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Can my blog earn enough money to travel?

Living the digital nomad lifestyle is a lifestyle many people feel drawn to. Making money on the go as you plan your next destination is a lifestyle most of us only dream of. Say you plan on changing your life for the better and are thinking about starting a blog to finance your travels, how much money can a blog earn monthly? 

Before writing an article like this I check the internet, I do some research. Because I want to make sure that what I write will be truthful. There are way too many people presenting a too positive picture of the digital nomad lifestyle and income made while traveling. And I do not wish to be one of those.

Being a digital nomad is just a lifestyle. It is about working online, about making enough money from online sources so you can be location independent. And that is not as easy as you may read or think you see while looking at the life of other digital nomads.

I have seen many nomads going broke, having to beg for money literally in the streets to pay for their plane ticket or visa extension. 

So before you calculate yourself to easy money by reading blogs and articles that tell you only half the truth, please make sure your portfolio of money streams is diverse, steady, and enough to support your lifestyle.

travel bloggers during lockdown

How much money can you earn from a website or blog?

As it is with so many things in life: it all depends. It depends on your niche, on the demand, on your audience, and your type of website.

  • Do you sell products?
  • Do you have advertisements through f.e. Google Adsense?
  • Do you offer services?

Each website has its own identity and each website has it’s. own way of making income. For example, I own 2 websites. A Dutch one, and this one, both websites have advertisements, from Google Adsense and private advertisers. Both websites sell services and one website sells downloadable products.

Yet my Dutch website earns way more money than this website, but this website earns way more money through the advertisement. 

How much money you can make from a website depends on multiple factors

Although some websites claim that you can earn 1,000US$ a month on a website with 150,000 visitors monthly, only from Google Advertisement. Their calculation is one-sided. They calculate from click-through rates, pay per click, and use examples of 0.20US$ advertisement prices. Probably because that is simple to use in the calculations. But it is not realistic.

I will get to that later.

The income stream to expect from a website depends on:

  1. visitors per day/month/year, that means that the more visitors you get the more income you are likely to have, so your website needs to be findable on the internet and your peer group needs to know you exist
  2. products or services you sell, if you sell products that need shipping you may have a lower income than when you sell services or downloadable products, and when you sell nothing and only have income from advertisement your income could be lower unless you have huge amounts of clicks and views.
  3. your pricing, when you sell products or services your income is depending on your price per product as well. It is an art to set appealing prices that cover costs and make you competitive with other similar products or services and still cover all your costs and make enough money to reach your goal.

The profit you make depends on your overhead costs for keeping that website up and running smoothly. 

Examples of overhead costs are:

  • hosting costs
  • domain name price
  • SSL Certificate and Who-is Guard prices
  • software prices (cloud services, plugins, payment gateways, ad-ons, photo editing, etc.)
  • hardware costs (you have to replace your laptop, camera, smartphone at some point, maybe storage of products, etc.)
  • bank costs for accepting money (like monthly costs for account holders, PayPal fees, etc.)
  • working hours you spend on the website maintenance and article writing
  • costs you make while working remotely: renting a desk, internet connection cost, maybe a coffee when you work from cafes and restaurants, etc.

working from home

How much money can you make from advertisement through Google Adsense alone?

Like I wrote before, most calculations on the internet write about views, exposure of advertisement, and clicks per ad, using prices like 0.20 US$ or even higher rates. But that is far from realistic. Some ads do no more than 0.01US$, and it is hard to make a real steady income from advertisement.

When a website tells you that with 1000 views a day you can earn yourself enough money to live of advertisement only, they do not calculate the people that do not click. From those 1000 viewers, maybe 1 will click, and when they click on a low rate advertisement, that will not ad sufficient money to your bank account.

And to reach 1000 viewers per day is a huge job. The market of bloggers and websites is saturated. The days that (travel) bloggers could easily live from just blogging are far gone. 

You need your blog to be successful to earn enough money to travel. And to make a blog successful is a lot of hard work with no results guaranteed since Google decides with you, and in some cases even for you.

ask a question about living abroad, countries, life changes

Blogs with 100-150 views per day are the common middle class these days

Most blogs do not get more than 100-150 views per day, and that simply is not enough to earn you a proper income. from advertisement alone. The reasons for those visitor’s numbers lie in multiple factors, like the saturation of the market, but most of it the Algorithms of Google. Google scans your website and judges your website and it is hard work to become a number one search without spending lots of money on promoting your website first.

And most of us do not have lots of money to invest, most of us are looking for extra money to earn 

I remember I saw a significant drop in visitors once due to algorithm changes from Google. I just started and my website was picking up fast, 300-400 visitors per day dropped by half overnight. And with that advertisement income. It took a long time to recover from that.

openbaar vervoer, rome, reizen, trein, metro bus, tram, prijzen

Will you be able to travel from website income only?

Maybe. When and if your website covers a niche when/if your website is easy to find and you offer products, services, or articles for a demand. When Google Adsense grants you high prices, high-value, relevant ads and your visitors click abundantly, You might.

But my advice as a digital nomad with many years of experience is to spread your income sources. Do not live solely on the income of a blog or website. So when your blog or website fails, due to circumstances you can’t influence, you have a backup income.

The comment section is yours, feel free to ask me about online income, and blogging. I have been blogging ever since it became a thing. And my experience brought me where I am now. Writing to you from locations I love. With no home address to return to.