Are travel bloggers looking in the wrong place for their pot of gold?

LoadsamoneyToday’s post is the 400th entry on 501 Places. I make that somewhere in the region of 200,000 words – it sounds like a lot when I put it that way. My first 100 posts took me a mere three months to write; the road from 300 to 400 has taken over six months. So what’s changed in the blogging world, or at least in my blogging world, since the early days of nervously writing those barely read posts?

During the last six months I have actually written over 150 blog posts, but a large chunk of these have been for blogs other than my own. In May I started blogging for HR consultancy Orgsurv, and around the same time I began a similar project with Discount London. Both of these arrangements have required me to post on a weekly basis and while the scope of the posts is largely left to me it has been my responsibility to come up with fresh material each week. One of these clients even got me into Madame Tussauds and into St Paul’s Cathedral (no prizes for guessing which one). Both arrangements have also provided me with a small but reliable monthly income.

In the last month I have also enjoyed a role as guest editor for Tourdust, writing four posts of my own, introducing a series of travel essays produced by writer and anthropologist David Jobanputra and managing the Tourdust Twitter feed.

When starting my blog in May 2009 I didn’t think it would turn out like this. Like so many bloggers I planned on the Write, Promote, Monetise model. In between building up content on 501 Places I was pitching for other work as a freelance writer, and while this was thin on the ground I was able to throw a lot of my time into my blog.

Gradually as 2010 has come and almost gone my freelance writing work has built up to the point where I’ve struggled to find the time to write more than a couple of posts a week. Good news for the bank balance of course, but where does this leave my blogging ambitions?

Long ago I abandoned any dreams of making a living from advertising or selling links on 501 Places. I also learned quite quickly that blogging for other media outlets or other blogs was not going to pay the bills. Raising your profile is nice but raising a decent invoice is a whole lot sweeter.

But I am increasingly convinced that there is a real opportunity for travel bloggers and writers to partner with the travel trade. David Whitley spoke eloquently about this at the recent Travel Blog Camp and it seems to be an obvious partnership that’s waiting to happen. Travel companies need good content that puts their brand and product in front of a wide audience. A carefully selected writer who is able to communicate the company’s ethos while providing that content will fulfill that need, whether their output is published on the company’s blog, the writer’s blog or elsewhere.

Such a relationship can pay dividends for both the writer and the travel company. The writer can benefit from a financial arrangement that rewards them appropriately for their efforts; their client gains targeted and specific content directly from a supplying partner who gets to know their product and understands what makes their business unique. Would I like more of these clients? Is this a thinly disguised sales pitch? Definitely and probably.

These writer/travel company partnerships are starting to spring up, but have only done so very slowly until now. While many bloggers are bemoaning the low rates of pay (or no pay at all) on offer for online content, the reality is that these rates are not going to change in their favour anytime soon. Perhaps it’s time that bloggers’ efforts were better directed at building those connections that can provide them with interesting and varied work as well as the financial recognition they are seeking.

Author Information

Freelance travel writer

37 Responses to “Are travel bloggers looking in the wrong place for their pot of gold?”

  1. As always a good and transparent post Andy, thanks for sharing.

    Fed up with being offered ridiculous money for my work / time, I’ve decided to carry on Blogging away with the hope that at some point in time, a decent amount of money will be offered for my time and expertise. I know I could be waiting a while 😉

    I’m lucky enough to have mature and financially stable businesses that allow me to dedicate the many hours needed to gather and produce good (I hope) quality information on my Blogs, mainly about adventure sports in Spain.

    I cherish your postings though, I’m still very new to all this and the sometimes vicious dealings with editors have been a real eye opener to this free-spirited and entrepreneurial newby.

    I know we’ve chatted before, but please keep an eye on my Blogs from time to time, just incase you ever need me :)

    Looking forward to reading you again already.

