We opened the doors to our blogging world on the 1st of June 2015. We are approaching our first blog-anniversary and as such I’m left contemplating our journey and evaluating how far we have come in the last 10 months! I never expected blogging to be such a massive commitment! I also never expected to be making money in the first month of operation and never dreamt about how many doors this blog of ours would open up!
Since starting our blogging journey, we have managed to change our lives from ‘never having enough money to travel’, to traveling to various destinations such as: Vietnam, Tasmania, Fraser Island, Cambodia as well as multiple smaller escapes such as our wonderful experience with Glamping in Stanthorpe. We can now afford to travel with all of our kids, something that we couldn't do before!
How do we manage to travel so much now that we run a blog? Well keep reading and you will find out!
Our Current Business Goals – @ 10 Month’s Old:
- Our current financial goal for our travel blog is to have an income of $1000 a month by the end of June ‘16! 3 Months to go, if you have any tips please shout them our way!! We are halfway there, so my thinking cap is switched on as to how we can reach our number in time!
- Continue to grow our monthly traffic numbers, we are so proud of our social media following (We have over 45K combined followers)! But we would love to increase the reach of our blog itself! Always a challenge for newer blogs, do you have any tips?
New Steps towards making more Blogging Income or saving money!
Pay per Post – FREE TO JOIN!
As we are making most of our current income on our social media platforms rather than on our blog itself, we decided to join some more social media influencer platforms! We have been members of Pay per Post for a while and haven’t gotten much work from them! But last much we got a job and found the process pretty smooth from application to approval and then to payment! It is a nifty program, where jobs come along and you can place a ‘bid’ as to how much you want to be paid for the post! We had very quick results timeframe wise from when we applied for the job, till approval, which I really like! So this program might be worth signing up for and giving it a go if you have a nice social media following! We recommend that you don’t invest all your eggs in one basket as jobs, especially for travel blogs comes along very sporadically. So sign up to more of these influencer type programs when you see them!
Google Ads were not cutting it for us! It was earning us a mere few dollars a month, so it was time for a change! We took the plunge and signed up to (and paid) Blogger Network. Whilst we had to pay a once off fee of US$99 to join. This price gave us access to loads of free video resources on how to grow our blog! Together with that, they also install an ad system on your blog, 6 ads in various locations. With Google ads, you only earn money when people click on the ads, whilst at Blogger Network, you get paid for impressions! So traffic, plus page views, plus time on page all adds up to income! Where we were earning a mere $2 at Google Adsense, in about a month at Blogger Network we have earned over US$66. That is a massive increase in earnings! You can visit them here to see which program best suits your blog. We joined up to TBN Propel
Travel Blog Income Report for March '16
Income for March: AUD $585.16
- Social Media Influencer Posts
- Tribe (Australian Based) – $345
- Direct Approach from a Company to promote them – $55
- Blogger Network Ads – $73
- Amazon Affiliates – $86.37
- Agoda Affiliates – $25.79
Value of Sponsored Accommodation, Tours and Tickets: $2517
As a new blog, the best way of working with brands is to work for a ‘swap-for-swap’ method. Whereby you offer them services such as a blog review post in return for a free tour tickets. In reality whilst you are not making cash in hand, you are saving money for things you would have had to pay for, so in essence, it is still an income of some sort.
So ultimately we have earned the following ‘non-cash-in-hand’ amounts of money by working with different brands on our recent Cambodian Family Holiday Trip:
- Accommodation: $1789
- Tours: $728
Expenses for March: AUD $364.74
- Advertising fees (Facebook, Outbrain, StumpleUpon etc) – $123.05
- Upgrade to Optin Monster Newsletter Services (year plan) – $214.88
- Coschedule Monthly Fees – $26.81
NET PROFIT: $220.42 + $2517 (in Sponsored Accommodation and Tours)
How do we manage to Travel?
The thing with travel blogs are, they require more investment money wise than say a food blog does; because if you are not traveling, you will have nothing to blog about!! Currently hubby is still working full time! I’m currently on half pay long service leave from my job to put all my efforts into this blog!
That means that we can invest any sort of money we do happen to make from this blog, back into the travel fund. We also have a small amount of money on our budget set aside for traveling. Other than that, I put a lot of time and effort into reaching out to businesses pre-travel to find accommodation and tours that would be willing to collaborate with us!
I don’t ask for anything for free though and it is important that everyone realizes that you should never ask for free things, just because you have a travel blog!! I offer them a great package of bits and pieces of work that I can deliver, and we do work hard to go above and beyond what we have offered to ensure we have a happy working relationship.
If your social media following is still very small and your unique readers on your blog pretty limited, it would be best to leave reaching out to businesses till later in the game!
Every blog grows at a different speed to the next and it is important to learn to work with what you have, or to wait until you do have it! So currently most of our travels are self-funded and I guess to some degree they most likely always will be! But we choose to prioritize travel above other luxuries in life and to us the experience and memories that come from traveling is worth the sacrifices! You can read one of our posts on how we afford to travel here.
1. Business Cards:
Business Cards are invaluable if you are serious about running your blog as a business! We hand them out everywhere we can to expose people to our brand! It is also great for handing out at the hotels and resorts that you stay with! To us it is a valuable investment that we simply can’t go without! That does not mean though that you need to pay an arm and a leg for your cards! We researched the web and found that Moo.com has some gorgeous quality cards at very reasonable prices!! We just bought a stash of 100 for AUS $54. (which includes the postage costs, plus we like ours a touch fancy and have rounded corners on ours, they are even cheaper if you go with the standard option) If it is time for you to get your business cards printed, and want to give them a go, use this link for 10% discount on your order! You are WELCOME!!
2. Start Your Own Blog:
We have simplified the blog-start-up process into 3 easy—peasy steps!! Read our post on how to start up your travel blog! I researched all the best prices and low-cost ways to start our blog, so if you like the look and feel of our blog, why not save yourself some work and time and simply follow the same steps?
3. Tailwind for Pinterest:
One of our largest drivers of traffic is STILL currently Pinterest! We are constantly seeing rewards of our work involved with this social media platform! So much so that I recently wrote a comprehensive guide on how to make the most out of Pinterest! If you haven’t read it yet, you should hop over here and have a look! Make sure to download the FREE checklist as well! And don’t forget to try out Tailwind, use this link to receive one month for free, PLUS get a $15 DISCOUNT if you decide to join up!!!
4. Previous Income Reports:
If you enjoy our Income Report blog series, please click on this link here to read our previous reports! We made money from the very first month of being open! Never let anyone tell you that you need to wait a few years before you can monetize your blog! Start following our steps and do it now!! Because what are you waiting for??
Do you earn money from your blog? What are your main income sources?
Do you have any tips for us in regards to building traffic?
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