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So you want to be a travel blogger, do you?

make money travel blogging

If there is one question I get asked more than anything in the world, it has to be the dreaded “how do you make money?”

I kid you not, 99 out of 100 times when I tell people I am a professional travel blogger, that question pops up at one point or another, generally accompanied with a look on their faces like I’ve grown a second head. Sometimes it’s subtly snuck into the conversation masked with hoity toity language like, “so do you find travel blogging to be a fiscally sustainable option in this day and age?” but mostly I hear, “I don’t get it. You actually make money doing this blog-thingy AND you get to travel for free? Fuck you.”

Trust me, it gets old fast, and I have to remind myself, that if our roles were reversed, I would undoubtedly be curious too. After all, it IS a weird job. Weirdly awesome.

I’ve just gotten sick of having the same conversation over and over again, I’ve begun to invent new professions for myself, usually when wine is involved.

But I digress.

make money travel blogging

So let’s have an open conversation.

If you have been around with me since the beginning, since I started blogging in Spain way back when in 2010, you would have followed me on my blogging journey of what I could have never expected would turn into a full-time job with over 50,000 followers on social media and over 1 million annual visitors on my site. Holy shit.

And not only in terms of getting paid to travel. But all the super sexy perks that go along with it.

Just within the past year, my little old travel blog has taken me on a whirlwind adventure around the world.

make money travel blogging

From swimming with sea turtles on the Great Barrier Reef to skydiving over the Swiss Alps to roadtripping through Iceland to hot air ballooning in Turkey to riding donkeys at Petra in Jordan to caving underneath glowworms in New Zealand (cough cough all on somebody else’s dime), I could have never EVER imagined that my blog would make all my travel dreams come true and MORE.

I could have never believed that I would both get to travel all around the world for free AND get paid on top of it. But how did that happen?

While I started blogging in March of 2010, it wasn’t until August of 2012 was when I decided to take my travel blog to the next level and try to turn it into a full time job. 6 months later I took my first media trip to Turkey and 2 months after that I was able to quit my hellhole of an office job to blog and travel full time.

What a crazy journey this has been!

make money travel blogging

Boiling it all down, I owe much of my success as a blogger to three groups. I joined in at the BlogHouse in Spain where I spent a few days being mentored by top travel bloggers as well as joining and participating in Travel Blog Success. Recently I have joined the PTBA, the Professional Travel Bloggers Association as a way to gain new industry contacts and be a part of the movement to “legitimize” blogging as an actual profession.

Before that, I knew absolutely nothing about blogging and social media. I mean NOTHING.

So if I can go from knowing zip about being a professional blogger to owning one of the top travel blogs in the industry in less than two years, you can as well. There was hope for me, and there’s hope for you too.

make money travel blogging

So how do I make money?

The truth is, I don’t make that much money.

I should be making a lot more than I do but I have been happy to squeak by and have epic adventures instead. With the nature of this work my income varies widely, but it’s safe to assume that I make around $3,000 to $9,000 a month. I wish I could be more concrete than that but it depends on luck, how motivated I am, and of course if people remember to pay me on time.

Needless to say, most of what I earn gets funneled back into this blog in one way or another.

I get paid in a variety of different ways. From advertising on my blog itself (not very much) to freelancing (also not very much), social media consulting and managing, sponsored social media campaigns and sponsored blog posts (rare), ongoing campaigns as a brand ambassador and strategic paid partnerships along with the occasional paid press trip, these are some of the ways I foot the bills.

make money travel blogging

Now, over the past year, I made the executive decision to move away from talking about the abstract concept of blogging on my blog and instead focus my efforts on telling stories and writing about topics and themes that interest me. After all, I write for myself, first and foremost, and secondly for other ordinary people like me, not other bloggers.

However, I’ve got a lot of opinions about travel blogging that I generally keep to myself but I thought I would take this opportunity to stick them all into once place. So this one time I’ll break my rule and take you behind the scenes step by step on how to build a successful travel blog (if you wish). I’ll share what’s worked for me along with what hasn’t, and how I’ve managed to build up this crazy little blog to become my full time job.

Like always, I can only share my opinions and my experiences; I am sure there are plenty out there who might disagree with me, but like with all blogs, I can only share what I know and believe.

So follow me, little ones, down this gnarly rabbit hole into the mildly incestuous world of professional travel blogging!

make money travel blogging

1. What’s your passion?

This is an important question to ask yourself before you start blogging or if/when you decide to take the leap of faith and turn your blog into a business.

What are you passionate about? What do you love so much you would do for free a million times over? And how does that fit in with your blog?

I suppose I could call myself a passionate person since I have so many things I am passionate about. Coffee. Game of Thrones. Oh, and travel.

make money travel blogging

What makes me tick? What wakes me up morning after morning (besides the promise of hot coffee)? Travel. Travel writing. Sharing stories about my adventures around the world and encouraging and inspiring other people to do the same. I LOVE breaking down barriers and stereotypes, making travel accessible to everyone and showing people that the world isn’t the big bad scary place you might have thought it was.

It took me two years of blogging and writing to figure that out. You can read about how blogging saved me here.

