How We Make Money With Our Travel Blog (And How You Can Too)

Make Money Online, Online Business, Start Your Blog

make money online travel blogMaking money online is not nearly as complicated or difficult as it sounds.

We've been doing business online for many years – here's how we make a living online with our travel blog.

What I'll cover in the post:

  • five specific ways we make money (complete with links to providers and real numbers)
  • one way we will grow our business income in 2013 (it's what you should do too)

But first, here are the two general approaches to making money online:

Two Ways To Make Money on a Travel Blog

There are two basic ways to make money:

  1. Direct monetization: This is what most bloggers are looking for: immediate cash for sale of a product, service or ad space. On GringosAbroad, we've had good success with sales of links, ads and affiliate products. Direct monetization is truly passive income. There is no hourly billing or customer service. Just place the links and ads and everything is automatically tracked.
  2. Indirect monetization: This is also useful over time. Through your site, you can establish yourself in a specific industry which can lead to contracts and off-site employment. More on this at the end of the post.

Read to start your blog? Check out our (Free) Guide to Starting an Income Blog.

5 Blog Based Passive Income Streams

We make money online with the following five sources:

  1. Affiliate Marketing
  2. Amazon Associates (Check out our Bloggers Guide to Amazon Associates)
  3. Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising
  4. Link Sales
  5. Display Advertising

See more information on each of these income sources below:

1. Affiliate Marketing

Affiliate marketing is one of the most profitable ways to make money from your site.

What is affiliate marketing? Basically, it is marketing other peoples products to readers on your site. Through a set of personalized, coded links both clicks and sales are tracked and your account is credited for all transactions. Depending on the programs, you can be paid either a fixed or percentage commission. Also you can be paid for both sales and leads. Normally payouts are made every month. Affiliate marketing is popular because bloggers can earn without having to create their own products.

Ready to get started in affiliate marketing?

What you'll need to do:

  1. Sign-up with the four networks below. Be sure to enter your site and payment information. Direct deposit is the best option as it will happen automatically.
  2. Choose specific products and services that you want to promote on your site. This can be either in display ads in your sidebar or through contextual links in your posts.

Sign-up with these affiliate networks. They are my favorites and simple to use:

  • Clickbank: This is the easiest network to join. Clickbank primarily sells digital products (videos, e-books and other electronically delivered training products). Commission rates are high and it is simple to get links. Tracking / analytics are solid and deep so you can see which product links are performing best. Payment is sent either by check or direct deposit.
  • ShareaSale: This is a smooth working and easy to manage affiliate network. They have a huge set of advertisers (including travel, clothing, personal development and web services) and I like their tracking analytics. Getting approved for this network can be a little more challenging. We've had great success with Shareasale – this is our highest producing network. Payment is sent either by check or direct deposit.
  • NeverBlue: This is a new network for me – but it is very promising. They are primarily pay-per-action – meaning that you get paid when someone subscribes to a newsletter or becomes a lead. They have to do more than just click – but they generally don't have to spend any money, in order to trigger a payout.
  • Commission Junction: This is one of the oldest networks and they are good. It was a little hard getting approved at first, but now I can use the links across all of our properties. Payment is sent either by check or direct deposit.
  • LinkShare: This is a fairly easy one to join and they carry many of the big companies. There is duplication between networks – so if you can't get approved with the others you should still be able to find and promote specific advertisers with this affiliate network.

Many vendors have private affiliate programs that you will need to sign-up for individually. Some other affiliate networks you might consider are E-junkie, PeerflyImpact Radius and ClixGalore.

Affiliate Marketing Tip: Carefully choose the products that you will promote. Because the products are going to be marketed to your readers, you need to be sure that your readers are both 1) interested in that type of product, and 2) that the specific product you are recommending is actually useful. There is a temptation to just promote the higher profit items – even if those items are of questionable quality. Don't do it! You will lose readers if you abuse their trust. Trust is the very reason that affiliate marketing works on blogs – because blog readers trust the recommendation of the blogger. Promote items that you can actually recommend – regardless of their commission percentage, or whether they have an affiliate program or not – and you'll never go wrong.