    Anna :)

    November 26, 2010 at 12:33 pm
  2. Good insight, Andy. I think travel bloggers need to be creative with their pursuits. As a new blogger, it’s smart to build your brand – focus on yourself and your writing while you network – and once you’ve established a name for yourself in the blogging world, to then look for unique ways to leverage that name.

    I don’t see hordes of bloggers living off advertising. Instead, use your blog – your brand – to cut paths to interesting opportunities. The hell of it is that it might need to be the bloggers who suggest these ideas to others.

    It’s the wild west; time to stake your claim.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:41 pm
  3. I have been reading your blog for some time now. I really enjoy every post and have added you to my blogroll. I actually stumbled across your blog while searching for “St.Albans”, a place I had visited about a year back. St.Albans (and Verulamium) was the highlight of my travelling around England in 2009, and I have very happy memories of my visit there.

    I also write a blog and as a new writer am still finding my way around in blogosphere. I have often faced some of the questions that you pose on your blog and your posts and links have often helped me think through them. Thank you very much.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:50 pm
  4. I’m one of the few bloggers who has never wanted this to be my job. I love to travel and I love blogging about it but I don’t want the stress of making a living from it.

    I’d rather my blog be my outlet and let ‘the man’ pay me 9-5.

    November 26, 2010 at 5:57 pm
  5. Hi Andy,

    As usual, extremely well said! I would say that advertising brings in sufficient beer (or wine) money (whichever your preference is), maybe a few sandwiches thrown in. I agree with Keith (Savage) about building your brand and growing your network. An important factor to always keep in mind is your credibility – my advice on this front is to be open and honest (e.g. if it’s a sponsored post, then state it). Use your creativity to leverage your brand name – once your name is out there, opportunities will indeed find their way to you.
    Personally, I see opportunities for travel bloggers in social media marketing/consultancy, or as a voice for a brand(s), destination(s), etc…

    We’re way past the ‘blogging as a hobby’ phase. Companies and organisations, as well as individuals, are starting to see blogging as a serious business that can generate lots of value. It’s our job to grab their hand and lead the way. :-)


    November 26, 2010 at 6:07 pm
  6. pam #

    Sometimes, I think the thing is to be hired as a WRITER, not as a blogger, even if the work is blogging. I know this is semantic hairsplitting, but the word blogger has come to carry with it a sense of cranking it out any one can do it devalued work. “Let’s hire a writer to work on our blog” is a really different statement than “Let’s get some bloggers to write for us.” Yes to the former, no to the latter. Same deal with content creation. ((Shudder.))

    Better to find the type of gigs you mention, real partnerships with companies that value good writing and see why its meaningful for their brand in ANY industry, not just travel.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:20 pm
  7. Lots of great points here – true that we need to build our own brands, and it’s only by establishing ourselves and the quality of our work that we can then look to provide our services to companies who may be looking to reach exactly the same audience that we have already been reaching and interacting with.

    Pam’s point is very relevant here; being engaged as a writer who can also write a blog will get consistently better returns than being a blogger who is asked to write a bunch of content. Yet bloggers have taught themselves the skills of SEO, are technically adept at managing a blog and are often very well versed at writing engaging and popular content that attracts widespread interest. The irony is that these are exactly the skills their prospective client may be looking for. It’s up to the blogger to demonstrate the value that these skills can bring to their client and be prepared to charge a fair rate for doing this. As Keith says, it is the wild west and the rules are still being written.

    Thanks to all for the great contributions.

    November 26, 2010 at 6:50 pm
  8. If I may, Pam is exactly right in her assertion that being hired as a writer rather than a blogger is key. But I do believe there is more to it than the writing. After all, whilst I love quality content, unfortunately it doesn’t always sell itself online – it still needs pushing out there.

    Andy put it very well in talking about those who are capable of “writing engaging and popular content that attracts widespread interest” but I’d like to extend that. We work with Andy because he writes engaging and popular content that attracts widespread interest, and he is extremely good at promoting that writing. The ability to know how to sell an article on twitter and how to curate a conversation around it both in the comments and on twitter is very important. This is a skill that many traditional travel writers (who haven’t put in the time in developing their own blog) lack.

