How To Make Money Blogging – Dreaming To Reality
- 1 But where else?
- 2 Be assessed
- 3 A new strategy
- 4 speaker
- 5 How we make money now
- 6 Our first travel blog options
- 7 New partners
- 8 target Ambassador:
- 9 Video production
- 10 Social media makes us money
- 11 Individual projects
- 12 Member organizations
- 13 Public speech
- 14 TV appearances
- 15 Write for other people
- 16 photography
- 17 Sponsored posts
- 18 Settle down
- 19 Realize our dreams – you can do that!
- 20 Resources for you
- 21 Conclusion:
Friends and family were already asking for advice and information about the goals we had been to. Therefore, it was natural to share this information online. We knew in our hearts that one day we wanted to be a voice in travel, we just did not know how we could turn that dream into a sustainable business.
In 2007 we signed up for the Tour d & # 39; Afrique 2008; The longest cycle race in the world from Cairo to Cape Town.
We have launched ThePlanetD so that the organizers can refer to our racing profile and keep followers of this race informed of our progress on the continent.
On our return from Africa, we returned to our film business jobs and worked for a year to save money and make plans. This year we have focused on sharpening our profile.
Every free minute we sat at our computers and talked to other travel bloggers, commented on other people's blogs, shared our stories on Twitter, and wrote stories about our travels.
A year later, we were back on the road with a dream and a plan. When we booked a flight to India 12 months later, we had one small Name for us in the travel community.
We put away cash to travel for several months and even sold our first ad on ThePlanetD before we left. We felt confident.
If you want to learn how to become a travel blogger now, we recommend how to create a travel blog in 10 easy steps
But where else?
As we traveled through India, Nepal and Sri Lanka, our readership grew, but we did not know what steps to take next.
The problem was that we did not have enough money left to sustain our travels, and we still had difficulties turning our travel blog into a business.
"We only knew that we ran out of money, we wanted to be able to travel on"
I remember having a small breakdown in a cheap guest house in Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka. We only had about two months left in our travel budget before we had to start plunging into our savings.
That was not an option.
A few days later we sold an advertisement. One company had offered to buy four sponsored links in existing posts for an entire year.
They did not pay much, it was about $ 40 a month, but multiply that by 4 at 12 months and suddenly we had nearly $ 2000.
This was enough to realize our dream of ascending to Everest Base Camp and allowing us another month. We felt good.
At that time, the dispute began in the travel community. People argued and looked down on those who sold text links.
People were outraged by anyone who sold an ad and accused them of being "sold out". In their eyes, blogs should be sacred places where no one was allowed to make money.
We did not pay attention to politics. We only knew that we ran out of money, we wanted to be able to travel on and we did not want to have to go back to our jobs in the film business.
We have traveled before and then had to return to work for a year. It would break us emotionally if we had to go back and start over.
So we made some money with our blog and we could continue our journey in the only way that we knew how …To sell advertising space.
A new strategy
We knew that this is not a sustainable way to earn money.
A few hundred dollars a month for advertising was not the way we wanted to build our business.
At the 2010 TBEX Travel Logging Conference in New York, we set ourselves the goal of learning how to make money on our travel blog.
Well, the session was a bankruptcy. Either people on the panel did not make any money or they did not share how they did it.
We went downcast and upset about the whole situation.
We swore we would share information if one day we were to speak on a TBEX or other travel blogging conference.
We realized that we had to find out for ourselves. We had a movie and entertainment background and had always seen movie stars and athletes as speakers. That's why we decided to focus on becoming prominent travel bloggers.
It has always been our plan to position our brand so that companies are aware of us and hire us as travel experts.
We had visions of being just like Ian Wright: a travel personality from the Lonely Planet travel show. (a program we used to see religiously – later known as pilot guides).
At the time he advertised Canon cameras and wrote columns for magazines. We wanted that.
But we did not want to spend all our time and energy telling stories and being rejected.
"After we stopped concentrating on earning money, instead we focused on building our brand by telling stories, the odds came."
We had enough rejection in our lives. That's why we've focused on writing great content for our own website to improve our profile so that people will come to us.
We have focused on marketing the personality behind The Planet D. We wanted our readers to connect not only with our tips and advice, but also with our personality and life story.
We found that people were very interested in our story and wanted to hear more.
How we make money now
Our business has grown faster than we ever imagined. By thinking outside the box, we finally figured out how to make money on our travel blog.
When we stopped focusing on making money and instead focused on building our brand through storytelling, chances came.
I remember going to conferences and reading articles that preached again and again. "write good content, "Whenever people asked," How can I make money from blogging? "Was the answer always "Write great content."
That answer frustrated me because "of course I wanted to work on creating great content!"
What they did not explain was why you had to write great content. Everyone is always focused on how to make money, but you need to focus on creating content that is of value to your readers before you even think about making money.
If you do not have a loyal and dedicated readership, you will not have a brand that everyone wants to work with. For us, our readers come first.
"The key to a successful travel blog is that your audience comes first."
