16 guest tips from travel bloggers who share how to make money with affiliate marketing. Each tip shares how to earn your first $100 with affiliate marketing.

This episode is part of the “Travel Blogging Quick Tips Podcast Series”. Starting a travel blog isn’t easy and this is podcast series is here to help you navigate the way easier and faster!

It’s never too late to implement good travel blogging techniques and tactics.

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How to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing as a Travel Blogger

Travel Blogging Quick Tips Podcast Series

This is podcast episode 175 and features 16 tips from established and successful travel bloggers focused on how to make money with affiliate marketing. These are great tips from established travel bloggers to help you earn income with your travel blog.

What is affiliate marketing? I love Neil Pate’s definition, which is; Affiliate marketing is the process of earning money (commissions) every time you promote a company’s products or services and drive a sale.

16 Tips to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

16 Tips to Make Money with Affiliate Marketing

There are some essential steps to building a blog into a business. Creating multiple ways to earn money as a blogger is a must! Below we dive into how to make money with affiliate marketing as a blogger. Each tip shares how to earn your first $100 with affiliate marketing.

If you want to have a successful travel blog that earns money, check out these tips from 16 established travel bloggers focused on how to make money with affiliate marketing.

Listen to the Full Podcast!

1. Join Highest Paying Affiliate Programs

My advice is to opt for affiliate partners that have a high commission rate. Most affiliate programs offer a low commission rate of 10% or under. It’s extremely difficult to make a decent income from these programs unless you have a lot of traffic and high conversion rates. Instead, be selective about the affiliate programs you choose. Make sure they offer a commission rate of 10% or higher. I was able to make $102 from 1 sale once I started partnering with a program that offered a 40% commission rate. It’s very possible to earn a good income from affiliate marketing in this manner.

Tip From Daniella Schoeman of Our Soulful Travels
Blog Niche: Travel & Wellness
Bio: Daniella Schoeman is a part-time traveler and full-time writer based in South Africa. She founded the travel and wellness blog Our Soulful Travels and has had her travel content published in numerous magazines.
Follow Daniella on Instagram

2. Choose a Top Converting Tour Affiliate

Viator and Get Your Guide offer monthly spreadsheets with their top-performing tours and destinations. Choose 3 of their top converting tours for every destination you write about and build them into as many old posts as you can. These tour links fit naturally into any travel guides or itineraries, so you can add them for all the destinations you cover.

Explain what is included in the tour and why it’s a great activity. It helps to say “I recommend this tour because xyz”. If you’ve never done that tour yourself, you can say that it is a top recommended tour on Viator or reference a positive customer review.

Include a call-to-action link like “book this tour here” naturally in the text. I spend 2-3 hours every month adding top-performing tours to my old content, and creating new content around the top-performing destinations, and this has quickly grown my affiliate income on Viator.

Tip From Laura Lynch of Savored Journeys 
Blog Niche: Travel
Bio: I’ve been writing about travel since 2014 on Savored Journeys and have since created sites in the food niche, as well. I also teach bloggers how to do SEO the easy way, gain more traffic, and build a successful business.
Follow Laura on Facebook

3. Promote Outdoor Activities and Adventure Affiliates

A fantastic opportunity to promote a destination are the fun outdoor activities and adventures that also have fantastic affiliate opportunities. There are a few good activity affiliate programs with Viator, Klook and Get Your Guide that offers a variety of adventure and touring programs that you can easily add to your posts on things to do or activity-oriented posts.

The more specific and targeted the destination and activities offered, the better the conversion rates for actual bookings to that particular affiliate program especially if you have descriptive and captivating text and images or even videos from YouTube that you can add to the experience for your readers to imagine doing themselves.

Conversions will happen when you place more effort on wording, enticing, and great descriptions to show that these are fun activities your readers can also participate in. Affiliate activities can be specific to a particular tour or activity you have done or even broader to a range of activities to a particular destination and search capabilities that will draw your readers to click the link for more information and current prices and availability.

Tip From Noel Morata of Oahu Travel Now
Blog Niche:
Oahu Travel and lifestyle
Noel Morata shares his love of Oahu travel, food, adventure and lifestyle experiences on the island and the best of island living.
Follow Noel on Facebook

4. Create an Epic Christmas Gift Guide

Create an epic gift guide 3-6 months before the Christmas season to give your article time to rank. I love recommending gifts from Amazon and Etsy. I find that people love the convenience of Amazon and the uniqueness that Etsy offers.

You can target keywords where you can suggest products that are in the 50-200 price range. This is a reasonable gift-giving budget and will give you a $2-8 affiliate returns depending on your affiliate partner’s commission. If your target audience has a bigger gift budget even better!