Professional travel blogging is hard and a MASSIVE commitment. Dare I say, enormous? You will have to keep at it for a long time before you even begin to get the faintest whispers of a return or a reward. I love blogging so much I can remember when I was working 40 hours a week back home in DC, trying to build my site, that I would wake up excited on the weekends early, knowing I had the whole day ahead of me to write. Now that’s love.

In my humble opinion, your best bet with travel blogging is jumping in feet first and sticking with it because you love it. I could rant about this until I’m blue in the face but nowadays I don’t see enough passion in travel blogs.

And if you don’t love it, why should I, the reader, love it? End of story.

Trust me, people have a way of seeing through the bullshit and can tell if you mean what you blog.

make money travel blogging

2. Have a purpose

As important as it is to follow your passion with blogging, if you want to successfully make the leap into doing it full time and getting paid to travel, you really need to have a purpose.

And by purpose, I mean, direction, or better put, a niche.

Nothing irks me more than generic “global nomad” bloggers. You know, those people who quit their corporate America jobs, sold their houses and have been on the road ever since, in a new country every month and have no in-depth knowledge, profound opinions or ideas about the places they visit. Their blogs are filled with generic posts like “top 10 things to do in Thailand” and “where to dine on a budget in Paris.”

These blogs idealize blogging so much and sugar coat the entire world, rarely giving honest opinions about a place and almost look down on those who chose a different path in life.

If you spent 10 days in Thailand, you are NOT an authority on Thailand, so don’t pretend otherwise. The other day I got very angry with a blogger who wrote a story about how expensive Jordan was. She spent 3 days there and only went to Petra. Excuse me, do you really have the experience to be making such sweeping generalizations about a country? The answer is a firm HELL NO.

make money travel blogging

3. Become an authority

These types of “global nomad” blogs don’t cut it anymore.

5-6 years ago, these blogs were popular because they were the first, had no competition and were able to build an audience through sheer novelty. Now there are thousands of similar ones you are competing with so DON’T copy what other people have done. And let me let you in on a little secret – normal people both don’t give a crap about your broad, general tips about a place AND they are not going to take your advice over the voice of an authority.

Why on earth would a normal person googling travel tips chose yours over Lonely Planet, Wikipedia or Tripadvisor? They’re not, that’s what.

make money travel blogging

I think nowadays people are so wrapped up in “looking professional” on their blogs that they have stopped being creative and started to become boring.

The entire point of a blog is to share your voice and your opinion. As soon as you take that away, people stop listening. You are never going to build a successful, engaged audience if you are opinionless, writing the exact same thing that hundreds of other people have already said before you.

For me, I have become an authority on moving and working abroad, solo female travel, traveling with a food allergy, Spain and New Zealand to name a few. Somehow I have also become known as the “honest blogger” which my god, if that doesn’t tell you about the problems in blogging, I don’t know what will. And anything else I write has a very careful story, background and narrative attached to it that people trust and follow.

If you want to be a successful travel blogger, you have to find your purpose and become an authority on something so that people trust what you say. Discover what makes your voice and your site unique and special, and run with it. Like the wind.

make money travel blogging

4. Keep at it, be prolific

I think most people fail at blogs because they don’t realize the massive time commitment involved in it. I am talking years here people. Go back to step 1. Passion. If you don’t have the passion for it, no worries, keep it casual. But if you are thinking long-term and want to be a full-time blogger, you have got to put in the time.

My goal for 4 years has always been to publish 3 times a week. I fail at this regularly but it keeps me motivated.

In over 4 years of blogging I’ve popped out more than 400 articles on my own site. That’s a lot, but necessary. And everyone has to start somewhere, right?

The more you write, the better you write. The more you write, the better your voice becomes. The more you write, the more you realize what works and what doesn’t work with blogging.

So keep at it and don’t give up. And love what you do – remember that.

make money travel blogging

5. Join Travel Blog Success

If there is one thing you should invest in as a blogger, even before you start making money from your site, it’s on learning the ins and the outs of the industry, and the absolute best way to do that is with Travel Blog Success.

Trying to shift through all the material online alone is a nightmare, and you don’t have anyone you can ask basic questions to, like how to embed links properly and make bold font, things I used to struggle with along with countless others. What happens when you need tips and advice for pitching press trips, self-hosting and negotiating Facebook ads and affiliate marketing tactics?

TBS has everything you need in one place and it’s a great community of hundreds of bloggers willing to share ideas and help each other out in the forums and in a secret Facebook group. Here you can freely ask all the questions on your mind, share your thoughts and opinions and in general be around folks who are just as geeky about blogging as you are.

make money travel blogging

Travel Blog Success will help you take your travel blog to the next level and make the transition from hobby blog to professional blog.

Here you can learn about how to make industry contacts, how to improve your search rankings and SEO, the value of attending blogging conferences (yes they exist), what should go in your media kit (yes you must have one) and most importantly, how to pitch brands and tourism boards AND how to monetize your blog.

learn-to-earn-300x250

6. Set goals and build your audience

Easier said than done, am I right?

When I moved home in the fall of 2012, it was with the precise goal in mind of building my travel blog into a full-time job and being able to take the trips I wanted to take around the world.

I had (still have) a beautiful Moleskine notebook where I would outline all my goals for each month, and slowly work towards checking them off. I would also write outlines of potential post ideas in here and tweak and modify them before I would actually start writing.

