How to Make Money Travel Blogging (From a Travel Blogger Who Does, 2024)

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This post may contain affiliate links.

I’m asked all the time so here are my best tips on how to make money travel blogging. Blogging funded our life, 2 adults, 2 kids now almost grown, full-time travel. Travel blogging and running this travel blog allowed us to see the world. We’re 100% legitimate and the money comes from the blog, not selling courses. We genuinely love travel and sharing the world with our readers, we’re going to continue to be travel bloggers, not course sellers. So here are some pointers and tips to help you make an income from your blog or website. We’ve included information about the devastating Google update of March 2024 (HCU), its effects on the industry, and recovery from that update. This site is recovering, I’ll share how.

how do travel bloggers make money

How much travel bloggers earn varies enormously. New travel bloggers will earn nothing.

In your first year you could make a useful amount of money, but you’d need another income to support you.

Once a travel blog is earning well, let’s say in two years plus, travel bloggers can earn a living wage.

My travel blog earns enough to support a family.

However, not all travel blogs will succeed. You have to blog the right way.

You can download our new bloggers’ checklist here.

There are many right ways and many more wrong ways to make money from a travel blog.

I don’t usually publish income reports, but in a good month my travel blog can make five figures.

The amount of money a travel blogger earns is affected by time of year, business model, the blogger’s expertise, and how hard they work.

Their audience will affect income too.

Travel bloggers generally make the most money from a US audience or the other rich western, English-speaking countries.

In Asia we earn most from Malaysia and Singapore, of course, Dubai. Having readers in wealthy nations earns us more in advertising revenue.

These tips aren’t in any particular order and not in huge detail because I’m not writing a book here, but I hope you find them useful.

Our story is simple, we travelled for 1 year on savings, tasted freedom, and didn’t want to go home, so we worked like crazy to make our family lifestyle financially sustainable.

It was a lot of work, but we got there.

You can read about it in our eBook, The Seven Year Ditch. (not available right now, sorry)

Throughout this period we kept travelling, with some longer stays (what they call slow travel ) to focus on work, kids and sports.

My husband is a competing Ironman triathlete, our children were home educated and are wonderful teenagers now completing the high school years in an online international school.

We’ve been to every continent bar Antarctica, spent months living in Vietnam, Romania, England, Wales, Australia, we’ve been to Everest Base Camp and to Tibet and it has all (with a very few exceptions) been wonderful.

But this website is the heart of our mission.

Our travels are often planned with the information we need to get on here in mind.

All of our spare time we sank into creating this travel resource, for you to use.

Welcome to our site, it’s the 5 th member of the family. Just like a new baby, it didn’t come with instructions. We had to figure out what worked through trial and error plus intense data analysis.

Luckily, I love looking at data.

You’ll find a video above, if you let more play, watch them, turn the sound on, get to know us and what we do.

We were on the road for almost 6 years without once going “home”. We will continue to travel and will eventually, we hope, buy homes in the UK, Romania and Australia. 

But this post is about the travel blog.

You’ll find more on how to make money travel blogging in the blogging section of this website.

Please remember that no two bloggers make a living in the same way, there are many ways.

I just know that my way works.

How to make money travel blogging
We wouldn’t swap our lifestyle for the world. We love travel, we love writing about travel, we will continue to be travel bloggers. We also like to help you get started, so useful information on the process of starting a blog or website and making an income that way, is available for free on our site.

How Do Travel Bloggers Make Money?

I am so sick of reading that making money from a travel blog is hard, it’s not, it’s actually pretty easy if you know what you’re doing.

The problem is, a lot of people don’t have a clue how it’s done and repeatedly bash their heads against a brick wall before giving up in a huff.

It’s not about writing, it’s not about stories, it’s about understanding the internet and how it works.

I’m not saying it doesn’t take a lot of work, you will put hours and hours into creating your income, it’s just not difficult and almost anyone can do it if they have the dedication and the time.

You also have to be prepared to get the know-how.

I have been known to say that once you know how it’s done you can basically print your own money. I stand by that, even today, in 2023, but you will need to put a lot of time and effort in.

Travel blogging is no get rich quick scheme.

Be Genuine and Love What You Do

I hate fakes and I’m sure you do too. Don’t be one. They’re too easy to spot and you’ll turn people off.

You have to love this game, it’s fun, it’s exciting and it’s addictive. If you find it a chore you’ll never put the hours in.

Be an Expert on Travel

If you’re going to write a complete guide to a destination then you’d better have spent several months there.

Nothing is worse than bloggers who don’t know their topic.

People do write posts about places they’ve never been, it’s common and it’s easy, but who wants to read that?

Plan your travels to give you the knowledge you need to write your posts.

Specialise in a particular place, know your facts and be a reliable source of information. Add personal stories to keep people reading, the longer your readers stay on page, the more money your travel blog will make.

Write all the posts anybody could ever need on that destination and interlink them, be a respected source.

Specialising like this is good for your site’s SEO and Google ranking, not just good for your readers.

Forget Niche and Audience, They’re Dead

Let me qualify that because that’s a strange thing to say.

Niche isn’t dead, of course, just don’t worry quite so much about it.

My niche is travel. Not travel with kids. That’s a very broad niche.

I also cover blogging, worldschooling, food, and homeschooling on this site.

So long as everything hangs together and your site structure makes sense it all seems to work just fine. I rank well for all of those topics.

Know that general travel sites like mine are a huge amount of work, a narrow niche site is easier to get off the ground and better suited for SEO.

People talk about “their audience” this whole concept is rubbish.

Through the power of the internet and good SEO you can reach anyone, anywhere. It’s not about followers at all for us.

I don’t know of many people who make a living through followers, some do, I just don’t know even one blogger who works that way.

If our traffic was dependent on our existing audience, our followers, I’d never have made anything approaching a decent income.

