How does the idea of traveling around the world and earning money at the same time appeal to you? Done right, you can even reach the point where you are paid to travel – how exciting is that? Did you know there are travel specific affiliate programs you can join and become a travel blogger or vlogger? It’s not all roses, be aware of that. But it is a very exciting way to live if travel is your thing! Let’s look at How to Make Money Online and Travel the World
Is Becoming a Travel Affiliate A Lucrative Opportunity?
Let’s look at the numbers in the Travel Industry first. According to Travel & Tourism Economic Impact 2018 World, (https://www.wttc.org/-/media/files/reports/economic-impact-research/regions-2018/world2018.pdf) “The direct contribution of Travel & Tourism to GDP was USD2,570.1bn (3.2% of total GDP) in 2017, and is forecast to rise by 4.0% in 2018, and to rise by 3.8% pa, from 2018-2028, to USD3,890.0bn (3.6% of total GDP) in 2028. … In 2017 Travel &Tourism directly supported 118,454,000 jobs (3.8% of total employment).”
Those are substantial amounts of money and percentages, and they are expected to rise by 3.8 per annum! Just look at how many jobs the Travel & Tourism Industry supported in 2017! Incredible! So it is safe to say that we are speaking about a highly lucrative industry – an indication of great opportunity for anyone who is keen to become a digital nomad. Stay with me whilst we unveil the secrets to combining travel and work.
Before we proceed, it is important to know, there are no guarantees of earning a great income. It is all dependent on you, how much work you put in, how you follow the training available to you. This is not a done-for-you program and certainly is not a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time and effort, you need to be patient and hard-working. Can you do that to reach the place where you are paid to travel? Excellent, let’s go!
Travel Affiliate Programs
The best place to start is to look at exactly what Affiliate Marketing is – that is what you will be doing when you sign up to Travel Affiliate Programs. You will become an Affiliate Marketer for them. In a nut shell, a Travel Affiliate program enables you to earn commissions through marketing the products and services of the company.
Affiliate programs are available for almost any product or service you could think of, it’s a very exciting world, this online business world.
As a Travel Blogger, you would sign up to related products and services – for example airlines, hotels, resorts, luggage etc. As you travel you would blog about your trip, so if you were flying on Jetstar for example, you would speak about the airline and promote their services. Any flight tickets bought as a result of your blog (this is easily tracked through your Affiliate Links – a special code that is allocated to you as an affiliate), would be translated into commission for you. This would not be much money if only one ticket was purchased, but if a family all traveling together were to purchase through your link, well, the commission increases and life starts getting very exciting!
From what I understand the Travel Niche (more about Niche’s here) is a very lucrative and popular niche. That also means it is very competitive – you will need to work very hard to make a lot of money. The beauty of it though is that this is highly possible. You just need to learn the skills to build an online business – it’s much easier than you think!
Let’s look at what you would need to be delivering. As an Affiliate Marketer you have to keep your niche front and center if everything that you do. It is very important that you create content that provides them with useful information, plus, you need to be able to address any problems and questions they may have. This is work, not impossible, just work – you will need to research to understand your niche (there are sub niches within the Travel Niche too – different ages, different ways to travel – flights, cruises, RVs, back packing etc).
In addition to the skills required to build your online business or blog, you will need a fabulous looking blog. If you don’t have a website, have a look at this article to allay any fears you may have about creating one!
Here are the steps to making money with your Travel Affiliate business:
- Whilst travel blogging can be enormous fun, you will need to be committed and persistent with your business to really make it work. It is really exciting that you get to experience all the different aspects of traveling around the world and share them, but you need to keep in mind that you have an online business to run to fund all these adventures. No business, no further travel.
- You will need to place banner ads on your site, be sure not to overload your site with too many, nothing turns a viewer off more than feeling bombarded with ads. They are there to read about your experiences. You are there to show them the way to spending their money with your Affiliate companies, so you get to earn the commission.
- Build your blogs and articles around the products you have selected to sell. Something to keep in mind here, make sure you are confident about the products you are promoting – it’s important to not only build relationships with your readers, they must be relationships based on trust.
