“I am a blogger”: how and why this sentence allowed me to make a living as a blogger.

“Mom, I make a living as a blogger, but I can explain!”

This was the sentence I had to tell to my mom lately, as I realized that my income as a blogger has overcome my income as a translator, that was the freelance job I started after I left my full time job in Milan (in order to choose my South Italy pace of life, and run after my sea, an impossible love –  that eventually became possible – and even to run after happiness).

How travelling changed my life (and how I changed my life to travel)

So, you can imagine my mom has gone through too many complicated things to understand. Among them, what the hack is a blogger, and what does she do to earn a living.

I’ve been running my blog for a decade. I like writing, that’s no secret for mom and for anybody else. But I’ve made other things to earn a living. When I created my own business, it was in the normal and easily explainable field of translations.

Now, in the last 6 months, I’ve started earning from my blog more than I had expected. It’s not a matter of chance.
I’m going to tell you how I did it.

#1 – I DECIDED I wanted to earn money with my (travel) blog

Knowing your possible direction, is the first step to reach a harbor.

Well, no, it was not a matter of chance. I started reading other blogs very often and found out that you can really make a living out of it. And when you know it, you can choose to keep on writing freely (as often as you want, as much as you want, about all the subjects you like). Or you can start thinking about raising some money, considering that you devote to your blog more or less the same time you devote to your “official job”. So… why not trying?

The day you start thinking about it, your life will (must) change, because you must lead the ship towards that direction.

cose da fare per un blog

A list of things I started doing in order to start rowing in that direction:

  • Studying from other blogs and comparing other bloggers’ experiences;
  • making my blog traffic increase (see how at point #3);
  • constantly commenting on other blog posts that I found interesting and in some way related to my specific and main subjects (see at point #3 why this turned out to be VERY useful);
  • Finding at least one day a week to be devoted entirely to my blog, social media sharing and re-sharing, studying, planning and, of course, writing (even if I have been writing far more than once a week).

à2 – I started introducing myself as a blogger and content  writer

Naming a thing, is the first way to make it real.

When you give a name to something, this “something” starts existing. Your career as a blogger is no exception.

After you tell  yourself “you are a blogger, so what?” (repeat for 10 minutes, slowly, every day, before you put on your make up) there are other things you must do to make the world believe you are a blogger and persuade other people to pay you for that. That’s what I made (and apparently it worked):

socia media strategy

  • I wrote on facebook “Profession: blogger and 3 languages SEO content writer” and in a couple of weeks I was contacted for a long term blogging collaboration;
  • After I first told my friends that I was working as a blogger, they invited me to a digital nomads workshops who gave me new contacts and WORK and new social media followers;
  • As I wrote “blogger and 3 languages SEO content writer” also on twitter, my follower number increased.

#3 – I applied strategies to make my blog traffic and credibility increase

Growing (up) also means giving up a bit of innocence

I’ll be very clear about this point: as I started thinking about blogging as a profession, I lost a part of my innocence and playful attitude while blogging. Numbers and statistics became important to me, as they had never been before.

The bright side of this attitude is that the strategies to make your quality traffic increase are, in my opinion, funny and interesting. Here is a list of things I did to increase my quality traffic and engagement and my Page Authority:


  • I joined facebook groups for bloggers. Don’t think they are just places to share opinions and tips. They are groups where, every day, there is a sharing and mutual commenting activity with very strict rules to follow. If you join a thread but don’t respect the rules you’ll be kindly summoned first, then removed from the group.
  • I commented on all blog posts I found interesting. I’ve read this is a way to increase your authority about a subject and so the authority of your own blog.

Comments must be pertinent, not spamming (to be clear “Wow! Great post” is not a comment). You must tell your opinion and explain it properly. When someone comments on your posts, you must reply.

Doing so, my page authority reached 40/100 in just 4-5 months to. It’s not a huge result, but companies start to find you interesting after you reach a score of 25/100.

And actually in the last 3 months I was contacted by 3 companies for sponsored posts (always related to my main subject, i.e. travels). And yes, they are paying me. Still can’t believe that’s true!

#4 – I promote other bloggers

Another business world is possible!

If they tell you that in order to make money you must be mean and beat the competitors, don’t believe them. At least, this doesn’t apply to the bloggers’ business.

The more you promote and endorse other bloggers, the more you get traffic, engagement, credibility, and as said above, all this leads to paid works. In this field, being an asshole is not a good strategy while being a better person is.

So I:

  • Interviewed other female bloggers that I like, underlining how much I admire them,
  • Mentioned in my posts other blogs that I frequently read and tagged the authors on my social media,
  • Accepted to be featured on other blogs even with just one sentence and/or a picture.

Sharing is a good way to grow (your business, your competences, your karma)!

Do it like a local: Roberta and her dreamy, slow and charming Zagreb.

#5 – I had to change my social media strategy

And one day you realize that facebook can be EVEN useful!

First of all, my social media presence had to turn into a strategy or something similar to that. I’m not a several thousand followers blogger, but I wanted to create and generate engagement that is, for companies, much more important than the followers number.

