Is travel blogging dead? Travel blogging is not dead, but it has changed.
It was hit hard by the pandemic but it is far from being over. Simply travel blogging is put on a standstill until the world recovers from all covid-19 implications.
For me personally, it was a great time to reflect, find some time, bring my past memories back and start a travel blog about our Trip Around Australia.
Instead, my thinking was this.
While travelling has been put on hold in many countries, I can build my own travel blog, drive traffic to it, get some audience and monetize it.
Then, when most people are vaccinated, the pandemic is finally over and flights, tours, and accommodation bookings are back.
I believe that there is always a great future for travel blogging.
Below is a video from our trip from Brisbane to Darwin and back via Diamantina National Park.
No travelling = no income from online bookings
What all genuine travel bloggers need is freedom in moving around the places. So, it is quite a problem if they have to stand still being unable to create new posts.
Shortly, travel blogging during pandemic has two major problems:
- No travelling – means no fresh posts are created about new locations
- No income from online bookings – all travel bloggers that monetized their blog from online bookings are not getting any clicks which means no commission from online bookings
Fortunately, the two above problems do not apply to all countries. For example, in Australia, camping and travelling interstate was still permitted and bloggers could create new posts every day.
Not all travel blogs were hit by the pandemic
Generally, covid-19 caused restrictions and lockdowns in many countries disallowing people from moving around and travelling. Many travels, hotel, and airline companies had to sack employees to survive and some of them went bankrupt.
So, how that impacted travel blogging, and what type of blogs were hit the most?
In my observations, I only think of genuine travel blogs that are owned by real travellers. These bloggers go around their country, continent, or around the world and post about their adventures. They have to pay for their expenses from the income that is normally generated from their blog.
There are numerous fake travel blogs that make money using different techniques like PBN (personal boosting networks), paid guest posts, sponsored posts, ads, sponsored backlinks, etc.
I am not talking about blogs like that.
So, let’s see what type of travel blogs suffered the most from the pandemic.
Travel blogs based on online bookings suffered the most
There are many good travel bloggers that post about international locations around the world. They have hundreds of posts, sometimes a big team of writers and huge authority in Google.
If their main monetization strategy is flights, tours, and accommodation bookings they suffered the most. They will not get much commission from affiliate programs like bookings.com or airbnb.com.
Simply nobody clicks any buttons as nobody can go anywhere. Those travel bloggers’ income was reduced to around 25 %.
Google Trends shows a significant drop in popularity for the well-known website booking.com. But, as you see it is not a disaster, as of March 2021 the numbers grow back slowly.
Personal blogs with various monetizing strategies are ok
There are a lot of personal blogs with topics like camping, fishing, sailing, travelling, and cooking. These types of blogs are based on personal adventures normally not far from where these bloggers live. Thus, they can still visit the places around and create new posts (considering there is no full pandemic lockdown in place).
I noticed many of these bloggers monetize their blogs on personal items. For example, they have affiliate links pointing to books, travel companies, car gadgets, tires, caravan accessories or gifts, maps, or travel journals.
I think personal bloggers will still make money as there are still many customers interested in the products they offer. Whereas they don’t earn big money, they are still able to run their travel blogging business.
Thus, personal bloggers that travel around their home state are little or not affected.
People are thirsty to travel
As we have to stay home we all think one day the borders will open and we go everywhere we like. We will just open our bucket list and we start ticking off places we want to visit as we have waited so long for it.
I have to mention Australia one more time. The pandemic in Australia was handled very well and interstate travelling and camping were still allowed so this type of travelling was not dead for sure.
During the pandemic in Australia nobody could go overseas to visit Europe or America, so people started buying caravans and camper trailers to go outdoors and see their own country.
This caused an unexpected 25% increase in the prices of the above items. What may happen in the future, once the borders are open, everybody will be selling caravans, trailers, and 4WD cheaply, but it is a different story.
In general, humans cannot stay in one place. We are born to move, interact, socialize and gain new experiences. The covid-19 pandemic is a great example. People break restrictions and lockdown rules every day, just get fresh air or visit their relatives.
But, during these horrible pandemic times, we still dream of travelling. What can we do? How can we travel without leaving our homes?
People read blogs and watch videos about travelling
Luckily, we have the internet where we can find some good stuff. Travelling blogs and YouTube videos are the most popular.
Recently, hiking videos became very popular. Some bloggers video their whole hiking trail without any talking (only music) and post it on YouTube. It happens many people like watching it. Perhaps that also relates to the travelling restrictions in place.
Thus, we can ‘travel’ by following someone’s story. This story can be your blog and your adventures will be admired by thousands of people.
Why starting a travel blog during a pandemic can bring you benefits later?
A pandemic can be a good time to stop and reflect on your past memories. I bet everyone has something to share with the world. When we travel we always take pictures, make videos and share them on social media.
Now it is a very good time to organise your stories and compose a nice travel blog that you can share with friends and an online audience.
Regardless if you start your new blog in pandemic time or not, making money from it will not happen instantly.
Starting a travel blog is easy but staying committed for a long time can be challenging. However, if you create good content, after some time people will start reading and following your blog. When this happens you will be ready to monetize it.
How to monetize your travel blog during pandemic?
These days we have to be more cautious about travel blog monetizing strategies. We know already that any affiliate programs that bring commissions from online booking will bring little or no money. So, how to monetize your travel blog in a different way?
Your own travel guides
It is very common that travel bloggers create their own travel guides and sell them right on the website. For example, If you write about hiking in remote places where it is difficult to get, a hiking guide like that could be very popular.
You can package it as a nice pdf book, set a $29 price on it, and advertise it on every page of your blog.
Maps and Books
There are many affiliate programs that offer travel maps and books. Let’s say you have a post about camping in Kimberly.
Why not have a destination link to a Hema Kimberley map right after your post. I bet you there will be people interested in buying and you get a commission.
There are so many travel gadgets that you can promote right on your blog. It is important though to only show these links in related posts so that your readers take it naturally and click on the gadget you offer.
Car tyres and 4WD accessories
If your blog is about 4WD and off-roading you can promote endless numbers of accessories. Again, make sure you stick your affiliate links in the related content to increase the chance of people clicking them.
Let’s say you have an article about driving in snowy mountains. This is a perfect post to promote good snow tires or snow chains.
People will read your posts and some percentage of them will really think about buying it.
Sponsored Guest Posts
If your blog has already good traffic, you will be approached by many newer bloggers asking for a guest post. If they have good content, you can allow a guest post on your blog for a fee.
This is a common strategy to increase your blog income.
Don’t lock yourself in only one monetization strategy in your travel blog
Is travel blogging dead
Let’s say this again. Travel blogging will last regardless of what’s happening in the world.
We only have to change and adapt to the current situation. For some travel bloggers, it is easier, for others more difficult but not impossible.
If you consider travel blogging as a business it is nothing different from any other ‘normal’ job. People are fired or get redundant every day and they are still fine to adjust to the situation and find new jobs.
With travel blogging, it is no different.
Whether we have to find new content by allowing guest posts from other bloggers or changing our monetization strategy, there is always a way to stay afloat and earn money.
And when the pandemic is over travel blogging will explode again. I think the future of travel blogging is still there, so
Make sure you are ready for your readers!
Are you not in the travel niche?