Affiliate marketing is another avenue for bloggers to make money. Click here to get a list of the best affiliate programs for travel bloggers
You just started out blogging and you’re looking for some alternative ways to make money.
Luckily, there are a number of affiliate programs out there that accept travel bloggers.
I’m not a huge blogger myself but I did manage to get into a number of affiliate programs for me to make some extra income.
In today’s blog post, I’m going to share with you the top affiliate programs that I use to monetize my blog!
But before I give the list that can make you some serious cash, I thought I’d list some affiliate marketing tips that I found extremely helpful.
What is affiliate marketing?
Put simply, affiliate marketing is a type of marketing where companies use bloggers and influencers to promote their website or services. In return, with every click or purchase the readers’ make, the blogger earns money or what is known as a commission at no extra cost to the reader.
That is it!
Here is a diagram explaining in more detail how affiliate marketing works:
As you can see, it is a cycle which starts with you promoting the products or service, your reader making a purchase and the wheel keeps turning. The more that wheel turns, the more money you make.
There’s a catch though.
You have to make sure you are promoting good quality affiliate links and that you’re not putting affiliate widgets all over your blog post. There is nothing worse than clicking on a blog post and all you can see are ads upon ads.
How can I use affiliate programs to make money?
First and foremost, you need people clicking on your blog. You need people to read your blog post and click on your affiliate widget and make a purchase.
Once you have all of that figured out, you need to sign up for affiliate programs. For the most part, signing up is really easy. Other programs have special requirements so make sure you read the terms and conditions carefully.
The second step is to add and promote the affiliate programs you signed up for on your blog. There are several ways you can do that. You can add the affiliates in your blog posts, sidebars and newsletters!
However, there’s a catch.
You need to be strategic on the where and how much. This requires you to be a little strategic. Remember, it takes a reader a couple of seconds to decide whether they want to keep reading your blog post or just leave.
Don’t overcrowd your blog post and blog with affiliate widgets all links. There is no need to add them after every sentence you write.
Where do I put affiliate programs on my blog?
Here is what I do:
I’m using my Krakow blog post as an example.
The majority of my posts on my blog are all travel-related (however, I am venturing out to other niches!).
I start by giving an introduction to my post and then I move on to write about the accommodation available in that particular city or country.
BAM! There I add the booking.com widget.
After that, I move on to explain what you can do in that particular city or talk about any tours I booked.
BAAAAM! There I add the Get Your Guide Widget
Do you see where I’m getting at? There is no need to add affiliates after every sentence. Instead, be strategic where you place them.
As you can see, I added my affiliates underneath my about me and current location and before my social media. I did this because they will be one of the first thing people see when they are scrolling through my site.
Do you see the strategy there? You need to think of yourself a salesman/saleswoman selling products to other people because ultimately, that’s what you are.
Let’s say you are sending a newsletter about your latest blog post where you shared the top tools that help you run your blog. You worked really hard on it and want people to read it. There’s no shame in that!
One trick that really helped me was to add a link to my affiliate in my newsletter. Take a look:
Just by adding that one simple sentence in my newsletter email, I potentially made some sales and earned some money while helping a fellow reader get a jump start on starting their blog.With affiliate programs, you can make money while you're sleeping. Quite literally. Click To Tweet
Now that we talked about where to place your affiliates, it is time to talk about the how many.
How many affiliate programs should I use?
You found out about affiliates, learned on how you can be strategic with them and increase your income.
Now, you’re excited about the prospect of making more money and you start signing up for every affiliate program available out there.
There is no definite amount of affiliate programs you can have. However, there are, in my opinion, some things to keep in mind.
When you are promoting a service or product, you need to make sure that these are services that 1) actually work and 2) that you tried and tested and actually like them! There is nothing worse than being exposed for promoting something just for the sake of making money.
As you might have noticed, so far, I only have 4 affiliate programs. Only 4. I could have more yes and I am working on signing up for more,
These four are companies that I made/still make use of.
Booking I used multiple times to book accommodation. Get Your Guide is my FAVOURITE website to book tours and excursions. I used them multiple times beforehand. Siteground is the hosting service I use to host my website and they are the BEST service out there. I’m not kidding and AngieMakes I bought one of their themes for my blog and make use of their Photoshop graphics all the time.
Being a reliable source of information is key to growing your blog.
There is no rule telling you the exact amount of programs you should use. My point here is to keep your blog as user-friendly and full of information as possible because those two = money-making blog.
Don’t be afraid to diversify and test out different programs.
What I mean by this is that try out different programs in different blog posts and see which ones respond better!
Pros & cons of affiliate marketing for travel bloggers:
As a travel blogger, some people seem to think that you’d need to limit yourself to just travel affiliate programs. However, there are some steps you can take to maximize your affiliate income.
Depending on your audience, you can promote other blogger courses to help your fellow readers to start their own blog. You can also link some of your favourite travel products such as a suitcase or your favourite camera. Amazon is a great place to do that! More on that below.
How to choose the right program for your blog:
As I mentioned above, one of the best tips I can give is to choose a program that works for YOU and a program that YOU actually use.
