Curious about the average travel blog salary? Wondering how much the highest paid travel bloggers make in 2022? This guide on travel blog income will answer all your questions!
When I started my travel blog, I had no idea how to make money with it. I didn’t know what influencers were, nor did I understand how to earn money by creating travel content. Back then, travel blogger salaries were a bit elusive – as nobody wanted to share their earnings and strategies for how to succeed in this space. I’m a huge advocate for transparency, which is why I’m going to share how I make over $20,000 per month as a travel blogger.
In this post, I am not selling anything. You won’t find any courses, private coaching, or other gimmicks here. I am writing this article because when I first started travel blogging 6 years ago, I wish I knew what I know now. The goal of this piece is for you to gain an understanding of how travel blogger income works in hopes that one day, you too will become a successful travel creator.
Looking to start a travel blog? Or interested in how to monetize your existing travel site? Here’s everything you need to know about cultivating a sustainable travel blogging salary.
For more helpful travel blogger content, read also:
– Tips for Creating a Travel Blog
– Top Travel Bloggers in 2022
– Best Hosting Providers for a Travel Blog
– Tips for Choosing a Travel Blogger Name
According to Statista, the worldwide tourism industry in 2021 accounted for $1.31 trillion USD. In 2022, this figure is forecasted to be $1.67 trillion USD. This industry covers everything from airlines, hotels and accommodations, food and drink establishments, car rental agencies, tour companies, and more. In an industry so big (and dynamic), it’s no wonder there are so many travel bloggers out there.
Today, it’s more important than ever for there to be travel bloggers in the online ecosystem. After all, more than 80% of trip planning is done through the internet, including on social media. So, there’s a huge demand for travel bloggers as disseminators of travel tips, itinerary ideas, and other travel inspiration.
In the US alone, there are upwards of 31 million blogs. However, there are just thousands of active travel blogs. It’s estimated that only a few hundred travel blogs make significant income. Most bloggers give up after a few months, so if you’re passionate and willing to stay in it for the long haul, you will become a successful travel blogger by default. Then, you’ll be right on your way to having a solid travel blogging salary.
Considering becoming a blogger? I highly recommend buying a website and hosting it ASAP. It’s cheap and easy to do, plus it will give you tremendous opportunities down the line. You can get started with Bluehost for just $2.95 per month (75% off) using my discount link. It usually goes for $9.99 per month, but I get a special discount for my readers – one of the many perks of being a top travel blogger!
One important metric of the Google Algorithm is your website’s age. So, even if you aren’t consistently creating content on your website, it’s a good idea to just let it sit there and gain authority over time. If (and when) that day comes when you want to get paid to travel, you’ll already have the infrastructure in place to do it!
For just $2.95 per month, you’ll get a free domain name, free SSL security, free CDN, and a money-back guarantee. If you’re even remotely interested in starting a blog, I’d buy a website, just so you have it. Who knows, maybe someday you too will quit your full-time job to pursue your lifelong passion!
According to market data compiled by ZipRecruiter, the average annual income for travel bloggers in the United States is $87,923. The 25th percentile is $35,500 while the 75th percentile is $118,500. I am probably in the 90th percentile and I make around $240,000 per year. I didn’t have any special skills or experience going into this; I was a finance major in college and got into this industry as a hobby. Anyone can become a travel blogger – as long as you are enthusiastic about traveling and are willing to put in the work.
Keep in mind that worldwide tourism is a multi-trillion dollar industry. There are infinite ways to collaborate with travel brands, make money, and stand out from the rest. Below, I will show how I make $20k per month and how you can do the same.
As I mentioned earlier, there are countless ways to make money as a travel blogger. My income mainly comes from three sources: (1) advertising revenue, (2) affiliate revenue, (3) partnerships and sponsored posts. I will dive into each revenue stream in more detail below.
The easiest and most reliable way to generate income as a travel blogger is by having ads. It’s no different from newspapers, magazines, online publications, and podcasts – advertising revenue is an important income stream for any platform with a large viewership. This includes travel websites and blogs.
Installing ads on your website is simple. There are many ad networks out there that can help you automatically serve ads on your website. New blogs typically start out with Google AdSense, and work their way up to Mediavine or AdThrive, which serve more premium ads and make you more money. For the past three years, I’ve been using Mediavine and I couldn’t be happier with them. Their customer service is great and the RPMs are incredibly high. I typically make between $10-15k per month on ads with Mediavine. Here’s a screenshot below showing my income for May 2022:
The nice part about ads is that it’s truly passive income. I don’t have to manage them, as Mediavine does this all for me. That means that when I’m traveling and not using my laptop, I’m still making ad revenue from each user who visits my website.
It’s important to note that as of 2022, Mediavine only accepts websites into its network with over 50,000 monthly sessions. So, if you’re just starting out, you won’t be able have access to these premium ads right away. Be patient – as 50,000 monthly sessions is very doable. One or two viral articles can get you there.
