The Blonde Abroad: Story Behind the Successful Travel Blogs

The Blonde Abroad: Story Behind the Successful Travel Blogs
Chloe Lay
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Chloe is a freelance travel and food writer, and an editor and proofreader. She specialises in all things Italy. When she's not traveling, Chloe can be found curled up with a good book, or out on the town seeking out a new craft beer to obsess over.

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Reading travel blogs is a great way to get free travel inspiration and information for trip planning. One of the best travel blogs out there for solo female travelers has got to be The Blonde Abroad. It’s a fantastic resource with heaps of information.

If you’re interested in finding out more about The Blonde abroad — who she is, how the blog works, how she makes money — then keep reading!

The blond abroad picture.
Image courtesy of The Blonde Abroad

What Is The Blonde Abroad?

The Blonde Abroad is a travel blog with a focus on female travel.

The website is actually described as “the go-to website for solo and female travel around the world” — it’s absolutely packed with information and fun content to give tips, tricks, and advice to solo female travelers wanting to see more of the planet. There are also tips for staying safe as a woman traveling alone.

The website is a place for the blogger, Kiersten Rich, to chat about her trips — she’s been to more than 70 destinations, including Iceland, Hawaii, Santorini, Bali, Australia, and Paris — but also to give advice to other people looking to travel to those places.

The blond Abroad traveling
Image courtesy of The Blonde Abroad

The site also has tips for starting and running a successful travel blog, as well as a travel shop, information about how to make money on the road, and packing guides. If you’re looking for travel tips and info, this site is a goldmine!

Who Is The Blonde Abroad and How Did She Get Started?

The Blonde Abroad is run by Kiersten Rich, better known to her friends and followers as Kiki. She is a travel blogger from California.

After graduating from college, Kiki worked in corporate wealth management — she has a finance-based degree and wanted to use her skills. However, she soon left the corporate finance world as the job wasn’t making her happy.

She moved to Hollywood and became a bartender instead. She enjoyed this for a while but soon realized she still wasn’t living her dream life.

She decided to go on a work hiatus and left for a 4-month trip. It was during this trip that she had the realization that she wanted to live a totally different kind of life. As soon as she returned, she booked another trip and hiked the Inca Trail in Peru, then immediately organized another trip, this time to Bolivia. On this trip to South America, The Blonde Abroad blog was born.

Kiki has now spent a decade traveling and sharing her journey and has built her travel blog into a million-dollar industry.

How The Blonde Abroad Grew her Blog

As any budding or wannabe travel blogger will know, growing an audience is no mean feat. Kiersten has grown her blog into a huge success, and her site has upwards of 1 million page views every month. So how has she done it?

Kiki has been open about the fact that her blog and social media presence were not an overnight success. It takes a lot of work to be a successful digital nomad.

“Over the years, I’ve learned SO much about SEO, photography, website development, social media, and community,” says Kiki.

She also claims that her success comes from creating useful content. Many travel bloggers simply share inspirational photos, without giving any information or tips for visiting. Kiki wants her blog to be helpful to her readers instead — making her content actually useful is a key driver in her blog’s success.

The Blonde Abroad has also shared a guide to starting a travel blog to help any readers who want to try it for themselves!

How Does The Blonde Abroad Make Money?

Kiersten makes money through a number of ventures and seems keen to stress that it isn’t all through paid Instagram ads.

The Blonde Abroad blog and website make money through affiliate links and ads. The website also features a travel shop.

Kiersten also works with tourism boards and travel partners to get paid-for trips and experiences — she’ll then make money from sponsored posts about these trips. She also makes money by selling preset Instagram filters that allow people to edit their photos like she does.

In addition to her work with The Blonde Abroad, Kiki has founded a creative agency and a female travel tour company, both of which provide her with additional sources of income.

How Much Money Does The Blonde Abroad Make?

It seems pretty clear from the amount of work she puts in that Kiki is a very successful travel blogger! She says that she had her first six-figure year in 2014. In 2017, Forbes ranked her as one of the “Top 10 Travel Influencers”, and by 2019 she had reached a seven-figure year — so she was making at least $1 million per year!

Blond abroad million dollar travel blogging empire.
Image courtesy of The Blonde Abroad

The Blonde Abroad Blog: FAQs

What is The Blonde Abroad’s real name? 

Kiersten Rich — but she also goes by Kiki.

How old is The Blonde Abroad?

As of November 2021, Kiki is 33 years old. She was born on June 1, 1988.

What does The Blonde Abroad do for work?

Kiki is a full-time travel and lifestyle blogger and entrepreneur. As well as her blog and social media work, she runs a creative agency, Quest, and a female travel tour company, TBA Escapes.

How many followers does The Blonde Abroad have?

The website receives over 1 million monthly page views and over 400,000 unique visitors each month.

Kiki has more than 525,000 followers on Instagram, over 200,000 followers on Facebook, and more than 35,000 subscribers on YouTube.

What camera does The Blonde Abroad use?

According to Kiki, her usual camera of choice is the Fujifilm X-H1 Mirrorless Camera, which she uses with a 16-55mm F2.8 lens. Since she’s a solo traveler, she mostly uses a tripod and a timer to take her photos, but she occasionally asks friendly strangers for help!

Most of the photos Kiki shares on her Instagram are taken with a phone — she uses the iPhone XS Max.

The Blonde Abroad: Travel Blogger Extraordinaire!

There are countless travel blogs that you can follow — we of course recommend taking a closer look at the Pilot blog, but The Blonde Abroad is a great choice too!

Kiki provides great content for her followers and it’s clear why she’s been so successful. If you’re a female traveler looking to plan a solo trip, The Blonde Abroad is a great place to look for tips and advice.

If you’re looking for even more travel inspiration, sign up for the FlightDeck newsletter. The newsletter will give you gorgeous travel news and stories straight to your inbox — all you need to get inspired for your next trip away.

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