(The truth about) how to earn a full-time income from travel blogging

don't give up on your dreams

Forming a career in travel blogging is hard. Earning enough money from travel blogging to actually pay your bills is even harder.

People will doubt you both at the beginning of your career and throughout its entirety. Even when you’re earning a living from it and getting free trips around the world, you’ll find there are still some people who just don’t get it. They (probably) never will.

You will spend months (or in some cases years) earning nothing before the possibility of earning a full-time living even becomes a reality. You will also have occasionaly moments full of frustration where even you question if it is really possible to earn a consistent full-time income from travel blogging, but you will get past those if you just keep going…

Expect to hear the word “no” a lot before you ever hear the word “yes”. And expect many of those yeses to fall through even when you’ve had a promising start to a conversation, but never give up on chasing down deals and opportunities. A no right now is not a no forever. Something that falls through right now can always be picked up on at later date or be the starting place for discussions on a different pitch.

Once you start earning a full-time wage from travel blogging there is also no guarantee that it will continue that way. People think the hard work is getting to a point where you’re earning a full-time income from travel blogging. The truth is that it is even harder to sustain that level of income and growth throughout your career. That is why the only way you’ll make it as a travel blogger is if you really truly love what you’re doing. You have to love doing it to go for so long earning little and doing all that work without going clincally insane. This doesn’t just go for travel, this goes for blogging and business too.

The sad fact of my reality is that I spend many a Saturday night and more (both at home and abroad) in a dark room alone on my computer. This is not because I have to, this is because I want to and because I choose to. I will always make time for travel, but equally I will always make time for blogging. This is because I love both equally, and to make a success of travel & blogging you must love and do them both in equal measure. Sometimes the blogging will equate to more than the travel, but that is the reality of what is needed sometimes and you will constantly have to work on the balance.

Becoming a full-time travel blogger will also make forming a loving relationship extremely hard. Expect to spend lots of time alone whether you have a significant other or not. You’ll make many friends on the road, but actually finding a relationship that can last more than 3 months and where you actually get to see each other will be hard. Constant long term travel is not conducive to the easiest of times when it comes to love unless that person can travel with you. The amount of people who can travel constantly along with you (and that you want to be in a relationship with) is probably going to be quite small. However if you can find that person who can you may just have met your perfect match.

The inspiration for writing this post came from the many people who ask questions about how I make money doing what I do. The question “what do you do for a living” is always a hard one to answer for me. When you say the word “blogger” most people don’t know what that is, or if they do they didn’t realise you could earn money from it. When somebody gets what I do for a living it’s like a relief sometimes not to have to answer further questions that usually result in the person thinking I am earning money from doing nothing, or them just being left entirely confused. In fact, sometimes I just lie and say I’m a web designer. I’m not, but people seem to understand how you can do this and earn money while travelling a lot easier.

The truth is earning a living from travel blogging is as much entirely possible as it is hard. I can honestly see even more opportunities arising for those who want to do it in the future months and years ahead. More companies than ever want to work with bloggers and this will only increase as time goes on. Like any career within the creative industries though, it is not easy to get into. I’ve not taken a single day off in 3 and a half years of blogging (not that I’d want to) and my earnings can still flow down to dangerous levels that constantly leave me on the brink of collapse. This can make it very hard work to stay afloat on a day to day basis. The income is very unpredictable and the hours are long but my addiction to travel and travel blogging always keeps me going. I just can’t give up. Quitting is not in my vocabulary when it comes to blogging. If you want to do it too then it can’t be a word that’s in yours either.

– If you liked this article you may also be interested in reading the story of how I became a full-time travel blogger

12 Responses to “(The truth about) how to earn a full-time income from travel blogging”

  1. John says:

    Nice honest view Jane.

  2. Hi Jane. Thanks for such an honest look at travel blogging. We are VERY new to this game and are not looking at monetizing right now; We do it for the love of it. I love writing, we both love designing and learning new skills and we are traveling full time so what better way to let our family and friends know about our adventures.

    But Id be lying if I said I didn’t think about making an income from it somewhere down the track. I know if we go down that path, its going to be VERY hard work but I agree with what you said – If your passionate about it and do it because you WANT to then thats half the battle.

    Thanks again Jane, I enjoyed this post.

  3. Emila Yusof says:

    Great insight! Thanks for sharing Jane!

  4. Zubi Travel says:

    A really honest view on travel blogging.
    It ultimately comes down to just giving your best whatever you are doing and hope you’ll get to the top. Once you’re there you have to keep on delivering…

  5. Ash Clark says:

    A very genuine article which doesnt hide from the realities of pursuing an income from something you love.
    Thanks for sharing and its encouraging to know there are others out there who I can sympathise with when Im alone in my cave on saturday nights!

  6. Forrest says:

    I enjoyed this post and your blog in general. HOWEVER I strongly suspect that most twenty smething travel bloggers saying they are making enough money from their sponsors to travel the qorld, are really trust fund babies.

    • Jane says:

      Most travel bloggers don’t make the majority of their income from advertising or sponsorship though. It is only a small part of it. I only know 1 blogger who had a fortune saved up before he started blogging and he is a lot older than most travel bloggers. Open your mind a wee bit and you may see some possibilities yourself. 🙂

  7. That’s absolutely true, Jane. I am not a travel blogger, but travel posts do occupy a considerable space in my blog. Over the last few months, I have realized that advertising is not a good business model, for any blog. Info products may do well, but it takes a lot of time and efforts to get the word around and get it to people who want them. I have also found that each blog/each venture has its own ways of monetizing and those ways find us, eventually!

    But I guess these challenges are true for any business (not only blogging), which is starting from scratch.That’s what makes the whole venture more challenging and pushes us to give more than 100%.

  8. That’s just a great post. One of the few I’ve ever read that actually gets it right about how difficult consistent blogging is. Look forward to meeting you in Rotterdam.

  9. Great post, I love that you are so honest! I think we all want to make it out there but the longer I blog the more I understand that I’m not doing it correctly and that changes must be made on my blog cos otherwise I will not progress! Thanks for inspiration!


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