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How to Make Money with a Blog – 5 Steps to Success

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How to start a Travel Blog that Makes Money

Wouldn’t it be fun to keep a record of your adventure as you live it, in the form of a Blog? For sure we thought! What if I told you this can even be a way for you to generate income? It’s definitely possible. But, there’s plenty research to be done before that’s going to pay off. In this article we are doing just that. Let’s find out how to make money with a blog, and even making it a big success.

Choosing your blog niche

So what will your blog be about? Travel you said, right? 

Dutch Sailing Family travelling on their catamaran Roxy, while researching how to make money online.

Yep, but think about how many people already write about travel online. If you want to get your blog read, you will have to do something a little different, something unique. Come up with a phrase that describes exactly what you do, as best you can. And why is that important? If you want to write a blog that could at some point generate income, you’ll want to have readers. And the best way to attract those, will be through SEO, meaning Search Engine Optimization. You will want to be on the top page of Google for the phrase that your whole blog revolves around.

You will want to be on the top page of Google for the phrase that your whole blog revolves around.

Yes, it’s going to be about your adventures, but you can write about it from the perspective of what you know will interest and help other people. If you aim for the keyword ‘travel blog’ there is basically zero chance to end up on the top page of Google for that term. It’s too broad, there’s simply too much competition. But with narrowing it down, and therefore having less competition, you’ll have a real chance to appear at the top of page. And then, you’ll also have a good chance for it to attract readers and to grow into something bigger. For us, the Dutch Sailing Family, it’s all about Sailing the World, while Making Money Online. Or as a better keyphrase, Making Money While Sailing. The beauty being as well that our blog could be interesting to other types of travellers too, of course. Making money online after all can also be done from an RV, an AirBNB, Hotel room, or wherever you fancy staying!

Dutch Sailing Family Travelling in an RV

Set up your blog with a domain and website hosting

There are lots of options to choose from, but one of the best deals around that we have heard of, is BlueHost. They offer a free domain for the first year and hosting starting for as little as $2,96 / Eur2,70 per month! You can check out their plans here.

Choose a domain name that ideally ties in with your keyphrase that all your articles revolve around. It just makes sense right, out of a Search Engine viewpoint. It’s another way to be found easily.

Once you have your hosting set up, you’ll need to choose how to build your website. And we are huge fans of a self hosted WordPress site. Within WordPress there are loads of templates for whole websites, both free and paid, that you can import and then customise. Easy as that!

Getting people to read your money making blog

Having made the decision to write a blog about your adventures, you’ll probably want it to attract lots of interested readers. So would it be enough to write about your day, hit publish, and have it available online? Well, if you’re writing for your family and friends only, yes it would be. But considering you are reading this, you’re probably interested to reach and inspire even more people. And in order for it to become something you can live off, a good amount of followers is going to be essential.

Let’s figure out how we can attract readers!

So now we know the importance of that, let’s figure out how we can attract readers. One option will be to do proper Search Engine Optimization. Think about what people search for, and then write an article with the answer. Ideally write about a question that hasn’t been answered yet, but does get searched for a lot. A keyword tool such as RANKIQ can be a massive help there.
Another key point will be, to ensure the topic that you write about, clearly comes back in the article itself. And preferably multiple times. Google also appreciates articles that have links in them to other related articles. Pictures also increase the quality of a post, so add some in. 

The basics sound kind of easy right? But of course how to put this in practice, is a whole other thing. The better you get at it, the closer you are to success!

Now how could a blog make me money? Try Advertising

Once you have a blog going, and people are reading and following you, you will get an ever increasing amount of views on your posts.
So you will now have the chance to join an advertising program, that displays banners on your site with advertisements. You can get paid for every time one of those ads is displayed. Or alternatively, for every time a user clicks on one of those ads. Simple right? The most popular option would be to get yourself set up with Google Adsense.

Now, let’s move onto another way to make money with a blog.

Sponsored content on your blog

When you have grown a little bit of a following, covered all sorts of topics and inspired people with your blog posts, you can consider sponsored content. This could be an article where you write about a product or service that you know your readers are going to love. What, it could even be something they need! If you find the right match, this is going to be a win for everyone involved. The sponsor of your content will gain publicity with your post. You will have helped your readers solve a problem, or given them a happier life. And you have made yourself some income. What’s not to like about that for everyone involved?

If you find the right match, this is going to be a win for everyone involved.

Making money with a blog through Affiliate Marketing

This will be even easier to get started with. Your articles revolve around the subject you are so passionate about. Most likely you will have needed to buy products or tools for your passion. Your readers will really appreciate you passing the product info on to them as well. This is where affiliate marketing comes in great for your money making blog. You can add links to your posts that enable your readers to buy the products you are talking about. And the moment there is a purchase, you will be given a small percentage of it. The product is the same price for the reader, so it’s not hurting them in any way, you really are helping them by reviewing the products.

Here is a list of some of the most popular affiliate networks. And, you can always try to set up an affiliate relationship with a company directly!

An example of a product we love and could be your affiliate promotion too, is the Telesin Dome for GoPro. A cool product that enables us to take some awesome photos that we could not before. It really makes sense for anyone on a boat or who loves being in the water, if even just to keep some amazing memories. But the dome works great for cool pictures taken inside a pool as well.
Reinier in front of our Sailing Catamaran Roxy.
Dome Selfie of Reinier with our Sailing Catamaran in the background