“Can you make money from a blog?” has to be one of the commonest questions I get asked and the answer is … not straightforward. SOME people are making money DIRECTLY from blogging but it is still a relatively new commercial arena and there are currently few guidelines.  What is interesting  is that advertisers, PR companies, sponsors and business partners are approaching bloggers as potential platforms to connect more with their customers.

TBU11 Bloggers gathering

The 2011 Travel Bloggers Unite Conference in Manchester brought Travel bloggers from all over the world to share ideas, discuss latest trends in blogging, learn more about developing blogs and to network. Also attending were some of this country’s most influential travel PR agencies and travel businesses

There were a number of  ‘How To’ sessions, including talks on how to make your blog a magnet for possible income generation.  Some travel bloggers are succeeding in making money and they shared their experience and views.  Here are some tips that came out of discussions during the day:

  • Do your research – check out demographics, trends, business year ahead
  • Stay up to date with latest technology, social media, business direction
  • Be consistent – identify your brand, style, voice, persona that you feel comfortable with and stick with it
  • Tell a story – make it compelling. Don’t just do the obvious – find an angle that will appeal
  • Write for other bloggers, especially those who you admire, respect and value
  • Get other bloggers to write for you – Guest Posts share the word & generate more exposure
  • Develop relationships with PR companies, advertisers and business-related contacts – it’s about people not commodities
  • Use Social Media ie Face Book, Twitter, StumbleUpon, YouTube, Fickr, LinkedIn to promote your blog – and be generous about promoting others
  • When sponspors/advertisers approach you, think carefully about pricing and what you want from it. Ask for advice and don’t undersell your blog
  • Have a Rates Card so you can send it to potential advertisers, sponsors
  • Be reliable in your delivery. Get a publishing schedule and deliver the goods on time.
  • Work hard – it will only happen if you stay focused and put in the hours
How to make money from your blog

Keith Jenkins of Velvet Escape

This just gives a flavour of some of the ideas generated by the event.  Keith Jenkins, of Velvet Escape gave an insight into his journey to financial success and an expert panel of travel bloggers shared their knowledge and answered questions on how to monetise a blog.

Tips from the experts on the travel blog

The Travel Bloggers Unite

If you want to find out more – check out these guys …

Keith Jenkins

Melvin Boecher

Kash Bhattacharya

Matt Preston

Karen Bryan

The answer to the question ‘Can you make money from a blog’ is most definitely YES but, as with everything, it takes time, effort and commitment.