Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger
I’ve been receiving quite a few questions about how to start and run a travel blog from my readers, so I decided to add a new category to the blog dedicated to this topic. One of the most frequent questions is about how to make money with your travel blog and since I am beginning to figure this part out myself, I decided to share my findings with you. I recently started dabbling with Affiliate Marketing, so I am sharing what I have learned about Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger.
As I am not an expert yet myself, I took a course called Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing and below you’ll find my 2 cents on what I think of the course. But even cooler is that I interviewed the creator of the course and she gave me some more insights why Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger is such a great fit. This lady makes a 5 figure income from Affiliate Marketing on her blog alone, so she definitely knows what she is talking about!
How I suck at Affiliate Marketing
Just like any entrepreneur, I don’t put all my eggs in one basket and so there are a few different ways how I make money with my blog: sponsored posts, ads, copywriting are a few ways I supplement my income for example. The biggest part of my income is through my gig as an Online Marketing consultant and Blog Training. But there is one income stream that has been rather elusive for me so far. Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger. Yes, I set up an Amazon affiliate account, written a few reviews and there are some ads on my sidebar. But I think my highest earning with Affiliate Marketing was a measly $6. Because my mother-in-law ordered something. Pffft.
A few weeks ago, I decided enough is enough. I had wasted so much time on this and was seeing no results. But why was I so set to add affiliate marketing as a source of income for my travel blog? Here are some benefits why affiliate marketing is a cool way to generate income as a travel blogger?
Why You Should Add Affiliate Marketing to Your Income Stream
- Passive Income Babe! Yeah, this is the coolest thing about affiliate marketing for Travel Blogger. You do the work once and after you have written your review, post or interview, it is set to go. You can literally earn money in your sleep, or better yet, while you are out and about traveling and exploring. Sweet, don’t you think?
- There is no startup cost! Compared to some other money making streams that require an investment up front, you just need to sign up for free affiliate programs and start writing.
- Get up and running fast! You can sign up for an affiliate program, copy&paste some code in your sidebar and instantly make money (or not, like in my case, haha). No, but seriously, even if you fail like me, at least you didn’t invest 3 months into writing an ebook that doesn’t sell 😉
- Make money with old posts! If your Travel Blog is already established, you can add affiliate links to your old blog posts. Maybe you wrote about your camera gear or backpack? Insert an affiliate link. Or maybe you wrote about how Skyscanner got you the best deal on a flight? Add an affiliate link.
My Experience with the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course
I just finished going through the Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Course and here are my main observations:
- Michelle knows what she is talking about and shares her knowledge. Most (free) blog posts on the topic seem to leave out some of the key steps, so I always felt just lost enough to never really get started with Affiliate Marketing.
- She explains how to properly disclose your Affiliate posts in an easy to understand way. Most blog posts I have read confused me more than they actually explained things!
- Her tips are great for bloggers with beginner or intermediate knowledge of Affiliate Marketing.
- Whether you are a travel blogger or have a different niche, the strategy in this course is applicable to any kind of topic you are writing about on your blog.
- Getting my Pinterest game up to par is key! And this course includes an extra Pinterest Mini-Course that will help me get started!
- There are so many cool ways to use affiliate marketing in a non-spammy way that I have never thought about!
- But the best benefit of the course? The Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing Facebook Group! While this is not Travel Blogger focused, the people in this group are super supportive and Michelle is very involved. I have yet to see a thread where she does not share her insights, tips, and expertise! I love this group and have gotten some great answers and feedback to my questions!
And you know the best part? I made back my investment within the first two weeks after completing the course and some spare change on top of that. I can’t wait to see how much more I can push this in the next couple of months 🙂
Interview with Michelle Schroeder-Gardner – Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger
1. Your blog Making Sense of Cents is a huge affiliate marketing success. Can you name the top three things that led to your fast success?
Thank you! 🙂 The top three things that have led to my success include:
1) Creating high-quality content. I always make sure to have my readers in mind when creating content, and that includes writing about things that they want to hear about as well as making sure that’s everything is very high-quality. All of my blog posts are at least 1,000 words and include a great deal of research so that I can help a reader improve their life.
