Curious about joining a travel affiliate program, but feel in the dark about how to get started? Perhaps you’re wondering if affiliate marketing is worth it. Can you really make money with travel partnerships?
If you have any online presence related to travel, then you’re in a prime position. You already have a captive audience who look to you for tips, recommendations, or travel services. Making money through your network is a fantastic way to boost your revenue while providing extra assistance to your readers or clients.
Whatever type of travel-related site you run, affiliate programs are a tool you should add to your repertoire. Our guide will help you start generating money through your digital network.
How do travel affiliate programs work?
In a nutshell, affiliate marketing is the practice of promoting products or services on your own website, blog, or social media page. If you have any of these platforms, this is already a step in the right direction to make money on travel. Within your chosen platform, you will insert your own custom affiliate link that directs your readers to that website. Each time someone makes a purchase from that link (called a conversion), you receive a commission.
As an example, take the iVisa.com travel affiliate program. We will pay between 20% to 35% of our service fee up to your sales volume for every paying customer you send us. Plus, for anyone you send to iVisa.com Passport Photos who makes a purchase, we will pay you at least 30% of the sale. That’s simply by sharing your unique links with your audience. It's basically a two-way partnership. You harness your authority over a particular topic to divert traffic to a brand, which in turn sends you a reward.
An important thing to note is that any purchase must be made within a certain number of hours or days to qualify. After a certain time period has lapsed, the affiliate cookie of that click will expire. Different affiliate programs have different expiry terms. iVisa.com offers an extremely generous 365-day affiliate cookie.
Always remember the golden rule - transparency! You should inform your readers that your website or post contains affiliate links.
How to make money with travel affiliate programs
Now you know exactly how it works, let’s discuss how you can generate some cash with an affiliate collaboration.
Monetize your travel blog
If you post regular content on your travel blog and have a decent readership, why not start making money from it? Travel bloggers are in a prime position to reap the rewards of joining an affiliate scheme. After all, you have an engaged audience who turn to you for travel inspiration and insider tips.
Once you are accepted onto a travel affiliate program, the fun can begin. Here are two ways you can use affiliate programs on your blog:
Refresh pre-existing content: You can tweak older content and slip in your affiliate links, providing they are relevant to the post. Previously shared an anecdotal tale about that time it slipped your mind to get a visa for your trip to India? Expand your tale and emphasize the importance of travel documents and where your readers can acquire these. This way, you strike a balance between great first-person travel stories, providing a service to your readers, and making some cash. As a bonus, Google favors blogs that are updated regularly, so this is also great SEO hygiene.
Create content: Your new affiliate program is a great way to brainstorm some fresh new content on your blog. Got accepted by a cool hotel booking website? Curate creative guides to accommodation in the cities you’ve visited and can talk about with a passion. Alternatively, compare travel insurance companies who will cover vacationers if they are affected by the virus. Either of these are examples of affiliate marketing campaigns that should lead to conversion.
You can put your earnings towards future travel, which benefits your readers as much as yourself!
Boost your value as a travel agent
Another business that can benefit from travel affiliate programs is travel agencies. While you, too, can publish affiliate blogs, you can also embed affiliate banners and widgets on your homepage or landing pages. Every time you book a trip, your client will need to acquire relevant travel documents. Anything you can do to streamline the process will delight your clients and add value to your service.
Of course, you can always offer to manage the visa on their behalf. If not, you can point them in the direction of where they can acquire their own paperwork. Discuss which is the best method for your client. If they choose to handle their own admin, hand over your link to iVisa.com's affiliate resources and pocket the commission.
Either way, your client will appreciate this well-rounded service. This means they are more likely to stay loyal and return to you for their next trip.
How to choose the best travel affiliate program
There is a huge variety of travel affiliate programs out there to choose from. However, you need to ensure you partner with the brands that reflect your own mission and values. Only select organizations that suit the interests of your readers or clients.
Travel is a diverse category, so consider your target audience or customer. Whatever your niche is - be it adventure travel, unusual places, or a specific region - partner with brands and businesses whose products or services compliment this. For example, if you write for budget backpackers, you shouldn't affiliate with a high-end product brand. Families seeking kid-friendly package holidays have very different requirements from luxury honeymooners.
Sticking to a niche in travel is the best way to ensure that your affiliate content reaches the right audience. From there, you can offer specific services or create specific content that will be beneficial to your customers.
On the other hand, some topics have universal appeal for all types of international travel; for example, travel documents or travel insurance affiliate programs.
Travel affiliate program checklist
While searching for opportunities that suit your niche and customers, work your way through our handy checklist.
- Are the products genuinely useful for your readers or clients? Alternatively, is the service relevant to your target market?
- Do you actually like the product or service - have you used it before, and would you reuse it in the future?
- Does your affiliate link grant an incentivizing discount to your readers?
- Is the website user-friendly and professional? Consider whether it’s something that you are confident to send your readers to.
- Are you clear about the terms and conditions of the affiliate scheme?
- Is the commission scheme transparent and worth your time investment?
- What is the duration of the affiliate cookie?
- Will you earn a commission from purchases made worldwide?
- What assets will the partners provide you with so that you can create attractive and engaging campaigns? For example, banners and widgets.
- When and how will you get paid?
- Is there a contact email if you have any issues with the scheme?
How to register as an affiliate
Signing up with affiliate schemes is very straightforward. Search for brands and businesses you are interested in partnering with and see if they offer an affiliate scheme. Start with those you already like or have used - it authenticates your marketing activity.
Request to join your chosen travel affiliate program. Note that some organizations will request a certain traffic and domain authority level before welcoming you to their scheme. You may need to be patient while you build your readership.
Once you are approved, you can embed links and banners on your own site and start to make money from travel recommendations!
Is affiliate marketing worth it?
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate revenue on your travel site. However, while you may hear it described as ‘passive’ income, this is not entirely true. Creating quality content that attracts the attention of your readers takes a lot of thoughtful planning and work. Inspiring them to click on your affiliate link takes creativity. Having said that, once you have embedded your unique affiliate link in several posts, you are certainly on your way to a passive income stream.
Do prepare yourself for your income to fluctuate. Some months you’ll see a dip in sales, while others will soar. Need a success story? One of the most successful travel blogs, Goats on the Road, attributes 32.5% of their $200,000 monthly earnings to travel affiliate programs. Comparably, Adventure in You revealed that affiliate marketing is their largest income generator. It accounted for 36.3% of their revenue of $95,614 across six months of blogging.
If you really want to make money in travel, be selective about who you choose to partner with. Stick to your area of expertise, and don't forget travel documents. For necessities such as visas and passport photos, you can earn with the iVisa.com affiliate program.
It really is possible to make money from travel affiliate programs. Our parting advice is to remind you to stay authentic and transparent with your readers and clients. Sharing ways to make travel easier or cheaper feels incredible, and creating great content should always feel more like fun and less like work.