Make money with your travel blog is a short but highly informative ebook written by Matthew Kepnes. In the first few paragraphs “Nomadic Matt” lays out his credentials and the time and effort it took him to start generating money from his websites. In the next thirty pages he lays out a strategy for doing the same:
I started as a blogger over a year ago. My goal was to be wildly successful and a hugely popular blogger who, like ProBlogger, makes a ton of money talking about what he loves. I think most people who start a blog do that. Six months into it I was putting in a lot of hours and not making any money. I was making lots of friends in the blogging world but no money. I thought if I got traffic I would get money. People would click on my ads and poof! I can quit my day job. But it doesn’t work that way.
I have a healthy scepticism of most “make money” books and of all “make money” ebooks. I’ve been publishing online since the late ’90s and, there was a serious phase in the early 2000’s when I devoured everything I could find on the matter. I feel this book offers value for money and gives concrete strategies but, at times, downplays the fanatic amount of hours it takes to launch a site and nurse it to a profitable state.Matt now claims to be making US$3,000 a month from his travel websites, with his blog as the leading standard. By email, I probed Matt further to discover how much time this took — and how much of that income was profit. Apparently less than 20 hours a week goes into site work and maintenance, with further time spent socialising on networking sites like Twitter. One should also note the $3,000 is gross income, that is, it doesn’t including running costs or expenses.
This book is a good primer for a beginner who is interested in the technical side of personal publishing online. While it comprehensively outlines concrete strategies for starting a site, standard search engine optimisation and internet marketing techniques, it misses many of the traditional skills of branding, audience research and marketing.
To my mind, this ebook does a very good job as a guide to setting up a professional looking blog and then generating traffic through search engines and social media traffic. It would be of interest to an enthusiast looking for a clear way to start an excellent travel blog or someone considering this as a business model.
Is it right for you?
If you’re a typical Indie Travel Podcast reader, you’re dreaming of, planning, or part-way through an extensive overseas trip. If you hit the road for six months and market well during that time, you might build up an extensive audience. When you stop travelling, your audience will probably disappear. This book isn’t going to help you make money during your trip: stay non-commercial and love your audience.If you’re looking to blog for a long time — more than a year — and consider it as a job rather than a travelogue, Matt’s ebook will condense and clarify much of the information available online and help you target it to a travel blog. If you’re interested in setting up a blog for fun or profit, but you don’t have time to search the web to compare free information, this book is also perfect. A current travel blogger could also find it useful to improve their SEO strategies and transition their site for long-term sustainability and possible profit.