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How I Sustain My Travel Needs To How Much Money I Make From Blogging

 

This article was written back in 2017, and since then many things have changed about my income sources, and about how I sustain my life of travelling. I even started a hospitality business in the Himalayas in India in 2018 which further added to my revenue source. So if you want to read the updated version of how I make money travel blogging and how I sustain the life of travelling as I enter in 2019, click here.Or continue reading how I sustained my travel-blogging life back in 2017… 

My blog, very recently, took me across Europe for two months and all I paid from the pocket was 70 thousand Indian Rupees —  in buying a return flight from India and the visa — because everything else was pretty much sponsored by tourism boards or independent travel companies.

Later, in September and October, in 2017, I did an all-expenses covered (including flight tickets from India) media trips to Malaysia and Germany, respectively.

So yea, moving ahead in 2017, I’ve started getting sponsored travel more frequently, and it is because of these free trips that I’m exploring so many places. Other than sponsored travel, I’ve also started making a little money here and there to sustain my lifestyle. But the question remains, how much money do I exactly make? How do I fund my travels?

From Making Money To Sponsored Travel: This Is How I Fulfill My Travel Dreams As A Travel Blogger

Brand/Tourism Board Partnerships: For Free Travel

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, most of the deal I get are barter deals — meaning, I don’t get paid to travel but my experiences, stay and transportation is taken cared by the brand.

Examples include Fam trips with tourism boards like Basel Tourism and Frankfurt Tourism in March-April, where the tourism departments gave me free stay, a mobility ticket to use public transport during my period of stay and a few lunch and dinner coupons. These were the first few travel sponsorships I gained during my 2-month Europe backpacking trip.

Later, I was also invited on a fully-covered FAM trip by Germany Tourism Board and Selangor Tourism Board (in Malaysia) where, again, I wasn’t paid anything, but my flight from India to stay to food to experiences —  everything was covered. And in return, I was expected to promote the destinations on my blog and social media channels.

How Much Money I Make From Travel Blogging

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.

To give you the big picture, I am at a break-even point, 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 things waiting on the other side of the shore, 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 arranged from somewhere. And that’s where a little money I make from Affiliate marketing, freelancing, and the other ways I make money come into the picture. Since the last six months or so, I’ve been earning somewhere between 30-50 thousand Indian Rupees a month.

But 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 Here Are A Few Ways How I Make Money From Blogging

Product Affiliations

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 the 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 applying 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

But given my website stats and readership, the money I make from Affiliate marketing is often very less. But with increasing pageviews, I am sure it’s only going to increase.

Freelancing

Freelancing helps in making money from time to time, especially during a blogger’s early days. So find a good source of freelance income.

During my initial days of blogging, I relied on freelancing platforms like Upwork and Freelancer for finding any travel writing or photography related work. With increasing credibility as a travel blogger, I now write for a couple of print magazines and an in-flight magazine.

Blogging Workshops

Teaching your fans about the art of travel blog, sharing all the knowledge you’ve acquired and charging making money for it is another way how I make money from time to time. I also speak in colleges and travel forums as and when I get an opportunity.

So far, I’ve organised 5 blogging workshops in Delhi and 2 in Bangalore. I even have one blogging workshop planned in Mumbai. Often, I charge 1200 Rupees per person for a 3-4 hour blogging workshop and the total strength of the attendees is around 7 people.

But there are more ways to make money from Blogging. Read this detailed article I’ve written on Different Ways You Can Make Money From Travel Blogging

Filed under: Travel Blogging

by

After my couple of years of corporate career, I left that lifestyle behind, and with it, everything that didn't fit in a backpack. I've learned that this world is too big (and too interesting!) to spend your life working at one place, and that's what inspires me to remain footloose and fancy-free for the rest of my life!

24 Comments

  1. Priyanka Gupta says

    Hey Dev,

    Was looking for information on pitching to tourism boards. You have some useful information out here. Please keep up the good work.

    As my followers are less, I would try to pitch to local tour companies and hotels, as you said.

    • Yes Priyanka, that would help. I’d suggest taking the list of hotels out from hotel aggregation websites like booking.com and then checking each hotel’s website to get their email and contact them. I am sure hotels would be interested in partnering. Do this for sometime until you have an impressive portfolio. This will also help you travel more are you will save 100% on accommodation. good luck 🙂

  2. Evan Addison says

    Wow, I received valuable information from your blog. I love to travel. Occasionally there is a lot of trouble in traveling. You have told me how to use money and how to save money on travelling. Nice to read your blog.

  3. pawan kumar says

    thanks a lot for sharing these tips blogging can prove to be best career option

  4. Parnashree Devi says

    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.

    • rommanne says

      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!

  5. John Rodgers says

    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 🙂

  6. mamta balani says

    hi, good one. How can I start over travel blog and can travel like you sponsored by travel agencies? plz guide me.

  7. Peace and Love says

    this is mindblowing. 2 months at such price!!! kudos!

  8. Jerny says

    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!

  9. Marge says

    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.

  10. 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 🙂

  11. Emily says

    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 🙂

  12. 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. 🙂

  13. Mihaela says

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

  14. 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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