Making Money with Affiliate Marketing for Travel Bloggers

Affiliate-Marketing-for-Travel-Bloggers Guest Post by Jordan Smith

Affiliate Marketing for Travel Bloggers

You may have heard the term “affiliate marketing” before, but what exactly is it? And how do bloggers make money through it? More importantly, can travel bloggers make money through affiliate marketing, and if so, how? All these questions will be answered in this article.

What is Affiliate Marketing?

Affiliate marketing is a way for people to earn money by promoting a company’s products and/or services that then converts into a sale for that company. You receive a commission for every sale made.

This is based on the idea of revenue sharing. There are 3 sides to revenue sharing:

  • Seller – A company or individual that has a product or service they want to sell.
  • Affiliate – Someone who promotes the product or service and gets paid if they make a sale.
  • Consumer – The individual who buys the product or service.

The seller and the affiliate are the two sides that share the profit.

How Do You Do Affiliate Marketing?

In order to become an affiliate marketer, you join an affiliate program. This is usually through an affiliate agency, but can also be directly through the company. You then write awesome original and authentic content about whatever niche you’re in, and add affiliate links to your post. Those links will drop a cookie onto the reader’s computer for a certain amount of days set by the seller. If the reader (consumer) chooses to purchase the service or product within that cookie period, you’ve made a sale and earn a commission.

Why is Affiliate Marketing So Great?

There are several reasons why affiliate marketing is great to get into.

1. You Can Earn Money and a Lot of It

There is no limit to how much money you can make through affiliate marketing. With traditional jobs, you’re usually offered a set salary, which means you can work a lot more hours than you’re required to, but you will still make the same amount of money. Even with jobs that pay an hourly rate, the employer usually doesn’t want you to work over a certain number of hours. With affiliate marketing, there are no set hours.

It is also performance-based, so the better you perform the more money you will make. Top affiliates in 2020earned over $100,000 per month from affiliate sales, and half of all affiliate marketers made an average of $1,660 per month.

2. It Can Become a Passive Source of Income

After you publish your content with the appropriate affiliate ads, your work is done. One piece of content can continue monetizing your blog indefinitely without any extra effort.

3. You Can Work From Home

Publishing content can be done anywhere with an internet connection. Usually, this will happen from the comfort of your own home and quite possibly in your pj’s, but you can also do affiliate marketing from a coffee shop, while on vacation, or anywhere you please.

4. It’s Flexible

With affiliate marketing, you are your own boss. You can choose which companies you want to work with, how much you want to work with them, and if you want to stop promoting a product or service for any reason whenever you feel so inclined. You have full control over this.

Affiliate Marketing for Travel Bloggers

Travel bloggers have many options when it comes to affiliate marketing. There are so many different aspects to the travel industry that you can promote, review, and recommend. From where to stay, to how to get there, to what’s appropriate to wear or bring, these are all things people are interested in learning about.

Can Travel Bloggers Make Money Through Affiliate Marketing?

Yes! If you’re not convinced yet, 84% of publishers/bloggers are using affiliate marketing to make money off their sites, so you would be among the minority if you don’t. Blogging can be a great side hustle, and this is one way to monetize your travel blog.

In order to get started, you want to consider your specific niche within the travel blogging world and who your audience is. This will guide which travel affiliate programs are most suited for your blog. For instance, there is luxury travel, camping, hiking, road tripping, adventure travel, or even themed cruises. Different affiliate programs can cater to your specific niche and would make the most sense. Promoting a five star luxury hotel to hostel-loving backpackers, for example, probably wouldn’t have a high success rate.

Once you’ve built a solid rapport with your audience, recommending products and services becomes natural.

Best Affiliate Marketing Programs for Travel Bloggers

Here are some different categories that travel bloggers can use for affiliate marketing. Listed below each category are the best programs available.

1. Hotel Bookings

  • Booking.com
    • The most visited travel website in the world.
    • Easy sign up that only requires a website with relevant content.
    • Commission rate determined by the number of bookings you get per month. You start at 25% and can receive up to 40% commission for 501+ bookings per month.
    • No cookie tracking, in-session transactions only.
    • Note: The commission rate is based off of Booking.com‘s commission, which is between 15-20% of the price of the booking.
  • Expedia
    • Car rentals, airlines, hotels, and activities offered.
    • Expansive product inventory across 200+ countries.
    • Commission rates vary between 2-6%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.
  • Priceline
    • A worldwide network of car rentals, flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, and more.
    • Offers a dedicated partner support team and real-time reporting.
    • Commission rates vary between 3-7%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.

2. Travel Activities

  • Viator
    • A TripAdvisor company that offers 200,000+ bookable activities and tours around the world.
    • Mobile and desktop friendly widgets.
    • 24/7 support.
    • Commission rate equal to 8%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.
  • Get Your Guide
    • 34,000+ bookable tours and activities worldwide.
    • Dedicated partner support team with analytics.
    • Base commission is 8%, with a 3 tier structure based on traffic volume and integration tools needed.
    • 31 day cookie duration.

3. Transportation

  • Expedia
    • Car rentals, airlines, hotels, and activities offered.
    • Expansive product inventory across 200+ countries.
    • Commission rates vary between 2-6%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.
  • Priceline
    • A worldwide network of car rentals, flights, hotels, cruises, vacation packages, and more.
    • Offers a dedicated partner support team and real-time reporting.
    • Commission rates vary between 3-7%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.
  • Skyscanner
    • Travel search engine that compares the best deals for flights, hotels, and car rentals.
    • Commission rates vary between 20-50%.
    • Payout threshold is only $50.
    • 30 day cookie duration.

4. Travel Accessories

  • Amazon
    • Has almost any product you need.
    • Variable commission rates depending on product category.
    • Guidelines to stay active.
    • 24 hour cookie duration.
  • REI
    • The internet’s largest outdoor store with 100% satisfaction guarantee and free shipping to local stores.
    • Commission rate is 5%.
    • 30 day cookie duration.

Final Thoughts

The affiliate marketing industry is worth over $16 billion. The travel niche, in particular, is also expected to make a huge comeback after the crazy year we had in 2020. Don’t miss out on this opportunity to monetize your blog, whether it’s through recommending hotels, transportation, or gear. Just keep it relevant to your specific niche and don’t recommend anything you wouldn’t use or do yourself.

Jordan Smith is a personal finance blogger who writes about ways to make money, ways to save money, how to budget, and getting out of debt. To read more of her articles, check out her blog My Finance Diary.

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