We have at least 50,000 followers if you combine the platforms, maybe more and they make us a tiny fraction of our income.

Your Facebook audience or your subscriber list are another matter, they like you to be a bit consistent, but Google search allows you to reach anyone, anywhere with a connection.

If you do it right.

Facebook and followers probably account for less than 5% of my traffic.

A 40 year old single male Himalayan trekker is as likely to visit my site as a young mum wanting to go on holiday in Thailand with her kids.

Write the posts, be the authority, get the authority and they will come.

Obviously, Google likes you to be an expert on a particular topic, but if that topic is say, Sri Lanka, you can reach almost anybody with an interest in that destination.

I’d recommend focusing on one topic, covering it fully (multiple keywords, multiple posts), and then moving on to another to cover in-depth. Add more from time to time to that original “basket” of content and keep updating.

You must always update in travel, your content has to be up to date and accurate. Things change, so you have to go back to the destinations you cover and see what’s happening on the ground.

Be a serial specialist, not a forever generalist.

If you don’t have kids of course you shouldn’t be writing about family travel (although obviously, you could take guest posts from parent bloggers) but there’s nothing to stop you targeting any audience you like.

Of course, if you want to be niche you can be, no problem at all, but remember you’re limiting your audience. If you want to start a niche travel blog, specialising in one destination, pick somewhere in the US. RPMs are so much higher for the US than any other part of the world.

Super niche sites often gain recognition and work with brands within that narrow sector when they are still relatively small. This could be another way for you to make money with your travel blog.

Niche sites can also build great authority and therefore good rankings on their field of expertise, fast. You can do it that way but it’s not my way.

I want to cover the whole world and every style of travel. We have a few “niche” sites too, none of them do as well as this one.

Other bloggers report that their niche destination or topic sites do better than their general sites. Both outcomes are possible and are dependent on many factors.

I make my money from the website, not through brand promotions. Niche sales sites (but that’s not what I’m talking about here) were hit by the last Google update, I don’t have data, but that was partly its intent.

Plenty seem to still be doing well, I actually own a few niche sites but my travel niche site on Romania never took off.

I moved all that Romania content to this big site where it does much better.

To Make Money Blogging Multiple Income Streams are Essential

Don’t put all your eggs in one basket, create multiple income streams and get them set up as early as possible.

Install Adsense or Ezoic, join all the affiliate schemes you need, get some Amazon sales pages set up, get stuck into earning, early!

Be aware of legal requirements. You will need certain disclaimers, disclosures, and accessibility features.

How you make money travel blogging largely depends on how you want to do it.

I rely on advertising and affiliate sales, other travel bloggers prefer to be paid to promote destinations, hotels, attractions, and so on.

If you have great photographic skills, sell images, other bloggers are paid for public speaking. Some make YouTube videos, some go into podcasting. This could be podcasts about travel, interviews and discussions, or informational podcasts for bloggers and aspiring bloggers. You really can monetise most channels and if you do it well, with consistency, there is money to be made.

There are many ways to make money blogging.

Some bloggers sell articles to magazines or other publications and some sell e-books and courses. The choice is yours but I prefer to earn the money to pay for the travel I want to do.

I find sponsored stays too much work and too much hassle.

I love my freedom, so I conjure my income out of pixels rather than by actually working for somebody else.

My income is what people call “passive”. It’s not truly passive, websites need maintenance, updating, and content adding frequently, but at least while we’re travelling I’m able to relax and not be on duty at all, sometimes.

Passive income means I’m earning all day Christmas Day, every holiday, every weekend, every night.

A 24 hour, 52 weeks a year passive income soon adds up.

In Travel Blogging Which Affiliate Schemes Make Money?

If you’re looking for a good travel affiliate platform to join, start with Travel Payouts, this platform covers most of the big travel companies in one dashboard and is very easy to use. Join Travel Payouts here.

In no particular order, these are some of the affiliate schemes that make us money:

Airbnb used to have a very lucrative affiliate scheme but they cancelled it out of the blue. This is why you won’t find travel bloggers recommending Airbnb these days.

The best affiliate schemes to join are those with high value products and long cookies. The percentage payouts do vary, depending on which platform you become an affiliate through. Many companies offer direct affiliate partnerships, others work through a third party affiliate platform such as Share-a-Sale or Awin. You should join these and browse their advertisers.

If you don’t recommend or use a product genuinely, don’t try to sell it. You will not sell any of these things without understanding SEO and getting a targeted audience to your site.

I would strongly recommend not putting all of your eggs in the Amazon basket. They have slashed their affiliate payment rates recently and this could continue.

Be sure to check what percentage each type of product on Amazon will pay. In some product areas, affiliate commission has been reduced more than in others.

Diversify, and find other routes to affiliate revenue. We found joining Awin was very helpful in that they have so many companies and products on their books internationally. Share-a-Sale is another very good affiliate platform you should join.

Another way to monetize that we’re testing right now on two of our sites is Sovrn /VigLink .

What happens here is every outgoing link on your site can potentially be converted into an affiliate link through this third party. It looks promising, but take a good look at the setting on this one.

We’ll update you on this more once we’ve run it for a few months.

How to Make More Money Travel Blogging With Affiliate Sales

People will often tell you that its pointless to put affiliate links randomly in posts or to add affiliate sale widgets to your sidebar or footer. I’d strongly agree with the latter.

Affiliate sale widgets have been useless for me.

The best way to increase the money you make blogging through affiliate sales is to add more links. These are best to put on a dedicated affiliate sales page, a buying guide, and they work best toward the top of a page. Most people do not scroll through a whole page.

Tou can use a heatmap tool or Affilimate to check this (get a free trial of Affilimate here.)

However, if you have a high traffic page that a lot of people read, relevant affiliate text links can make you money too.

Stay 22 ads booking popups to your site, this is also a good one to join, it ads revenue with zero effort from the blogger.

