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If you’re thinking about becoming a travel blogger then no doubt you’ll have asked yourself – how much do travel bloggers make?
The honest answer is it can vary wildly but in this article I’ll give you a rough idea of what you can expect to earn from a travel blog and some examples of what individual travel bloggers are earning.
Growing a travel blog is hard work and requires a lot of persistence. However, if you become established and get enough traffic you can certainly make a full-time income from travel blogging and make enough money to live comfortably in any city.
One thing I will say though, is It’s not the most lucrative niche and it’s super competitive too. If you’re just starting a blog then you may want to consider a niche like personal finance, parenting or lifestyle & beauty.
But if you’re really passionate about traveling then it’s always worth writing about something you love. If you know what you’re doing and you’re willing to put in the hours you can definitely turn it into a career!
So let’s take a look at how much you can make with a travel blog:
How much do travel bloggers make?
The typical travel blogger salary varies massively.
The amount earned depends on a few factors:
- How established you are and how long you’ve been blogging
- Number of posts you have and quality of content
- Traffic and number of keywords you rank for
- Number of income streams you have
- Whether you’ve achieved “influencer” status on social media platforms
If you’re a beginner blogger just starting out, you’re not going to make very much at all.
However, once you build up your DA (Domain Authority) and traffic you will start to see your income rise. If you work really, really hard, within 6 months you could be making over $500 per month from sponsored posts and display ads.
To do that you’d need to be blogging consistently, say 5 times per week. After 6 months you’ll have about 120 posts on your site, which is enough to start getting some good traffic if you’re ranking well.
When a blog has over 100 blog posts, this is usually when it starts getting decent search traffic from Google. You’ll want to make sure these are high quality, detailed blog posts. Many bloggers are writing epic guides around 2,000 to 3,000 words long.
Writing posts is just one part of the equation though. In order to become more “established” and an authority in travel blogging, you’ll need to share content on social media, network at conferences, build backlinks to your site and draw in some publicity for your blog.
If you can get yourself featured on sites like Forbes, Business Insider or any news site then this will give you a huge boost. If you can’t get featured on these sites, don’t worry. You can guest post on other travel blogs or take part in podcasts and blogger interviews.
Once you’ve become more established and your traffic is good then you should start to be able to make around $3,000 to $5,000 per month from your blog. This would be through a mixture of display ads, affiliates and sponsored posts.
If you can get to 100,000 sessions per month or more on your blog then you should be able to make upwards of $5,000.
Two Monkeys Travel Group created a list of 30+ travel bloggers earning over $5,000 per month. On that list many of the top bloggers are making over $10,000 per month from their travel blogs. These are high traffic blogs with multiple revenue streams. The most successful of them all, Nomadic Matt, makes over $50,000 per month.
Travel blogger income reports
To delve deeper into the exact figures, let’s take a look at some travel blogger income reports:
Living the Dream RTW – Made $12,714 in November 2021 (mainly from his local site Discover the Burgh).
A Passion and a Passport – Made $70K+ blogging in 2018 while holding a full time job.
Two Wandering Soles – Made $74,367 in Q4 of 2019. (That’s around $24,789 per month).
The Atlas Heart – Made $6,598 from her travel blog in June 2021.
If you want to read more income reports, Travel Blog Success created an income report roundup of 15 travel bloggers. This is a really good post that breaks down exactly how much they make and a breakdown of their income sources.
Can you trust blogger income reports?
Some travel bloggers create super detailed income reports with a breakdown of exactly how they made their money. Always look at their expenditure too to see how much their net income is.
If you see a random news article where a blogger claims to be making over 100K a year but they don’t really specify how they make their money then they could well be inflating their figures to appear more successful than they actually are.
But on the whole most reputable travel bloggers provide in-depth income reports to motivate themselves to do better and to also show you how it’s possible.
How do travel bloggers make money?
There are numerous ways to make money travel blogging, including display ads, affiliate links and sponsored posts. The more income streams you have, the better.
Most bloggers who own sites that are getting over 50,000 sessions per month use Mediavine. Mediavine is a display ad network that serves ads on your site, usually between paragraphs in your blog posts or in the footer of the page.
My RPM (revenue per mille) ranged from $10.22 to $23.50 in the month of June 2021. My average RPM was $15.25.
If you get 50,000 sessions on your blog that equates to around $762.50 per month. If you get 100,000 sessions on your blog then that would equate to $1525 per month passive income. And if you get 200,000 sessions you would get $3050 per month.