Learn more about Affiliate Marketing.

While the next income stream – Amazon Affiliates – is also an affiliate program, it deserves a section all its own. It is the original online affiliate program.

2. Amazon Associates: Affiliate Program

amazon associates logoAmazon Affiliates: This is probably the simplest and fastest way to begin making money online, although the returns are not very big at first. Simply visit, sign up for their affiliate program and begin placing your coded affiliate links on your site. When readers click your link and visit you will receive a commission for their purchase. Commissions range from 4 to 8.5%. While we primarily link to books (sometimes luggage or travel supplies) we have received commission on products such as golfing sunglasses, electronic toothbrushes and olives stuffed with blue cheese (although we have never linked to any of these items). Why? Because with Amazon Affiliates, you get credit for whatever your reader buys after following your link. Here are a few examples of posts that have generated solid monthly income on Gringos Abroad:

Amazon Associates Tip: Make sure that the products you are recommending actually have value. In almost every case we have personally used the item we are recommending. Only when you can share your personal experience or insight, will your readers trust your recommendation. Also, be sure that the goal of the post is 1) to provide a useful resource for your readers and then, 2) to create a way to monetize that content. As you will note in the examples above, each set of resources is directly relevant to readers looking to move abroad (books about Ecuador, being an expat and learning Spanish). Focus on your readers and, instead of being irritated with your affiliate posts, they'll be thanking you for putting together such a great resource.

More reading: Bloggers Guide to Making Money With Amazon Associates

3. Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising

The most popular way to generate revenue from a blog is with pay-per-click (PPC) ads. Pay-per-click advertising is just how it sounds: you get paid for every click you generate from your site. Each link is coded so you get credit for each click. Exposures are also tracked so you can see which ads perform better. PPC ads can be simple text, images or even video. While video and moving images do catch the eye, the text ads still convert well.

Here are a few screenshots showing how pay-per-click ads look on our blog.

The ever-present Google AdSense text ad. Shown here on GringosAbroad in the header section.

The ever-present Google AdSense text ad. Shown here on GringosAbroad in the header section.

Google AdSense Display Ad Shown in the site footer of Gringos Abroad. Product displayed is GoPro Camera.

Google AdSense Display Ad Shown in the site footer of Gringos Abroad. Product displayed is a GoPro Camera.

Here are the top PPC ad networks:

Google AdSense: Without doubt, the most popular pay-per-click ad network is Google AdSense. Revenue is measured in cost-per-click, which is the amount you earn each time a reader clicks on an ad on your site. We've seen cost-per-click (CPC) ranging from $0.28 to $1.91. Because the ads displayed are contextual, meaning that they fit with your content on that specific page, the click-through rate is fairly high. While we aren't getting rich with Google AdSense we see a range of $3 to more than $30 per day. Here are some of the specifics with Google AdSense:

  • RPM (Revenue per 1000 pageviews): $0.96 – $6.55
  • Cost per click (CPC) ranging from $0.28 to $1.91
  • Payment: Mailed check or direct deposit Recently this pay-per-click advertising network has been outperforming Google AdSense – even though it has less exposure on our site. We see earnings ranging from $1 to more than $25 per day in click revenue. is part of the Yahoo Bing Network. Here are some of the specifics with

  • RPM (Revenue per 1000 pageviews): $0.15 – $10.55
  • Payment: Paypal (or check option)

Chitika: This is a very popular PPC network, one that I just started working with again. It is easier to get approved with Chitika than the with AdSense or My recommendation is to apply for all three. You will likely be approved for at least one of them. This will get you started. As your site builds you'll be able to get approved for others.