People also recommend using buttons, in my experience text links in content work better.

Make More Money on Affiliate Sales using Affilimate

Affiliate sales are very lucrative for travel bloggers. I’ve made over $1000 in a single affiliate sale several times, so one of the key ways to make money blogging is in really focussing on, and increasing affiliate sales.

Using Affilimate more than doubled my blogging affiliate income in a month or two, the difference was immense. You can get a 14 day free trial of Affilimate right here if you use our link. No credit card is required and in those 14 days you’ll really see how to improve your affiliate sales game. This tool is simply awesome!

I have a lot of different affiliate platforms that I use currently. Affilimate brings them all to one dashboard, I can see at a glance which pages of my websites generate the most sales, which individual links people click, and which pages are giving me the highest RPMs.

I have several pages with RPMs of $200-$700. Compare that with typical advertising RPMs. My Mediavine RPMs are down in the $20 range right now, we blame the recession!

If you’re new, RPM is rate per mile, how much money you make per 1000 visits to that page. It’s similar to Ezoic’s EPMV, but not the same.

Affiliate sales are booming though and Affilimate is showing me where my affiliate sales efforts should go. This tool also gives you heatmaps, and they’re gold. And did I mention it finds broken Amazon links? Sign up for a free trial of Affilimate and see for yourself.

I make a lot more money blogging from affiliate sales than I do from Mediavine ads. The two income streams used to be about equal.

Now my affiliate income is much higher than ad revenue and a lot of that is down to the insights Affilimate gave me.

Making Money Blogging Through Adsense v Mediavine v Ezoic

You will need some way of displaying ads on your site to make an ad revenue income on your blog. Adsense is where most people start off. I still have several sites on Adsense.

Optimising Adsense revenue is quite a skill. Consider your ad placements carefully. I usually put an ad every 3 paragraphs.

Two of my sites are with Ezoic. I’ve read that Ezoic makes more money than Adsense, but so far this hasn’t happened.

Those sites are still pretty much earning the same as they were on Adsense with RPMs actually worse than some of my Google Adsense sites.

That said, it’s early days. I’ll give it a few more weeks.

Both Adsense and Ezoic slow down your site. I don’t see much difference between the two currently but my Ezoic site has far fewer total ads than any of my other sites.

The Mediavine site has the most, but this site is fast. It has passed CWV.

Mediavine now has an incredibly high traffic volume requirement before you can join, it’s 50,000 monthy sessions now I believe. That’s a huge amount of traffic for a new blogger to generate.

In my experience, Mediavine pay the best. This site is still with Mediavine.

As far as my experience goes, the way to make most money blogging is to get your traffic to Mediavine threshold, fast. Other ad networks like Mediavine exist, I haven’t tried them other than Ezoic and Adsense

Knowing SEO and KWR Before You Start is Essential and Things Have Changed

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Keyword Research (KWR) are probably the best ways to get eyes and credit cards onto your website.

Social media and email subscriber lists work too, but your Google search traffic is vital and you’ll only get that with good SEO, good KWR and targeting.

To use SEO effectively you’ll need a good keyword research too, I started with Longtail Pro and loved it, they also provide some good training. Now I’ve switched to the more expensive SEMRush, and likewise, I love it.

Don’t write a post until you understand the purpose of that post in terms of either pleasing and attracting subscribers (getting people reading), giving solid information to build your reputation and authority, making money or attracting people ready to spend.

There is a post on SEO for beginners here.

Recently there has been a huge shift in how Google search results work. Google Rank Brain has blown it all out of the water (this is the best in-depth post I’ve seen on this).

Don’t focus solely on backlinks, DA and meta descriptions, it’s all about quality content and user satisfaction now. Rank brain has been great for me, it’s more human, write for humans.

Rank brain was quite a few years ago now, there have been dozens of updates from Google since. Always expect change.

A Blog That Makes Money is a Quality Site, Fast and Slick

Your site needs to be fast, mobile-friendly and have great SEO. This tends to come with good hosting, a premium theme, and good (often paid) plugins and tools.

You have to spend a little money to make more money.

If you’re the type to make a business plan as a blogger, you’ll need to factor in these expensive tools.

Don’t worry about looks, just make your site fast, efficient, and clear.

Also be aware of accessibility, you need good contrast of font to background.

People want information and they want to find it quickly and easily.

I would highly recommend investing in good hosting and a good, fast, secure theme like Studiopress and its Genesis framework.

Your theme needs to be mobile responsive and you DO need an SSL certificate.

Google has now introduced Core Web Vitals (CWV). Your site needs to pass certain speed tests, CLS and LCP. This means it has to be fast and give an outstanding user experience.

This site, using Mediavine Ads plus Mediavine’s Trellis theme, plus Agathon hosting has passed.

My Ezoic and Adsense sites have not passed despite the Ezoic site also running Trellis. Maybe it will in future.

Passing CWV did not seem to improve my traffic or rankings. So I don’t worry about it too much at the moment. They’re only failing fractionally, their speed isn’t poor.

If you can’t tick all of these quality and speed boxes you are likely sabotaging your own Google ranking.

Affiliate Income is About Targetted Traffic

How to make money from affiliate schemes?

Targeted traffic.

It’s 99% pointless to put some random affiliate links into posts or into your sidebar. The people reading those posts aren’t looking to buy whatever you want them to buy.

The skill lies in getting the people on the point of purchasing onto your pages. Get them there via Google search (SEO and KWR) or from social media.

Make Money Blogging By Sending Readers to Amazon

Amazon knows how to get people to buy. If you can get your reader to Amazon, you fought half the battle and won.

We have a post on making Amazon sales pages here. Because Amazon drops a cookie, anything your reader buys from Amazon for some time afterwards, will give you commission.

Remember that Amazon needs you to ad legal disclosures with exact wording to your site.

