Okay, so the burning question surrounding travel blogging must be: “Is it all real?” I mean you don’t even have to go all the way and comb through every corner of the internet in all its vastness to come across some sort of content which takes the form of a travel blogger’s work, or the apparent form of a travel blogger’s work. Questioning the legitimacy of travel blogging, particularly with regards to its almost inseparable association with making money is definitely in order. Here’s why:
You (the visitor) are the Most Likely Source of a Travel Blogger’s Income
This really isn’t as bad as it may sound – I mean that’s pretty much what Google’s income-generating model is based on. Consider this: say you find a particular blog which is oh so eloquently written by a travel blogger to be very interesting and you subscribe to it because you don’t want to miss out on all the adventures they go on and blog about. You’re probably not alone in your interest and you, along with many other visitors to the blog, create value for advertisers. Someone who blogged about the trip they took to Namibia for a bit of sky-diving for instance, would have their content pulling the interested eyes of readers who themselves may want to someday go sky-diving in the same way. Cue the advertisers, which would probably take the form of airlines, travel agencies, booking sites, travel insurance companies, hotels, shuttle service providers, etc. It’s a win-win-win situation for all involved in this instance. Advertisers get to serve niche-specific ads which won’t annoy readers, the blogger gets to make a bit of money to perhaps continue funding their travels, and the advertisers get some good bang for their bucks.
If a travel blogger over-emphasises some offers which would require you to part with your money, it starts to go beyond travelling and blogging by way of passion and this is when you should perhaps be a bit concerned about the legitimacy of the content you’re reading.
Travel Bloggers are Risk-Takers Who Have a Keen Nose for Spotting Opportunity
Look, if say you wanted some cheap accommodation and you were able to arrange that accommodation through an advert placed on a travel blog, it doesn’t hurt that that blogger made a bit of commission, does it? There are many other ways through which all types of bloggers make money through their blogs, but in the specific case of a travel blogger, some risks are often taken which can work out to pay off in a huge way.
Say you have bad credit and cannot get a bank loan to attend something like the DEFCON hacking convention in the USA, but attending it would make for some serious blogging gold for some content which would drive more subscribers to sign up to your blog. Something like a bad credit loan would make for a calculated risk in this instance, because it would mean that you can go ahead and catch that flight, making for some content which you can monetise and get back that money you burrowed many times over.
These are the types of travel bloggers that make the real money because they monetise content relating to their real experiences, while a lot of others merely publish hearsay.