    So more power to great writers who know how to appeal to an online audience and who know how to market content. And that doesn’t mean endless top 10 lists…

    November 26, 2010 at 8:53 pm
  9. Interesting points here. So twitter presence does count then? What if you’re first and foremost a writer by Pam’s definition, like ooo I dunno me, who gets fully stuck in with the SM stuff too but cannot really shout about their traffic numbers yet.

    Last night I had really interesting chat with a serious internet marketing pro in the travel sector who told me to ‘fake it til you make it’ and also advised to pursue the monetisation route, said that really it wasn’t hard to do once you know how it’s done well, linking within posts to targeted affiliates etc.

    Can one seriously present oneself to travel companies as a brand ambassador / skilled writer before one has the traffic tattoos to prove it?

    November 26, 2010 at 10:59 pm
  10. Sudha, thanks for stopping by and for posting. Happy to hear you found and enjoyed St Albans! I’m curious though, what made you visit?
    Good luck with your blog venture. It’s a very rewarding journey in many ways and if you’re looking for inspiration you could do a lot worse than following some of these guys who’ve shared their experiences here.

    November 26, 2010 at 11:51 pm
  11. Great post! I’m similar to Ayngelina in that I don’t really see our blog as a money making enterprise. The few things we’ve done to monetize are primarily to help the blog pay for itself – since it isn’t that expensive to maintain, this doesn’t take much. Our main goal is to write and have fun and enjoy the community benefits of blogging, while sharing some great stories with the world in the meantime. We’re in a transition phase in our lives where anything could happen. Blogging seems like a good way to open up opportunities, not just for writing, but for all sorts of things that could happen just by meeting people and travelling the world.

    Travel, however, does cost a lot of money – and it would be fantastic to have more to subsidise that!

    I did have this same thought lately. Why don’t more travel companies hire bloggers? Especially when all the top (and even new) bloggers are so fantastic at social media, engagement, community management, building an audience etc. – all top buzzwords in corporate marketing departments around the world. But then I thought, wait – won’t that kill the very essence of what makes all of these bloggers so popular? If you start writing to an agenda and with promotion in mind, it changes things.

    But I guess I’m not sure if you mean you would look for a job as a writer for a big company or if you mean you would want a company to buy your blog (or you would switch to working full-time for them and stop blogging)?

    November 26, 2010 at 11:55 pm
  12. PS/Congratulations Andy on your 400th post! :-)

    November 27, 2010 at 12:09 am
  13. As someone who was originally focused on writing a blog, and starting discussions, rather than making money, the one thing I have learnt with my Leeds project is that to make money you REALLY have to think like a business.

    Don’t get me wrong I am not swimming around in cash – yet 😉 but I am having to think about conversion rates and spend a lot of time looking at the behaviour of visitors to the guide and blog. I am having to network off-line as well as online, and more importantly I am having to think outside of the box and collaborate with others.

    So while the content is important, you have to learn to split your time equally. It’s no longer me sat here thinking about what discussions I want to start, it’s me sat here thinking like a business. No matter who you speak to, no matter how much money you are making, you have to work hard, there’s no easy solution.

    Just my 2p from recent experiences.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:46 am
  14. More excellent points. Looks like we’re talking about two business models here. One, as both Darren and Jools have mentioned, is the one of making money from the blog itself (links, affiliate sales, sponsored posts) and the other is from making money by replicating all or part of your blogging efforts for a paying client.
    As Darren says, both require hard work and commitment, and there is no easy pot of money. Both require different skills and a different mindset, and I have learned quickly since starting my blog that I just don’t enjoy the tasks that I need to spend time on to monetise the blog directly. It’s a personal preference but it’s important for each of us to work out how we’ll get the most of our time writing and blogging.
    A corporate will not want to monetise their blog directly (they will want targeted traffic that views the blog and ultimately buys their product) so their goals from a blog are very different from an individual, whatever their business model.
    Andrea, you are right that writing for another party can kill what a blog is about. I wouldn’t advocate selling your own blog to a company (unless you get a very good offer!) but if you can vary your writing style to suit their blog, or better still if you are a natural fit for them, then you have a lot to offer.
    Keith, thanks for the congrats and here’s to the next 400 :-)

    November 27, 2010 at 8:51 am
  15. Hi Andy
    Great post and what a good discussion it stimulated!! Congrats on getting to 400! How does it feel?
    Lovely to meet you in person the other day.
    Keep up the great writing!

