“How do you make money travel blogging?”. This is by far the most popular question we get asked by our readers, friends, and family and it’s time that we share the truth about making money from travel blogging.
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First, let us debunk a big myth. Travel blogging is not easy and certainly not a sure way to make money while traveling.
We were lucky that we got into the travel blogging game early, back in 2014.
Our Blogging Journey
When we first started DrinkTeaTravel.com in May 2014, it was nothing more than a hobby, a place to note down our travels from the last 5 years, capture stories and experiences. For the first 6 months, the blog served as a creative outlet, but the more we got into it, the more we learned about travel blogging, the faster we realized that this little piece of the internet had a lot of potential.
The first few years of travel blogging were a bit of a blur. We started the blog while still living in Australia, working regular 9-5 jobs in an attempt to pay off debt and save for travel. We traveled on weekends and during our vacation, constantly finding ourselves hungry for more. We spent evenings writing, working on the website, and learning as much as we could about travel blogging.
The first source of blog-related income came in early 2015, almost 8 months after the blog had gone live. We scored a long term freelance writing gig ghostwriting a variety of travel articles, hotel reviews, and city guides for travel websites across the web.
Since then, our blog has grown leaps and bound and with it, our income.
How we Make Money From Travel Blogging Today
Today, 5+ years into it, DrinkTeaTravel.com continues to grow and attract more and more readers from all over the world. The following is a breakdown of all the ways we make money on from travel blogging.
Advertising on our site and YouTube Channels is one of the biggest sources of income of our blog. A few years ago, we joined Mediavine, a full service ad management company and monetization partner that has helped us earn some advertising dollars from the traffic on our blog.
Our Mediavine earnings fluctuate throughout the year, but on average bring in anywhere between 25-50% of our monthly income.
Over the course of these past years, we have partnered up with our favourite accommodation providers (like Airbnb and Booking.com), car/campervan rental companies, and online shopping sites, to help you experience our recommended hotels, travel gear, photography gear, and other travel resources. What that means is that any time you book or buy something by clicking through an affiliate link on this site, we earn a small commission on your purchase at no additional cost to you.
The income from each sale is small, but those dollars do add up. The best part about affiliate links is that once they are set up, they require little or no ongoing maintenance.
Sponsored posts have been a source of income for us for since the very beginning, but these days we are pretty selective about the companies we work with.
Sponsored posts include 1-2 links to the sponsor’s website along with contextually relevant information about their product/service. Despite being sponsored (we’ll always tell you when they are), these posts are almost always written by us and always include our honest views and opinions on the subject at hand.
Branded Campaigns are longer-term projects that include a combination of posts, photography/videos, social media promotion and more. Our campaigns to date have included partnerships with travel insurance companies, tourism boards, hotels, tour providers, and more!
This is our favourite income stream, as it allows us to do what we love (i.e. travel), while creating content and sharing our experience with a brand along the way.
Branded campaign make up between 25-30% of our income.
We often work with clients as content creators, capturing photos and creating promotional videos of hotels, tours, and destinations. Unlike branded campaign arrangements, were we share the content we created through our own channels with our audience, our content creation clients use the assets we create to market their products and services to every day consumers. In this scenario, we act as a creative agency, delivering marketing materials.
Our photography/videography sales earn anywhere between 10-25% of our monthly income.
While freelance writing was the biggest source of income for us in our first few years of travel blogging, it has since taken a back seat in our income sources. Freelance writing (at least the type of ghostwriting that we’ve done in the past) does not pay well at all and these days and we are finding it harder and harder to compete with freelancers willing to write 500+ word articles for under $50.
Rates like these are simply not worth our time, so we have recently increased our rates and are now accepting fewer and fewer of these types of assignments. Our time now is simply better spent on other income sources.
Wondering how on earth are we able to sustain our lifestyle when the above-mentioned income streams don’t make us more than $10,000-$15,000 a year combined? The truth is that while travel blogging and income streams directly associated with it has earned us a significant amount of money over the last 2 years, they are NOT our only income streams.