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When I first started blogging about my travels 2 years ago or so I had read about a couple of people making money from their travel blogs. “No way, that can be true”, I thought it was another example of dudes making money on the internet by telling people how to make money on the internet. “I’m not buying that, just another scam”.

making money from your travel blog
‘Working’ in Malawi

I knew I had enough awesome travel experiences under my belt to warrant a site, I knew that I had travelled a lot further, to a lot more interesting destinations with a lot more crazy stories to share than a lot of the big names in the community so I thought I’d start sharing them with the world, who knows what it could lead to.

 

I remember getting 2 visitors a day but I persevered. After a month or so it was 20 people, suddenly you start getting doubts about whether it’s worth your time. A measly 100 people a month or so is all you have to show for all your hard work and investment. Maybe I should just quit, I’m not cut out for this at all.

 

At this junction I knew nothing about computers, I wouldn’t even begin to know about programming or graphics, I had never come across the terms SEO, google page rank or backlinks, marketing was simply a course people took at uni. But I continues none the less.

 

Soon it was 250 visitors per month, wow – 250 strangers reading about my stories on the net, pretty cool. Then I got an email out of the blue, by an advertiser who wanted to advertise on my site, he offered me $60, to be paid via paypal, and I almost bit his arm off. I was thinking this was the easiest $60 I ever made, I was in Ethiopia at the time and $60 would pay for my travels for the next 3 or 4 days.

 

Another couple of weeks of silence, but I kept blogging. I was up to 500 people per month after 6 months or so, another advertiser contacted me, $100 for the year. Yes please. Awesome.

 

Anyway, I continued through Africa and the Middle East for the next few months, then about a year ago I flew to Bangkok, determined to try to make something more of my site, as well as pursue some more online ventures. A year went in a heartbeat, and although I was based in Bangkok, Thailand I still traveled a fair bit in those 12 months – Malaysia (twice), Burma, Hong Kong, Macau, North Korea, China, South Korea, all over Thailand, I even filmed a TV show for a Thai Travel Programm complete with an all expense paid trip to Taiwan for a month!

 

By this point I didn’t have to work in a ‘real job’ anymore. English teachers in Thailand get paid roughly $1000 per month, $1500 if they have some experience and they choose to live in Bangkok. About 10 months a go I was making easily $1000 per month from OneStep4Ward.com and it was increasing fast, I started to build new sites, AspiringBackpacker.com – since sold,  was the second site I built, I registered a company called Teach Dot Travel – since parked, offering TEFL courses in Thailand and recruiting teachers to English camps in Korea. I now have 4 more sites in development, 2 ebooks I’m in the process of writing, and 2 very interesting companies that I’ll be trying to get off the ground next year. I’ve started to look for interns or employees from English speaking countries to work with me, where I can show them how to do this too.

 

OneStep4Ward had allowed me to not work, travel the world, maintain a great lifestyle in Thailand throughout and it gave me the free time to concentrate on other projects, which I’m continuing to do now.

 

Last week was the most I ever made from one site in 12 days, OneStep4Ward.com alone generated more than $5000 in less than two weeks. My other sites are generating money, my businesses (all education and travel orientated) are slowly progressing to a point where they’ll be changing lives soon, my other projects have got me excited and motivated and I’m currently riding the Trans Siberian train across Russia, with a plan to break my 100 country mark by the end of the year.

 

All of this came from starting a travel blog, so if you ask how much money can I travel blog make? The answer is: ‘enough to change your life forever’. I hope any of you guys who are considering doing something similar can use my story as motivation, and belive me if I can do it, anyone can. Good luck guys and happy travels!

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56 thoughts on “Motivational Monday: How Much Money Can A Travel Blog Make? My Story

  1. Pingback: How to Find Freedom With a Location Independent Business — George Tampakas
  2. Hi Johny,
    Very Inspirational post. I just started with my blog called lubuzine It’s about fashion,food, activities and travel. Basically a lifestyle blog. I love travelling and food. Within a month I am getting 20-30 unique visitors a day. Just want to know if I can live my life just travelling and making money online. Is that possible? What you think expert?

    1. it’s possible, but you have to write more content, more sharable content and focus on your social media 🙂

  3. A nice read man, surely gave me motivation!
    I have a small travel blog that i am writing my personal storiew in, and even wrote my first guide:)
    All of you are welcome to take a look!
    http://Www.bangliftravel.com
    The thing is, i am struggling with traffic, i do get positive feedback from friends and fellow travelers, but i guess i just need to get more active on forums and such, anyway, thanks!

  4. To make travel blog is very easy. If you search in Google there is all tutorials about blogs. But if you take hosting company it will be more good.

