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?