Introducing Izzy Matias
Izzy Matias is a full-time blogger who helps creators to start their first website and forge it into a creative business. Izzy has documented that in a kind of a lightbulb moment she realised she it was possible to make a living from blogging.
After studying Creative Writing at the University of Oxford in the UK, she became interested in the idea of a creative business that allowed for true freedom of time and the ability to travel as you work.
She is now devoted to helping others realise a freer working life and develop mechanisms of passive income. In this article, Izzy discusses 4 possible revenue streams for travel bloggers.
Hey, everyone. Izzy here to help you build your blog and creative biz so that you can live that creative life you’ve been longing for.
Building a creative biz with your blog begins with knowing how to monetise your content.
Even though the travel industry is at a standstill at the moment, one of the ways you can work on your blog at this time is to think about how you can monetise it.
While, yes, it may be harder now to earn since people are not travelling, you can take this time to set up your blog’s monetisation strategy to start making money and prepare for the time when the industry will kick-start again.
When I decided to monetise my blog, I focused on creating a smart monetisation strategy, which is to have multiple sources of income.
And so I diversified my income streams.
At the moment, these streams of income come from affiliate marketing, sponsorships, digital products and services.
I share more about the different ways you can earn online in the Blogging Business Plan Workbook: a workbook I created to help you create a solid blogging foundation.
Whether you’re a travel blogger who wants to create a full-time income from your blog or earn extra from your passion, here are four ideas on how you can monetise your travel blog together with some actionable tips.
Earn a commission through affiliate marketing
If you’ve already been promoting or talking about products or services that you love within the travel industry such as travel ebooks, photography gear, or clothing, then you can explore affiliate marketing.
How does affiliate marketing work?
If you sign up to become an affiliate for products/services, you earn a commission when someone purchases that product or service through your link.
The amount of money you can earn through affiliate marketing depends on the commission and how much blog traffic you get.
The more people visit your blog, the higher the chances of making an affiliate sale.
Affiliate marketing was one of the first ways I monetised my blog.
However, many factors come into play before someone purchases from your affiliate link, such as their trust in you, and whether or not that person is ready to buy.
When you’re just starting out, one way you could get into affiliate marketing is to promote high paying affiliate programs, so that even if you only get a few buyers each month, you can earn more.
For example, if you promote a product worth $100 with a commission of $40 per order, you can earn more compared to a product that only pays $1.
While I am part of a number of affiliate marketing programs, my strategy has been to focus on promoting the high paying affiliate programs/products such as SiteGround (my web hosting provider) and Legal Templates for my blog.
If it’s your first time getting into affiliate marketing, don’t expect to earn six or seven figures from it right away.
While some affiliate marketers are able to make lots of money, it took them time, strategy and hard work.
My tip would be to focus on promoting those products/services you absolutely believe in & love that have a bigger commission.
Your next steps:
- Take a look at the blogging tools and resources that you love and use such as web host provider, website theme, templates, presets, courses, ebooks or you may also look into an affiliate network such as ShareASale
- Check if these products offer affiliate programs by going to the product’s official website. Usually, there will be a section that will say something like “Affiliates” or “Affiliate Program”
- Review their terms & conditions, commission, and payout process before signing up for their affiliate program
- Keep track of your affiliate commission rates and payout dates in a tracking sheet to easily monitor when sales can come in
Always remember to only promote the products and services that you love, trust and believe in.
Earn ad revenue
If your blog has consistently been attracting thousands of views per month, then you may want to look into monetising through advertisements.
This type of monetisation depends heavily on the amount of traffic that your travel blog gets.
Still, if you are already attracting thousands of readers, this is an option you’ll want to consider.
However, with Mediavine, you need at least 50,000 sessions in the last 30 days before you can apply for an account on Mediavine.
Disclaimer: I have yet to try Mediavine, but I simply wanted to share the feedback I’ve been reading online about it from other bloggers in case you want to look into it.
If you’re not yet ready to sign up for an advertising account with an ad network, an alternative is to reach out to small and medium-sized brands/shops or local companies that already work with bloggers.
How you can do this is to reach out to the brand and email them if they’d like to place an advertisement on your blog.
When emailing brands, you’ll want to send them a media kit, your advertisement packages, and a description of the people reading your blog to make sure your blog is a fit for their brand.
If you’re currently struggling with blog traffic at the moment because you don’t want to post travel content, you may have to pivot to other types of content like lifestyle posts.
For example, if your travel blog also features food, why not post about a recipe inspired by a place or a dish that you tried in one of your travels?
