Should I cross my blog articles
Dream job travel blogger? This is how I make money on a travel blog (and so can you)
Experience report: 4 years self-employed as a travel blogger
Do you dream of turning your hobby into a job? I made it and I'm a full-time travel blogger. More than five years ago I quit my agency job in order to be able to travel more and, above all, longer
In this article, I'll tell you how I got started creating a travel blog, how the first income came in, and how I earn my living by traveling.
An honest look behind the scenes of MUCH UNTERWEGS and the work that goes into it! Unfortunately, the tax office in particular still does not understand my work.
Since I've been a blogger, I've been asked the same questions over and over again. No matter whether from you readers, my friends or from acquaintances that I make in everyday life or when traveling. Nobody really understands what I'm doing.
“Oh, are you on vacation again? Have fun!", or
"What do you actually do all day when you are at home?", or
"How can you make money with travel and this blog?"
"How can you actually afford all the trips?"
- these are the questions that are most frequently asked.
Status Quo travel blogger
When I am asked what job I do while traveling, I often say that I work in online marketing. Somehow that's true. Many do not understand the job title “travel blogger”. The fact that I do “something like that” as a main job and can make a living from it then raises more questions. Answering these then takes a little longer.
I was only recently recognized on a trip. The rest of the tour I was pestered with curious questions about exactly how I earn my money. I then like to take the time to talk in detail. I myself would be just as interested - with such an extraordinary job that sounds like you have 365 days of vacation a year.
Because many people still think we are lazy on the beach and drink cocktails all day long in the hotel, to which we are invited. That's a prejudice I'm getting out of the way here.
Where do I start best? The most essential topic is always making money. So, first of all, the question that interests most!
Can you make money as a travel blogger?
Yes, you can. The question is how much. Very few people have enough income to make a living from a blog alone. In the beginning I was happy about every penny because I couldn't believe that I could even earn a cent from my blog.
You can read how I can make a living from blogging in the lower section of the article.
My tip to you: blog out of passion - not for the money
What is particularly important to me is that YOU, the reader, always come first to me. Earning money suddenly happened on the side and was a positive side effect. Because I had a full-time job and was happy with it. At that time, I never wanted to quit and make a living from blogging.
The sole reason for writing more about my travels was that I wanted to give others tips that I hadn't found on the internet or in travel guides myself before my trip.
Example Cuba: Fortunately, I was there before the borders were “opened”. It was not difficult to travel around there individually and Varadero could also be avoided, but information and tips were nowhere to be found. Hotels could not be viewed or booked on the Internet, and private accommodation was not possible anyway. So I wrote everything down in my travel diary during the trip. And when I was back I published it in days - no weeks of hard work.
When the first comments came and readers thanked me, I was very happy. I am still looking forward to every single comment and email. Even if it often takes me longer to answer all of them.
Digital nomad? I'm not.
At that time everyone was talking about the catchphrase “digital nomad”. Even then, I commented on some blog that I don't think it's good to praise life as a digital nomad in heaven and advise everyone to quit their permanent position and just do whatever they want. Because only this is the "ultimate lifestyle". I am not a digital nomad - even if my job would allow me to work from all over the world.
I work best and most concentrated at home at my desk. My internet works here, I have a large monitor and all the equipment around me that I need to work. I still travel when I travel. I want to experience as much as possible and capture everything. Therefore, as a rule, no new articles appear on my travels, only pictures on Instagram or Facebook with rather shorter travel statements. I'll take care of everything else when I get back. E-mails are only answered in emergencies while on the move.
Articles that talk about how easy it is to start a travel blog to travel the world and make a living from it. I never supported titles like “Why you should quit your job and travel around the world” and have never found them right.
Don't get me wrong, but you shouldn't rush into anything haphazardly. Especially not if there is no budget. "Digital nomad" has since become a term that makes all my hair stand up. I am self-employed, that is and has always been. I can and do work regardless of location.
In addition, not everyone is born to be self-employed. I never wanted to be my own boss. At least not to bear the burden on your own shoulders. That it turned out very differently is firstly a coincidence and secondly the great art of persuasion and persuasion of my two brothers.
They saw the blog readership increase rapidly and realized that my passion for traveling and writing about it grew bigger and bigger. In addition, there was the first income that gave me a certain security. Without them I would NEVER have given notice!
