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 already got your travel blog up and running, congrats! Now it's time to start making some money from it.

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

Whether you're a newbie blogger or a seasoned travel influencer, these monetization methods are going to transform your hobby blog into a thriving business. Let's dive in and explore each one in detail.

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

There are several kinds of affiliate products that can be recommended in the travel blogging niche. Here are some options:

  • Travel gear and accessories: Recommending travel essentials like luggage, backpacks, travel adapters, packing cubes, and portable chargers can be lucrative. These products are practical and useful for travelers.
  • Travel booking platforms: Promoting platforms like Booking.com, Expedia, or Airbnb can earn commissions when readers book accommodations or flights through your affiliate links. These platforms offer a wide range of options and competitive prices.
  • Tours and activities: Suggesting tours and activities through platforms like Viator or GetYourGuide allows travelers to explore their destination with local guides. These platforms offer a variety of experiences, from city tours to adventure activities.
  • Travel insurance: Recommending reputable travel insurance providers ensures that your readers have coverage in case of emergencies. Travel insurance companies like World Nomads offer comprehensive plans for different types of travelers.
  • Language learning resources: Language learning apps or online courses can be valuable for travelers looking to communicate effectively in foreign countries. Promote platforms like Babbel or Rosetta Stone to help your readers learn a new language.
  • Travel credit cards: Affiliate partnerships with travel credit card companies can help you earn commissions when readers sign up for a card. These cards often offer travel rewards, such as airline miles or hotel points.

By recommending these affiliate products, travel bloggers can monetize their content while providing valuable recommendations to their readers.

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 and earn passive income. However, like any other form of marketing, it has its pros and cons.

One of the major advantages of affiliate marketing for travel bloggers is the potential for high earnings. By partnering with reputable travel brands and promoting their products or services, bloggers can earn a commission on every sale made through their affiliate links. This can be especially beneficial for bloggers with a large and engaged audience.

Another advantage is the flexibility that affiliate marketing offers. As a travel blogger, you can choose the products or services that align with your niche and brand. This allows you to recommend products that you genuinely believe in and that your audience will find valuable. Plus, you can work on your own schedule and promote affiliate products or services in a way that fits naturally into your content.

However, it's important to be aware of the potential downsides of affiliate marketing. One of the challenges is finding the right balance between promoting affiliate products and maintaining the trust and loyalty of your audience. Too many affiliate promotions can come across as spammy and may turn off your readers. It's crucial to only promote products or services that you genuinely believe in and that are relevant to your audience.

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 valuable tool for travel bloggers looking to monetize their content. One of the main advantages is that display ads offer a passive income stream – once they are set up, they can generate revenue without requiring much ongoing effort. This can be especially beneficial for travel bloggers who may not have the time or resources to constantly create and promote new products or services.

Another pro of display ads is that they can be easily targeted to specific audiences. Travel bloggers can choose to display ads that are relevant to their niche, such as ads for hotels, flights, or travel gear. This ensures that the ads are more likely to resonate with their readers, increasing the chances of click-throughs and conversions.

However, display ads do have some downsides to consider. One major con is that they can be intrusive and disrupt the user experience on a blog. Ads that are too flashy or obnoxious can annoy readers and even drive them away from the site. It's important for travel bloggers to find a balance between monetization and maintaining a positive user experience.

Additionally, display ads may not always generate substantial revenue, especially for smaller blogs with lower traffic. Advertisers often pay based on impressions or clicks, so if a blog doesn't have a significant number of visitors, the earnings from display ads may be minimal. It's important for travel bloggers to assess their blog's traffic and potential earnings before deciding to incorporate display ads into their 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.

Digital Products to Sell on a Travel Blog:

  • Travel Guides: Comprehensive e-books or PDFs with detailed itineraries, tips, and recommendations for popular destinations.
  • Photography Presets: Preset packs for editing travel photos, allowing bloggers to achieve consistent and eye-catching aesthetics.
  • Language Learning Courses: Digital courses or audio lessons to help travelers learn basic phrases and communicate in foreign languages.
  • Travel Planning Templates: Customizable templates for creating travel itineraries, packing lists, and budget trackers.
  • Destination-specific Maps: Interactive maps with highlighted attractions, accommodations, and local tips for specific destinations.
  • Travel-themed Fonts: Unique fonts inspired by different cultures, perfect for creating eye-catching blog headers and graphics.
  • Travel-themed Stock Photos: High-quality, royalty-free images of landmarks, nature, and cultural experiences for blog illustrations.
  • Travel-related E-courses: Online courses on topics like travel blogging, travel photography, or solo female travel safety.
  • City Guide Mobile Apps: Customized mobile apps with offline maps, restaurant recommendations, and insider insights for various cities.
  • Travel Journal Templates: Digital templates for creating beautiful and organized travel journals, capturing memories and experiences.