My goals were anything from trying to get featured on different publications to growing my unique monthly visitors to getting more and more comments to growing my social media following. What could I actively do to make that happen?

make money travel blogging

My first word of advice – do not target bloggers. I repeat, do not target bloggers. There is zero value in having bloggers being your main audience, not to mention that won’t get you anywhere. Why would anyone want to work with you if your main audience are other bloggers? That’s weird and ineffective.

Personally, I find commenting on other people’s blogs completely useless. I never do it. Ever. The only time I comment is if a story has really inspired a reaction in me, or it’s exciting news from a friend. And I’ve been doing just fine. In fact, I average around 80 to 100 comments an article most of whom aren’t bloggers. This is one way I have been able to show my value to the people I want to work with. Lots of comments equals an engaged audience.

How do you get a lot of comments? Have an opinion. Be honest. Be creative. Produce quality stuff.

make money travel blogging

I can safely say that one of my main factors of success has been my ability to carefully watch what works and what doesn’t work on my blog, and focus my energy on reaching the right people. Do not waste your time on something that isn’t working, let it go.

While guest posting on bigger blogs is a good way to gain new readers in the beginning, it’s not really that effective. Only time, dedication and good content will bring in new readers. And Google.

Once your site grows and you start to become an authority, another good way to gain followers is getting featured on bigger sites and publications, though oftentimes you have no control over this, other times you do.

I was featured on Huffington Post ages ago which still sends me a lot of traffic and then I worked hard to get linked on National Geographic. From there it was a slippery slope that has led to me being quoted and linked on huge sites like CNN, Forbes, Buzzfeed, Stuff.co.nz and the Travel Channel – none of which I actively looked for.

make money travel blogging

7. Jump on the social media train

Ah how much easier would our lives be without social media?

I almost don’t even want to think about it.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, travel blogging is inherently and physically linked to social media (pun intended).

make money travel blogging

While one part of your blogging package is your site, the other half is your social media following. The main contenders are Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, but are quickly being caught up with Google +, Youtube (if you do videos) and Pinterest.

While all are important and have value, in my opinion, if you had to focus on one of these, depending on your blog and niche, I’d go with Pinterest followed up with Instagram. Focus your energy on these two sites and I promise good things will come.

Both are used by the masses in depth and both are visual/image heavy which is what’s needed in this day and age where the average social media using adult has the attention span of a toddler. While Pinterest is a great tool to drive traffic to your site, it also has the most potential for an image (with attached link) to “go viral,” every blogger’s dream.

Instagram I personally find totally useless in for travel tips or planning but it is a great way to visually captivate people and get them excited about a trip, destination or activity, and great photos tend to be rewarded with great engagement. Hashtagging is key, as well as reaching out to new people, but Instagram has opened a lot of doors for me, especially since I was featured on the official page back in December.

I have been invited on trips solely for having 17,000+ Instagram followers.

make money travel blogging

8. Know (and own) your value 

While I have mentioned above at some point or another that I get freebies and get to go on paid press trips, that’s not exactly true. Nothing is for free and nobody gives me these things expecting nothing in return.

In short, I work for it. And take my word for it, I work hard.

While on the outside a press trip or blog post might look like beautiful beaches and tasty cocktails served up with an epic adventure, that’s not exactly the case. What you don’t see are the long hours put in during the trip, taking advantage of all the wifi you can get, sometimes staying up all night scheduling, posting, tagging and sharing everything you need to. And then of course there are all the hours that going into the stories once you are back home.

make money travel blogging

Because blogging is still considered “new media” you will meet plenty of skeptics on the road who are more than willing to devalue your work. Don’t be afraid to say no and ask for what you think you deserve.

Sometimes I can’t believe the nerve of people. Not exaggerating, I probably receive about a dozen messages a day asking me to do something free for someone. If we aren’t close friends, it is not appropriate to ask me to use my business to promote, help or share something for free. If other people are willing to pay me, why on earth would do something like that for free. Or worse, people trying to sneak things by me. My blog would quickly degenerate into a spammy shithole.

To clarify I am speaking commercially, about other businesses and brands who are trying to get out of using a marketing budget and not pay for advertising. Sneaky bastards.

At the end of the day you need to respect your blog and the work that goes into it, and know that it has value and shouldn’t be bought cheaply.

make money travel blogging

And dealing with comments like this

9. Have integrity and be ethical

A touchy subject but one that is close to my heart and one that I can’t leave out of this post.

While for the most part I think travel bloggers are doing amazing things, it needs to be noted there are plenty of duds out there who are risking our reputation as a whole. Travel blogging is a baby in terms of media, and most of the time we all have to work together as ambassadors for the business, showing people that bloggers are both valuable and are worth investing in. Whenever I work with someone, I make a point to exceed expectations and do the best I possibly can in the hopes that it will open doors for both me and other bloggers in the future.

You get one bad egg, and it shuts many many doors for everyone. I know several bloggers who make promises to the moon and back to get the trip that they want and then don’t deliver. That is shady.

My advice – apart from always deliver what you promise, you should also OVERdeliver.

make money travel blogging

It’s also crucial to know your blog well enough that you can turn down opportunities that don’t fit with your brand.

Don’t be afraid to say no to something. Every single time, even now, when an opportunity comes my way I think long and hard about it. I normally ask myself a few questions like, would I pay for this out my own pocket? Am I happy to recommend it to my readers who trust me, and once it’s over, is it something I am still going to be excited to write and share, knowing how much time goes into that weeks or months down the road?