Content and Maximising Adsense Revenue

There is a skill to making as much money as possible from Google Adsense and it involves keeping eyes on pages longer and putting ads where eyes linger.

I had Adsense performing well. I’m with Mediavine now, which gives me an insanely good income, but you can’t join a premium advertising agency like that until you’ve got good traffic.

Beginners have to start with Adsense or similar.

Beginners may only make a dollar a day, maybe less. But that’s better than nothing, right? You can build on that day by day.

Keep people looking at your Adsense ads longer and draw their eyes and their time, to the places the ads are. Pictures, captions, videos, charts, tables, text boxes, anything mixed media that draws attention will keep eyes on the spot.

Work those features. Keep content long to allow more ads to display.

A super handy tip is to increase your font size. The longer the post, the more ads display.

Know that “above the fold” is premium ad space. It’s not rocket science. Aim to get your traffic up above 50K Sessions per month so that you can join Mediavine fast.

It’s an income game changer.

I jumped from around $600 per month to $1500 within weeks of changing.

Of course, keeping eyes on pages longer isn’t just good for your ad revenue, it’s also good for your Google ranking and your user satisfaction.

If your readers are staying on page because of the useful and engaging content you are providing, everyone is happy.

How to make money travel blogging from someone who does

To Make Money Blogging Climb the Google Search Results as Fast as Possible

Grow your DA through legitimate link building, create quality, long, information-packed content, keep your readers on each page as long as possible, keep them on your site as long as possible, get plenty of social shares and get your on-site, technical, and on-page SEO right.

All these things will tell Google that your site is one they should be showing high in their search results.

Also, don’t target keywords you don’t have a chance of ranking for, try to find something a little obscure when you’re just starting out.

It’s usually better to have Google number 1s for low search volume posts than be on page 10 for high volume posts. You’ll soon learn that the correct answer to most blogging and SEO questions is, “It depends.”

This is why we study the data, to test and to find answers.

Remember that your DA is NOT in any way related to how highly Google will rank you, Google does not even consider your DA, so we’ve been told.

DA seemed to be the holy grail of SEO a couple of years ago but Google is way too smart for the fake backlink merchants now.

You can easily beat somebody with a higher DA than you if your content is better. DA is purely a measure of how many backlinks you have, it’s an indicator, but not something to pay too much attention to.

Keep an eye on your rankings in Search Console instead, if you’re climbing, all should be well.

Do not get involved in spammy sharing groups, link farms and link exchanges and assume that will make your site a success. It will come back to bite you, as they say.

Be genuine, be real, don’t try and cheat the system.

Link building is a thing, obviously, a huge industry and it can lift a new site off the ground way faster. People pay a lot of money for backlinks.

What I’m saying is, if your content isn’t good, if people don’t like it, no amount of backlinks will help you stay on top. The Google ranking reflect human reaction to your post.

If your content doesn’t satisfy users, it will never perform well under Google.

Get More Content Out, Faster. Get Help.

I have paid writers in the past to help me increase the volume of content I’m publishing.

The more content you can publish, and the quicker you can get it out, the more traffic you will receive.

The more traffic to your blog, the more money you make.

I have a new secret weapon in speeding up my content creation. AI, artificial intelligence, can now write your blog posts for you.

The technology is simply amazing and I can create maybe 6 posts a day using this tool. There is a free trial, use it well.

Your free trial should allow you to write multiple posts in no time.

Make More Money Blogging by Improving Your Old Content (How?)

Your old posts could be making you more money and helping your site rank more highly.

Go back and fix up each one in terms of usefulness, current information, speed, broken links, alt tags, and every aspect of SEO.

Wherever possible add something to your site to improve its rankings and bring you more traffic. More traffic equates to more money usually. Also add more affiliate links, make that old content work as hard as it possibly can.

Your old content can decrease your site’s overall SERP rankings if it’s bad. Get it fixed, if it’s really bad and beyond redemption, remove it and re-purpose it under a better URL.

You’ll likely need to redirect the old post to the new.

This is a last resort move but some of my old stuff was useless and embarrassing, it had to go.

Don’t worry too much about 404s and sometimes redirect. Another option is to tell Google not to index it.

But how to make money travel blogging? What are these income streams exactly?

More on that in this post on how to start a blog and make money, and this one on affiliate sales. That’s it for now, a quick 10-minute response because somebody asked the question. This is our truth about blogging and no 2 bloggers do it in exactly the same way.

I think the reality of the blogging industry is probably quite surprising to people who read blogs, they often assume it’s all about followers.

How to Become a Travel Blogger

You become a travel blogger by starting a travel blog. Just about anyone can start a travel blog, it’s cheap and fairly easy, no prior skills are really necessary.

Your domain (your travel blog name) should cost you about $10, your hosting, a similar monthly amount at basic level.

It doesn’t cost much to become a travel blogger. You don’t even need to have travelled extensively, you can become a travel blogger by researching travel online and creating content as you would an essay.

You don’t even need your own photos to become a travel blogger, many travel blogs use free or bought stock images. Of course, this isn’t the best way to begin.

The best way is to travel and to have a passion for travel, but if you haven’t even left the country yet, yes, you could start right now.

Read up on some of the basic skills of writing for SEO before you start, that’s the single most important tip for any new travel blogger.

What Skills Are Required To Be a Travel Blogger?

I had none when I started. I’ve learned as I’ve progressed. I’ve never bought a course nor paid for training.

You will need to be able to write in reasonable English (or another language) and be enthusiastic enough to want to learn the skills. You’ll learn to use WordPress or another blogging platform, about SEO, and social media marketing.

You can learn these skills for free on the internet, as I did. You will probably need to take a reasonable photo, you do not need to be a good photographer. I’m not, but if you are, that’s great.

Some bloggers just use stock images and create content about places they’ve never been. You will need to love your travel blog, without love, you likely won’t put the hours in.