    November 27, 2010 at 8:59 am
  16. Great piece and discussion here Andy. I agree that there is a real opportunity for travel writers/bloggers. I’m a full time travel writer myself and a percentage of my work is blogging for travel companies. Some of this is ghost blogging, and some not, with payment ranging from $20-$30 per post. I have to believe that if I’ve been able to find a few companies that would pay out for this, that there has to be many more. I’m typically finding that travel bloggers/writers are much more blog and socially savvy than travel companies, and so I feel like travel writers can really use that to leverage themselves and sell themselves to companies.

    I understand that some companies don’t want to pay out for this, but I really believe it’s start to change. The bar is being raised and I’m an advocate for the fact that when someone is paid monetarily, and not just in “link juice”, that there is a higher return for all parties involved because the writing is typically better.

    November 27, 2010 at 9:12 am
  17. Hi Andy
    I completely agree with you. Granturismo is the obvious example that is certainly paying the people writing it a decent whack and allowing them to see the world at the same time.
    I did a great interview with Lara one of the writers and Sarah from HomeAway rentals who hired them. People can read it here:
    I don’t think they’ve comletely nailed it by the way, but they have definitely got some fundamentals right.

    November 27, 2010 at 12:54 pm
  18. Matt #

    I started my blog with high hope for advertising – the allure of
    traveling the world, writing about my experiences, and getting paid via advertiing contracts is very high – and I think one reason new travel blogs are appearing each day. The reality is that scenario is a long way off. While some sponsored links have popped up on my website, most of my financial success has come from other writing commitments I’ve gotten thanks to the publicity the blog has afforded me.

    In writing good posts, engaging with your readers, and (as keith said) developing a coherent brand, the paid work will sooner or later come your way.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:00 pm
  19. Interesting discussion here. My day job as a B2B marketeer offers a lot of challenges in social media, content marketing, etc. One of the major trends in B2B is Storytelling. B2B customers are convinced by a good, authentic company story, rather than hearing about plain product benefits. So who better to write authentic and appealing stories? Here we go..
    So it might be interesting for travel bloggers not only to focus on partnering with travel companies, but with other companies as well. It might just be a very fresh approach to B2B marketing when a company translates its message into a travel story…

    November 27, 2010 at 2:17 pm
  20. Hard to do much but echo everyone else’s thoughts. With hundreds of independent travel blogs out there, and more every day, there just isn’t audience enough for more than a few to turn it into something that can pay the bills.

    I realized pretty quickly that I didn’t want to trade a full time job for working on my blog full time, which is the kind of commitment it takes to manage the business side of a financially successful blog. At this point, I’m just enjoying the travel and writing what I like to write.

    I’m sure my thoughts will shift as I get further along into my RTW, but I agree that writing for other sites is a good direction. I’d much prefer to spend my time writing and leave the SEO, ad sales and other business aspects to people who enjoy doing those things.

    November 27, 2010 at 2:40 pm
  21. Hi Andy,

    Thanks for your response. I am a history buff and a year-long stay in London (2008-2009) gave me many opportunities to visit and explore quite a few places in England. The chance to visit St. Albans (and Verulamium) came via London Walks and I loved it so much that I came back again after 2 weeks and this time without my camera.

    These are some of the photos I took during my visit to St. Albans:


    November 27, 2010 at 3:04 pm
  22. pam #

    Couple of random follow up thoughts, mostly coz I came back and there are all these great comments.

