Our Journey to a Six-Figure Online Business

Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

When we first started this blog back on February 17, 2012, we had no idea what it would become. Our initial goal was simply to earn $1,500USD per month from the blog, which would’ve been just enough to cover our expenses at the time, so that we could travel in a financially sustainable way.

Even that seemed like an unattainable goal when we knew nothing about WordPress, css, SEO, HTML, marketing or website design.

A couple of years later, as the blog started to grow, we heard of a few other travel bloggers who were earning six figures per year from their blogs. These “six figure travel bloggers” became our mentors (without them knowing it in most cases) and we set our sights on the goal of earning $100K USD per year from our travel blog.

Disclaimer: GoatsOnTheRoad.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, as an Amazon Associate we earn from qualifying purchases. Please see our Privacy Page for more information.

UPDATE 2022: Our blogs currently earn between $15-$35,000 per month through affiliate marketing, ads and press partnerships. 
travel blogging conference in istanbul
Deb from ThePlanetD, one of our mentors in the beginning, and still is

At the time, the dream seemed distant and near-impossible. After a full year of working on Goats On The Road, we were only making around $1,000 per month, so it seemed that we had set the bar too high. Instead of focusing on the massive task of building a six-figure business, we started smaller and focused on other milestones first. Milestones like reaching 30,000 unique visitors per month, getting seen on big media like CNN and Lonely Planet and earning enough to at least be sustainable.

Want more travel job ideas? Check out our epic list of Travel Jobs that can earn you money while you’re on the road!

Surprisingly though, just 5 years after starting our blog, we reached our goal. 2016 was the first year that we made over $100,000 USD from our blog and online business and in 2017 we’re projecting an even higher income.

So why am I telling you this? Am I writing this post to brag?


If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ll know that we’re always 100% transparent with our income, not to show off, but to show others.

Relevant Reading: The Washington Post on Why it’s Taboo to Talk Income & How This Taboo Effects Income Equality

We tell people all the time that learning how to start a travel blog was the best thing that we’ve ever done and everyone should follow in our footsteps. But why should you invest your time and money into starting your own blog if you have no idea what its potential can be?

It’s like if I was trying to convince you to invest in a stock, but I gave you no statistics, projections or hard data to back up my claims for an upside and help you make the decision. I’d be a pretty poor stockbroker wouldn’t I?

We’re transparent about our income so that we can inspire others to start a blog and live this lifestyle too. The fact that it’s taboo to talk about money in western society isn’t lost on us. It’s so ingrained in us that it still feels strange to talk about salary online. But clarity is the key to showing others what is financially possible in this industry.

Too many people still believe that travel blogging is nothing more than a hobby and that you can’t earn real money from it. Even a lot of travel bloggers still have full-time jobs because they don’t have faith that they can earn enough from their blogs.

That’s not true. If more bloggers were clear about their income, then more people could hop on the train and enjoy this life. This industry has exploded over the past decade and there are many people making a great income from blogging.

hiking the valle de cocora in salento colombia

In this article I’m going to be completely clear not just about the overall income of our blog, but exactly where we earn it from and how much work it took to get this far.

Ever since we made our very first dollar from blogging, I’ve kept extremely detailed Google Spreadsheets to track our income and our progress. I’ve broken the charts down into categories and I’m going to use this historical data to show you our journey to a six-figure blog, from the first penny to today.

See Also: From Hobby To Career: The Complete Evolution of Our Blog

You’ll notice from the data in this post that around 52% of our income is earned directly on the Goats On The Road blog, while the remainder is earned through a side content creation and blog management venture. All of our income streams are deeply integrated into Goats On The Road and in many cases, the earnings from those outside sources also include promotion on this blog and its social media channels. The two are so intertwined that we consider all of it as profit for Goats On The Road. More on this later in the post.

Our Introduction To Blogging

It was on December 22 of 2011 when we first heard about travel bloggers earning an income. We were sitting at an internet cafe in New Delhi India at the time (as people did back in 2011), escaping the heat and surfing around looking for flights.

Back then, I was the planner (nowadays Dariece does more of the travel planning), so I was searching around looking for flights and trains to get us around India. Suddenly Dariece said:

“Nick come here. You gotta see this.”

She was reading This Post by Johnny Ward of OneStep4Ward and in it, he explains how he earned $3,000 per month from blogging. $3,000 per month! That was more than double what we were spending to travel around the world on a budget at the time.

“You have to start a travel blog for us.” Dariece exclaimed, seemingly oblivious to the fact that I knew nothing about web hosting, website design or WordPress. She knew that I was the nerdier one of the two of us and I could get it figured out.

We chose our travel blog name and a few months later we started our blog on the island of Koh Phangan in Thailand. Looking back now, that was easily the biggest turning point in both of our lives.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: It’s never too late to start a blog. If you have an interest that you’re passionate about, start a blog today and see where it takes you.

We Almost Quit

After spending hours upon hours adding photos, writing articles, creating pages, editing menus and designing our blog, we were still hardly getting any traffic and nobody really cared. It was partly because most of our blog posts were just diary entries, partly because there wasn’t as much online blog help as there is today, and partly because we were terrible writers and photographers.