After I quit, I didn't care if I got rich with it. That was never my goal in life and status symbols are also not important to me. As long as I could travel and continue to pay for my car and the rent of the apartment, I was happy.
I'm happy that I can now make a living from it, because I also work a lot and hard for it. More on that later, also on the question of how I make money.
My path to becoming a travel blogger
My path to becoming a full-time travel blogger was a coincidence (or a chain of fortunate coincidences). I never had an intention to live from it - as I can see with so many others nowadays.
Before I go to viel-unterwegs.de my travel stories (at that time still more like a diary) I wrote about everything on another blog: street art, graphic design and travelogues.
Just for the fun of it Learning WordPress (that's the name of the web application this blog was created with) and to find out more about the Findability on the Internet to learn. I saw it as further training alongside my main job in an agency.
I originally started out as Media designer, then as Media specialist, later than Social Media Manager and in the end (before my resignation) I was Senior Consultant in the Online marketing. You see, my experience is based on a broad spectrum.
In the course of my professional development, the entire range fell into my area of responsibility: Starting with the creation of logos, brochures and packaging, organizing events and international trade fairs, creating newsletters to the introduction of social media strategies. In my last agency job, I advised clients on all of these topics as a senior consultant.
I was earlier always boring quickly as soon as I longer time With busy one topic was. So I've always wanted to know more and have continued to train myself. As a result, this blog was created. My specialist knowledge grew, the spectrum broadened.
As a part-time job, I had a small start-up with a friend and my brothers, into which we had invested a lot of energy for a while. At that time I was still employed in a large corporation and was often under-challenged. Dissatisfied, annoyed by hierarchies and bosses who wouldn't believe me how important social media and everything related to it will one day be.
When we started a blog on the topic of the start-up with our start-up - which wasn't going really well either (it was about films), how the number of visitors soared. But the topic of the start-up wasn't my whole passion, so I didn't want to put more energy into it.
At the same time, my relationship at the time suddenly broke up. And I broke both of my radius heads (in my elbows) while bouldering (climbing). That not only earned me 10 days of plaster splints on both arms up to my shoulder, but also six additional weeks of illness at home. I had to go to the physio almost every day and at first couldn't stretch or strain my elbows. If the splintered bone had slipped, I would have needed an operation. I didn't want any of that.
I got to the point where I realized I had to change something in my life. I had a lot of time to deal with myself and my values and goals in life. Thinking about the fact that I wasn't happy at all in the corporation. I didn't care about the well and easily earned money, flexible working hours with overtime to party.
I wanted to get well - and then just travel. I had time to plan, vacation too. I did some research on the Internet and came across Patrick's blog 101places.de. I read for the first time that bloggers are invited to travel and that he makes money with his blog by traveling. I thought: Cool, I can do that too and wrote him an email, which he answered very quickly and in a very friendly manner.
A name with “a lot on the move” was quickly found. After all, even back then I had to listen to friends saying “Katrin, always on the go” - but back then I only had 30 days of vacation and during agency times I was chronically broke.
I bought the domain for the name and created a logo for myself in 10 minutes. I never thought that one day I would be able to make a living from exactly this blog. I started to sort out the "old blog" and my "old" Travel reports about New York and Cuba to copy to the newly created travel blog. That was the start. It was August 1st, 2013. “viel-unterwegs.de” was born.
I had fun and was happy to always write honest reports. Even today, honesty and authenticity in connection with the never-ending desire to travel are the most important things to me! And I'm damn glad that I haven't sold my soul for offers - which would have been well paid - until now! This will remain so.
The wrong way is to just quit your job
Sentences like "I quit my job, now I'm going on a trip around the world and a travel blog and then think about how I can earn my money" or "Earning money with a blog is very easy" I don't want to read anymore. That's all nonsense in my eyes.
Always think about what you can do for a living before you quit. If you have absolutely no experience in online marketing, blogging or the like, it will be damn difficult to even finance one meal with the income.
"I work where others go on vacation"?
Also pictures of (allegedly) successful bloggers with laptops on the beach and the sentence "I work where others go on vacation" may sound great from a marketing point of view and increase sales of your own e-books, blog courses or the number of PR requests for interviews. The truth is different:
Successful bloggers who always travel (I'm not a permanent traveler or digital nomad myself) often sit in air-conditioned hotel rooms and only leave when they are hungry or have to do laundry. They are extremely rare on the beach.
