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Being a travel blogger looks like a dream life… Traveling the world, visiting the most beautiful destinations and hotels but most of all: working location-independent. But how exactly do I make money as a travel blogger? And are all my trips 100% sponsored? Find the answer below.

How Do I make money as a Travel Blogger?

First of all it’s important for me to mention that this is just my personal way of how I earn money. The exact way varies a lot from content creator to content creator. It most of all depends on where they put their focus on… Instagram, Blog, Youtube, digital products or courses, … the possibilities are endless.
I personally like to set my focus on different things instead of just relying on one source of income so in case one of them breaks off (for whatever reason) I still have other sources to earn my income.

But let’s get started – I know so many of you are interested to hear about this topic! These are my biggest sources of income (in no particular order):

Fushifaru Maldives beach

Collaborations with Brands

The most obvious and common way to make money as a travel blogger – especially with your focus on Instagram – are paid partnerships with brands. I personally try to keep this one low to always have the freedom to share the content I really love the most: Beautiful destinations and hotels. But if I really like a product and think it would be interesting for my travel passionated audience too I offer sponsored posts on my Instagram page or stories. Most of the times brands contact me first via mail and if their product or service fits my travel content we agree on a budget, posting time, etc. Sometimes brands even want to see the content in advance to give their okay before publishing. But most of the times they trust our creativity 🙂 It also happens that I contact my favorite brands myself to ask about a partnership – cause if I really like a brand then it feels super natural for me to share more about it with you guys.
If both parties liked the outcome of the first collaboration then we usually stay in touch for a longterm partnership.

Sponsored Trips

With a focus on travel tips and photos, one of my biggest income streams are collaborations with hotels, tourism boards and other companies which offer bookings etc. In this case we often get contacted by agencies which look for partners for their clients to promote for example hotel openings, special destinations or events. We then agree on the deliverables after and during the trip depending on the available budget: Daily stories? How many posts? A blog post? Photos for promotion usage? …

But again we also contact tourism boards or hotels ourselves prior a new trip we planned.

Are all our trips 100% sponsored?

Not at all! We love to keep the freedom to travel wherever we want to and show you what we loved the most. So the biggest amount of the destinations we show you on our social media channels are trips that are planned by ourselves. But we love to combine these trips with partnerships with hotels or tourism boards that fit our travel plans. But yes it also happens that we go on trips that are completely sponsored – from the flights to accommodations, experiences on site, food and so on. But we always make sure to speak about the details first to make sure the trip will fit the way we travel usually to share authentic experiences with you 🙂

Licensing our content

Another big income stream is selling our photos, videos and even travel guides to brands or magazines to use them for promotional uses or their own products. The license fee always varies on the usage purpose and if a brand needs the non-exclusive rights (a brand can use our content for a specific reason but it still belongs to us) or give away the full rights.

Creating content for brands

Not all photos we shoot land eventually on our Instagram page or website. We also do shootings which are only for brand usages like promotions or for their websites. Most of the times we are collaborating with a hotel we also agree on a specific amount of stock photos for their own usage in advance. Sometimes brands send us samples before a trip to shoot their products in a tropical surrounding for product shots they couldn’t achieve themselves without hiring a photographer team, models, etc.

Selling Digital Products

If you follow me on Instagram then you may probably know that I sell my own presets for easy photo edits in Lightroom. The good thing about ANY digital products – no matter if e-books, presets, courses, etc. – is that they never run out of stock like physical products can do plus you don’t need any storage space, shipping, raw materials, … You produce them once and can offer them forever!

Social Media Managing

While posting on Instagram almost daily for several years already I learned a lot about social media, how to use different apps to prepare your posts and how to create the right content & captions for your community. That’s why I know many fellow content creators which also offer their expertise for brands who don’t have the full knowledge or simply the time to run their own Instagram channel. I personally work together with the German travel agency and deals page First Class & More since my early beginnings as a travel blogger and take care about their Instagram posts, dm’s, comments etc.

Partnerships with music labels & artists

Since the release of Reels and the growing popularity of TikTok we get many requests for partnerships with music artist or labels to use their new released songs for our videos. If you listen to the current charts and top hits you may notice that many of them used to be “trending songs” on social media before you heard them on the radio. When a video goes viral it can reach several hundreds of thousands or millions of people all listening to the same song which might then stick in their head. That’s why more and more artists invest in this way of advertising their songs.

Affiliate Links

Many times when you click on the link for a hotel or product on social media or blogs you’re using an affiliate links which tracks where you’re coming from and who exactly gave you the recommendation. Which mean that while using affiliate links you automatically support your favorite creators for free! I personally use these links on my blog (mostly for hotels) and in case someone books an accommodation after reading my hotel review I’ll get a little fraction as a thank you from the hotel.

girl laying on mattress in the jungle reading a book and watching the ocean in Tulum

I hope this post answered a few of your questions about the mythos ‘How do Bloggers make money?’ 🙂 If you have any more questions about this topic put them in the comments below!

You may also like to read my other parts ‘About being a travel blogger’

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