What Equipment Do You Need to Be a Travel Blogger?

You will need a laptop and/or a phone plus power and wi-fi. That is all. If you’re serious about making videos and taking photos, start adding microphones, a gimbal, a drone and an underwater camera.

These items are in our Travel Essentials post.

How Much Money Do Travel Bloggers Make?

This varies. New bloggers or non-savvy bloggers make nothing. Travel blogger income rises over time as reach and audience grow.

I’ve made $500+ in a day often, and I’ve made $1000+ some days.

Daily income varies and depends on your skills and the hours you put in, but it is daily, with no stops for weekends or holidays, you earn as you sleep, 24/7.

The top travel bloggers can make in excess of 6 figures per year, over 5 figures per month. I was in that bracket before the pandemic and it will come back. A few make much more.

Some “travel blogs” aren’t owned by individual bloggers, some are run by big businesses with millions invested. These blogs are likely making huge sums but are paying a big team.

Do Travel Bloggers Travel For Free?

Sometimes, yes, travel bloggers can travel for free. If this is your reason for wanting to be a travel blogger, it’s not a good one. “Free” travel actually involves a lot of work.

The blogger will be working for the destination, hotel, or attraction and there will be required deliverables. On this site, we choose not to do “free” travel, or at least do it very rarely. We find it more enjoyable working for ourselves or on passion projects.

Is a Travel Influencer a Travel Blogger?

No, not usually. Influencers and bloggers are not necessarily the same thing, but a blogger can also be an influencer. Being an influencer requires a lot of dedication, as does being a travel blogger.

I know there wouldn’t be enough hours in the day for me to do both well. If a blogger with a successful travel blog also finds success as a vlogger or Instagrammer, I’m impressed. Each of those things can be a full-time job. Bloggers often employ virtual assistants (VAs) or other employees to take on some of these roles.

Recovery From the March 2024 Google Update (HCU)

recovery since update
Graph showing some recovery on this site since the March HCU update.

Most bloggers were decimated by the March 2024 Google Update. This update was a part of the HCU (Helpful Content Update) which destroyed a lot of sites in September 2023. This site (World Travel Family) wasn’t affected in September 2023, but in March 2024 we were smashed. Nobody has recovered from the September update, it was a site-wide destroyer. I’m hopeful that this site is recovering from the March update. As shown in the graph (from SEMRush) above.

If this blog were our only income, we’d be destitute right now. Google removed livelihoods from hundreds of thousands of legitimate publishers, not spam sites, not AI sites, real humans like me who have sunk decades into building passion sites that are helpful to real humans. People thank me all the time for the work I’ve put into this site (and my other sites). All of my sites are completely legit, but Google doesn’t like the little guys making a living, it seems.

The HCU is far from helpful and I’m sure you’re finding the new Google’s results frustrating to use. Just scroll on past the endless Reddit results, the real sites are still there, just pages in.

Most bloggers I know, and their families, have ditched Google for Bing, Duck Duck Go, or any other search engine. I’m enjoying using Bing, it’s good, and they give credit to their sources in their AI results. You’ll notice that their AI results are mostly useless, factually inaccurate garbage, but at least they give credit. Just scroll on past.

This site has recovered somewhat from this update. How have I done that? I fixed a lot of errors and updated a lot of content. I’m the only blogger I know who has recovered some of their traffic. I have another site that is up, significantly, since the update. The graph for that one is below. It’s very similar to this one, it shows display ads. It’s on Ezoic, this site is on Mediavine. Ads do not cause the penalties, that can’t be true.

Site that increased traffic after the Google update
This site, also a travel blog owned by my family, went up significantly after the last update. It’s small, it won’t make up for the losses to this huge site. But thankfully my husband has a job.

I know one blogger who wasn’t affected by the latest update, I watch his traffic daily in SEMRush. I have no clue why he wasn’t knocked down by Google. His site and mine are very similar, we’re both legitimate, human “old school” travel bloggers. It seems to be a lot of luck, there’s no reason to it. I’m still working on solid answers.

If you want to follow and find out how much I can recover, sign up for the “bloggers only” email list you’ll see on this page. I’ll keep you posted. Obviously, with something this big, the answers won’t be free. I’m waiting and testing and helping another blogger recover, until I can give solid answers on how to get your traffic back.

If you found this post useful go to our eBooks listings (this page is under maintenance today as we work on this site, but it will be back soon). There you will find a couple of eBooks that could be helpful to you. The Seven Year Ditch explains how we managed to travel for seven years off the back of a travel blog, the other, The New Blogger’s Checklist, could be just the thing you need if you’re a very new to lower intermediate blogger wondering how to kick start your traffic and income.

I’ll add more tips on making money blogging as I think of them this post is genuine and, I hope, helpful.  We used to offer coaching and support in a private, personal group, we may bring that back soon if there is enough interest. There is a formula, blogging – which is actually website creation –  is a science, not an art. I hope I can help you with that. Leave me a comment if you have questions or head back to the World Travel Family home page to check out the sort of content we produce.

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About the author
Alyson Long
Alyson Long is a British medical scientist who jumped ship to chase dreams. A former Chief Biomedical Scientist at London's West Middlesex Hospital she started in website creation and travel writing in 2011. Alyson is a full-time blogger and travel writer, a published author, and owns several websites. World Travel Family is the biggest. A lifetime of wanderlust and over 6 years of full-time travel, plus a separate 12 month gap year, has given Alyson and the family some travel expert smarts to share with you on this world travel site. Today Alyson still travels extensively to update this site and continue her mission to visit every country, but she's often at home on her farm in Australia.

