For a while now, you’ve been running a travel blog, sharing your experiences in different countries and cities with a readership base around the world. It may have started out with your mom and friends back home reading your entries, but as you expand your subjects and travel to new places, you’ve started to gain a following. And you’ve been thinking recently, as your readership grows, that maybe you could make some money from your travel blog. You already love travel so much, so why not find a way to support yourself while you do it? Is it possible?
The answer is yes. There are lots of great strategies you can use to make money from your travel blog. It’s all about knowing how to reach more readers, and deciding how you’d like to make money. Here’s how.
1 Design a beautiful website
If you’ve just got an ordinary blog, and you haven’t invested much time in making it beautiful, it’s time to change that up. You may have some loyal readers who are going to read your blog posts no matter what, but if you want to attract new readers, your site has to be stunning from the second they start reading. First of all, you need a domain name that’s official, so you can’t have something like danieltravels.wordpress.com or .wix.com. Instead, invest in a domain name like danieltravels.com. Any good blog platform should have the flexibility to change your domain name without having to lose your content.
After that, you need your website to be beautiful and well-organized. Most importantly, it needs to be readable on a phone screen. We’re spending five hours a day on our mobile devices, which means that most readers are going to come across your blog not on a desktop or laptop, but on their tiny phone screen. And you can’t have them pinching in and out to get a better view, or for a post with photos in it to look cluttered. To learn more about how to make your website mobile-friendly, check out this guide.
2 Research your readers
Researching your readers, who will eventually become your customers, is also very important. In fact, some of your reader research will help you know what kind of web design you need when you’re revamping your look: you’ll learn what colors to use, and fonts, and whether you should display your blog posts first or some other info. But most importantly, researching your readers will help you decide what to write. Maybe, when you first started, you were writing for yourself. But now it’s time to write for your readers.
In fact, 47 percent of buyers in 2016 viewed three to five pieces of content before engaging with a site’s sales rep. That means if you’re serious about making money (whether that’s selling services or making money from affiliate ads), you need to know what your readers want. In large part, this comes from creating a buyer persona, where you’ll learn about your readers’ professions, age, hobbies, and more. To learn more about creating a buyer persona, take a look at HubSpot’s guide.
Once you’ve done this, you can write blog posts relevant to users, and use the right SEO (search engine optimization) strategies, because the most important thing you’ll learn is what keywords to place throughout the titles and content of your blog posts. For example, if many of your consumers are looking for cheap ways to fly to Thailand, where you’re from, then you can write a blog post using the keywords “cheap” “flights” “Thailand” and “US.” If many of your readers are students, which you’d discover from research, then you might add words like “student discounts” and “student deals.” But SEO is even more than keywords; it’s a skill set you need to learn in and out to get as many readers as possible, which is why it’s worth looking at these SEO strategies from BackLinko.
3 Decide how to make money
Once you’ve researched your consumers and revamped your brand, your next step is to decide how you want to make money. (This is assuming, of course, that your blog posts are awesome already; if they aren’t, and you want to learn about how to write effectively to attract the most readers, check out this guide.) But, back to making money: as a blogger, there are several ways you can go.
The first is having ads on your blog. For example, there are affiliate ads, which you’ll make money from anytime someone makes a purchase. You can also sell your own products and services on your blog, such as t-shirts, or consulting services (e.g., Skype lessons on traveling and blogging), or an ebook on a subject your readers want to learn.
The average reader spends only 37 seconds reading an article or blog post, so remember to make your content awesome so that they’ll stay with you and consider buying something once they’ve finished reading.
By using these strategies, you can start making money from your blog. What got you into blogging in the first place?