Like many bloggers, we were ready to give up… or at least I was.

Dariece kept up with the blog, while I pretty much quit at one point. We were teaching English in China at the time and I felt busy enough with the job and figured that the blog was going to die out anyway. Then, one day we had a big boost in traffic. 200 page views in a day!

That sparked something in me to keep going, but over the years there have been numerous times when the blog has felt stagnant and we weren’t sure if we could continue.

We stuck with it and today, the blog is our sole income source and affords us a life of full-time travel and experiences. This is why my biggest tip for all new bloggers is to stick with it. At times, it will feel like you’re not getting any traffic, or you can’t write, or you’re not getting any social media followers. That’s just the way it goes!

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: It takes an incredibly long time to get started and it can feel like an eternity when you have doubts in your mind. Believe in your blog, keep learning, growing and expanding. If you put in the effort and stick with it, it will turn into something.

The First Penny

The very first money we ever earned from Goats On The Road was on December 6th, 2012 just nine and a half months after starting the blog. Dariece and I decided to open a little shop on Goats On The Road where we sold some T-shirts, calendars, notepads and pens with our logo on them.

Back then, only family and friends were reading our blog, but they generously purchased some items that amounted to $588 by the end of the month.

We don’t really count that as our first blogging income though, mainly because it was all friends and family feeling bad for us bumming around the world. 😀

The first month that we count our income is when we joined an advertising Facebook group with some other bloggers and started earning some real ad revenue. That was in June of 2013, at the time we had 9,840 unique visitors in the month and we managed to earn $508.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: Even though we only sold products to our friends and family, it gave us a bit of an extra push to grow the blog further. Don’t be afraid to create products and try to earn some money even before you have a real following. You can learn a lot from opening a shop and understanding the logistics of earning income online.

Annual Income Breakdown

Our traffic, our newsletter subscribers, our social media following and our online presence has all gone up by the end of 2013, and with them, our income.

But the real breakthrough for our blog came in 2016 when we decided to scale parts of our business and really treat Goats On The Road like a company. You can see from the data below that our income has increased by 100-300% year after year until 2017. I’ve only estimated our income for 2017 based on a projection of our year-to-date revenue, so who knows, maybe it’ll be another 100-300% increase by the end of the year (fingers crossed 😀).

Hopefully by showing you this progression of revenue, you can get an idea of how long it takes to build a blog. Keep in mind that we knew nothing about blogging when we started and we took a few months off from the blog in the first year (a big no-no if you want to grow quickly).

  • 2012 Income: $0
  • 2013 Income: $8,264
  • 2014 Income: $23,248
  • 2015 Income: $55,318
  • 2016 Income: $103,635
  • 2017 Projection: $144,400

Annual Income Breakdown 2013 - 2017

In 2014 we started to become sustainable with our income averaging $2,000 per month. This was fantastic for us at the time, especially because we were house sitting and therefore getting free accommodation to keep our costs down.

While we were in Grenada house sitting, our goal was to make it to $5,000 per month, which we managed to do by the end of 2014. Our income stayed around that level for more than a year, until we finally we had a breakthrough in 2016.

As our income changed, so too did our travel style. We found that we no longer wanted to stay in dirty double rooms with shared bathrooms and found ourselves opting for more expensive private bathroom double rooms in more boutique-style hotels. We still stay in hostels from time to time because we love the vibe, but if we’re not in a hotel or apartment, we always opt for the best room in a newer hostel.

successful travel blogger

We still love to have local experiences, eat local food and support local communities as we’ve always done, but we quickly realized that backpacking on a budget is great, but this is our life and if it’s going to be sustainable for decades to come, then we need to be comfortable.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: As your business and income grows, feel free to grow with it. If you love $4 / night places and you think it’s sustainable to live in them long-term, great! But if you value your comfort, you should consider changing your travel style as your finances grow.

Hiring Help

Midway through 2016 we were starting to feel overwhelmed with the work that we had. We managed to get many clients on board with our side venture of helping other companies to grow their blogs and social media. But we had so much work to do that we couldn’t take on new clients, even if they were contacting us and offering us money.

We already had VAs (virtual assistants) for over a year at this point, but we mostly had them doing work on our own site. It was time that we hired writers and employees who we could train to help us with other aspects of our business.

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This was a real financial breakthrough for us and it allowed us to take on more work and scale the business. In June of 2016 we had six employees hired on Goats On The Road and we hit our first five-figure month. We were over the moon about it and because we had grown this income from sources that were paying us consistently, we were confident that we could continue to earn $10,000 per month or more, every month.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: Hiring people to scale your business and help you grow is essential to expanding an online business. As soon as you have some extra income coming in from your blog, you should hire people to help you, either with tasks on your own blog and social media, or for your work with other companies.


As with all companies, Goats On The Road does have overhead expenses that seem to grow with our income over time. Currently we pay our writers and our VAs, we have an advertising budget, we pay a lot for hosting, email marketing, web design, keyword research and developement and some social tools as well.

