• An Article by Jeff Epps

Becoming a Travel Blogger


Johnny Ward (www.onestep4ward.com)

It was sometime around mid 2013 I had come across an article about a man named, Johnny Ward. It was a very interesting article. It was about a man in his early 30s from Ireland who had set out to visit every country in the world and who had made more than $1,000,000 USD doing it.

I read the article to its entirety and tried to learn more about this man and the whole time asking myself, “is this for real?!” Well, I checked out his blog, www.onestep4ward.com, and read just about every article, saw every picture, and watched almost all of his videos. I was convinced that there was something about this man that was genuine. But I still wasn’t sold.

I dug a little deeper in an effort to persuade myself that this guy was indeed really who he said he was and that he had in fact traveled to all of these wonderful places while being paid for it. I couldn’t help but remind myself of the old saying, “if something sounds too good to be true, then it probably is.” I got on YouTube and listened to countless podcasts, watched videos, read more articles and on and on my fantasies took off and I became more inclined to live a life like this man.

I’ve kept up with Johnny’s blog and read about his adventures around the world. I’ve seen his amazing photos and videos of all these exotic places. I love his story about his humble beginnings growing up with a single mother and how he saved up enough money to travel to Thailand to teach English and was paid peanuts to do it. And how his journey to Thailand inspired him to want to see more of the world. I think about how much I have in common with this man and how he has led me to believe that if he can do it, I can too.

I even sent Johnny a couple of emails and Facebook messages and asked him questions pertaining to travel equipment, visas, and other questions that may help me in my pursuit to become a travel blogger. He responded to all my messages. I must say that now, after four years of following this guy that I’m about 75% sold on him and his brand. But I’m a natural skeptic.

Thanks to Johnny Ward, I then started keying in more to the travel blogger/digital nomad world and starting learning about others who are doing something similar to what Johnny is doing, bloggers like Johnny Jet (www.johnnyjet.com), Matt Kepnes (www.nomadicmatt.com), Dave & Deb (www.theplanetd.com) among many others who have turned their travel blogs into full time businesses and are literally getting paid to travel the world. How cool is that?

So, how do they do it? Well, you can always read their stories on their own respective blogs. But in short, there are many ways that these people get paid to travel. First of all, you almost have to have a following. I mean, FB “likes”, YouTube fans, Twitter followers, stuff like that. When you become well known, then you can more easily sell yourself to people who will pay you to promote their products and services through your blog. This is done in the form of sponsors, brand ambassadorships, affiliate marketing, press trips, etc. These people get very creative and not all of them do the exact same thing or work with the same companies. A lot of it has to do with their own brands that they promote. Some are “solo female travelers,” some “family travelers,” some “budget travelers,” some emphasize food, clothes, or just one part of the world. Your brand will most likely determine what kind of people are attracted to you. Most people who begin their careers as travel bloggers/digital nomads already have some money saved before they begin their journeys because the first year or two of travel can be tight.

Anyways, I couldn’t write my first blog post without giving credit where it is due. I want to thank those who have become successful professional travelers and have taught me that in the “digital age,” nobody has to work a 9 to 5 sludge and grudge career to be successful and have a fruitful life. Life is too short to stay in one spot and you only live once. My goal in life is to be single, free, rich, and happy. I have three out of four of those accomplished so far.

I want to think all who are reading this for reading this and also in advance to those who opt to keep up with my journey around the world. I won’t start traveling full time until I finish my contract in a couple of years with my employer in China. There are arguably 196 countries in the world and I plan on visiting every single one. If I die trying, then at least I die doing what I love and that is, travel. If you’re gonna live, LIVE. Traveling makes a person forever young because they are always experiencing something new, learning something new, meeting someone new, and are ALWAYS being inspired.

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