I also like to be at home.
There is no shortcut to success
If you have the goal to be successful as a blogger, Instagramer or Youtuber, I tell you: There is no shortcut and no "quick way" to success. All of the successful people I know have years of experience and their business has grown slowly - sometimes faster. The most important thing: everyone is and has always been authentic. Only then are you successful and credible.
If you buy followers or likes (yes, it doesn't matter whether on Youtube, Facebook, Twitter or Instagram), good agencies and destinations (i.e. countries or regions) will quickly notice. You end up on a "blacklist" and will be avoided in the future.
Further articles with tips and suggestions:
A fitting saying, found in the 25hours Hotel HafenCity in Hamburg:
What do you work as a travel blogger all day?
In response to this question, almost everyone expects me to say "nothing". Or traveling, having fun and partying. That would be nice, but it doesn't exactly correspond to reality. I even work more than in previous jobs. But I enjoy it because I work for myself and I really enjoy doing it!
I have two “states”: Either I am traveling or I am at home. The work then differs fundamentally.
"Working" while traveling
“Oh, are you on vacation again? Have fun!
When I travel, I “work” in the sense that I research from morning to night. I take part in tours, explore regions or cities, go on hikes or other activities. I do what normal travelers would do too. Usually more. I've always been like this that I wanted to see everything. That has not changed until today - to the sorrow of my fellow travelers.
But since I've been a blogger, I rarely relax before or after exploring. I spend at least an hour or two charging batteries, backing up pictures from my cameras, and making rough choices. I edit these selected pictures immediately in order to plan a Facebook post for you or to publish it directly (depending on which time zone I am in).
Then I write down all the notes, in case I haven't done that in between during lunch or other breaks. Since the last Travel to Australia (three months) and Peru (four weeks) were very long, I even published my travel reports live on site. However, this really only happens on longer trips.
Often it is still not the end, because most of the time you have to answer important e-mails or book the next accommodations when you are traveling, organize tours and research in the travel guide (whether printed or on the Internet).
At some point I can no longer keep my eyes open and fall asleep. That's why I now enjoy being completely cut off from cell phone reception and the Internet while traveling. In Australia we have even extended our stay in the national parks so that we can come down ourselves and have a little time to enjoy this magnificent nature.
“Work” when I'm at home
I'm at home between my travels. Since I've blogged full time, these periods of time have been quite short; I want to change that in 2018. Working days last an average of 10 to 12 hours, often seven days a week and are rarely shorter. I really enjoy working on weekends. Because then there are no e-mails and I can write best without distraction. Because the bigger the blog and the more readers, the greater the effort.
Of course, I still have enough time for family and friends, because I'm flexible. I can also take 1-2 hours off during the day to meet up for lunch or to do other things. Even in the evening the laptop stays off. Unless there are important trips to be planned for which I haven't organized a lot of things (happens because I like to travel spontaneously).
Is there a daily routine as a blogger?
No. For the past two weeks I've been trying to figure out some “normal” daily routines when I'm not traveling. My Main ritual is the Walk to the coffee machine. Because nothing works without coffee. The other ritual is to take breaks when I'm no longer focused. Often I go out to jog or ride my mountain bike in the nearby forest.
By the way, I get up when I'm awake. I only set an alarm clock for and when traveling or at important private appointments. Still, I often sit at the computer before 8 a.m. If I still had a permanent job, I would press my alarm clock to snooze at least three to five times. Since I've been my own boss, I've been getting up voluntarily. Why? Because I enjoy my job.
Tasks and duties as a travel blogger
Just the other day I got the comment (from another blogger) to read “As a full-time travel blogger, I expect you to publish more than one article a week” - haha I had to laugh heartily. I just don't have the time, I travel more and prefer to write detailed and re-researched articles. It just takes time.
Running a blog professionally means much more than just writing articles:
Reply to emails
Most of the time, when I'm still in bed, I check to see if there have been any important emails. Because when I started laughing at others, when they said how many e-mails they had to answer a day, I can now fully understand that.
