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.
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.
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 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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