This post may contain affiliate links, which means I'll receive a commission if you purchase through my link, at no extra cost to you.
If you’re new to blogging, start here to get the quick step by step guide to start a blog.
Once you’ve done that and been at it for a while, one of the ways to grow your travel blog’s income is definitely going to be affiliate marketing.
What is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is a method by which an online retailer/brand/company pays a commission to any website (publisher) a commission based on any traffic or sales referred by them.
Each company that has an affiliate marketing program has a different cookie length/referral time (how long the referral is valid such as 7 days, 14 days, 2 months, etc).
The type of program also differs such as pay per click (each click you send you are eligible for a commission) or pay per sale (each sale you refer you get a cut).
The payout of these programs can be per month, per week or per minimum payout amount ($50, $100 etc).
To know more about how to make money blogging, you can read my travel blog income reports here:
- How I Made $3000 Blogging In 1 Month While Being On A Two Week Vacation
- Can You Make Money From A Travel Blog? How I Made $426 In Three Months
- Indian Girling is 1 ; How This Blog Went From Zero to $800 Per Month
I’m here to tell you, that while high paying affiliate marketing programs for travel blogs are plenty, earnings can be sporadic and need a LOT of trial and error to find out which programs best fit your travel blog and audience.
Here’s a list of affiliate programs that you can get started with:
If you’re a traveller or own a travel blog, and you haven’t heard of this platform you’re living under the largest rock in the history of time.
Booking is not only the largest directory of hotels worldwide, but also offers an excellent affiliate progra where sales can generate a commission of up to 25%.
READ ALSO: Travel Tips; How to Book Cheap Hotels
2. WORLD NOMADS
The only and possibly best travel insurance out there, this program is selective and needs a good online presence. But once in, you can do plenty of things to promote and get more traffic for World Nomads.
Again, as a backpacker this is my go-to hostel search and booking site and it should be yours too!
The fact that they have a great affiliate marketing program doesn’t exactly hurt either! 😉
A program that I’ve had a mixed start with, it’s a growing platform with the intention to be only dedicated to travel blogs or travel agents. Although, I haven’t had much success on this platform, it definitely has some really good offers especially for beginners, and especially if your audience is European.
A large scale affiliate marketing program and one that is similar in nature to the next four in the list here. I use Rakuten to promote some travel and online business programs. There’s plenty of programs for you to choose from and if you also have a lifestyle blog, you’ll find the selection of fashion and beauty products here quite appealing!
Possibly my favorite platform, I use Share A Sale to primarily promote online marketing platforms, whether its website hosting, designing or social media marketing. This is also an excellent platform for lifestyle bloggers. I particularly love the dashboard and the ease of using this platform.
The only large scale program where I have the maximum travel partners. I have to say that I’m not a big fan of the back end, but the selection of brands and companies here is unbeatable, especially if you have a travel blog.
Best for finance, employment and education, this program nevertheless has some great options for travel, especially for deals and package bookings. To get into this program is way harder than Rakuten, CJ or Share A Sale but the companies here make it worth your while. Use my referral link for a quick leg up!
Another popular aggregate affiliate program, especially in Europe. If you are starting out this program has a $5 buy in which you can get back with your first payment. I think this is a great platform for country-specific campaigns, especially for UK based bloggers.
Chances are you already know about this program. It’s popular, competitive, yet in the long run is a good program to be a part of. They do tend to kick you out if you don’t generate qualifying sales in 180 days, so make sure you find a way to stay in once you get into this program! The only downside here is a 24-hour cookie duration, but hey any and every product that is bought from the affiliate link gets counted in that window, the possibilities are endless!
A somewhat unique program as they sell annual flash sale type of packaged bundles targeting various audiences. Depending on what you talk about, what your travel blog is about, you may be able to find a bundle here that you’d like to promote.
The thing I really like about this platform is that their back end even trains you in marketing for FREE. It’s really a very supportive, well thought out and well connected platforms which can help you improve your own blogging and email marketing techniques in the long run.
A travel tours aggregator, this is one program that will fit almost any and every type of travel blog. They have a straight up 8% commission structure and no complicated widgets or set up to figure out.