I really try to answer every serious email or comment. This can sometimes take a while as I really don't have time when I travel. I make an effort and am still always happy to receive any feedback.
My mailbox is overflowing with inquiries from agencies, student surveys, and advertisements sent to me without permission. Even out-of-office messages while traveling are ignored. "Didn't you get my email" I often get from agencies, although my message says exactly where I am and when I can be reached again.
I don't want to complain, but the worst are inquiries from possible cooperation partners (actually SEO agencies who want to sell me their great texts and links) who do not meet my ideas of a cooperation and have not even dealt with my blog before their e-mail. These emails are being deleted more and more frequently. It is precisely these “partners” who are the most persistent. If I then ask the third time whether I have already read the email and refer to my page about possibilities for cooperation, I am accused of arrogance. That's life - I can live with that.
Write new posts
As a reader, you might think that your only job is to write new articles. Writing is now a small part of the whole. Not only does the writing take up a lot of time for me (I write very detailed and long articles, often spread over several days and weeks). Formatting and putting it in the backend of the blog system (WordPress) also takes some time.
To do this, I have to look through the pictures, select them, edit them, bring them to the right size (otherwise the page loads too long) and name them correctly. That too often takes half a day.
Revise and update old posts
Items like my packing lists, my favorite credit cards when traveling or camera equipment have to be revised again and again. I also update tips for city trips every now and then when prices and opening times change.
Especially after trips, I am busy for days or weeks copying and sorting pictures of my travels from small external hard drives to my backup at home. From last year alone I still have numerous pictures of Botswana, Namibia and Costa Rica lying around unseen.
One reason why I am increasingly taking photographer friends with me on my travels. Since then, I've had more time to take care of other things.
My favorite tools on the laptop: Adobe Lightroom and Adobe Photoshop.
Exchange with other bloggers and discuss joint projects
More and more often I travel with my blogger friends. Friends have long been too exhausting to travel with me when they know that I would like to post something about it on the blog. I always want to experience the maximum, hang on my cell phone every now and then and organize tours, activities or the next trips in between. Not everyone is in the mood for it.
Therefore, I am in daily contact with other bloggers. Meanwhile, I was in with Susi from Black Dots White Spots Canada for skiing, on road trips in Tajikistan-Kirgistan, Uganda - Rwanda, Florida and the Brittany on road. We are already planning trips together again. And when we talk on the phone, it can take longer.
Of course you can also find my blog on Facebook, Pinterest and Instagram. YouTube and Twitter I have too. In the absence of time, I had to determine what is most important to me and what is also the most fun.
When you travel, you'll find updates on Facebook, Instagram and Instagram Stories almost every day. So I can take you on my journey and you can be part of it "live"! I really enjoy that, because thanks to your comments I have often received great tips. Thanks for that!
I plan my trips on Pinterest and set up pinboards on which I collect articles and places from other people in order to get an overview of a destination. It's really fun!
Advertise the blog
I'm surprised by the reach of my blog: More than 214,000 unique visitors, above 300,000 visitors (if a visitor visits the blog several times a day) come to my blog every month! If my friends and family recommend my blog to others, they often get the answer: I already know. That is awesome and it surprises me again and again.
The fact that I am recognized again and again is still unfamiliar. The majority of readers find me through Google. Nevertheless, I have to work to ensure that viel-unterwegs.de is also better known in other media.
That is why the question “How much PR do you do Katrin yourself?” Which I was asked in an interview yesterday, is not surprising. Little to none was my answer. There are bloggers who are great when it comes to self-marketing. They appear again and again in SPON, T3N, or other online media. I, on the other hand, do not actively approach the media.
Until recently, I actually turned down almost all interview requests. That was annoying to me or I was traveling anyway. Meanwhile I check exactly who asks me. I even gave my last interview on a Sunday. I am now booked for events to speak as an expert and answer questions.
To publicize new articles I am writing a newsletter that you can subscribe to for free. I also post these articles on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. In addition, I comment and like on other bloggers and occasionally share articles and videos from my blogger colleagues (I often don't have the time for this).
I'm slowly getting used to these tasks and who knows, maybe in the future there will also be more active self-PR from me. I now really enjoy talking about my passion at events!