It’s easy to get caught up in the glamor of a free trip somewhere, but you have got to train your brain to think long term and really, really decide if it’s something that fits with your site.

Sometimes I see trips that fellow bloggers go on and I raise my eyebrows knowing it’s only going to end badly. Or global nomads who describe themselves as every possible niche hoping to get trips. Don’t be greedy!

My personal favorite is when I see bloggers describe themselves as being both budget and luxury travelers. GOOD JOKE, how does that work exactly? Please enlighten me.

I’ll tell you how it works, it’s that they’ll accept any type of accommodation or famil in exchange for a free trip somewhere or to get paid. If that doesn’t raise red flags and start alarm bells going off in your head as a reader, I don’t know what will.

That is NOT having integrity or being ethical.

make money travel blogging

It’s also important to think ethically. Many times a brand or destination is relying on you to deliver something. If you know it’s the wrong fit and you are not going to be reaching the people they hope you are, it’s your responsibility to man up and say no. Don’t be selfish and just focus on the freebies and perks.

Personally, I turn down at least half of the things I get invited on because they are not a good fit. I am also really picky and I prefer to plan out my own trips, even if that means paying out of my own pocket. Cruising the Caribbean? My god, can you imagine? I would kill every one the ship within 24 hrs!

I also always think about the return. Do our values line up?

I honestly couldn’t live with myself if I was being deceptive with a brand in order to get something in return. Many of the people I work with are small business owners taking a chance on working with a blogger. I want to make sure they not only get a return on their investment and have trust in me, that they get even more than they were expecting. I not only take an active interest in promoting them correctly BUT also that other people stand up and take notice!

make money travel blogging

10. Produce good content 

Finally, my best and most important tip for last. Write good shit.

While there are so many tips and hacks out there to help you improve your travel blog, at the end of the day, great content speaks for itself and is the best way to judge success.

About a year ago I decided to focus less and less on SEO, link exchanges and optimization and other nitty gritty details in blogging, and put all of my effort into improving my writing, coming up with new and creative ideas and projects and in general producing top-notch stories.

Also space out your sponsored content, and write things that have no ties to press trips frequently.

make money travel blogging

Every time I sat down to write and come up with a story, I would ask myself, “now how can I make this even better?”

Don’t become complacent – a lot of top travel bloggers have become complacent this past year, depending on their reputation and numbers to get them where they want to go. Let me tell you a secret – that means there are places for you, up and coming bloggers to fill in.

While my blog could certainly be more flash, the results of my efforts are clear in my audience and my traffic. At the end of the day people respond to quality content, and if that’s where you put your efforts, I promise it will pay off.

If you take only one thing away from this novel of an article, let it be this. SEO, catchy web design, guest posting and interlinking will only get you so far. If you want to really, really become the best blogger out there, focus all your efforts on producing top-notch quality content.

Keeping with this being a spirit of open dialogue, feel free to ask me any question (within reason) in the comments about blogging, my love life, and what have you, and I promise to answer truthfully. 

Are you curious to hear me talk more about blogging or have you had enough?

P.S. Some of these links are affiliate links that help foot the blog bills. Pip pip thanks for reading!

make money travel blogging

435 Responses to So you want to be a travel blogger, do you?

  1. Nesbit Travels February 15, 2015 at 8:34 pm #

    Okay, so you already answered my questions about what technology platform to use with this other great post I found http://youngadventuress.com/2015/02/how-to-start-a-blog.html.

    Thank you again for sharing your secrets with us newbies. Hopefully it didn’t get you hate mail. haha :)
    I’m really excited to get started. I’ve got to rethink my name though first (after reading your advice about names).

    Enjoy your part of the world where ever you are at the moment!

    • joseph poster June 5, 2015 at 3:24 pm #

      Top Ten Jobs If You Love To Travel

      (10) Flight attendant

      It may be the most obvious travel-related job, but it’s also one of the most accessible: You don’t need a specialized degree to become a flight attendant, and most major airlines only require prior customer service experience and a certification from the Federal Aviation Administration. The hours are frequently erratic, and the work isn’t always easy, but you’ll get a glimpse of hundreds of cities across the globe during your career. A bonus perk? Free or discounted flights for you and your family.

      (9) International aid worker

      If you want to travel for a living while making a real difference in people’s lives, consider working for an international aid organization like USAID. With this job, you can visit struggling countries and help its residents recover from dire situations such as natural disasters and famine. You’ll need a background in a field like health, agriculture or education and a strong interest in social work, according to How Stuff Works.

      (8)Exploration geologist

      Exploration geologists help resource extraction companies identify the most profitable places from which to extract natural resources. Since extraction tends to happen in places that aren’t very well-populated, exploration geologists get to travel to some of the most remote regions of the world, and can be away from home for months at a time.

      (7)Cruise line worker

      Working on a cruise ship is a travel lover’s dream gig: You quite literally make a living traveling the world, all while receiving free food and accommodations. Whether you’re a restaurant server, a shop clerk or a performer in the cruise’s entertainment lineup, there are opportunities for individuals of all backgrounds to work on one of these “floating resorts.” Websites like Cruise Line Jobs list employment openings with some of the top-rated cruise lines.

