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It’s the number one question on everyone’s mind. I don’t know whether to take it as a compliment that people are interested or is it overstepping the mark. Personally, I love telling people about this ‘new’ job that wasn’t around 20 years ago, so I am happy to share with the world how I make money travel blogging.
I started blogging when I was 18 years old. I was sitting in my lounge with my flatmates (Debbie, do you remember?!) when we were talking about travel blogging. I had watched a documentary about Gala Darling, who’s a Kiwi that lives in New York now and owns the popular travel blog ‘Gala Darling’. Her story inspired me to start one of my own. I hated working for other people in mindless jobs (like being a pizza girl when I was 16) and I wanted to be my own boss one day so I started anitahendrieka.com. It wasn’t a travel blog, but more of what I am thinking, loving and making. It was a DIY, lifestyle blog with absolutely no direction and really bad grammar. I cringe to even think about it now. When I left NZ at 19 it was still live, but later on in the year I started writing about my travels and decided that it was a bit hard to do DIY stuff when your travelling so it become Anita Hendrieka – the travel blog. It wasn’t until last year that I decided to take it seriously and later in the year after months of work I started to make money off it. Nowadays, it’s my full-time job and my little baby business. I wanted to be my own boss ever since I was young; having a business I could call my own was my ultimate lifetime goal.
Being a flexible is key. You have to be creative about how you can make money because there is no rules and no handbook about how to run your blog and make money. So without further ado, here’s some different ways that I earn money.
- Sponsored content
Some of my articles on my website are sponsored, which mean a company has come to me saying “Hey Anita, can you write about Amsterdam and include our business in it somehow for this amount of money?”. Some people question, “Well, doesn’t that mean you’re getting paid to talk about it?” Yes and no. I am getting paid to link to that business, but the article itself will always be something that I love or am passionate about. I am not going to write about something if I don’t believe in it.
I got to be honest: advertising does NOT earn me a lot of money. It used to be the number one way to make money, but I think these days, with the internet so saturated, there’s so much content that an ad on my site will probably only pay for a few meals. But hey, that’s a few meals I didn’t get before! It all counts, I suppose.
Affiliate links are links which I spread throughout my website that I receive commission for when you buy something from that website. I recommend Agoda.com if you’re looking for a hotel in Bangkok or Hotels.com if you’re looking for a cute little Irish cottage in Ireland! See what I did? When you click on those links the website recognises that you came off my website and if you purchase accommodation I get a commission. I think a lot of people are anti-affiliate because they think if they click on my link that they will get charged more. This is NOT the case. You won’t pay any more than you were going to; it just means I get a little money into my pocket instead of it all going to that company. So, next time you want to purchase accommodation make sure you come to my website 😉 Recently, I set up a shop on my website to maximise my affiliate sales too!
- Products I make
I sell my very own e-course for travel bloggers that want to turn their travel blog into a business. Products are one of the best ways to earn money from travel blogging these days. I don’t understand why so many bloggers still to this day don’t do this?! If you have the audience and you want to help them in some way by making their life easier, then why not?
I usually don’t make much money doing reviews as it’s usually in exchange for something. For example, I went to the Polo Bar in London and tried their companies and cocktails and in return I did a review on my website for them. It all depends on what you’re reviewing whether you charge or not because you have worked out the value of the product or service and the value of yourself to know whether to charge or do an exchange of services.
- Press trips
The fantasy of travel blogging is when a tourism board or the company decides to pay accommodation, food and plane fare to an exotic location. Some are paid and some are not. In the past, the press trips I have done have not been paid, but these days I am charging because these days my opinion and website is valuable. Believe it or not, press trips are sometimes really hard because you’re getting pulled left and right doing endless activities and seeing sights whilst trying to write, still finish work for other companies and keeping up with your website. It’s kind of like going holiday but you still have to work full-time. Time is VERY valuable, which is why I believe all press-trips should be paid. Saying that this is my number one favourite thing to do because I get to go to new locations that I might have not thought about before and get to pursue my hobby, travelling!
Freelancing is something that I have been offered to do because of my travel blog. I currently write for websites like Hostel Bookers, Hostels.com and cheapflights.com. I basically get paid to write an article that they will put up on their website and not mine. It’s great to get your name out there whilst getting a regular income!
So, I guess the next question is, how much do I earn travel blogging? I was brought up that asking what people earn is really rude so I probably won’t be answering that question anytime soon. Maybe in the future when I earn millions of dollars (Ha!). No, but seriously, bloggers can earn anything from $5 to $10,000 a month. As I said, blogging doesn’t have a rule book so there is no minimum and no maximum a travel blogger can earn. It all depends on what their goals are and how much time and effort goes into their business! I hope that this has answered the question on how I make money travel blogging. If you have any other questions please do leave them below and I will answer them for you.
*Disclaimer: I am not saying you need to do this in order to make money on your travel blog; I am simply being open and honest how I make money with MY travel blog.
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