2) Being relatable and personable. Even though I make a much better living than I did when I first started my blog, I still hear from readers that I am very personable and this makes reading and learning from my blog posts much easier.
3) Networking with other bloggers and writers. Too many new bloggers see other bloggers as competition. I believe this holds them back. Attending conferences, making friends with other bloggers, networking, and so on, can really help a blogger improve, as well as make blogging more enjoyable for everyone!
2. Why do you think affiliate marketing is the way to go for travel bloggers to monetize their blog?
I travel full-time, and I truly understand how hard it can be at times to work and travel at the same time. You may not have internet, something may come up because your schedule is always different, you may have a once in a lifetime experience, and so on. Due to that, affiliate marketing can make traveling much more enjoyable because you can earn a great living while enjoying life.
Plus, there are tons of products and services for travel bloggers to promote, so why not do it?
3. You recently became location independent yourself and are traveling around in an RV. Tell us a bit more about this adventure and how affiliate marketing made it possible!
I became location independent in 2013, but me and my husband didn’t sell our house until the summer of 2015. We were traveling a lot (every single month), but kept our house because we still wanted a home base. Well, last year that changed and we decided to sell our house and actually travel full-time. Affiliate marketing has made traveling full-time much more enjoyable, as described in my answer in #2 above 🙂
4. What is the #1 mistake that you see other bloggers make that lead to low affiliate earnings?
A lot of people don’t really understand how affiliate marketing works. Many people believe that they can just slap affiliate links on their website and that they will just start earning money. This can make a blogger come across as annoying, “salesy” and so on, which is something that you never want to be seen as. Instead, you should always make sure you are earning your reader’s trust, that you are only promoting products that you believe in, and so on. I have a lesson in my course that teaches you about the many affiliate marketing mistakes you should avoid.
5. How can your course help travel bloggers make money with affiliate marketing?
My course can definitely help travel bloggers make money with affiliate marketing.
In this course, there are 6 modules, over 30 lessons, several worksheets, bonuses, group coaching, an extremely helpful and exclusive Facebook group, and more. I go through everything that you need to know about affiliate marketing, such as:
- How to build trust and not lose followers
- What affiliate marketing is and how it works
- The positives of affiliate marketing
- The exact steps I’ve taken to earn over $300,000 from a single blog post
- How to pick the right affiliate products to promote
- Required affiliate disclosures that you need to know about
- How to increase conversions
- Different strategies to use to promote your affiliate products
- How to use Pinterest to succeed at affiliate marketing (yes, this includes the newest Pinterest affiliate rules!)
- How to increase traffic (there’s a bonus lesson from a Pinterest expert)
I have to agree with Michelle, her course is choke full of valuable advice and real value. I took this course and I highly recommend it to get started with Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger.
Ready to get started with Affiliate Marketing for Travel Blogger?
perfect timing! I was just reading about Affiliate Marketing as well 🙂 Very helpful article! Looking forward to hearing how it works for you 🙂
Cheers from Finland,
that is perfect! I’ll be updating this post and share more articles about it soon! Let me know, if you have any questions!
Greetings to Finland 🙂
These is an interesting article, I’ve been experimenting myself with affiliate links, with little success at the moment. I think it can be made into a success, but you need a lot of traffic and a lot of persistence!
I think the key is targeted traffic that comes to your blog in buying mood. Of course, I don’t think this is a get rich quick scheme. But if you consider how long you have to work to get a $100 sponsored posts (include finding prospects, nailing down the details in emails etc, writing the article, sharing & promoting it), it might turn into a profitable investment of your time down the line!
This is really useful! thanks for the tips from you and from Michelle. I hope things will start to pay off for you soon!
Thanks Naomi, I will update this post regularly with my progress 🙂
Just the post I needed, just when I needed it.
I bookmarked this to come back to it as I learn the ropes.
So glad you found it helpful, Davide! I really learned a lot in this course!
By total coincidence, I published a post on how I made my first $1000 through Amazon about half an our ago. Like you, I sucked for ages, but it’s working great now. I wonder, would you take a quick look and see if it pretty much agrees with what your course taught you? Cheers.
Hehe, how cool! Can you share your url with me? I would love to take a look!