      (6)Travel tour guide

      Imagine spending your days guiding fellow travel lovers through a bustling European metropolis, or perhaps a small local village is more your speed. Wherever you want to go, popular travel destinations are always in need of friendly, knowledgeable guides to lead tourists through city sights and cultural excursions. Study up on the history and culture of your city of choice, and don’t forget to brush up on the local language!

      (5)Archaeologist

      Archaeologists travel the world to recover and preserve artifacts from past human cultures. Careers in archaeology require frequent travel, often to remote regions of the earth.

      A benefit of speaking one of the world’s most popular languages is that there are people all over the world who want to learn it. Teaching English in a foreign country is one of the easiest ways to get out and see the world. Many teaching positions in foreign countries do require a certification, but you can easily get one in about a month’s time.

      (3)Executive assistant

      It may not be the most glamorous of jobs, but playing a behind-the-scenes role in the life of a corporate executive or other high-powered professional means you’ll be right alongside your boss on his or her business trips. Since individuals in these positions travel quite frequently for important client meetings, you’ll have plenty of opportunities to see new places while you work.

      (2) Oceanographer
      If you love traveling by sea and have a passion for learning more about it, then there is probably no better career for you than that of an oceanographer. Oceanographers often split their time between laboratories and research ships, where they can spend months away from home visiting remote regions of the ocean.

      (1) International Marriage Broker Tour Leader.

      If you love to travel and are single this is absolutely the best job you can imagine. International Marriage Brokers travels the world holding single events in some of the most beautiful places on earth. Each week companies like A Foreign Affair travel to exotic locations in Eastern Europe, Asian and Latin America. Business men and professionals travel in groups where they will attend single events that A Foreign Affair call socials, at these social events the men will meet 500 to 1000 beautiful single women and models. The tours consists of social, dating and site seeing, all while interacting with dozens of men and women falling in love.

  2. Natalie February 18, 2015 at 2:21 am #

    This is a great article! I love that you are so open with your thoughts :)

  3. Gaurav February 20, 2015 at 3:09 am #

    Great going. .. All the best!

  4. Ashish February 24, 2015 at 5:29 am #

    Where’s the first picture from?

    • Liz February 27, 2015 at 1:37 pm #

      It’s Mt. Cook, NEw Zealand

      • Janelle April 14, 2015 at 6:52 am #

        Liz I think you’re a horrible person who needs a lot of sleep and less:

        *Partying
        *Drinking (etc wine)
        *Adventuring and
        *Swearing!

        • Amanda April 14, 2015 at 2:44 pm #

          Janelle, I think you need to get off your computer and live a little . This article is inspiring thank you so much!

        • nobodyinnewyork April 17, 2015 at 3:28 pm #

          Janelle ” I think you should try decaf, it has come a long way in the past few years and is almost as tasty”

          Nice post Liz..Thank you

  5. Jana February 26, 2015 at 4:03 pm #

    Hi, thank you for this article. Last year I started to write my own blog – mostly for my friends in my country. But then I noticed people from other countries are coming as well so I bought my own domain and created bilingual website – czech and english language.

    Since then it is getting more popularity and now I have to think how to organize it better and how to develop my post. So one more time thank you for this article and I hope one day I will become a full time blogger as well :)

  6. Menorca February 27, 2015 at 1:24 pm #

    Wow, that was a whole lot of constructive advice!Thanks a tonne:)

  7. Daniel March 2, 2015 at 3:52 am #

    Having a smile that lights up the day must help as well.

    • Liz March 7, 2015 at 3:55 pm #

      hahahaha 😀

  8. Linda March 7, 2015 at 8:11 pm #

    A great and honest article. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and tips on travel blogging. I started a travel blog recently to focus firstly on writing and I am still finding my travel blogging feet.
    You are definitely right – passion is at the forefront of travel writing.

  9. sarmin March 8, 2015 at 1:28 am #

    very amazing site .I like this one.

  10. SamanthaJ March 8, 2015 at 3:59 am #

    Hello Liz ! I have many questions for you. Hope you can show me how to contact you.

  11. Nicole Rae March 9, 2015 at 5:05 am #

    Hey Liz!
    I am a student in Nebraska but am currently studying abroad in Lima, Peru. One of the obligations for studying abroad was that we had to create a blog for other students and professors to follow up on and to hopefully bring more interest to the program.
    While studying aboard I have fallen in love with travel and new places. I moved around a lot back in the States but have never really been out of the country. I have been left with this thirst for more. While other students in my group are homesick and not entirely enjoying themselves, I am looking forward to every experience, good or bad!
    I played soccer 4 years at my university and have played since I was 4 (along with almost every other sport). To say I am passionate about sports in an understatement. So of course in college I searched for something involving sports. I will graduate in May of 2015 with a journalism major and minors in sports administration and Spanish.
    Because I am studying abroad my last semester I am a little worried that I wont be on the same playing field as others back home. After having to keep a blog and the many years of working for my school newspaper I understand the grueling aspects of writing and deadlines, but its my major. I love it.
    So after reading all about my life story and assuming you are still with me, could you give me any advice or andy ideas for me?
    Honestly anything from you would make my day and maybe even solidify the fact that Im not crazy or the only one!

