By Stephen Bugno
In December of 2010 I came to a critical point. I had been running two travel blogs for over a year and not only was I failing to make money, but I was actually spending money to keep the blogs going. How could I continue to legitimize all the time, effort, and finances invested into these blogs without seeing any return? It was do or die time with my blogging career and my goal to monetize my web sites. I looked into solutions.
That’s where Travel Blog Success comes in. I joined that month and by March of 2011, I had a revenue going. Granted, it’s not enough to live off of yet, but it definitely helps support my travel habit—one of my main goals. I wanted to be able to earn an income while I was on the road. Now, I’m happy to say, I’m one step closer towards being location independent.
I wouldn’t have had these skills to bring my blogs to the next level if it weren’t for Travel Blog Success. Before December I had no idea how to approach and deal with advertisers or even what advertizing options were most effective. The thrill of negotiating and completing my first advertising deal made a year and a half of blogging worth it. And it more than paid for my membership into Travel Blog Success.
Travel Blog Success (TBS) is a course and community designed for both beginner travel bloggers and those with experience who want to take their already existing travel blog to the next level.
There are more than 18 written lessons (depending on your membership level) to the course. Every member of TBS has access to a private forum where you can ask questions, request site critiques, and get to know other travel bloggers of all experience levels.
There are also 12 expert audio interviews which allow you to go behind the scenes with inspiring bloggers, many of whom have turned their passion for travel into new careers and businesses.
David Lee is the man who created Travel Blog Success. He started the hugely popular GoBackpacking blog a few years ago and what really drew my attention to him were the numbers he was posting from his blog earnings. He was doing something right, I thought, and still is. Now he’s living in his favorite city, Medellin, Colombia, and supporting himself as a full time travel blogger.
And while I don’t necessarily expect to earn that kind of money, I do have realistic hopes that blogging will support a good portion of my travel expenses.
In 2010, Dave formed TBS to help other travelers build awesome blogs of their own. It’s the only course and community dedicated 100% to this goal. Whether you simply want a blog you can be happy to call your own, or have a dream like me to one day earn a living from anywhere in the world, joining TBS will save you time and energy.
I can personally vouch that Dave is really supportive and dedicated to helping each member of TBS develop successful blogs, whether they measure success in terms of readers or revenue.
TBS is bigger and better now. I joined back in December, and while it had sufficient resources then, those resources have practically been doubled. On March 22, 2011 the site was re-launched.
Travel Blog Success has been redesigned and additional resources have been created, including 12 new written lessons and 7 new audio interviews.
The course material geared toward bloggers with some experience under their belts focuses on creating and marketing your own products (vs. advertising) as a way to make money. However, the course and community remain a great resource for beginner bloggers too.
In June of 2009, I created GoMad Nomad Travel Mag (and nine months later Bohemian Traveler) in order to share my thoughts on travel and my practical ideas and advice from my previous decade of life on the road: working, volunteering, and traveling in over 40 countries. My vision from the beginning was clear. But I was stuck with one problem: how can I make money from my true passion? Sharing information to help fellow travelers is all fine and good, but everyone needs to eat.
TBS has proven extremely helpful for me. The written lessons have taught me everything from how to effectively use social media to search engine optimization. The forum is where I post questions to receive feedback from the other bloggers, many of whom have more experience than I do.
Although MatadorU Travel Writing Course is helpful, it is more geared towards developing ones writing skills. And while I could always use help improving my writing, where I needed the most guidance was with the mechanics of blogging. I had 12 months of agony learning wordpress and the other fundamentals of blogging. If I had TBS from the beginning, it would have meant faster, easier learning, and a quicker route to earning money. Fewer frustrations would have let me focus more energy on creating content rather than wasting so much time behind the scenes.
Even joining more than a year into my blogging venture, I still reaped the benefits of TBS. On some accounts, I was able to improve things that should have been a certain way from the start. I was late, but the old maxim “better late than never” applies.
Below are the prices and resources included with each type of membership.
$99 – Basic Members: 27 written lessons, private Forum access, 30-day money-back guarantee
$149 – Premium Members: 27 written lessons, 15+ audio interviews, Forum access, secret Facebook Group, monthly webinars, 30-day money-back guarantee.
All memberships are for life.
Full disclosure: I was not paid to write this post, although I do receive a commission if you click through and join TBS. That said, I would not be risking my credibility by recommending the program so strongly if I didn’t use it and believe in it 100% myself.