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As our blog has become more popular (thank-you readers!), the transition from hobby-blogging to pro-blogging is well underway. Suddenly, emails are pouring in asking us how we make money from the website, and how we keep ourselves travelling without (real) jobs.

We figured we should just be upfront with our readers and tell you guys exactly where we’re getting paid and how much, as it’s essentially you, our readers, who have got us to where we are today with Goats On The Road. We’ll try to answer a few of the FAQ’s we’ve received from emails, while shedding a little light on the subject of blogging-to-travel (hopefully, without being too nerdy).

Was Your Plan Always To Make Money From The Blog?

We started the site back in February of 2012 after reading this inspirational post on Onestep4ward.com. At first, we were simply moving over our blogs from our Travelblog.org account, into our newly purchased WordPress site and paid domain. In the back of our minds, we dreamed of profiting from doing what we love, but we didn’t even know what WordPress was and had never heard words like CSS, HTML, and Java scripts (all are geeky web terms, click’m for Wiki-explanations).

If Only...
If Only…

We made countless mistakes during our first year online, which really kept us in the realm of hobby-blogging. While we had always hoped that blogging could turn into a profession, it wasn’t until we moved to China in July of 2012, when we really thought that we could make something of the site.

We began researching how to blog as a business, how to gain a loyal following, how utilize SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and use social media and other tactics to market our content. We contacted Top Bloggers like Nomadic Samuel, The Planet D & Vagabondish to give us a few pointers on the subject. Lucky for us, there is a great pro-blogging community out there that is more than willing to help out newcomers.

blogging community
Thank-you Blogging Community

How Long Did It Take Before You Started Making Money From Blogging?

After countless hours of work in front of the computer screen, we decided it was time to monetize our site. We had been receiving, and politely declining advertisers’ emails for a few months at that point, simply because we didn’t feel that our site was ready.

Shortly before leaving on our epic trip to Central Asia in July of 2013, we decided (with the help of Nomadic Samuel) to start working with a few of the travel-related advertisers who had contacted us in the past.

Blog Money Time

We’ve avoided the temptation of adding distracting, paid banner ads on our website and instead we only advertise in ways that don’t affect our current readership. Most readers don’t mind seeing ads on a site, but we still don’t want to clog the reading experience with any pop-ups, banners or widget ads.

The affiliate you see here is useful for travellers —>

How Many People Read Goats On The Road Each Month?

Well, luckily this question has a pretty cut-and-dry answer. Google Analytics is a statistics program which accurately tracks visitors to our site (and every site on the web). These days, webmasters don’t go by the old term “hits” on the blog, they go by “visitors”, how many people actually visit the site each month.

Below I’ve pasted our Google Analytics page which states that over 23,000 people visited Goats On The Road in October. The average person stayed on the site for 3.5 minutes (which is pretty good considering web-surfers’ attention span) and 73% of all visitors had never seen the site before, meaning that there are plenty of new readers coming in.

Goats On The Road Analytics
Goats On The Road Analytics

UPDATE 2016: This blog now sees around 100,000 unique visitors / month.

How Do You Earn Income From The Blog?

Advertisers generally contact us with a brand and they write articles about these brands to post on Goats On The Road. These articles are screened, reviewed and posted on our site for search engines only. We don’t generally offer these articles to our readers because we don’t want to clog our own content with sponsored, or paid posts.

We only offer the articles to our readers if we believe the content is outstanding. Otherwise, it simply goes into our feed and counts as a link for the advertising client we posted it for.

These types of articles typically pay anywhere from $60 to $300 so they have been helping us to support our travel addiction along the way.

Make_Money_BloggingAnother source of income from the site has been affiliate links. These are links throughout the site linking to booking.com , HostelWorld.comworldnomads.com and more. If our readers purchase a visa, hotel stay or travel insurance through one of these links, we receive a commission, while our readers don’t pay a cent extra. It’s a win-win for everyone!

