Why is it some bloggers can earn ridiculous amounts of cash from their travel blogs, while others struggle to see their first dollar? We’d all like our blogs to make it rain, unfortunately most of us don’t even know the steps in the rain dance let alone the tune. Before you start running Adsense or searching for online travel agents to affiliate with, you need to think about the factors pulling the strings behind a successful revenue generating travel blog.
I’ve provided four easy to do hacks for you below, guaranteed to set you and your travel blog up as a source of income.
Pick a Niche and Build Your Audience
The first hack for earning money through your travel blog is creating awareness. Awareness is important. How could you ever expect to earn money from your audience if they don’t even know you exist?
Did you notice how I wrote ‘your audience’ and not ‘people’? There’s a difference and this difference is important. Let me explain why…
People are people. There are people everywhere. Your neighbours, your co-workers, the barista who makes your awesome latte every morning, they’re all people! Now, do you think all of these people have the time to hear everything you have to say about travelling? It’s sad to admit, but most people don’t. Just like you don’t have the time to hear everything they have to say about their cats.
But don’t worry, there are a select bunch of people who DO want to hear (read) everything you have to say, and that my friend is your audience.
If you know how to get around Thailand on less than fifty bucks a week, there’s an audience for that. Conversely, if you know about eating at the finest — and most expensive — restaurants in London, there’s an audience for that too.
The trick is to pick your niche and build your audience from there.
And just how do you do that? Well, that’s our next step…
Provide Value to Your Audience
Your audience wants to read something that helps them in one way or another.
I know relaxing and catching a tan on the beach was the highlight of your trip to Bali last year. But, to be blunt, no one cares. I mean, I care; I’m your biggest fan, but other people, meh not so much.
To really provide value to your audience you’ll need to write content that is educational.
The beach in Bali was great, but why not tell people the best way to get there? What do they need to take with them? Are there any other beaches nearby? These are all things that provide value and bring visitors back to your site again and again.
Reduce Bounce Rate and Increase Average Time on Page
Ah bounce rate! The blog revenue killer.
What the heck is a bounce rate I hear you say?
Bounce rate is the percentage of visitors to your site that leave after viewing only one page. This can be a sign that your page is boring or irrelevant. This is important as this is one of the factors Google use to rank your page.
Generally, blogs with high bounce rates find it hard to build an audience. If your site has a high rate then you’ll need to nip it in the bud as soon as you can.
One way of doing this is to add links in your blog to other pages on your own site.
You can do this in the actual text by hyper linking select words from your post that relate to another page on your blog, or, another great method is having links in your sidebar to either related topics or recent posts. This increases the likelihood of visitors checking out more of your pages and reducing your bounce rate.
Average Time On Site
Ok, we’ve covered bounce rate, so how do we improve the average time your visitors spend on a page? Easy, provide value!
We’ve already talked about providing value to you visitors with educational content. Another way you can provide value is through the use of chat bots like Waylo’s hotel booking service, available for all Waylo blogging partners.
Generally, affiliates require your page contain a button linking directly to their site, or they provide you with a custom link that you stuff into your content where your audience can search and book hotel deals. The problem is, these buttons and links direct traffic to the affiliates site and away from yours.
The worst news is, these buttons don’t guarantee you’ll always see a commission from the affiliate. Picture this: a visitor to your site clicks one of your affiliate links and navigates to the affiliate’s booking page. They take time to think about the options they have and decide to come back later after sleeping on it. In a month’s time, after much consideration, the visitor books their hotel package on the affiliates page with no data tracking back to you, making it impossible for you to claim your commission.
Chat bots, like Waylo’s, provide booking services and information without the visitor ever having to leave your page.
Chat bots help increase the average time spent on page by providing more value for your audience. Your blog is now becoming a handy resource, and your audience now has a site for travel advice and a resource for booking hotels at a discount rate #winwin
Collect Emails to Get More Traffic
One final hack to help build your travel blog into a revenue monster is collecting email addresses.
I know, I know it sounds spammy and icky, but trust me. There are ethical ways to go about gaining email addresses without turning into the Wolf of Wall Street.
The best way to encourage your audience to voluntarily opt in to your email list is to offer them some sort of gift in exchange. Whether it be an eBook, a checklist or even a short video, you’re audience will see you as someone providing value and will be more likely to swap their email addresses for this free gift. Everybody wins!
Having your audience subscribe to your email list is a great way to get return visits to your site. Convenience is one of the most prized aspects for any service, and many of us select the services we spend our money on based on the level of convenience associated with that service.
Make it Easy
Remember, people are time poor and if you can save them a bit of time, you’re adding value. Take the legwork away from your audience by sending your updates directly to their email’s inbox. This hack ensures your posts don’t go unnoticed by the people who really value them. The key is not sending them the actual post, but a nice friendly email with a link directing them to the post on your blog. This will help build traffic and — if you’ve followed the other steps in this blog — increase the potential for time spent on your site.
Now is your chance, I could even send you some updates directly to your inbox if you signup below! See how I did that? It is that easy. But really you should probably sign up here and not miss out on what Waylo has in store for Travellers and Travel Bloggers.