So making money by blogging is easy, right?

I mean there are a lot of people killing it out there. All you need to do is write a bunch of content, apply for AdSense and just wait for the cash to start flowing.
And doing it with a travel blog is even easier, right?
Who doesn’t like to travel? The audience is huge there.

Easy money right?

Not even close.
You can only make money by running a blog but it’s far from an easy task.

You first and possibly your biggest struggle will be building an audience and bringing traffic numbers up to a point where you can start thinking about monetizing. Traffic is key. Creating high-quality content that is relevant and helpful to your audience and working hard to increase your following is where your focus should be.

You out there that have been blogging for a while know what I am talking about.
And if you’ve got to the point where monetizing is next in line, then let me share some cool ideas that can help you out.

 Affiliate Marketing

Nothing new here I know.
It’s just what first comes to mind when travel blog monetization comes in question. With a good reason as well. It just works.

What are the best practices here?

Maybe with the hope that someone will click on them. It doesn’t work well and is counterproductive as the reader is not stupid and will find it annoying. Always place relevant, useful deep links. Banners don’t convert as well as links.

Don’t put an affiliate simply because other bloggers are making money with it. Your blog and your audience might be different and it might not perform in the same way.

You are already using affiliates, but you’re not seeing much monetary return? Have a deeper look at your best articles and keep trying new affiliates. It took me a while to make it work, but when I finally found the right ones, they became a steady source of income.

Native Widget Advertising

Native advertising has been on the rise lately.
Native advertising is a form of advertising which blends with the content so as to give the ads a look as close as possible to the website design.
It all comes down to the fact that native ads blend in with the content that is already displayed on your website. This is a look that offers the viewer much less resistance than it does with a traditional banner advertisement.

Here are some stats for you:
Consumers are 25% more likely to engage with a native ad when compared to a traditional banner advertisement.
53% of native ad engagement is positive
Native ads also have a higher click-through rate that display ads and maybe most importantly they have the tendency to get past ad blockers. Which is huge IMO.

So, if “ads” like monetization is what you are after Smart Native Widgets is what you need.
They just bring so much more to the table that the question in 2016 is not whether to use “display” or “native” but what native widgets should I use.

You can find a lot of cool smart widgets that would probably fit perfectly on a travel blog.
Monetization Toolbars is a valid solution.
There are even “travel price quotes” widgets available which I know you’ll love.
The list goes on. Native ads are just a must for your Travel Blog.

Sponsored posts

Last but not least.

Sponsored posts.

This is one of the most popular monetization strategies for bloggers and absolutely one of the best ways to earn good money with your travel blog.

This is how it works.

The advertisers who pay you to place a link or an article written by them on your travel blog. The reason behind this can be exposure or visibility, call it as you will or they might be doing it for SEO purposes.I bet you don’t care why they do it.

The price level behind the Sponsored post depends much on the DA and Page Rang your website has and on the traffic it generated. This is pretty much true for most monetization strategies.
This is a good one as good money can be made but you need to be careful. If you depend on Google (we all do to some extent) for traffic generation, you better be aware that Google does not like this kind of online behavior at all.
Buying and Selling links are a practice they disapprove, and there are a lot of websites that have been hit with penalties for this kind of sketchy behavior.
So don’t overdo it. Make it look natural and editorially given for both yours and the advertiser’s sake.

When exposure and referral traffic is what the advertiser is after make sure you slap a “no follow” tag on the links back to the advertiser’s website. This way you are telling google not to pass link equity to the website in question and this actions speaks to the point that the article is not published with the sole goal of manipulating search engines.

Ok, there it is.
Top 3 travel blog monetization ideas in 2016 according to my humble opinion.