As our readership grew, people became attentive. More and more people have begun to share our content, and a snowball effect has occurred.
People started to know us. When people start to know about you, brands and companies will also know about you.
By creating great content and building your audience, you finally have the opportunity to come to you. The doors open and people will want to work with you.
Our first travel blog options
Our first real contract came with American Express Canada.
They contacted us to work with them on a contractual basis for one year to test their American Express Gold Rewards Card.
They had researched and found that our brand fits perfectly with their campaign. With our American Express Gold Rewards we can travel the world, discover all the travel benefits of the card, use the travel insurance and find out if it is actually accepted everywhere. (by the way it is)
We've worked with them for five years and even become brand ambassadors for American Express.
Our next partnership came with Intrepid Travel.
We knew the people from Intrepid Toronto very well and just loved Katy and Katie in the office.
We gave them the idea of being their "global bloggers", and for the next year, we experienced their tours and shared our experiences with our readers.
We had worked with them non-monetaryly a year ago, so the partnership was meaningful when it was time to take it to the next level.
Unfortunately, we did not have a plan for a second year and the partnership dissolved, but we still have an amazing relationship with Intrepid and who knows, maybe there will be another opportunity in the future.
After we had a few messenger posts in the bag, it started really.
At Expedia.com, we started understanding our value.
They invited us to their headquarters to discuss the work with bloggers.
Dave and I took the moment after that first meeting and sent them a pitch for the following year. They liked the idea and for the next 12 months we went around the world as their adventure travel experts.
The readers enjoyed it and it helped to humanize the Expedia brand by giving their company a face.
Unlike Intrepid Travel, there was a plan for the second year, and that relationship became part of the Expedia Viewfinders program.
In the end, we wrote as one of their travel experts for the Expedia Viewfinder blog and stayed with them for four years.
We now work regularly with partners as ambassadors. We do not work so much on annual contracts anymore, but we carry out extended campaigns and in-depth partnerships. We found it difficult to keep content up-to-date every year and prefer to run a project for a few months or repeat it annually. We always work together with many companies.
Ambassador and long-term partnerships today make up a large part of our income.
Our first year as ambassador of our destination was one of our most fulfilling travel years. We have worked with Ontario Tourism as their travel agents.
This was a very intense partnership where we spent a year presenting our travels and adventures in Ontario.
We've done media appearances, social media chats and acquisitions, written travel videos for her blog, talked at events, and provided photos.
This was the ultimate message we always dreamed of, and it opened the door to other ambassador programs.
It also helped us really understand our value. Ontario Tourism was fair with their prices and paid us accordingly. We used this initial message as a benchmark for working with other destinations.
As we grew, our rates rose, but through early cooperation with Ontario, we knew where to start.
We are always in talks with destinations, but now that we are doing that for a while we are quite picky about the way we work and where we travel.
When we choose a destination we want to work with, we usually return to a destination again and again.
We also communicate very closely before each trip to plan itineraries and content creation strategies. We discuss what the destination expects from the campaign and what we feel as a response to our readers.
We have now worked with many tourism associations and rarely make a trip to a place. We prefer long-term or multiple trips to truly explore the destination.
Dave and I are constantly working to give our travel blog more dimensions. When Housetrip offered us a place in their diplomatic program as a videographer in 2014, we were very excited to show people that we do more than write and photograph.
We've never looked back and focused on making videos in the last few years.
By challenging ourselves to be their video bloggers, we had the opportunity to demonstrate our video talents and reach a new audience.
Video we produced for Nova Scotia Tourism
We started with the video when we first traveled and it made us travel more videos – our first love.
We create videos on all projects for YouTube, Instagram and Facebook.
We visually promote travel destinations, and while our tracking on YouTube still has plenty of room to grow, our videos on Facebook receive up to 1.5 million views, and if we're good with SEO (and a bit of luck with YouTube, we can become # 1 at like our video above for Nova Scotia.)
Based on our travel experiences, we now make videos for businesses.
We've found that the voice of a blogger telling the story in the video makes the experience of the brand that engages us more realistic.
You could easily put tens of thousands of bucks into a fancy video, but that's not as meaningful as showing Dave and me how to pinpoint their destination, use their product, or experience their journey.
Dave and I now treat The Planet D as a mini-media company.
Social media makes us money
We invest as much time in our social media strategy as in our blogging, photography and video.
We are now hired to social media chat on Twitter and participate in streaming Facebook and Instagram lives, we are hired for Instagram campaigns and run contests on our social media.
We are working hard to get a well-rounded brand.
While others focus on a social media account, we spread our love. It works for us, we do not say that it works for everyone.
We take our social media very seriously and work hard to interact with our fans. We work hard to build our following and interact with all our fans and followers.
We are not number one in any social media stream, but we are strong in all and use it to our advantage.
We can offer companies and brands a package of channels to showcase their product, and it works.
Not all our works have a contract period of one year.
We are now collaborating on a project basis with companies such as Transitions, Go Ahead Tours and the World Travel Tourism Council, just to name a few of our current partners.