  5. I remember following your blog few years ago and was inspired by your story. I resigned almost 2 years ago now from my demanding executive job to travel the world and with no definite back up plan. Even before I completed my 30 days notice, I received tons of offers from my former clients and former colleagues for a location independent job. I loved what I was doing and I needed the money but then to travel the world is more enticing. Now Im working with a less demanding and a location independent job while travelling the world for almost 2 years now. I also just started my blog last Dec, stopped after 2 weeks because I got discouraged lol. Im impatient I know! Then picked it up again more than a week ago, moved my domain to another hosting site, redesigned everything, put ads etc. I only have around 400 visitors (less than 2 weeks since i put it back again). Im not discouraged anymore especially after I got 3 sales from my affiliate marketing ad. I’ve got a long way to go still but reading this post keeps me inspired to keep going. Keep inspiring man!

  6. Wow. I’m sure you know what an amazing story your life is right now.
    I started a rebel blog over a year ago, but I was very lazy with it and mostly use it to tell my friends stories of my travels. Now I have gotten more into it and I’m trying hard to improve my writing and figure out the kin of content people want to see.
    I hit a point awhile ago where I just thought “what’s the point?!” When I was getting like 30 visitors here, maybe 10 there. It is so great to here a success story where someone else hit those depressing moments too.
    My life is all about travel and I really just want to share my stories and keep going.

    You are a real inspiration. Thanks you so much for posting this. It has given me some oomph to keep going with mine. I will persevere! Yesterday I hit over 130 likes in one day, a new record for me. So hopefully that means I’m headed in the right direction.

    Congrats on all your success. I love your blog and I wish you well in all your future endeavours.

  7. Hi Johnny! I was wondering how you went about offering TEFL courses in Thailand. I am interested in doing something of the same nature, but it seems I keep running into dead ends. It’s very hard to find information on the internet about the processes that go into it. If that’s something you don’t wish to share, I understand! Thanks in advance!

      1. Thanks for responding, Sarah! I already have my TEFL certification, just would like to be in the business of training other teachers. Are you saying my best luck would be to apply to TEFL schools as an instructor? Is there anyway to do it independently? Thanks!

  8. Hi Johnny! I was wondering how you went about offering TEFL courses in Thailand. I am interested in doing something of the same nature, but it seems I keep running into dead ends. It’s very hard to find information on the internet about the processes that go into it. If that’s something you don’t wish to share, I understand! Thanks in advance!

    Blessings,

    Julia

  9. What i like about you is everyone can relate to your story. I have followed your blog for a while and have seen it develop into what it is today. When i first set up my blog i had the same feelings of ‘is it really worth it’, and i remember reading this. Today i have read it again, and you are so right.. Readers multiple and advertisers come knocking. You are very inspiring and help people realize there dreams. Keep Travelling and helping all us other Travel bloggers living our dreams.

  10. Hi Johnny,
    That’s such an inspiring post. I’ve just started my blog (at http://www.inspiringwomenwhotravel.com) and am already loving the connections and anticipation of growing it to really help and inspire my readers too. Your blog is fabulous and you definitely inspire me to keep sharing my stories. Thanks so much for all the information. Jane

  11. This was very inspirational.

    How long did it take you from the moment you started your blog to the point of making $1,000 per month?

  12. Hey great post Johny, just loved going through your other links as well. Am also passionate about writing, but just wonder, if I can earn enuf money through blogging to sustain. So your post gives me a sense of hope. Will be really glad if you help me get started…

  13. Hi Johnny, As you know I came across your blog last year and posts like this have no doubt inspired a lot of people to follow in your footsteps myself included. My story is slightly different from most in that, I already had over 1000 blog stories on my travel blog, I already had all the travelling to last a lifetime, but I neglected the PR potential I had from my stories. Bit ironic considering I have a degree in PR! All I needed was a push and to know that others were actually using their blog to fund their travels, like you proved. I’m pretty glad I’ve come across your motivational Mondays and got in touch – when you started them I bet you had no idea how much readers like myself would love them. Do us a favour and keep them coming 😉 Safe travels from a fellow Northern Irishman, Jonny

  14. Really interesting.
    Where did the hockey-puck-upward spike occur, and how long did it take?
    Do you post about how to actually approach advertisers?

    Great post, thanks for sharing!

  15. Its nice to know my stats are at the same level as others around the couple of months mark. I’m not sure if I want to monetise, I really just want to have a lot of memories written down from my upcoming trip but I may change my mind in the future. Congrats on the success of your site, 50000 is a lot of visitors 🙂

  16. Hey Johnny,

    Thanks for the great post. I’ve really been enjoying your blog; you seem very genuine and down-to-earth, which is extremely refreshing 🙂

    A few questions: did you do ANY sort of marketing for your blog in the beginning, or was it really just the consistent publishing of posts that gained you notoriety? Right now, the only place I post my blog is on my Facebook, which is really just to let friends and family know I’ve published something new, but is there another place I should be posting?

    Also, how did you learn how to build websites when starting with so little prior knowledge? Trial and error?

    Cheers!