My ad income this month: $13,876
This is my second most valuable income stream. Affiliate marketing is an arrangement where companies pay websites a commission for sales referrals. For example, when I write travel itineraries, I’ll link to websites like Booking.com, and receive a commission every time someone books a hotel stay. I also have affiliate links for vacation rentals, flights, car rentals, travel insurance, and more.
Below is a screenshot of my affiliate income of Vrbo, a vacation rental website, where I made $2,805 in commission during May 2022. This was my most valuable affiliate partnership for the month, but I have dozens of other affiliate arrangements – ranging from a few dollars to thousands of dollars for the month.
Unlike ad revenue, which is proportional to how much traffic you receive, you can make lots of affiliate revenue with just a few visitors. As such, your travel blog salary can be substantially increased by having a coherent affiliate strategy. When writing articles, it’s important to think about the intent of the user – what are they looking for and how can I add value to their experience? For example, if you’re writing a post on best places to visit in Switzerland, don’t miss the opportunity to link to unique accommodations. If you’re writing an article on travel photography tips, link to different camera gear. This is an organic way to make money, and trust me…it adds up!
My affiliate revenue this month: $7,282
For many travel influencers, this is one of the best ways to make money. Not only can you create sponsored content on your blog, but on social media platforms as well.
Over the years, I’ve partnered with hotels, tourism boards, tour companies, gear companies, and other travel-related products and services. I’m extremely picky about who I work with, which is why this isn’t a top source of travel blogging income for me anymore. However, when I was starting out, I sought out these sponsorships all the time – allowing me to earn while traveling.
When I work with tourism boards and other organizations on sponsored content, I’ll either charge a fixed fee for the deliverables or on a per-diem basis. For example – I’ll charge $1,000 per sponsored post on my website or $1,500 per post on Instagram. If I’m being asked to promote a tour company and they offer me a 7-day tour, I will charge $500 per day for 7 days ($3,500), in addition to a comped trip. I will generally only accept one of these partnerships per month totaling between $3,000-$5,000.
While you can make a lot of money with sponsored content, it’s not passive income by any means. When you enter a brand partnership, you must adhere to strict requirements, deadlines, contracts, and logistical stuff. Not to mention that sometimes deliverables can take a long time to complete. Because I value my freedom and flexibility, I am very selective about these types of partnerships. I only work with brands that I love and would use their products anyway.
My sponsored content income this month: $3,000
Here’s the breakdown of my travel blogging income for this month:
– Mediavine ads: $13,876
– Affiliate marketing: $7,282
– Sponsored posts/partnerships: $3,000
– Image licensing: $600
Total travel blog salary for May 2022: $24,758
Note that this is just one month of blogging income and it can fluctuate from month to month. Sometimes I’ll do 2-3 sponsored collaborations per month, while in other months, I may not do any. Advertising revenue and affiliate marketing are relatively consistent throughout the year, which make them more stable and “passive” than sponsorships.
I hope you found this travel blog income report to be helpful! It’s not realistic to make over $20k per month right away, but with time and effort, you can get there. You don’t need any special skills or tools to get there; you just need passion for traveling and storytelling. If you’re willing to work hard, make mistakes, and stay in it for the long haul, you will succeed. 80% of life is just showing up, and if you can commit to the craft and outlast the others, you will find a home in the travel blogging space.
Again, if you haven’t done so already, I highly recommend hosting a website with BlueHost in case you’re interested in starting a blog later on. The sooner you reserve a domain name, the better, as it will allow Google to start ranking your website. That way, when the day comes that you’d like to go hard with travel blogging, you’ll already have the infrastructure in place to do it! With this discount link, you can host your site for just $2.95 per month. Worst case scenario even if you didn’t want to keep it, you could sell it. Buying websites is a great investment idea, and who knows, maybe it will become your latest passion project!
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Here are some common questions I get about travel blogging income.
The amount of income that travel bloggers on Instagram make depends on their follower count and engagement metrics. Generally, accounts with between 10,000-20,000 followers can expect to make $250 per post. Accounts between 25,000-50,000 can charge around $500-600 per post. This trend continues up to mega influencers with over 1 million followers, who can make over $15,000 per post.
Similar to bloggers, travel vloggers make a substantial portion of their income on sponsored content. Instagram pays creators for Reels and YouTube has their own monetization program that is fruitful for travel creators. In addition, travel vloggers can make money on licensing their footage to brands. Your travel blog salary is directly proportional to how much work you put in.
Making income with your travel blog isn’t an easy or straightforward process. It requires hard work behind the scenes that nobody sees. This includes search engine optimization (SEO), marketing and brand deals, and creating original content.
In most instances as a travel blogger, you can deduct the costs of travel-related expenses that are directly related to your job. This includes transportation, lodging, travel gear, and other travel expenses. However, given that tax laws can vary, be sure to seek professional advice from a certified accountant in your jurisdiction.