    @jools: Traffic numbers are key if you want to make money in advertising. But if you want to market your skills, it matters more that your blog is a showcase for your work.

    In general: Companies ARE hiring bloggers to work with them. But the model feels stale to me — it’s stuck in “content generation” in most cases and not in creative and interesting partnerships that truly promote the brand.

    I have two recent experiences — one went the way of “I want more for free” at a lightning rate, the other is on a glacial path to growth. Gran Tourismo is the oft stated model, but Outrigger Hotels in Hawaii has a GREAT blog that’s been online for years.

    I think Darren mentioned the business aspect — it’s not just critical for bloggers to think business, but to evaluate how the company sees the blog. “Let’s slap a blog on there and get some traffic” is cheap, but it sucks as a business model. “Let’s find a great voice for our brand and engage our potential customers/community” is expensive, means a commitment, and hey, here I am telling you to check out Outrigger Hotels because their blog is great.

    FWIW, YMMV, .02, etc. amen.

    And Andy, thanks. I don’t blog about blogging so much, but I do think about it a lot. So I really appreciate coming here to find that you’re tackling issues that are much on my mind.

    November 27, 2010 at 5:34 pm
  23. Wow. I became a travel blogger by accident and I’ve met some incredible writers in the process. Also, I’ve seen some great people “break the mold” about following their dreams. I think your ideas about pay-per-post and advertising are interesting. But what really got my attention was “partnering with the travel trade”. That’s what I’ve done for about 30 years. My background is in the retail travel business–and I remember whining to the local newspaper that there was no local travel-related content. You know–for me to buy an ad next to. Simple, right? I guess not-so-simple. Finally, in a fit of frustration (after I left my position at the travel agency), I offered to provide that content. The starting pay was $25/week. I was wise enough to figure out that was not exactly a “living wage”. So I embarked on a career of partnering with the travel trade. And the writing I did was a visible example of how that partnership worked: getting the word out to an audience that was hungry for the information.
    Just as travel bloggers break the rules by being insta-publishers, they need to break the rules of pay-per-post, affiliate links, click-through rates, page views and all that jazz.
    There are many examples of how the successful travel blogger becomes their own brand. At that point (or shortly before or after), the blogger can and should treat their own brand as a good client. Rather than pawning it off at a discount (pay-per-click, etc.), it’s time to develop that strategic partnership with other brands–that’s partnering with the travel trade.
    Accordingly, the successful travel blogger realizes the only true customer is the reader. The strategic partnership allows complementary brands to interact as part of the overall project or mission that the successful blogger determines.
    How it all pans out really depends on the blogger’s mission–and the thousand-or-so variables (motivation, hours in the day, family obligations).
    For me, what started out as a weekly article in the paper has morphed into something else: a radio show, a weekly tv deal, a blog, a weekly article on an online news site, a host of social media outlets and a travel book deal. Of course, it’s a work in progress. And I’m sure I’d do better if I could get the sales department to work harder (note to self: sell, sell, sell!).

    November 27, 2010 at 6:25 pm
  24. I wanted to expand a little about thinking outside of the box.

    I’m speaking with hotel booking sites and hotels about improving their content. You all live in cities that have hotels, restaurants etc. You know about the city you live in, you have a high profile blog, so why not contact them and work up a content partnership. Not only are they getting local content, but they are also getting content written by high profile writers/bloggers, who will promote it to your network, and community.

    Don’t wait for them to come to you – go to them.

    November 27, 2010 at 8:22 pm
  25. I’m late to this one – been off the radar for a week. Thanks for the mention, though – and I’ve stepped around the same topic on a few blog posts of my own.

    I think it’s very much a case of writer and company being a good match. The ‘successful’ blogging skills aren’t necessarily what a company needs – they’ve probably got the SEO and traffic to the site already. It’s not about generating traffic or click-throughs necessarily – a lot of it is about increasing trust and credibility. And, importantly, getting people to stay on the site for longer and come back to it.

