Travel blogging is an amazing way to experience the things that very few will ever get to try. You get to see exotic places, make new friends and meet new people from all over the world and do something that most people can only dream of. The trick is funding your travels so that you don’t have to stop. If you follow my travel hacking principles the airfare might be free, but you’re still going to need some spending money when you get to your destination, right?
If you’ve begun to maximize your current earnings through traditional monetization with affiliate links, ad networks and sponsorships (did you know you can send invoices and get paid online?), it’s time to build a more trustworthy revenue channel that also helps you bond with and better learn why your fans and followers come to you. You can always add plugins to your blog that let you sell prints and take orders. But what happens when you’re in a remote area or offline for a week? What if a customer has an issue and you aren’t there to help resolve it? Also, can you be sure that you have all of the right plugins and can you effectively manage print shops around the world with custom deals?
I’ve learned the hard way that you don’t always want to be doing everything yourself. The issues above cannot be easily overcome without a team of multiple people. That’s why I’ve started to partner with companies that do the majority of the production and shipping for me – and send me a cheque at the end of the month. Today we’ll be looking at SmugMug as a potential to turn your travel photographs into a passive income stream.
With a SmugMug pro account you can take your favorite photos (which you most likely already have on your blog) and upload them to themed galleries. You can do it by type of shot (animals, people, landscapes, etc…) or by places (cities, hotels, countries, jungles, deserts, etc…). Next you can safely and securely upload high res images.
Because of SmugMug’s security, you can rest-assured that others won’t be able to steal your high res photos, but they will also load and be displayed in a beautiful way. Each photo will also have an ecommerce system automatically attached so your fans and followers can buy prints on canvas, metal and a huge selection of products. SmugMug also has an entire network of high-quality and tested print shops around the world.
By having printers in many countries, your followers can shop with print companies closer to home which usually helps them to save on international shipping fees. This makes your work more accessible and easier to buy – so you can earn more.
But the biggest benefit of not doing everything yourself and fulfilling orders manually from your garage or basement is this. Suppose you’re going to be in a remote region or traveling for an extended period of time, without having easy access to the internet. You’re cut off from the outside world for a while and aren’t able to update your your blog or newsletter. With a third party taking care of the fulfillment and customer service for your fans and followers you’re making money even when you’re not online. That’s the kind of passive income I love – and describe in more detail in my Happiness book which recently became my second bestseller in one year!
SmugMug is proving to be a valuable tool for any travel blogger that needs to earn passive revenue stream and has an active following. Because of my relationship with SmugMug, I was able to get you a 15% off deal if you click this link. The deal is not available unless you use it and they normally have a free trial period so there is no risk to you.Try SmugMug yourself