“Seriously, but what do you really do with life? How do you make money? “I’ve heard these questions many times, whenever I tell my profession: travel blogger. There are two opinions on this subject. The most common, shared by almost everyone who was born before the commercial internet, is that this blog story being a profession is silly, as if “blogger” were a facade name to hide the person’s true job. International Drug Trafficking, Will It Be You?
The other point of view is common in the generation that was born in a connected world. These people not only believe that it is possible to make money from a blog, but they also find it easy. You see, how to make a blog give money remains a mystery to this group. The only difference is that they believe that yes, it is possible, perhaps inspired by the positive examples of several fashion bloggers.
Both views have flaws. Yes, professional bloggers exist and are becoming more and more common. The big question is that making money from a blog is no easy task. If what you are looking for is easy and relatively quick money, I suggest looking for another profession. If you want to work little, run away. I’ve never worked as much as I have now.
Where does the money come from?
First of all, this is the third post in a series on how to live from a travel blog. I suggest you also read the other two, which are linked below. No more cursing, it’s time to talk about money.
Blogs: communication vehicles
How does Globo make money? The soap operas made by the station cost millions, as well as the journalistic programming. And everything is transmitted for free, in an open channel. The viewer does not pay directly for the product they see. Even so, Globo makes billions a year.
The same logic works with blogs. But, of course, the profit is only a few billion lower. The point is that blogs are communication vehicles, in exactly the same way as a television channel, a radio station, a print newspaper, or a magazine. All these vehicles have forms of monetization and profit. The main one is quite obvious.
Just like traditional vehicles, blogs often work with advertising. For example, in we have three banner ads – one at the top of the page, one in the sidebar and one inside the text. These banners can be occupied by the brands of companies that buy the space or by Google AdSense, which are advertisements displayed and chosen by Google.
For each view or click on these advertisements, we earn a little money, sometimes counted in the cents. When a company buys the advertising space of the blog, we can also sell a package of visualizations or the display of the banner for a certain period, all with an agreed value between the parties.
Besides banners, there are other forms of advertising, such as sponsored posts, which are always indicated as such. Publicizing brands on social networks is another way to monetize a blog through advertising, as well as sponsored travel and blogger participation in similar events.
The Brazilian advertising market is still learning to see blogs as great business opportunities, which makes this method one of the least profitable at the beginning of the blogger’s work. And look, some blogs have much larger audiences than magazines and newspapers, which still have a much larger share of the advertising market. On the other hand, Google AdSense, when well worked, usually gives satisfactory results.
It works like this: blog partners with a company, for example, hotel reservations, such as Booking.com or Hotels.com. We enter in the blog links to hotels, search boxes or to general pages of these search engines. To get clearer, imagine that you are reading a text about Rio de Janeiro. At some point I write the sentence below:
This link is not advertising. The blogger did not earn anything by putting that link there and will not even win if the reader clicks on it. When a blog is part of a company’s affiliate program, if the reader clicks on that link and makes the booking for it, then the blog earns a commission.
The detail is that the reader does not pay anything more for this – the value will be the same if he makes the reservation by another link, in another site, or by searching the Booking website directly on the internet. The commission leaves the company, which shares a portion of its profit with the blogger. With this, many readers are keen to book their hotels through their favorite blogs, after all this is a way to fund the work of bloggers indirectly, without spending absolutely anything – thanks, people.
There are affiliate programs of various types: travel insurance, sale of tickets for tourist attractions, air tickets, sale of books, home appliances, for all tastes and types of blogs. Will you start a blog and want to join an affiliate program? Do not just spread banners, search boxes and links from your favorite bookings site – before you need to sign up for the program and wait for the guidelines.
Sale of products
The blog can invest in creating own products, which are sold to the readers. In the case of fashion bloggers, there are examples of those who have launched clothing lines. But what about a travel blog? What can you sell?