We have plenty of other money-making strategies in the works, but the business aspect of the website is completely separate to our story, our blogs and our information. We will always put our content first and ensure that there are helpful, inspirational and interesting articles on Goats On The Road. Our goal is to write posts that people enjoy!

UPDATE 2016: We now also consult, manage social media, sell ebooks and do paid press trips.

How Many Hours Do You Spend Blogging?

This also varies depending on how much travelling we’re doing at the time, and how good the internet is! Typically, while not travelling we spend upwards of 25 hours / week on the blog. While on the road this number is closer to 15-20, depending on how fast we’re travelling. We’re trying very hard to create a balance between backpacking and making money online, but we’re still learning. We enjoy the work so much, that we sometimes have to peel ourselves away from the computers.

How Much Money Do You Make From The Blog?

Ah, the big question! This is a hard one to answer because, as with many self-employed workers, it can fluctuate dramatically each month. This month, we’re closing in on the $2,500 mark, which is fantastic! It may not sound like a career wage for a couple from a Western country, but our living expenses are quite low while travelling. For the first time ever, this month will be a financially sustainable month of travel.

UPDATE 2016: This blog now earns around $10,000 USD / month after tax. Click Here to start your own money making blog today and we’ll give you our blogging ebook 100% free so you can learn from our successes!

make-money-blogging-3-300x257This is still just the beginning of monetizing the site. Another way bloggers like That Backpacker and Global Grasshopper support travel is to go on press trips. Typically these can include all expenses paid travel in return for writing some articles and making videos about the trip. Our blogging friends have done some amazing things on these types of trips and we’re still learning from them when it comes to this part of the blogging business. Hopefully, one day soon you’ll see an article on our site about our free trip to a floating resort in the Maldives like our friends at Beers and Beans went on this year.

We really have to take our hats off to our readers though, who have helped to keep us motivated with comments, emails and social shares, while also helping us to reach the point where we are now. We appreciate every hit on our blog!

Sharing helps us… Share this post now?

[ssba]

In Closing…

Goats On The Road is about us, our story, our experiences and our desire to share it all with others. We want to help other people to travel but also make money doing what they love. As our site progresses, it is transforming from a backpacking site, to a lifestyle design resource. In the coming months, there will be more information on not just “dropping everything to travel”, but living a sustainable life that makes you happy. We’ve found plenty of new ways to make money on the road, as well as to travel for free and we’ll be sharing our findings here.

If you have any questions about starting, running and profiting from blogs, feel free to email us, or ask us a question in the comments below. And keep your eye out for more information on making money while on the road, here on Goats On The Road.

UPDATE 2015: We’re happy to say that our blog is continuing to grow and now we’ve had months where we’ve made over $5,000 from this blog. It’s not all about the money though, and we still genuinely love connecting with people, learning from others and sharing our travel dreams with the world. Thanks everyone!

UPDATE 2016: This blog and the other income streams that stem from it now earn around $10,000 USD / month after tax.

Are you considering starting a blog? Do you have a blog and want to add something? Please comment below!



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Goats On The Road is a website designed to show people how to turn travel into a lifestyle. We cover everything from how to save money to travel tips, travel hacks and how to make money on the road. Follow us as we travel the world and share our findings with you.

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73 thoughts on “Keeping The Goats On The Road: How Much Money Does This Blog Make?

  1. Love your honesty in this post and the whole site! It’s great to read how you guys are making your dream lifestyle financially sustainable by monetizing the blog, and even cooler that you’re willing to help others who want to do the same. Congrats on the first month of more than breaking even! You two are an inspiration!

    1. Thanks Jen! We decided to just be transparent with earnings and we’ve been getting a great response from it. Online employment can be perfect for anyone who wants to live location independent and we’re hoping to see more posts like this online so we can learn from other bloggers as well! When you guys decide to monetize your blog let us know! Hopefully we can help you out.

      Cheers.

  2. Inspirational and honest read. We are in the process of figuring this all out. We have been getting contacted by advertisers more and more as of late. We kind of feel how you both did (not being ready for ads), but you have shown us a way to do it without really turning readers away.

