How do travel affiliate programs work?

So, your blog is starting to get some attention and you feel ready to monetise it. There are many ways to earn money from your travel website or blog, but one of the easiest and most profitable ways is by using travel affiliate programs. Whether you’re new to travel affiliation, or you’re looking to tweak your current affiliate links to make them even more profitable, we’re here to tell you exactly how travel affiliate programs work.

What are travel affiliate programs?

Technically, affiliate programs can be found in every single industry. However, for the purpose of this article, we’re going to focus on the affiliation programs in your niche; travel. A travel affiliate program is a way for a specific business or company to advertise on your travel website through what we call a “Pay Per Action” strategy. This works when you add an affiliate link to either a company, service or product to your travel blog, someone clicks on your link and makes a purchase, and then you receive a commission. The personalised link is there so the company can track where the customer came from and give you a little something in return for the ‘referral’.

Although anyone can become a travel affiliate, you’re more likely to succeed if you have a strong and trusting following on your travel website. If your avid readers trust your recommendations, they are more likely to click on your travel affiliate link and make a purchase. Furthermore, you need to make sure that you are only joining travel affiliate programs that are helpful to your audience or that you know your followers will be interested in. 

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Where should I add my link?

Since travel affiliate programs work largely on volume (the more people clicking your link and making a purchase, the more money you will receive), you want your links to be in easy to see places. The best way to add travel affiliate links to your travel website is in your blog text. Also, if you have a popular blog post that ranks highly on Google searches, you may want to consider going back and adding an affiliate link to the post. 

However, one thing you do need to keep in mind is the relevancy of these links. For example, if you’re writing a blog post about hiking in the Alps, you would want to add affiliate links for things such as hiking boots, backpacks and maybe flights. If you were writing a post about the best activities in Paris, you may want to add affiliate links for reliable transfer companies and tour companies. Making sure your affiliate links match the content your audience is interested in is more likely to get them to not only click on your link but also make a purchase once they are on the company’s site.

How do you make money from a travel affiliate program?

When it comes to optimising how much money you make from travel affiliation programs, there’s one simple rule… the more eyes on your content, the more clicks and commission you will receive. So, getting your travel blog content optimised is a must. Why not check out some of your competitor’s affiliation content and see which keywords are performing the best? Tools such as SEMrush, WebCOE and Moz will help you find the best keywords to use so you can optimise your blog post’s content and SEO.

How much money you make from travel affiliation and how easily this can be done also depends strongly on the affiliate program you choose. For example, there are some affiliate programs that offer commissions when a specific purchase is made, like Welcome Pickups and booking.com, and there are others, like Etsy and Amazon, that track their customers and give you a commission for anything bought on the site for 24 hours after the customer clicks on your link. The level of commission you receive will also depend on the type of product or service your affiliation program is dealing with. For example, you will relieve a small commission if one of your readers purchases a suitcase, but you will receive a much bigger commission if they purchase travel insurance, fights or long hotel stays. 

Now that you’re an expert in how travel affiliate programs work, all you need to do is pick one or two for your site. If you want to find the perfect affiliation program for your travel website, be sure to read our article on the best affiliate programmes for travel bloggers in 2021.

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