Can one earn with a travel blog? If yes, how? Is it unethical to earn with advertisements? My blog is to be considered "sold" if I earn something?
All thorny issues on which at first I had to think a lot about because basically my blog is not a source of income, or at least not as one can imagine.
I write for pure passion, I have some Adwords advertisements that earn me some money per month, and so I cannot consider that as an income, but I have not done an advertising showcase, no reviews of hotels, nor of restaurants, nor do I give away free nights in exchange for mentions. This was the only thing clear from the outset and on which I contnue to be uncompromising about.
With this I do not say that I condemn those who prefer these methods of earning money, the advertising, indeed I believe that it is adv just like the one we see on television, read in newspapers or hear on the radio, even the Republic site has banner ads and not for this that we consider the site as "sold."
It is simply about personal choices and not condemnable.
Today I make between 2500/4000$ (depending on the season) per month designing travel trips in Africa and Latin America working close with local tour operators, but in the past 6 years blogging I have tried many ways to monetize till I got my own way.
For this reason, I will list the main sources of earning money with a blog which in principle can lead to more or less regular income.
Honestly I think it is quite difficult to be able to earn enough to pay one’s own travel expenses that, in principle, require at least € 500 a month traveling as a backpacker, i.e. reducing expenses to a minimum, although this does not mean it's impossible.
In fact, a blog can be a source of additional income, small and not always constant revenue that depends on many factors.
A young blog is unlikely to bring in revenue if not only for the low number of accesses and not being considered an authoritative source but with time and persistence (working on the site and off site) good results can be achieved. How?
Here are the main ways to earn money with a Travel Blog. Take one’s own blog to high access conditions, remain on the site and some of the page factors that can determine the success.
I worked for many years for a large online company whose business is only and mostly online, one of the best revenue sources were the affiliations. What does being an affiliate site mean?
Advertising of certain products and earn a percentage of sales. So the operation is simple. I have a banner, you click, buy that particular thing that I'm advertising and I gain in percentage. Easy, isn’t it?
No. To be able to earn with the affiliations one must have high access and a lot of traffic on the site, difficult thing for new blogs, also one must be able to know how to choose the right products and try to attract as many visitors as possible. For example, if you write about travel and affiliate to a travel insurance program that you have tried and you feel to advise those who buy the policy through your website, the link has a track code of recognition, you earn in percentage.
[su_icon_panel shadow="0px 1px 2px #eeeeee" icon="icon: comments-o"] Useful resources
How to choose the right affiliate program: www.revenews.com
Affiliation with Zanox : www.zanox.com
List of affiliate network sites edited by Blue Book: http://mthink.com/bluebook/content/top20/affiliate
Affiliation with Amazon : https://affiliate-program.amazon.com/
Google Affiliate Network : www.google.com/ads/affiliatenetwork
On this method, there are discordant opinions, some see this practice as a selling themselves to the highest bidder and those who find it a good source of income .
I stand between the two positions.
I accepted proposals for cooperation of this kind in the past, in truth very few, but on my terms: I have to believe in the company of which I speak of , I must have tried it in the past, in short, I have to be sure that the site that I am recommending is really what you readers want to find and that meets your and my needs.
A post must be written according to the guidelines of the blog and should be of quality, must have a minimum of words, must be drawn from photos and if I do not like it or if I think it was written in 20 minutes with the sole purpose of having a link in return, I will not publish it.
Most companies who contact for guest posts are mostly for SEO reasons (to have a link back) that for visibility and for this reason the texts that they frequently and willingly send are very scarce and of very low quality.
Before accepting sponsored guest posts ascertain that the company truly reflects the needs of your readers, that it is a useful source and not just a quick way to earn a few Euros you and a mere link them.
Your credibility comes first, and the trust of those who read you may be affected if your blog from passionate becomes a mere tool to publish poorly written articles, not really interesting and scarsely important.
So yes or no? Depends on our conscience, I believe that some can be accepted, when this becomes the norm then you inevitably fall into the little credibility.
[su_shadow][su_panel] Risks of Paid Guest Posts
The Guest Blogging for years has been used to do branding but it was also a SEO strategy to get external links penalized by Google. So be careful in carrying out these collaborations, Google might not like and penalizing your site.[/su_panel][/su_shadow]
Adsense is the publicity program of google , those ads, in practice, that disturbs me a lot, that are found at the beginning of the post , in the middle or side bar ( sidebar ).
You earn per click, implementation of the site is simple, the profits a little less. As always, the rule of "high access". If your blog is new the possibilities of making even just € 3 are arduous.
In fact as referred to me by a friend who works in this sector and specialized in PPC , there are websites that can earn thousands of Euros per month , obviously the necessary conditions are numerous clicks . A site with few accesses , and since one is often reluctant to click on sponsored ads, will not have good chances for success in this regard.
Unlike PPC or Pay Per Click the CPM pay for impressions, or rather how many times a banner is visualized, the higher the number of pages are viewed, so the more possibilities of profits will be gained. If for example a blog counts 20,000 visualizations for the month then the possibility of gain are about $ 2 per day for a total of $ 60 per month.
To do simple calculations and compare the PPC with the CPM.
Let’s take a daily blog that records 2000 page views (page views).
Google Adsense CTR (Click Through Rate = 0:11%, Total clicks = 2 Gain = € 0.50. If we take this data and we extend them to 30 total days total earned = € 15.
If we replace the PPC units with CPM ad and consider that this banner pays € 2 per 1000 impressions then, daily, gain would be 2 x € 2 = € 4.
Extend these to a time period of 30 days ... et voilà € 120 per month.
Certainly fascinating numbers but always remember that without having access or page views these numbers could be much lower and at times depressing.