Back in 2013 when we first started earning income, our overhead was next to nothing. But at that time we were doing everything ourselves. With a business like this one, run by only two people, doing everything ourselves simply isn’t sustainable.

Currently our total overhead costs hover at around $2,500 – $3,000 per month. We do consider a six-figure income to be gross income,  however, having said that, our annual income over the past 12 months has been over six figures after all overhead expenses.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: As a business grows, so too does the overhead expenses. Don’t be afraid to invest more and more money into your business as it grows. If you’re investing wisely, the more you put in, the more money you stand to earn. There is always some level of risk in entrepreneurship. Take risks, invest in ads, design and development and see where it takes you.

How Do We Earn Money?

I’ve read so many articles written by other bloggers about how much they make and I find them extremely inspiring (which is part of the reason I’m writing this one), but I have noticed that very few of them actually break down their income streams to show how they earn money from their blogs and online businesses.

Looking For More Inspiration?

Here are a few of my favourite bloggers who are very transparent about their income:

I believe that if the goal is to show others how blogs can earn money, it’s important to not only show the numbers, but where those numbers come from. The below chart is a breakdown of 2017 so far and where our income comes from.

Goats On The Road Annual Income Chart 2017

Our income streams are broken down into six main categories:

Press Trips (8.7%): Press trips are when we’re hired by a tourism board to explore a country. We are always offered complimentary flights, accommodation, food, travel and tours during these trips and lately, we’re also being paid a salary on top of that. The amount we get paid per campaign ranges from $1,750 – $7,000 USD, depending on the amount of deliverables (photos, social media shares, articles & videos) we’re expected to produce.

Affiliates (32.5%): This is by far our favourite earning method and luckily it is currently our biggest. Who doesn’t enjoy earning money while they sleep? Affiliate marketing keeps this blog running and it’s a win-win for us and you, our readers. We recommend cool products and services on this blog that we use as travellers. If a reader clicks on a link in our recommendation and ends up purchasing said product or service, we receive a small affiliate commission, but it doesn’t cost the reader extra. In fact, we often have special discounts for our readers as well. Around 70% of our affiliate income comes from Bluehost, and the rest is divided between World Nomads, Booking.com, Trusted Housesitters, Amazon, TEFL Courses and some random partners.

Product Sales (0.2%): I’m currently working on an epic 400 page eBook about (you guessed it), how to build a blog into a six-figure per year business. As of now we have one eBook for sale on Amazon for $20 and it accounts for a few sales each month, but really not much income. We’re hoping to grow this part of the income pie chart in 2017. Aside from eBooks, we don’t have any other products at the moment.

Advertising (11.9%): This is when a company contacts us and asks us to advertise on our blog. It can come in the form of a product placement or an ongoing partnership where we write about and share the product. We only accept this type of advertising if we believe our readers will benefit from it and we’re extremely picky, which is why you don’t see any ads on this website and it doesn’t make up for a lot of our income.

Freelance (25.5%): I currently write for numerous different websites and the odd magazine or newspaper and this makes up for a considerable chunk of our income. Most of our freelance is ongoing, so we write X articles per month for each company. This ensures consistent monthly income. Freelance also includes our content creation venture, which is when our team is hired by a brand to write posts on a regular basis. For this we have writers to help us with creating and editing content.

Social Campaigns (0.4%): This section is for when we’re hired by brands to take over their Instagram or do a Twitter Chat. We hardly ever get these offers as you can see by the tiny sliver in the pie chart.

Social & Blog Management (20.8%): This is when we’re hired to help grow a company’s social media and beef up their blog. We write posts, take over their social accounts and help them to increase their engagement. In 2017 we have had ongoing blog and social management contracts with six different companies.

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You’ll notice that from the chart above, we earn just over 53% of our income through our blog itself, and the rest is earned through our content creation and social media management efforts. We do still consider these outside methods part of our blog because it is closely tied into Goats On The Road.

We were hired for this work because the companies can see that we know how to grow an online presence. Goats On The Road works as a proof of concept, a writing portfolio and a media kit for these companies. We link a lot of the work back to our blog and vice versa and in many cases, we’re also paid by these companies to share their content through our own social media and blog channels.

Goats On The Road is a six-figure blog because of the earnings made directly through the blog and the income streams that branch off of it.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: The best way to earn a real, full-time income from blogging is to diversify as much as possible. You should try your hand at affiliate marketing, email marketing, freelancing, social and blog management, product sales and just about anything else you can think of. Follow the revenue streams that work best with your business model and earn you the most money. To earn money with affiliates, check out CJ.com, ClickBank.com, AffiliateWindow.com, Amazon Affiliate Network & Share-a-sale.

How Many Hours Do We Work?

Currently we work around 15 hours per week or less on average. This is only counting the time we’re actually sitting on the computer and writing articles, managing editorial work, editing photos or videos and creating social content.

If we’re hired by a sailing company to go out at sea for a day, eat a seafood lunch and go scuba diving, we don’t count this as hours of work because aside from taking a few video clips and photos (which we’d do anyways), we’re really just travelling and having a fun day out.