So I:

  • Spent many evenings home alone, commenting ON the last twitter trends, mainly those related to my main post subjects (when you spend winter nights on your sofa sipping RED wine this can be even be relaxing);
  • Chose the # more useful on Instagram for travel bloggers (I had to read a lot about it and imitate other high engagement travel bloggers),
  • Started giving Pinterest the right credibility (Pinterest is so useful to increase your traffic),
  • Started looking for interesting posts to share via StumbleUpon,
  • For each post I shared on social media, I made a different suitable graphic.

Other bright sides of it:
People I love think I have plenty of time to devote them and to myself, that I lead a very fit life because of my size and that I make a lot of sports because of this size despite all the martini and wine and beer I drink.
The truth is that I start working at 6 in the morning, generally don’t have lunch (just a sandwich while writing) and wine is often my only dinner when I go out with my best friends after a 10 hours working day.

Well, if you start your blogging career, make sure at least this last part won’t be your model!


  • Empire

    Wow, this was a really helpful post 🙂 I love reading posts like this, I think there’s always room for improvement when it comes to blogging.
    I also noticed that Pinterest plays a huge role in traffic. I have a board of my own that I pin every post to, and it usually contributes a lot to my traffic.

  • Ana

    Hi Sabrina,

    I totally believe that blogging is not everyone’s cup of tea. It takes a lot of effort, time and strategies to make a successful blog and target to the right audience. One has to be content writer, coder, influencer, managing your own PR apart from being a blogger. Hope the day comes soon when Blogging would be considered a high esteem profession rather than just a hobby.

    Have a great weekend!

  • Tiina A

    Thank you so much for this great post! i would so much love to make my living by blogging as that’s something I could do anywhere – not needing to spend the time in one place/country. Even though i’ve been blogging for a long time I haven’t really shared anything untill recently. Unfortunately I lost quite a many followers when I change the name and address of my blog. Should have been more careful with that. I had to start it all over, but made a mistake by thinking peopel will find me easily – not happened!

    • Sabrina - In My Suitcase

      Maybe you just needed a full start from the scratch! We always learn from our every day mistakes. This blog is 10 years old but absolutely ignored that I could make somethign out of it until 2 years ago. Life is just a matter of “realizing” new potentials. Good look, I’m one of your brand new followers noW.

  • Nallely

    Hey. This post its great, so use full I just have 1 year with my blog. Thank you for sharing your tips

  • Elena

    and I also loved the photographs you choose for this post !

  • Elena

    I loved your post! at the beginning when you try to explain what a blogger does, I saw myself when I tried to explain it to my own mother as I worked as a freelancer translator and I had to do something else more productive with my life. <3 <3

  • Kerry

    I started blogging in February and I’m now starting to get into the swing of everything. Hopefully I will be able to say the same one day as I really enjoy doing what I do and put everything into it. Thanks for sharing all these tips, they are great for a newbie like me 🙂

  • Desteny

    This is awesome. So glad blogging has worked out so well for you! Finger’s crossed I can somehow turn my little hobby into something that makes a little money, too, one day. I’ll be sure to keep some of this stuff in mind!

  • ahmed

    intersting , you look so smart ! i hope that you achieve more success

  • Theresa

    That is very interesting, and I am so jealous of your lifestyle! Traveling and making a living doing it? That’s my dream! As a mom, it would be a much harder life to make a living as a writer. I’m very interested in your blog though, and I’d love to follow it on social media. Sounds very useful for what I’m trying to do with my blog too!

    • Sabrina - In My Suitcase

      Theresa, actually I think that a mom has much more potential than any other human being: able to work hard and under stress and pressure, able to do many things at once and eager to be better and better for herself and kids. You can become the very best blogger!

  • Dreammerin

    This is very interesting and just amazing at the same time! Incredibly helpful! Thanks for posting! Have a wonderful day!

  • Bella

    Confidence is so important when you are just starting out but anything really is possible if you work for it.

  • Fatima

    Blogging does involve a lot of hard work and effort as well as A LOT of time to get you where you want. Bloggers who are successful have worked extremely hard and they deserve it. Good luck!

  • Ana De- Jesus

    How much did your traffic increase after implementing these strategies? I am earning money from my blog but no way near enough to live on!

    • Sabrina - In My Suitcase

      Ana, things started to change after I touched the 30.000 visits per month and at around 40.000 companies started to contact me. Actually I must say that what allows me to make a living out of it are mainly the long-mod term collaborations with companies who have met me personally and that’s why the next effort i MUST do is starting to go to blogger’s meeting.

  • Liz Mays

    I think you used some awesome strategies! Blogging can be hard work but it sounds like you’re doing the right things!

  • Ivelisse

    Such great tips! I absolutely love blogging groups and I would love for my blog to be my Full Time job one day. Thanks for your insight <3


    Ivelisse | CarnationDreams.com

  • Denisa

    that is so awesome. Love seeing bloggers making it ! Thumbs up for you , you are so young and so smart

  • Leigh

    I definitely want to expand my blog, so reading this was incredibly helpful! It’s amazing that this community exists that people often have no idea about!

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