Pay-Per-Click Advertising Tip: Don't just set up these ads and forget about them. Continually adjust and tweak both colors and placement of the ads. One small detail can increase revenues multiple times over. With just one ad network, I was able to increase PPC revenues from $50 per month to more than $400 per month by making one small change – and with almost identical traffic numbers. If you don't get good results at first, don't be discouraged. It might just be your placement or colors – and testing over time is the only way to improve results.

You might enjoy: How Much Blog Traffic is Needed Before You Monetize? 

4. Selling Links

Example of homepage links.

Example of homepage links.

The way many bloggers begin making money is though link sales. Selling links is quite simple. Advertisers want in-bound links to help boost both their search ranking and site traffic. In order to generate new links they (or their SEO agency) buy links both on individual posts and/or on blog homepages. It takes bloggers almost no time to post links and the money is good.

What is a link worth? We've gotten any where from €40 ($52) for an in-post permanent link to $250 for a one year link on the home page. Others pay $45 per month. All payments are via PayPal and automatically sent. We've received as high as $275 for a link published in one post. We always check the link before publishing it – to ensure that there is nothing offensive. Almost all of them are travel based sites: car rentals, flights, resorts, etc – things of interest to our readers.

There are risks involved with selling links. If Google catches you (remember, this isn't illegal – they just don't like it. Google isn't the government, at least not yet) they can penalize or even remove your site from their site index. This could mean a traffic nose-dive. This is why I'll never sell links on this site – the risk of a Google penalty is too high. Our goals are different for each of our sites.

Purchased links almost always show as basic text. The key is that the hyperlink uses specific text as its anchor. Google weighs the number of incoming links, the quality of sites the links are on and the anchor text of each of these links. As you can see in the attached image under the subheading “Latest Posts,” the 3 links at the end of the paragraph are to client sites. The three links shown earn over $800 per year – with no work. They were published months ago and continue to earn monthly. Below the paragraph is a large Google AdSense ad.

Closely associated with link sales are sponsored posts. These are posts specifically written for the link(s) included in them. While we have accepted a number of these on Gringos Abroad, we don't allow them to be commercial, or promotional, in nature. Maintaining the quality and integrity of the blog is critical. We've been paid anywhere from $95 for a supplied blog post to $250 for a post that we wrote and then added the sponsored links.

If you are looking to get started in link sales, you should check out Text Link Ads (Update December 3, 2015: I've removed the link, because their site is infected with viruses). There are hundreds of link brokers but many don't state that they buy links on their sites – because they are afraid of Google repercussions. If you want to find them – they are almost always listed as a “SEO agency”. SEO is an acronym for search engine optimization.

Read about how your domain name can affect your SEO ranking.

Link Selling Tip: Go slow with this one. Don't accept any links to questionable sites. If you begin linking to unrelated sites, you'll both confuse readers and signal to Google that you are a confused blogger. If you accept too many paid links you could be penalized or even banned by Google. This is an almost certain death to a blog.

5. Display Advertising

To some bloggers, display advertising is the holy grail of making money online. To me, it is more of a headache then it is worth. Over the past few years, we've sold lots of display advertising space. Here's what we've learned:

  • Ad buyers don't have much money
  • Ad buyers don't really know what they want
  • Ad buyers expect the one ad on your site to be the savior to their lack-luster business

Of course, this isn't true of every ad buyer – many are professional and a pleasure to deal with. But in general, we've found that PPC ads not only perform better (make more money) they are also less work than dealing with a set of clients. Google AdSense, for example, updates the ad copy based on the context on your site and never calls or emails asking for changes or “little tweaks”. Google always pays on-time and doesn't complain.

If you want to sell ads, then you can certainly make money. But you'll want to set clear parameters before you promote the space.

