How to make money from a travel blog
November 22, 2017Comments (0)
Making money from travel blogging isn’t just a dream, it can be a fundamental source of income. In this article you will learn how to make money from a travel website; you will also better understand different methods of monetization, including the Travelpayouts affiliate program.
Table of Contents
How much can you earn from a travel blog?
There is no exact method of calculating in advance how much money you will earn from your website. Some people think they will earn a lot if they have many visitors. However, it doesn’t work this way; your income depends not only on the amount of traffic you get but also on its quality and your chosen method of monetization.
You can assume that your earnings will be between $3 and $15 for each 1,000 visitors. There is a big difference in income because of the selected features in this business. Language and the sector will also affect your profits. In addition, Turkey, Brazil, India and other non-English-language markets have local circumstances which also influence a webmaster’s total revenue.
The seasons can also affect your profits. Usually, summer is the high season and you can earn more than at other times. With deep knowledge of an area of your project and a deep understanding of the audience, you can increase your income.
Travel bloggers can use several methods to monetize their projects. CPA (Cost-Per-Action) and CPC (Cost-Per-Click) methods are the most common ways to earn. Some of these options are presented in the video:
The important point is what to choose and how to use it. For example, you can earn more with the CPA method than with the CPC method if you have good-quality traffic or well-prepared content. To learn how to choose the right topics and create profitable content, check out this page.
Who can make money travel blogging?
Even if you have just started a travel blog, you can start earning from your website. You need patience, self-control and the mindset of an entrepreneur, not an employee.
To monetize your travel blog, you must attract an audience, join the appropriate partners, and perhaps create a product or provide a service. Meeting the reader’s needs and putting your project over the top must be your priority, not the money.
Affiliate marketing and CPA networks for a travel blog
The CPA model means you will earn when a visitor makes a purchase by clicking the affiliate link on your webpage, for example, buying a flight ticket, booking a hotel room, buying a backpack for travel and so on. In the affiliate market, these are called leads and webmasters get paid for generating them. To start, you must join an affiliate network. Several key players are on the market:
- And anothers.
Otherwise, you can work with general platforms, such as CJ and Awin. These platforms offer more than travel services, so you can use your imagination to choose which products you will offer your visitors.
Travel affiliate programs
Travelpayouts focuses on flight tickets and hotel bookings. Its key products are Jetradar.com for flight searches and Hotellook.com for hotels. Partners get access to a complete set of tools: search forms, widgets, plugins and others; you can learn more through this link.
Thanks to Travelpayouts, you can give your visitors the opportunity to compare hotel room prices or find the best flight tickets. As a commission, you will get 1.6% of the total revenue for flight tickets and 4.92% of the hotel bookings you sold. For example:
|$850 – return tickets||$14|
|$1470 – accommodation||$70|
The minimum payout is $50. The affiliate network doesn’t have any minimum requirements for new users; you can join right now on the official sign-up page.
Booking.com and Agoda are the other options you can choose for flight tickets and hotels. You can also sell other touristic services on your pages, such as cruises, car rentals, travel insurance and so on.
Rentalcars.com – a car rental platform – offers a beneficial service for your visitors, and also allows you to earn money. Booking.com and Agoda also offer car rental services. Cruise direct offers a limitless amount of sea travel, while GetYourGuide is a good excursion website through which you can make a profit.
The following video offers more detailed information about travel affiliate programs. You can also learn more about affiliate programs’ offers in this article.
Travel CPA networks
You can work with CPA networks, such as CJ or Awin, to sell various travel products and make money with your travel blog. For example, you can join e-shops to sell clothes, power plugs, maps and so on. At this point, you should consider which products your visitors can use.
If your project is oriented toward a local market, research local players, even small ones. You may find unique opportunities for different destinations, for example, working with an exchange office and earning a commission for each traveller you attract.
Tips for increasing your conversion rate with affiliate networks
The best way to boost your conversion is to be creative about your ideas. Here are some tips to increase your conversion rate:
- Always try different colours and sizes of tools.
In some projects, different colours and sizes have different effects in terms of attracting visitors. For example, red can be attractive for routes to China while white is not. Some colours attract more attention but can distract visitors from the site’s content. Find a balance between your audience’s attention and comfort.
- Track your visitors’ activities.
You must know your audience’s interests. For example, collect data about sales and searches of flight tickets to see which directions your visitors prefer.
Use this information to create a content plan that covers your audience’s interests. Adjust your offers according to your visitors’ needs, which you will understand by analysing the data. Of course, don’t forget to try new things. (If, for example, you have a website about Turkey and offer “abroad” tickets such as Istanbul – Berlin, maybe your audience also needs “internal” tickets such as Istanbul – Ankara or Istanbul – Trabzon.
If you can predict what your visitors need, you can fill in the form in advance so that your visitors won’t have to think as much. The fewer steps users have to take, the higher the chances they will actually purchase the goods or services.
However, if your prediction is wrong and your visitor is not interested in the service you propose, the result may be extra effort for the visitor, whom you may lose as a result. Don’t overthink for your visitor; find a balance.
- Place affiliate tools where users expect to see them.
Imagine that a visitor is reading your article about travel in Japan, in which you share suggestions about where to stay. The user wants to book, but … doesn’t see an option to do so. For example, you placed a search form at the bottom of the article, where the user can’t easily find it.
To avoid losing the sale, place affiliate tools where the user expects to see them. Think logically and, of course, don’t hide tools in hard-to-reach places.