Another biggie and tough program to enter. They also offer their services through CJ Affiliate so if you can’t get a direct entry, try a country specific one through CJ.
The one platform synonymous with flight bookings has an excellent direct and indirect (via CJ) program for travel blogs or travel agents. The direct program however requires a business email so if you are just starting out, maybe you should try other programs first and then come back around to it or sign up via CJ for a relvant country website.
Similar to Booking, it’s a large aggregator of hotels and accommodation that also offers customized widgets, banners, etc for you to promote the platform.
Ditto as above and probably the closest competitor to Booking.com.
One of my new favourite cheap flight booking tools and one that has an excellent affiliate program as well. Cookies are of a relatively long period and I like their interface much more than I like Skyscanner’s. To each her own though!
A popular bus service in Europe and now expanding in the US. Thanks to their global expansion, they also have an aggressive international marketing strategy which you should be a part of if you have used their service and happen to like it!
A service I very much love and use to transfer money to and fro from my home country and host country when abroad. They also offer borderless accounts which is perfect for those of you who are digital nomads or work alongside your travel blog abroad. The payout is usually about $15 per valid referral and that can quickly add up if you have a nomadic audience!
A hugely popular mobile bank originally from Germany and now spread across Europe and expanding in USA. I haven’t used this bank (as it won’t let me sign up without a biometric passport),but many of my international friends have and they swear by how amazing, free and cheap it is.
Not to mention, as an affiliate you can make $50 per referral. Jaw. Drop.
If you don’t use a good host for your travel blog, may I suggest that you start?
HostGator has almost no negative reviews online while plenty of other hosts that even though have high paying affiliate programs really suck. I moved from managed WordPress hosting to shared web hosting (self-hosting) last year, and that is the SINGLE BEST DECISION I made in my blogging life.
A service I personally love and maybe is the only social media marketing tool that I cannot live without. I use Tailwind to promote, schedule and plan posts not only for Pinterest but also for Instagram. As a person who is always short of time, there is no product I would recommend for bloggers or marketers or influencers to have than this one. You can read why here.
P.S.- Tailwind offers recurring commissions. This means, each time they get paid, you get paid!
LEARN HOW TO GROW YOUR BLOG WITH PINTEREST THE SMART WAY!
I’m assuming that you reached this point of the list as you have a vested interest in monetizing your travel blog. An excellent way to make money blogging is to sell online courses or digital products. Teachable is not only a market leading education platform, but is also an excellent high paying affiliate program. Click here to sign up as an affiliate.
If you liked this post, you’ll also like to see how much I made in the first quarter of non-hobby blogging. (Not enough to sponsor an RTW trip, but enough to buy a plane ticket).
Affiliate Marketing Success Tips
What do successful affiliate marketers do to make hundreds and thousands of dollars by referring to products and services?
Contrary to popular belief, you do NOT need 100000 page views to make money from affiliate marketing, although higher page views CAN lead to higher income.
Here’s some easy tips to help you work on making more money with affiliate marketing:
- Create a resources page showcasing your top affiliate programs. Check out my page here for inspiration.
- Review a product or provide a tutorial. Here’s an example of one such review.
- Use your email list to suggest helpful products. This is an excellent way to reach people who ALREADY trust you.
- Add a list of recommendations at the end of your blog post. Scroll further down and you’ll see what I mean.
- Create a list-roundup of top tools, products or services for your audience. Here’s one such post I made.
When you think about it, the sky is the limit here! Although adding banners and links in sidebars almost NEVER works, you can always find creative ways to make money blogging.
Have an existing blog in need of powerful growth? Check out these services I use and love:
- Tailwind: Pinterest and Instagram scheduling tool.
- Teachable: Create courses online and add to your blogging income.
- ThemeIsle: Premium WordPress themes.
- Grammarly: Automated in-browser Proofreading.
- OptinMonster: Convert and monetize your website traffic.
- LinkTrackr: Affiliate Link Tracking.
- PickMonkey: Photo-editing, Logos and Social Media Graphics.
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