Niche Guides / Travel

How to Monetize a Travel Blog: Trekking to Profits

Learning how to monetize a travel blog properly is a crucial part of turning your passion for exploring into a full-time business. Here's how:

By Andrew Fiebert Updated

So you've got your travel blog up and running, now it's time to make some money from it!

Forget about the technical stuff like domain registration and WordPress, it's time to focus on monetization.

Trust me, monetizing your travel blog is going to be a blast!

Whether you're just starting out or already an experienced travel influencer, these monetization methods will help you turn your blog into a money-making machine.

Let's dive into each method and see how you can start earning from your passion for travel.

Why You Can Trust Our Travel Blog Monetization Guide

Lasso is installed on over 8,000 websites, including many travel blogs.

Our team has built multiple 7-figure blogs in a wide range of niches.

We have hands-on experience working with founders to grow and monetize their travel blogs.

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is the best monetization method for travel bloggers because it hits the sweet spot between time investment and earning potential.

Affiliate marketing is a form of advertising where a publisher (the site owner) links to a product in their content and earns a commission from the advertiser (the affiliate program) if readers click on that link and make a purchase.

TIP: With all monetization methods, the rule of thumb is the easier it is to accomplish, the less money you can make, and vice versa.

Also, since you can add links to your existing content, it’s the perfect method for beginners. You’ve already written content, so you’ve already done the hard part.

How to Start Affiliate Marketing for Travel Bloggers

Some different kinds of affiliate products to recommend in the travel blogging niche include:

  • Travel gear: Recommend useful travel accessories like luggage, packing cubes, travel pillows, and portable chargers.
  • Travel insurance: Suggest reliable travel insurance providers that offer comprehensive coverage for travelers.
  • Hotel bookings: Partner with hotel booking platforms to promote accommodations in various destinations.
  • Airlines: Collaborate with airlines to promote flight deals and travel packages to your audience.

Once you’ve identified which products will solve problems for your readers, you need to sign up for their affiliate programs.

You should start by joining the Amazon Associates affiliate program.

Most physical products in the travel niche will be available on Amazon, and the conversion rate on Amazon is insane.

Yes, Amazon’s commission rates are rough, and they only offer a 24-hour cookie duration, but the conversion rate makes up for it. Plus, you’re nearly guaranteed to get accepted into their program.

For products that aren’t available on Amazon, just Google “[Product] affiliate program,” and you’ll find their program’s signup page.

To save you some time, here are a few of the best affiliate networks for travel bloggers:

  1. Rei Co-op

    Rei Co-op

    Commission Rate: 5% Per Sale

    Cookie Duration: 30 Days

    REI has been sharing its passion for the outdoors since 1938. It has massive brand recognition on its side and offers a wide variety of products.

  2. Booking.com

    Booking.com

    Commission Rate: 25% - 40% Per Sale

    Cookie Duration: N/A

    First started in 1996, Booking.com is one of the largest eCommerce travel companies in the world. As an affiliate member, you can make up to 40% commission.

  3. Travel Insurance Master

    Travel Insurance Master

    Commission Rate: 15% or $5 - $55 Per Sale

    Cookie Duration: 1 Year

    Travel Insurance Master is an easy way to find your recommended travel insurance plan from multiple leading providers all in one place!

TIP: We maintain a database of the best affiliate programs. Click here to see the best travel affiliate programs.

Once you’ve been approved for the product’s affiliate program, the program will give you your affiliate link, and you can start inserting it into your content.

Inserting links into WordPress

How To Monetize A Travel Blog With Affiliate Marketing

To add your link to your content, go to your post editor, highlight the relevant text, and insert the link.

Here are a few best practices for adding affiliate links to your WordPress blog:

  • Add links where it’s helpful. Adding too many links to your blog posts is just like adding too many ads; it’s annoying. Add links to product titles, images, CTA buttons, and the first time you mention a product. That’s plenty.
  • Disclose your links. Every blog post with affiliate links should have a disclaimer at the beginning, and every CTA or product image should also.
  • Use direct sales language. When you are writing your call to action, be direct. It’s not rude to say, “Check the price” or “Buy this product today.” Being too passive makes you look unconfident.

Or, take it a step further by creating product displays.

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You can create displays manually using the post editor to add links to images and buttons.

However, it can be time-consuming to create these displays and keep them updated if you’re doing it all by hand.