Organization and administration
As a self-employed person, there are unfortunately a lot of administrative tasks that I have to do while traveling. Because the tax office sends a reminder immediately if I do not submit my advance VAT return on time (unfortunately I have not received a deferment).
So I scan invoices (when traveling, this works wonderfully with the app), do bookkeeping and travel expense reports. The last point in particular takes up a lot of time. I couldn't think of anything more boring for me than bookkeeping! So that everything is correct, I have a tax advisor with whom I am in regular contact.
Technical stuff and further development
In order to always be up to date, plugins in WordPress must be constantly updated and backups of the blog and its content must be created. The performance of the web host must also be guaranteed.
Since the requirements in the World Wide Web are constantly changing and I don't know everything, contact with experts is important here. Fortunately, I have this in my family, with friends and with ex-colleagues!
A blog is a big building site, and the to-do list is endless. Many tasks in the technical area go beyond my knowledge. I have to invest here so that I am well positioned for the future.
How can you afford all the trips?
Especially on Instagram I am asked again and again how I can afford all these trips. Many trips are expensive and this question from you is completely legitimate.
When I travel, my expenses in Germany go down. There are no costs for gasoline, food and going out with friends or they are often much cheaper abroad. Since I've been on the road so much, I've been placing less and less emphasis on the latest fashion and only buy what I really need. In contrast to before, I have much lower expenses and thus no more useless things lying around.
Status symbols were never important to me.
1. Blogger or press trips
There are trips on which you are invited as a blogger by tourism boards. For example, the hikes in Canada for the opening of the Great Trail. Flight, accommodation and food were taken over.
For this type of travel you have a tight schedule: in the morning the alarm clock rang pretty early, one program item followed the next. It is always like that. You often get up before six o'clock, get guided tours, post on social media channels and exchange ideas with others.
One thing must also be clear with invitations: Always write about your own opinion. If you don't like something, write about it too.
I hardly accept these invitations anymore. Because these trips don't bring any money and I can't work on my blog during these trips. Think carefully about whether the time is worth the money.
It is important that the travel destination and the activities offered really have to be right. What is even more important: the fellow travelers have to pass. Believe me, there is nothing more strenuous than bloggers stretching their elbows for the best subject or always sitting in the front row. I don't like egoists and I've always been more of a team player.
What is expected of me (but not a must): I write at least one article for it. With these articles it always says at the end that I was invited. Transparency is important to me.
Since I now have a fairly large reach, I no longer accept these press trips. Unless it's a long-haul trip that I can extend in order to continue exploring individually on site. If everyone reports the same thing after the trip, I find it pretty boring.
2. Individual research trips
On 99% of my trips, I organize and pay for almost everything completely myself. Why? Then I am free, can write about it when I want and determine my own route. Sometimes I still ask for support. For example, if I really want to go to a certain hotel or accommodation, such as the Skylodge in Peru. I would have stayed here and advertised anyway.
But today there is nothing for free, so I ask if you invite me to this experience, which I would report about anyway. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
During the three months in Australia, I partially made use of the support of the Tourism Board or gladly accepted it in the form of flight tickets from Qatar.
The consideration was very valuable: By taking the #alphaddicted suitcase from Sony (I didn't get any money for this, but a lot of valuable contacts and attention through events, Sony's social media channels and PR newsletters, etc.), Australia and Qatar Airways were repeatedly mentioned, linked by me and thus received advertising. In a magazine (about photography) my pictures were even published on two double pages.
Still, the 3 month old got me Australia trip cost a 5-digit amount. I see this as an investment in my items. Only those who are authentic can also be perceived as authentic people and build trust. Or?
That's why I'm proud to be independent and to earn my money through the blog to buy my travels and equipment myself.
3. Jobs to create content
There are now agencies and regions that get in touch with you individually so that you can create photos, videos and texts on a specific topic. Often on your own channels, sometimes also for the customer's website.
This is brilliant, because most of the customers already know me very well and know what I stand for and what I like. This results in a win-win situation for which I am rewarded accordingly.
This type of job came about for Normandy, for example, when I was able to explore the region with my campervan and create five videos including five texts (including photos) for their new website.
How To Make Money With A Blog
"Earning money by traveling as a travel blogger? How does it work?" - also a question that I am asked often, maybe even the most. My parents still don't quite understand how I can make a living from blogging.
