There are lots of webmasters that don’t make a dime from their travel blog. One travel blogger was so frustrated with his travel blog that he sent me a message on Facebook asking me to explain him the various ways to make money from his blog. He told me that Adsense had not approved his blog and was thinking of giving up. I did name a few Adsense alternatives but the truth is that Adsense is the not the best way to monetise any website let alone a travel website or blog. So let’s take a look at various ways to make money from a travel blog.
For more information on how to start a travel blog, you can read about it here. In short, you will need a domain name, good web hosting service like SiteGround, content management system like preferably WordPress (or Blogger) and bit of creativity.
# Sell your own products
This is perhaps the best way to make money. Most people will assume you are an expert on the topic hence you maintain a travel blog. The reason why I stated my own travel blog about India is because being Indian and someone who actually have travelled in India and abroad felt that I can do travel blogging. Now that I am expert why not sell your own products which can be in the form of ebooks/books, organise itineraries and so on. This is exactly what I am currently doing. You can see my author profile on Amazon and the list of travel related books that I have on offer.
The only trouble with this is the time that it takes time to create the products. The second trouble is the marketing, keyword research, reviews and a host of other things. Basically if you aren’t going down the traditional publishing route, you just have to do everything yourself from publishing to promoting.
# Contextual advertising
When we think of contextual adverting, we think of Adsense. Indeed, Adsense is the most credible and most profitable of all contextual adverting programmes out there. But most professional bloggers are of the view that Adsense is the worst thing you can do to your site. The reason is that when someone clicks on the ads, you do get paid but you lose a potential reader. Another issue with Adsense is that you really need a huge amount of traffic to make some decent sum of money from them. When I say decent, it means more than 10,000 unique views a day.
Anyway, if you did want to go down this route, other than Adsense others include infolinks, Bing Network Contextual Ads, kontera etc.
# Affiliate marketing
This is another great way to make a decent sum of money from your travel blog. You see this image of the camera; if you were to click on it and buy it then I will get paid a bit of money from Amazon. The camera is supposed to be one of the best ones for travelling hence I decided to place it here for people to take a look. If they liked it, they would would buy it and I would get paid. Remember most of the buyers are from the United States, the most prosperous country in the word. I don’t even bother with other countries. My experience tells me that if I were to sell 10 products (my books), 8 out of them are from America. Amazon.com is one of the most stable shopping sites and has a reputable affiliate programme. You can monetize your blog posts with Amazon affiliate products. You can even set up a recommended products page like I have done here. You can also do product reviews and include your affiliate links in it.
# Hotel bookings
I have also joined various hotel booking sites and have realised that they are all bogus. Most people who come to travel sites don’t really come to book tickets but to get free information and converting traffic like that is like banging your head on the wall. But there is no harm in trying various programmes and see if converts or not. Just type in hotel affiliate programmes and there are so shortages of hotel affiliate programmes.
# Selling holidays and air line tickets
Again you can do this as a part of an affiliate programme but my experience tells me that it’s not worth the time. Most visitors to your sites are looking for free information and not to book holidays or fares. I have set one page up and have closely monitored my commissions. To be honest I have made a few bucks here but not something that I would actively pursue. So go ahead and find something decent, it doesn’t cost me or the passenger anything but I get a share.
# Offer services
You can offer your own services from search engine optimisation to writing services. The world of internet is a very hungry place and content is gobbled up at a very rapid pace. With all the Panda and Penguine updates, placing less emphasis on links and more on content; content has become more important than ever before. Why not offer writing your own SEO or writing services. Take a look at what I offer that earns me a bit of money every month. You know what they – every little helps!
# Trip planning service
I tried this and would have to say that it’s not a great earner. I did get some enquiries but never really took off. I had an issue with the organiser. I will revisit this idea again in the future! Basically the idea is that a potential traveller approaches you about their travels and you make an itinerary for them for a small amount of money. You can offer your services via plansify (here’s my profile).
# Offer advice for money
I am currently offering this service and again it has not been a money spinner. I had some enquires and most of the travellers expect free advice. Once I offered advice on Skype and I did not get paid for it. Some people think that in the internet age, information is supposed to be free. But they don’t realise that behind a blog there is a person behind it.
# Sell blog posts
Some bloggers are charging money for posts that can run into 100’s of dollars. As long as you mention sponsored post somewhere in the post then that’s fine. You just have to be careful about that you do not go overboard with this.
# Sell text links
This is the most controversial of them all. Google has clearly stated that it does not like selling links. Mat Cutts, Google’s (now former) head of spam has talked about this time and time again that they do not like this at all. But some people go around this by guest posting and this is why many companies will approach to place a guest post on your blog. You can make good money from this but you need to be careful.
# Start a directory on the website
You can start a directory on your website and offer paid placements in the form of links on your website. If you are using WordPress then there’s a number of plugins you can use. Just do a search for using the word “directory plugin for WordPress” and you will get a range to choose from.
I hope some of these blog monetization techniques have been useful. If you have a travel blog then you can implement them on your website and see which ones works best for you.
I have a written an ebook called, “How To Start A Travel Blog And Make Money” which goes through the entire process of starting a travel blog and making money from it. If I can start a blog then anyone can.
There is one tip that I have left out which I hope to reveal in the near future. The tip is worth weight in gold and hence would like to keep it to myself and no right minded blogger will reveal it. Some blog monetising secrets are never told. But I am dying to tell you (honestly). So if you are interested, I suggest you subscribe to my blog now and keep an eye on it so that you don’t miss out.
How you do you monetize your blog or your travel blog if you have one?