In the affiliate marketing arena, many successful people make profits from travel websites. Look at their websites; analyse their advertisements, sales and placement/choice of tools. Use their successful ideas to increase your earnings.
One website that earns from affiliating is mauritaniaairlines.com. They share their ideas with us in this article. Also, an article is available about the 10 most famous travel bloggers; check it out here.
Contextual advertising — Google AdSense
Contextual ads can be displayed related to the content of your webpage or to visitors’ interests. These advertisements can boost your earnings.
The main player in the international market is Google AdSense. If your project works with a local market in a language other than English, you can check local players such as Yandex in Russia, sClick in Czech Republic, etc.
Conditions of Google Adsense:
- At least 50 visitors to be accepted;
- Average gain between 15 and 80 cents for each click outs;
- Payment is once per month;
- Minimum payout is around $100, it depends on the currency of your project.
The quality of your traffic and competition between advertisers in the area affect the click outs. Average earnings in Google AdSense per 1,000 page views from the USA is $3.38, while the average click out is $0.33.
Average gains in Google AdSense per thousand page views in Europe (Czech Republic) are $0.82, while the average click out is $0.16.
How to increase your conversion rate
A website’s traffic not only increases conversion but also has a huge impact on travel blog monetization. Let’s look at one situation. You have a blog with 1000 visitors daily. How much do you earn? Three to five dollars on a good day? If you increase the conversion rate, you could earn more from the same number of visitors.
In Google AdSense, you earn by clicks, so you must persuade your visitors to click the ads. Of course, openly persuading your visitors to do so is against AdSense’s rules. Instead, test various methods and choose the best one. Following are some ideas for improving your conversion in Google AdSense:
- Try different colours in advertisements;
- Use different types of advertisements;
- Put them in a better place.
After testing, some affiliates see that their income level decreases. If this happens, you can return to the default conditions, as they could already be the best ones. However, do not give up right away; if you start the test, wait at least 3-5 days to get the full picture.
Custom ads for a travel website
Another way of getting advertisers is to work on your own without an intermediary. If you have high traffic or a well-known travel blog, you can attract custom advertisers. They deal directly with you, and you earn directly from the adverts without losing commission to a middleman.
There are two ways to search for advertisers: passive and active. In the passive way, you will create a contact page on your website and wait until advertisers contact you. In the active way, you will find advertisers by sending them offers.
If you create a media kit and an email with your domain and then send offers to companies, you can be more productive.
While sending the offers, you should individualize them for each company. It’s important to describe your website’s visitors and explain to the advertiser that your audience is right for their business. In addition, traffic statistics and your audience profile, including ages and locations, can clarify your offer to advertisers.
Alternatively, you can simply add a link Google Analytics or the service that you use for collecting data.
How much you can earn from these ads depends on many factors. However, the amount must be at least twice more than the ads on contextual advertising. You can sell not only banners but also sponsored posts. Advertisers buy them to promote their products or simply as one part of their search engine optimization strategy.
Selling your own products
You can use your travel website to sell your own products, like guidelines, travel consultancy services or insurance. This will help you move from blogging to business. For example, if you have a travel website for Europe or the USA, you can offer consultancy services about getting a visa for those countries. Additionally, you can sell travel tours and maps, or offer a service that sends goods and souvenirs from the country.
To be successful in this area, you should carefully consider what problems your visitors experience and what you can offer as solutions. You can work with any types of products. Electronic products, like eBooks, are the easiest to sell but don’t limit your ideas to just this area. Be creative and sensitive to your visitors’ needs.
Ideas for increasing your conversion
As mentioned above, it is important to consider and increase your conversion rate while trying to make money from travel sites. You may have great traffic but if you have a low conversion rate, you will not earn much income.
To earn on a travel website, selling your own product is mainly an issue of your visitors’ trust. To increase your conversion, you must increase your visitors’ trust in your brand. Following are some tips to raise your conversion.
To make your visitors trust your brand more:
- Provide correct information about your product;
- Offer quick support to help your customers;
- Include a section where people can comment on and rate your product. This provides more objective information to your visitors.
You can also use marketing tricks to increase your income:
- Make the offer time-limited; for example, ‘just for today’;
- Limit the number; for example, to only 100 people;
- To show that your product is valuable, make visitors work for a discount; for example, ask them to share their email addresses.
If you aren’t a professional marketer, don’t play with marketing tricks too much, as it is very easy to achieve the opposite result – people will buy less.
Other ways to make a profit
You can get not only money but also services, like free tickets or tours to promote in your blog. Therefore, while your income isn’t in the form of money, you get a profit.
You can also ask for tips for your work. You likely won’t earn much profit, but it could be an interesting experiment. Maybe you have a very loyal audience that will be happy to support your work.
If you travel a lot and have a professional camera, you can take photos; then you can use them for your blog or sell them to stock photo companies. In this case, your photos must be high resolution and of professional quality. The most famous stock photo company is Shutterstock, but it has strict requirements to be published. If you are a beginner, start with Depositphotos or another marketplace with less-stringent requirements and less competition.
Travel blogging offers a limitless number of ideas for getting money from the travel niche; share your own ideas in the comments.
Monetize your travel webpage
To make money on travel websites, you must first know how to attract the visitor and solve his or her problems. Use different methods of monetizing to find the ones that work best for your website. Moreover, don’t let success carry you away. Always update your blog; try different ideas for developing your project and earning more money.
For more inspiration, read about how to launch an online guide. It should give you an entrepreneurial spirit, which is necessary to move from blogging to business.