From the blog’s editor
This is a translation of the article from our partner Victor, published in the Russian version of our blog. Victor’s websites are focused on the Russian-speaking audience and different tourist destinations. Victor works with Travelpayouts, with third-party travel offers at Travelpayouts and directly with other partners.
The current article mentions the MyRentacar service, which is available both as an offer in the Travelpayouts affiliate network in a Russian-language interface. These and other travel offers, aimed at a global audience, will soon be available to all Travelpayouts partners.
How can you considerably increase your revenue with the help of old articles?
In attempting to increase income, many website owners try to increase the number of articles on their website. Through active work, traffic (and as well income) increases and writing skills improve.
This approach is appropriate when dealing with a small number of articles, but its efficiency is greatly reduced in the future.
Example: If there are 10 articles on the site and you add one more article, you can expect about 10% increase in traffic. But if there are 100 articles on the site and you add one, growth in traffic will be just about 1%.
That said, many old articles are partially losing their relevance — some of the links in them are now broken, the widgets have gone obsolete or they do not load at all, the information contained in them has become outdated. Improved writing skills and better understanding of the principles of the work of affiliate marketing allow you to significantly boost the conversion rate of a particular page.
Since most bloggers have literally dozens of highly converting articles, having spent some days improving them, one can increase one’s income severally.
Case: securing a major increase in income by working on an old article about MyRentacar
An article about car rental was published on one of my sites about Montenegro more than 2 years ago. At that time, we had not rented a car yet and were only starting to learn how to work with affiliate programs.
The article was written very hesitantly and with a lot of elementary mistakes. For example, there were such sentences as “You can book a car using a service we are cooperating with”. Naturally, people assumed that additional commissions were being offered and therefore searched for the original source. Many issues that are important for tourists were not disclosed in the article, and therefore people moved over to search engines in search of answers.
Since the affiliate program in Montenegro works very well, I reflexively considered the article a success even in this form because there were regular reservations under high commission.
While communicating with Mila Demenkova (from the editor: Mila Demenkova is a popular blogger, one of the top partners and a friend of Travelpayouts), it turned out that with roughly the same traffic, her car bookings were much higher than mine. Since the MyRentacar affiliate program at that time was one of the most effective among all my sites, I decided to almost completely rewrite the article.
So what was done:
- A lot of updated information on refueling, parking, insurance, rental conditions, etc. was added.
- Friendlier wordings were used to replace the uncertain ones. For example, the sentence “You can book a car using a service we are cooperating with” was changed to “For your convenience, a search service from auto-travel.me is integrated on this page. You can either book directly from them or through our website. In case of difficulties or if you have questions, we have direct contact of the owner of the service, and we will try to solve all the problems that may arise as soon as possible”.
- A greater emphasis was placed on affiliate links and recommendations, while focusing less on the beauty of the car rental widget.
Effect of the changes made
To evaluate how the improved article and expanded semantics influenced traffic, we will compare the general growth in traffic on the website and growth in traffic on the improved page before the changes were made. For descriptive reasons, traffic on the landing page in the graph is increased by hundred (different scales).
Comparing website traffic and landing page traffic
—— Website traffic —— Landing page traffic —— Changes to the website
As you can see, changes did not lead to any significant increase in traffic to the landing page. Traffic grew with the beginning of the season, but it cannot be considered as a result of the semantics expanded.
But the situation with income is quite different. Even right in front of my eyes, I noticed a sharp increase in income after 2-3 days. Instead of 1-2 bookings a week, “letters of happiness” began to come almost every day, sometimes even 2-3 letters a day.
In comparison with the previous year, revenue and traffic changed as follows:
|March||217% growth||Fell 2 times|
|April||117% growth||Fell 2.2 times|
|May||55% growth||Grew 16.4 times|
|June||30% growth||Grew 18.5 times|
It should be recalled that the changes were made around mid-May. As you can see, almost immediately after the changes were made, income rose very significantly.
