Superstar Blogging review 2020: How I monetized my blog

For the last couple of years, more and more people have been thinking of quitting their jobs to travel the world and, every day, many of them are dreaming of keeping up this lifestyle for the rest of their lives.

Travel blogging is today, a potential way to achieve this goal and a very appealing idea for those who want to live the dream, which usually involves getting paid for traveling forever.

Well, the good news is that making money from a travel blog is totally possible.

I also tried to pursue this dream and, after 4 years of traveling and blogging non-stop, I can finally say that I managed to turn my blog into an actual business and make a full income from it.

Here you can read my 6 ways of making a living from blogging.

This was the product of some very insanely hard-working months but also, it would not have been possible if I didn’t follow the right steps from the very beginning.

For this, I signed up for Superstar Blogging Course and its creator, Nomadic Matt, was the person who taught me the right success model.

This is a very honest and personal Superstar Blogging review where I explain how I monetized my blog thanks to the course and why this is the best travel blogging course.

By the way, in case you don’t know, my blog is called Against the Compass and I write about destinations off the beaten track, mainly focusing on the Middle East, Central Asia, Caucasus Pakistan, and Africa.

Do you want to know how to start a travel blog from scratch?
Read here my step-by-step tutorial

Superstar Blogging review

In this tutorial you will find:

Why I signed up for the course
How I increased my traffic to 240k monthly views
Reasons the course helped me monetize my blog
More reasons to sign up NOW!
You should NOT sign up for the course if
More courses offered by Nomadic Matt

Total transparency – Please note, this is not a sponsored article but a very honest review. The article, however, contains affiliate links. This means that, if you found this article useful and buy the course through any of my links, I will get a small commission at no extra cost to you

How I started blogging and signed up for Superstar Blogging course

Before launching my blog, I didn’t even know that travel blogging could be an actual job.

However, when I started to contemplate quitting my corporate job, I also began to do some extensive research and found out that there were many people out there making thousands of dollars from their travel blogs.

Then, when I read the content from those who, supposedly, were professional bloggers, I told myself:

Hey, I think I could write the same type of information from all the traveling I have done.

It was only then when I decided to pursue this goal but, as an actual marketer, if I wanted to succeed, I knew that it would not be enough to just write compelling content but I needed to develop specific marketing and strategic skills.

That’s how I started searching for travel blogging courses until I found the Superstar Blogging course.

By that time, the course was kind of new and there were not many reviews but what made me decide to buy it was that both the creator and teacher was Nomadic Matt, the person who is believed to be the most successful travel blogger out there, getting more than 1 million monthly visits and making an annual income in 7 figures

I really believed that it was the best travel blogging course and well, the money invested since I started my travel blog.

How I increased my traffic to more than 240,000 monthly Page Views in a bit more than 3 years

I officially launched my blog in September 2016.

In January 2020, these were my figures:

  • 241,000 Page Views
  • 165,050 Sessions
My January figures

It has been a very long journey, full of ups and downs, both statistically and personally but, in the end, the thousands and thousands of hours of really hard work have produced their results.

In general terms, I mainly ascribe this growth to the following:

  1. Choosing the right niche and sticking to it
  2. Brand equity
  3. Writing compelling, comprehensive and USEFUL content
  4. SEO, SEO and SEO

And how much money do I make?

People are curious to know how much money one can actually make from travel blogging.

I hope you can understand that I don’t feel comfortable posting my salary online, but what I can tell you is that I make a very decent living.

Here you can know more about the money I make from blogging, where you can get a clue.

However, what I wanted to tell you is that the best part is that none of my earnings (or very, very few) come from sponsors but, following the course advice, I have only been focusing on passive income, which is affiliate marketing, selling products and ads.

My traffic in 2019, month by month, 1,500,000 page views

In case you are wondering, despite this quick growth, when I signed up for the course, I had absolutely no idea about blogging, to the extent that I didn’t know what a WordPress plugin was and, probably like you, I also didn’t know the meaning of web hosting, Cloudflare and barely had any knowledge about SEO.

I was a complete newbie who was asking the most stupid questions across all forums, Facebook groups and even to Nomadic Matt.

And yes, one of the biggest advantages of this course is that you can ask questions directly to Nomadic Matt and he always replies, no matter what the question is about.

This is a real edge over any other travel blogging course.

How Nomadic Matt’s course helped me monetize my blog – The best travel blogging course

It helped me with the following:

1 – It helped me create a brand, not a travel blog

If you want to be a professional travel blogger, the first thing you need to bear in mind is that you should treat your website as a brand, not a travel blog, and brands are like people: they have a name, personality and a specific physical appearance.

This means that your blog should have a domain name that summarizes its purpose; its content must be focused on a specific audience and the colors, layout and logo need to be designed according to this personality and audience.

At the beginning of the Superstar Blogging course, Nomadic Matt teaches you a set of different techniques to achieve this purpose, from choosing the right name to finding the niche you need to focus on.

