How Travel Bloggers Really Make Money (And How You Can,Too)

For many, travel blogging is a hobby. 

They share travel stories with friends and family and making money from it never really crossed their mind.

This message is not for them.

Other travel bloggers, however, do make a full time income from their blog and let me tell you…

They look at things differently. More importantly, they measure things differently.


Most hobbyists measure success by traffic.

Traffic is nice. Traffic is good. But traffic is overrated.  I mean, YouTube is one of the most popular sites in the world and look how profitable they are. Oh, right… they’re not profitable.

So don’t get lured in by traffic and pageviews. They only matter if you run ads… and I do not recommend you run ads on your travel blog. Ads don’t pay well, drive readers away from your site and annoy people if overused.


Tribes are like traffic… except smaller, more powerful and a helluva lot more fun. Tribes come from various walks of life and share a similar worldview. They read your posts… share them… and leave in-depth comments.

In other words: they’re involved.


Buyers lead your tribe. They may not comment or share your content… but they do something more important.

They buy.

Buyers are the most important part of your tribe. Do not underestimate them. Which leads to how travel bloggers really make money:

Find problems your tribe has… what keeps them up at night… and solve them.

Travel Bloggers Make Money For Themselves, From Themselves

Forget ads. Use affiliate offers with caution. Create your own products and offer your own services.

For example, Nomadic Matt sells eBooks. Quite a few. He doesn’t really run ads anymore. Gary Arndt sells his own app and does speaking engagements and business consulting. Both work with G Adventures.

These methods trump ads for two reasons. One, you make more money from products than ads. Seriously. When I worked for Google Adsense, we routinely saw websites making $1 - $10 per thousand impressions. Imagine that. You need a thousand eyeballs to make ten bucks.

What if you offered those thousand people a quality product for $10? Even if only two people buy it, you’ve doubled your income.

The other reason is that ads don’t build relationships with your readers. You’re not providing them value with advertising, you’re giving them a reason to leave your site and never come back.

So What’s Next?

In the next lesson we’ll look at how you create your own products. I’ll show you a number of tools (some free, some paid) you can use to create, sell and deliver your products.

To your successful travel blog,

Adam Costa

Editor in Chief, Travel Blogger Academy

P.S. This is part of a 24 part course on travel blogging. If you haven’t already, sign up for it now.

About adamcosta

Adam Costa is co-founder and Editor in Chief of both and TravelBloggerAcademy. He currently lives... um... somewhere.


  1. I love it on how you explain how bloggers make some money. I always thought that they are all making money from the ads that they permitting on their blogs but you have showed me a different angle on how they profit from their blog.