    Thanks for the honesty! Retweeting this for sure 🙂

    Best of luck!

    1. Hey Chris and Angela, thanks for the comment and the Retweet!

      Checked out your blog and really like your story. Sounds similar to us! Good for you guys for finding something you enjoy and following it.

      If you’d like to share advertising contacts, shoot us an email and maybe we can help each other out.

      Good luck with monetization and keep up the good work on the blog/lifestyle!

  3. Thank you I have been trying to work out the money thing for a while and you have explained it really well. My problem is I am not sure whether I want to comitt to being a professional blogger although the extra money could
    Boost our travels. I suppose we will hit the road and see how it pans out.

    1. Hey Michele,

      Thanks for the comment. I like your plan… don’t commit to anything. Just write, photograph and blog because you enjoy it and if it’s something you’re passionate about then good things will come.

      Happy blogging and thanks for reading.

  4. Hi Guys

    Thankyou so much for sharing this information, and being brutally honest about it.

    I have a dream of turning my love for adventure and writing about it into my full time job (but it wouldn’t really be a job then would it?!) and yes, I have a long way to go 🙂

    Congrats on your hard work paying off, especially for the achievement of a sustainable month – you must be really chuffed!

    Off to share this great post now.

    Cheers
    Anna

    1. Hey Anna,

      Thanks for the comment and the share. We’re definitely “chuffed”! Love that word haha.

      We are still learning how to improve the blog and despite the sustainable month, we still have a long way to go too! I think part of the reason that blogging is so great is because we all can help each other and keep learning along the way.

      I tried to check out your blog but I can’t access it from Iran for some reason. I’ll check it out when we depart though!

      Thanks again for reading and happy blogging!

    1. Hey Kimmy,

      Thanks for the comment and glad we could help. We also love reading about other blogs and how they monetize. One of the best blogs for this (and a blog which has made a great business) is A Couples Travellers. They’re very transparent and they are making a very good living from blogging. Check’m out here:
      http://acoupletravelers.com/couple-travelers-numbers-september13-income/

      Thanks again for commenting and good luck in the blogosphere!

  5. Thank you for posting this! It’s always great to see the transparency and honesty of a travel blogger when it comes to monetizing. We just started blogging less than 6 months ago and I love your blog and admire it greatly! We hope to be as successful as you guys to be able to travel and have the blog support that passion. Great job guys and look forward to seeing more of your posts!

    1. Wow Samantha, Thanks for the comment and compliments! We had a lot of help from bloggers we admire and it feels good to have readers appreciate our articles so much!
      I checked out the post in the commentluv above and looks like you guys are well on your way! Great photography!

      Thanks for reading and we’ll be following your journeys as well. Contact us when you’re ready to monetize and we can help each other out!

      Happy blogging.

  6. Good post! Always love reading your posts because of the off-the-beaten-path places you visit. I’m also new to having a website. Wondering; did the traffic grow gradually or did it suddenly bounce at a certain point? Also, did you have a certain strategy for gaining traffic, or did you just plug away at building links and contacts through social media? Just wondering if you have one key tip to share with newbies.
    Frank (bbqboy)

    1. Hey Frank,

      Thanks for the comment! We did have a sudden jump in traffic because we took Adam Costa’s advice and set out many Guest Posts all on the same day. I think we had 12 go out on other blogs, and had a couple of collaborative posts on GOTR at the same time. The boost was about 30% and it stayed. I’d have to give you Adam Costa’s tip and say to go for that approach as it can really create a buzz.

      Other than that, we just had to wait for google to recognize us a bit, and that took a couple of years. Building links naturally and commenting a lot definitely helps, especially if your comments link back to a very useful resource that people are likely to link to from they’re own sites.

      Hope this helps!

      Cheers.

      ps… we’re all newbies!