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

There are several pros and cons for travel bloggers when it comes to selling digital products. Let's start with the pros. One of the biggest advantages is the potential for passive income. Once you create and market your digital products, they can continue to generate revenue for you without much ongoing effort.

Another pro is the opportunity to showcase your expertise and provide value to your audience. By creating digital products like e-books, online courses, or travel guides, you can share your knowledge and help others learn from your experiences.

Additionally, selling digital products allows you to diversify your income streams. Relying solely on sponsored posts or affiliate marketing can be risky, as these sources may fluctuate. By selling your own products, you have more control over your earnings and can reduce dependence on external partnerships.

However, there are also some cons to consider. Creating high-quality digital products takes time and effort. From researching and planning to writing and designing, it can be a time-consuming process. Moreover, there is no guarantee of success. Market saturation and competition can make it challenging to stand out and attract customers.

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, one effective method is through an email newsletter. An email newsletter allows you to connect directly with your audience and establish a loyal following. Here's how you can monetize your travel blog using an email newsletter:

1. Build an email list: Start by creating a sign-up form on your blog where visitors can subscribe to your newsletter. Offer an incentive, such as a free travel guide or exclusive discounts, to encourage sign-ups. Promote your newsletter on social media and through your blog posts to attract more subscribers.

2. Provide valuable content: Once you have a list of subscribers, it's crucial to consistently provide them with valuable content. Share travel tips, destination guides, and personal anecdotes that resonate with your audience. By offering valuable content, you'll keep your subscribers engaged and eager to open your emails.

3. Partner with brands and sponsors: As a travel blogger, you have the opportunity to collaborate with brands and sponsors that align with your niche. Include sponsored content or affiliate links in your newsletters, promoting products or services that you genuinely recommend. Make sure to disclose any sponsored content to maintain transparency with your audience.

Pros and Cons of Email Marketing for Travel Bloggers

Pros:

  • Direct connection with your audience: An email newsletter allows you to communicate directly with your subscribers, building a loyal community of travel enthusiasts who are genuinely interested in your content.
  • Opportunity for personalization: With email marketing, you can segment your audience based on their interests, location, or previous engagement. This allows you to tailor your content and promotional offers, increasing the chances of conversions.
  • Potential for long-term revenue: By nurturing a loyal subscriber base, you can establish long-term relationships with brands and sponsors. This can lead to ongoing partnerships and a consistent revenue stream for your travel blog.

Cons:

  • Time-consuming: Creating and maintaining an email newsletter requires time and effort. From crafting engaging content to managing subscriber lists and analyzing metrics, it can be a significant commitment.
  • Building a subscriber base: Growing your email list can be a challenge, especially in a saturated travel blogging market. It requires consistent promotion, compelling incentives, and a well-designed sign-up form.
  • Potential for unsubscribes: Not every subscriber will stay engaged forever. Some may unsubscribe from your newsletter, leading to a decrease in your reach. However, by consistently providing value, you can minimize unsubscribes and retain an active subscriber base.

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

There are both pros and cons to selling consulting services for travel bloggers. Let's start with the pros. One major advantage is the potential for a steady stream of income. By offering consulting services, travel bloggers can generate revenue even when they are not actively traveling or creating content.

Another benefit is the opportunity to share expertise and knowledge with others. Travel bloggers have unique insights and experiences that can be valuable to aspiring bloggers or those looking to improve their own travel content. Consulting allows them to pass on their expertise and help others succeed in the industry.

However, there are also some cons to consider. One challenge is finding the balance between consulting and maintaining their own blog. Selling consulting services can be time-consuming, and bloggers may find themselves dedicating less time to their own content creation.

Additionally, there may be a limited market for consulting services in the travel blogging niche. Many bloggers prefer to learn from free resources or may not see the value in paying for consulting. This means that travel bloggers offering consulting services may need to actively market themselves and demonstrate the value they can provide.

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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

Now that you know all the different ways you can make money from your travel blog step-by-step, here's one more tip:

Try using multiple methods to make money!

Diversifying your income sources is the best way to protect your blog's future.

If you promote affiliate offers, display ads, and sell your own products, you won't be in trouble if Amazon lowers its commission rates again.

By taking this approach, working hard, and planning carefully, you'll be well on your way to earning what your travel 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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