If you can suggest gifts from affiliate partners that will give you a higher percentage commission than Etsy and Amazon, you’ll reach your first $100 in no time! As soon as the -ber months (September, October, November, December) hits, actively promote the article in social media. During this time, people are starting to think about shopping for the holidays. By the time December hits, if you did proper SEO, the article should be getting organic traffic and bringing in affiliate income for you!

Tip From Ara Juan of Diver Bliss
Blog Niche:
Travel and Sustainable Lifestyle
Ara Juan is the founder of DiverBliss.com a website about scuba diving, marine conservation, and sustainable living. She hopes that through her content, she can inspire others to love the ocean as much as she does. 
Follow Ara on Instagram

5. Make Money with Amazon Affiliate Program

For the Amazon affiliate program, one key tip for getting conversions is to include affiliate links in blog posts that target buyer intent. Examples of how to make money with affiliate marketing with Amazon include gift guides, product reviews, product comparisons, and roundup posts. People searching for this type of content are already in a buying mindset and are more likely to click your affiliate link and make a purchase.

On the other hand, using affiliate links in an informational blog post is less likely to generate a conversion. For example, let’s say you have a blog post about things to do in Paris, and you include affiliate links to luggage in it. You might think that people planning a trip to Paris would also be interested in purchasing luggage, but if they’re searching “things to do in Paris” they’re not necessarily in a buying mindset right now.

But if you write a blog post about the best luggage for travelers, this is a much better fit for the affiliate links and will lead to conversions. People searching for “best luggage for travelers” are actively in the purchase process and are more likely to click and buy something.

Tip From Dale of Wander Her Way 
Blog Niche: Travel
Bio: Wander Her Way is a travel blog for female travelers sharing travel tips and destination guides around the world.
Follow Dale on Pinterest

6. Treat it Like a Partnership

For us, earning the first $100 is about finding a company that we can add value to. Then find ways to partner with them. Stephen Covey writes about the importance of finding win-win solutions.

The best thing is finding small to medium-sized companies that are trying to expand their reach and make them your priority. It’s important not to force this. Find companies that you can align with. The ones you already buy from or would be willing to buy from.

Don’t look for freebies. Offer them. You need to be as invested in the partnership as they are.

In fact, you should start out by being a customer. Buy something from them. Share it with your audience. Share it with your fellow creators. Become a fan. Then reach out to the brand. Your audience will know if you are sincere, so find something you can honestly get behind. With the right partnerships, both you and the affiliate can grow and expand naturally.

Tip From Steve and Lillian of Maps Over Coffee
Blog Niche: Outdoor travel
Bio: Steve and Lillian have been hiking and camping around the world. They offer tips, guides, and encouragement to get outside and explore the natural world. From road trips to bucket lists, they are well-traveled travelers traveling well.
Follow Steve and Lillian on Facebook

7. Ask Family and Close Friends to Use Your Links

With any affiliate network that you join, there is one thing you can do to immediately see some income. Go and ask all the people that support you, family and close friends, as well as use the service you are affiliated with to use your links whenever they use those services. Most of these people will be more than happy to help. You may have to explain exactly how it works, but these are the people that even if it did cost a little more they would do it just to support you.

Tip From Jenson Heaton of Nomadic Inscriptions
Blog Niche: Travel and Tattoos
Bio: Nomadic Inscriptions brings the world of travel and the different types of tattooing around the world right to you with a myriad of advice, tips, tricks and stories.
Follow Jenson on Instagram

8. Make Your Affiliate Links Obvious and Clear

Make your links obvious and clear. If people are coming to your site and they are reading all black text, one bright blue or pink text will pop up and grab their attention. And they most likely will read the paragraph leading to that link. So if you make your links bold and bright and add them at least 2-3 times when you are talking about the product, readers are more likely to click them.

Also, for this, don’t use the color of your links for any other text, may it be heading, price, complete paragraphs etc. You don’t want to confuse people with links and normal texts. So it’s better you use black for overall and bright dark colors for links so when anybody sees it, it grabs their attention and they click it.

Tip From Harman of Your Girl Knows
Blog Niche: Fashion and beauty
Bio: Harman Awal is a content writer who helps people with their fashion problems and beauty struggles and answers your questions in the most simplest way.
Follow Harman on Pinterest

9. Create Comparison Articles with Multiple Affiliates

As a new blogger, implementing affiliates can be tricky at first. It can be difficult to find the best affiliate programs for new travel bloggers when you’re just starting! It’s hard to know how your unique audience will react to certain content. What I’ve found is that it’s always best to be honest and present all the facts, so you can remain credible and authentic.