Luckily, monetizing your blog with affiliate links is simplified when you’re using a tool like Lasso.

Lasso makes it super easy to add links and product displays to your posts. You can add product displays to posts right from the post editor; no coding is required. It’s as simple as clicking your mouse three times.

You can also automatically import product info from retailers like Amazon. Just paste the link into the Lasso dashboard, and Lasso will populate the display with the product title, image, and price.

With all of this, remember to follow the guidelines in the affiliate program’s terms and conditions. Amazon, in particular, is pretty stringent.

But everything Lasso does is compliant with Amazon Associates’ TOS, so you never have to worry about being booted from the program.

That’s just scratching the surface of what Lasso can do to help you monetize your travel blog. If you’re ready to start making a serious affiliate income from your travel site, sign up for Lasso today.

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Affiliate Marketing Pros and Cons for Travel Bloggers

Affiliate marketing can be a great way for travel bloggers to monetize their content. By partnering with companies that offer travel-related products or services, bloggers can earn a commission for each sale or referral they generate.

One of the main advantages of affiliate marketing for travel bloggers is the potential for passive income. Once you have set up your affiliate links within your content, you can continue to earn money from those links long after you have published the post.

However, there are also some drawbacks to consider. One challenge is finding the right affiliate programs that align with your blog's niche and audience. It can take time to research and test different programs to find the ones that work best for you.

Additionally, some readers may be put off by affiliate links if they feel like the blogger is only promoting products for the sake of earning a commission. It's important to strike a balance between promoting products you genuinely believe in and being transparent about your affiliate relationships.

2. Display Ads

The second best way to monetize your travel blog is with display ads. Ads are the internet's favorite monetization method, but they have severe drawbacks.

How to Monetize a Travel Blog With Display Ads

Monetizing a travel blog with display ads couldn’t be easier.

First, choose an ad network to join. Networks have traffic requirements, so here are the best ad networks to join based on your site’s page views:

  • 100,000+ Visitors per month - Raptive
  • 50,000+ Sessions per month - Mediavine
  • < 50,000+ Visitors per month - Ezoic

NOTE: WordPress is an open-source software found on WordPress.org. WordPress.com is a premium blogging platform, but you never need to pay to install WordPress on your website, even if it’s self-hosted.

Once you’re accepted to an ad network, follow their instructions to integrate their ads into your site. They will have documentation for every type of content management service (WordPress, Joomla, Ghost, etc.).

If your chosen ad network has a dedicated accounts manager, they will guide you through getting their ads on your site.

And… that’s it. Let the ads run and wait for your deposits to hit your account.

TIP: Optimize your display ads for user experience by using your chosen network’s software settings or talking to your account manager. Keep the ads in the sidebar and footer whenever possible.

You’ll make a lot of money in the long run if you put your readers ahead of quick profit.

Display Ad Pros And Cons For Travel Bloggers

Display ads can be a great source of revenue for travel bloggers. They provide a passive income stream that requires minimal effort once set up.

However, display ads can also clutter your website and distract from your content. They may also slow down your site's loading speed, which can negatively impact user experience.

On the other hand, display ads can help you reach a larger audience and increase brand awareness for your blog. They can also be a valuable source of income, especially if you have a high volume of traffic.

Ultimately, the decision to use display ads on your travel blog will depend on your specific goals and priorities. Consider the pros and cons carefully before incorporating them into your monetization strategy.

3. Digital Products

Selling your own digital products is a great way to increase your earnings per visitor in the travel niche.

A digital product is anything you can sell on your travel blog that the customer will receive via download.

  • Travel Guides: Detailed guides on various destinations with insider tips and recommendations.
  • Travel Planning Templates: Templates for organizing trip itineraries, packing lists, and budget trackers.
  • Photography Presets: Presets for editing travel photos to achieve a consistent and professional look.
  • Language Learning Courses: Courses to help travelers learn basic phrases and vocabulary in foreign languages.
  • Travel Gear Recommendations: Curated lists of recommended travel gear and gadgets for different types of trips.

A lot of people search for simple checklists and guides related to different topics. They’d happily pay you for them.

Pros and Cons of Selling Digital Products for Travel Bloggers

One of the main advantages of selling digital products for travel bloggers is the potential for passive income. Once the product is created and marketed, bloggers can continue to earn money without much ongoing effort. This can be especially beneficial for those who want to focus on creating content or traveling rather than constantly promoting products.