For the first 5 months of 2017 we were travelling pretty much non-stop, moving from place to place every 3 – 5 days. During that time we were probably working 4 hours per week or less (Tim Ferris would be proud).

professional travel blogger

But during that time, the blog didn’t really grow. If we only spend an hour or less per day on the blog, that’s just enough to keep it chugging along, but not enough time to get more clients, build our traffic, write new affiliate marketing articles or do any SEO. It’s just enough time to make sure a few articles go up per month (including ones written by our writers), share on social media and edit a video per week.

Now that we’ve (finally) paused our travels in 2017, rented a villa on Koh Samui Island in Thailand, and are getting caught up, we’re working around 20 – 25 hour per week on the computers. This has given us a chance to work on writing posts for press trips we’ve recently been on, and once we’re caught up with all of that content, we’ll have time to sign up new clients for our blog and social management package and hopefully finish our eBook and grow our affiliate income streams further.

Now that the site has a decent following and we have some employees to help us with the work, we’re able to work less and travel more, but that doesn’t mean that we can just ignore the site altogether. Luckily, we don’t want to.

travel blogging earning money

We love sharing our travel experiences, our photos and videos and our entrepreneurial journey with our readers, and we would continue to do so even if it wasn’t as successful as it is today. We have an incredible passion for travel, writing, photography, videography and showing others how to travel more, and live a freedom-filled lifestyle.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: While many people are proponents of a strong work ethic being the main ingredient for success, we believe in a stronger life ethic. Sure, you grow faster if you spend 14 hours per day on the computer, but you could easily burn yourself out. Live your life while you’re growing your blog and grow it with passive income in mind. If your blog earns money while you’re sleeping, then it is a true success.


As with every business, we did have some hurdles to overcome along the way. We were pretty confident when we reached that $10K / month mark in 2016, but things can change quickly. Some companies that we were working with for a long time decided to go another route and from time to time, we lost clients.

Luckily, the services we offer them (traffic growth, social media growth and online marketing) spoke for themselves and every time we lost one client, we would gain another, usually within weeks. Word of mouth and self-marketing has helped to ensure that we continuously have enough clients to keep a reliable source of income.

working as a professional travel blogger

We also had to let some of our assistants go, and some had to quit. This was all a bit stressful, but we structured the business in a way that none of these hurdles were detrimental to our company or the companies who have hired us.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: Hurdles will come. Blogging and entrepreneurship in general can be a feast and famine business at first. Roll with the punches, take everything one step at a time and keep trucking along, no matter what. Don’t let speed bumps in your road to success stop you.  

Our Plans For The Future

Over the years this blog has transformed from a budget travel blog, to a blog about turning travel into a lifestyle. We’ve learned dozens of different ways to make money, not just through blogging, but through interviews we’ve done with other full-time travellers in our Travel Jobs section.

We’ve interviewed teachers, scuba dive instructors, consultants, cruise ship workers, grape harvesters and much more. We’ve accrued a vast amount of knowledge about how to earn a sustainable income while travelling full-time and we want to use that information to create courses, guides and eBooks to help others learn how to do the same.

Travel Tips

Needless to say, this will be a lot of work and probably won’t be ready until 2018, but we’ve already started mapping out our ideas.

As for the future of our income, we have to say that we’re very satisfied with where we are right now. We really couldn’t be happier with how far this blog has come, but it seems that it grows by itself at this point. We really don’t need more money right now, but if the universe sends it our way, we won’t deny it. So long as it doesn’t become a mo money mo problems type of situation!

Relevant Reading: Wall Street Journal on Why $75,000 Per Year Is The Perfect Salary For Happiness

We will continue to focus on creating as much epic content as we can and helping inspire others to travel more often. We hope to grow Our Youtube Channel to over 100,000 subscribers one day (we’re a long way away so our first milestone is 10,000) and hopefully monetize it down the road as well.

📝 What You Could Learn From Our Journey: Always continue to learn and grow. We’re constantly learning from other bloggers and industry leaders and trying to expand our business and learn new skills. Online business is a never-ending pool of knowledge and the more you draw from it, the more successful you can become.

The Biggest Tips We’ve Learned

This journey has been an incredible one. I wouldn’t go so far as to say it’s been a difficult journey, because we’ve had so much fun along the way, but starting a blog and turning it into a six-figure business certainly isn’t easy.

It takes a lot of commitment, work and a bit of luck (universal attraction for those who believe in that), but if you really love every aspect of it, then it doesn’t feel like work. If you’re hoping to start a blog and grow it into a travel sustaining money-maker, here are a few things to keep in mind:

Don’t Quit

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again. Don’t quit. You need to trust that your blog will eventually grow into something big. If you don’t have full faith in yourself, then it will fail. Go at it 100%. Don’t use that voice in the back of your head that says “I could always go back to working 9-5” as a safety net. You need to run full speed and leap off of that cliff of normality, close your eyes and see where it takes you.

