This Is How You Can Make Money Travelling: Ways of Travel Blog Monetisation

Your precious travel blog is prospering or on a steady way to prosper, and you start wondering if you can earn some money on it. Absolutely rational question! Not only should you, you simply must! Let’s see the most applicable ways. This is part 2 of our travel blog monetization saga – check part 1 here!

1. Google AdSense

Google provides two tools: Ads and AdSense. Both of them are related to PPC, but Ads is a marketplace for buying traffic, while AdSense is to sell. You can make money on Google AdSense if you place ads on your website. Each time a visitor clicks on the advertising, you get paid. This is a way to earn money from website visits.

The cost per click ranges from $0.01 to $2. However, this is not a strict rule; there are some exceptions, with up to $96 for top-rated keywords in highly competitive niches.

How many visitors do you need?

To join Google AdSense, you must pass moderation. This is possible if your project meets these requirements:

  • Has at least 50 visitors daily;
  • Made for people;
  • Doesn’t contain forbidden content.

Once you have passed moderation, you can place the ads on your website. However, it must always meet the requirements; Google can turn off access to a website at any time.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Free set-up
  • No special knowledge is required
  • Ads created by Google according to niche

Cons:

  • Strict rules
  • Inconvenient money withdrawal system (at least $100)

2. Create a Membership Website

Selling membership is another monetization way. Access to content is provided to registered members who make a one-time payment or recurring payments. You can use WordPress software to create a membership site. This approach requires relatively low startup costs.

Your monetization capacity depends on your appetite. As a rule, two payment models are implemented: monthly and annually. Even 100 subscribers who pay $10 monthly will bring you $1,000 every month.

How many visitors do you need?

No threshold for visitors.

How to test and increase conversions

Your readiness to start a membership website depends on the metrics of your primary site. If you don’t have a large number of visitors, the above-mentioned ways to monetize a website are better in the long run.

Pros:

  • WordPress option can lower startup costs
  • Flexible payment packages for users
  • Suitable for building a real business model

Cons:

  • Be prepared to deal with set-up and maintenance (or pay for services)
  • Time expenses and cost increases
  • Increased demand for catchy and exclusive content
  • Sell Advertising Space

3. Sell Advertising Space

A simultaneous problem with and advantage of AdSense is that Google makes everything for you and takes a fee for intermediary services. Wouldn’t it be better to sell ad space directly to advertisers? For big projects, this can be the most profitable method.

How much can you earn?

Your monetization income depends on your traffic and niche. On average, website owners increase the price by up to 50% compared to expected AdSense rates.

Example

CPM is the core metric that shapes your ad space rate. A $5 CPM and 200k visits a month will bring in $1,000. On the other hand, you can opt for a direct price shaped without consideration of any metrics.

How many visitors do you need?

The more visitors you have, the more likely you will find advertisers that are ready to pay money. You will be paid for the placement of ads, not for clicks. Of course, buyers require activity; usually, with traffic of fewer than 10,000 visitors monthly, you’ll have trouble finding an advertiser who will buy ads.

Pros:

  • No intermediary charges
  • Direct cooperation with advertisers
  • You set the ad rate

Cons:

  • You must search for advertisers
  • Unsteady income

4. Sponsored Content

You might have noticed that some blogs or websites provide content associated with certain brands. It is simple as it is: an advertiser provides an offer to add a certain link or review of a related product/service, also known as sponsored content. This monetization method is very attractive, but keep in mind a huge pitfall: Google can punish you for using DoFollow links that advertisers usually ask you to embed.

Pricing usually depends on the traffic and quality of your site. For example, if a post gains 5,000 views per month, you can ask for $10-$200 per post. At the same time, it is more advantageous to sell posts on an annual basis.

Traffic is not the only parameter which advertisers use to choose a website on which to place an article or link. Some clients will pay you if your domain is old and has a lot of relevant backlinks. This is done for SEO, and the price depends on the site’s quality.

Other factors – such as monthly traffic, audience reach, social media influence, backlinks, etc. – are also considered.

How many visitors do you need?

A large number of visitors increases your chances of attracting advertisers and, hence, of monetizing your traffic. To be attractive to advertisers, you must have at least 10,000 organic views per month.

This website monetization model also works well for a small audience volume. If you have an old domain, good backlinks, and a portfolio, some buyers will purchase placement of an article for SEO purposes.

Pros:

  • High earning potential
  • Fit for some websites with low traffic

Cons:

  • Possible dissatisfaction of some readers
  • Possible punishment by Google

5.Build an ‘Email List’

The concept of “selling ads on my website” is clear, but what about email marketing? The main idea is to create a solid foundation of your most loyal visitors, then gradually extend it. Monetization through an email list provides an opportunity to deploy some of the above-mentioned solutions, including affiliate links, direct sales of products/services, simple advertising, and others.

Your income depends on the number and quality of your subscribers, the tools you use to earn, and other factors. If you choose the CPA model to earn from email marketing, you can expect that, from among 1,000 subscribers, about 30% (i.e., 300 people) will open your emails regularly. Of this amount, 15-20% will click on the links. Then you will get traffic, which must be converted.

