5 Unbelievable Travel Blog Success Stories
Some people travel while on vacation from their job. But for others, traveling is their job. It might seem like it would be impossible to juggle a job and a lengthy trip at the same time, but these travel bloggers have managed to do just that. And they love it! I had the opportunity to Skype and interview these five amazing travel bloggers to see how they do it.
Travel blog circles are small! Without realizing it, all three of the blogs I contacted already knew each other. All three blogs have also been featured together in different travel blog interviews. Tom and Anna have even met Will before in Manila and he stayed in their old flat! Each blog has a different niche and write about different experiences, but they all have one thing in common – their blogs are a great resource for aspiring travelers!
Will Hatton- aka “The Broke Backpacker”
Will has been traveling on and off since he was 18. He’s now been to over 50 countries and started a travel blog in late 2014 to share his stories. His travel blog has gotten so popular, that he manages to make a small earning off of it. After three months of running his blog he was able to support his travels with it plus a few other odd jobs he does on the side.
“Most of my money doesn’t come from my travel blog. It comes from selling my articles through papers and online news websites. I think of my travel blog as a giant online CV of everything that I can do…I’ve gotten loads of jobs from it.”
He brings his laptop along on his travels and prefers to spend a little extra to get a room with WiFi, joking that he prefers to work from bed most days. While traveling he updates his travel blog, but he also writes articles for sites such as The Daily Mail, BBC, Huffington Post, News.com.au, Yahoo Travel, Matador and more. He is also able to make money advising some companies on their social media and blogs.
Will likes to pick more remote destinations because he doesn’t like crowds and there is less competition for his articles in the blogosphere. His next big adventure is an over-land, 18 month trip from the UK all the way to Papua New Guinea.
“I tend to pick a destination which hasn’t been covered before properly…I’m currently famous in Venezuela and that’s because I’m the only travel blogger to write about Venezuela in like 10 years.”
Most successful travel bloggers are couples. So Will has hired three people to help him expand and keep up with his blog. One in the US, one in the Philippines, and one in Bangladesh. Between the four of them, they put about 100 hours a week into the blog. The biggest challenge that Will has faced with the blog is technical challenges.
“I don’t know anything about code. I don’t know anything about website design whatsoever. I kind of taught myself and then my girlfriend took over— and then we broke up, and I’m still trying to work out what she’s done.”
Will is super humble about his writing and his blog even though he’s managed to do this amazing thing that many other people only dream about. But he still insists that anyone can do it.
“I genuinely think that as long as you’re not a total bloody idiot, and you can sort of write, if you put in the time I think blogging is possible for anyone to do.”
Favorite Apps: Duolingo, Skype, Facebook, World Clock, Find my iPhone, Splice, Panasonic Image, Spotify, GoPro App.
Favorite Travel Gear: Buff, Knife, Head Torch
Favorite Destination: Burma – for the people
Read more about Will and his upcoming trip at http://www.thebrokebackpacker.com
Jenn and Jack – Who Needs Maps
Jenn and Jack are an American and Australian couple bent on keeping their long-distance relationship alive through travel. Jenn met Jack while studying in Melbourne and they’ve been traveling to keep their relationship alive ever since. Instead of flying back and forth from Los Angeles to Australia, they decided to meet in places like Southeast Asia to travel together.
Their blog is based on the two different perspectives of the couple. Jenn being the fearful and Jack being the fearless. They started a blog together because it was good learning experience and as a way to document their travels.
Jenn: Ideally [the blog] was kind of practice for him, because he does digital marketing, it was kind of just a test sight, and then we ended up really enjoying working on it and meeting people through it, and saving our memories.
Jack: It also encourages you to travel more as well. That’s the best part about it you’re like ‘I need to create some new content, so I better go on a holiday!’
Currently they are both living in Los Angeles and working — and doing the travel blog on the side. Jenn works in the entertainment industry (and freelances) and Jack works in digital marketing.
