You’ve launched your travel blog and are blogging away. It’s growing traffic-wise and your readers are loving what they’re reading. However, you’re wondering how to monetize a travel blog and make it profitable.
Because that next trip isn’t going to pay for itself!
And it would be great to at least cover the cost of your self-hosted WordPress site. Right?
You’re not alone. It’s common for new travel bloggers to look for tips on how to make money with a travel blog.
I know it can be a bit daunting at first, but let’s look at the top 10 unique ways to monetize a travel blog, that all the top bloggers use.
You want to finally start making an income with yours too!
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How To Monetize A Travel Blog: 10 Real Ways
If you’re just starting out as a travel blogger, there’s one thing I must remind you: you may not be making thousands of dollars just yet.
Don’t be disappointed if things start off slow.
Making a sustainable income with a blog – no matter the niche – requires some traffic and readers who trust you.
That comes over time when you’ve built up your personal brand.
Also, before we look at the different ways to monetize your travel blog, consider what will work best for your lifestyle.
Do you prefer a more passive or semi-passive way to earn money? Or are you OK with working with people or conducting promotion/monetization activities in a more active way?
This list includes a blend of the various types of monetization strategies. You’ll find those that work best with your travel blog niche and with your lifestyle.
Let’s get started!
1. Tourism Board Or Brand Partnerships
Partnerships with tourism boards or brands are a great way to make money as a travel blogger.
In most cases, you are creating sponsored content like blog posts, social media posts or sponsored newsletters.
This can be very lucrative as your blog and social media accounts grow and you gain an online presence.
If you’re a niche travel blogger, and have a specific audience, brands and tourism boards may have a greater interest in partnering with you.
| READ MORE: How To Get Sponsored Post Brand Collaborations
2. Offering Freelance Writing Services
Many online and traditional magazines, as well as newspapers, love to work with freelance travel writers.
For this opportunity, you’ll need to pitch the story to the magazine or newspaper’s editor that covers travel stories.
Make sure your blog content is in tip-top shape. It can act as your portfolio of work if you are just starting out as a freelance travel writer.
Read more about how to pitch as a freelance writer and land opportunities.
3. Join Affiliate Marketing Programs
One of the best ways to monetize a travel blog is to include affiliate marketing activities.
This is a semi-passive activity, which can bring in a good chunk of money each month if you do things right.
Partner with travel brands from transportation, hotels, travel excursions, gear and more.
Some of the best ones include:
Hotels Affiliate: Booking.com, Expedia, Hotels.com
Car Rental: Discover Cars, Rental Cars
Home Rental: Vrbo
Tours: Viator, Get Your Guide
| RELATED: How To Get Started With Affiliate Marketing – A Blogger’s Guide
4. Creating And Selling Digital Products
From courses to travel guides in eBook format, printables, checklists and more.
There are many types of travel-related digital products that you can sell.
Consider planners, virtual tours and even apps. Always start with the travel problem and work back from there. And figure out the best way to deliver the solution digitally.
The options are limitless with digital products!
For example, a popular digital product idea can be a digital itinerary template that you can create in Canva.
| RELATED: How To Create And Sell Digital Products On Your Own Blog
5. Creating An Online Course
An unusual way to make money with a travel blog is to produce a course that solves a common “how to” travel problem.
Some people will purchase a course on a travel topic.
For example, if you are a pro at solo travel, some wish to emulate that lifestyle. But they don’t know how!
Take them through a series of a few modules on different aspects of solo travel they need to know: from budgeting to safety.
You can sell the course on a platform such as Podia (also good for digital products), Teachable or even Thrivecart (their course platform upgrade).
| RELATED: Using Podia For Digital Product And Course Selling – A Full Review
5. Launching An Online Store
Selling digital products is one way to monetize a travel blog, but you can also sell physical products as well.
The easiest way to do this is to work with a print-on-demand supplier such as Printify.
This means that when somebody purchases, let’s say a t-shirt from your online shop, the supplier will print the t-shirt and send it to the customer on your behalf.
This is especially beneficial as you can be in the middle of your travels and don’t have access to physical stock.
6. Monetizing Social Media Channels
Travel works very well for Instagram reels or TikTok videos.
Consider all of the types of content you can promote – from destinations, hotel reviews, travel gear tips and more.
Some are more monetizable social media platforms than others.
You can monetize social media channels with these activities:
- Sponsored giveaways
- Platform-specific creator programs
- Sell merchandise
- Events and workshops
- Affiliate marketing
So consider this one of the ways to monetize your travel blog and social media accounts.
