Someday I’d like to travel overseas, perhaps even live the expat life. For right now, though, I’m staying put in the Midwest. I want to be near my elderly dad, my kids, and grandkids. I’m prepared to move at any time, though, because I have a completely portable job, my travel blog.
I started my blog when I was still employed full-time in corporate America. I knew I wanted to get away from my daily four-hour commute. So, I took a travel writing course and a blog building course. I set up my blog and then spent my lunch hour and my commute time—since I took a train to work—writing articles and building a following through social media. On the weekends my husband and I went on road trips around the region, giving me topics to write about.
A couple years later my job was eliminated. But rather than panicking, I celebrated. I was completely free…and I had my blog income to support me. To my surprise I also discovered that I was making new savings that I had never even considered. Because I no longer had to go to an office, my transportation expenses were down. I was able to save on food too; working long hours, I had gotten into the expensive habit of going out for meals too often.
In fact, now when I do eat at restaurants, my meals are often complimentary. You see, a big perk of travel blogging is hosted trips. Destinations want you to come and visit so you write about them. They invite you for a few days, pay for your accommodations, attraction admissions, and very often your meals too. I’m hosted by dozens of destinations every year, and my husband is almost always invited along with me. We’ve stayed in luxury hotels, B&Bs, and historic inns, places we would never have stayed on our own.
And the things we get to do… We’ve ridden in helicopters, ziplined, and kayaked. Last year we were even treated to a private sailboat cruise, and I tried archery for the first time. I would never have thought of doing either of those things on my own.
The perks of travel blogging are fabulous, but you still have living expenses. How do you earn money from a blog? The easiest way to begin is with advertising. How much you make through advertising depends on your following, so it’s important to always continue to grow your readership. And growing your readership is best done through social media networking. Social media platforms, like Facebook and Twitter, go hand-in-hand with blogging.
Many bloggers also use their blog as a stepping stone to other areas of the travel industry. Bloggers I know write books, speak at conferences, or sell photographs that they’ve taken on their trips. Some lead tours to places they visit often or sell freelance articles to print publications. The more streams of income, the better, so when one falls off a bit, the others fill in.
Many of these stepping-stone opportunities are as portable as blogging. So, if you’re planning to become an expat in the future, start blogging now. Add lots of content. Grow your readership through social networking. Add advertising, and use your successful blog to grow in other travel writing areas. Then when you’re ready to start living the expat life, income is one thing you won’t have to worry about.