Affiliate marketing is one of the best ways to make money travel blogging, especially when you’re just starting out.
There are countless case studies and success stories when it comes to affiliate marketing for travel bloggers.
The trick with this monetization strategy is to push through those first few months when you’re only making a few dollars a day.
As you build your travel blog and drive more traffic to your content you’re bound to start making more affiliate sales.
In this post let’s take a look at how travel bloggers can get started with affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
As a travel blogger I’m sure you’ve heard of affiliate marketing before – maybe you’re wondering what it’s all about?
Here’s a simple breakdown:
- Someone visits your website from a search engine for social media.
- The visitor clicks on a special “affiliate” link that you’ve added within your content.
- The visitor follows through the link and purchases the product or service you recommended.
- You earn a commission for the sales generated through your special link
Where do you get the affiliate links?
Each affiliate platform is different.
Some affiliates will give you a single link that links directly to a product or service with your affiliate ID.
Other affiliates will have unique links for each product or service available for you to promote.
Take the time to understand how each affiliate platform works before adding links to your content.
You don’t want to start generating sales and miss out on your commission because your affiliate ID wasn’t included in the link!
How Much Money Can You Make With Travel Affiliate Marketing?
It’s possible to earn thousands of dollars every day or make nothing at all after months of effort.
Thankfully, there are heaps of helpful guides and in-depth tutorials covering every aspect of making money travel blogging.
It’s easy to overcome specific problems along your blogging journey with all of the resources available out there.
So, how much can you really make with a travel affiliate site?
Most people should be able to reach $1000 per month after 6 months to 1 year of part-time effort.
This assumes you’re starting out as a total beginner without much or any blogging experience.
Once you’ve reached the $1000 per month threshold you’ll be able to continue growing your blog or try out a different strategy.
There are hundreds of affiliate programs for travel bloggers with great payouts.
Considering the growing demand of travel, this is a great niche to get into.
Why Start Affiliate Marketing?
The best part about affiliate marketing is that there are so many different niches and programs to choose from.
It seems like almost every product or service has their own affiliate offer from flights and car rentals to cruise ships and excursions.
With so many different niches this opens up a lot of opportunity to travel bloggers looking to try something new without much competition.
Using the right keyword strategy it’s still possible to find untapped verticals in the travel industry – perfect for those of you looking to get started with affiliate marketing.
Travel Keywords for Affiliate Marketing – What Are People Searching For?
With an affiliate site it’s smart to start out with “buyer” keywords.
These are keywords and search phrases where you know the person is moments away from buying something – they just need a nudge in the right direction.
This is where keyword research and great content can help you build the foundation to an amazing travel affiliate site.
There are a few different ways you can approach your keyword research strategy depending on what you’re promoting:
These types of keywords are the low-hanging fruit that you can quickly rank and start earning from.
There are a seemingly endless amount of product keywords
It’s a gold mine in the travel niche with so many different travel products.
Here are some great travel product keywords to consider:
Best travel luggage
Best walking shoes for Europe
Best laptop for travel
Best carry on rolling suitcase
These are easy to monetize with affiliate programs like Amazon.
With the right keyword research strategy you’ll be able to find keywords with low competition that you can quickly rank for.
Flight and Hotel Keywords
The competitive nature of airlines and hotels means that he’s keywords have extremely high competition.
It’s unlikely you’ll ever be able to rank for “cheap flights to Paris” unless you have an unlimited budget.
You might be able to get away with ranking for something like “where to stay in small city”, though Google will likely show their own local results first.
It’s smart to avoid flight-based and hotel-based keywords.
Starting a local travel site can be a good idea for medium-sized cities without much competition.
Otherwise, you’ll probably be out-ranked by localized results or more popular local websites.
For example, consider a keyword like “best places to eat in NYC”.
While this keyword might have a high search volume, how would you monetize visitors to that page?
You could earn a few bucks through display advertisements but it doesn’t make sense to monetize location specific keywords affiliate marketing.
How to Start Travel Affiliate Marketing
At this point I’m assuming you have your own travel blog or website already up and running.
If not, open this post on how to start a travel blog in a new tab and pop back here once you’re done following through the guide.
To build a successful travel affiliate site there are three things you need to focus on:
Choosing the right keywords can make or break your entire affiliate marketing strategy.
Look for buyer keywords – those where people are one or two steps from making a purchase.
In the travel niche there is still a lot of opportunity to find low competition keywords that you can quickly rank.
As your website grows you can start going after higher competition keywords.
Until then stick to the low-hanging fruit and focus on those quick rankings.
Creating Great Content
Great content needs to be the foundation to your travel site.
Blog about things that people are actually looking for more information on.
Stay relevant, use a lot of images, and share everything on social media.
Guest Posting (Link Building)
In the travel niche, the best way to build links is through guest posting.
Links are when someone adds a link to your website from theirs.
Each of these links is a vote in the search engine popularity contest – the more you get the higher you’ll rank in search engines.
There are countless opportunities in the travel niche, especially as travel continues to become more popular.
While the competition might be high in some verticals you can still find low competition niches with the right keyword research strategy.
Once your plan is in place, get your creating amazing content in building links – you’ll be killing it with affiliate marketing in no time!
How to Run a Successful Travel Affiliate Website
Building your own successful affiliate site in the travel niche takes hard work and requires a solid strategy.
Here are some helpful tips on developing your own affiliate marketing strategy with your travel blog:
Use Contextual Links
Contextual links are those added in your content as part of the text.
For example, here’s a contextual link that leads to another helpful blogging post (see what I did there).
These links work better than banner ads and are an effective way to start making affiliate sales.
Your visitors are more inclined to click on a link that flows naturally with the content rather than an awkwardly placed advertisement.
Focus on Great Content
Like I keep saying – great content is the foundation to any successful affiliate website.
You need to be focusing on creating great content from day one.
What do I mean by “great content”?
Here are some guidelines you should follow when you’re creating posts for your travel blog or affiliate site:
- A minimum of 2000 words
- Use images or videos every 300 to 500 words
- Include affiliate links every 300 words
- Include a CTA (Call-To-Action) and any relevant email signup forms
- Link to other pages on your blog
- Link to other relevant websites (not your competition)
These are some basic guidelines to help you get started with creating great content.
Don’t forget that keyword research will help you find the best travel blog post ideas if you’re having trouble with that.