Does this tall drink of water even need an introduction?! Nope, probably not. But here he is anyway… Mr Nomadic Matt himself – El Capitano of the travel blogging world! What this bloke doesn’t know about earning those dollars from blogging just isn’t worth knowing about. We’re truly stoked to have him on our site. So over to Matt and his little gems of advice on monetising a travel blog.
1. Hi Matt! Could you briefly introduce yourself, your site and its history?
I’m Matt, a native of Boston, US and writer at Nomadic Matt. I didn’t take my first trip overseas until I was 23 and if it wasn’t for a trip to Thailand in 2005, I wouldn’t have quit the rat race and made around the world travel my lifestyle of choice.
My website is about inspiring people in the same way I was by showing people that travel doesn’t have to be expensive nor does taking a long term trip require you to uproot your existence.
2. Why did you first decide to start a blog? Did you have money in mind?
I wanted to write guidebooks for Lonely Planet and I figured having a website as an online resume would help get me work. I didn’t have money from my blog in mind – I just wanted to use my blog as a way to leap into writing.
3. What would you say is your main income stream? How do your streams differ?
My main income comes from my ebooks. I get about 50% of my income from those books. Besides my books, I get money via affiliate sales, sponsorships, and some adsense revenue.
4. How would you describe the process of monetising a travel blog? How patient should you be? When can you expect to see results?
I think blogs go through a long process, especially in travel. It is much easier now that more people are paying attention to travel bloggers but you need to be patient. Focus on building an audience, then you can monetize. When you get the audience, you’ll start to see results. That could be three months, 6 months, a year. It varies from blog to blog depending on how fast they grow.
5. What is the best way to get an advertisers attention? How have you managed to rope in commercial deals in the past?
I think that after you have built an audience, you’ll find it easier to get advertisers. From day one, you’ll want to have a media kit so they can see where you have been featured and what value you bring. At some point, they come to you. But until that happens, I always recommend going to other blogs and see who is advertising and reach out to those advertisers.
6. How do you interact with advertisers? What should you bear in mind when looking to deal with them?
It’s important to be professional and clear. They aren’t always looking to undercut you and want a cheap deal. Make sure you set a limit.
7. How important is a business plan for a travel blog? How do you go about starting one?
Very. You need goals. You can’t get to your destination if you don’t know where to go. It’s important to set goals and develop a plan to get to those goals – the bloggers that do are the ones with the most success.
8. How has making money from travel blogging changed your life? Do you sacrifice travel for work more now?
It’s allowed me to be more versatile. I can work from everywhere. It also means I work a lot more and it’s hard to balance the two. I do often have to spend longer times in destinations or not see as much as I would like because of work.
9. Tell us about where you see the future of travel blog monetisation?
I think a lot of more travel companies will be involved and you’ll see more sponsorships, book deals, and the like. There will be less need for text links in the future.
10. And lastly, what would be your top 3 tips to a new blogger trying to monetise their blogs?
1. Be patient
2. Only accept ads or use methods that compliment your site goals.
3. Network with everyone like crazy.
A massive thanks to Matt for taking time out to share his amazingly useful tips and hints and hopefully inspire you all in making long term travel your lifestyle of choice.
Make sure you check out Matt’s massive tome of writing over on Nomadic Matt as well as catching up with him on Twitter. Kiri and I would also massively recommend Matt’s e-books which can really help you get started on making travel your life.
If you’d like to be interviewed, contact us.