I began blogging in early 2011. For the first six months — I’m not going to sugarcoat it! — I earned next to nothing. But as my readership grew, more income opportunities began opening up. These days, all of my income comes through blogging-related activities and opportunities.
It’s not a meager income, either. I make enough that I live very comfortably, travel frequently, and still have a high savings rate.
And you know what’s funny? I wasn’t trying to make money. As my readership grew, it happened naturally.
By the way, I’m not a travel blogger in the traditional sense of the word. I don’t write articles like “Top 10 Things to Do in Lisbon.”
Instead, I share stories about living a location-independent lifestyle: a life that allows me to work from anywhere on earth with an internet connection. I write about freedom and choices, not about the best hotels in Burma.
The reason I mention that? People tell me, “I’d love to blog, but I just don’t know what I’d write about.” They imagine that blogging is similar to pitching stories for traditional print publications. They think they need to write something impersonal, narrow, and well-researched.
But you really don’t. The beauty of a blog is that you can write about anything you want. You can even write about the intersection between multiple topics, such as travel, fitness, food, culture, and finances.
It’s like being the editor and publisher of your own magazine. You get to decide what you cover. And best of all, you can get paid — handsomely! — for doing so.
Blogging is more than just a hobby. It’s a viable way to earn thousands of dollars. Professional bloggers earn enough money to travel the world in luxury.
Mid-range bloggers earn six figures. And that’s just the mid-range. Top-range, cream-of-the-crop bloggers have created multi-million-dollar businesses.
Just where does this money come from? A huge variety of sources, including:
Traditional Ads — You know those image ads you see on websites? Bloggers with big audiences can earn a significant sum from them.
Commissions — If a blogger recommends a particular product, like a suitcase on Amazon.com, and someone clicks on that link in order to buy that product, the blogger earns a commission.
Sponsored Posts — Some companies will pay bloggers to put sponsored blog posts on their websites.
Sponsored Tweets — Some businesses pay bloggers to promote their companies on Twitter.
Brand Ambassadorships — Often, a business pays a blogger to be a “brand ambassador,” which means the blogger travels to conferences to represent the company’s brand. The blogger becomes the public “face” of the company — in the same way that a movie star or musician becomes the “face” of a brand.
Freelance Writing — Companies that need content for their websites will contact bloggers, asking if they’re willing to contribute writing… for a price.
These are just a few of the ways to earn money from your blog — you’ll find many more once you get started.
The best part is, bloggers can earn high incomes while writing about topics they love. Their stories aren’t held hostage by an editor who has his or her own agenda regarding their tone, style, and content.
And they’re able to blog from anywhere on earth that has an internet connection: Bali, Thailand, Argentina, Croatia… the world is open.
[Editor’s Note: Learn more about opportunities to profit from your travels (and even from your own home) in our free online newsletter The Right Way to Travel.]