If you can get your RPM up (by increasing font size and creating long posts) then you can earn even more. Some travel bloggers have consistent RPMs of $25-$30.
This type of revenue is the easiest as it doesn’t require you to do anything. All you have to do is get accepted to Mediavine and then they’ll deposit the money into your bank account.
Another way to make passive income from a travel blog is by inserting affiliate links into blog posts. If a visitor clicks the link and buys something, you make a small commission on the sale. Popular affiliate platforms include CJ Affiliate, Awin and Impact. Travel brands that offer affiliate programs for travel bloggers include Booking.com, Hostelworld, TripAdvisor and Rentalcars.com.
You could also create content that includes links to Amazon products using Amazon Associates.
It can be time consuming getting all the affiliate links to insert into your blog posts but once they’re there, you don’t have to do anything else. It’s passive income, so this is a good monetization technique.
Brands will often approach bloggers looking for sponsored posts. You create a blog post, mention their brand and insert a link to their website.
Newer blogs with lower traffic can usually charge around $60 USD per post. More established blogs charge around $150-$300 per post. If you have a travel blog with high traffic then you could charge around $500 or more per post.
Products & e-courses
It’s worth thinking of your travel blog as a store front. Your visitors come to your blog through Google but what are you selling? Lots of bloggers decide to make products, such as e-courses or books showing people how to make money blogging. This can be lucrative if you spend money on Facebook ads and Instagram ads to encourage sales.
Sponsored social content
Brands may reach out to you to ask you to create standalone sponsored social content for them. You might be asked to post an Instagram photo, a reel or several Instagram stories mentioning their brand.
Sometimes travel bloggers will be invited on group press trips (or solo ones) to visit a destination by the local tourism board. The trip will usually include free travel, including free flights, hotels, food and activities. If you’re curious about what press trips involve, I wrote a full article on what press trips are like.
In addition to this you can sometimes negotiate a fee on top for the coverage you produce. Many press trips are still unpaid, especially if it’s to an exotic, luxury destination. The tourism board considers it enough to be covering the costs of the trip. If you’re a new blogger you won’t be able to get paid to travel, but if you have a decent following you may be able to negotiate payment.
You’ll agree on a set number of social posts, blog posts and possibly videos, then quote a fee for the work. For a press trip you could definitely negotiate around $1,000 to $2,000. If you’re creating video content or have a large social media following then you could charge more like $5000 to $10,000. The larger your audience, the more you can charge.
Consulting, social media management & other services
In addition to creating content you could also offer your services to other companies. For instance, you may offer graphic design services or manage the social media pages for travel brands. Your blog is a good way to advertise those services to potential clients and make some additional cash.
Is it too late to start a travel blog?
Starting a new travel blog in 2022 is definitely a lot tougher than when I started this site in 2009. There are a lot more travel blogs out there and the competition is fierce since so many bloggers are making quality content.
In order to get to the top you can’t mess around. You need to work hard and create better posts than the rest. You’ll need to focus on your link building and write high quality content.
Having said that, you do have an advantage coming late to the game.
Firstly, there are a lot more ways to make money travel blogging now. When I started my blog bloggers didn’t get paid to travel. You were lucky if you got a free trip and it was unheard of to actually get paid for a press trip. Mediavine wasn’t a thing back then and we had to rely on things like Google Ads, which didn’t pay much. Now you have multiple income streams and ways to earn a living from blogging.
Secondly, you have the advantage of being able to read thousands of articles on the Internet about how to make money blogging. The first travel bloggers learnt by trial and error and made lots of mistakes along the way. But now the industry has evolved, you know all the tricks of the trade shared by other bloggers. You don’t have to make the mistakes we did.
A final word…
As you can see from the above article, it’s quite common for travel bloggers to make around $3,000 to $5,000 per month. So that means a salary of around $36,000 to $60,000 per year.
If you’re really good with SEO and you develop multiple revenue streams, you can expect to make $10,000 or more per month as a top blogger. That’s $120,000+ per year.
The sky really is the limit with travel blogging. A great way to increase your income is to own multiple blogs. Some bloggers own several blogs in different niches, or they have one general travel blog and then one local travel blog.
Another way to boost your travel blogging income is by selling your own products, whether that’s an online course, an e-book or merchandise.
Whatever methods you choose to make money travel blogging, the key is to be consistent and treat your blog like a business. Reinvest some of the money you make into hiring people, improving your site and creating your own products to sell.