    Thanks,
    Nicole

    • Ayanna May 17, 2015 at 9:35 am #

      Hey Nicole I know we haven’t met before but I was reading your comment and I believe I have something you would not only enjoy but excel at. I see you love to travel and so do I, I’ve been to college and played basketball so I know how it is. I left my email so please email me so I can show you what opportunity I have in store for you

  12. Breanna March 9, 2015 at 7:19 am #

    great article!
    I’m new to blogging (mine is centered around healthy skin).
    I’m wondering if you have to contantly be searching for reposts of your articles on line of if Buzzfeed, NatGeo, & other notified you when you were featured?
    I’m so excited to start following your adventures :)

  13. Story March 11, 2015 at 11:01 am #

    Hello! I loved reading this, and it has inspired me to consider this as option. I am about to embark on my second larger trip to Europe, and plan to blog. I blogged on the last trip as well, mostly as a way for my friends and family to check in with me while I was gone, but also so I could remember all of the amazing things I had done. I am a little nervous, but I guess I should start dabbling in social media when I can (twitter, instagram, etc.). The description of your job sounds like a dream, but would it be too personal to ask about your love life and keeping relationships? Thank you for all of the inspiration you give out to the world!

  14. VV March 15, 2015 at 3:33 am #

    Hey there! I’m planning to start my own travel & fashion blog too! I was looking for guides and inspiration and tadah, here I am! Thank you so much for sharing all these with us! This post is just amazing and I am loving it! :)

    Keep doing what you are doing! :)

    +1 You have gained one more reader (me)!

  15. ooa revo March 17, 2015 at 6:32 pm #

    Hi Liz,
    Thanks for this article and keeping it real. Good to see an honest discussion about values and ethics – and the amount of very hard work – that goes into building a website and brand, be it travel or another. Best wishes!
    If you’re interested in quality photos, videos and storytelling on top of traditional travel tips:

  16. Natalia March 23, 2015 at 7:51 am #

    This is so helpful as I start out my own little travel blog! It can definitely get overwhelming at times, but I’m trying to take it day by day. Thanks Liz!

    -Natalia
    glitterandpassport.blogspot.com

    • habib May 6, 2015 at 4:35 pm #

      hi natalia.
      in fact your ideas about the traveling could be passioable by the way.but sometimes changing the way one do a work can make a fine change in the feeling .i would lie to suggest you to be a kind fellow traveler of one who is looking for a female body to travel with and this is me asking for .i think traveling like that will stay in mind for years.i am a male of 60 and love traveling but didn’t find one fellow .hope you like to be .
      HABIB

  17. John Wheeler March 26, 2015 at 8:43 pm #

    This what I love about blogging, you can what you love and share personal experience. I’ve been a fan of travel blogs because it allows us to have an idea of places of you have been there.

  18. Silvia March 28, 2015 at 9:33 am #

    Hi Liz! This was indeed a novel of an article, but an honest, savvy and very useful one! I’ve been wanting to start a blog for a really long time, but have never come around to doing it because of lame excuses like school, grad school and yes, my 9 to 6 job. My question is, I have content, pics and stories from travels from over the years but I want to know your opinion about posting “old stories” or places that I visited 5 years ago….I’m not looking to make this my full-time job…just yet…but if I’m going to embark on this journey, I think I should do it right from the beginning.

    I’d appreciate any advice!

    S

    • sharma April 1, 2015 at 7:05 am #

      Hi Silvia,
      If you are looking to have any support for your blog.. Or to travel in india… U can ask me…I was really passionate in traveling but as a single individual I can’t do it ….I need support nd help from the guys like you who have the same passion… Always it is good to start with small things..bcoz those small things will make big changes in life…

  19. Sharma March 29, 2015 at 10:45 pm #

    Hi Liz..
    I did my m.tech .. I am very passionate about traveling….I really want to travel all around the world…plzzz help me in doing that by giving your advice..What should I do now to go with my passion…which career suits me to reach my goal….

  20. Travel Package Compare March 30, 2015 at 11:55 pm #

    Thanks, this is very well written and very useful… (at least for me)

    Thanks alot

    —————————-
    TravelPackageCompare.com

  21. Jen April 1, 2015 at 3:06 am #

    Liz –

    I just found your blog and after reading two of your posts on starting a travel blog, I’m a little misty-eyed. Yeah. Your words have brought me to tears. BECAUSE THEY MAKE SENSE! I’ve just started my blog after years of wanting to call myself a writer but without actually writing anything. I love to travel. I love to experience new places and new cultures and everything else everyone always says. Seeing someone who has made my dream a reality is more inspiring than I can put into words. I’m slowly following your advice. Just jumped on the Twitter bandwagon, a place I had resisted with all my heart and soul, but knew all along that it was necessary. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this, right?

    I also need to get off my ass and WRITE! It’s amazing how much more time it takes than you imagined – especially editing the bloody photos. My next posts should be about the Galapagos – photo heavy, as I’m sure you can imagine. I can’t wait to see how they come out.

    Also, one bit of your post above really struck home: the part about staying true to you and having a purpose. I’ve posted a few things that I thought would draw people to me, not because I wanted to discuss them. It’s torture. I could never sustain it.

    Thank you, Liz. And I wish you continuing mad success. Hopefully, our paths will someday cross, and I will be able to thank you in person.