Another pro is the scalability of digital products. Bloggers can reach a larger audience and sell their products to people all over the world without the limitations of physical inventory or shipping costs. This can lead to increased revenue and growth opportunities for bloggers looking to expand their business.

On the flip side, a potential downside of selling digital products is the need for marketing and promotion skills. Bloggers may need to invest time and resources into effectively promoting their products to ensure they reach their target audience. This can be challenging for those who are more focused on creating content rather than sales and marketing.

Additionally, digital products may face competition in a crowded online marketplace. Travel bloggers will need to differentiate their products and find a unique selling point to stand out among competitors. This can require creativity and strategic planning to ensure success in selling digital products.

How To Monetize a Travel Blog By Selling Digital Products

The first thing to do is create your digital product.

Look at which content your audience interacts with the most, and brainstorm digital products to help serve their search intent.

That’s what I did when I created our Ultimate Blogging Guide:

Then, create the product using whatever tools are at your disposal. For example, use Microsoft Word to create an ebook PDF, or Google Sheets to create interactive spreadsheets and checklists.

Next, you have to figure out how to distribute your product. The easiest way to distribute PDFs is by uploading them to your WordPress media library. Then you can give customers the link, and they can download the PDF from there.

Lastly, you’ll have to set up payment processing and order fulfillment. A plugin like Woocommerce can automate most of this, but you’ll have to tie it to a processor like Stripe or PayPal.

Woocommerce can even connect to an email tool like ConvertKit, so as soon as your customer finishes their checkout, they’ll get an email with a link to their download.

TIP: You can still use Lasso to get more clicks to your digital products. Just create a Lasso display with the link pointing to your product’s sales page.

Barring any issues, you won’t have to do anything but watch your bank account grow.

4. Email Newsletter

One effective way to monetize a travel blog is by creating an email newsletter. This method allows you to build a loyal audience and engage with your readers on a more personal level. Let's explore how to monetize a travel blog with an email newsletter and the pros and cons of email marketing for travel bloggers.

How to Monetize a Travel Blog with an Email Newsletter

If you're a travel blogger looking to monetize your blog, consider using an email newsletter as part of your strategy. By building a loyal subscriber base, you can promote affiliate products, sponsored content, and your own products or services to a targeted audience. Here's how to effectively monetize your travel blog with an email newsletter:

1. Offer Exclusive Content:

  • Create special newsletters: Provide subscribers with insider tips, exclusive travel guides, and behind-the-scenes stories that they can't find on your blog.

2. Promote Affiliate Products:

  • Feature affiliate links: Recommend products or services that align with your travel niche and earn a commission for every sale made through your unique affiliate link.

3. Sell Sponsored Content:

  • Collaborate with brands: Partner with travel-related companies to promote their products or services to your email subscribers in exchange for a fee or complimentary products.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Travel Bloggers

Pros:

  • Direct communication: Reach your audience directly in their inbox, bypassing social media algorithms and ensuring your message is seen.
  • Targeted promotions: Tailor your email campaigns to specific segments of your audience based on their travel preferences, increasing the likelihood of conversion.
  • Build brand loyalty: Regularly engaging with subscribers through valuable content can strengthen their connection to your blog and increase their trust in your recommendations.

Cons:

  • Email deliverability: Ensure your emails are not marked as spam and reach your subscribers' primary inbox to maximize open rates and engagement.
  • Competition for attention: With overflowing inboxes, it can be challenging to capture and maintain the attention of your subscribers amidst other promotional emails they receive.
  • Time-consuming: Creating engaging email content, managing subscriber lists, and analyzing campaign performance require time and effort to execute effectively.

5. Consulting and Coaching Services

Consulting or coaching is exchanging your expertise and time for a fee. Your customers need an expert, and you’ve proven yourself to be that expert.

As you become an authority in the industry, people will reach out to you with questions about topics they consider you an expert in.

Now, you don’t have to charge for being helpful, but you should place a dollar value on your time.

As a travel blogger, you extensive knowledge of the industry. If a reader reaches out to you asking for help, you should get paid for that effort.

How To Monetize A Travel Blog With Consulting Services

Monetizing a travel blog with consulting services is similar to selling sponsored posts.

