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I love traveling almost as much as I love shopping. Sometimes I think that if I could go back in time to 2009 when I first started my blog that I would choose to start a travel blog instead of a shopping blog. Alas. I am so envious of those who get to write about their sponsored trips around the world. Don’t get me wrong: Both writing and traveling can be a lot of work. But seeing the world and having an outlet to share your experiences with others? That’s pure magic.
While travel bloggers frequently have the opportunity to go on sponsored trips, one thing I’ve noticed is they sometimes don’t take it a step further to include affiliate links where appropriate. If you have a travel blog, or frequently write about travel, there are so many ways you can make money from your travel blog. I’ve rounded up some of my favorite affiliate programs for any of you travel bloggers, so hopefully you’ll be on your way to making more money from your travel blog in no time!
How to Make More Money from Your Travel Blog
One of the easiest way to make more money from your travel blog is to add travel-related affiliate links to your posts. Whether you’re linking to airlines, hotels, or tour groups, there are so many different ways to make money from your travel posts!
Travel Programs per Affiliate Network
Here’s a quick rundown of just a few of the top travel-related affiliate programs you can find in each affiliate network. Some companies run affiliate programs via multiple networks. Should you encounter this, I recommend checking to see if there’s a commission difference and if not, going with the network you prefer.
Please note that you will need to apply for each affiliate network before you can apply for any individual program. Get more details about that in Affiliate Marketing 101.
AW is primarily a British company, although they do have a few U.S. companies and the list is growing. This is great, though, if you have an audience primarily in the UK or EU as many travel brands are native to Europe. Please note that you do have to pay $5 to apply to Affiliate Window. They do, however, put that $5 right into your account – they don’t keep it. This is unfortunately normal for this company. They say they do this as a background measure.
Notable travel affiliate programs include: AirfareWatchdog, Apple Vacations, Hostelworld, Lonely Planet, Hostelbookers
Commission Junction has a huge portfolio of travel companies in their network. If you are a travel blogger you MUST apply to Commission Junction and then begin joining their programs.
Notable travel affiliate programs include: Accor Hotels, Air Europa, Air France, Airfare Watchdog, Avis Rent a Car, BedandBreakfast.com, Best Western, Booking.com, Budget Rent a Car, CheapCaribbean.com, CheapOAir.com, CheapOStay.com, Expedia, Hawaiian Airlines, Hertz, Hilton, Hotels.com, InterContinental Hotels Group, Jetsetter, Lufthansa, Priceline, Radisson Hotels, Sandals & Beaches Resorts, Travelocity, Trip Advisor, Venere, Virgin America, VRBO, Wyndham Hotel Group
Impact Radius doesn’t have a big emphasis on travel within their affiliate network, but they are one of the newest affiliate networks and their travel department seems to be growing and includes some key companies like Hilton and Hotwire.
Notable travel affiliate programs include: Hilton Global, Caesars Entertainment, Hotwire, Palms Casino Resort
Commission Junction and Rakuten LinkShare are two of the first affiliate companies that bloggers should join because they work with the largest number of programs. The number of travel-related affiliate programs in LinkShare’s book is second only to CJ.
Notable travel affiliate programs include: Starwood Hotels, Cheap Flights Now, Lyft, Booking.com, Orbitz, Cheap Tickets, Enterprise, CheapOAir.com, Lan Airlines, Camping World, Thrifty Car Rental, La Quinta
Shareasale tends to work with smaller companies on their affiliate programs, which is why you won’t find many of the really big companies here. They do work with quite a few independent hotel chains though, various travel search engines and a range of other travel sites.
Notable travel affiliate programs include: CityPASS, Viator, Roomorama, Trip Alertz, Qatar Airways
Top affiliate programs for travel bloggers
Based on conversations I’ve had with some travel blogger friends, these are two of the top affiliate programs for travel bloggers, based on their generous payout structures.
TripAdvisor – Everybody knows about TripAdvisor. I’m guessing most people use TripAdvisor when they’re planning a trip. But did you know that the Trip Advisor affiliate program is one of the best out there? ‘Tis true!
TripAdvisor will pay you a commission when your readers click the ads on their site and/or when they use TripAdvisor to book hotel stays. Since you can’t book directly through Trip Advisor, you basically become a subaffiliate, meaning that TripAdvisor pays you part of the fee they receive for sending people to other sites. I’m not even a travel blogger, but TripAdvisor’s generosity means it’s one of my very favorite affiliate programs.
Tips for incorporating TripAdvisor into your blog: Encourage your readers to research their hotels through TripAdvisor. If they then use TripAdvisor to book a stay then you will earn a commission.
Another option is to make use of the data on the TripAdvisor website. For instance, if you’re writing about Austin, perhaps you could include something like “the top 10 hotels in Austin” using the data from TripAdvisor, and you can link to each individual hotel in the list using your affiliate link.
Find it at: Commission Junction
Booking.com – Quite a few travel bloggers I know love the Booking.com affiliate program because they pay out a flat rate. As in, they will pay you a specific amount whenever someone clicks on your affiliate link and then books a hotel stay through them.
Tip for incorporating Booking.com into your blog: When writing about the hotels that you’ve stayed at, share a link with your readers that says something like, “check dates and availability at Booking.com.”
Creative Ways to Add Affiliate Links to Travel Posts
Adding links to booking websites is pretty much a no-brainer if you want to make money from your travel blog! Nearly every booking website and search engine have affiliate programs, so it’s just a matter of figuring out which programs you’d most like to promote.
If you want to add other links to your posts, however, here are a few creative ways to add affiliate links to travel posts:
- Link to travel guides for the destinations you’re writing about. I’d recommend using Amazon Associates for this because their affiliate program is so easy to use and they carry pretty much everything. You might also try the Barnes & Noble affiliate program through Commission Junction, or even the Random House program through Shareasale (you’ll find Fodor’s here).
- Link to suitcases and/or travel accessories that you use and/or want to use. Amazon is always good for this, but there are myriad travel accessory stores that have affiliate programs like Irv’s Luggage, Samsonite, and eBags.
- Talk about what you need to wear in specific locations (for instance, if you’re going somewhere particularly cold or warm) and link to examples.
- Did you do a lot of walking on your trip? Share links to the world’s most amazing travel shoes.
- Talk about the camera you use to take your amazing pictures and link to it, or to similar cameras.
- Are you a budget-friendly traveler or do you have budget-minded readers? If so, you could recommend that they use a site like Ebates to book all of their travel because then they will earn cash back on many of their bookings. Ebates will then pay you for every referral you send their way! My recommendation is to write your post as normal using regular affiliate links and then at the bottom include a little blurb about Ebates using your referral link.
There are so many different ways that you can make more money from your travel blog, but it’s definitely doable! If I want to book the trip that you just went on I will probably take you up on all of your recommendations. I’m certainly not going to complain if your recommendations have affiliate links attached and you earn a little bit of extra money for making my life easier!
While I don’t have a travel blog, I have recently started including travel posts on my blog, such as this post about spending a weekend in Chicago. Always remember that readers like reading about what YOU’RE passionate about, so even if you’re not a travel blogger, per se, don’t be afraid to include travel content if it’s something that you love!
Do Tell: Do you have any other tips for how to make more money from your travel blog?
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