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”.
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!