Spend Money To Make Money

As your blog grows, you need to start hiring people to help you and you need to start spending money on advertising. You also need to spend money on a new design. As soon as you start seeing extra income coming in from blogging, you should to invest it back into your company. I think that when it comes to explaining the importance of investing in your business.

best investment for bloggers custom design
Our Blog Redesign (The Best Investment We Ever Made)

Roll With Your Brand

As your blog and brand grows and changes over time, so do you. Don’t force your brand to be something it’s not and don’t force yourself in a certain direction either. If you start your blog about being a solo female traveller, but then you meet someone, then start blogging about finding love on the road. If you started your blog as a budget backpacking guide, but you start to earn a decent income, allow yourself to indulge in the finer things in life. Don’t fight it.

Your brand is an extension of you and if you’re lying to your readers about who you are, they’ll notice. Embrace changes in your life and in your blog and allow your business to grow with you.

Only Work With Brands Who Get You

It doesn’t matter how much money you’re offered, you should only work with brands and companies that are in line with you and your readers. There’s no point in accepting a free flight if you’re all about travelling overland and it doesn’t make sense to accept a free ticket to a zoo if you’re against the captivity of animals.

Only work with companies who understand you and your brand and are happy to give you a level of creative freedom and work with you to share the best content possible.

Looking Back…

We are so thankful for everything that has happened in our lives to bring us to where we are today. Not just with the business, but with our lifestyle, our relationship and our travels. The money is great and we’re happy that we have built a sustainable business, but the most important thing to us is our happiness.

This blog has brought us so much happiness and we really have to thank all of you, our readers, for helping this dream become a reality. We’ve had some hurdles to overcome along the way, but we’ve always had the support of this amazing Goats On The Road travel community and we’re often humbled when people tell us that they’ve quit their jobs to pursue a life of travel thanks to our posts.

We’ve heard countless success stories from readers who followed their passions and ended up being right where they were meant to be.

This journey has been amazing and we look forward to another 5 years of successful blogging, travelling, sharing and learning. We hope you’ll continue following us and coming along for the ride.

Thanks for reading.



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Nick Wharton Author Bio Picture

Written by

Nick Wharton

Nick is the co-founder, editor and author of Goats On The Road. He contributes to numerous other media sites regularly and shares his expert knowledge of travel, online entrepreneurship and blogging with the world whenever he can. He has been travelling and working abroad since 2008 and has more than 10 years of experience in online business, finance, travel and entrepreneurship.

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41 thoughts on “Our Journey to a Six-Figure Online Business”

  1. I really loved this post. I initially started my blog just to write about solo travel and thinking that if I ever made some money I would be happy. After almost year of being completely disappointed at not getting barely any visits, I almost left my blog die, but then I made decision of writing only in English (before it was English and Spanish) and I have been a bit more involved. Now, a year and a half in, I have given up on getting any money and I just write for the love of it. Do you think that to date, with such a saturated market for travel bloggers, it would also be possible to form a community of followers like yours? I just have the feeling that we are too many…! Thank you for sharing!

  2. Awesome article Nick! Seeing the breakdown is so incredibly helpful. We have some outside of the box ideas for monetizing our blog beyond the more common ways, but we also know the readership and community has to be there first so that is our top goal for year #1.

    At what point did you guys start considering hiring VAs? And what were the first tasks you outsourced to them?

  3. Apart from bombarding posts with some very useful ideas, you guys make us want to read more and more of Goats on the Road for the sheer honesty in it. We’ve always loved your blog for its simplicity and usefulness, which also makes it stands out among a lot of others. It’s encouraging to know that budgets travel bloggers have a sustainable future in a world where high-end/super-luxury traveling seems to have taken over so many blogs. Keep going, you guys. We are so happy for your achievements.

  4. Very informative! I really appreciate your transparency. We started our travel blog in 2013 as we were in the process of getting ready to sell our home and travel around the world. The traveling has not stopped, we keep churning out posts, but have never considered trying to earn an income from it. We are currently enjoying our epic three and a half month RV road trip through the National Parks of Western USA and Canada. Have you considered doing a seminar that would include step-by-step instructions on taking an existing blog from the hobby stage to an income producing venture? Or perhaps even better, taking on someone like me as a private client to help make the transition? Not even sure what that might entail, but staying “open to the possibilities”.

  5. I really needed to read this today. I LOVE reading your blog and have been following it for a solid two years now. It was one of the platforms I used that inspired me to create my own travel blog. After two years of what feels like a lot of work, love and effort our blog has struggled to grow. I constantly feel like giving up but every time I see that small spike in traffic or read articles like this it gives me hope. Thank you so much! Can’t wait to see all your milestone goals come true.

    Especially as a fellow Canadian/Albertan!

  6. Hi Nick & Dariece,

    Thanks so much for this post! Last night, I woke up in the middle of the night (again) worrying about money and if our blog would ever earn any serious income. We are full-time travellers with no fall-back position, so though we earn an income through teaching yoga, too, our blog has got to start helping support us soon.

    It’s great to hear about your journey, to be reminded that it’s HARD to do this crazy life, and to be reminded not to quit.

    I was wondering if you can pinpoint one or two things that really helped you increase your traffic in the early days (2013/14) so that you were in a position to start earning when you decided to do it?

