I have to say I really love it when people, especially not travel people, ask me what I do. When I tell them I am a travel blogger they just stare at me like I have just spoken to them in a strange foreign language. I then also equally enjoy saying, “yeah, it is a kinda strange way to make a living”.
There is no question the travel blogger space is crowded right now. Just look at the growth BoardingArea (BA) has had from just BA to now include the feeder sister site Prior2Boarding (P2B) that also features those blogs on a rotation schedule on the main BA home page. This really is a lot of blogs just on one mega-site that is BoardingArea.
Most folks know that bloggers with direct credit card links get a commission on successful applications. While I am not allowed to talk about numbers, some can be very modest (like a pizza dinner for my wife and I). The real interesting part that no one talks about is how low these numbers can be for completed applications. How low? 1-3% of anyone who clicks on a card link does end up getting a travel card. Bottom line it takes a TON of people clicking before a blogger sees any income. Oh and 3rd party links, that are not direct card links, the percentage of those who click those drops to fractions of a percentage point.
The real future in blogging is from ads like you see here around the blog or what is called impression advertizing. With banks dumping more and more blogs due to compliance issues, plus they just don’t produce enough card sales to be worthwhile, then their ad money must flow somewhere. BA, being a premium travel mega-site, can demand a premium rate vs just someone setting up their own site and trying to put up an ad. By just reading the blog, I make a tiny bit but with many millions of views a year that can become an income.
What does it take to make a “go” at travel blogging? A ton of work and time. It takes more time to produce a product readers will be drawn to than anyone believes. It takes a ton of time to know and be able to speak with authority on whatever your focus is and a willingness to stick to blogging as a moderately obsessive hobby for quite a while before it produces anything real.
So what do I think is needed? I have for a long time said targeted blogs are a good choice similar to mine. There are tons of general interest blogs, but targeted ones are still needed. A blog 99% focused on United or American as a go-to source with any question would be great to see. What about rental cars? Do you rent cars each week and know each of their point programs inside and out? You could be “that” blogger we all look to for the answers we need. I think you get the basic idea.
Anyway, I just thought I would share some of the behind the scenes stuff that goes into the world of travel blogging. – René
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