The ideal way of calculating the profitability of your business is by comparing the total effort and money you’ve invested in it so far vs what you’ve gained out of it. It has been more than 1.5 months since I’ve been blogging now, and I think it’s about time I ask myself how profitable blogging has been, for me, so far!
During all this time of full-time blogging, I’ve personally calculated the benefits almost every day, but it would be only unfair if I kept the secret to myself and not shared. Though of course, it’s practically impossible to go back in time and share every tiny detail but I’ll still give you an idea.
Different Ways I Make Money Right Now
Direct Earning: Since the last six months or so, I’ve been earning somewhere around 10-50 thousand Indian Rupees a month, from my blog. And to do so, I use a mix of different revenue sources — ranging from writing sponsored posts on my blog to running Google Adsense to placing affiliate links and earning from it. All this is the direct money this blog generates for me. Some indirect ways it generates me money, include: giving blogging workshops and charging for it, organising group tours, and writing freelance for a few print/online travel magazines.
Sponsored Or (Free) Media Trips Because Of My Blog: There’s no denying the fact that if you’ve started travel blogging, no matter how good or bad you write, you’re eventually going to get (free) sponsored trips. It’s almost as voluntary and inevitable as drinking water after food. I get my first free blogging trip after 3 or 4 months of my blogging stint. And as my blog gained more popularity, free trips only became bigger and more frequent. [Read: Getting Your First Few Sponsored Trips]
For an instance, during my recent trip to Europe, I only had to spend between 70 thousand Rupees, including flight costs (READ HOW) because everything else was sponsored. I’d free dinner coupons at many places, free public transport, prepaid hotels at most of the places — all because I was on media trips in 6 different countries. Tourism boards in Germany, Switzerland, Austria, Slovakia and Hungary were supporting my travel in one way or the other.
If I’d paid money for each and every activity I tried in Europe, whether it was a 3 hour 150 Euro (or INR 10,000) VIP Entry to Vatican Museums or a 7 hour 200 Euro Segway Tour, I’d have bled at leas 10 lakh Indian Rupees. But since my blog helped me gain free tours, I only paid 60 or 70 thousand. Now tell me if you won’t count that as an income?
Then, later in September and October I’d an all-paid-for (even flights from Delhi and visas) media trip to Malaysia and Germany respectively.
How Much Have I Invested In The Business So Far
Given that I know a bit of all — from minor WordPress coding to improving SEO, and photoshop-ing as a rookie computer designer — I handled all backend myself so far. I’ve even built my website — right from its homepage to its coded sidebars — by myself. No outsiders involved. But even if I’d hired someone, it wouldn’t have cost much, because such a skill is cheaper in India.
The only investment I’ve done so far is of buying hosting and the domain name. And how much they cost in 1.5 years? Definitely not more than 10 thousand Indian Rupees!
Other than this, I’ve invested in a 70k DSLR, a 30k notebook and a few other things to complete my blogging and other travel essentials — and I was technically equipped to compete with any other digital-nomad out there.
So, calculating the benefits of running a travel blog, in a nutshell, and putting them in three words, Id say… They Are Countless!
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