How many subscribers do you need?

In the best-case scenario, out of 1,000 emails sent, 10-30% will be effective. For example, 150 clicks priced at $0.50 each will bring you $75. Do you want more? Then make sure to increase your list.

Pros:

  • Email base provides an extra source to earn beyond the website
  • Creation of a good reputation

Cons:

  • A long-term strategy
  • No fast income
  • Cost of sending emails

6. Sell your expertise

Many bloggers make supplementary income through selling their skillful knowledge and expertise, whether it’s through producing eBooks, courses or consulting for other bloggers/brands. And you might think “that’s a bit out of my league” but  

The same can be applied to a lot of different subjects. You might be an expert in budgeting, in scoping out epic deals, in saving money, in dressing well, etc. etc. The point is, you’re an expert in something, and so long as you have incredible skills and value to offer, people will pay you for them.

How to start?

Decide what you’re good at. Some pro blogger skills include excellent writing/photography, strong understanding of social media, video editing, etc.

Decide who you will sell your skills to. You could try catering to your readers, other bloggers (e.g. set up coaching services, sell courses/eBooks, etc.), or you could reach out to companies (e.g. do social media consulting for a small business). Alternatively, you can become a freelancer and apply for gigs through websites like UpWork and Freelancer.

What’s important to remember though is that you can’t sell expertise without… having expertise, so focus on building your skills and knowledge first before pursuing this monetization stream.

Pros:

  • You can create your personal brand
  • The spends are minimal

Cons:

  • You must have an expertise in something

7. Create your own Physical Product

As bloggers we have something that every brand wants—an audience. The key is figuring out how to turn your fans (and their friends and family) into customers. You can sell souvenirs with your brand, books, guides or any other stuff that might be interesting to your audience.

By using our travel blog, Beers and Beans, as the foundation, we were able to convert our readership into customers as well as connect with media outlets and other bloggers for press mentions since we have a strong reputation in the travel space.

Pros:

  • You should have a massive audience, who is interested in your product
  • The spendings are minimal

Cons:

  • You should have a massive audience, who is interested in your product

8. Flip Your Website

Website flipping is the process of buying a website, improving it, and selling it for a higher price than what you originally bought it for.

For example, you could buy a small travel blog, invest your time and money into it, and sell it later. Your income will come from the monetization methods you use when you own it, and then from the difference between the purchase and sale prices.

How much can you earn?

This depends on your skills in terms of choosing websites to buy and improving them. Some people make thousands of dollars monthly, but of course you will start at lower amounts.

Example

Monthly revenue of around $500 from selling ad space to Google can get you $5,000 to $10,000 if you sell the site via a Flippa auction. The price is usually calculated based on the website’s income for the last few years. In risky niches, such as gambling, it can be counted as six months of recoupment. The more stable your project, the more months counted. For example, for projects in a travel niche, you might need a summary for 24 to 36 months of income.

How many visitors do you need?

The price of your website will depend on its attractiveness to advertisers, which requires a large number of visitors.

Pros:

  • Possible instant large gain
  • Double earnings: firstly when you own the site, secondly for the sale

Cons:

  • Requires skill to choose and improve sites
  • High risk of losing invested money

9. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing means that you get paid for sold goods or services. This model of earning is called CPA – Cost per Action.

Simply find a product/service to recommend on your site and embed affiliate tools into your website. A commission will be paid upon a successful deal: namely, your visitor purchases the promoted product/service via your link. You are also the boss of how you will be promoting the goods or services.

You don’t have to focus only on physical goods. For example, on a travel-related website, you can earn on flight or hotel bookings. The crucial here is how time-saving and user-friendly it is. For example, when working with Indoleads, you simply register on our website, embed affiliate links almost in any form you prefer (and of course your audience prefers, as we all know that no one likes super-annoying ads appearing from nowhere), and here it is!

How it works

To start, you’ll need to join an affiliate program and install affiliate tools on your website. For travel-related websites, you can join Travelpayouts, or become an Agoda affiliate or join a slue of amazing affiliate programs for travel bloggers, where you will find a set of offers and tools. These include White Labels, which allow you to build your own brand and not share your visitors. You can join also any other travel affiliate network.

Pros:

  • Absolutely free with no hidden costs (when working with us)
  • Time-saving, as no technical knowledge is needed, so you can focus on your blog content
  • The amount of our earnings depend on the success of your blog: people tend to click and buy when they really like what you write, so you simply have to be a good blogger
  • You get the offers from the most reputable and huge brands

Cons:

  • No cons here.

Wrapping it up

Affiliate programs for monetization in 2019 seem to be the best options for all sides. If you have good-quality traffic that is able to generate sales, you will be well-paid for it – much more than with contextual ads or the placement of content. However, you can use several methods at a time and see what works for you. We already described the main costs of creating and maintaining a travel blog, but remember that with high income usually come higher maintenance costs.

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