Welcome to the 1000-1000 Travel Blog Challenge. The Challenge is the competitive bedrock of the TBC and is the main tool we will use in our community experiment to answer the question: is travel blogging really a viable way to earn sustainable online income? It is also a fixed goal that we can use to motivate ourselves and each other.
What is the 1000-1000 Challenge?
The Challenge is simple. Build your travel or lifestyle blog to the point where it earns at least $1000 USD per month and gets an average of 1000 visitors/day.
Simple right? Well, maybe not that simple. In fact, we know accomplishing both can be difficult. Many people on the internet want you to believe that its easy to travel the world and get paid for it. They rely on the emotional hooks of freedom, travel and money to get you to part with your own money. The truth is, travel blogging takes time, dedication, and a plan of action. BUT you can succeed, and the Challenge is a way to help each other gain sustainable online income from travel blogging and build a legion of adoring fans (or just some really cool people).
We will do it together, and prove not only that succeeding at travel and lifestyle blogging is possible, but how to do it so others can follow in our footsteps.
How to Start the 1000-1000 Challenge
Starting the Challenge is easy and is the first step on your way to joining the Travel Blog Challenge (TBC) Network.
1) Register your site with Get Clicky so you can track visitor numbers and prove them to me and analyze where your traffic is coming from! (I switched this requirement from google analytics, because Get Clicky offers a much better user interface and is still free (there is a premium option if you want to track more than one site).
2) Install the TBC 1000-1000 Challenger Badge with pride (lots of sizes to suit your needs)
3) Write a post on your blog announcing you have joined the 1000-1000 Challenge
4) Leave a comment on this page with a link to your announcement (so I can add you to the list of challengers)
5) Write consistently, be creative and honest when earning money and building traffic
6) Selflessly promote the heck out of your fellow travel and lifestyle challengers
Before you send the inevitable barrage of e-mails bemoaning earning money from travel blogging, waxing poetic about all the other benefits such as social capital, engaging in a passion, and meeting new people, just take a deep breath and read some more.
There are many ways to measure success in the blogging world, and by no means am I saying that $1000/month and 1000 visitors/day is the only way to measure this. If you are happy blogging for the love of writing, great! If you are only interested in keeping a journal of your trip, go for it. If you are only interested in building a community but not monetization, this is still a great place for you.
I chose $1,000 as the threshold as this is a nice side income, and it is also the minimum monthly income needed by most long term budget travelers.
I chose 1,000 visitors (or about 30,000 a month) as this seems to be the magic number between a small website and one that has developed a respectable following. Well, to be honest, this one was more random and I went with my gut feeling. Of course we would all love over 100,000 visitors a month, but lets concentrate on one thing at a time.
These are the standards I hoping we can use to build up credibility. When we have enough bloggers who have completed the challenge we will have a powerful lobbying group to engage with advertisers, PR reps and marketers.
Ive Started the Challenge, Now What?
The challenge is a medium term goal. It is my hope that it does not take most challengers longer than 1 year to complete. In the meantime, poke around the Travel Blog Challenge for advice and guidance on how to build a better blog.
Sign up for the TBC Network (the 1000-1000 Challenge is the first step). See the TBC Welcome post for details.
Introduce yourself on the forums in the New Challenger Introductions thread.
Most importantly, network, promote others, and engage with the community here. This is your site too and the benefits for all of us will come through supporting each other and banding together.
Ive Complete the Challenge, Now What? How will you Know?
Fear not, Im not going to forget about you, or exclude you if you are already a popular blogger.
If you are already over the 1000-1000 threshold, then get in touch and we will work it out. This will most likely be through a 1,500-1,500 challenge, or something like it. In either case this is just the first step in getting involved with the TBC Network. See the full steps here.
How to Prove you finished the Challenge
Like joining the TBC Network I will rely on Get Clicky to show your average monthly visits. While I encourage these to be unique visits, for the time being we will just say visits.
Proving how much you earn from your blog can be trickier and since this is all for self development I am going to just take your word for it. You are free to be creative in how you earn money from your blog (adsense, private advertising, affiliate sales, selling your own products, entering competitions etc). BUT you should distinguish between what the blog helps you earn and what you earn through the blog. For example a paid writing assignment that has NOTHING to do with your blog does not count. But if you win a writing competition by promoting it through your blog that is OK.
Basically, Im asking you to use your common sense, be fair, transparent and honest. When you complete the Challenge Ill ask you to post an article with your tips, advice and a breakdown of the types of revenue you earn and where your traffic comes from. This will help everyone else who follows, plus its really cool to see how others succeed!
OK, enough chit chat, lets get on with it. Good luck with the challenge and I cant wait to meet you.