Travel Blogging
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How Do I Make Money Travel Blogging? And How Much!

I remember almost one year ago, I wrote an article on How To Save Money For Travel. I mean they were still those early days of blogging when I was spending all the money I needed to travel, from my savings, because my blog hadn’t started generating results. Moving one year later, where I stand today is a break-even point, meaning I don’t make profits or could save any money through blogging but I don’t pay for my trips either.

It (my blog), very recently, took me across Europe for two months and all I paid from the pocket was 70 thousand Indian Rupees, including my returning flight from India, which I would have earned through blogging during those two months travelling. [Read: How did I travel two months in Europe in less than 70 thousand Rupees]

So the question remains, How exactly do I make money? How do I fund my travels? Do I have sponsors? Who is paying me to travel the world? And how you can do that too!

To fund my long-term travel lifestyle, I make money different ways.

Brand/Tourism Board Partnerships

Companies and tourism boards pay or sometimes barter for their services to advertise on this blog and/or my social media accounts to reach out to my audience. It takes many forms, like sponsored blog posts, Instagram features, or newsletter mentions. At this moment, where my blog stands, the most deal I get is barter deals — that either let my blog grow or let me travel places for free.

Examples include deals with respected companies like Basel Tourism and Frankfurt Tourism.

I always include a disclaimer at the bottom if I’m partnering with a brand and only work with companies that I admire and trust.

Affiliate Links

Sometimes when I share my favourite travel gear, photography equipment, or things I recommend, I include special affiliate tracking links to those products. This means if you decide to click through and buy something, I’ll receive a small commission. The price remains the same whether you use my special link or not.

There are many companies including Amazon.com, Booking.com, WorldNomads.com, Skyscanner.com, and others, that offer affiliate programs in travel industry. However the problem is, some of them do not offer affiliate services in countries like India, so make sure you read their terms before you apply for their affiliate program. I currently use and get most of my affiliate revenue from Amazon and Booking.com.

Here’s a good example of one of my pages full of affiliate links: Travel Gear I Use And Where Can You Buy It

Freelancing

Freelancing helps make some money from time to time, especially during any blogger’s early days. So find some source of freelance income. I’ve done numerous jobs on freelance platforms like Upwork and Freelancer related to travel writing or photography. Other than this, look for more niche and local travel magazines — in online and offline space.

How Much Do I Make Overall?

I know, I know. You want details. Asking someone exactly how much money they make is a very personal question, and it’s not something I’m entirely comfortable posting, but I’ll give you an idea.

On a big picture, and as I said earlier, I am at break-even, which means I do not save anything, but I’m not paying anything from my pocket for travelling either. Though I still have to follow humble roots and travel the world on a budget, I’m also I am happy at least I can keep living like this, for as long as I want (with only better waiting on the other side, despite moving slowly!).

And the reason why I’m at break-even is that there are also many expenses with running my blog. Website hosting, equipment, travel expenses, etc. No one paid me to fly from Delhi to Europe and back, for example, they also have to be commissioned from somewhere. And that’s where a little from Affiliate marketing, Adsense and Brand Partnerships help, thanks to my blog. And when that’s not enough, a couple of Freelance jobs fulfil the need.

The reality is that even now, I actually have no idea how and how much I’ll make next month. Or the month after that. It’s one downside to working for yourself. In exchange for freedom, you often lose some security.

But I’ll choose freedom over security any day.

And hey, I know what it’s like to live in a cave if it ever came down to that. 🙂

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Filed under: Travel Blogging

by

Shortly after my first real nine-to-five job, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in my backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to stay in one place. I believe that with a little courage and inspiration, everyone has the power to follow their dreams. Just as I've followed mine!

20 Comments

  1. Nice post. I have been blogging professionaly from last two years. But I have a very different experience to share here. Though I have been earning from my blog, but it is only sustainable. I don’t think that I can live a life by only doing blogging and earning such flexible and uncertain amount of money each month. I took a break from my job one & half years back and now when I see myself financially I am nowhere close to where I was two years back. Travelling Blogging seems quite interesting and glamourous from far, but reality hits you hard when you have to maintain your lifestyle in a city like Delhi where from house rent to electricity bills, you have to pay them each month. I am sharing my thoughts from my own experience. So, I don’t mind having a fix income from a job and also continuing travel blogging.

    • Lovely to get to know both perspectives! I am a beginner – a month old blogger and got addicted to blogging already! (if I may say so) I was contemplating taking a break and devoting full time to blogging but I have quite a few EMI’s to take care of! After reading through Dev’s articles I realised that there are a plethora of options but they aren’t easy to bag, and the need for a fixed income like Parnashree says is also crucial at this stage of my life. I wish there was an awesome way to balance both! Sigh!

  2. I have been following the lifestyle you describe since 2015 and have visited and photographed 59 countries and counting now. The only thing I make money from you did not describe is photography work 1. Selling photos for other travel bloggers to use in articles they write if they are not proficient with a camera. Putting photos that are of poor quality hurt you readership. 2. My wife and I are over 65 and get a small pension each month that lets us live on a tight budget but does let us see the world.

    • This is great John. I also tried selling photos on platforms like Shutterstock and 500px, among others. Though I did manage to make a little, I’d not count it as a source of income. Can you please share your insights and experiences how to see your photos and make good money out of it? How do you do it? Thanks 🙂

  3. I got you in this! I’m doing freelance thingy and that helps me support my travel as well. Affiliate links could be great but you really need to expend effort on those but then again, they’re a great source of income. Most travel bloggers would get their free travel via brand campaigns 😀 we love this job!

  4. You’re living the life that I want. But I have loans so I choose freedom over security right now I’m not gonna make it. It’s good to know some options available though should I decide to become a nomad for real. I have an Agoda affiliate but I don’t earn that much from it. I get sponsored posts sometimes but they don’t really pay that much. Would look up some of the options you mentioned like the skyscanner affiliate.

  5. a very informative read. Often people think making money blogging is easy. But I know it’s not. There has to be a lot of hard work put behind it. I have been exploring some of these channels but not all. And I know how much you would have worked to reach till here 🙂

  6. Wow! This is an interesting read. Ive been blogging three months now and am yet to monetize so you have given me some great ideas! Thanks for sharing and well done on your success!

    • Cheers Emily. And good luck with your blog. I hope you’ll make good living out of it 🙂

  7. Dev – I had read this one after reading about the awesome 70K trip to Europe. Very sound information. For newbies, is there recommendation on which affiliate programs worked best for you ? I would like to start seeing the blog make money 🙂

    • Hi Swati, thanks for stopping by. For affiliate programs, I think it totally depends on what kind of audience you have. For a quick answer and an assurance, check how many repeated users you’ve. If your blog has good retention rate, and same readers and coming back to your blog again and again, then it means you should definitely invest some time in affiliate programs, because your readers have faith in you, and they’re going to buy products recommended by you. But if this isn’t the case with your blog, then affiliate programs are a waste of time. I hope I made a point.
      Moreover I’ll definitely recommend Amazon and Booking.com… if you’re into travel blogging. 🙂

  8. Mihaela says

    That is great, Dave! You have such an amazing job, keep on creating quality content.

  9. Thank you for sharing your story and experience. I think it’s great that you have built your income sufficiently to cover costs of doing something you truly love. Plus now that you have reached this point, it can only get better from here and you will shortly be making money for other things as well. Best of luck to you in following your passion and sharing with others.

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