7. Selling Travel Photos And Videos
You may be wondering how to monetize a travel blog with photos and videos – because that seems a natural fit.
If you are a professional photographer or videographer who loves travel, it only makes sense to make money selling your images.
Not sure if your photos are up to snuff?
Upload them to Unsplash or Pexels for copyright-free use and test them to see if they are attracting interest.
If they are, you’re onto something with the idea of selling your travel photos.
8. Running Travel Tours
How to monetize a travel blog? Become a travel tour guide!
No, I kid… it’s a bit like being a travel agent, but it’s not.
You can do this in two ways:
- Work with a tour provider, leveraging their resources and contacts and you host the tours.
- You create your own tours and run them
The first way is easier, but you’re collaborating with another entity. Sometimes things can get stressful with expectations for success.
By running your tours, you’re in charge. Just be careful with protecting yourself legally and financially.
9. Tourism Board Collaboration – Media Tours
There are two ways to make money working with tourism boards.
The first is to be invited to participate in FAM trips (familiarization trips) – also called media trips.
This is where you are invited to participate in a special tour, including flights, hotels and food, for a few days.
In some cases, there is also compensation for a series of articles on your blog and social media or if you’re a freelance writer, with publications you successfully pitch.
The second way is more interesting and a bit rarer.
If you’ve worked closely with a tourism board and know a destination inside and out, you can end up working as a host for media tours.
Sometimes travel boards want to collaborate with “experts” and that expert may be you!
This is something you can do as a pro blogger. Put this idea in your “future monetization goals” plan.
PRO TIP: International FAM trips are for top travel bloggers. However, sometimes local and regional tourism boards in your area may invite you to participate in their tours. This is a perfect way to get experience and produce quality content to add to your site (that bigger tourism boards will notice).
10. Travel Consultation Services
This way to monetize a travel blog is quite lucrative and doesn’t require much effort on your part.
You can do this job from anywhere in the world – even your home base.
It’s where you take on clients who want you to create and plan their itineraries. You essentially become something of a travel agent.
You can keep things easy by creating an itinerary and having your client do all the booking.
Or you can also make the booking for them. This second option is more complicated as there is the handling of money.
You’ll need to make sure you cover yourself legally and financially through contracts.
11. Running Paid Advertising on Your Blog
One of the easiest ways to monetize a travel blog is through paid advertising.
Here are some of the best:
- Mediavine (need 50,000 sessions/month)
- AdThrive (need 100,000 sessions/month)
- SHE Media (need 20,000 sessions/month but may get with less)
- Google Ads
While I can understand why bloggers with huge amounts of traffic place ads (they do make money), smaller bloggers who are growing their sites may avoid them altogether.
Because ads do two things for new and growing bloggers: they slow a site down with cluttered ads and they don’t make enough money to justify the first part.
Save this monetization activity for when you are getting a whole lot of blog traffic.
In the meantime, focus on writing travel blog posts that your readers love.
| RELATED: How To Grow Your Blog Traffic With Three Smart Strategies
12. Monetize Your Travel Podcast Or YouTube Channel
Finally, let’s talk about podcasts or YouTube channels. They can be an extension of your travel blog.
And they can also be monetized through the following methods:
- Affiliate mentions and links in descriptions/notes
- Sponsored content
- Premium content (exclusive interviews with travel industry experts)
- Donations (Patreon account, Buy Me A Coffee)
Grow Your Travel Blog And Grow Your Monetization Strategies
As you grow your travel blog, you’ll start seeing new ways to monetize it open up to you.
Traffic plays an important role in what you can do when it comes to making money.
However, remember, when an opportunity arises take the risk!
You never know if a monetization strategy will work for you until you try it.
Be aware of blog monetization mistakes and how to fix them.
Having a positive money mindset, and big blog goals can make the dream of being a digital nomad a reality sooner than you think.
To jumpstart your monetization strategy make sure to invest in your blog and you can do so by making some extra cash online with easy, legitimate online income-generating activities.
Before you go, check out 100+ digital product ideas that you can create and sell, including many that you can adapt for the travel niche:
Take a moment to check out these travel-related blogging and social media posts:
- 60+ Travel Blog Post Topics To Inspire Your Readers
- 100+ Travel Quotes For Captions And Posts On Instagram
- 100+ Travel Hashtags For Instagram Posts And Reels
Bonus tip: Love food and travel? Maybe it’s time to start a food blog that’s all about culinary adventures and bringing the cuisines of the world into your own home. Learn about the key steps to starting a lucrative food blog.
QUESTION: What do you think is the best way to monetize a travel blog?
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