    Many thanks! Jane

  7. Hey Jenn,

    We were so disappointed time and time again at first. It just grows really slowly and the traffic seems to take forever. We were lucky to be added to an Advertiser Facebook group after just over a year. A great blogger and now friend added us and it helped us to earn a bit of money when we were otherwise at $0.

    Blogs don’t have to earn money to be fun. We love sharing and growing this blog and (although we probably wouldn’t be as motivated) we would still write on the blog if we weren’t earning money.

    I wouldn’t “Give Up” trying to earn money. You might get a break somewhere, someone might feature you or you get a sudden boost in traffic and you could see your income opening appear. But if you love it… that’s all that matters!

    I personally don’t believe that the market is too saturated. When I started, it was too saturated. Then 2 years after I started everyone told us that we got in at a good time, but then it was too saturated. But 2Monkeys travel started 2 years after us and are now above us on the top 50 list and crushing it.

    It’s never too late. Truly. There will be a blog that starts tomorrow that will become bigger than Goats On The Road and there will be a blog that starts next year that will earn much more than this blog does. It’s not all about saturation. It’s about finding a niche, being creative and working smartly at growing your traffic.

    I am working very hard on an ebook that will help with every step of the process and I look forward to sharing it soon.

    Keep up the good work and keep loving it!

  8. Stoked that you commented Matt! One of our greatest inspirations for sure. Your six-figure post is one of my favourites and I appreciated the push it gave us to get here today. Now you’re having even more success and driving us to go further.

    Hope we can meet up again soon and have a beer. Congrats on your engagement! You guys look like you’re having a blast.


  9. Great to hear! Thanks for reading I always love when bloggers (like Pat Flynn) do monthly breakdowns of income. I don’t have the desire to do it myself, but I find it to be extremely useful and it inspired this post. I’m glad you found it useful as well.

    We actually hired VAs a bit late. I would recommend hiring VAs as soon as your income from the blog goes beyond what you need to sustain travel. It’s a toss up for me what the best investment is between VAs and website design, but basically for a business to succeed you have to invest in it and take some risks. The first tasks could be managing Pinterest, designing Pinterest images and adding them to old posts. Perhaps starting with Flipboard. Editing posts. Writing. Managing social media. We have paid our VAs research time so that they can learn how to get better at certain things.

    Hope this helps

  10. Hi guys,
    Thanks for yet another awesome post!! I’m pretty keen to buy your current ebook, but am in Australia and Amazon wont let me grrrr Can I buy it direct from you? I have my site and hosting already, so I don’t really want to do it that way. I had a look at the preview on Amazon and love the way you write so clearly on this subject, so I’d really like to get my hands on it.
    Thanks for your help!
    Cheers, Kate

  11. Hey Divya and Vikas,

    Thanks for reading and thanks for the compliments on the content. Really really appreciated. A lot of blogs may go to Luxury – High End travel because they either like it that way or they find money in those areas.

    We still like hostels for the vibe, but we have stayed in some very luxurious places from time to time. It’s one of the perks I suppose. But we’ll always be down to sleep on the ground somewhere in the desert or camp in Patagonia! It’s all about the adventure and doing what you love.

    Thanks for the comment and know that you have a sustainable future in blogging no matter what your travel style may be.


  12. Hey Joanne,

    Thanks for reading and commenting! Sounds like an epic RV trip. Something that Dariece and I definitely want to do.

    As for the seminar, it’s a great idea. At this time I’m working hard on the eBook which includes extremely actionable steps to grow a blog and start earning money. I want to create the first resource that truly walks people through the process of earning money from a blog. It really is a formula that can be repeated I believe that 100% and have seen it happen.

    The seminar could be something we look into down the road. I’d love to be close to a blogger as they grow and see them earn their first affiliate income or land their first press trip! I remember how stoked we were and it would be amazing to see first hand and help people do it.

    Hopefully the eBook will do that multiple times over. Definitely open to the possibilities

    happy blogging and happy RVing!

  13. Hey Vanessa,

    The best thing you can do is keep at it and go at it 100%.

    I think our 6 day blog success schedule


    and 6 day social media schedule


    could help you grow a bit quicker if you’d like Setting reasonable milestones and crushing them worked for us. Rather than shooting for the moon right off the bat. It feels good to hit milestones so it’s better to set ones that can be reached within a few months.

    Happy blogging!

  14. Hey Jane,

    I know the feeling worrying about money. Dariece had a near breakdown when we ran out of money travelling on our second trip. It’s a reality, but we went and taught English to help us support and the fact that you teach yoga is an excellent income source to keep you going until your blog can earn an income. Being full-time travellers with no fall-back is actually a big advantage for you guys. It will give you motivation and urgency that’s vital to succeed in a business.

    One of the biggest turning points in our traffic was planning a guest post bomb back in 2013. It really boosted our traffic by about 60%. We’ve got a couple posts to help you boost your traffic and see some real growth:


    Now that we’ve settled in Ko Samui and Bali for the next few months, I’m working hard to churn out some more posts to hopefully help new blogs grow. I know how frustrating it can be!