65 thoughts on “How to Make Money Travel Blogging (From a Travel Blogger Who Does, 2024)”

  1. Monetize your travel content by posting it on Postsdrop. You’ll earn revenue when users click on boosted posts below your content. Very simple…Thank me later 😊

  2. “Helpful! This travel blogger talks openly about how much money you can make, different ways to make money, and why being good at what you do and making great stuff is so important. Great advice for new travel bloggers trying to succeed.As someone passionate about starting a business as a travel Blogger
    Our company – Xeni, provides a platform where Travel influencers travel Agents and Travel bloggers can build their travel brands with custom domain and language options. Also, it allows agents to easily create and sell their customized travel packages for their clients.
    Hope these insights are helpful to your readers.

  3. Awesome article, really cuts through to the realness. I used this article in conjunction with the book “How to Transcend the Money Matrix” to get my business idea up and running. Check it out if you’re stuck on coming up with an idea and want to do it the spiritual way.

  4. Really enjoyed reading your post, Alyson. Your article offers awesome growth insights. I’m also a travel creator and I love to learn how people are finding ways to make money doing what they love. Keep it up! And in case you’re looking for new tool to monetize content, check out our sellable travel map tool tailored to travel bloggers at NanoWhat.

  5. This is probably the best post I’ve seen on this topic. Thank you for sharing!!

  6. WOW……

    I’m only just beginning.

    Whilst reading this one post, I have been inspired to open a further 12 pages. I have taken a page of notes to address and I’m excited.

    Thankyou, I do enjoy learning new things.

    The prospect of monetising my blog has festered into an internal conflict and complete brain meltdown over the past month. Should I leave my little blog alone, to take the next step. I then had a word to myself, and said…

    “Self, why are you so worried about this conundrum? You have been looking for an alternative income stream now for a long time. You have wanted to sell your own travel photos on your own blog. So what is the difference between that and having an affiliate stream with advertising?”

    After thanking myself for my candour, I started to research (google) around this topic and was lucky enough to find your site/blog/guidebook/bible.

    Thankyou again.
    My future has now begun, today.

    I have nothing set up yet, but please have a look at my little site if you are interested.


    • I did look Les. You have a lot of work to do. But why not monetise? I can’t see any sense in putting time, effort, and your own cash into creating something of value with nothing in return. Not to mention the gazillions we spent on the travel itself to get the knowledge and photos. Plus gear. This site probably costs me several hundred $ (US) per month in running costs. Plus my time for the last 10 years. This site (and several others) have been my full-time job for years. There are almost 1000 pages to this site, some of them would have taken me a week to create. Why not get paid? It keeps a roof over our heads and food on the table. Best of luck to you, it’s a fun and cut-throat word, the blogging industry. But you have to love it.

  7. I really enjoyed this post. Thanks for sharing this information for free and paving the way for newer bloggers such as myself.

  8. I found this very useful and honest, finally an article that doesnt just share some generalized tips but actual practical advice. Thank you!

  9. Thank you sir for this valuable knowledge.I appreciate it. keep sharing. loved this. to know more about click Best Website Development companies

  10. I really appreciate this article thanks for sharing. very helpful to. keep sharing and to know more click future of blogging

  11. I love this post! You wrote this so honestly and it makes so much sense! I often thought these things in the back of my mind but would get sidetracked by the countless other blogs saying to work hard on your list or social media! Thanks for confirming what I thought should work!

  12. Thank you so much for all of this information! I am following your list for bloggers to do and I appreciate that very much. I am a single mother of 4 children, so this really helps out a lot not having the money to pay for every little thing that I need to know and do!

    • No worries Tiffany and the very best of luck to you. Blogging is so wonderfully rewarding, not least financially, if you can get it right. But it can also be incredibly frustrating. I’ve been up, literally, all night, trying to fix something. Stick with it. It’ll be hard with 4 kids. Mine are grown now and my time is my own but when they were small I had to get really creative!

  13. We have always blogged just for fun and we are still using the a free platform but realise we would have to move to paid to give monetising a try. As our kids grow up, I am becoming far more curious about the idea of making money from a blog or writing a book. Love your straight forward approach Alyson 🙂 Hope our paths cross in person one day.

  14. Affiliate marketing hasn’t been a BIG money maker for me. I get a little income from it, but think Amazon doesn’t always pay out. They make way more than we do making the recommendations. Always looking for more ways to bring in an income. Love the idea of understanding the analytics and seo to help boost your search ranking. Tons of good tips here!

    • Whatever Amazon chooses to pay, we have no control. But we make a very nice living from Amazon affiliates plus a million other travel affiliate programmes. Plus other affiliate links on our non-travel websites. If you get it right it’s pretty easy to earn money from home this way.

  15. I love your contrarian view on blogging! Sometimes when you hear the same advice over and over again, you think it’s true. But in actual fact, there are so many ways to do it and there really isn’t a specific strategy you have to take as long as you understand the mechanics behind growing a blog.

    I actually grappled a lot about the “niche” my travel blog should go into for our site and after a while, I realised that our niche is basically.. us – our unique take on things, our travel style and how we travel. So, thank you for expressing your genuine views on it! I think a lot of bloggers and SEO industry experts go with the cookie-cutter advice because they think it’s what people want to hear.

    I’m just starting out with my travel blog with my partner and we’re actually still 10 months into our round the world trip but we’re already really excited to be putting out content that’s uniquely interesting to us first before it’s interesting to anyone else. But of course, it needs to be keyword research and people need to be looking for it 😉

    • I don’t want to pour water on your bonfire Kan, but nobody visits a website from Google because of ” us” it’s all about the information the user is searching for. Best of luck. I’m coming up to 10 years blogging now and it’s been my whole family’s income for several years. It gets harder and harder with every change at Google. A general travel blog is a huge amount of work. I’d strongly recommend going into a commercial niche site instead ( ” best screwdrivers for left-handed mermaids” etc. ) That is if you’re serious about income and not just doing it for the joy of it.

