number of visitors to your website.

Affiliate Links

Amazon affiliates allow bloggers to post links and pictures to most products in the Amazon database. Writers may feel dirty doing this. But the truth is people value what you know. If you are an expert in your field, you are in a position to share knowledge and tools that help other people become experts too.

Every time someone clicks on an Amazon link and purchases a product you get a percentage of that purchase.

PAY: Depending upon the category of the purchase, the percentage of the money you make could be anywhere from 1-10%.

Brand Partnerships

An alternative way to make money on your blog is to partner with national and local brands. Companies pay you to write articles, post on social media and take pictures of their products.

As you may have guessed, you need to generate enough traffic to your blog before becoming a paid sponsor. The idea of getting paid to advertise at first felt forced to me. But if you sponsor products and brands you know and trust, you are doing your audience a favor by introducing them to new gear and tools to help them with their craft.

Travel Writing

With sites like Upwork, finding places to share your travel writing has never been easier. The key here is not to be discouraged when you don’t hear back immediately. Persistence pays huge dividends in the writing world. You may not make a huge amount of money writing for other websites and blogs.

But there is a great reason you should write for other digital or traditional publications--exposure. Writing on a popular website will drive traffic to your own blog.

PAY: Typically $20-100 for 500 to 1,000 words

Travel Photography

Use your passion for taking photos not only to build better articles on your blog but to help fund your travels. Top sites that will pay you for your photography include Snapwire, Shutterstock, and iStock.

PAY: Snapwire pays 70% of the listed request price. Shutterstock determines the amount per image you make by your total earnings.

Digital Courses

Putting together a digital course is another way to offer real value to your readers. Personally, I’m still skeptical of people trying to make a quick buck by throwing together a series of low-quality videos. But there are certainly many professional quality courses for fair prices available.

Sites like Udemy allow you to create courses and offer them to millions of people. Take your passion and find a way to teach others so they can gain the skills and confidence they need to succeed.

PAY: Sites like Udemy will help you reach a larger audience but charge for people they find to take your course. Teachable allows you to build your own course for a monthly prescription. The e-course market was worth 165 billion in 2015. (2)

Ebooks/Custom Guides

Offer Ebooks and travel guides directly through your blog. I have found that the best guides come from personal experience. Write about the places you know and love. While your hometown state may not seem interesting to you, nobody else knows more about the best places to eat or places to avoid.

PAY: Guides typically range from $5-100. Your income depends on the length, demand, and expertise.


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