Great article. We’ve been experimenting with Affiliate marketing and we need to “step up” our efforts and really focus. Thanks for sharing this course. We’ll look deeper into it. Cheers 🙂
Thank you Rosemary! I found this course extremely helpful, because it gave me a checklist of things to execute on. I just started implementing them a few days ago and already made almost $80. Pretty sweet jump 🙂
This was so helpful! I like the idea of adding affiliate links to old posts (I just added my first one to an older post that I thought would be appropriate after reading this)! Fingers crossed on how it goes! 🙂
Try going through your top 10 traffic posts first and try to find a creative way to add an affiliate link. They don’t necessarily have to be reviews, but you could add a hotel affiliate link to a city trip review for example.
This is great. Since TBEX I started working on learning about Affiliate Marketing but haven’t made much. Your August results are great!
Yes, not bad at all for about 2 weeks, right?
this sounds really interesting ! thanks for sharing it
Cool, glad this was useful for you 🙂
I made £56 one month which was on the back of some personal recommendations I made for someone so turned out to be quite lucrative. Other than that I get super excited when I earn just a pound because it happens so infrequently. I hear people say six figures and honestly I just don’t believe them. I may be tempted to check this out though.
Hey Anne, it was like this for me as well. I always thought that those numbers have to be made up. But I just started less than two weeks ago and already made $150. My blog is still pretty small and if I compare my traffic stats to some of those mega successful bloggers, I do think these people can make that much money. The cool thing about the course is that you can get your money back after 30 days, if you don’t like it or don’t feel convinced that it is worth the money (please check the details on that on the course website though, as they may change without me knowing). Let me know, if you have any questions 🙂
I’m going to have a closer look at that course, for sure. I’ve just begun with affiliate marketing and appreciate all the tips I can get. It can certainly feel overwhelming so having actionable steps like starting with your 10 most popular posts feels manageable.
I felt the same way when I did research on my own Jackie. Yes, $200 is quite a price tag, but hey, I have started implementing some of the steps about 2 weeks ago and already made $150+ so far and my blog still has a lot of growing potential (I hope so at least :)). Feel free to email me or Sent me a message on FB, if you have any more questions about the course!
Absolutely wonderful tips. It is something that new and even not so new bloggers struggle with. Affiliate marketing could be a good source of passive income especially if you are travelling all the time. Looking at the course that Michelle offers it seems like a good one which highlight important aspects of affiliate marketing.
Hey there! Yes, that is why I decided to make affiliate marketing my top priority right now. I want to build up a base income through Affiliate Marketing instead of being a slave to the clock and clients. I’ve only implemented a few of Michelle’s suggestions so far in the past 2 weeks, but I already made close to $160, so the course almost paid for itself after such a short time.
God help me, I put aside a whole afternoon to figure this out.
I actually need to set it up on my blog as well. There are so many things to do first but it seems like a good way of earning money. Thanks for sharing.
Of course 🙂 Let me know, if you have any questions, I’d be happy to help!
This post is perfect timing, since I’m getting my affiliate marketing rolling. My blog is five years old, and I’m so angry that I’ve left so much money on the table during this time. I’ll think about taking this course. Sounds like she knows her stuff.
Hey Leah, I felt like this too. I started the course at the end of July and it took me about 2 weeks to go through. I came up with a task list of things I need to get done, such as making sure I was in compliance with FTC rules, then I went through my existing affiliate posts and optimized them according to Michelle’s tips and I also wrote this post (where I also get a commission for referrals). Just those few changes brought in about $150 in those past two weeks. Of course, you still have to do the work, but this course motivated me, gave me a roadmap to do it and the support from the Facebook group was also helpful if I ran into any obstacles or questions. I am really happy I did it!
Interesting read as I have been considering affiliates for a long time. I recently did a course that mentioned it being a decent earner for bloggers and after reading a bit more into it in your article I think I may start slow with a review and see how it goes, more of these tips would be great! 🙂
I am planning on writing more about affiliate in the future, so follow my Facebook page for future updates and posts 🙂 Also, let me know, if you have any questions. I’d be happy to help!
This article is perfect! Thank you for talking me into trying affiliate marketing. I’ve been contemplating it for a while now, but just haven’t gotten around to doing it. It seems rather easy though and is a great way to make passive income.