This is the most important blogging stage.

The best thing about it is that you can submit your idea to Matt for review.

2 – It helped me set up all the technical stuff

When it comes to computers, I really suck.

Like I said before, I didn’t even know what a WordPress plugin was.

Having a properly configured website doesn’t help you succeed with your blog but it is a vital requirement if you want to be part of the game.

Luckily, the course comes with plenty of tutorials, including how-to-videos, which will help you from getting your web hosting to installing and configuring all the necessary plugins, setting up Google Analytics, Cloudflare, installing an SSL certificate and even some HTML and CSS basics.

I know that all this may sound like Chinese to you but, thanks to the course, it won’t for long.

Moreover, this part of the course is run by Nomadic Matt’s personal website developer and he will assist you during the whole process. He is extremely helpful.

3 – It taught me the importance of SEO and how to implement it

Matt claims that SEO has been his most important key success factor and that is why, throughout the course, he takes you through all the different techniques to boost your SEO, like the secrets of guest posting, how to get backlinks, keywords, etc.

For me, this part of the SSB course has been a key element to increasing my traffic and besides spending a lot of time trying to get loads of backlinks and choosing the right keywords for every article, after following his advice, I also managed to guest post for very popular blogs such as The Planet D, Everything Everywhere, Nomadasaurus and The Broke Backpacker.

Furthermore, most course students may have the chance to be featured on the course’s blog and get a few backlinks from a very high-authority site.

4 – It taught me how to write content and which content works for your audience

Writing isn’t the only reason to create a successful blog but it is what defines your authority as a blogger.

The course teaches different writing skills and you even get a chance to send an article to Matt for his feedback.

Moreover, it tells you the importance of writing for your audience and not for yourself. If you want to succeed, your blog needs to be like a bible or a useful source of information and the course tells you the different ways to do this.

In my case, useful, comprehensive travel guides from countries where there is a lack of travel information have been key to increase my authority and traffic.

As an example, you can read my Travel tips for Pakistan.

5 – It told me the different ways to monetize your audience, how to diversify your income and the importance of passive income

Throughout your blogging journey, you will meet tons of bloggers who make several thousand dollars a month from sponsors and press trips, exclusively.

There is nothing wrong with that but this might present 3 big disadvantages:

  • First, in an extremely fast-changing world like the internet, you should always rely on different sources of income because the rules of the game can change very quickly.
  • Second, always relying on sponsored content and press trips means that you are continuously trying to pitch brands and working for others. After a few years, you may feel exhausted.
  • And last, too much-sponsored content may lose your credibility as a blogger and influencer.

The course takes you through all the different ways to monetize your audience and the importance of passive income, putting a big emphasis on creating a product or service, such as eBooks or offering tours.

In January 2020, I made more than 6,000€, and 100% of them were passive income.

More reasons to sign up – Superstar Blogging review

Those are the ways it helped me, but the Superstar Blogging program has many other advantages:

Skills you will learn

The course teaches a range of different topics, all skills needed for any blogging journey:

  • Branding, from choosing your niche to choosing a great design
  • Writing tips
  • Mastering social media
  • Everything about SEO
  • Email marketing
  • Creating products
  • Partner with brands

Ongoing tech support

Matt’s personal website developer will help you set up your site and assist you with all your issues throughout your blogging journey.

This is gold, seriously.

Weekly Q&As with Nomadic Matt in person

Every week, Nomadic Matt will organize live Q&A sessions in which you will be able to ask Matt (in person) all your doubts.

Blog post editing and feedback each month

At the end of every month, you will also get feedback from Nomadic Matt on your work.

Access to a private forum

Where you can network with like-minded bloggers ask for questions and join the Opportunity Board for finding jobs.

A free WordPress theme

During the site configuration stage, Matt provides you with a free WordPress theme of your choice from Studio Press. This is already worth 100USD.

30-day money-back guarantee

After 1 month, if you are not happy with the results, you can claim 100% of your money back.

You should NOT buy Superstar Blogging course if

I’ll be honest.

This course isn’t for everyone and you should not buy it if:

You have been in the game for a while – If you have been blogging for a while, perhaps, you should try to find a course for advanced bloggers, as most of the Superstar Blogging content is aimed at beginners. Still, I am sure that you will find plenty of useful content but you won’t be able to extract all its potential.

You just want to build a blog to update your friends and family – The Superstar Blogging program mainly teaches all the needed marketing skills to grow a large audience and how to monetize it. If you just write for keeping a record of your travel adventures, this is not your course.

You won’t take it seriously – Signing up for the course and reading all the material doesn’t mean that you are going to be successful. Even if you know all the tricks, implementing them properly takes several months and, perhaps, even years. Building a successful travel blog is the product of spending long days and nights working in front of your laptop, as well as reading and keeping up to date with all the industry trends from the fast-changing digital world.

