How to Make Money With a Travel Blog: Tourist & Filthy Rich! [BLOG REVIEW]

Would you like to earn a full-time income by blogging about your hobby, too?
Many of the blogs I review on this website generate serious money - month after month!
>>> Click Here to Learn How with My #1 Recommended Training Platform!

I don’t travel as much as I’d like to. To be honest, it would be quite awesome to discover new places and simultaneously know how to make money with a travel blog. Luckily, Melissa runs a blog called A Broken Backpack, and it contains lots of goodies that earn her cash while she’s exploring the world. We’re gonna learn from her!

The particular blog post I’ve chosen to review this time gives the reader examples of what to do in Siem Reap besides visiting temples. While the food section of this post is quite fascinating, it also made me throw up in my mouth a little. You’ve been warned!

There are plenty of techniques Melissa is using to get the money flowing from her travel blog, so let’s dive in and take a closer look, shall we?


The Travel Blog At a Glance

  • Name: A Broken Backpack
  • Owner: Melissa Giroux
  • Address:
  • Started year: 2015
  • Alexa Global Rank: 435,861
  • Alexa US Rank: 176,410
  • Backlinks: 78
  • Top 3 Traffic: United States / India / N/A
  • Top 3 Keywords: a broken backpack / dash hotel seminyak / travel girls


First Impression

There is a big sticky banner at the bottom of the page. This is without a doubt the first thing one would notice on the page. In fact, banners are heavily used on the entire page. However, this isn’t necessarily a bad thing. It’s all depending on how it affects the user experience. If users find that it’s in the way of the main content, it’s definitely a bad thing.

Secondly, Melissa’s pictures from her trips are definitely captivating and beautiful. They complement the content well, and personally I feel like I just wanna hop onto the next plane and fly away to explore these places myself. One day, perhaps!

Furthermore, thanks to the author box, the reader gets to know Melissa a bit better. It’s just a simple image with a short story below, but often that’s all it takes to build some familiarity and trust among your readers.

The post has a sticky social media sharing panel, which contains buttons for sharing the story on your social media profiles. It tags along as you scroll down the page, to ensure that you’ll always have the alternative of easily telling your friends about the post.

Finally, Melissa makes sure to link to her money posts on several locations along the article. This is good mainly for two reasons:

  1. To get the post ranking higher on Google.
  2. To increase the chances of earning a commission, by presenting the reader with even more quality content.

A win/win – basically!

Money Post Link on Travel Blog
Linking to your money posts can increase the chances of somebody clicking on your affiliate links.


What I Like About The Travel Blog

When it comes to making sure to squeeze as many pennies as possible out of each visitor, Melissa is doing quite a good job. No, I don’t mean that she’s greedy. All I’m saying is that it’s hard to find something to click on that DOESN’T generate a commission of some sort. As long as it doesn’t interfere with the user experience, I’m fine with it.

As always, if a blog is building an e-mail list, I’m satisfied. In this case, Melissa is running a newsletter for her readers. She’ll be able to stay in touch with them and, if she wants to, pitch them a product or service every once in a while. But most importantly, she’s got direct access to her readers whenever she wants to provide them with valuable and helpful info.

One sneaky thing I noticed was that you’ll get signed up to the newsletter whenever you comment on a post, UNLESS you untick a checkbox below the comments field. It’s a pretty simple, but clever way to get more subscribers to your e-mail list. However, if you implement this on your blog, be careful not to annoy your readers. Some are okay with it, others aren’t.


Comments Field on Money Blog
Making the reader sign up to the newsletter when submitting a comment is a sneaky, but effective way to get more subscribers on your e-mail list.

Melissa is linking to multiple so called “money posts”. They’re called this for an obvious reason – they’re designed to make the blogger money. It’s very common that they’re sprinkled with affiliate links, banners etc. Simply put, link to money posts to increase your chances to make more money.

Furthermore, one thing I feel improves my personal user experience on the blog is the table of contents. When I click into the blog post, I know immediately what the author will talk about and what to expect. Including a table of contents is a good way for readers to know whether it’s in their interest to keep reading, or if they should move along to another article.