  7. It’s always interesting to read how other bloggers are professionalizing their blogs.
    I think I’m going to shoot you guys an email with some questions:-)

  8. Wow, what a great insight. You guys are doing really well and I’m impressed with the level of income. I’ve been blogging for just over a year and after costs may make a few hundred in the year, not month.

    Like Sofie I’d love some tips from you guys.

    1. Hey Guy,

      Send us an email and we’ll see if we can help! After a year of blogging, we hadn’t made more than a couple hundred either so there’s no rush! Looks like you’re on the right track.

      Cheers.

  9. Thank you for this post! I am always wondering about how bloggers make money/how much money they make. Sometimes I will see a blogger admit to making xxx amount. But it is still not clear to me HOW they made the money. You were crystal clear about that.

    1. Hey Jennifer,

      Thanks for the comment. We too like to read about how other bloggers monetize. It helps everyone to get a better grasp on the blogosphere as a whole and how to make money from it.

      Check out the link in comment #10 for another great, transparent money earning blog.

      Thank you for reading.

  10. Thanks for the information, very helpful!

    Question about affiliates… Do you use an affiliate network like Rakuten Linkshare or do you go direct to hostelword, etc? Pros/Cons?

    Thanks!

    1. Hey Brandon,

      We personally went through the affiliate parners’ programs directly. Hadn’t heard about Rakuten Linkshare but maybe something we should look into.

      Our best affiliate has been World Nomads Travel Insurance but they’ve only paid us a few hundred this year.

      Cheers and thanks for the comment.

  11. I feel like I can write ditto to all of the above, I am 9 months into my site. I will be following you because I don’t think we will travel out of the country. I want to see all of the USA.

    Thanks and God bless
    Kymee ;o)

    1. Hey Kymee,

      That’s impressive for 9 months. We were still nowhere after a year, Good for you!
      The US is a BIG place, but the world is out there… If you stay in the USA, you’ll definitely have your niche locked down though!

      Enjoy blogging and American travel.
      Cheers.

  12. I found you through the CBN3 Triberr group. Thanks so much for this awesome post and for being so open with this info. I am also trying to figure this stuff out, and this was really helpful and inspiring. Enjoy your travels – looking forward to hearing more about them!

  13. Great article, and inspiring for someone like me who doesn’t know what she’s doing! I started my blog as a creative outlet after I lost a job that I really loved. It’s been two years now, my blog is not very well-known, and it’s time to either get serious about making money with it, or get a real job that will make me miserable. But my blog has a very small audience due to its content. How can I expand my audience, and the information on my blog, within the constraints of writing just about outdoor Michigan? I don’t travel anywhere else, and I only travel a few times a year. What else can I write about while still keeping the blog focused on stories from the road? I feel like my blog is quite stagnant at this point, and I want to do more, but have no direction. Thoughts?

    1. Hey Kiki,

      We really want to help you out but first we need to access your blog and review it. It’s not letting us access it from Iran so we’ll have to wait I’m sorry. Please be patient and shoot us an email at the start of December and we’ll be more than happy to try’n give you a hand with your blog.
      I think as bloggers we’re always our hardest critics, so don’t think that you’re blog is stagnant. I’m sure your readers are enjoying it and find it interesting.

      We’ll talk soon.

      Thanks.

  14. Hello Nick & Dariece,
    Just read your post and you couldn’t have posted it at a better time for me as I was struggling to understand sponsored posts and you answered all my questions, thankyou 🙂 I would one day like to get my blog and some other ideas up and running so that I too can travel for long periods of time. It’s hard work though but I am passionate and determined and eager to learn!
    Thankyou for your support in sharing my content, I really appreciate it 🙂 Would you guys like to feature in a post on Roaming Cooking?
    Cheers,
    Jacqui

    1. Hey Jacqui!

      You’re right, blogging full time can definitely be hard work, but if you’re passionate about it, then it doesn’t really feel like work, does it?! Let us know if you have any questions, we’d be happy to help 🙂

      We’ll email you regarding posting on your site.

      Cheers!

