(Last updated on: 31/08/2021)
Travel influencer income is a topic that everyone has been wondering about. Working as a ‘Travel Influencer’ has become a very popular career choice or part-time gig. But how much can you earn in this line of work? Can you really make enough money to live on by posting pictures of yourself on a beach in the Maldives or writing about the hotel that you stayed in in Jordan?
The answer? Yes!
The reality? Most of us don’t…
This is just one of the things that I examined in my recent research project investigating the profiles of influencers working in the area of travel and tourism. Whilst you might find a little bit of data on the Internet about aspects such as how much to charge for a ‘do-follow’ link or whether an influencer should be full time or part time, the majority of this is not actually based on credible research. Instead, it is based on the personal experiences of ‘influencers’ and their immediate connections. Whilst I by no means wish to discredit their claims or suggest that there is any distruth in them, they are simply not credible and reliable pieces of research.
My research is the first of its kind, undertaken by myself (a Senior Lecturer at a UK university and a colleague of mine, also an SL based in the UK). I make no claims that the work is exhaustive, nor perfect. But it does shed light on a topic about which many people are asking a lot of questions. You can download a full copy of the preliminary research report here. In this series of blog posts, I intend to answer some of these questions. Today, I address the issue of ‘travel influencer income: how much can I earn?’.
What’s the maximum I can earn as a Travel Influencer?
Like any salary, travel influencer income varies widely. However, my research identified that, for those who took part in my survey, the highest income was a whopping £30,000 a month! Wow, wouldn’t that be a dream come true!?
Out of 255 people who took part in the research, two respondents indicated that their salary averages out at approximately £30,000 per month. Both of these were men, which contributes largely to the statistic that male influencers earn 6x more than female influencers do. For more on this, you can download the full research report here.
Of course, this figure is based only on the samples that were involved in my research. The actual maximum amount earned may well be higher! I recently read that Aggie from Travel in Her Shoes made almost a quarter of a million dollars with the initial release of her online course. Now, I don’t know the exact time frame for this, it may have been over a month – but these were pre-release sales so it must have been cash that was made fairly quickly!
Travel Influencer income CAN be a lot, but that doesn’t mean that this is the case for most of us!
You might also be interested in my post- ‘What is a Travel Influencer? Travel influencer Defined’
What’s the average Travel Influencer income?
If we want to be realistic about it, we should probably pay closer attention to averages, as opposed to the maximum income potential for a Travel Influencer.
In my research, 68% of Travel Influencers were happy to provide approximate details of their monthly income. This worked out that the average Travel Influencer income was £1100 per month.
Now you might be a little put off by that figure. Contrary to many beliefs, being a Travel Influencer is actually hard work! It definitely is not sipping cocktails on a beach all day long. It’s taking and editing photos, building your social media profile, writing blog posts, developing a marketing strategy, writing e-books, creating online courses etc. Being a Travel Influencer can most definitely fill a 40 hour work week, albeit from the poolside of a fancy hotel or on the bus on the way back from an organised tour.
So why is the average Travel Influencer income so low?
Well, unfortunately, this is an area that I did not delve into as much as I should have, in hindsight. But there is always room for more research…. What I can tell you for now, is that most Travel Influencers actually work only part time and that there is no correlation between salaries and part time versus full time hours. By that I mean that my research did not show that the full time Travel Influencer income is higher than the part time Travel Influencer income, as you might expect. So there’s some good news there. I wish I had asked how many hours the influencers put in to be able to calculate an average hourly rate, but I didn’t… hindsight is a wonderful thing…
What is worth noting, however, is that the difference between the top earners and the bottom earners was very large. The highest paid influencers received between £5000- £30,000 each month which equated to only 3.5% of travel influencers. So, whilst there is the potential to earn some serious bucks, most of us don’t!
You might also be interested in my post- ‘How much can I charge for a ‘do-follow’ link?’
How can I earn more as a Travel Influencer?
It seems that there is no exact science to making money as an influencer. However, there are some people who have been very successful who have offered to share some of their wisdom- how very kind of them!
If you’re looking for specific methods of monetising your influencer business I highly recommend you take a course and learn from some of the best. My first recommendation is Nomadic Matt’s Superstar Blogging. Matt has a super successful travel blog and has lots of tips and advice that he can teach us (I am actually still working my way through this 10 week course). Superstar Blogging is a comprehensive course that walks you through all of the stages of turning your blog into a successful business. It is perfect for beginners and more established bloggers (like me). Matt provides lots of details about his course with student reviews etc here- Superstar Blogging.
I have also been working my way through Elna’s course called Ready Set Blog for Traffic. This is a shorter (and cheaper!) course with a totally different focus. It addresses the two main areas of SEO (search engine optimisation) and Pinterest. When I started my blog back in 2011 SEO wasn’t really a thing and until recently I had never dabbled with Pinterest. I have since found that these are two fantastic ways of driving traffic to your website and I have doubled my traffic in the past few weeks since starting her course! It is pretty generic so suitable for any type of influencer, whatever your niche. You can read more about her course here- Ready Set Blog Traffic.
You might also be interested in my post- How to earn £30,000 per month as an influencer | Influencer Income
My final recommendation is the book Influence: The Psychology of Persuasion. This gives an excellent overview of the methods that you can use to influence and it is highly recommended amongst many successful influencers! You can find the book on Amazon here.
For a detailed look at the figures and how I have come to these main findings, feel free to download a copy of the full report. I hope you enjoy reading through the findings and please do let me know if you have any further questions- drop your comments below or send me an e-mail.