More courses offered by Nomadic Matt

Nomadic Matt also has one more specific course named:

How to become a travel writer

Writing is perhaps, the most important skill, as it is what decides whether your readers stick to your content or not.

Learn the art of travel writing with David Farley, author of An Irreverent Curiosity, host for National Geographic, and a professor at Columbia and New York University to teach an in-depth course on the nuts and bolts of travel writing.


Conclusion – Superstar Blogging review

Seriously, if you are a complete newbie and your life goal is to make a business from your blog, I strongly think that this is the best travel blogging course.

How much does a Master’s Degree cost?

superstar blogging

Disclosure: As a traveler, I use all the companies I recommend and you should know that, if you buy any service through any of these links, I get a small commission at no extra cost to you. These small earnings help me to improve and create more content for Against the Compass. I really appreciate your support :)

Start planning and booking your trip

For booking accommodation

Use for hotels and guesthouses

Check on Hostelworld for for backpacker hostels

For travel insurance (with COVID-19 coverage), I recommend:

1 – IATI Insurance (5% discount) – Cheapest travel insurance and for travelers above 70

2 – True Traveller – Best backpacking insurance (only Europeans)


For all your travel gear

Trekking equipment, books, etc, check on Amazon

If you want to know all the companies I use to plan my trips, check my travel resources page


  1. Hi Joan, a good read. I signed up to the course and have found it useful though I did so long after creating my first blog so have kind of dipped in and out. I really should go back to the very beginning and start from there.

    How much of your success do you attribute to guest posting? I absolutely hate spending time writing and researching articles for someone else’s website. I would much rather put the effort into my own site and I always want to keep the article after writing it. As such I have very few back-links and a low DA. Am I setting myself up to fail by neglecting guest posting?


    1. Hi Steve!
      It is difficult to tell how much did guest posting help to build traffic, but it has definitely helped. My guest posts have always been very strategic, meaning that I only guest posted if I was able to link a specific article that targeted very competitive keywords with a high volume of monthly searches and of course, only pitching high DA sites.
      For some of those articles, I managed to rank pretty well, whereas others not that much, but usually they do, and that is why I am still doing it. In fact, I am currently drafting a guest post for another website.
      You also get the intangible benefit of getting to know the authors of larger blogs, which can be useful as well.
      Anyways. Not guest posting doesn’t mean you will fail, as there are many ways to get backlinks, but if done correctly, it can be useful.

  2. Thanks for shining a bit of light on what has been a dark subject lately. It seems all i read these days are how you can’t succeed at travel blogging anymore and that you need to put your energy into selling a physical item instead. I have been a member of SSB for years and have not had the courage to take the plunge because of the plethora of articles that say its not worth it.
    I know it takes countless hours to create your blog and maintain it. For you, did you have a set schedule for the time you spent writing and working on your website?
    Overall a great article, thanks for sharing!

    1. Hi Steph, when I am not traveling, I work like a full-time job, 8-10h a day, from Monday to Friday. When I travel I just do urgent stuff in the evening or early in the morning

  3. Hi Joan,
    First of all, thanks for inspiring reeds. Both at your blog and in your newsletter by email. In this article you have many links activated to the Superstar blog course (for $99)…
    -But, if you click on them now, the price-line is $49 for one month and $450 for a year? Seems to be a subscription now, not a single buy… and that’s a huge difference from a one-time-charge of $99?

    Any way, take care and all the best

  4. Hola Joan!
    (No está el articulo en español)Mira, quería dejarte un pequeño gracias loco.

    Conocí tu blog buscando que páginas relacionadas a viajes no estaban bloqueadas en el call center (area de chats) en el que trabajaba y pues la tuya no lo estaba!
    Trabajaba ahí 10 horas y en la noche trabajaba en una academia de música, de esto ya hace meses pero me leí todos los artículos a escondidas en el trabajo y te agradezco porque no me volví loco gracias a esto. Soñando con ir a Irán o a Túnez.

    Ahorraba para ir este año a estudiar Jazz a Madrid, donde vive mi hermana, pero vino el Covid-19 y me destruyo todo eso (de momento)

    Compré este curso después de leer esto la primera vez, viendo como hacer algún blog relacionado a la música blues/jazz y el viajar pero nunca actué.
    Ya estoy a 2-3 meses de lanzar la página y cocinando los primeros digital products con un equipo de 4 personas ya.

    Este curso y tu blog han sido referencia magistral para hacer mi página (si más que cosas de música)

    Y pues nada genio muchas gracias!!
    Ojalá y sigas tirando un poco más de historias personales de vez en cuando ya con la marca posicionada es bonito ver que hay un poco detrás.

    PD: que dicha que compré el curso antes que lo pasara a suscripción!!
    Pero el de Writing dije ahh después lo compró y pues ya lo cambió!
    digamos que fue un 50/50 jaja

    Saludos de Costa Rica!

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