    If you’re selling thousand pound holidays, then it matters far more that you’re getting small numbers of engaged, genuinely interested visitors than getting lots and lots of visitors coming in via keywords. And in such cases, the quality of writing (or, shudder, content) counts for much more than being able to drag in lots of your travel blogger pals to leave comments and retweet.

    November 28, 2010 at 3:38 pm
  26. Nice post, Andy. I can sense a little bit of me in you. I’ve been letting my own blogs ( and fall by the wayside as I’ve been working on other projects lately that actually. earn. money. I do think that partnering with travel companies is a great idea, and have in fact sent proposals to a few companies offering to do just that. Here’s hoping loads of travel companies see your post and consider hiring some of us. It only makes sense! :)

    November 28, 2010 at 7:36 pm
  27. Thanks for starting this discussion. It seems to me that travel blogging is starting to mature, at least for some people, from hobby to business. I know that is the trajectory I am on.

    It’s too early for me to claim any real success yet, but I have decided to stick with my strategy of focusing on content and mining a very specific niche — in my case, travel in India. As well as partnering with travel companies, I am also looking at getting potential sponsors/advertisers to subsidize a number of trips I am planning to cover socially and environmentally related topics — such as tiger tourism in India.

    But I feel that as I begin to think more like a business — and I do now consider my blog my “brand” — I feel quite alone. I feel like I’m trying to create a business model from scratch. I also feel that my strategy, or at least my niche, is fairly unique. Some days, it’s tough being a pioneer!

    And really, all I want to do is write and travel in India. I never planned to be a business person.


    November 28, 2010 at 8:21 pm
  28. Andy,

    Great points and great discussion. I am already seeing some of the travel companies looking for people with experience and totally agree you need to create your brand to identify the right match. Also, I really love Keith Savage’s last point – it’s the wild west. It is. And that is what makes it all so exciting.

    stay adventurous, Craig

    November 29, 2010 at 1:29 am
  29. Thanks again to all for such a lively and informative debate. What is clear is that there are many reasons why people start to blog and while some start their blogs with the aim of making money and then abandon this dream, others do the opposite and develop over time a desire to make their blogs provide a financial return. There is of course no single right approach, but certainly if you wish to make a business out of your blog, you need to approach it as seriously as anyone else who is starting their own venture.
    The consensus here is that there is a real opportunity for bloggers to team up with travel companies (and others) and offer a professional service that, dare I say it, runs close to being an online PR service. Scott, thanks for sharing an excellent example of how such a partnership really can work well.

    November 29, 2010 at 11:40 am
  30. Ow wow, took some time to read through all those comments and think about what each blogger had to say. It seems there is a trend in that people are not making a full time living from their blog but it is giving them something to show the world to enable them to get other jobs.

    When I apply for other jobs, I show my blog as a sample of my writing. I like to apply to travel jobs but on the odd occasion I have to apply for others but I still show it.

    I am getting something back from my blog, even if it is not something that can be measured in monetary value. Seems like others are as well.

    Ps – Congrats on the 400th post.

    November 30, 2010 at 5:49 am
  31. congratulations on your 400th pot…imone of those bloggers who’s trying to earn from my blog and it seems to be not working as i expect… i dont want to stress myself from it so im looking for other ways to earn as well. thanks for mentioning ‘writing for others’… goodluck on all of our pursuits towards blogging,money and hopefully happiness…

    November 30, 2010 at 8:02 am
  32. Great post and discussions, Andy.

    If people are planning on getting rich, blogging is probably not the way. I think the most money for bloggers has been in something else they’ve been offered because of the attention they’ve got through their blogs, book deals, free trips etc. It’s good for personal branding.

