Do you want to make money while going on a non-stop tour around the world? With the help of one of many travel affiliate programs, you can become the travel blogger or vlogger that you have always aspired to be.
According to statistics, tourism and travel contributed nearly 8 trillion dollars to the U.S. economy in 2016. If you want to get a cut of this money for yourself, keep reading to discover how you can go on a worldwide adventure and make enough money to support yourself along the way.
A word of warning – the first couple of years of travel blogging won’t be easy. Money won’t just fall into your hands when you join a travel affiliate program as if by magic.
What Are Travel Affiliate Programs?
Simply put, a travel affiliate program allows you to make money through a sort of sponsorship deal where you receive money for advertising products or services. Affiliate programs are available for practically everything, but if you want to be a travel blogger, your focus will be on travel goods.
For example, the Jetstar affiliate program pays travelers generously for advertising particular plane tickets for them. Let’s say you go to Japan and do so with a Jetstar plane. On your blog, you would then advertise the ticket you used.
For every ticket you sold within a 30-day period, you would earn a 1.25% commission, so if the ticket was worth $1,000 you would make $12.50.
This deal gets better though.
Say it was a family of four who bought four tickets. You would earn yourself a nice commission of $50!
That said you should only promote quality products that you are either familiar with or you trust and they should provide value to your audience.
Travel affiliate programs are a very popular and profitable niche, and if you put a lot of time and effort into it, you can earn yourself huge sums of money.
How Much Can You Make?
The amount of money you make with travel affiliate programs varies depending on what you are selling and how popular you are.
According to knowledge from travel affiliate experts, you could make yourself anywhere between hundreds to even millions of dollars. But what do you need to get there?
Of course, don’t expect to be making the big bucks straight away.
Remember your audience is your priority. You should build a relationship with them by giving them useful content, helping to solve their problems, answering questions and replying to comments.
You need to have a lot of marketing know-how and a fantastic looking blog in order to bring in revenue. If you haven’t started your blog yet this post covers the steps you need to take.
How to Make Money With Travel Affiliate Programs
1. Approach Your Blog From a Business Perspective
Travel blogging is fun, especially when you get to share memories and experiences of your travels with other people. However, if you want to make money, you need to realize that your blog has to have a business focus to it as well.
Sure, it’s great to share holiday memories, but these types of blogs make zero money online and are missing out on earning back the money they spend.
If you want to make the most out of your site, you need to do a couple of things outlined below. However, especially when starting don’t go overboard monetizing your blog.
Place one or two banner advertisements on your blog and link to products you want your readers to buy. Too many banners or ads will put off your readers! Take it slow and be choosy.
Have blog articles focused on promoting a brand or a service you wish to sell. Do more than just tell stories, show your readers what products and services they need in order to have a fantastic trip.
Write reviews but only promote quality products that are relevant to your niche. The products you promote should be useful to your readers.
The best way to effectively do this is to target a niche in your audience.
2. Choose a Travel Niche
If you really want to earn money, you need to focus on a particular niche of travelers. If you make your blog too wishy-washy or vague, you will deter people from it. Therefore, choose a niche of travelers and stick to them.
There are so many different groups you can appeal to. You can appeal to groups depending on location, types of tourist attractions, age groups, budget, interests or even events.
For example, some of the more popular blogs focus on niches like families looking for cheap holidays or older couples looking to enjoy their retirement and spend some of their hard-earned money.
If you’re not sure which group to target, consider choosing one that you are a part of. As you will be traveling and enjoying things that you like, you will easily find an audience who feels the same way.
3. Choose the Right Brands and Associated Keywords
If you want to make money the easy way with travel affiliate programs, you need to know what products potential travelers want. When you do know, you can effectively choose the right keywords.
If you want to consider who you could affiliate with, consider all of the keywords that are related to travel. For example, hotels, flights, and luggage.
Now, think about the first major brands that come to mind when you say those words. Hotels may make you think of Hilton or Four Seasons and flights may make you immediately think of Jetstar or American Airlines.
This can help you to decide who you want to affiliate with. From this point, you can further narrow down who your competition is and what niches you may want to try and advertise for.