  22. Walter Pinem April 3, 2015 at 3:55 am #

    wow, base on those tips, I still have ways to go.
    nice tips anyway 😉

  23. Natashalh April 4, 2015 at 10:06 am #

    I’ve done a lot of traveling and I am an active blogger, but I’ve never really been able to combine the two satisfactorily. Even though I’ve bene blogging several years, I found this post informative and helpful. I really like that you point out to not get too caught up in whether or not a post is purely professional. I definitely fall into the trap of thinking I shouldn’t post something because it ‘isn’t professional enough.’ I also agree that commenting on other blogs, participating in every link up, etc., etc. isn’t particularly helpful (which makes it sort of ironic that I’m commingling here!). Anyway, thanks. =)

    • Liz April 4, 2015 at 6:09 pm #

      glad to be of help :)

  24. Mariellen Ward April 9, 2015 at 5:30 am #

    Hi Liz! I am putting together resources for a workshop called “How to make money as a travel blogger” and I will definitely list this post — lots of great tips, advice and inspiration and I agree with ALMOST everything you say here :)

    Just one point: I cover all kinds of accommodation on my travel blog, from couch-surfing to five-star. I don’t see anything unethical or wrong with that. In fact, my “style” is to have range, to stay in an old tent on a sand dune one night, and in a fancy spa hotel the next. My blog is largely about India, and my approach to India is to embrace it all (well, almost all …).

    Cheers, Mariellen

  25. Yash Shakya April 11, 2015 at 8:03 pm #

    I love photography! And traveling! And exploring different cultures and giving people a peek of this giant world through my perspective and lens of camera! But like you mentioned people just look down on me when I say I want to travel and blog and take pictures for living! And of course my parents!! They sent me off to college to pursue engineering which I ABSOLUTELY hate!!! But your blog inspires me! Like everyday I am just like what if! I am barely 18 and I just want to drop out of college and make blogging my full time job! I just want to travel and do crazy things and make people realize about the world that is outside of their little bubble!! I am still unsure about where exactly to start or what I could do exactly to be successful and I think your input and experience would a blessing!! Thanks again!! 😀 you are awesome!!!!!!

  26. Marc April 14, 2015 at 3:03 am #

    Thanks for the tips! I think it will be really helpful!

  27. Synonym of Happiness April 15, 2015 at 3:21 am #

    Thank you so much for this article.
    It’s so useful.

    And also keep going your good work.
    New Zealand is on my bucketlist. Found looooooooooads a nice articles on your website. :)

  28. Julie April 15, 2015 at 1:52 pm #

    You are my new spirit animal. Thanks for all the great information.

  29. Natalie-Monique April 23, 2015 at 4:05 am #

    I have never commented on another blog before, not just for Travel but any blog, infact you got my comment virginity 😉
    BUT….I friggen LOVE you, annnnd don’t know how I hadn’t known of you before, so consider me loyally fanned. Cheers for the post, it’s a great one!

    • Liz April 26, 2015 at 8:42 pm #

      WAHOO!

  30. Jay April 24, 2015 at 6:22 pm #

    Wow Liz, Its like you took all the bullshit out of everything. I cannot tell you how much I enjoyed watching you “give the bird” to the bad parts of the industry all through this article. It was quite a read and I really can see how people could take advantage of the industry. Your right that there are a “zillion” “professional bloggers” out there today.\

    Starting a blog, a website, or a business is never ever easy. Liz gives everyone her time and effort to help you get started the right way. We should all be thanking her.

    When I started my blog Jays Odyssey I had several years of prior tech experience and several years of industry knowledge, but that didn’t make it any easier.

    Liz, I hope one day our paths cross out there in the blue yonder, To sit with you and have a conversation would truly be an honor!

    Jay
    Jays Odyssey

  31. Home stay in Agra April 24, 2015 at 9:57 pm #

    Thanks for sharing it, i’ll make money traveling the blogging news for online show in adventures for amazing. …….Thanks for giving

  32. Kaitlin April 25, 2015 at 1:57 am #

    Great advice! I was wondering how much do you have to travel in order to have a successful blog? I’m assuming on a pretty regular basis and I would love to travel nonstop, but that isn’t very practical for me as a broke, full-time college student.

  33. Josh, Beverly and Persephone April 26, 2015 at 4:05 am #

    I have read a lot of travel blogs and articles, but this one has some great points. I am still trying to find my niche, but I agree 1000% with you that the whole “I quit my job and sold all my stuff to travel the world” thing is annoying and got old fast. Anyway, thanks for sharing this. I am going to come back to this and take much of your advice.

    Thanks,

    J/B/P

  34. Mallory April 27, 2015 at 7:30 am #

    Hello,
    I was looking into the Travel Blog Success program, and I saw that the course was about $350. Do you think that this program is worth the cost?
    Thank you!

  35. Same Day Agra Tour By Car April 28, 2015 at 12:30 am #

    It’s travellers to young generation to our destination for make money traveling blogging with a beautiful adventures for tourists……………..Thanks

  36. Jordan April 30, 2015 at 2:38 am #

    One of the best in-depth looks into getting into blogging as a job, Like most things it’s more work than people think it is from the outside! Thanks so much for sharing your experience.