- Take the opportunity to write genuine reviews of products and services that you have either experienced firsthand or researched intensively. Keep in mind that your articles must always be relevant to your niche or niche.
Select Your Travel Niche
As I alluded to earlier, there are niches within the travel niche. It is important that you choose a niche of travelers and stay with that niche.
Here are some ideas of different groups you can appeal to:
- Selected age groups
- Location specific
- Types of tourist attractions, ie walking groups, cycling groups, cruises
- Age and stage – singles doing a gap year, families traveling on holidays together, mature couples keen to enjoy their retirement
One of the easiest ways to do this is to select the group that you fall into. That way you will be able to speak the same language as your audience, there will be no second guessing there. That is not to say you are confined only to your own age and stage, research will help you identify what the other groups are after. Just remember, choose your niche and stick to it. This is key.
Selecting the right brands and related keywords
Making money as a Travel Affiliate is made easier on you when you have a clear understanding of the Travel Affiliate programs and you know what products travelers may be looking for. Once you know this, choosing the matching keywords is so much easier.
When considering who you could sign up with as an Affiliate, think about everything related to the travel market – I also mentioned these earlier: luggage, hotels, flights, etc.
Let’s give it a try. Have a think about airlines, which ones come to mind? For me it is Singapore Airlines, just because they gave me the best flying experience I have ever had. I do not know if they have an affiliate program, this is pretty easy to research though, you just go to the website of the airline and look for “affiliate program”. Simple as that! The thing to consider up front though is that you will need your website and blog to be up and running to get onto the Affiliate Programs. The companies you are dealing with will want to see that at the time you submit your application. It’s not a biggie, building a website really is so much easier than you think. Have a look here.
Do the same thing with every aspect of travel – Airlines, Hotels, Luggage etc. Who comes to mind? Is it the Sheraton Group or Hilton for example? What about Luggage? Samsonite is the first name that pops into my head. I have just done a quick search and found a list of seven different brands: Victorinox, Samsonite, American Tourister, Briggs & Riley, Delsey, Hartmann and Rimowa – these are all the top brands from all over the world. You could write reviews about every single brand. That is 7 blogs right there. You could do comparisons too. There is a lot you can do. I trust you can see that.
I have also just done a quick search of Travel Affiliate programs and come up with a host of them, here are some examples: TripAdvisor, Travelstart, STA Travel, Travelpayouts, Travelerr. These companies are offering some great percentages too, TripAdvisor for example pays out 50% commission!
It is important to make use of specific keywords. Making use of generic keywords such as airlines or hotels is not going to work for you. Is your niche the luxury traveler? Then you would speak about luxury hotels, first class travel etc.
You will need to do keyword research to find out which are the most searched words. It is your lucky day because I have a FREE Keyword Research Tool for you to take advantage of. Making use of the best keywords gives your site and your articles a higher chance of being ranked by Google and then found by people searching the internet.
Ideally you want to go for Keywords which are highly searched but do not have the highest amount of competition. It is a balance to achieve this but very possible, especially with a great Keyword Research Tool like the one I have just shared with you. Really you cannot go wrong.
In your searches you would include words like strong lightweight suitcases. Best suitcase for families etc. There is also no harm in associating your articles and keyword with brands, for example, “Samsonite luggage” or any of the others that are highly regarded.
There are also likely to be Keywords which are relevant to specific locations. For example, I would like to do a Walking Tour In Italy – there you have a few keywords already. This can be applied to something you are excited about – are you keen to scuba dive at the top dive spots in the world? How about enjoying the finest food? Asian food, Italian, French cuisine – you name it. There is a market for every taste there. If you are a foodie you can combine food and travel. I have seen people do this successfully.
Remember though, it is a lot of work. You need to be prepared to put the work in, create a website which offers great value in terms of content. That is information that the travelers in your niche want to know about. You can touch on anything related to travel, travel insurance, medical cover whilst traveling, vaccinations for different regions, etc. There is so much available to you to write about.
As mentioned though, your website needs to answer the questions being asked by your niche, and you need to create articles that are informative and interesting to read. Fortunately, with travel you can include incredible visuals to create appeal.