Put a “Coaching” option in your nav bar that goes to a landing page outlining your consulting services and your hourly rate. This will help head off some of the people looking for free advice.

TIP: Again, you can use Lasso to drive more clicks to your coaching pages. Just create a Display with a link to your sales page, and insert it into blog posts.

Then, wait for requests to come in, evaluate them, and propose your offer. If the customer accepts, send them an invoice using PayPal or another payment processor, and schedule the call.

Pros and Cons of Selling Consulting Services for Travel Bloggers

One of the major pros of selling consulting services for travel bloggers is the potential to make a significant income. Many travel bloggers are constantly looking for ways to improve their content and grow their audience, making them willing to invest in consulting services.

Additionally, offering consulting services can help you establish yourself as an expert in the travel industry. This can lead to more opportunities for partnerships, collaborations, and speaking engagements, further expanding your reach and credibility.

On the other hand, selling consulting services for travel bloggers can be time-consuming and require a lot of energy. You may need to juggle multiple clients, create customized strategies, and provide ongoing support, which can be overwhelming for some individuals.

Furthermore, the travel industry is constantly evolving, so staying up-to-date with the latest trends and technologies is essential. This means investing time and resources into continuous learning and professional development to ensure you are offering valuable and relevant services to your clients.

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Travel Blog Monetization FAQs

What Is The Best Way To Make Money From Travel Blogging?

If you want to build a successful travel blog, then affiliate marketing is the best way to monetize it. It’s the least intrusive way to make a lot of money from your site without much extra effort.

Can I Make A Full-Time Income From Travel Blogging?

Absolutely! Some travel blogs, like Nomadic Matt and The Blonde Abroad get hundreds of thousands of monthly visitors. That’s enough for a full-time income for a small team of people.

How Do I Start a Travel Blog?

Learning how to start a travel blog is the first best way to use your expertise to start an online business.

You need to register a domain, install WordPress, and publish great content. It's a lot of work, but totally worth it!

How Do Travel Bloggers Get Paid?

Most travel bloggers make money through affiliate commissions and advertising fees. Both of these monetization methods pay out one or two months after the fees have been generated.

Some travel bloggers also sell sponsored posts, consulting services, or their own products. In these cases, a payment processor like PayPal or Stripe is necessary.

Is Travel Blogging Easy?

Nothing worth doing is truly easy, but that doesn’t mean travel blogging isn’t fun.

As a travel blogger, you’ll get to go places, try new things, and meet new people. And it will be part of your business! What could be cooler than that?

Is It Worth Starting A Travel Blog?

It’s absolutely worth it to start a travel blog. Not only can you make a living from it, but you can also build a community and control the conversation.

Once you’re an established authority, people in travel-related industries will take you seriously.

Final Thoughts on Monetizing a Travel Blog

So, now that you've got the lowdown on how to make money from your travel blog, here's a little extra nugget of wisdom for you:

Try mixing it up with different ways to bring in the cash!

Having a variety of income sources is key to keeping your blog afloat in the long run.

If you combine affiliate marketing, ads, and your own products, you'll be in a better position if one revenue stream takes a hit.

By diversifying your approach, putting in the effort, and planning smartly, you'll be well on your way to reaping the rewards your blog deserves.

Why You Should Trust Our Travel Blogging Content

You may be thinking, "that's all great, but what does Lasso know about travel blogging?"

Quite a lot, actually.

Here's why you can trust our process for building a successful travel blog:

We've Built Wildly Successful Blogs

Lasso is built for affiliate marketers, by affiliate marketers. We're not gurus; we've walked the walk.

Our team members have built multiple blogs from the ground up, some of them earning over seven figures in revenue.

We put that experience into every guide we write, so you can trust we're giving you a process that works.

We Talk To Travel Bloggers Every Day

Lasso's WordPress plugin is installed on over 8,000 websites, including a lot of travel blogs.

Our team supports those bloggers every day as they create awesome content and earn lots of money.

These communications give us a bird's-eye view of what's new in the travel industry. We take that information and use it to keep these guides as up-to-date and accurate as possible.

We're Super Nerds

We've put a lot of company focus into learning everything we can about blogging, affiliate marketing, SEO, and anything to do with online entrepreneurship.

We attend conferences, collect high-level contacts, read tons of books, and distill all of that information into our content. We pass information onto you that was previously only available to industry insiders.

Earn More from Your Travel Blog

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