    Kara

  17. This post really kicks ass Johnny! Great inspiration and written in a way that I can really relate to. Starting out not knowing what page rank, SEO an code are! 6 months ago I didn’t even know what WordPress was! It was actually one of your posts on Motivational Mondays that I read whilst travelling in India that got me started with Goats On The Road, a travel website for budget backpackers. We are still in the beginning stages (only 1600 uniques/month) but we’re loving every minute of it and your motivation still drives us.
    Quick question: After content, what is the biggest step that helped get you to where you are. Guest posting, on site SEO, backlink building….? Any advice would be great.
    Again, thanks for the post and i’ll be looking forward to future motivation.
    Nick.

    1. hey nick, to be honest mate i think it’s my story that draws readers more than any SEO tips. 90+ countries, not from a rich family etc. With that i’ve been interviewed by lots of magazines etc so that always helps exposure too 🙂 Just keep posting regulary bro, google loves that, within 12 months or so, you’ll be flying 🙂

  18. This is just what I needed. I have 7 years of travelling experience and my friends had been asking me to start my own travel blog which I did about a year ago. (http://wander2nowhere.com) But I haven’t been putting a lot of effort into it thinking that I couldn’t possibly make enough money. But this article just inspires me so much to persevere. Thank you.

  19. Did you really traveled to North Korea? It would be great to see pics, just curious to see how that country looks 🙂

    Good post BTW!

  20. Sorry… me again. But I want to know if your blog was always ‘how to do this’ as it is now? I have a travel blog which is pretty diary like which is getting about 70 hits a month (I assume most are my family .. but that’s another story) how did your blog start?

  21. Very inspiring post ! Thanks for sharing this.
    My blog (http://debbzie.blogspot.com) is 10 months old and I’m still learning to maintain it. Because I know nothing about computer and the terms also :p
    Hopefully one day I could make money from my blog, just like you.
    I’m happy I found your blog today, it’s indeed awesome!
    Best wishes for you John 🙂

    1. hey debzz,

      i have no doubt u can do it – just stick with it, post regularly and really travel, that’s 90% of it 🙂

  22. It’s nice to know what to expect and to see that patience does pay off. I’ve been blogging seriously for about three months now and the stats are nowhere near yours, but they’re rising at a steady rate each month so I’m happy about the consistency. Having wordpress feature my site was a nice boost to the stats as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing your story!

    1. hey edna, just keep plugging away and ul get there eventually 🙂 How did u get wordpress to feature ur site?!

  23. It’s always good to hear the blogs can make enough money for the bloggers to do what they want … many people just don’t believe it’s true 🙂

  24. I’m glad you made the TV show trip to Taiwan, because otherwise I’d never have met you! And I would never have been inspired to try it too! 🙂
    Cheers, Charles

  25. Really appreciate the honesty of this post! Glad to see someone who is willing to talk about the business side of blogging, very inspirational! We started our blog in January 2012 (www.worldlynomads.com) and its great to see visitors slowly increasing and your website appearing in search engine results! Still only small fry for now, but at least progress is being made and you can see the fruits of your labour now!

    Again, thanks and good luck!

  26. Great post! Good on you for following your dreams, it sounds like your hard work is paying off. Starting my blog has been the best thing I’ve ever done, and though I’m only making ‘pocket money’ at the moment, I’ve made so many wonderful connections with people, and enjoyed the creative process, as well as learning about the technical side, so much. Cheers

    1. thanks sarah =) it’s been cool and now i can really travel indefinitely (or for a while at least :P)

  27. Great post – very encouraging and inspiring. My boyfriend and I are just now getting into travel blogging (with our site http://acoupletravelers.com/) in preparation for our backpacking trip to start in the fall. We have already realized that it’s going to be hard work but hopefully it will all be worth it! At the end of the day it will be great to document our travel experiences and have the opportunities to be creatives with photography, site design, writing, etc.

    1. thanks for readin vicky! it’s cool to blog, u can have it as a dairy AND it can make u cash, pretty good gig 🙂 good luck with ur new site, looking great so far!

  28. Thanks for the awesome post! My blog is about 5 months old, and I am approaching the 400 hit per month mark. It is good to get confirmation that my blog is expanding at a normal rate. No advertising offers yet on my end, but I am just going to stick with it. Blogging is a lot of work, but I am also having a lot of fun and it gives me a sense of pride. The rest will come in time. Again, thanks for bolstering my motivation!

    1. hey shanna,

      cool – keep pluggin away and suddenly it just clicks 🙂 its great fun and supports my cool lifestyle. Good luck! 🙂

  29. Yes, imagine if you’d known how this worked right from the start – I was the same (well, worse!) I blogged for years without knowing much about the money making side – not that I’m in it to make a squillion but it is nice to have reward for effort at least.

    1. Hey Amanda, absolutely, right?! How many sites do u run now? now i know it im determined to break the 6 figure mark from 10 hour work weeks 🙂

  30. inspiring stuff man. 100 country mark sounds like a big milestone and congrats on the growth in revenue! How many visitors are you currently at, out of curiosity?

  31. Very inspiring story! Well done and great to hear some positivity on the monetising side of things 🙂

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