4. Use Product Based Keywords
General keywords like “luggage” and “suitcase” aren’t that fantastic all on their own. If you combine them with other words, you can make it easier for people to find your blog.
Better keywords to use are “best luggage brands”, “best lightweight luggage”, “best suitcases for business travel” and “best suitcase for kids.” Or you could associate a brand with your keyword phrase “Samsonite suitcases” or “Travelpro luggage sets”.
They may have a much lower search volume but also a much lower level of competition. To get traffic you need to be ranked on the first page of the search engines. Also, note how these keywords are much more similar to something someone might type when they search for something on Google.
These product based keywords can be monetized through Amazon which makes them a great strategy for your blog.
5. Don’t Use General Keywords
Using general keywords like the ones mentioned above will only get you swamped with thousands of other similar blogs. This is because general keywords have high competition as everyone assumes they are the easiest way to monetize.
Not only are they targeted by other blogs, they are also heavily used by official websites as well. For example, if you want to sell plane tickets, you’ll find that online searches will be more favorable to sites that actually sell flight tickets.
Thus, if you try to use really basic keywords when selling plane tickets, you will find it impossible to gain a ranking. And without being ranked on the first pages, you will have no traffic or sales.
6. Location Dependent Keywords
Using keywords like “best restaurants in Tokyo”, “holiday rentals in the Dordogne” or “Italian wedding venues” is a strategy you can use.
For some, this may not be a good tactic as the search volumes for these sets of keywords are often quite low. But if you can rank at the top of the search engine for lots of posts with these localized keywords you will end up with good traffic.
This means you will either need to spend heaps of money getting articles written or lots of time writing the articles yourself in order to get high levels of traffic to your blog.
However, becoming an expert in a localized area is a good strategy to use if you want to rank highly and provide expert knowledge to your readers about a specific localization.
7. Make Your Blog Interesting
So you’ve decided to monetize your blog with the use of one of many travel affiliate programs. You have banners and internal links set up, but you still don’t have any traffic. What is wrong?
Maybe it is your blog itself.
Ask yourself when you look at your blog, “Does this look like an appealing website to me? If I was a visitor, would I be happy looking at this? Is it inviting? Is it user-friendly?”
Blog articles with pictures get an incredible 94% more views than those who don’t. Think about how many more people you can appeal just by adding a snapshot to your article.
Also, consider the actual content of your blog. Is it just you ranting about personal issues, or have you included plenty of high-quality and interesting articles that will keep visitors on your site and effectively build trust with them?
Other aspects to keep in mind include how eye-catching your blog titles are and how strong your meta descriptions are. These will improve your search engine performance, along with on-site optimization techniques like external and internal linking.
8. Choose the Right Affiliate Program For You
When choosing out of the many travel affiliate programs that are available, you need to find one or a couple of them which are best suited to your needs.
Before applying to an affiliate program it’s good to have some content on your blog and have your social media channels set up. Product owners or affiliate managers may want to see your website and know what strategies you plan to use to get sales.
Consider the following when it comes down to making a decision.
Which affiliate program best suits the niche I wish to write for? Which affiliate will provide me with the best possible commission? Which affiliate provides me with the most effective way to advertise their products and services? And most importantly which affiliate program provides the best products or services for my audience?
There are so many travel affiliate programs to pick from, so do your research before deciding on the best ones.
Get Ready to Make Money With Travel Affiliate Programs
If you want to make money while traveling all over the world, you need to go with a travel affiliate program or two. But not just any program or product. Whatever you promote must be good quality, relevant to your niche and useful to your audience.
To get to a position where you can earn money from your blog will take time and hard work. It’s not just a question of adding a few affiliate links and waiting for the money to roll in.
But if you take it seriously and put in the work you can earn more than enough to fund your adventures. And you can work from anywhere!
Affiliate marketing is a great way of earning money online and once you fully understand how it works you can repeat the steps over and over again.
For further affiliate marketing training, I recommend joining Wealthy Affiliate. You get step by step training, hosting, a keyword tool and help from a community of seasoned affiliate marketers. You can join for free to see if it’s a good fit for you. Read my full Wealthy Affiliate review here.
Have you started a travel blog? Tell us about your experience, was it successful or harder than you thought? If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.