Set yourself up to earn a full-time income with a travel blog. Build Traffic, Monetize, & Create Passive Income for travel bloggers with Sharon Gourlay. Best practices to become a successful travel blogger.

This podcast interview with Sharon Gourlay focuses on how she went from day one to today with building traffic, monetizing, & creating passive income for her website. Basically, the story of how she became a successful blogger.

Find out how Sharon’s journey from $0 income to earning more than a full-time income with her website as well as the steps to build a blog. We also chat about how you earn four to five figures a month from affiliates & ad networks.

We jump into all the best practices to become a successful travel blogger, and on the flipside, we chat about where bloggers tend to fail and what is stopping bloggers from building their website into a revenue generator. 

About Sharon Gourlay: She is an Australian teacher and stay at home mum turned digital entrepreneur. Sharon started making the switch in 2013 when she decided there had to be a better and easier way to live and she viewed an online business as the way to transform her life – and it was! Her business started with her transforming her hobby travel blog into a top family travel blog which she later sold and bought a house with the earnings!

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BITW 154: How to Build Traffic, Monetize, & Create Passive Income for Blogger with Sharon Gourlay

Sharon Gourlay

Listen to today’s episode to learn how to set yourself up to earn a full-time income with a travel blog. We start our chat with how Sharon breaks down building a blog as a business and the big bucket items to focus on. She also shares why she doesn’t bother with Pinterest at all! Shocking, right? 

My favorite quotes & takeaways from this podcast with Sharon:

  • Traffic doesn’t equal income. There is no monetization fairy. 
  • Go all in on one strategy to build traffic and do it really well (and don’t hop on bandwagons).
  • You don’t have to be everywhere.
  • Blogging can be quite simple. Just put out quality articles that are written with good keywords.
  • The process of blogging is simply 1) be clear about your niche 2) know how you are serving others 3) Know what you are trying to achieve 4) grow & monetize only using strategies that are a clear path to these goals 5) don’t get caught up in what others are doing

How to Create A Travel Blog with Passive Income

Below you’ll find the main topics we chat about as well as several questions from the Aspiring Travel Writer Facebook community. To hear the full podcast click here!

The Topics and Questions Sharon and I Chat About:

The 3 stages of blogging success; growth, monetizing and scaling and why you need to do them all at the same time. How to audit your website and decided what content needs to go!

Building an Audience for a Travel Blog

The steps she took to build an audience for  to 500k+ page views per month and what she is doing to replicate this for building traffic to 

Diane Hornbuckle Dobry with asked: Who is your audience & how does this affect the content you produce? For anyone out there struggling with this, how do suggest someone pinpoints their audience?  

Content Strategy for Travel Writers

It’s as simple as solving a problem for your readers by using keywords you can rank for and understanding the buying cycle.

Lori Sweet with asked: how often you post new content? 

Additional points we chat about regarding content strategy:

  • Basic SEO strategy
  • How often to update and/or remove articles
  • How Sharon uses social media for building an audience and/or traffic
  • How many different opt-ins to use and details about email sequences

Building Traffic for a Travel Website

Why you need to understand exactly who your target audience is and use SEO to attract them. The smartest way to build traffic and where Sharon gets most of her traffic.

Monetizing & Passive Income for Travel Blogs

You have several case studies on your site and have shared you concentrate on solving problems and attracting people to your content who have a problem to solve (using a solution that can link to an affiliate with). Can you share some examples of how to do this in the travel sphere? 

Which ‘ad network’ passive income streams that are best for travel bloggers such as Adsense, Mediavine & Ezoic. 

How to choose affiliates to work with. 

Whether you should have a limit to the number of affiliates you work with. 

The best types of articles to write to convert for affiliate sales.

More Audience Questions

Loren Camille asked: If you were to outsource something in your business, what is the first thing you would outsource?

Similarly, Is there anyone software or resource that you consider vital to your success?

Crystal Behrends with asked: (my sister and I) have a travel and fashion blog and wanted to share some tips on being a successful blogger. We were thinking about adding another section to our blog and creating a series since we already have traffic coming in. Do you think it’s wise to do this or do you think we should start another blog just about blogging tips?

Rina Baraz Nehdar from LA Family Travel asked:  What’s a good way to build up your email list. What’s a good way to organize your site so you could build on without overwhelming the reader? How many of your articles are based on self-funded trips vs. press trips?

Connect with Sharon

She teaches others how to blog at and writes about Malaysian travel at

You can also find Sharon in the DNW – Making Money From Blogging Facebook group or on her podcast, Make Money Blogging with Digital Nomad Wannabe.

Join our Travel Writing & Blogging Community!

The Aspiring Travel Writer, the Facebook group

Aspiring Travel Writer Evergreen Threads

Connect with Alexa, Break Into Travel Writing & My Travel Blog


Hope you enjoyed this episode and are inspired to think about how you can set goals for your blog in 2020! Interested in hearing the full podcast? Click here to listen now!

Feedback on the Podcast If you have any suggestions for upcoming shows or a question for an upcoming episode, leave a comment below. If you enjoyed this podcast, I’d be extremely grateful if you would take a second and leave me a review and rating over on iTunes. Taking a minute to do this allows me to help more people with this podcast, so I really appreciate it (once on that page, simply click on the “View in iTunes” button to leave your review — thanks very much!)


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