Jenn: Right now, we take advantage of the weekends. We’re currently focusing on California because he has an American visa, so we’re trying to do a lot of driving and road-trips close to where we are. But we are going to Europe in a couple of weeks, which will be fun. We just try and take advantage of days we have off.
Jack: The biggest thing is traveling in between jobs. So that’s the best time to do it because you only get about two weeks off whenever you have a full-time job so the key is just to do all of your travel in between jobs. And if you can set up jobs between each other that are a month or two apart, then you can find some time to travel.
Just like every travel blog starting out, Jack and Jenn have faced their share of obstacles.
Jack: I suppose there’s just so many travel blogs, so it’s hard to stand out as a travel blog. Also creating content fast enough, we don’t get around to it as often as we’d like to.
Jenn: I have so many half-posts written. I have like fifteen posts written and I’m like, ‘Oh I have a great idea for the next one’ and I start writing it and I completely forget to finish the other. If I had 10 hours of free time I could probably knock them all out. I’m kind of an inconsistent writer because I freelance so I have really busy weeks and then really empty weeks and it just kind of depends.
For the near future, Jack and Jenn have a trip to London planned and they also plan to continue to explore California on the weekends. The Yosemite and Sequoia National Parks are next on the list.
Favorite Apps: Tripozo because it doesn’t require WiFi after downloading it, Facebook, WhatsApp, Avocado which is a long distance couple app
Favorite Travel Gear: Computer, GoPro, and underwear (Jenn: “Because that’s the worst thing, to do laundry when you’re abroad.”)
Favorite Destination: For both Jenn and Jack it was Vietnam. They both liked it because it had everything they could have wanted in a destination.
To keep up with Jenn and Jack’s adventures in the States check out http://www.whoneedsmaps.com
Tom and Anna – Adventure In You
Tom and Anna are two backpackers who met while traveling in Vietnam. Anna is from the Philippines and Tom is from Wales, UK. They hit it off in Vietnam, continued to travel together and a year later decided to start a joint travel blog!
“We initially started it to stay connected to something we loved, traveling. Anna is a great writer and wanted to write more. I wanted to develop my skills at web development, SEO and social media. Now, we do it because we enjoy it and want to build something for our future.”
Although it was difficult for them starting out, they saw potential in their first post and wanted to continue to develop the blog.
“It was hard because both Anna and I were still developing our skills so we would get frustrated if we couldn’t do something…Nowadays, we struggle to decide what to work on. That’s where Trello comes in. It helps us stay focused on the most important/valuable thing to work on.”
Initially, they had no idea how hard it was to start a professional blog.
“Even though we have had a few press features recently, we are certainly not rich, so we take up other online jobs or fun small jobs when we travel. I specialise in business intelligence and consultancy, while Anna being the main writer behind Adventure In You, does freelance writing and graphic design.”
They are able to make some money off of the blog by posting affiliate links in some of their posts and advertising services and products. However, they only ever post products that they have tested out themselves and are picky when it come to what goes on their website.
“Half of the money we make from our blog currently goes back into our blog. If it be for marketing purposes, online tools or investments. The other half then goes towards helping pay for our travel expenses.”
They obviously require WiFi to work which can be hard to find while on the road.
“When we know we will be without WiFi for a while, i.e when we go trekking through a jungle or decide to live on a boat for a while, we work extra hard the days before to make sure everything is scheduled on our social media channels and we have extra content to publish.”
What is the future of Adventure In You? Well, they are currently on an indefinite backpacking trip together. Right now they are in Bali enjoying the surf, and they plan to head to the Philippines in October. They are also considering writing an ebook or creating a magazine of their adventures together.
Favorite Apps: GPS, Trello for organization and Skyscanner for flights
Favorite Travel Gear: Backpacks, laptop, camera and books they pick up while on the road.
Favorite Destination: For Anna it was Greece because it had always been a dream destination for her. For Tom it was the Philippines for the people and things he got to see.
See what Tom and Anna are up to now at http://www.adventureinyou.com