Your next steps:
- Check if you qualify to join their network based on their requirements & sign-up if everything is good to go
- If you’re interested in reaching out to brands, compile a list of brands you want to work with as well as their contact details (usually you’ll want to get in touch with someone from the marketing department) and create these two things:
- Your media kit that includes your blog statistics and reader demographics. You can use Canva to create one and upload your media kit on one of your blog pages or send it as an attachment when you email brands
- Your advertisement package that includes the different ad placements, rates, as well as any minimum lock-in periods or special packages for long term advertisements
Offer mentorship to new travel bloggers
If you’ve been travel blogging for a while now and have established yourself in your niche and industry, why not offer a service where you can help others through your experience?
To give you some ideas, you could offer the following services:
- How to set up a travel blog & find a niche
- How to succeed within the travel industry and land collaborations
- Do a blog audit for an existing travel blog to advise on what elements can be improved based on best practices.
You never know who of your blog readers have been wanting to start travel blogs or have existing travel blogs but need help and would love to work with you to level up their blog.
Since this is a more personalised way of working with your readers, you could also price these services higher.
Your next steps:
- Brainstorm a list of services you can offer that is unique to you and your experiences
- Ask yourself if there have been requests from your readers to put out a certain type of service
- Survey your readers if a certain type of service is something that they are interested in
- Test out your service based on survey results and/or reader requests
- Offer a beta version of the service to further refine and tweak the service to best serve your readers
- Launch the full version once ready
Sell digital products
Whether or not you have a large following, I would recommend selling digital products.
You create a product once and then you can earn passive income from it, especially if you promote your product on your social media or blog posts.
I don’t suggest selling physical products at the moment because there may be shipping restrictions or suppliers may be hard to find.
Here are some ideas for digital products:
- Photography presets – if you’ve been using your own presets and get compliments on your photos or style of editing, you can create a preset collection and sell it.
- A travel guide or ebook – while we may not be able to travel at the moment, one way to give value to your readers is to create a digital travel guide or ebook about your travel stories. You could also create an in-depth travel guide to a specific place or country, or maybe even how to travel solo.
- An online course – if you don’t want to offer 1:1 services, you could create an online course and constantly promote it to build your passive income stream
As you can see, I’ve intentionally omitted travel sponsorships because, at the moment, the travel industry isn’t booming.
I’m not saying that no travel companies are investing in collaborations, but the number of opportunities may not be as many as they used to.
So, for now, I would focus on selling digital products or services.
After getting into affiliate marketing, selling digital products was the next thing I did to expand my income stream.
Currently, I offer two digital products: The Blogging Business Plan Workbook and an online course on how to start a money-making blog (a creative business through blogging) because I want to focus on creating passive income sources.
1. The Blogging Business Plan Workbook
The Blogging Business Plan Workbook was released last April. And it almost didn’t get released because of the pandemic.
Originally, I had scheduled for it to launch mid-March, but with the pandemic breaking out worldwide, I didn’t want to seem insensitive.
Instead, I took time away to introspect how I could pivot the launch, for I had been warming up my audience for the release of the workbook.
What I did was to add more value to the product expanding the original 10 pages to almost 30 pages, and include the lessons like that of an ebook together with the workbook sections.
This workbook then became an updated version of the original one inside the How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business) course and can be bought as a stand-alone product that contains the same lessons inside the course.
However, for those who prefer to consume video as well as more in-depth examples and video walkthroughs, I created the online course which comes with both versions of the workbook.
The reason why I decided to launch the workbook is that people have different ways of consuming content.
I wanted to also give an affordable alternative to my online course for those who cannot enrol in the course yet.
2. How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business) online course
The How to Start a Money-Making Blog (Your Creative Business) course contains 17 lessons that show you how to set up a blog strategically and craft your blogging business plan.
This online course is for first-time bloggers, hobbyists who want to start taking blogging seriously and bloggers who need help with what blogging tasks to prioritise and how to set up their blogs in order to earn.
So if you’re interested in creating digital products, here are some tips that can help.
Your next steps:
- Look at your top-performing posts – your top-performing posts will tell you what kind of content your readers are most interested in reading. And you can use this as a guide as to what kind of digital product you can create, or you can also insert affiliate links into these posts (if applicable)
- Survey your audience – when in doubt, ask your readers what they are struggling the most with, and then you can create or advertise a product that solves this need. Remember to put your readers and community first.
- Craft a marketing plan – once you’ve created your digital product, think of how can you automate your promotion process. Will you be scheduling promotional content on your social media accounts? Will you set up an email marketing sequence that leads to promoting your product?
MORE FROM IZZY MATIAS:
Izzy Matias is a full-time blogger who helps content creators start a blog and build it into a creative business. She blogs at izzymatias.com and teaches a course on How to Start a Money-MakingBlog (Your Creative Business).