Make money from your past travels while staying at home.
Over the years, especially with flight tickets becoming more affordable, it seems that more people than ever before have been bitten by the travel bug. Many of us make it a point to travel at least once a year, and travelling has grown to become an expression of self. It is a lifestyle, and, for some, a livelihood.
However, during a time when many of us are now confined to our homes due to the COVID-19 outbreak, not only are we unable to travel, but there are also those who are unable to work. Some find their income affected due to being unable to work as usual, or their jobs are now redundant due to restrictions on social gatherings and events. In such situations, one needs to be creative in ensuring a steady stream of income. Now, if you’re someone who has travelled a lot, how about turning that experience into money? In fact, even if you haven’t travelled that much, there are ways for you to get involved in the travel content line and make money from it. See if one of these ideas below is viable for you.
Writing or blogging about your travels is perhaps the easiest way to monetise your travel experience or knowledge. Find a blogging platform on the Internet that suits you best - either all-time favourites such as Blogspot, WordPress, Tumblr or new ones such as Wix or Squarespace. It doesn’t matter as long as you can embed an online advertising program such as Google Adsense or Yahoo Bing Contextual Ads onto your blog or website. Before you add an advertising app, though, you’ll need to have enough suitable content before your site can be approved to host ads, so get started on writing about travel as soon as possible. You might want to decide what your travel blogger identity is, choose an appropriate blog name, structure your content, and then write and schedule them accordingly. You can develop a few different types of content and post them on specific days - for example, one for past travels, one for current travels, one for travelling tips, or even one for funny travelling stories!
Don’t have enough travelling experience? Don’t worry! You can get in on this by doing your research on the Internet and transforming information you have collected into travel articles, listicles or compilation of tips. Just be sure not to plagiarise and to credit your sources accordingly.
If you have been recording videos of your travels, you can put them up on your own YouTube channel and make money from ads that show up on your videos. For inspiration, check out The Food Ranger - a great reference for those who travel to eat, while Lost Leblanc is someone who quit his job to pursue travelling and filmmaking. You can either focus on the subject of your travels, or focus on you. The key is to learn how to edit and produce good quality videos using materials that you already have on hand. Even still photos can be put together like a presentation slide of the places you visited, and enhanced with background music, voiceover narration, funny comments and punctuating graphics. Check out Filmora Go, an app that allows you to edit videos and photos on your mobile device, to get started.
Some of us just love good photos. For those who appreciate photography, a picture paints a thousand words, without the need to write a blogpost or a long caption, or talk in a video. If you have a knack for taking beautiful or poignant photos during your travels, you can sell them on stock photography websites such as Shutterstock or iStock Photos. Many media outlets and even individual writers or bloggers (see above) need good quality photos of the places they write about and are willing to pay for them as long as they meet the quality requirements. The key to selling your photos is identifying which photos are likely to be searched for and editing your photos a little to make it good for print and online publishing.
Aside from selling your photos as stock photos, you can also make merchandise off of your photos and sell them - and you don’t even have to produce these items yourself! There are many online services that allow you to submit your photos - as well as drawings and illustrations if that’s where your talent lies - that they will turn into graphics for posters, greeting cards, T-shirts, mugs, pillow covers, shopping bags, clock faces, and other household items, and you will get a commission from sales as the artist. Take a look at websites like Society6.com, zazzle.com, zazzle.com, cafepress.com and minted.com to get an understanding of how this works.
Luke Gram is an example of a photographer who has successfully built a steady stream of income on Society6, while there are also photographers who make postcards and photo books out of their photos like Travis Chong here.
Some of the methods above don’t necessarily generate as much direct income compared to the others but it could lead to better deals if you are consistent with your content. Travel entities might eventually stumble onto your blog and commission you to travel and write on their behalf, or pay you to contribute to their publications. If your photos are good enough, you might even be invited to join photo trips by major photography companies like Canon or Nikon, or even become an ambassador yourself! Of course, if you have amassed a sizable following on your YouTube channel, there will be companies and brands knocking on your door to feature their products in your videos.
There can be plenty of opportunities, but what matters most is loving what you do. It is always easier to do that when you get to do what you love. During times when you can’t travel, you can still help others see the world with the experiences that you have collected, and make money while you’re at it. Who knows, you might have a new career coming out from this situation.
Video/Audio: Khalid A. Hamzah
Video Concept: Zurien Onn