  1. Set significant minimum terms: When we first got started we accepted one month terms. Now, we require a commitment of 3 months minimum.
  2. Determine who designs the ad: You can include the design component as part of the price or bill it separately. Be aware that if the client provides the ad copy – it will likely look awful. If they don't already have professionally designed ad copy – I recommend taking control and designing it for them. Either learn how to create simple ad copy yourself or hire a designer. It won't cost much and it will preserve the professional look of your site.
  3. Collect payment in full and in advance: Many of your advertisers are likely going to be either start-ups or small businesses (probably both). Their intention to pay and their ability to actually do it may not coincide. If an advertiser doesn't have the ability (or desire) to pay 100% upfront we decline the ad – no exceptions. Online advertising is not something that you can repossess if your client doesn't pay.
  4. Downplay expectations: Be sure to state – in writing – that you are not responsible for campaign results. Remember: getting paid for results is something completely different than simply providing ad space.  If you have solid traffic you will make more money with a PPC or affiliate ad campaign – where you get paid for the results you produce.

If you want to automate your ad sales – and access a bank of new advertisers – you might consider

Display Advertising Tip: Don't depend on this form of revenue for your site. And don't start with it. The previous four lines of revenue will likely produce better – and with significantly less time on your part.

Indirect Blog Monetization

Aside from the five direct monetization method we use (as just covered) we have also received a number of indirect benefits:

  • Because of the success of our travel blog we were hired to create and run a new blog for a client. This has not only generated regular monthly income but has also resulted in two trips to the Galapagos – covered by our client.
  • We have been hired to do other contract marketing and design work, as a direct result of our blog.
  • We frequently turn down invitations to speak at international events, interview requests (television and print) and business partnerships. It is overwhelming to see the opportunities that come as a direct result of our travel blog.
  • We have been filmed for television (twice) and interviewed numerous times.

There are many opportunities available once your site becomes established as an authority in its niche. (Learn how to choose your niche.) Your blog can also serve as a lead generation tool – to generate interest, leads, and sales in your off-line business.

How We Plan To Make Money With Our Blog

Our site monetization is based on traffic – the more traffic we get, the more we make.

We have been working on a number of educational products to offer to our community – but haven't completed them yet. In fact, we've had many readers contact us, asking for us to create specific products. This is on the list for 2013 – we plan to launch a number of products to help expats and travelers. We've already established that the market is there – we just need to complete the products.

An educational product, can refer to any of the following:

  • e-book
  • webinar (an online seminar – either video or just audio)
  • membership site (run by Wishlist Member)
  • video training course
  • audio programs

Successful educational products offer instant delivery to clients, answer a specific question and require no work to deliver the order. Once the product is created, everything else is 100% automated.

Fund Your Lifestyle With an Educational Product

What is the potential of a digital product? Here is one example: a fellow travel blogger, wrote an e-book a few years ago. He continues to sell an average of one per day, even years after it was written. One a day doesn't sound so impressive, but here is how the math works:

  • 30 units per month X $30 per unit = $900/monthly
  • Hours of work per month: 0

And this isn't his only book. Imagine multiplying this 2, 3 or 10 times over! Once the product is created, it will continue to sell.

Over the next six months we plan to focus on product creation. We've had good success at building an audience – now we need to create the products that they are asking for.

More reading: Learn how other bloggers monetize their blogs. And how to generate targeted blog traffic.

How do you make money with your blog? Is it similar or completely different to ours? I hope you'll share your thoughts in the comments below!


Hi, I'm the Author!

Bryan Haines is a travel blogger, photographer and content marketer. He is co-founder of Storyteller Media (content marketing for travel brands). Bryan also runs two authority blogs with his wife, Dena: ClickLikeThis (GoPro tutorials) and GringosAbroad (Ecuador travel).

60 comments… add one
  • Augustus Jun 18, 2016, 3:50 am

    Wonderful site. Plenty of useful info here. I’m sending it to several buddies ans also sharing in delicious.

    And obviously, thank you to your sweat!

  • Serendipity Tess Jun 5, 2015, 2:55 am

    Fantastic post! Thank you so much – it’s beautifully broken down and easy to understand. Very valuable for us newbies on the block!

  • Jim Mar 15, 2015, 7:48 am

    Brian or Dena, as I research starting a blog I sense that multiple ideas for blogging might be a mistake or blending them would be a mistake. But does it make sense to run more than one blog separately covering 2 or 3 interests? BTW, thanks for sharing this information.

