“So how do you make money out of this?” The #LifeOfATravelBlogger as it is.

There is this one question that keeps coming up in my life. I hear it from my students, as well as from my parents’ friends, or even from other bloggers in this “brave new world” of ours: “Well, then, professional travel blogger. Always on the move! But tell us (again), how do you actually make money!?”

Let’s be honest. Years ago, if you had asked me, even I would have likely found it strange to be spending an ordinary Wednesday afternoon relaxing at a friend’s house in Porto, Portugal, taking “a break from blogging as a living”. Working whenever, even when or especially while travelling.

So how do you define the everyday business reality of a travel blogger?

Alltag, was ist das schon? Einmal einen Vortrag über den portugiesischen Jakobsweg in Krems an der Donau halten ...

Business has become one thing above all: Completely relative. From preparing for giving a speech about my pilgrimage on the Portuguese Way of Saint James …


... bis hin zur Organisation einer Fachexkursion zum Thema "Kulturtourismus im ländlichen Raum" mit Studentinnen der FH Joanneum:

… to organising a two-days excursion for my cultural tourism students at the FH University of Applied Sciences Joanneum in Styria: Blogging as a business is really what you make of it, and completely different for each individual blogger concerned.


Thoughts like these crossed my mind, as I recently travelled to attend ITB, the largest travel trade show in the world, in Berlin. I then thought, why not ask others around me?

And I did, asking ten more travel bloggers & influencers from Germany & Austria about their everyday business lives, and “where the road would still take them”. Melanie (“Lifetravellerz”) highlights more content work for third-party clients, whereas Michael is planning on launching his own agency through “Blog Bohème”. “Reisebloggerin” Gudrun Krinzinger is currently focused on getting their own travel project #7ways2travel off the ground, and Lea (“Escape Town”) is looking for even more work opportunities beyond the immediate sphere of travel and tourism.


“Blogging as a business” is and will always be changing, depending on what you make out of it.

Later this year, I’ll have reached my seventh year of being self-employed. And every year during this adventurous journey, I have seen new opportunities unfold; including the wonderful occasion to speak in front of my peers at #NBEFinland Nordic Bloggers’ Experience, or talk at ITB Berlin via Facebook Live about the “everyday (business) life of a travel blogger“.

As those of you working self-employed will know, each and every year is different. Just three years ago, my business providing language trainings & translations has grown substantially (it’s almost seven languages I now master fluently!), whereas right now, it is mostly speaking gigs at conferences as well as EU projects I am commissioned to do.

Working as a consultant with the European Union is a very exciting step in my international career, the Erasmus project “EUROPETOUR” allowing me to discover Romania and assist with the development of Social Media Guidelines for cultural tourism in rural areas. Last but not least, Greece has been calling me to assist with their national tourism development strategy concerning religious cultural heritage tourism.


It’s great if, like me, you love working at the intersection of education, consultancy, languages & communication. However, there are certain points to watch out for.

I for myself, wouldn’t like to entirely commercialise my blog, i.e. selling content or writing because of an SEO dictate. My blog is supposed to remain the creative playground it is, while at the same time serving as my digital business card in the sense that I mind the quality of my writing, the accuracy of my research, the portray of people and their stories in a timely, honest and respectful manner. It’s a lot of work, always sharing from on the road almost daily, in the two languages German & English on my completely bilingual blog. I do, however, care about it so much that I find I love doing it just as much as I did five years ago, ever since I started www.CreativElena.com in October 2012.

This is totally in line, for instance, with having been commissioned to speak during my first webinar about Storytelling & Creative Travel by a German company called Trekksoft.


Or currently negotiating a deal to do strategic consultancy for an Austrian digital marketing & storytelling company. While, only weeks later, being flown to Portugal in order to give a speech about creative travel & Social Media marketing in the northern Portuguese town of Esposende, near Porto.


We reap what we sow: If you care about sending the “right” signals, you will end up with the “right” people. It’s the magic of modern-day networking, as enhanced by the Internet.

Stolz, der: In einer indischen Tourismusfachzeitschrift mit meinem Artikel über Kreativ Reisen zu erscheinen ...

The pride of it all being, to appear in an Indian Tourism Journal following my most recent travel research publication in there …


... in der Aufmachung einer "waschechten Pilgerin", Geld zu verdienen und noch viel wichtiger: Menschen zum Gehen zu inspirieren ...

… to earn a living from talking about the things I love, and care deeply about, such as inspiring people to embark on a pilgrimage along the Way of Saint James …


... los GEHT's ...

… off we go, then …


... mein Buch als Unterrichtsmaterial für meine Studentinnen an der FH Joanneum in Bad Gleichenberg einzusetzen ...

… to use my book as a legitimate teaching resource for my cultural tourism students at the FH Joanneum University of Applied Sciences in Bad Gleichenberg, Styria …


... Menschen zu inspirieren ...

… to speak & inspire my fellow peers & travel industry professionals, as I did in Helsinki earlier this year …


... oder der Präsentation in Portugal ...

… to be presenting about creative travel on the international stage of this Creative Tourism Seminar, in Portugal …


... wie immer geht es um die Netzwerke, und darum, wen wir wie erreichen ...

… highlighting once more, why and how it is important what we do: To reach and connect with others …


... denn die nächste Generation steht schon in den Startlöchern: Ich liebe die Arbeit mit "meinen Studentinnen" !!!

… because the next generation is already there to listen and follow through in our footsteps: Love working with & inspiring “my students” !!!


A (final) word about teaching: It is exactly ten years now that I have concluded my own cultural tourism university degree at the FH IMC Krems. To now being asked to teach the same subject at the FH Joanneum, another very prestigious University of Applied Sciences in Austria, is realising the second big life dream of teaching cultural tourism management; after publishing my book, “The Creative Traveler’s Handbook”. It’s ultimately rewarding, to say the least (THANK YOU, dear team at the FH Joanneum, for so much trust in, and support of, my work!).

They say you ought to do three things in your life: Plant a tree, write a book, and have a child. Well. From a metaphysical point of view, I always feel like I’m “planting ideas” when teaching students & adults about different ways of doing business, leading a life, or travelling. I have written a book, and it feels like my children are now populating the world through my words:


“Elena, thanks so much for your book. I already look forward to reading the next …!”

And me 😀 So tell me: Where will your journey still lead you?

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Jen Neubauer 27 April 2017 - 17:25

That’s amazing that you are fluent in seven languages and a successful business woman. Totally inspirational (I’m sure you get that a lot!) Do you ever organize cultural outings in Europe for Americans (Not sure where you’re based out of) I’d love to find someplace that does combination of wine/beer/food with some history and outdoors mixed in.

Look forward to reading more!

Elena 28 April 2017 - 17:04

Dear Jen,

Thanks so much for your comment here! Sure, we do it all the time, and especially out of my own home country right here #inAustria (under that hashtag, you will find a first list / image & event data base on which to base your further ideas and planning).

When are you next over the big pond? Would love to welcome you in Vienna one day!




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