You need to ask yourself, before signing up for a program, is will I recommend the program to my friends and family? Did I use their service before and what do I think about it?
For example, whenever I travel, I always use Get Your Guide to find tours or deals of city cards. Furthermore, I love using Sky Scanner to book my flights and find the best deals on flights.
When you’re selling something, you don’t want to sell something fake or something you don’t have any personal experience with. If you do that, your readers will dismiss your opinion and you will not be seen as an authority in your niche.
Alright, now let’s get to the good part (but don’t forget what I mentioned above!)
I signed up for their affiliate program not long ago. Beforehand, I did a lot of research and tested it out and let me tell you .. I love it! ShareASale is one of the world’s largest affiliate networks. When you sign up, you can search for thousands of programs in your niche. Then, you submit an application and in a couple of days, you’ll receive an email telling you whether you’re accepted or not!
On ShareASale, you can find services you use as a blogger that you can promote to your readers OR companies that you buy products from! They have thousands upon thousands of merchants to choose from.
You might also be interested in 11 Blogging Tasks I Do Daily For Success
2. Commission Junction:
Commission Junction pays out $1.1 billion in affiliate commissions every year! They also have thousands of merchants available on their program. In the travel niche, you can find big players such as GoPro!
3. Amazon Associates:
Amazon Associates is another big player in the affiliate network game. A huge number of bloggers make use of Amazon Associates to monetize their blog. Furthermore, it is easy to sign up to. All you have to do is give your information, tax number and you can start promoting products on your blog!
For example, if you’re a fashion blogger, you can add links to your favourite outfits and makeup. If you’re a travel blogger, you can link your favourite photography gear or travel books.
Travel Affiliate Programs:
1. Sky Scanner:
I love love love Sky Scanner! Travel in Europe is cheap (sometimes) and people usually just go to Ryanair immediately thinking that it has the best prices. Even though Ryanair is cheap, I like to go on Sky Scanner, to find deals from other airlines.
2. Get Your Guide:
Get Your Guide is another amazing travel affiliate program where you can add tours in your blog posts (like the screenshot I added above). I LOVE Get Your Guide for a multiple of reasons. Mainly being that it’s very easy to use and whenever I travel, I always book tours and airport shuttles from their website.
3. Train Line:
Train Line is one of my go-to train companies when booking train tickets in Europe. I found that when booking from the actual train companies such as Deutsche Bahn in Germany or Tren Italian, tickets are usually slightly higher. Furthermore, Train Line gives you the top deals without you having to look for them!
4. Air BnB:
Air BnB has a referral program but its actual affiliate program is open for bloggers/content creators that generate 1 million views per month. With every referral and booking generated from your link, you get credits towards your next booking or property listing!
5. Hostel World:
Hostel World is one of our favourite websites to find accommodation when we’re travelling. In our most recent trip to Neuschwanstein Castle, we booked a private room in a hostel through Hostel World. Their affiliate program is very similar to Train Lines’. In fact, when you sign up, you’ll see the same interface.
6. Flix Bus:
I found out about Flix Bus when I moved to Italy for 6 months. My friend and I planned a trip to Rome and instead of paying €80 for train tickets from Tren Italian, we paid €10 for a round trip with Flix Bus! Needless to say, I was very excited when I found out about their affiliate program. Every travel blogger who has made use of Flix Bus should sign up!
Omio, formerly known as GoEuro, is another travel service I use every time I travel. Before this whole pandemic hit, I was supposed to go to Prague and I booked my tickets from Omio, savings tons and tons of money! Omio has an affiliate travel program for travel bloggers like you and me.
8. Sailing Europe:
Want to travel around the Mediterranean in a yacht? Island hopping in Greece? Sailing Europe is the one for you! We were planning on going on a yacht in either Croatia or Greece and while doing my research, I stumbled upon this website. Their reviews are glowing and their yachts are lux! Furthermore, they also have an affiliate program for bloggers too.
I’m a sucker for floral patterns and flowy dresses. Shein is one of my go-to clothing stores. One of my all-time favourites outfits was purchased from them and I wore it in Mykonos from Shein! When I found out they had an affiliate program, I signed up! If you’re a travel blogger but also love fashion, I highly recommend signing up.
Blogging Services Programs:
1. Site Ground:
HANDS DOWN my all-time favourite hosting program! Site Ground has AMAZING offers to begin your blogging journey. I mean, $4 per month! That’s crazy! Not to mention their customer care is AMAZING! I broke my website 5 times so far and those 5 times they were able to fix it.
2. Angie Makes:
Canva has its own affiliate program but you need to have a certain amount of followers to be accepted. However, they do also have a referral program! The more people you refer to Canva, the more benefits and credits you get!
For more affiliate programs, click here.
Do you have any more questions?
There are a TON of affiliate programs out there but these are what I use and love! I hope you found this blog post useful and if you have any more questions, please feel free to drop them in the comment box below or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
As always, don’t forget to pin this post to your Pinterest boards!
Until the next one.
Yours Truly, Rebecca x