    • Bryan Haines Apr 22, 2015, 11:26 am

      That’s a good question. There are no rules and there are many exceptions to popular wisdom. Generally speaking, it’s best to keep each blog under one central topic. You might find 2 or 3 angles on that same topic. But to build an authority site – and a community – you’ll want to build around an easily definable theme.

  • Chris Feb 21, 2015, 1:34 pm


    May have a business proposal for you. Ownership stake for knowledge. email me and we can talk further

  • John Cutler Feb 12, 2015, 3:16 am

    I love this article and I’ve subscribed, retweeted, and added you guys as a favorite. I just started my own travel blog in December. Right now I’m only averaging 50-100 visitors a day but I’m hoping it will grow. I have adsense on it and really like it because the ads are all relative to my site. Anyway you’re a great inspiration to this beginner blogger. I hope you will check me out sometime.

  • Damon and Jo Jan 30, 2015, 5:04 pm

    OK. You are officially our hero. A simple, comprehensive guide to making passive income through blogging. Thaaaaaaaank you!

  • Jessica Dec 9, 2014, 9:06 am

    Thanks Bryan, for this great and detailed information. Is your information focussed on Canadadian/American public or also applicable for European like me?

    I can´t wait to start blogging and learn from your experience!


    • Bryan Haines Dec 9, 2014, 9:49 am

      These monetization channels will work for a site located anywhere in the world. I live in Ecuador (South America) and it works from here.

      If your target audience is located in Europe, you’ll obviously use the country specific Amazon Affiliates program for where you are located. You might have to search some specific affiliate networks applicable to your audience, but I don’t see why they wouldn’t work anywhere in the world.

      Can’t wait to see what you do with your blog!

  • Jack Benguerel Nov 29, 2014, 3:10 pm


    My wife and I have been following your family for some time now. We bought your eBook yesterday even though it is just the two of us. As always it seems to have lots of useful ideas for everyone, not just families looking at making a big move. We live in the California Gold Country and thought starting a blog here could speed up our move to Ecuador! Thanks for all your advice. Thanks

    • Bryan Haines Nov 30, 2014, 6:20 am

      Thanks Jack – so happy to hear that you’re enjoying the book. Please let me know once you start your blog – would love to take a look!

      All the best!

  • DNN Nov 23, 2014, 11:55 pm

    You’re preaching the online marketing truth here. Do stop by the forum sometime and contribute this knowledge in the affiliate marketing category. 🙂

  • Luis Figueredo Nov 23, 2014, 12:16 pm

    Bryan has been a pleasure reading your guide. It is very clear about how blog have the multimedia impact (when work is well done) . And gave me more tips for this new tool that I already use but you have clarified some aspects that I don’t do because time mainly. But bogging really is something that I like very much. Thanks pal …and good luck and success with your things.
    I am from Argentina, hope you enjoy South America is really a vast and amazing world.

  • aaliyah Nov 8, 2014, 5:25 am

    Great post I must say… I am making a blog on travel, however right now I am very confused about it, if I should continue it or stop it because honestly speaking I have tried all the monetizing ways that you have mentioned here and they all require a lot ‘s traffic, be affiliate or PPC or direct advertisers. All your earnings depends on the traffic that you get.

    What are the ways you suggest for me to get traffic? Hire a SEO expert?.. but they are too expense…

    Learn SEO myself? I have installed SEO plugin’s but that’s not helping me get traffic. What are other ways? Yes I am trying guest blogging, social networking etc etc but nothing seems tobe very helpful.

    • Bryan Haines Dec 9, 2014, 10:02 am

      It’s a good idea to learn basic SEO. It isn’t hard and it makes a big difference.

      Are you building an email newsletter list? This is very important in building traffic – because you can bring back new readers every time you publish.

      Social media, guest posting, SEO, blog commenting and forum marketing are all good ways to build site traffic.