    I’m working on a huge guide to affiliate marketing right now that I think will get a lot of people their first big affiliate cheques. Stay tuned

    Thanks for reading!

  15. Hey Kate,

    I can send you the current book and if you’d like it you can shoot me an email. The first chapter is huge, with all new content on the basics of building a blog, then the rest of it is mostly posts from this blog.

    I’ll be working on my new ebook these coming months and I urge you to wait until it comes out before purchasing, because it’s 100% new content with more steps for advanced bloggers, but if you’d like both, shoot me an email and I’ll sell it to you via Paypal.

    Thanks for reading!

    Ps. It’s about time Australia gets Amazon. What the hell’s going on over there? haha.

  16. This is SO inspiring to read! We started our travel blog around 9 months ago and have earned around $20,000 from it so far (although most of it comes from Instagram and content writing for other companies) it’s such a great feeling when you get an offer and the dollars start rolling in. Your a huge inspiration and one of the reasons we started our blog was after reading many of your posts on it 🙂
    Thanks for sharing and good luck for the next 5 years, maybe we will see you on the road sometime! 😀

  17. I absolutely love how genuine each of your posts are. Both of you write beautifully and offer real advice to those who want to make a proper online business! Thanks for everything and I’ll keep following you as you are also one of my mentors (without knowing it until now haha).

  18. Great article!!! Thanks for sharing. Any chance you would provide more details on 1 – how you decide on your advertising strategy 2 – what it looks like today and how much it costs 3 – how you measure it? And finally to grow Instagram do you use software of some kind?

    We are currently house sitting in a castle in France (thanks to you guys suggesting that!) We have built an expedition jeep and are building an expedition trailer hoping to leave to “drive the world Dec 1 2017”. We hope to have our blog on overlanding up and running….it will be called
    “sidewaysmoon.com”. We are 60 so perhaps will have a slightly older following but want to help others retire early by using travel to save money.

  19. There is so much valuable information in this post! I’ve just hit my 3 year blogging mark and am hoping to increase my income over the next year. It’s great to know where you stood with money at the end of each year and how much time you put into making this work for you. Thanks so much for sharing!

  20. Great post guys,

    It’s been about a year since we decided to upgrade our hobby blog and give serious travel blogging a go.

    It’s been a really fun journey and a massive learning curve for us.

    Without posts like this we’d have been flying in the dark and would probably have given up out of sheer frustration.

    Thanks for all the inspiration, and for sharing your experience with us newbies 🙂

  21. Yes yes yes! I’d love it. That’s really generously Nick and I’ll definitely be at the front of the line when your next book comes out. I’ll flick you an email
    AUS just got Amazon this year (thank god) and they’re pushing it pretty hard (also a good thing for us trying to earn online), but it’s not all the same products. Yours being one that I can’t purchase… kind of ridiculous given it’s a digital product with no shipping Might actually be something to be aware of for your next eBook launch, as there is a market (albeit smaller) here.
    Thanks again for your amazing content and your generosity as well.
    Cheers, Kate

  22. Thanks for sharing this guys – gives me hope!! I can never help but compare myself to others instead of comparing my blog to my blog 2 years ago, which is what I should be doing! I will be interested to do a little pie chart and graph for my own income in a few months, when I am 2 years in, to see how it has changed!

  23. Hi!
    As beautiful as useful!
    What about wanna-be bloggers (not necessarily travel bloggers) who are not native English speakers?
    Let me explain it better: creating contents in English is surely a window so much bigger than writing in one’s own native language because you can address them to everyone who is able to understand. Moreover, the auto-translators are more and more accurate and even now we are able to understand enough a text written in a language unknown to us.


    Being very fluent in English is difficult and even if one’s spoken English can be good enough to be understood or to have some kind of chit-chat, that might not be true speaking of a “good written English” in terms of “to write to make a living from it”.

    Do you have any advice for this people?
    Is it better to wait to be VERY fluent and professional before starting a blog or could it be nice to make a blog while studying to improve the knowledge of the language, growing a community that can help informing by email of mistakes found and suggesting how to correct them?

    Sorry for my English, I’m not fluent anymore (I’m so rusty !)

    I love your blog, keep up the very good work!

  24. You two are an inspiration! Congrats on your success! I found you about a year ago and remember telling my husband Tim, “if the Goats are living this lifestyle, so can we!” And he’s like, “The Goats?” hahaha. You have informative posts and great advice to give. I only hope our adventure is as fruitful as yours. We started over a year ago, but let it slide as we were nervous to take the leap. But you’re right, you can’t have that “I can go back to a 9-5 job” in your mind or you’re setting the blog up for failure. We have so much we want to share about our travels, so we will keep at it! Feel free to visit our blog and find us on social media! We are huge fans of yours! 🙂

  25. This is a great article Nick. Thanks for all the words of encouragement. I do have a question though. At what point did you decide that you needed to add a VA? Was everything getting too much for the two of you, or did you simply just want to reinvest your earnings? And what tasks did your first VA help you with? Social media? Content creation? Any tips would be helpful.

