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Project: Travel Tips for turning your passion into a profession

Travel Writing Tips: How to Monetize your Blog

WORLDWIDE | Thursday, 9 February 2012 | Views [5152]

Travel blogging is a great way for people to fund their trip around the world. Making money from your blog is hard work. It takes a lot of work, but once you do, it’s a great way to earn an income and not worry about money. After you build your travel site and get it running,

Here are some ways to earn money from your site:

Google Adsense

Most people start monetizing their blogs with Google Adsense before anything else. It’s popular because it’s easy and simple. All you have to do is sign up, put the code on your site, and watch the money roll in. Right? Wrong. Adsense is awful for blogs. Most people don’t make any money with Adsense, and I’m sure most people wonder how anyone ever makes money with Adsense. Adsense isn’t the problem, though. The problem is with how people use it. 

In order to make money with Adsense, a few basic rules must be followed:

1.) Make sure you have one post on your page. That way the keywords are more targeted.

2.) Make sure the site/page you are putting Adsense on has a high degree of traffic from Google. Search engine traffic is the easiest traffic to monetize.  

3.) Put a 300x250 Adsense box in the upper left corner of the page. This step is important. Statistics show that people just like clicking ads here and this is where you will make the most money. You should never put Adsense in the sidebar, because hardly anyone ever clicks on it.

Text Link Sales

This is probably one of the easiest but most misunderstood ways to monetize your website. Let’s be clear: selling text links on your site violates Google’s policy. They don’t like it and it is easy to see why. Since links still count a lot, buying a lot of them will artificially push you up in the search engines. You can get to the top of search engine results right away if you just buy all your links. 

Most bloggers are scared of Google and don’t want to sell text links. They tend to be afraid that Google will deindex their site from search results. In reality, text links are the best way for most of you to monetize your blog. Text link sales took one fellow blogger to Australia. Text link sales let me quit my job and focus on this full time. You can do it and not get caught.

Most bloggers aren’t trying to do SEO and internet marketing, you just want to be a blogger who makes a little money. You are there for the community, so at the end of the day if Google only makes you a PR3 instead of a PR5 or keeps you at #9 instead of #6 in the search engine, it really won’t affect you that much. It certainly won’t affect your ability to build a community site. So, what’s more important? Do you want to fund your travels or do you want to be scared of Google?

Affiliate Sales

Affiliate sales, like Adsense, are best for targeted traffic.  You can sign up with a company like Commission Junction, Linkshare, or ClixGalore and put ads from companies like Lonely Planet, Expedia, and STA Travel on your web site. Amazon has an affiliate program, which allows you to put up banners and links on your site.

Additionally, you can join company affiliate programs, such as World Nomads, Hostelbookers, and Airtreks.

Ad Networks

For those with high traffic levels, targeted traffic, or those who just want the option, there are three major advertiser networks where you can sell banner ads. These networks are split between self-service advertising networks and managed advertising networks.

Self-service networks are managed by you. The ad networks allows you to put your blog up on their site, set your rates, set the number of ads you want, and tag your relevant categories. These networks just take a small cut for your listing.

Managed networks are private ad networks in which you must meet a set of criteria in order to be eligible for inclusion. These networks are great if your website has high or targeted traffic and a lot of backlinks.  If your website is reviewed and accepted into these programs, everything is taken care of for you. You simply put a piece of code into your Wordpress files and the companies do the rest. Ads will appear on your websites automatically.

These are the four easiest ways to make money with your blog, though you can find plenty of other (although more complicated) ways to monetize your blog. Even if you never strike it rich with your website, you can at least find ways for it to bring in some money to help pay for flights and drinks while traveling.

Behind the Backpack

Matthew Kepnes has been traveling around the world for the past four years. He run the award winning budget travel site, Nomadic Matt's Travel Site. He has been featured in The New York Times, The Guardian UK, and Yahoo! Finance. For more information,subscribe to his blog or twice monthly newsletter.

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Tags: advice, blogging, monetize your blog, nomadic matt, travel tips, travel writing, writing

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