People hire us to promote their products through our social media channels and our website because we have a growing fan base over the years. Maischbar, Martha Stewart and Redbull have approached us with our work, and we were recently named one of Forbes Magazine's top 10 travel influencers.
We participated in photo contests, organized numerous competitions and conducted short individual campaigns to promote a trip or a product. As with all freelancers in different companies, the possibilities are endless.
If it fits in with our demographics and adds value to our readers, we can work and thrive with a business.
At the beginning of our blog, we did not invest much in selling our partners. We had neither traffic nor interest, but when we noticed that monthly Amazon checks are coming from old posts we wrote a few years ago, we wondered what affiliate links should look like.
We now earn thousands of dollars a month in income from our partners and the CPM. After almost 10 years of traveling blogging, we have achieved this magical status of passive income. We signed up with Mediavine a few months ago and that was a good regular income
But it took us some time, We built our readership and followed them before we even thought about adding links and advertising.
Once we had this solid base, the money came in easily because we had the page views.
In terms of partners, we have used the products, businesses and booking platforms we recommend and conducted our research.
We are still growing and learning about partners. We have just started this year, but with a few improvements we are already ahead of our expectations.
We finally got this talk on TBEX and shared as much knowledge as possible.
While certain conferences like TBEX do not pay us to speak, they increase our profile and status in the world of travel logging and offer post and pre-tours including flights and accommodation. We also love brainstorming and interaction with like-minded people.
However, we have started separating from travel blogging conferences and speaking in other areas.
We usually charge a fee to tell and tell our story. We enjoy talking in public and this is already an important part of our business strategy.
We were lucky enough to have an interesting story that people want to hear about. We have made television appearances not only to talk about travel, but to inspire others, to talk about relationships, and to motivate people to change their lives.
We have done extensive media tours to talk about health and safety while traveling, we have made appearances around the world and we are currently developing a travel show. (more about this in the future)
Not a cent yet
Write for other people
We sometimes write for companies outside of ThePlanetD blog and We do it exactly as we wanted it.
Instead of promoting people, they come to us to contribute. It's not that we've ever thought we're going beyond pitching articles, we just decided that we need to focus our energy on writing for our own blog and building our own brand.
Throwing costs a lot of time and effort and we did not want to be forced to write for others. We also wanted to keep the best content for ourselves in the beginning.
Now we can access a lot of experience and content, and we love to write for other releases. It keeps our writing heads sharp and helps us to improve our skills, and we can play around and write a little differently for them.
We find it an excellent challenge and keep things fresh.
Less than 5,000 a year
Dave's photography has really taken off and tourism associations and companies are beginning to buy his photos from previous trips.
He has won competitive funds and sells his photographs for advertising and magazines.
He even receives regular checks from SmugMug sales. While photography does not make up a large part of our income, it makes up a large part of our blog.
Dave's photography keeps people coming back and it's a big part of our brand. When companies hire us, you can make sure the photograph is part of the package.
10,000 – 15,000 per year
We rarely accept sponsored posts these days.
We'd rather show our travel blogger mates something in our Inspirational Travel Series, but if the content fits and it's a relevant website, we'll accept it.
But we write them ourselves and they are always based on our experience.
We charge a heavy fee because our website is not overloaded with dozens of sponsored posts.
We now earn more money than a few years ago in the film business.
We spend money on advertising, website audits and other tasks to grow our business.
We are not where we want to be, but we live a comfortable life after nearly 10 years of hard work and thrifty living.
Realize our dreams – you can do that!
We can not believe that we have achieved the goal and are still strong. We love this business and when people ask us what's next. Our answer is that it will always be the planet D.
It will just turn into something else. We love the challenge, we love the industry and we love to travel.
When it comes down to it, we will always like to travel. It's not about the money. If we had only spent our lives chasing money, we would have stayed in the film industry.
Resources for you
There are courses to help people today. Something we did not have in the beginning.
TRAVEL BLOG SUCCESS
Superstar blogging course
4 different tracks:
However, you do not have to buy a course to get started. We have many references in our links below in our "More Information" section.
Our goal has always been to be able to do what we love for the rest of our lives,
We also knew that if we could find a career we love, the money would come anyway, and it does.
We love exploring the world, sharing it with our readers, and expanding our borders. Above all, we love to do it together.
This is the driving force for us to continue to search for new and creative ways to earn money blogging on travel.
The industry is constantly evolving and we know that we need to be one step ahead to have the privilege of making a career across the world. We never take a day for granted.
How to pay for traveling
From the trailer park to the travel blog, our way to success
How to become a professional travel blogger: 12 steps to financial freedom
How to pay for traveling
For more information on travel blogging, visit our Travel Blogging page
PS. Thank you GirlGoneTravel for the above photo with attitude. This was taken by our friend Carol in Mexico.
Disclaimer: We receive an affiliate commission on these books and courses, but like everything here on ThePlanetD we would not recommend them if they were not great. We get offers from partners we never accept, and those people we mention are at the top of their game.