However, it’s not only the pure monetization techniques I enjoy looking at on this blog. The fact that Melissa offers the reader lots of points of interest to visit besides temples is golden. She offers the reader something unique, which makes her blog stand out from the crowd. Love it!

There’s also both a ticket and hotel room finder embedded straight into the content, which makes it super easy for the user to book a flight, and earn Melissa a commission. Initially I was afraid that it would disrupt the user experience, but I think it in fact works quite well. Unlike a banner, the ticket finder is actually a helpful tool and might rather enhance the experience.


Hotel Finder on Travel Blog
Both the hotel and ticket finders make it super-easy to plan your next trip. (These tools are most likely sponsored)


Finally, Melissa is quick to respond to reader comments. This is crucial if you wish to get your visitors commenting on your comment. If they see one of your replies coming in 2 weeks after the initial comment, the risk is that they’ll get discouraged from leaving a comment on your blog. My advice is to check in on your comments at least once a day. Preferably two, if you’ve got the time for it.

What I Don’t Like About The Travel Blog

The main objective with any blog should be to help people. Help them learn, make their lives easier, entertain them. Your content should be the star of the blog; everything else should come second. This is why I have a hard time liking in-content banners. They disrupt the reader’s flow and often affect the user experience negatively.

In-content ads can convert one-time visitors quite well, but if you’re looking for long term subscribers I’d recommend being very careful with putting interrupting ads on your blog. Subscribers are there for your content, not the ads.


In-Content Ads on Travel Blog
In-content ads can be really annoying. Use them with caution!


And speaking of content; the article is only 984 words long. In a place like Siem Reap, there should be way more stuff to write for the user to learn more about. The recommended post length is a minimum of 1,000 words. However, even longer content tend to rank better on Google, which has potential of delivering thousands of new readers to your blog every week.

Lastly, I noticed something about the videos on the page when I was browsing from my phone. The videos play automatically even when the user isn’t on a WIFI connection. This will quickly burn through the available data on the readers’ phones. Depending on where in the world they’re browsing, oversights like this could get very pricey for them.


What I’d Change About The Travel Blog

So, the first thing I’d do would be to fatten up the content and position this post as the “ultimate non-temple guide to Siem Reap”. Really make sure that the user knows enough to not visit another blog in search for more information. This will likely generate in a returning reader, and an increased word count for Google to churn through.

I’d also make it a priority to turn off auto-play on videos for people who aren’t visiting from a WIFI network. People shouldn’t have to pay to read your blog.

Furthermore, even though I’m not a big fan of in-content ads, I’d still consider running A/B tests to see how many returning readers you lose and how much commission you make on one-time visitors, and evaluate whether it’s worth keeping the ads in the content.

Finally, I’d give the readers more chances to subscribe to the newsletter. Right now I’m only seeing two options at the very bottom of the page, so I’d complement it with a subscription field above the fold and perhaps under the author box. In fact, a good idea would be to switch the in-content ads with e-mail subscription fields instead. I’m pretty sure it would generate a higher lifetime value of each visitor.



As you can see, Melissa knows what she’s doing and how to make money with a travel blog. It’s actually a lifestyle I wouldn’t mind having myself, and in time… who knows?

Anyway, she’s utilizing lots of powerful techniques to help her make money on her trips. Plenty of affiliate programs are used throughout the blog, and she’s even linking to her own money posts to steer the user towards even more useful products and services that could generate her an income.

While there are some aspects of the blog I personally think could change, like the in-content ads, all in all Melissa succeeds to deliver her message to her readers first, and lets the monetization come second. It’s a very captivating blog that manages to tickle my travel nerve, and the ticket finder in the article would definitely come in handy if I were to book a flight.

So, Melissa has shown us how to make money with a travel blog and it’s up to you now to do the same. I’m sorry for using a cliché, but Rome wasn’t built in one day. Start small, stay consistent, be patient and you can definitely run a blog like A Broken Backpack.

Drop me a comment below if you have any questions.

Good luck!

Would you like to earn a full-time income by blogging about your hobby, too?
Many of the blogs I review on this website generate serious money - month after month!
>>> Click Here to Learn How with My #1 Recommended Training Platform!

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