  16. This is wonderful! I have been following countless travel bloggers for years and even bought into the Paradise Pack a few years back to only be disappointed in the majority of the content that I bought into. I love your direct and to-the-point posts on every aspect of making money as a blogger. Thank you! Thank you! I totally agree with wanting to help others by sharing the knowledge I have without having to build a course to sell to them.
    I do have one question re: how much of a niche the blog should be. We are a family of five who already sold the house back in 2012, traveled in parts of the US in an RV then bought a house again and now travel around half of the year. Since 2015 our travels all revolve around rock climbing destinations. We have always been homeschoolers (12+ years) and so we worldschool at each location as well. Would you recommend that we focus our blog on our travel adventures as a rock climbing family or make it more general since we do other activities like boating, surfing, etc…?

    • A niche site is something like ” Best toys for brown gerbils”. A general travel site is a nightmare if you want to make money. If I was starting over I’d make a niche travel site on one destination ( and have, it’s in creation). People are not interested in you, your family or your travels ( very few anyway) and your site doesn’t have to be about you. It can be on any topic you can research. But if you’re just doing it for fun, do whatever makes you happy. If you want to cover worldschooling, make a site about worldschooling. But there’s very little traffic in it, I know as I’m Google number 1 for worldschooling. Best of all – start a recipes site or craft – loads of traffic in those!

  17. Hi! This is so useful for new bloggers like me who’s struggling with content, traffic and initial budget. Thank you so much.

  18. Thank you for this content! My husband and I are moving abroad later this year, and while I am getting my TEFL certification to teach English online at first, I am hoping to be able to make income from travel blogging, especially since this would give me more flexibility to travel even more often. You’re right, most sites try to suck you into courses for a couple thousand bucks a piece, and I appreciate that your advice is upfront and your motives are clear. Best of luck to you and your family in the future!

  19. thanks for sharing wonderful info…that is a great way to bring in traffic…..

  20. Thanks for posting this! We are not traveling full time but I am always looking for ideas for things I can do from home to earn a little extra money. There are always some ways to earn money while traveling.

  21. Hey Alyson. Greetings from NZ! After reading dozens of blogging “how to’s” and managing not to get sucked in to doing any courses while also listening to innumerable podcasts, I very much appreciate your straight up advice. Must be the Aussie in you coming out. It seems you have found your true voice. At 56, soon to be 57 years of age I’m keen to put myself out there in a literary sense and with more than a bit of luck, perhaps derive a little income. I see you have spent some serious time in Vietnam, more particularly Hoi Anh which is how I found your blog while researching our trip. I’m going with my wife and teenage daughters and my mother in law. I’m hoping it will be an experience worth writing about but if it isn’t, well I’m going to write about it anyway! It seems I’m running out of space so here is my question. We want to avoid long bus or train trips and instead,enjoy some places in between cities around Hanoi, Hoi Anh, Na Trang, perhaps Sapa and Hue. Can you suggest anywhere not thick with tourists that may be worth visiting and maybe writing about? At this stage no one will be reading anything I’ve written so there will be no danger of the hoards descending on a small town due to my blog! Alrighty then, thankyou again for your sage advice and your research. So very much appreciated and all for free!

    • We were there just 3 weeks ago … Phong Nha. I’m yet to write it up but it was wonderful. If you go from Hue, by bus it’s I think 4 hours, Otr you can head there via Khe San and the DMZ and do them en route. We only had 3 days there, loved it. Will be back soon. But it’s inland, near Laos, not on the coast. Hue was great too had a week there, did loads of cool stuff. I’ll write it up soon but right now we’re battling the monster Google updates of November 8th and 9th and also Oct 24th and September. 2 of our sites are smashed. This one is OK thankfully. Working round the clock to find a fix. And thanks, best of luck. I’m not Australian, I’m British

  22. Love this article. Every other article I’ve read has gone on about building an email list so this is like a breathe of fresh air! Can’t wait to read more on your blog. Your writing is clear and to the point and I think I can learn a lot from it. Thank you for providing so much information for free!

  23. Hi Alyson
    As someone who hopes to travel with family, i’m naturally interested in earning some cash along the way. I think I could learn all this stuff, with time and effort, but I’m a little concerned about basically making money through advertising products or services which I don not support from an ethical point of view. Do you have any control at all over what is advertised on your pages?

    • You mean the Mediavine Ads? Everyone will see something different, they’re selected for each person based on their browsing history, so I have no clue what people are seeing. If you feel strongly about a particular company you can block them. But to get onto Mediavine you need over, I think 30,000 unique users per month, so it will take you a good few years to get on there probably. And no, it doesn’t bother me in the slightest. Of course you can try and make it without adverts and just go for gold on affiliate sales instead, in which case you’d be going for lower volume, more targetted traffic, people on the point of buying, in which case your traffic volume would be too low to make decent money through advertising, also the on-page ads detract from sales, you notice I don’t run them on sales pages quite often. I find making sales pages really boring so I mostly go for traffic volume instead. At current traffic volume, roughly 10,000 page views per day, those ads make me roughly $200 a day. Rising as traffic rises and depending on how long people stay on page, ie. do they read or skim. If you’re just going travelling for a year – forget it. Blogging is a long term game, plus the volume of in-depth knowledge you need takes years to acquire but people do, of course, write posts about places they’ve never been. There are a few on this site, not many because I’m a one man band. But most huge sites ( and we are very big) have a team of writers pumping out content. I had writers for a while but I just couldn’t keep up with that volume of publishing and Pinterest work. I need a team, but I don’t want to have to manage a team, so we’re semi crippled by just how many hours I have in a working day.

  24. Hi, I read your article very informative and inspirational, creating a second income online as a newbie is daunting to say the least but haven’t said that I found an 8 figure super affiliate offering free training in the affiliate marketing niche you can read all about it in my blog .

