Table of Contents
- The Bucket List Family
- Beautiful Destinations
- Nomadic Matt
- Murad and Nataly Osmann
- Do You Travel
Many venture into this realm by setting up Instagram accounts or blogs dedicated to travel. However, the main challenge faced by them is “How do I make this my full-time job and monetize it?”
A popular travel blogger, or travel influencer with a large following on Instagram or Facebook, has numerous opportunities to monetize their blog or page through advertisements, sponsorships and tie-ups with brands across the world.
According to research carried out by Forbes, an account that has about 100,000 followers on Instagram can earn about $5,000 for a post, in partnership with a company or brand. The number of followers, however, is not the only parameter. Brands also gauge your engagement, relevance to the product being advertised and whether the followers are legit or just bots that have been bought.
If this is the case with the “micro influencers”, let’s have a look at the staggering amounts of money that the top bloggers make from travel.
The Bucket List Family was the blog started by husband-wife duo Garrett and Jessica Gee, who sold off everything they had to fulfill their dream of traveling the world.
They started their journey in 2015 with $45,000, when they set off on an adventure with their two small kids – now three, after the birth of baby Calihan Gee – but as luck would have it, they haven’t spent any of it.
The “travel journalists” fund their travel, live out hundreds of exclusive experiences and still manage to save thousands of dollars every month through engagement on their blog, the 1.4 million followers on their Instagram account – @thebucketlistfamily – and by creating sponsored content for brands. They also put up posts in partnership with brands and tourism boards, which earned them a spot on Hopper HQ’s “Instagram Rich List 2018”.
The Gee family, with its million-plus Instagram following, earns a whopping $23,000 per sponsored post on the social media platform. The couple also charges anywhere from $10,000 to $20,000 for a sponsored YouTube video in partnership with some major global brands like GoPro and Airbnb. They also partnered with The Walt Disney Co. for a month to stay at a different Disney resort hotel every day.
The couple is also a big believer in giving back to society and recently raised over $50,000 to build a school in Nepal.
Under the leadership of Jeremy Jauncey, Beautiful Destinations is one of the most popular Instagram handles on travel. With a following on 11.5 million users, the page showcases breathtaking pictures clicked by both professional and amateur photographers.
After the massive success of the page Jauncey set up in 2012, he started a content creation and consulting company that helps him rake in the real profits. He uses his business acumen, coupled with his love for travel, to design successful campaigns for big brands.
While Beautiful Destinations does not accept payments to feature photographs on their Instagram handle, the content consultancy by the same name makes content for brands like Marriott, the Bellagio, Fairmont Hotels, Burj Al Arab, Travel + Leisure amongst others.
He uses his business acumen, coupled with his love for travel, to design successful campaigns. An example of these would be the doubling of Bellagio’s Instagram followers under the creative agency’s expertise. Under the team’s campaign, Dubai’s Burj al Arab garnered 65,000 followers, up from 6,000.
Over time, and because of its smashing success, Beautiful Destinations diversified into a number of other Instagram handles like Beautiful Hotels, Beautiful Cuisines, Beautiful Matters and their fashion-specific accounts – Beautiful Menswear and Beautiful Apparel. The company has a net worth of over a million dollars as of 2016.
New York Times bestselling author Matt Kepnes started his blog when he was struggling with his day job. In 2006, however, he quit to pursue his passion for travel, and there has been no looking back.
Nomadic Matt started the process of monetizing his blog by selling text links back in 2009. That is not an option anymore but Matt kept up with the times by diversifying his strategy over the years.
Nomadic Matt has three main sources of revenue. The first are books and e-books. He has eight destination-specific guidebooks and three general guides on travel. He also makes money through partnerships with travel reward credit cards, hotel sites and flight sites, among others.
Matt also runs an online travel media school, where he produces courses that are aimed at other bloggers and travelers and teach them how to create content that is engaging. This provides for the majority of his income.
Matt changed up his financial strategies to keep them in line with the latest travel blogging scene. He is one of the highest paid travel bloggers and earns upwards of $50,000 per month.
If you have social media accounts at all, you could not have escaped the #followmeto wave that took over Instagram. The man behind this phenomenal success is Murad Osmann, a Russian photographer who took up his passion after failing his engineering exams. His wife and muse Nataly Osmann completes the influencer duo.
Osmann’s signature style is a photo with Nataly leading him towards an exotic location. Their social media account let to a new rage with thousands of users picking up the hashtag to post their own pictures.
Osmann has an Instagram following of over 4.3 million people, while Nataly’s account has a million followers. They are one the most popular travel influencers in the world. They have collaborated with major companies like Macy’s and Samsung, but place great emphasis on quality of content. The couple initially collaborated with international sensations like Michael Kors for free, just to gain more exposure.
After being featured in major publications like National Geographic Traveler, the Osmanns have launched a jewelry brand as well as a clothing line. They have also published a book – “Follow Me To: A Journey around the World Through the Eyes of Two Ordinary Travelers”.
While the couple’s current earnings are not available, Osmann’s net worth is said to be over $2 million. He earns upwards of $6,000 per week. This does not include the royalties from his photo book and their clothing and jewelry lines.
Jack Morris’ journey started when he was a lost 21-year-old in the UK who was fed up with his job. With close to $4,000 in savings, he booked a ticket to Bangkok and never looked back.
What started as a niche Instagram page to finance his travels when he was low on cash, Morris now has close to 3 million followers on the social media platform. Morris now travels with the love of his life, Lauren Bullen, whom he met in 2016. She also has a following of over 2 million on Instagram.
Morris started off with no monetizing in mind for @doyoutravel as it was just a project that was fun for him. However, the offers got better and better and he realized that he had to start accepting them. Now he works with a number of brands and tourism boards, adding his own essence to the content he creates for them. Morris also sells his Lightroom editing presets, which bring him a considerable income.
Morris was featured on Hopper HQ’s ‘Instagram Rich List 2018’ in the field of travel. He maintains that he will collaborate only when he believes in or likes the products that he is promoting. Morris makes about $9,000 for each sponsored post while Bullen makes close to $7,500 for a sponsored Instagram post.
His Lightroom editing presets sell for between approximately $40 and $120 for the mobile versions and $80 and $250 for the desktop versions.
In the end, making money off travel blogs isn’t easy. A lot of hard work and an in-depth understanding of your reader base is required. Bloggers who make tons of money in this realm maintain that quality is king and no amounts of clickbait is going to get you the desired results that are sustainable, especially if you want to make travel blogging your main source of your income. So don’t expect to get rich overnight because none of these bloggers did. Be ready to put in the miles and you’ll be sure to see the rewards pour in eventually.