I arrived in Seoul Incheon International airport in South Korea’s capital late last night. It was too late to enjoy anything other than the dazzling night skyline of the city, but this morning I’m getting a running start on making the most of my week-long stay here.
Later today, I’ll visit the Bukchon Hanok Village, a traditional Korean village perfectly preserved in the heart of this booming mega city. After that it’s off to Namdaemun Market to sample some authentic street food and shop for handmade crafts. And tonight, I’ll visit the ancient Gyeongbokgung Palace. I hear it’s best enjoyed at night, when it’s all lit up.
Oh, and this isn’t part of an annual two-weeks’ vacation. As a travel blogger, I earn my income traveling all over the world, seeing and doing things I never thought I’d get the chance to.
I spent July of this year trekking through Europe. I explored underappreciated gems like Albania and Macedonia, where I was awed by the fairytale castles, mountaintop fortresses, and fascinating ancient ruins. I ate mussels and octopus fresh from the sea, and sampled a few glasses of the local plum brandy (rakija). I boated along the colorful canals under a periwinkle blue sky in Copenhagen. And in Stockholm I donned a heavy fur-lined, hooded cape to drink Prosecco in a bar made entirely from ice.
Like any other entrepreneurial venture, financial stability doesn’t happen overnight with travel blogging. When I started out, I was simply enjoying the free meals, entrance to fun activities, and weekends away at luxury resorts. I used the extra money I made to buy an expensive, uber-light laptop, and a four-piece polycarbonate luggage set for traveling. But at the start of this year, I was able to quit my job and dedicate myself to full-time travel and blogging. Life has never been more fun.
It wasn’t long after I began that I started being invited to attend fully-paid press trips. On one free trip to the Azores this year, I not only got great material for posts, but tourism folks approached me after, to advertise on my blog and organize another blogger press trip and a consumer spa/adventure retreat trip for 2017.
You don’t need to be a tech wizard to set up a blog. I created my blog all by myself, and I consider myself to be somewhat technically challenged.
There are a variety of ways to make an income from your blog. It’s up to you to decide which is the one for you. Most full-time bloggers use a combination of these options:
Affiliate Partnerships. Companies pay you to market their products through your blog. This could be anything from a flat payment to put a banner on your site, a link to a hotel within your content which pays a commission when clicked, or selling products on your site.
Brands. You become an ambassador for a brand’s product or service. They pay you to write articles about their product on your blog and post about it on social media.
Content. Other blogs will pay you to re-post your articles or commission you to write content for them.
Social Media. Travel businesses will pay you to post about your experiences overseas on your social media.
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