How I earn my money is not that easy to explain. I'll just try it. Here, too, there are many options, most of which I reject because I don't have the time or often don't feel like it.
At the beginning of my self-employment, I wrote a business plan and thus received funding. This at least ensured my “start”, the money was enough for me (and I was even able to put something aside so that I could even afford my dream of three months in Australia).
1. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is often referred to as "passive income," which is absolutely not true. Most of my income comes from making money like this.
I recommend products such as travel guides, Travel credit cards, Hotels, Tours, Cameras, lenses and clothes that I also tested. Only when I like products and am convinced of them do I mention them on my blog. These links are called affiliate links. If you order via my link, nothing changes in the price of a product for you. I only get a small commission for referring.
Therefore, I am always happy when someone orders something via my links, because this is a kind of “reward” for the effort I put into researching and carefully prepared articles. I myself always look at other travel bloggers for tips on hotels, cameras, lenses or equipment and like to book or buy via their affiliate links. This is my way of saying “thank you” for the work of others.
2. Sell your own products
The best way to generate income is to sell your own products. The possibilities are endless.
For example, I have found that there is no travel diary that really fits me. That's why I brought my own products onto the market: Personal and individual travel diaries!
View travel diaries in the shop
3. Write texts, produce photos and videos
Depending on the trip and cooperation partner, I am asked every now and then whether I would also like to write texts with travel tips and stories for other websites. I'll be happy to do that as soon as the offer is right. Because writing takes time, especially choosing the pictures for it.
For example, I wrote for Travel Alberta why it is worth traveling to Canada in the winter (and I would go back in a heartbeat). For the new website for Australia.com I contributed four articles (example).
For Australia I was able to publish five texts with photos, as mentioned above for Normandy. For other countries and regions I am getting these inquiries and orders more and more. That's really fun!
4. Social media
Sometimes I get inquiries whether I want to share actions on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter. I'll write an offer if I think the campaign and the company behind it are good. But then I mark the post as advertising, advertisement or “paid”.
Sometimes I offer to do an Instagram takeover while traveling and take subscribers to a destination with me on my trip (Instagram and Instagram Stories).
5. Speakers at events
Inquiries to take part in events and to appear as speakers are getting more and more frequent. Here, too, I am paid an expense allowance, travel expenses and hotel. It's not a lot, but I have a lot of fun and I get to know very interesting people everywhere who have also become friends.
I remember her particularly well Adobe Photo Night (watch video).
Here I got to know the photographer Kristina, who worked for me in Peru accompanied. Jens Burger, who works in Abu Dhabi, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Canada and Finland was there. DomQuichotte travels with me South Africa and also has trips to guernsey and Thailand as a writer and photographer.
These are great moments in life that I don't want to miss anymore!
6. Product tests
Inquiries about whether I would like to test products are getting more and more frequent. I cancel 99% of these requests. The reason: I don't stand behind the product. As a result, there are only 2-3 product reviews on my blog that I have been paid to read (and that are also marked as advertisements).
7. Sell pictures
From time to time I sell photos of my trips to destinations for their social media channels. That is also a source of income.
"Katrin you come to places that photographers rarely come" - this is the statement of my friend Murat Erimel, Head of Marketing at Adobe Stock in Germany, the digital asset marketplace where anyone can sell pictures, videos, and graphics. In return, agencies buy their photos for flyers, brochures or websites.
Thanks to my friend, I'm gradually starting to sift through my photos and put them up for sale on Adobe Stock. I'll see if I can still build a small passive income here.
8. Workshops, coaching and advice
Agencies, destinations, brands and bloggers often ask me if I would like to offer advice and workshops. I am often traveling and unfortunately have to cancel these requests.
For destinations I have already given workshops on the subject of “blogger relations” and chat a little out of the box. I rarely give workshops and advice to bloggers because I just don't have the time. But sometimes I make an exception.
I have one for Aruba Young blogger workshop given. In I am also giving a workshop at the horizonte Umweltfotofestival.
For a larger brand in the food sector, I gave several months of coaching for saleswomen in online marketing and "selling". It's an incredibly big effort, but sometimes it's fun for a change.