  37. Niloy Basak May 2, 2015 at 2:01 am #

    thanks for sharing ur tips on travel.u are so open minded.

  38. The Southern Adventurer May 8, 2015 at 3:32 am #

    This is a great post and good tips to know. Im a new travel blogger, I don’t travel ALL the time but I go places once in awhile. I have a huge passion for photography and capturing the world as beautiful as it is. I don’t have the best writing skills but I’ll talk to the viewers just like I would a friend. Do I think I will become as popular as the other 1,000 travel bloggers out there? Probably not but I still enjoy sharing my pictures and writing about my travels. Thank you for sharing this!

    – The Southern Adventurer

  39. Meaka May 12, 2015 at 9:43 pm #

    Hello.

    Just read your article on So you want to be a travel blogger do you? Thank you loved it!!

    So in the beginning you were blogging about travel before you started traveling and getting paid to blog. How did that work?

  40. Meaka May 12, 2015 at 9:47 pm #

    Did you even have a Passport befor all this happened and had you traveled much prior?

  41. Kristina Thammavong May 14, 2015 at 9:22 am #

    I’ve read a lot of other articles that listed so many things I had to focus on that I became discouraged. You’ve inspired me to give it another go, focus on my content and just be me. Thank you so much!

  42. Elliott May 17, 2015 at 6:59 am #

    Awesome info! But, this will probably be a useless comment because I don’t want a all these bloggers to be my followers 😉

  43. Carl May 23, 2015 at 2:43 am #

    Hi Liz,

    One thing I’ve never heard pro bloggers talk about is the tax situation. Obviously being a US citizen in NZ your responsibilities will be different to mine, but I was wondering if you put flights, hotels etc.. through as costs to your business and therefore tax deductible, or whether you just pay for them out of your earnings and not give it a second thought?

    Cheers.

  44. amy May 27, 2015 at 6:44 am #

    Hello :) so you must get this a lot but I’ll repeat it again, you are an inspiration I can’t deny my envy of your life but I know you have worked your bloody socks off which makes you even more impressive!!

    Me and my boyfriend only stated or blog 3 months ago so we are still in premature baby stage in blog terms. We barely have any money and so our blog is most definitely budget, we tried the travel charity route but no one seems that interested. We are trying to offer advice, would you say advice or story telling is more effective?

    I have travelled all my life but nothing to me is more enjoyable than being in the nitty gritty. I can’t say that I have many more questions at this time as we are so new and I guess soldiering on is the best hope for us for the time being.

    One more well done (as unpatronisingly as possible!) I hope we to can join the realms of professional blogging in the not to distant future!!

    Amy x

  45. Berne country side tour May 29, 2015 at 12:34 am #

    This is so helpful as I start out my own little travel blog, where I post unique destinations in the world.

  46. Ami Engle May 29, 2015 at 1:29 am #

    Hi, I am beginning my goals setting to segue out of my teaching job. I am a 41 year old teacher, who moved to Abu Dhabi, UAE to teach, make more money, and more importantly–to travel. It is my time to do what I love, and that is travel. I want to afford this lifestyle, while being true to myself. As I adhering to the principals that you have stated it makes me feel comfortable asking for your advice. Finding my niche: I love design, travel photos (not professional), writing, meditating, and inspiring. Also, I am kind of a unicorn of sorts–41 female who has never been married, no children, and loves these choices. Untethered and goal oriented, I want to do what you do, but my way. Right now I am researching travel blogging, and becoming a life coach (online). I just want to enjoy different people and places, while inspiring, and being of service to our global community. Any and all feedback would be appreciated. Thank you for such a wonderful article. Really inspiring!

  47. Serendipity Tess May 29, 2015 at 5:11 pm #

    Wow! What an awesome blog post…your probably the first travel blogger I came across who says one should not comment on other travel blogs. You have no idea how many times I have heard that. Someone even advised to comment on 100 blogs per day….And i asked myself the same: What is the point if all your comments are just from travel bloggers? I love how you can take a stance and swim against the current from what seems to be best practise.

    And I can’t believe how nasty the message is you received. That actually hurt reading. Speechless.

    I have only recently started a travelblog and the advice you are giving is very very useful! Thank you :)

  48. Kolkata India June 1, 2015 at 7:26 am #

    Any plans to cover India?

  49. Jessica June 1, 2015 at 7:39 am #

    What a great post! I really appreciate the content that you shared. I am aspiring blogger and you are a great role model :)

  50. Danielle Ramona June 3, 2015 at 11:22 am #

    Woah…you had me until the last word. Awesome article! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom. I think the part that hit home the most was the ‘have integrity and be ethical’ section. I agree with you 100%. I also studied abroad in Spain and am obsessed with the place!!!

  51. Surya Shrestha June 9, 2015 at 11:38 pm #

    Its such useful article, keep posted.

  52. Maria Nunez June 11, 2015 at 6:00 pm #

    Thanks for the wonderful post Liz. For long time now I have wantes to start a blog but it always popped into my head how could I make it out of so many travel bloggers.
    Travelling has always been a passion for me but I had no idea where to start. You where right in so many things.
    My first thoughts were on what would people like but I was forgeting I should love it first.

    Gonna give it a try and very much hope one day we meet in the road as blogger fellows.

    All the best, lots of success and new adventures to you. Keep the spirit!!

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