How to pay for travel is the eternal question for student travelers and backpackers. A job that travels with you, like blogging for money, is a solution whose time has come. Getting online to work is getting easier worldwide, even from the unbeaten paths (more on that below). Takes some serious time to set up a good blog, though, and you won't make a ton of money blogging unless you really work it like a job. Let's look into all the details of blogging for money (scroll down for more).
How Much Money Can I Make Blogging?First things first: how much money do people make blogging? Will it come anywhere close to covering your travel budget? Take a look at how much folks really get paid for blogging. If you can make $250/month, that's a lot of ramen. Shoot, that's a night out in Berlin and a German rail pass.
Is Your Blog Idea Worth Money?Before you go much further, you should understand how blogs make money and how you can make money blogging. Bear in mind that you've got a leg up if you want to make money from a travel blog -- you're really out there traveling as opposed to established travel writers who really can't spend that kind of time on the road.
Your Own Blog, or Get Paid to Blog?It's becoming more and more possible to get paid to blog for someone else. Older businesspeople don't necessarily "get" blogs and blogging, but know their business needs a blog. Whether those blogs translate into a job that can actually travel with you is another story, but it's worth researching. And if working for someone else while you travel is unappealing, then you'll need to start your own blog and set it up to monetize. Easier said than done, but totally doable.
Find a Blog TopicWhether you've got an idea for a blog that will really make you some money -- well, that's the million dollar question. What do you know about that people want to read about? Hey, you'll be traveling the world with a pack on your back -- that's pretty interesting. Test the water by looking around at popular travel blogs and going through a few brainstorming sessions before you jump in the blogging pool. Fascinatingly, some travel bloggers don't even travel much -- you've got a huge advantage already.
How Much Time DO Bloggers Spend Online?You have to spend a fair amount of time online to keep up a blog. A news blogger probably shouldn't sleep; a political blogger needs to watch the headlines constantly, but a travel blogger can catch a few breaks from constant air time. Andy the HoboTraveler is a great example of a traveling blogger who manages to get online a lot in developing nations, and he talks about how he does it, too.
How Can You Get Online While Traveling?Student Travel has a new intern who's equipped with a GSM smartphone with Qwerty keyboard and wifi capability -- he'll be blogging from Europe in 2011 without having to leave his hostel bunk to find the internet cafe or lugging his own laptop and hunting the free wifi. US cell phone companies are a real pain in the neck when it comes to getting smartphones you can use worldwide without signing a contract with them -- try eBay for an unlocked smartphone with wifi that you can take traveling and buy SIM cards along the way.
Get Some Tips From "Colleagues"Plenty of peeps have been there, done that and some have tapped those keys (so to speak) to success: learn from them if you want to lay out some semi-serious bucks (like at least $75) for membership in TraveBlogSuccess.com, or $37 for Nomadic Matt's how-to-monetize ebook, or read up (for free) from folks like Two Backpackers.
"To get away from one's working environment is, in a sense, to get away from one's self; and this is often the chief advantage of travel and change."
-- Charles Horton Cooley