Some of us have that friend that always posts amazing travel pics on social media – sunbathing in the Bahamas, hiking in the USA, surfing in Australia – and we think “How exactly are they paying for all this?” Well, if they’ve also got a blog, then it’s easy to see how they are funding these incredible adventures. Through advertising, travel bloggers are able to earn a pretty penny, and in the case of Johnny Ward from Ireland, a very pretty penny.
The 32-year-old has been able to carve out a successful career as a bona fide blogger for several years, to the point where he’s grossed just over $1 million during his time as a travel writer. After being disillusioned with the 9-5 routine, Johnny quit his job, then put his dream into motion to see every country in the world. And he’s getting close… at the time of writing, he’s visited a whopping 193.
Since starting his blog called OneStep4Ward, Johnny now employs a small team to do the tech side of things, whilst he gets to experience the fun things, a move that has allowed him to live the life he always wanted. “I always dreamed of being free,” Johnny explains to Business Insider. “Initially that feeling came from backpacking broke, but I wasn’t truly free because I wasn’t financially free. Truly free is to have the financial security to allow you to do whatever you want to do.”
Johnny is also keen to stress the importance of having a blog in today’s world. With such simple ways currently available to get started in blogging, the experienced travel writer says that owning a website should not just be for monetary reasons alone. “No matter how you plan to make money online, always start a blog, even if you’re not going to monetize. Have a voice, be an authority. I think having a blog is so integral to that movement.”
Seeing his fair share of stunning sights across the globe, Johnny tells CNN that he has also been witness to several scary moments, such as staying in Nepal during an earthquake, being close to a suicide bomber attack in Kabul, as well as being caught trying to smuggle himself across the border from Ivory Coast to Sierra Leone. Personal relationships too, have been hard to manage because of his jet-setting job, with a recent breakup from his flight attendant girlfriend the result of rarely being in the same place. However, Johnny says he’s okay with quitting the travel lifestyle one day. “I want a base, where I have friends and can party and the people in the shops know your face. There’s no way I want to bounce around indefinitely.