    What’s important when creating a travel blog for monetizing is targeting. Too many travel blogs write just about anything but those who get the most attention and money are those who focus on specific topics within travelling, b-2-b travelling, flights, travel with kids, specific destinations, etc. I think that’s a good strategy to make a living from blogging to write only about your speciality on your own blog and for all the other posts you want to write – post them else where – guest blog. That helps build your personal brand and drive traffic to your own blog. The more targeted the traffic is to your blog, the more conversion it offers for your sponsors.

    I’ve done this and decided to write about Iceland, Greenland and the Faroe Islands only on my blog, a destination I know very well (I live in Iceland) with very little if any competition in the blogging world. I’ve been building traffic, SEO and content for 6 months and now it’s time to see if I can monetize it 😉

    November 30, 2010 at 11:53 am
  33. Fantastic post Andy, thanks for the insight.
    As a journalist I find the blogosphere world very interesting and have decided to tap into it myself. After a few months of constant blogging, featuring photos of the week’s and building a profile I have become slightly addicted. While it’s not paying me a penny (at the moment) it’s helping build a portfolio for my freelance writing, resulting in published articles in Ninemsn Travel, NZ herald and potentially a job offer as a travel writer *watch this space*.
    I think blogging is rewarding whether that be through recognition or money in the pocket. It’s what you make of it.

    November 30, 2010 at 12:25 pm
  34. Very interesting how this discussion points out that there are several types of writers/bloggers and I couldn’t else but agree.

    I think that one of the problems is that creating a blog costs little more than nothing, so everybody can do it, and everybody does. This makes it a lot more difficult to divide the great ones from the others.
    Also, travel blogging is not a niche anymore. Traveling is one of those thing which you just can’t combine with a regular day job, and every traveler – I admit that I am one of them – has this romantic idea about spending your days at the beach, write an article or blog post somewhere after dinner and before hitting the bar and let the gold float in. So lots and lots of traveler shoot for the moon, and who’s to blame them?

    Writing for magazines has come up a couple of times during this discussion, but I doubt if that’s such a good alternative. A lot of magazines that need travel articles are linked to the travel industry (e.g. magazines on planes) and they often focus on the more expensive regions. Therefore it’ll be quite easy to spend the money you earn in star hotels and expensive bars.
    If you ask travel writers who their influences are, you will often hear the names Theroux, O’Hanlon and Bryson return. Unfortunately this is not the kind of writing that magazines are requesting.

    I’m very curious to review this whole travel blogging industry in let’s say ten year, if only to see who made it and who didn’t.

    November 30, 2010 at 3:53 pm
  35. Great article and even better reading through all of the comments. I can’t really add anything more. I’ve certainly seen this travel blogging space change a ton since I got into it 4 years ago. The key is to keep an eye on others and trends – but really spend most of your time coming up with new ideas and ways to market yourself and your brand and make money. If you can be innovative – then you’ll be one step ahead.

    November 30, 2010 at 4:18 pm
  36. Hi … just found you (am presently lost in China) and agree with much. For me it’s about recording my experiences and it has never been about money or fame – besides, I’m probably too crazy for the mainstream travel industry and most bloggers – but my travels over the last 2 decades (100+ countries, mostly within the developing world, including being arrested as a spy in Saddam’s Iraq back in 1989) speak for themselves. Simply, I love travel.

    Regards – MRP | the candy trail … a nomad across the planet, since 1988

    December 6, 2010 at 1:10 pm
  37. Great post Andy.
    We have never been focused on making money off text links and advertising. This is not big enough for us. We start blogging always with the intention to concentrate on our brand and community and doing what we love. We know that if we do a great job with that then the money will follow. We have always been blogging with bigger things in mind, always looking for ways to think out of the box. It is starting to pay off for us now and opportunities are arising that we never thought of before.
    I think you have to focus on
    * thinking big
    * building your brand and make it unique and genuine
    *building community and helping others
    *network- I’m quickly learning that this is a huge component of one’s success.
    * DOING WHAT YOU LOVE- when you do what you love you do it right and with passion and that creates success which springboards into other things
    Congrats on your 400th post and your recent paid writing activities

    December 6, 2010 at 1:43 pm