  15. Just discovered your excellent site via Wild Junket – we’re in the selling-everything-up phase at the moment ahead of an initial 18 month trip to Asia next year and this post has been great food for thought on how we might turn our travelling into a way of life. So thanks for sharing and inspiring!

  16. I absolutely love your honesty.

    There are literally thousands of travel blogs out there, but some really stand out, like yours, probably because it feels real and people can connect with the two of you. I found it accidentally while searching for info about Kazakystan on youtube (nice videos by the way!) and I’m really glad I did.

    Keep on the good work and loving what you’re doing!

      1. I started to get a lot of traffic in a ridiculous short amount of time, from google+, from my efforts to make the blog visible and specially after I became a contributor writer for the Thought Catalog and Happy Cow website. I never focused on FB till a few days ago, it seems to make a difference to have a fb active page or not.

        Last but not least, google search engine hates me, hahaha I get maybe 2 or 3 people coming from search engines and a few thousand from guest posts. I wonder if google will ever fall in love with me 🙂

        1. Hey Yara, Google will start loving you once your social presence is high, your domain name has been around for awhile and once you have lots of links coming back to your site. Don’t worry, you’ll get there!

          That’s great that you’re writing for Thought Catalog and Happy Cow and that you’re getting some traffic from them, well done 🙂

  17. Hi! Just came across your blog as I was googling “Top 10 Southeast Asian Destinations.” I’m a full-time musician taking off in February for 5 months with my two daughters (ages 19 and 8)…we’re beginning our trip in Bali, and will be traveling to Laos, Cambodia, and Vietnam. I’ve been blogging purely for friends as we go through the long painful process of subletting our home and figuring out just how to drop everything and roll…I’ve had many friends insist that I continue writing and figure a way to make a living, but it’s pretty overwhelming. I appreciate your transparency and practical suggestions, and would welcome any advice you’re willing to share! Buen camino!

  18. Some good inspiration here, thanks! Sometimes if my readers don’t engage with what I’m writing I tend to think nobody cares even though my stats tell me they do, so I’m working on making my site more reader-friendly before I monetise. Thanks for the honesty!

    1. We used to think that as well! I think it’s important to have an easy-use comment section as well as maybe Comment Luv. It’s such a great feeling to have feedback from our readers.

      Thanks so much for commenting and good luck with your blog 🙂

  19. I think the responses to the comments helped me just as much as the very transparent post did! Thank you so much for sharing. I have been blogging for almost a year with no earnings and am still trying to find my way so information like this is always helpful. I think first I need to increase my readership!
    I enjoy your blog and will continue to follow along, very inspirational.

    1. The reader comments are definitely useful as well. There are some really inspirational bloggers out there and we love to hear from everyone. Keep up the hard work and I’m sure you’ll gain readership 🙂

      Happy blogging.

  20. Your story is incredibly inspiring. I’ve just started to blog, about a month back on my travelling adventures with the sole focus of engaging in a regular writing habit. I am loving it so much even though it’s a lot of hard work, given that I’m currently employed full-time. It’s a long way to go before I can start thinking about monetizing my blog but this post was crystal clear and will be definitely helpful for that distant dreamy day =)

  21. I have just discovered your blog while eagerly plan mine and my girlfriend’s travels at the end of this year and I love it! We are going to start a blog to document our travels and things, I’ve found I just can’t stop reading any and all blogs, even the same topic over and over again! Very inspiring to know that doing something you love can help the travels too. I am a qualified teacher and my girlfriend has a TEFL qualification so we are hoping to find somewhere to settle and earn some money too 🙂

    1. Hey Sophie! You should have no problem finding work somewhere with qualifications like those. Isn’t it exciting and inspiring to read about other people’s travels when you’re planning a trip? We did that for our first 2 trips, and still continue it today 🙂

      Happy travels!

  22. Great new look and nice article about blogging.

    We’ve purchased our wordpress theme and URL and now struggling with getting it going. Technical stuff like posting articles in pages and trying to get the site to do what we want is holding us up (stuff is difficult for non-geek types like us). Eventually we’d like to moneitize the site, but not till we understand the system better.