[su_icon_panel shadow="0px 1px 2px #eeeeee" icon="icon: thumbs-o-up"]Useful resources
Money that comes easily does not exist. Not even with adsense it is easy to earn. It is easy to enter the code in the site but if the clicks do not arrive, they simply do not.
Writing an ebook is a strategy that helps not only to gather enough money, in some cases also a good budget to keep on traveling, but as always it takes effort, time, a good idea, a site with many accesses, one must work on one’s own credibility and know how to convey the ebook on web.
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I will not dwell here on how to write an ebook and what the steps are to accomplish it given that the network offers many resources, I will list a few that can come in handy.
How to write an ebook in 30 days: http://www.copyblogger.com/ebook-in-30-day/
How to create an ebook that sells: http://www.inboundpro.net/how-to-write-ebooks-that-sell
These are the techniques that I hope will allow me to define them On - Blog or rather methods of income on your site , you earn according to clicks , accept posts , earn in proportion to sales and so on.
But there are other methods that I would recommend that go far beyond the click or sale of the product and that actually involves you as a blogger and the blog as a tool to create your own brand , create partnerships and start working as a freelance . Or make use of your blog as your CV.
In this blog I talk about travel but obviously these tips can be extended to all types of blogs , writing frequently on particular subjects , fashion, travel , computers, mobile phones , games and so on, if done properly will reach the right target so as to be known beyond the 4 walls of the house where your blog is read only by mom, dad and some good friends.
If you can generate interest, write in an original way, interesting, do it with perseverance and above all, do it well, specializing in a particular field .
And it is when you start to get feedback from readers , from your followers on social networks , from someone who contacts you for possible collaborations that you realize for the first time that, behind you, you not only have a nice blog but also an attractive product of which you're your own brand
What to do then?
Sell your imagine for what you know you do well , what you know, and that makes of you an expert , your blog is the proof, tells more about you than what you could do in a job interview.
If you want to continue traveling and want to get paid, make this passion of yours become a real passion.
Propose yourself to tour operators, travel agencies, test for them their tour packages , verify the quality , contribute to improve the package . You have a lot more experience than those who travel once every four months , you have the mentality of the traveler.
Sell advice, become yourself a small tour operator.
Do you like to travel and to write ? Sell your expertise in online publications that may be interested in your articles , working with online operators concerning the travel industry , write about destinations , give your advice because YOU HAVE TRAVELLED, you know, you are able to tell which destination is more to the mark than another, you do not do summaries from wikipedia , do not translate or copy the contents of other blogs.
You have practically become a copywriter, your work goes well beyond your blog but you are selling your skills to write , to communicate, to captivate, to attract and generate responses from readers that even without knowing who you are, appreciate your post.
A blog needs time to establish itself and become a known brand , back then to the same old question " you have to work hard to reach the results2.
In fact with time and well-done constant work, your name as well as that of your blog will begin to become known . You become an expert in a certain sector , and your readers will begin to trust you so that most likely you will start to receive emails of all types with as many questions.
This free offer is good, on the other hand, the moment you are asked something, that becomes a real and proper consultation, your blog can become a privileged instrument to be able to sell your imagine and to sell your skills to a public that even without knowing you really knows a lot about you and above all trust you .
So no matter what you write about , you can apply your profession to your online project and turn it into a tool for acquiring new customers.
I honestly do not believe in blogging as a form of income through advertising , or maybe it can bring in revenue but as I see it, this kind of work , because “laughing and joking” apart, is a job that takes up time and energy and requires " skills" , it is very tough at least initially, Not enough to have a blog , write about 2 posts and hope to earn, there is much work behind it but if you commit yourself to it constantly, the results will come.
Certainly there is the language factor to consider, for whoever writes in Italian, that is a limitation at least in numerical terms. You cannot compare Italy to the United States, the market is small and a travel blog written in Italian cannot have as many accesses as it can have in one written in English.
This does not mean that we cannot earn.
[su_quote] The blog should be your showcase, the privileged means you have for exhibiting yourself, making yourself known not only as a person but also for what you do and how you do it.[/su_quote]
In fact to be able to earn something is complicated and time-consuming.
We must begin to understand a bit of Seo, understand and use social networks not only for sifting through photos of friends, to find the right channels, be empathetic, listen to what your readers have to say, answer and stimulate communication and finally perhaps most important of all, to build your own Brand because the day you sell your eBook, whoever will buy it will say to friends: Giulia, the blogger of of low cost travel, or whoever wants to pay for you knows exactly that he/she is buying not just a post of 1000 words but also a name that is a guarantee.
A blog to become authoritative in the sector takes time and considerable effort, only when a certain authority and a high number of accesses is reached, the techniques described above might work.
Finally I want to say something that I regard as essential.
The blog must be the place where you write of your passions, of what you like and a means to communicate, not to make money fast. If you do not write about what you really like, there being a lot of work behind and the results slow to arrive, you might want to stop long before earning some money.
A blog can be a powerful means of comunication and could help round up the expenses at the end of the month, but for me it must remain a privileged, personal and ethically correct instrument.
To those who say that a blog is sold with "barters", some do some do not, accommodating guestposts or to be commissioning articles from companies in which one believes in and that one uses and that one would recommend in any case does not mean selling out oneself.
Behind the drafting of a blog there is a lot of work, and it is just that if there are chances to be rewarded, to every blogger then their proper measure of judgement. But if "you are selling too much" your very own readers will notice it and those advice taken because genuine could be seen as corrupt even when they are not.
As far as I'm concerned, the only measure for judging is: the quality!
[su_panel]Note - I do not write about free products, parcels, packages, blog tours or free holiday because A. I do not know this world, B. they are precisely ways to try things or travel for free but not to earn. On these subjects you can find blogs more versed in the matter.