Speaking of visuals and pictures, articles which contain images get 94% more views than those which are text only. That is an enormous number! Take this into consideration whilst you are writing your articles and also whilst you are traveling – it is important to capture as much footage as you possibly can – preferably scenic with you included. This way your images will be unique. Remember, it is a highly competitive niche – who wouldn’t want to travel the world and earn money at the same time?
Speaking of which, cameras and drones, any photographic equipment, is something you could also be an affiliate marketer for. There are loads of opportunity!
Choosing Your Affiliate Programs
It is important that your choice of Travel Affiliate programs is a good fit for your requirements. Remember too, your site must already contain content prior to applying for the affiliate programs.
The things to consider when selecting the Travel Affiliate programs are as follows:
- Does the affiliate program suit your niche? There is no point selecting children’s luggage if you are writing for the business traveler.
- What commission percentage are they offering? Is it lucrative enough? Remember, you are working for this money. Make sure it is worth your while.
- What affiliate products and services do they offer? Is this of interest to you and your niche?
- Do they provide the tools for you to promote their products and services? Banners, Adverts, Links etc.
How Many Affiliate Programs Should You Work With?
Once you have established which affiliate programs you are keen on, it is important to ensure that you select the ones which are:
- Relevant to your niche
- Provide good quality products and services
You can also go with competing companies, just be sure not to write bad reviews of the ones you are earning from. Remember also to be honest in your reviews, this is very important. You can be honest without tarnishing the image of an organization. Keep that in mind.
Achieving Success as a Travel Affiliate
Please do not feel like I am being a kill-joy by speaking about this repeatedly, it is important that you understand that though this appears to be, and can be, a very glamorous way to earn an income, it is also hard work. Your website will require you to add excellent quality content, and quantity too. This cannot work with just one or two, or even 10 or twenty articles and a few affiliate links.
To give you an idea, keep the number 100 in your mind. Yes, you will need to create 100 pieces of content before you can consider your site up and running. It is achievable, don’t be alarmed.
Once you have your site up and running, sufficient traffic to your site, affiliate links and adverts all set up, you will be in a position to really enjoy your adventures! The work doesn’t stop there. As you no doubt know, the travel industry also has seasons and changing products and services – you need to keep your site current. What a pleasure! You continue to travel, write articles, post them to your website, promote airlines, hotels, resorts, cities, restaurants etc., live the life of a digital nomad and have a ball!
Free Accommodation Opportunities
As you travel and promote and become more successful, the possibility is there that you will receive credits towards accommodation, or even free accommodation from your Affiliate Programs.
There is another opportunity to consider. I wrote an article about how to work and travel, have a look. If you are an animal lover, this will really appeal to you too. Not only will you enjoy the free accommodation the lifestyle of a local, you also get to love the furbabies in your care and you create another Affiliate opportunity for yourself in the process. One of the companies I represent as an Affiliate is TrustedHouseSitters. Have a read of my review here – this opportunity is something I shall be taking advantage of, it really appeals to me!
It is possible to earn money as an Affiliate Marketer in many ways. You can Make Money Online and Travel the World, you can do this whilst staying at home too. You do not have to be a traveler to enjoy the freedom being an Affiliate Marketer offers. Perhaps you are a stay at home mum or dad or a retired granny or granddad. Affiliate Marketing works for people confined to their homes through illness or disability too. It truly is a very flexible way to earn an income and be your own boss!
Naturally becoming an Affiliate Marketer requires learning new skills. There are many programs available on the market, I would to share my Number 1 Recommendation with you. Why are they my Number 1? I have researched the market and even joined other Affiliate Marketing companies, this one, Wealthy Affiliate ticks all the boxes for me. Their training is exceptional, the community is one of generous individuals who are willing to cheer and support each other along the journey. We have different levels of experience and expertise in the community too and everyone is generous with their knowledge! Have a read of my review here.
You can even enjoy the advantage of a FREE Starter offer! You have nothing to lose. Getting stuck into the training here will reveal more about what Affiliate Marketing is and allow you the opportunity to see if it is something you will enjoy. Give it a go, why not.
I hope you have enjoyed this article and learned something new. Is there anything you would like to add or ask? Please feel free to let me know in the comments section below.
Hope to see you on the inside!