A very colorful situation is illustrated in the graph from the advertiser’s statistics. I was able to remove the income amounts, but left the traffic so that you could decide for yourself whether there are enough data to make statistically significant conclusions.
I assume that the outcome could be influenced in many ways by many factors that are beyond my control (factors that cannot be analyzed): Montenegro’s accession into NATO and media coverage of this event (a more likely negative influence), beginning of the tourist season (a more likely positive influence), beginning or end of marketing campaigns of other affiliates, fluctuating search positions in search engines, storms on Mars, etc. But the result is definitely there, and I consider it significant.
Given that only one page now generates about a third of the total revenue from the site, I consider this growth in just 1-2 days of work to be an extremely efficient work.
Recommendations and algorithm for working with old articles
To simplify the task for beginners, I’ve prepared some tips that can help them make the most effective use of this method and maximize their income.
1. You should first work on converting articles
In each blog, articles are in one way or the other divided into information articles (description of attractions, own experiences, photo reports and reviews) and converting articles (articles where you recommend this or that service). Information articles are usually much more in number than converting articles.
I recommend that one should first of all update converting articles. Even a small increase in conversion rate or traffic for these articles can significantly boost your revenue.
Information articles should be updated after the converting articles have been updated and only if they are not occupying good positions in search results pages — there is no special reason to modify an article if it is already in the top position in a search results page in response to a keyword query but is not generating sales.
2. Use convincing language, recommend and don’t sell
In the Travelpayouts blogs, you can find a very good instruction on how to optimize marketing articles. Let me highlight only a few points:
- For a regular website or blog, it is not necessary to pretend that it is you who is selling this or that tourist product. Your readers understand everything perfectly. Just recommend. Many people know that widgets are affiliate widgets, but few know about affiliate links. A small link often works much better than a huge widget.
- “Book directly” or “book without intermediaries” — you should actively offer these — with your affiliate link, of course.
- It is better to indicate the original source by offering an affiliate link, rather than letting the visitor go to search engines to get the information himself.
3. Write very detailed and structured articles
On information sites, converting articles work much better if they cover all the readers’ questions. The more detailed and structured an article is, the less likely that readers would go to search engines or resort to competitors for additional information.
Try to combine different types of content. For example, when it comes to car rental, you can upload a video of how you receive the car, shoot it from all sides (to show dents on the camera), etc. Such a small video would attract newcomers and raise their confidence.
Your article cannot provide answers to all possible questions. That is why you should also focus on users’ comments and answer their questions. Having so many comments to an article creates credibility.
4. Update old articles from time to time
It is very useful to at least once a year to go through all affiliate articles, look through them quickly and update them. For example, in articles about a tourist attraction, you can put a link to car hire, adding a “How To Get There” block to it.
This would allow you not only to make a better relinking (improvement in search engine positions), but also to attract more visitors to the right pages. People really follow links. If there is no link, they go to a search engine to search for information there.
For example, when I updated and improved my article, I analyzed my competitors. I see one affiliate as the main competitor among them. At that time, he had a broken form of search service from a private service. I was going to tell him about it, but I forgot.
I remembered now and came here — and the article has already been revised a little and Rentalcars.com is placed there (from the editor: Rentalcars will be available to all partners via Travelpayouts).
5. Communicate with other bloggers and site owners
In fact, bloggers and site owners are not really competing among themselves. If you devote a little more time to communication, including on “uncomfortable” financial topics, you can find out that the conversion rate of your articles is much lower than the average. You may also find out that which affiliate programs fetch unexpectedly good income.
Working on old, especially affiliate articles, is not so fun and exciting as writing something new, but these old articles generate the main income for most travelers.
Nobody is perfect, the situation on the market is constantly changing, and therefore an article written several years ago may not today work as efficiently as it could have. As a result, you lose a significant part of your income every day.
For sites with a lot of good materials, working on already published articles can bring much greater benefits than posting new ones.