Some of the original nomad fairy tales came from people who managed to travel the world by setting up a blog. The concept sounds pretty incredible: maintain a website, write some content and then kick back and enjoy your travels. Not bad, right?
Sadly, not every blog out there becomes a money-earner. In fact, the vast majority make no profit at all – let alone enough to globetrot in style. So, can you really travel the world by running a blog or is it just another false promise?
How blogging has changed over time
Once upon a time, before the days of and other CMS/website builders, you had to code your own blog. That made blogging a pretty niche skill because you had to know how to design and code it yourself – or hire someone to do it for you.
That’s not the case anymore, of course. Anyone can start a blog for free and almost everyone has, which means there’s not much space left for the new guys/girls in town. So it’s easier to start a blog but harder to get an audience than ever before – and without that, you can’t make any money.
So what’s a blogger to do in 2016?
Yes, you can still make a living from a blog
Spoiler alert – the answer to our title questions is: yes, it’s perfectly possible to make enough money from a blog to travel the world. But it won’t be easy and it won’t happen overnight. Accept that right away or you’ll be in for some disappointment and a shorter trip than you might like.
If you’re going to make this happen, you need to be ready to work your arse off – at least until things pick up. Which is fine; it’s all for the greater cause, after all. And aside from some steely determination, you’ll also need the following:
A niche people care about
This is the hardest part of blogging by far. You need a theme for the blog that’s eventually going to inspire people to read, return and eventually pay up for whatever you’re selling. That last part is especially difficult because you need to give people a pretty good reason to hand over their money to some stranger with a blog.
However, there are some reliable incentives that inspire people to open their wallets:
- Save them money
- Better yet, make them money
- Teach them something
- Help them make better buying decisions
- Give them exclusive access to exciting info
- Improve their day-to-day lives
- Make people feel more attractive
- Male people more successful
- Provide escape from their mundane reality
All of those selling points are things we crave so much we’re willing to pay money for them. In fact, we’re willing to pay money just for the mere hope they might happen, even if they never do. Powerful stuff.
Every successful blog plays on desires like these, whether it’s property investment (make money), gadget sites (exciting info/buying decisions), language sites (teach me) or fitness (more attractive).
You also need a killer story
Simply telling people how to be pretty won’t turn your blog into a money-maker, though. There are too many blogs doing the same thing and you need to set yours apart somehow. This starts with finding the right story – something people can connect to, keep coming back to and crave the next installment.
This story might become less important as time goes by and your authority builds. But, in the meantime, you’ll need a narrative to bundle all of your best info into a more presentable package. Make it personal, show how your secrets make life better and leave people believing it can work for them too.
Build your story around content
The days where writing a few article each month was enough to get people reading are long gone. If you’re serious about making money from your blog, then you need to mix up the content and build something of substance. We’re talking videos, interviews with experts, podcasts, infographics, quality images and content optimized for mobile users.
People won’t hand over money if your site looks like some weekend hobby. You need to look like a genuine authority in your field – one that invests what it takes in creating quality content. Everything you publish is part of your brand and that’s what people will/won’t be buying into. So take it seriously.
With all that in place, it might just be time to start thinking about making some money.
How does a blog start making money?
We’re not going to waste time talking bout advertising or any of that little income crap. I’ve spent this whole article saying you need to take blogging seriously because I’m talking about making serious money, not spare change. So here are the best ways to monetize a blog.
Build a membership site
The perfect scenario for you is to have a blog that earns money while you concentrate on the content and marketing – because that’s a full-time job in itself. A membership site invites users to pay a monthly fee for access to premium content, some kind of software or a service. It could be unlimited access to video tutorials or an application you’ve developed. The point is: each person who signs up pays money directly to you, every month until they decide they don’t need you anymore.
Instead of the monthly subscription approach, another way to earn passive income is to sell informational products for a one-time fee. The most common approach is eBook downloads that put all your expert knowledge in one handy place for readers. Again, you could sell video tutorials for a fixed one-time fee or a software platform. Once your product is completed and ready to sell, every sale is more profit for no extra work (aside from the marketing).
Services or consultancy
Another monetization strategy that’s still popular is offering services along the lines of consultancy or coaching. In this case, people are basically hiring you to help them directly and there’s still a lot of demand for this kind of thing. People are willing to pay to have you do things for them, rather than do it themselves – it’s as simple as that.
I’m slightly reluctant to put this on the list because, at its worst, affiliate marketing is no better than banner advertising. That said, some blog owners manage to make it work well. The big advantage is you don’t need a product yourself – you recommend other people’s instead. However, you still need the audience and likely a lot of content to earn enough affiliate income to make a living. It is an option and it is possible, but it’s not my favorite choice.
Okay, so that tells you something about making enough money from a blog to travel the world as a digital nomad. You’re not limited to one blog or one approach, of course. You can run as many blogs as you find manageable and even get people on board to help lighten the workload for you. Once the money starts coming in and your blogs are growing things can get pretty exciting. So, while monetising blogs may not be as easy as many people make it out to be (normally existing bloggers trying to sell their books!) it can be enough to get you around the world and more. You just need the right mix of a good idea, hard work, and some essential luck along the way.
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