    Thanks
    CascadeBob

    1. It’s definitely hard at first! We made a lot of mistakes and had to do a ton of online research just to figure out the smallest thing. Don’t worry, it’ll come. We aren’t computer people (correction: we weren’t computer people!) and we sorted it out.

      Good luck!

  23. Hi Nick and Dariece, i have enjoyed reading your blog and this post in particular was interesting. Our family is planning a year off to live overseas next year, and I have been maintaining a blog for a number of years covering our many travel adventures as well as our unique lifestyle at home. So its time to start considering monetizing the blog and looking at other opportunities to supplement our savings!

    1. Hi Rick,

      Travel blogging and writing can definitely be a great way to support your travels. We haven’t made millions (yet!) but it’s been a away for us to cover most of our travel costs, which is awesome 🙂

      Good luck and happy travels!

  24. Hey guys- been following you for a while, but first time commenting! We’ve had a few advertisers reach out to us with similar propositions, so I was wondering what you thought of the new google updates? Do you think posting sponsored articles will hurt your blog?

    Thx!
    Lina

  25. Thank you so much for sharing so openly about what you do on this blog; it has been a most inspiring read. Doing it alone here, it has been quite hectic at time and a lot of exploration. I have so much to learn from both of you!

  26. Hi there! Your site is so informative and fun! I’m thinking about starting a blog but have no clue about WordPress it seems scary! How would you recommend learning on your own? I also heard Blogger is good and more simple? Any help is much appreciated!!

    All the best on your adventures!

    Sarah

    1. HI Sarah,

      Thanks for the kind words about our site 🙂

      Check out wordpress for dummies, or online tutorials on YouTube. We didn’t know anything either and just learned that way…if we can do it, you can too. I’ve never heard of Blogger, so I’m not sure about that one.

      Good luck.

  27. Thanks for the honest post! We are earning our living now in the beautiful country of Mongolia. We read about your adventures here. Thanks for all your posted tips and tricks regarding monetizing your blog. All things we are considering when we think about leaping from serious hobby blogger to professional blogger. In the meantime, we are enjoying all the seasons of Mongolia. We are glad to see it was a top destination for you!

    Greetings from the coldest capital in the world!
    Jack and Barbra Donachy

    1. Hey guys!

      Thank you so much for the kind words. Greetings from Mexico…where it’s nice and hot right now – not to rub it in or anything 😉

      We loved Mongolia!! I’m assuming you’re in UB? Such an incredible place to travel, that’s awesome that you get to live there! Good luck to you both and happy blogging!

  28. Thanks for the honesty guys. It’s really helpful to understand what you guys are doing to monetise the blog and so thanks for sharing. And thanks for the great content!

  29. Hey Goats, your blog has been so inspiring for us when we started travelling. We are still at the beginning of it all and find it extremely hard and time consuming but we love it ! I praise the day when we can make 2500$ / month. But it might take us a couple of hundred years…

  30. Great information here, thank you! We’ve had our travel blog up and running for several months now, so we’re excited to implement some of the thoughts you’ve explained here!

  31. What a terrific article! Your simplistic and straight forward approach helped clarify some questions and broaden my horizons, well done!

    I’m relocating to tge Philippines soon. So I guess I’m not technically a Goat this trip. I expect to be there 7-12 months, maybe more.

    I hope to start a blog to help fellow ExPats demystify the process and offer many resourceful articles on the ins & outs of migrating and thriving in PHIL.

    I now have the confidence to do just that!

    Thank you,

  32. Man you guys are awesome! I have you bookmarked on my mobile device and check it every day for new stuff. Lots of great stories and travel inspiration! But my question is…..how did you get your blog out there and noticed? I just started a sports blog that launched a month ago and am wondering what the steps are to getting it into the world. It’s mostly been friends and family and whoever we can contact face to face that have seen it. We’re on social media but that’s a work in progress! Any advice or mentorship is greatly appreciated!

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