In it, we sell our two books, which have given months of work, but sell well. It is the e-books First Trip, aimed at the Brazilian who never went abroad and Roteiros da Índia,a digital book with about 260 pages and that gives all the tips for those who dream of knowing that country.
Other blogs also sell books and guides, both digital and printed. Just to name a few, there are guides from Buenos Aires to Chicas , Aires Buenos , Ducs Amsterdam and Matraqueando blog . The Traveler’s Apprentice has recently released a guide on London. That’s a trend. You’ll see the release of many travel bloggers’ guides and books in the coming months, which is a great thing.
It’s another formula that should turn out to be a trend. Some blogs and websites are funded directly by readers. In addition to the traditional and simple donations, some blogs have developed elaborate projects that are really attractive to the reader, who earns something by helping in financing their favorite blog.
This something can be access to unique content or can even be a product such as books, mugs and t-shirts, which are sent from time to time. Last year the Cinema em Cena created a program of collective financing, which allowed the site to continue in the air. Within the travel blogosphere, a blog that uses this funding system is Gabriel QuerViajar, which has even created an annual subscription.
And there are still sites that use collective funding for large projects that would otherwise not be possible.
Consulting and lectures
Everyone has some knowledge that would interest others. It’s no different with travel bloggers who know very well how to plan what is the dream of many people: to travel more. And, if possible, not spending that much. Knowledge, no matter what it is, can be synonymous with money. And many bloggers have been successful in pursuing this path. Some use their travel expertise in consulting firms, which are hired by readers. Others became lecturers.
Third-party content production
In addition to profitable communication vehicles, blogs can be great portfolios. I myself, in the beginning, I used the texts published here to get frills of tourism in some of the biggest Brazilian communication vehicles. Later, we used the companies that we would be good content producers for them, creating special projects. One of them was the series of posts we made for Sony’s blog during our Europe trip in 2013. Well before blogs became profitable, when almost no blogger was a professional, there were already those who used their blogs as ways to get jobs out.
You need readers
Readers. This is the common ground for making the above (and other) methods profitable. Blogs are communication vehicles. Communication vehicles are only profitable when they have a respectable number of readers. A blogger does not earn money if his blog is only read by some friends, relatives, half a dozen of acquaintances and more guys who found the blog on the web. It takes a lot more than that. It’s complicated to define a number, as if there is a perfect audience that makes a blog turn out to be magically profitable. In reality the process is a natural evolution. But just to give an example, what we noticed was that the blog became more interesting for advertisers and partners when we approach the 100 thousand monthly page views. That is, when the content of the blog came to be viewed 100 thousand times in a single month.
It was at this time that advertising proposals began to become interesting, it was at this time that affiliate programs started to have some result, it was at this time that we realized that it would be a good idea to launch a digital book. You see, it still took a long time for each blogger to get a paycheck from the blog. Being three, it was necessary to triple that audience so that the money would be enough to give a reasonable standard of living for the whole team. It has blogs that achieve monetization and financial independence with a much smaller readership. And there are those who cannot do that even with larger audiences. Anyway, every case is a case.
But can you earn how much?
When I talk about this subject with someone, whether at a bar table or another social occasion, it is at this point in the conversation that something interesting happens: even though I understand all theory and ways of making money, one does not yet believe that really take a salary with a blog. “But your family helps you pay the bills and travel, right?” No. And that professional blogger actually lives blogging, is not supported by the woman. That blogger even makes money, does not have all the bills paid by her husband.
To try to erase these doubts once and for all, we will open our bank balance for you, dear reader. In early 2014, when we were in the beginning of the blog monetization process, each of our bloggers earned between $600 and $1200 per month. At that time, to pay the bills was necessary to make frilas. It worked: when last year came to an end, each blogger earned R $4,000 per month. This only with the net income coming from our blog, not counting the money that eventually comes from journalistic frilas and that currently we only do if the proposal is really very good, after all the blog already gives a lot of work.
If you want to know more then visit our flights to Barcelona page to get more ideas!