  • Hanna Sep 27, 2014, 11:08 am

    Thanks for the post! I am still in the very beginning, but I hope some day I will get some money from my blog too. First thing to do is to try to get more traffic to my blog, because now it’s read mostly by my friends. I have been reading many blogs about the subject making money by blogging and with hard work I suppose it’s possible for me too.

  • Jen Sep 6, 2014, 4:46 pm

    Thanks for this information. I’ll check out some of the sites as I’ve been wondering how I can make money on my blog now that I have gained readers.

  • Tamason Gamble Jul 11, 2014, 3:34 pm

    Having written a blog for about a year now we have grasped the basic concept of wordpress and SEO etc and now feel that we should be looking at how we can make some money from our blog. My only concern with some of the suggestions you have made is that I often find these forms of advertising myself annoying when I hit on a site – so a question to ask is – do you feel that you have lost any of your followers from your advertising campaigns? Secondly, do you use each of the advertising suggestions you have mentioned above or have you found one to be more beneficial? We are currently Amazon Affiliates but have not looked at any of the other suggestions.

    • Bryan Haines Jul 14, 2014, 7:36 am

      You need to decide the best type of advertising / monetization for your audience. Look at blogs and sites in your niche and see what they are doing – to see what your readers will be expecting. If your audience doesn’t want to see ads or marketing then it is going to be hard to monetize that group of readers.

      I know that we lost readers when we began to monetize – but I don’t care. Readers that are offended by me making a living aren’t my target audience anyway. We don’t want everyone as a reader – that would be impossible anyway.

  • Juliette May 27, 2014, 11:36 pm

    Thank you so much for all this great information….your kindness is overwhelming….I am planing to go abroad but still researching where…but all this information takes some of the stress off my decision. Love you guys much for this….many many heartfelt thanks..

    • Bryan Haines May 28, 2014, 6:22 am

      So glad that you’re enjoying the site.

      All the best on your plans!

  • Lina May 6, 2014, 12:25 am

    Hey Bryan- thanks for sharing this super helpful info! We’ve been running our blog for over a year and are just now considering monetizing all the content we’ve curated throughout the world. These are great tips to get us started!

  • T Michael Rearic Aug 6, 2013, 11:15 am

    Just a note to thank you for this blog. For a newbie (read: total internet dummy) like me this is manna from heaven. Your candor and honesty in this site is so much appreciated. You make it all seem possible. I’m sure you have heard it a thousand times now, but one more time….THANKS.

  • Luis Miranda Jun 17, 2013, 7:54 pm

    Hi Bryan:
    I just wanted to ask if you know of someone who has received a refund of the taxes generated by purchases within Ecuador. I searched about it on SRI correct process to receive on its website, but I wonder in some positive and effective personal experience on this issue. This information is for some Canadian tourists I am currently working as a tour guide and translator for them in Montanita-Spondylus Route. I take advantage to congratulate you on this website that is very helpful to foreign visitors and thank you in advance for your kind reply.

  • Christie Krull Apr 30, 2013, 3:02 pm

    What a wonderful site! I am just a sponge soaking it all up! I am a bit older and I did not have any computer education in school and so it is learning by doing or learning from others such as yourself. What a great topic to share with us!

    I am on and so I am wondering what your thoughts are about this site and wordpress for monetizing? Is it easier to manage a site of your own, or do these sites actually help bring traffic your way?

    I have applied and have been accepted by google adsense, but I don’t see much happening and wonder if my settings are ok. I never received any code from them.

    Thanks again!

  • Lee Mar 27, 2013, 4:57 pm

    Wow Bryan, I mean it… WOW! First of all, how generous of you to share all these wonderful tips, and your personal experience. But then, you go the extra mile and put real numbers to back up what you’re saying… not everyone is willing to divulge this info. (I found this post linked from our joint membership in LinkedIn Travel Blogger group, btw.)