Other sources of income than bloggers that I generally reject:
Advertorials So I basically reject texts that companies write to place their links and pay for publishing on my blog. The texts often burst before keywords and just don't fit into my concept. I want everyone to write about honest and authentic experiences that I or my authors have had.
Link sales or the Placement of infographics I generally decline against payment. I like to place links in articles about any vendor, hotel, or product that I recommend. Everything else has no place on my travel blog. Not even for money.
Banner on my website I also do not offer. You bother me with other websites too. Therefore, I also fundamentally reject this type of advertising.
How do other bloggers make their money?
Many travel bloggers use their blog as a business card to get jobs. Regardless of whether it is about the production of videos, you offer advice, write texts or take photos. Still others have published their own books. Travel guides, books with travel stories, or even publish their own magazine.
Further income through own products
Write and sell travel guides
I have blogger friends who live in other countries or who travel to the same places all the time. Therefore, they are absolute specialists for certain destinations. I can therefore warmly recommend your travel guides. Of course they are happy when I recommend their travel guides and reward me with affiliate links and thus a commission:
- Melissa von Indojunkie: 122 things to do in Bali & Bali Surf Guide *
- Nora (info-peru) and Anne (goingvagabond) have published an ingenious Peru travel guide * that I had with me on my trip. The new cover is e.g. from Kristina, who was traveling with me in Peru.
- Steve from Back-packer.org has published several travel guides for South America (Peru *, Argentina and Chile)
- Marcel and Tobi from “Home is where your bag is” are absolute Southeast Asia specialists and have published travel guides for Thailand, Vietnam, Lombok *, Koh Phangan and the Philippines.
- Stefan from Fascination Southeast Asia has published a wonderful Bangkok Guide * and travel guide for Thailand and Vietnam.
- Simone lives halfway in the Seychelles and has written a wonderful Seychelles travel guide *.
There are tons of other bloggers who have written good travel guides and guides. I can't quite list them all.
Writing books and travel guides for publishers
Still other acquaintances write travel guides for publishers, contribute individual articles to topic-related books about travel or write advice books as commissioned work.
Gesa (Wonderful Wild) became a ranger in South Africa and has published a captivating bestseller with her book “Breakfast with Elephants” *.
Susi (Black Dots White Spots), for example, wrote a travel guide for the south of Thailand for Merian Momente *. Ole (Out of Canada) has published various travel guides * for Canada and the USA. I have already been asked, but found the effort much too great in contrast to the payment offered.
I am sure that there are numerous other sources of income for bloggers to finance their travel.
Is the travel blogger job a dream job?
YES! Absolutely. I never wish to have to do anything else again. I'm living my dream and I'm passionate about traveling, getting to know other cultures and people and writing about them. Even if a working day is damn long: I wish he had more hours!
I also cannot understand the skeptical question from friends "Do you still enjoy traveling?" The world is still so big, the adventures and regions that are waiting to be discovered by me are so numerous that I would like to set off again tomorrow!
Update 2021: 2020 brought us all down to earth. It's hard to live from savings for almost a year now and the hope of being able to travel again soon. Still, I don't give up and I'm positive. I give coaching sessions that take a lot of time, but that helps me get through the situation. Because the wanderlust increases with every day.
Tips for you to get started
- Only do things that you are passionate about and burn for.
- Don't create a travel blog with the sole aim of making money and being able to travel for free.
- Stay authentic and real, never pretend!
- Have stamina! The beginning is difficult, because there are now travel blogs like sand on the sea. As a “newbie” you will have a rocky road ahead of you.
- Constantly educate yourself.
- It's not the quantity that makes it, but the class (don't write articles that don't add value, value quality and put all of your knowledge into it).
- If you are your own boss, then you have to be very disciplined. I also had to learn that and make a plan.
- Don't just quit a job, build a blog or business on the side and gain experience. After a certain amount of time you will notice whether you can and want to "stay tuned".
- If you dare to quit, then you are as brave as I am: self-employment can be the coolest thing on earth, but it can also be the greatest frustration (Covid-19). So be aware of the risk that you are taking and protect yourself. Set aside money (I've set aside money for at least 1 year to cover fixed costs).
Books to inspire travel bloggers
Would you like to take the risk and take the step into self-employment? Then I have a few books for you that I read before or when I started working as a travel blogger. You should pick up these books again and again because they are timeless.
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