Wondering how much money travel bloggers make in India or how much do I make from blogging? This article will answer all your questions!
Update/January 2021: This blog was originally written in 2017, and since then many things have changed about my source of blogging income.
I also started a hospitality business in the Himalayas (called Footloose Camps) in 2018, which further adds 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 2021, click here.
But please note, if you’re starting as a travel blogger in India and wondering how much money Indian travel bloggers make, I suggest you read this article and get a good idea of my revenue sources when my blog was about one year old (this will give you an idea how much you can expect during your initial 1-2 years). Later, read the article I shared the link above to get an idea about a travel blogger’s salary in India if someone is 4-5 years old in the industry.
Now, let’s get started…
How Much Travel Bloggers Make In India
Before we discuss the particulars, I want to give a basic idea that there is more to in this game than just hard cash.
For example, my blog took me across Europe for two months (between March and May) and all I paid from my pocket was 70 thousand Indian Rupees — in buying a return flight from India and paying for my Schengen visa. Everything else was sponsored by local government tourism boards.
Here’s a quick video of my 2-month Europe tour from my youtube channel…
And later, this year in September and October 2017, I have been invited by the Malaysian and German governments for a press trip (all expenses covered).
Other than hard cash, travel blogging gives you a lot of free trips. I mean if I talk about my Europe trip, I spent only 70k Rupees. But if I add the value of all the free things I did in Europe (including a 15,000 Rupee Vatican Tour and a 10,000 Rupee per night hotel room in Frankfurt) I tried at least 10 Lakh worth of travel experiences.
So yea, other than hard cash, you get a lot of other benefits too.
Brand/Tourism Board Partnerships
On the basis of how much influencer and experience you have, tourism boards either pay you or do a barter. Barter as in they offer free travel for promotion of their services/destination. Since I am a one and a half years old blogger at the moment, organisations want to work with me on a barter basis. They see less return on investment from my blog (but this will change as my reach will increase over time).
In a barter deal, they offer me things like a free hotel stay, a free trip or a free flight ticket in return for promotions on my channels. It takes many forms, like sponsored blog posts, Instagram features, or newsletter mentions.
Again, 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 care of by the brand.
Related Read: How to contact tourism boards for travel blogging sponsorships
But then, free travel doesn’t suffice and the question remains… what is the salary of Indian travel bloggers?
How much money do travel bloggers in India make? How much do I make?
So let’s talk about that, perhaps!
How Much Money I Make From Blogging
How Much Money Do I Actually Make
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, photography equipment, travel expenses, etc. And that’s where a little money I make from Affiliate marketing, freelancing, and other ways gets invested.
For the last six months, travel blogging is helping me earn somewhere between 20-50 thousand Indian Rupees a month.
But the reality is that a travel blogger never knows how much money he is going to make the next month, or the month after that. It’s one downside to working for yourself.
To give you some idea… my income at this moment remains anywhere between 20 to 50 thousand Rupees in a month. Since you understand its a freelance work, I do not have a fixed amount of money coming into my account every month (like a salaried employee). If I get a few projects, whether they are social media projects where I need to promote a brand on my Instagram channel, or a sponsored blog post request, I make decent money. Else, the income remains on the lower side.
But then again, and as I said above, as my blog will grow older and my Instagram and Facebook page will have more followers, I will start getting more work, and more payout!
And well, remember to take a passport photo online before you set off on your travels, because you never know when you may need one!
And speaking of different ways of making money from travel blogging in India at this moment, here are some…
How I Make Money From Travel Blogging
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. Here’s a good example of a similar page I wrote on Motorcycle Accessories with affiliate links.
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, that many companies do not offer affiliate services in India, so make sure you read their terms before applying for their affiliate program.
Other than Amazon I use this network called TravelPayouts that brings together over 90 travel affiliate programs (including brands like Booking.com, TripAdvisor, GetYourGuide, etc.). Also, the rates and commissions of the programs on Travelpayouts are mostly as good as or better than the ones of direct affiliate programs.
So yea, if you’re planning to add affiliate marketing as a source of your blogging income, especially your travel blogging income, try TravelPayouts.
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.
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.
I hope this article helped you answer the travel blogger salary in India, or how much a travel blogger earns in India. If you have any questions, leave a comment below!
Also Read: Different Ways To Make Money Travel Blogging
It is nice to see that how one can survive with the blogging as his career . since you have revealed the other ways of earning money while blogging. thank you for sharing such a informative article.
i am a civil servant and looking forward to travel alot. Thanks for sharing your expertise. it will surely be helpful.
Hi , prashant m preparing for civili services and mean while m confused if ill became civil servant then i hv enough time to get travelling or not ??? And thats the reason i get confused for this exam or i hv to do full time travelling, cn u please help me out that cn i get enough time for travelling after became civil servant ??
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 🙂
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.
Thanks Evan. Glad you found it useful.
thanks a lot for sharing these tips blogging can prove to be best career option
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!
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 🙂
hi, good one. How can I start over travel blog and can travel like you sponsored by travel agencies? plz guide me.
this is mindblowing. 2 months at such price!!! kudos!
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!
haha. Love the way you said, “we love this job”. Sure we do!
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.
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 🙂
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 🙂
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. 🙂
That is great, Dave! You have such an amazing job, keep on creating quality content.
Traveled to Europe for just 70k? This is amazing…
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.
Cheers Nicole. Thank for an inspiring comment 🙂