Stefan and Sebastien quit their jobs in 2014 and have travelled the world ever since. Their blog, Nomadic Boys, showcases their adventures together.
Revenue of $5,000/mo
Email list size of 7,000
Founded in 2014
Hello! What’s your background, and what is your blog about?
We are a gay couple, Stefan and Sebastien. We quit our jobs and London life in early 2014 to eat our way through Asia and have since made traveling a long-term lifestyle.
Stefan, 33 is a former lawyer, of Greek Cypriot origin, born and raised in London. Sebastien, 34, is an IT geek, originally from France but moved to London to work in the finance industry. London is where we met.
Our blog, Nomadic Boys initially started as a way of recording our travels for our big trip in Asia.
As the blog has grown, we’ve become more organized with the type of articles we do and when. Comparing our latest blog post to our first one makes us cringe, but a great benchmark to see how far we’ve evolved.
Our audience is mainly gay men based mainly in the USA, UK, Canada, Europe and Australia who are passionate about traveling. They read our blog because they related to our experiences and the way we travel.
Since we set up the blog, it has grown exponentially in terms of traffic and followers, particularly amongst the LGBT community. We have recently started to be contacted by hotels, tour companies and other tourist-related businesses offering sponsorship and advertising. Nomadic Boys has over the past 5 years evolved to become our main source of income and our full-time job.
What motivated you to get started with the blog?
Sebastien was on the verge of leaving London and Stefan had hit a lull in his legal career and was looking for something new. We talked about moving to new places long-term and earning money along the way to fund this and to make long-term traveling a new lifestyle/career.
In around 2012, we agreed to go for it and start in Asia. So, we started planning and saving up and set 2014 as the year we would be financially ready to leave London.
We set up the blog before we left London in June 2014. It was a mutual decision and has become our baby.
The blog has been an excellent way to keep a record of our travels. It’s great because it forces us to be more involved with our travels, such as what we are eating, when and why was a particular building built and making a strong effort to meet locals.
What is the revenue model for the blog?
We make money mainly through affiliation / commission income from the recommendations we give, travel writing, campaigns to market new travel products to our audience and promoting a particular destination.
We started making money on our blog after the first year, when the first few articles starting ranking well on Google, which led to more bookings, and therefore the start of an affiliation income stream.
The best advice is to be passionate about what you’re doing. We love our blog. It is however extremely time-consuming and we spend far more time behind a laptop than we ever did in our former jobs. It’s like any new business – it needs a large injection of time initially to get it off the ground.
What are some strategies you have used for building up the traffic?
We are currently getting around 130,000 monthly pageviews. Focusing on SEO strategies is the key way to building up a steady flow of traffic, and of course, keeping abreast of all the algorithm changes Google implements so that you evolve your strategy over time.
Going viral on social media also helps, but this is a short-term spike – good for exposure, but not a long-term solution.
Getting good quality backlinks from relevant websites in your niche is also very important and we spend a great deal of time on eg guest posting, writing for larger publications.
As we said above, to get it off the ground, it will need a large injection of time and patience, and of course perseverance. So you really have to be passionate about it.
How have you grown the email list?
We have 7,000 email subscribers and want to invest more time into growing this more. However, the big number is meaningless if no one reads it. Analyzing the opening and click-through rate is also very important.
We’ve adapted our newsletter to a monthly template summary of what has been published on our blog and other tips we’ve stumbled on which has made our travels more efficient, and planning easier.
One of the best ways to grow an email list is to get involved with and host giveaway contents and to have a pop up on the website to invite new visitors to subscribe.
How do you write great content that performs well?
Researching what you want to write and why is the most important thing. SEO research at the outset is key to this. Having a clear objective of what each article is to focus on is key – not only for pleasing Aunty Google, but also to make the article easier to read.'The best advice is to be passionate about what you’re doing. We love our blog.'Click To Tweet
Choosing what to write has been easy to date, as it’s been based on our travel experiences. We’ve a lot of content we still want to create in respects of this.
The best way to evolve writing style is to stick with it, and over time, your own unique blogging writing style will develop. Then it’s also important to revisit old articles to update and polish them up – Google loves this and will also help you get a ranking boost.
What are the biggest challenges you’ve faced and obstacles you’ve overcome with your blog? If you had to start over, what would you do differently?
The biggest challenge we’ve faced is finding adequate time to write the content we want. Ironically travel gets in the way of travel blogging, as most of our time gets soaked up with planning for the trip.
The key thing is to really hone in on what you want to achieve and focus/ prioritize your time around this. For example, we spent too much time on social media at the outset and less on creating content for the blog. As we’ve evolved, we’ve learned to focus more on the things that we enjoy, but also make money to pay the bills.
Have you found anything particularly helpful or advantageous?
One of the most useful resources are connecting with others in your field so you can share and exchange ideas. So attending conferences like TBEX is invaluable. Another is to join the many travel blogger Facebook groups and interact with other like-minded bloggers.
At Nomadic Boys we are fortunate in that we are two running it, so we share the workload according to our skill set. Stefan loves networking, writing and photography, Seb loves SEO, IT and video creation. This has allowed us to achieve a very healthy and successful working balance.
What’s your advice for bloggers who are just starting out?
First, have a clear idea what you want to achieve. Is this a hobby or to make money? If the latter, understand the reality requires a huge injection of time and patience to get it off the ground. Choosing and championing a specific niche is also very important on the outside.
The most important thing is to enjoy it and be passionate about it. If you are, then you’re halfway to succeeding.
Where can we go to learn more?