For all the blog posts about how to monetise a travel blog (and I think 500 new ones get written every day), the subject keeps coming up. Everyone’s elaborated on their theory of how to make money from travel blogging and most of the usual suspects (including myself) have had a go giving a speech about it at some conference or other.
The one thing we’re all quiet about
And the cycle goes on, despite everyone saying it’s beginning to sound like a stuck record. Well it’s a stuck record because the problem still remains – not many people are making good money from their blogging activity. Or, at least, we think they aren’t. Because in this maelstrom of monetisation talk, one key piece of the jigsaw is consistently missing. Whether through embarrassment, modesty or simply not knowing, nobody seems willing to come out with figures.
So, with nobody putting out in the open how much money they make from blogging and what other sources of income they have, it’s impossible to get a reasonable snapshot of what I suppose is now an industry.
For all we know, the people giving speeches as experts may be earning virtually nothing, addressing a crowd of quieter types who are pulling in a fortune. What someone may regard as a good living is completely inadequate for someone else.
Let’s get some data
So, I figured, it’s time to be a bit more open and honest. Instead of going round in circles talking about theories, let’s get some data. Below, I’ve put seven questions that – if enough people answer truthfully – should shed some much-needed light on the travel blog monetisation merry-go-round.
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BOOK YOUR OWN ADVENTUREThe following sites are usually my first port of call when booking a trip - so I recommend them as somewhere to start when booking your own holiday.
HOTELS: Hotels.com (£) or Agoda (£)
FLIGHTS: Skyscanner (£) Kayak or Roundtheworldflights.com
CAR HIRE: Car Rentals (£)
GUIDE BOOKS: Amazon (£)
TOURS AND ACTIVITIES: Viator (£)
I’ve answered in the comments below – I hope other travel writers, bloggers and journalists (or whatever label you give yourselves) are prepared to join in.
Travel blogger honesty survey questions
1. What is your name and main blog URL?
2. Roughly, what was your income from all work last year (before taxes and expenses – use whichever currency you usually work with)?
3. Approximately what percentage of that income was from site(s) that you own?
4. Approximately what percentage of your income was from writing about travel online (ie. both your sites and other sites you have been paid to write for)?
5. Approximately what percentage of your income is from writing about travel full stop (ie. print as well as online)?
6. Approximately what percentage of your income is from writing?
7. What are your other major sources of income?
All content copyright David Whitley.