    We have been following you guys for a few years now and we really appreciate your transparency with everything. Keep up the great work, Cheers!

  26. Hi Katie!

    Thank you for following our journey We decided we needed a VA after we were spending our time doing the “mundane” and time consuming tasks, when we could have been spending that time on finding ways to make money / working on campaigns / building up our business, etc. The VA tasks were (are) mostly Pinterest. We still do Instagram, Twitter and Facebook as we like to keep our voice. We also have writers to write some content on our site, and for our freelance jobs as well.

    I hope this helps!

    Good luck

  27. Great article. I recently pivoted from Life Improvement to travel as a niche. Travel is my first love.
    Life improvement was an easy niche for me but the travel is taking a lot more work to get going. I appreciated your inspiring words and the reminder that it takes time and constant attention to develop your blog.
    I love your site!

  28. Hi Guys, this was a great read and it came at the perfect time actually. We started blogging at around the same time but I’m still not there yet (meaning reaching my goal of earning a 6 figure income from my websites). I have to be 1005 honest, as I usually am: I envy, in a good way, the bloggers who work as couples and can share their tasks. I have always worked as a solo entrepreneur and everything is on me.

    Add the fact that I’ve learned English from scratch a few years before I launched my blog and you get the picture 🙂 Still, my advice for those in a situation similar to mine is, as you said, to never even think to quit. You did at some point, incredibly I never thought about quitting. Ever. Not even when I wasn’t earning a penny out of my website.When you spend so much energy, money and time in something you love it’s difficult to even think about going back.

    After 5 years (3 of them spent more traveling than actually putting much effort on my blog) I finally decided to treat it like a business. I’ve hired people in the past when I had a bit of budget and I’m spending money on tools that are starting to give me the results I want.

    Given the lack of knowledge I had when I started, the language barrier (it take me a week to write a blog post sometimes and I’m lucky if I can find the time to write at all and publish one or 2 posts PER MONTH) I was persistent and now I’m earning around 40/50k per year (it varies depending on the season) mostly via affiliate marketing and consultancy services.

    I wrote all this not to brag or to complain about “poor me, I can’t write a post in English quickly and I do all by myself” but to actually thank you for writing this super detailed post.

    I’m going through a phase of growing/investing A LOT into my main website and my second one and I needed to read this to remind me that all the hours I have to put into my projects will eventually pay off and I will finally be able to scale the workload I have now which is crazy and to enjoy my nomadic life again.

    I live in Mexico and I’m as white as a corpse 🙂

    I’m going to read some more of these articles on your blog to keep being inspired even if it will probably take me double or triple the time to reach similar results as you in terms of earning. But every blogger has a different story and background and we should only measure our success by looking back to when we started and see where we are now. If someone would have told me that opening a silly website for fun would have allowed me to transform it in my full-time job, and travel the world for 5 years nonstop, I would have laughed out loud.

    Never compare your path to other bloggers, use them as mentors, just as you did in the beginning. I am “using” you, definitely Deb and a few others not to replicate exactly what you did but to keep on walking my own path.

    Now, after this “confession”, it’s time to go back to work. Thanks again for the inspirational article. Sometimes I need more of this and less of more “how to” blog posts.

    Have a lovely day!

  29. Same here, I just hired a VA mostly for Pinterest but she will also double as content creator because I don’t have the time to deal with many of the important but time-consuming tasks and I need to focus on the big picture and side projects I’m working on. I can’t wait to have her full time working for me. Hiring people is one of the best and smartest investment one can do to truly grow the business!

  30. Hi guys – just wondering how you declare your income and pay taxes? Which country do you have your bank acount in and how does that work – you must have some banking to earn that kind of money no? I’m confused how to do banking while traveling?

  31. One of the best post about travel blogging out there. I always revisited the page whenever I hit a certain milestone to see how I stack up with your success story. 🙂 I recently hit 30,000 viewers on my BucketListly Blog as well and couldn’t be more happy about it! Thanks for the inspiration, Nick! Can wait to see where Goats on the Road will go in 2019!

  32. This post is so inspiring! I’m almost reaching Mediavine threshold (for a while now, tbh), and I can’t wait to start making some money with my blog too. Reading about your story inspires me to keep going, even when it seems I’m not getting anywhere. Like now.
    I love what I do, but I also have to pay the bills, so…kinda need to rush here! Thanks for sharing it!

  33. Thanks so much for your kind words Blogging is a journey for sure and it can take time. I’m glad to hear you’re sticking with it! If you’re interested, we’re launching our SEO course this week (and already have had some great feedback from our soft launch). If you’re interested, please email me: dariecegoatsontheroad@gmail.com and I can give you more information when it comes out.

    All the best. Happy blogging!

  34. Hi Nick, we came across your Youtube channel and it led us here. We liked the style you guys have and how you do a great job of connecting with people which is so key to building relationships (and followers). As fellow Canadians it was also great to see such success from bloggers here.
    My question is; We want to start a blog so we can travel, but not a travel blog. Is your course still relevant for a topic like that? If not, is there one you would recommend? Thanks again and we look forward to reading and watching more of the stuff you guys create.


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