I was two years into what was supposed to be a six-month tour of Southeast Asia when I started my blog, Foodie Flashpacker. Two years later, I’m still on the road. I’ve visited nearly 60 countries across four continents and have no plan to stop anytime soon.
Because of my blog, I’ve been able to explore the nature of the Azores islands of Portugal, trek the mountains of Nepal, watch the sunrise over the temples of Angkor Wat, and dive to sunken shipwrecks in the Philippines.
Key to my success has been finding multiple ways to monetize my blog. A blog allows you to tap into different income streams that you can earn from while you travel. I’ve laid out several of the most common ways here.
One great way to earn monthly revenue is from affiliate marketing.
The way this works is simple. As a blogger, you promote the products or services of another company on your blog. A special link will track any visits or sales that are made by people who came from your blog, and you get paid a commission on sales or for the amount you’ve sold.
Generally, you should only endorse or affiliate with products or services you actually know, use, and love. This ensures you maintain your audience’s trust.
When you find a product or service you think your audience will appreciate, you can contact the company selling it to inquire about an existing affiliate program. If you’d like, you can also opt to join an affiliate marketing network like ShareASale, which has more than 4,000 merchants listed on their site. Amazon also has an affiliate program popular with many bloggers.
As traffic to your blog grows, you may consider placing ads on your site. There are a few different ways to do this. If you think a company is a good fit for your site, you can contact them directly (and alternatively, they may contact you about placing ads on your site).
Or, you can do what most bloggers I know do and use an ad management company. There are several of these, and you’ve probably heard of a few: Mediavine, Google Adsense, or Adthrive.
These ad management companies can optimize your site’s advertising and provide your audience with ads that are relevant to them.
Placing advertising on your site can be a great way to earn passive income. It’s also the largest source of monthly income for many bloggers I know.
Develop and Sell Your Own Products
Once you establish yourself as an authority on a topic, it’s often natural to begin developing and selling products that pertain to it.
For instance, if you’ve spent a lot of time in a particular city, you could develop, write, and sell an e-book about the best things to see and do in that city.
I know of one popular blogger who has developed travel cards for different countries for those with Celiac disease. The cards provide details about what dishes are safe to eat in each country.
Another blogger, a well-known authority on budget travel, published a book that went on to become a New York Times bestseller.
Embrace your creative outlet. Some bloggers have had success developing and selling clothing inspired by their travels.
Many bloggers develop and lead tours based on everything they’ve learned on their travels.
If you’ve become a bit of an expert on a particular country or region, you might consider organizing and leading a group tour. I’ve seen bloggers lead photo tours, tours of abandoned properties, architecture tours, walking food tours, and even adventure tours.
As you continue to travel and learn about new things, you can add to or develop new tours. If you have great feedback from your first tour, encourage clients to spread the word or cater to followers wanting to join additional tours. This can be very effective free advertising.
If you enjoy photography, selling photos from your travel is another useful way to make money through your blog.
You can sell photos directly from your site or auction off images to a stock photo site for royalties. Popular stock sites include Shutterstock and iStock.
This is a great passive income option, because once you’ve uploaded the images, the stock photo platform will take care of the rest.
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