Hi Cory, it isn’t difficult, but you need a bit of a strategy. Or at least that was what was missing in my fruitless endeavors in this area. I did a lot of research and read many posts about how to do it, but a lot of them were all about how great the blogger did, and little on how to duplicate the results. I feel that this course gave me a clear road map of what to do and how to optimize my posts. I’ve only implemented about 10% of Michelle’s tips in the past 2 weeks and I already made 80% of the course price in affiliate marketing. So I haven’t reached my break-even point yet, I do feel confident that I will be making a profit on this investment in the long run. Let me know, if you have any questions 🙂
This is awesome! I really get lost when it comes to affiliate links. Thanks for sharing this. I plan on investigating further.
Let me know, if you have any more questions about the course or affiliate marketing in general, Kirsten! As a family travel blogger, I believe you can really make this work great for you and your readers!!!
Great post! I have a few affiliate links but have not spent much time on it. This is just the push that I need to get serious about it. Thank you!
Let me know, if you have any questions, Jennifer!
I am delighted to have found this post! I have just recently decided to focus on affiliate marketing and a course sounds like a great idea: I love that it seems really practical – like you, I read many many posts that talk about affiliate marketing in theory, but hardly any explaining really how to do it. I will definitely look into this course, thanks for the recommendation!
I hear you, Marta! This course definitely gives you a lot of practical and executable advice. I just checked my stats and I officially made more now (~$230) than the course costs (in just 2 weeks!), so from now on, I make a profit with every affiliate sale. It seems like all the puzzle pieces now fell into place and I found a way to use affiliate marketing that is actually yielding results. Let me know, if you have any questions!
I have been using affiliates on my site for about a year now. I’m still adding more posts- slowly and going through and adding affiliates that make sense in my older posts that are still relevant and receive a good deal of traffic. I love receiving that income every month- and watching it grow.
I have absolutely no idea about Affiliate Marketing or how to monetise my blog so thanks very much for this 🙂
This is such an awesome post, Maria! A lot of people think that affiliate marketing is hard when it comes to running a blog, but it actually isn’t for as long as you get to see where your audience is looking most or what they’re seeking mostly from your platform. I have managed to identify that myself months ago and now i’m also reaping the rewards monthly 😀
Thanks for the suggestions. I just started with affiliate marketing but haven’t sold a thing yet. I think it’s because the Dutch are too wary for that, rather than just buying directly when recommending something.It’s definitely something I’ll have to look into more in the near future though…
Then I would suggest affiliate programs with a long cookie lifetime. That way, if they return a few days later to xyz site, you will still earn the commission ??
It’s very useful for me. I am still only thinking about monetizing my blog. Have to start to do something about it. Thanks for sharing your experience!
Great timing! I’m about to try and boost my affiliate marketing! I have so far made €2 haha. But I think I can do much better!!!
I have no Affiliates yet on my blog – I plan to start and I appreciate your helpful suggestions.
I am glad you found this post helpful, Anne! Please let me know, if you have any questions!
Thanks for the reference! Keeping it for the future.
Thanks for sharing this. Affiliate marketing is an internet course on its own. It so difficult to make money with it, except you dedicated enough time and effort.
Does anyone here knows how to get good pictures of hotels you want to promote as an affiliate. Can you just take the pictures from agoda or will they penalize you for that.
Hi MariaAbroad! I’m really happy I found this article because now I can have conversations with people who know affiliate marketing. I only joined two campaigns… one is for travel booking and the other is for web hosting. I earned my first cash out of web hosting just yesterday! I really wanted to be more aggressive in terms of affiliate marketing because that’s the way travel blogging will be sustainable with passive income. Tuning in here, and hope to learn more! 🙂
I want to click to start but what is it? A training to do a blog with affiliate links? I was going to start one so I already have a domain name and a host. I was going to do it through WordPress.org as I also want to sell products like totes, cups, etc. Would it still work?
How do you get affiliates to accept your app? ive been trying to be an affiliate with multiple companies and alot of them decline me. i understand that i am a VERY new blog and i dont have a ton of content so if i just have to apply again when i have enough content that is completely fine. just want to make sure. thankfully SkyScanner accepted my app 🙂