    Secondly, I have to tell you I have been ‘trying’ to set up my blog for over a year now… reading all I can, all the tips, the do’s and don’ts, you name it… but the whole advertising thing has had me so confused about which does what, and where to start; that’s what has been holding me up! YOU have finally made it so simple, approachable, and most importantly, understood. I am ready now, and confident, to finish putting my blog together this weekend! For that I am most grateful!

    Lastly, I’m just so glad to have found your blogs for all the other great info contained in them, and have subscribed. My/our intention has been for over 3 years now that we’ll be expats somewhere… Belize, Ecuador, Italy… not sure yet exactly where, but hoping to start delving further into that research later this year.

    Thank you, thank you, and thank you again! 🙂

    • Bryan Haines Mar 27, 2013, 5:03 pm

      Thanks for the great feedback Lee! I really appreciate it.

      We’ve got lots of great stuff planned – hopefully you’ll join us for the trip. The goal is to teach potential travelers and expats how to live off their blog.


  • Molly Mar 20, 2013, 1:18 pm

    Lots of great tips in this article and many of these income generating methods I didn’t know of. Especially useful for a newbie but good for even and experienced blogger. Have fun in Ecuador, Molly

    • Bryan Haines Mar 21, 2013, 8:38 am

      Thanks Molly – the are a surprising number of revenue channels for bloggers. Sometimes the hardest part is deciding which ones to implement first!

  • Joanna Feb 28, 2013, 3:37 pm

    Hi Bryan,
    This is an excellent post! I’m just getting started in the blogging business and I love that you put all the info in one post. It’s often difficult to find all this info because it is scattered all over! Many thanks for this.

    • Bryan Feb 28, 2013, 4:36 pm

      Thanks Joanna – so glad you’re enjoying the content!

  • Jon R Hallock Feb 21, 2013, 7:16 pm

    Sounds like all of you are doing what I’m thinking of doing; Moving to Ecuador and blogging. One concern is the recent news about a 30% increase in robberies and burglaries in 2012 over 2011. Since reading your blog I’m now wondering about the all important Social security benefits I receive also.
    A friend with family near Cuenca says crime is mainly in the North and in downtown areas. Have you noticed a problem with it?
    Thanks, Jon R

    • Bryan Feb 23, 2013, 2:11 pm

      There is crime – and petty crime affects everyone. But serious crime is primarily at night and in the bad areas. Avoid those areas and you’ll be fine. You might want to check our expat blog GringosAbroad for more info on Cuenca.

  • Cheryl Nichols Feb 18, 2013, 8:46 am

    Any advice about how and where to best incorporate your online business? I already live abroad and am wondering about this fundamental.

    • Bryan Feb 18, 2013, 8:52 am

      Great question Cheryl! I’m looking into this for our business now. It is currently based in Canada, although we live in Ecuador. From what I understand, internet businesses don’t have to be registered where you are living, because they are conducted online. We are awaiting more info from our government… I plan to post about it later. How are you running your business?

      • Cheryl Feb 19, 2013, 8:25 am

        Hi Bryan! I have not incorporated yet. I am researching the requirements of the affiliate sales companies. Some require a US tax id number. Some require you to live in the town they post the checks to, yet I can’t just deposit a US check here in France. Perhaps Paypal has something with international status. I don’t want to incorporate in France, that is all I am sure of right now. Let’s keep in touch on this!

  • Doc McCoy Feb 12, 2013, 8:21 am

    Good advices – though I went about it a different way. Living in China – which is a difficult language to learn – started a web site that promoted businesses to the English language community. Generates a nice level of income but does take a bit of work. Chinese government let me do it without licenses and such because they saw it as a way to promote the city. After 5 years, finally decided to incorporate – and have now turned it into a full time business that is profitable and successful. For one branch that we are now expanding into, we of course will be monetizing that web site with the PPC ads and similar things.

    • Bryan Feb 12, 2013, 11:55 am

      It does take lots of work. Blogging can create good passive income, but it does take time.

