Traveling is believed to be the best teacher in life. Going to places, seeing different scenarios and experiencing different cultures can definitely make one more open to all sorts of possibilities. This is also one of the reasons why a lot of people take time to travel and as they do, blogging about their journeys seem to fall naturally. But what happens when you run out of money while traveling? Can you still say something good about it? While planning a trip is easy, having the funds to do so can be a bit challenging at times.
Don’t get me wrong, traveling is fun but why not combine traveling with earning money? Sounds like a great idea isn’t it? If yes then this could be your chance to travel and make money as a travel blogger by becoming an affiliate.
Affiliate Marketing in a Nutshell
Before you decide to take that trip or pictures of where you are heading, it is important that you know how you can become an affiliate so you can make money as a travel blogger. And if you have a kick-ass website to go with it, becoming a travel blogger is easy as pie.
Affiliate marketing is not really that complicated as you might think. As a blogger, you need to have a links in your site. This link could be a text link that you can place in your content or ad banners that you can display on your blog. Whenever a reader clicks on this link, completes an action (like signing up or completes a purchase) you are then paid by a commission on that sale.
The Different Types of Affiliate Programs
There are plenty of affiliate marketing programs that you can choose from and here’s what you need to learn:
- Pay Per Click is the most basic type of program. You can earn money whenever someone clicks on the link or banner you placed even if they haven’t completed any action. This is also popular among bloggers as all they have to do is to drive traffic from their blog to the merchant’s site. The more visitors you send to the merchant’s website, the more chances you have of earning money. However, the commissions may vary depending on the program you signed up with and travel bloggers may not have a lot of chances with PPC unless they have general banner ad networks.
- Pay Per Performance is an affiliate program that basically does what the name says. This means. PPP happens when a sale happens in the merchant’s site through your referral. So you only get paid whenever an actual sale is made and nothing else.
- Pay Per Sale works like PPP but the only difference is that it’s a fixed commission. So regardless of how much sale was made, the affiliate is only paid with the amount they agreed with the merchant.
- Pay Per Lead works like PPS but the visitors don’t need to buy anything in the merchant’s site. You just need to persuade your readers to click on the links you have placed. Although visitors don’t need to buy anything from the merchant’s page, they must at least complete a task like signing up for a contest, fill out a form, subscribe to a newsletter etc. Once they do, you are then paid with a fixed commission. PPL is also known as Cost Per Action
Joining the Right Affiliate Program
There are three ways that you can find and join an affiliate program. These are free and you can sign up for one depending on which ones you like:
- Join an Affiliate Network – these are programs with massive networks that gives you access to hundreds of programs and it is their job to provide you with the links of the products you want to promote, metrics to track your performance as well as payouts the moment you join. So as a publisher all you have to do is get the links and integrate them in your website or travel blog. This is also the easiest way to become an affiliate as you have everything under on spot.
- Join a Merchant Affiliate Program – this one is believed to give you higher commissions but you have to go after a program on your own. So you might have to join directly to a certain site in order to be on their affiliate program.
- Join a Personally Negotiated Affiliate Program – this may be the lesser known program but if done correctly, the benefits can be very good for the publisher. You join an affiliate program through negotiating your own terms. You can probably work at a much better rate compared to affiliate networks that already have fixed commissions. However you might have a hard time tracking affiliate sales as well as other important metrics to track.
Affiliate Programs for Travel Bloggers
Now if you have settled with the idea of earning from your travel blog then you need to sign up with an affiliate program. Here are some of the best programs that you can check out and see if you can find interesting services or products to promote:
- Clickbank – founded in 1998, this may be one of the biggest and most experienced programs in the internet in terms of digital and physical products. They have a wide variety of items to promote that you can easily seek. Signing up is easy and the payout is great, it’s an ideal place to start for travel bloggers who are just starting out.
- Awin – this is one of the easiest programs to use for travel bloggers. They have a wide range of partners as well as products that you can promote as a travel blogger. You can also find affiliate programs for Agoda.com, Lonely Planet Publications and the likes.
- Rakuten – is home to the largest PPP affiliate marketing network online. They have easy to navigate publishers’ section as well as categories you can check out. Payout is great and you can find affiliate programs belonging to hotels, car rentals, restaurants and anything one need when traveling.
- ShareaSale – has broadened their reach in the United States and offers all types of affiliate programs (PPC, PPP, PPS,PPL). This is also user friendly and the payouts are excellent.
- CJ Affiliate by Conversant – is an affiliate marketing platform that operates internationally. This is the best affiliate to join in if you are planning to be a travel blogger as they have a huge data base related to traveling.
- E-Junkie – is one of the most outstanding affiliate programs that you can find online today and is considered to be the best one for travel bloggers. They also allow their publishers to earn as much as 50% commission each time a sale is made.
Ways You Can Win as an Affiliate and Travel Blogger
So the question remains, how can one be successful at this? Some people took years to figure out how they can make money out of their travel blog but with affiliate marketing, you can easily make money as long as you keep these strategies in mind.
- When you write a blog, make sure that you focus on the contextual links. Create a blog entry that allows you to inject references to an affiliate program that you have signed up to. A good blog entry is more effective in generating traffic compared to banners.
- Content is very important and it could be anything really as long as it is related to the product or services you are promoting. You can write a product review, based a story on your personal experience while using a product (that you are promoting) and the likes. Just keep in mind that you need to have an original content that is insightful and valuable to your readers. This will give them the urge to buy the product or learn more about it.
- Try to negotiate higher commission rates especially when you are generating a lot of leads and making tons of sales. Don’t think that the rates are fixed; you can talk about it and ask if they can offer you higher commissions. After all, your blog is valuable too.
- Be as creative as you can be. You don’t have to stay stuck with one concept. You can write about your travels but you can also write about the How Tos, Where Tos or the What To Dos before traveling. It could also be about places to go, where food bloggers can go if they are traveling, the best spots to drink wine etc. If you want to be a successful travel blogger then you must have the mindset of one if you want to generate more income in the future.
Is it Worth Becoming an Affiliate Travel Blogger?
Of course! Traveling is a great way to see other places but to earn money while traveling is even better. With affiliate marketing, making money is possible while traveling. For one, this gives you the chance to earn passive income (even when you are sleeping) especially if you know the right strategies to take.
Yes starting out can be hard but not impossible to be successful at it. Once you figure out the right strategy, trust me, you will be earning more than you hoped for.