  25. Very nicely written. Jumping to your SEO for beginner post

  26. Hello
    Love the inspirational list! Envious of these bloggers. Would love to start my own soon, I am going to take a look at these one by one. Hoping for some great content. Thanks for compiling your list
    I really love the way you approach this topic, especially because your blog is not about how people can make money from a blog, but your article is still very instructive for anybody who is trying to make a living from a blog.

    Thanks for sharing your experience! Really great.

  27. Hello Dear

    Love the inspirational list! Envious of these bloggers. Would love to start my own soon!
    I am going to take a look at these one by one. Hoping for some great content. Thanks for compiling your list
    How do you suggest getting better at SEO and keyword research to attract and please readers and subscribers?


  28. Thanks for giving this wonderful information you explained clearly how to start making money from blog. I hope I will get also Adsense approval on my travel blog . Thank you!

  29. Hey fellas!.

    Great piece of work I must say. . .
    Undoubtedly we all need to get some break from work to go for traveling!!! Especially with family….. Scientists have proved that few days break from work actually spans life…Atleast for our family’s sake we can search for Best Flights and hotels 🙂

  30. Thank you for this post. True to your SEO ninja-ness, this was one of the first posts I found when I searched how to make money as a travel blogger. I’m just now coming to terms with my high levels of wanderlust. I want to travel, but I’m also not wealthy. Nice to know it is possible.

    • I actually don’t SEO ninja any of the travel blogging related stuff. I just create this stuff for the people I help, they ask questions, I answer those Qs. So good it’s rising natuarally, glad you found it. Best of luck with it Tracy. We were also not wealthy. We fixed it.

  31. Brilliant post, thank you for all the useful info.
    I know it will be difficult for you to answer this but I’d like to get opinion on a plan I have for my travel blog. Writing indepth post on cities (Asian cities to start), best streetfood and the vendors, markets, parks, unknown sights and activities, best waterfalls on specific islands, and every post will accompanied with awesome 4k videos.
    If I work really really really hard at it, could that be a recipe for success?

    • Sure. But where will these 4K videos be? As you can see the videos on our site are super compressed. File size / site speed means everything has to be reduced.

  32. Hi, the article was straight to the point with no intentions to please the viewer… I loved it…
    I have just started with my travel blog… and I need an review or a feedback for the same before I post more content. It would be great if you could just take a look at my website and give a small feedback,..
    Thank you.
    All the best.

  33. This is an awesome post, especially for newbie bloggers like me!

    Can you please share 1 tip for local travel/ expat bloggers?


    • Local, travel, expat, it makes no difference really, the basic principals are the same. I’m an expat, so I touch on that sometimes. We do local travel in that we were based in London, Romania, Queensland. Making stuff all gel together can be hard sometimes but the bigger your site becomes the easier it gets. Get your tags and categories sensibly organised is a very big tip. At one point I had over 800 tags, stupid ones, I’m slowly getting them structured properly, I’m down to 300 now and my tag and category pages are ranking and getting traffic. Don’t go above a manageable number! I’m aiming for 20 max.

  34. As always, you wear the crown for queen of the bloggers. This post is so,so helpful and you are a star for offering your endless support to all those interested in listening. Well done you x

  35. Thanks for this article. It is a great summary of where to focus my energy in order to monetise.. It is easy to get disheartened by the number of travel blogs out there. I’m off to re-write some old content!

  36. Excellent article!

    I really love the way you approach this topic, especially because your blog is not about how people can make money from a blog, but your article is still very instructive for anybody who is trying to make a living from a blog.

    Thanks for sharing your experience!

  37. Thank you! So many posts exist out there “claiming” to offer insight into this topic but they end up just trying to sell you something.

    I really appreciate your time and effort in this post as well as your whole site. Well done and keep inspiring!


    • re: “trying to sell you something” – if someone has put a massive amount of time, energy/effort, and money into acquiring knowledge and skill, why should they not be paid for teaching others those skills? Why does anyone expect to be taught for free without giving anything of value (i.e. money) to the teacher in return?

      • Because some of us, like me, are happy to help and point people in the right direction. This way people keep their money in their pockets and can learn anything they like for free. That is empowerment. That is smashing the system that keeps people down. It’s doing away with the idea that knowledge is poured into empty heads by a ” teacher”. It’s showing people that anything is possible. Most course sellers sell courses to line their pockets. Setting prices relative to what they want to earn, not what they are offerring. If they need to sell courses they generally aren’t making enough money at what they claim to be good at, so… why teach people to do that thing that doesn’t make them enough money? Human beings do not need a teacher, anyone can learn what they want from the internet or books . Some, still, feel they do need to part with cash to ever be good enough, or educated enough. It’s a shame, but they do. Unfortunately the people buying courses are often those least able to afford it and sadly, simultaneousy, those least likely to follow through with what they learn and therefore waste their money while making somebody else richer. I know you didn’t ask me. I don’t even know what Denea said, but that, to me, is what’s wrong with it. A lot is wrong with it. It’s corrupt.

  38. Thanks for this blog! I’m really excited about starting a blog with my husband to try to travel more as a family.. Do you have any Pinterest tips? I’ve heard that’s a great way to bring in traffic. Have you ever worked with or know someone who has used AdThrive?

    • Yes there is a Pinterest post in the blogging section. I used to be a Pinterest ninja, up to 1000 clicks per day from there, but now I get almost nothing maybe 200 clicks per day. Pinterest has just totally stopped working for me as it used to. There is also a post on that in this section. But that said, it’s still my biggest source of social media traffic. I’m with Mediavine and I’m very happy with that, I think Adthrive is similar, don’t know if one or the other is definitively better or if they have different traffic thresholds before you can join.

  39. Great post! How do you suggest getting better at SEO and keyword research to attract and please readers and subscribers?

    • You have the whole internet at your fingertips, everything you need to know is available for free online. Just start reading and study your stats, Google Analytics and Google Search Console will give you so much information if you use to read your own data and find the search terms that are actually working for you. Or you could ask me 😉


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