What do you ACTUALLY do? If I got a dollar for every time someone asked me this, I would be a rich woman. Still to this day being a travel blogger or any type of blogger, in general, is still an absolute mystery and I feel like I still have to try and convince people that I don’t sell drugs on the side or am a stripper. Just to confirm, I DON’T do either of those. I am truly JUST a travel blogger.
So, for those people who are still utterly confused as to what I do then here’s the (not so) secret life of a travel blogger.
It’s a beautiful morning, the suns out, it’s 30 degrees already at 9am and I have just woken up in a pile of money with champagne bottles surrounding me… NOT. You see, my life is simple. There’re no secrets to be a travel blogger, there’s no special formula, it’s a job which was created only in the last 25 years and the best part? You create your own job. There’s no rule book or expectations, you do what you want to do and do it how you want.
What is a travel blogger exactly?
Simple answer: A travel blogger is someone who travels around the world and writes about it online using a website.
Not so simple answer: A travel blogger is someone who travels around the world and writes about it online. But also I take photos, edit those photos professionally, record video content, edit video content, writing website content for other travel websites as well as mine, digital marketer for my social media accounts which include Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Twitter, Flipboard, Snapchat, Google+, website designer (amateur), graphic maker, being a receptionist (back and forth emailing with potential clients), finding new clients, pitching, press interviews, booking future travels (flights, accommodation, tours, finding the best unique things to do), Scheduling social media, uploading guest posts (sometimes people write for my website), handling financial records (accounting), networking with other travel bloggers, taking courses and attending meetings and conferences.
Now, do you believe me that I work full-time?
When I started out being a travel blogger all I did was write and publish (and maybe post on Facebook). But now blogging is not as simple as just writing something and then publishing it anymore. There’s a lot more to the job now and a lot of different hats to be worn.
So, you do all these jobs but let’s talk about money… How do you earn actual coin from this job?
Again, lots of different ways. Let me try and explain it and in detail.
(Note: $ is USD and this is per month)
Ads – $400 – $500
I am joined to an ad network called Mediavine. You will see on my website I have ads running. This is a big chunk of where my money comes from. I get 35,000+ page views per month and earn between $400 – $500 USD every month (it varies month to month). This is the best income because once set up this is totally passive. As long as I am building my readership my income keeps rising.
Sponsored articles – $1500-$3000
Every month I get requests from travel companies asking for an article to be placed on my website which includes a link back to their website.
Freelance work – $500 – $1000
Sometimes I do one-off jobs for different brands and companies. This is not usually directly related to my website, but I do get these jobs through my influence and professionalism that I have grown through my travel blog.
Affiliate income – $100-$300
I recommend products and services that I love on my website and social media. If people click and book within a certain amount of time then I get a percentage of that booking. You don’t pay any more than you usually would but instead of (for example) booking getting the profit, I get a percentage of that, so this helps me keep my website running!
Press-trips – $0 – $2000
Tourism boards, tour companies, and brands sometimes send travel bloggers on amazing trips to cool locations to promote a certain destination or service. Depending on the kind of trip and services wanted (license to my photos, a video, social media posts) then I charge per trip or per day. The price varies totally on what the client wants and how much time I have to take off my normal work and other jobs.
I sell my own products – $200-$500
I also run another site called Anita be a digital nomad where I sell e-courses and e-books about different aspects of travel blogging. Since Pinterest has been my most successful social media platform and one that I am most passionate about I also teach other bloggers how they can achieve amazing results through Pinterest. Earning vary a lot from month to month but I usually earn a minimum of $200 a month from this.
As you can see, the income varies from month to month. It all depends on my travel plans, clients, and readership, so the income of a travel blogger can never be known exactly. Every website differs in readerships, prices, clients and the kind of work they do. Just because a website has more readers as another does not mean they earn more too. It’s all about quality. Often niche sites earn more than bigger websites.
I also asked on Instagram if you had any other questions that you wanted to ask and know openly and honestly:
Where to start?! Do you have sponsors? If so, how do you require them?
I don’t personally have regular sponsors, but I do acquire one-off sponsors. Every month I do sponsored articles and content for companies. These days, most of them arrive in my inbox and that’s how I acquire them. The other way is through Facebook groups. Join as many as you can! Quite often people are looking for travel bloggers for certain projects. They usually provide a google form which you fill out with your information and if you’re successful you will hear back. You can also contact as many content managers and ask to be put on email lists for any upcoming jobs that they might have. When you’re starting out it’s all about getting your name out there and networking! Then as you grow, people will start coming to you.
Are you really a full-time blogger or are you a drug dealer?
Full-time blogger, I swear.
I’m curious how long it took to make a viable or even semi-viable income from your blog?
Everyone is different but here’s my personal story. I have been blogging for 7 years now. I would say it took me two-three years to even start making an ‘income’ and for it to be viable to live off. But as I said earlier in the article income can vary a lot. I have had months in the past where I have had the most amazing month in terms of income and then the next is HARD. It also depends on where I’m living and where I travel. I know bloggers who earned a good amount of money in the first year and other bloggers have taken 5+ years. It all depends on how you go about it, how much time you have to dedicate to growing it, your expertise and sometimes, it’s luck.
What’s the main reason that was holding you back from blogging full-time before you started?
What people would say and think. It’s sad but at first, I used to hide that I even had a website from my friends and family because I was scared to put myself out there. It’s a very vulnerable thing to do to put your work on the internet and let people judge.
How do you deal with an internet connection while traveling? Buying local numbers?
Yes, usually I will buy a sim. I try and schedule a lot of social media and articles before I go on a trip just in case I have bad internet and can’t get a local number for some reason. I usually just rely on the hostel/hotels Wi-Fi connection, so I always look for somewhere with good internet.
That’s the ‘secret’ life of a travel blogger! Not so secret is it?!
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