  • Siegfried Feb 11, 2013, 5:48 pm

    well, it sounds really, really simple but i think it’s not – first you need quite a big volume of visitors. once you have them then it is easy

    • Bryan Feb 12, 2013, 11:54 am

      Of course – site traffic is critical. But many bloggers don’t make any money, even with good traffic. I wrote this post to help bloggers see the potential – and then actually begin earning as their traffic increases.

  • Mike Feb 5, 2013, 9:19 am

    Do you have any references to back up your claim that blogging income as you described above is passive? Just want to avoid any possible entanglements with IRS. Also, do you know if this income would violate the terms of a pensioner visa in Ecuador. It’s my understanding that holders of a pensioner visa are not allowed to have a job or be self-employed. Thanks

    • Bryan Feb 5, 2013, 9:25 am

      In the context of the post, the income is “passive” in that we don’t have to work by the hour to earn it. We make money every day – regardless of if we work or not. I might be wrong (best to check with an immigration lawyer) but I don’t think there is anything stopping pensioners from working. The pension is just the basis of the visa.

      • andy Feb 5, 2013, 10:11 am

        Mike you will find that the IRS allows up to I think it is 98K now that is an exclusion from taxes for expats or any overseas income earners, any past that amount is taxed normally.

  • Casey Cline Feb 3, 2013, 9:03 pm

    Thank you guys for this excellent info. My husband and I are coming to check out Cuenca in May or June as we search for a place to become expats. I’ve been devouring your Gringos Abroad blog because it’s so helpful and detailed about the real-life things we’re curious about. I already have a location-independent job as a freelance editor but my husband has a traditional office job so he is looking into different options for when we move overseas. It’s starting to seem like an internet business is the way to go. I have a small-scale travel blog that’s just a hobby, but you’ve inspired me to try to expand my readership in the hopes of monetizing down the road. We’ll be reading both of your blogs regularly. 🙂

    • Bryan Feb 4, 2013, 6:43 am

      Thanks Casey! All the best on your plans – and monetizing your site.

  • George Feb 2, 2013, 10:33 pm

    I am surprised you don’t have a hundred comments on this subject. You are very generous to offer this information to the expat community. I have been thinking about monetizing for a while but just have not gotten around to it yet. I am also trying to figure out just what and how many ads I want on the site. I follow Pat Flynn pretty closely and he also has many great ideas. Thanks for writing about this. It should be helpful to a lot of your readers.


    • Bryan Feb 3, 2013, 6:14 am

      Hey George – great to hear from you! Really appreciate your comment and would love to hear how things go with your site. We’ll be covering this in even more detail in coming weeks and months.


  • Collin Feb 2, 2013, 6:43 pm

    Hi Bryan,

    This info couldn’t have came at a better time. The time, thought and detail you put into this is very impressive. Thanks for your transparency and willingness to help others who are interested in this field.


    • Bryan Feb 2, 2013, 6:45 pm

      Thanks Collin – appreciate it!

  • Dan King Feb 2, 2013, 6:16 pm

    Great information, Bryan. I do a lot of writing and it’s something I’d like to continue to do in Ecuador. We expect to be moving there in the next few years.
    Thanks for sharing your thoughts on blogging. It’s very helpful.


    • Bryan Feb 2, 2013, 6:40 pm

      Thanks Dan – all the best on your plans!

  • andy nasipak Feb 2, 2013, 2:54 pm

    Bryan- As I will be retiring to Ecuador in the next few years. One of the concerns was wiht income other than investments and social security. Your article has opened my eyes to residual income on several levels and appreciate your concise, open sharing of information. I shared the information with a neighbor that may follow in find to Ecuador and his summary could be paraphased as ” Better then buying a business and the problems of running it” Well we may do both but with this knowledge, it does make some things easier. Thanks


    • Bryan Feb 2, 2013, 4:35 pm

      Thanks Andy. Blogging is a viable way to create some secondary – or even principal – income. The major investment is time.

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