One of the best tips for making your first $100 with affiliate marketing is to write a comparison article of two different affiliates. This helps you provide honest feedback on the pros and cons and can help the user make a better purchasing decision! If someone is searching for the best travel insurance or the best online site for booking travel accommodation, it’s good to create an article that can help them decide what’s best for them specifically.

If you’re only highlighting the positives, the reader might feel like you’re just trying to sell to them. This is why I love comparing two affiliates in one article, like World Nomads vs Safetywing or Airbnb vs Booking. Because you can present the best and worst aspects of each, so the customer can make an informed choice that they can feel confident in. Plus, if you are an affiliate with both companies, then it doesn’t matter which they choose since you’ll still get a commission!

Tip From Maria Perrett of Maptrekking
Blog Niche: Slow immersive travel & alternative travel accommodation
Bio: Maria has spent the last 4 years living abroad. She is travel blogger behind maptrekking.com, a site that focuses on helping others have slow, meaningful and responsible experiences while traveling. Currently, she is enjoying the Mediterranean life as a digital nomad based in Sarandë, Albania.
Follow Maria on Instagram

10. Solve Readers Problems by Promoting Services/Products Using Affiliate Links

One of the most useful tips for earning money through affiliates is to think of your site as a place where you help your readers solve problems they actually have. Do effective keyword research in your niche and you will discover their actual questions and problems. You can also ask questions of your readers on social media or directly on your site. Then use your expertise and time to research products and services that will most help them.

After finding the best solutions, check the websites directly to see if they offer an affiliate program or, use an affiliate network like CJ Affiliate to find your profitable recommendations. Include thorough reviews with your links so your readers don’t have to invest time outside of your site. Make it easy for them to click through to purchase. When you approach affiliate links as a service, you can feel great about the money you earn from the purchases your readers make through your site. And your readers will love it too because you have saved them time and helped them make informed purchases!

Tip From Erica Forrest of Trip Scholars 
Blog Niche: Travel Education and Trip Research
Bio: Erica is the founder of Trip Scholars, a trip research site that helps curious travelers make the most of their time before departure. We believe that the wonder of your trip begins the moment you start to plan it!
Follow Erica on Facebook

11. Use a Reusable Box on Articles with Affiliate Links in Text

To get started with affiliate marketing, I recommend adding a reusable box with the best excursion recommendations to each article.

For example, if you have 10 articles published about the Dominican Republic, you can add a section with the best excursions and activities in the Dominican Republic to each text. A short inviting phrase is sufficient, for example, “Activity 1 – Ziplining in Punta Cana: if you are seeking thrill and adventures, you shouldn’t miss the ocean view ziplines in the Dominican Republic”. If you pick the Top 5, you have a great but short selection for your readers.

With this method, you can also monetize articles that don’t target specific buying keywords. To keep it easy for the beginning, I would add the same box for all the articles (provided that the rest of the text is long enough to avoid duplicate content). With a plugin called Featured Snippets or with Reusable Blocks in Gutenberg, you just have to write the section once and then add it to every text.

If you’d like to change one of the excursions, you only have to adjust the plugin respectively the reusable block and it will get changed in all the articles automatically. For those excursions, it is easiest to use GetYourGuide or Viator. Their affiliate programs are easy to use for beginners, they pay a decent commission and the payout limits are not too high. If you feel it is working well, the same can be done with the best accommodation in your destination.

Tip From Chris of Punta Cana Travel Blog 
Blog Niche: Dominican Republic
Bio: Chris has traveled to over 70 countries and is living in the Dominican Republic since 2015. Follow him exploring this amazing and underrated country on his blog. He loves to plan trips for others, travel on his own and write about the coolest adventures and best experiences.
Follow Chris on Facebook 

12. Include a “Where to Stay” Section with Hotel Affiliate Links

Add affiliate links to the existing posts that are performing well is an excellent and easy way to earn money through your blog. You can do that by creating a separate “where to stay” section for an already published itinerary.

The posts that you want to prioritize are the ones that receive a considerable amount of traffic daily. It is important to place that section as high as possible in your post so it’s immediately visible to the readers. Give at least three hotel options to the readers – one luxury, one midrange and one budget.

Describe the location and facilities the hotel provides, add a photo and a CTA (call to action) with your affiliate link, which could read something like “Book now” or ‘Check availability & rates”. Ideally, you would have stayed in one of these hotels, and you can recommend it personally. But, it is also entirely acceptable to recommend places to stay based on research. The best hotel affiliates that convert well are Booking.com and Agoda.

Tip From Mal Hellyer of Raw Mal Roams 
Blog Niche: Travel
Bio: Raw Mal Roams is a travel blog dedicated to inspire solo female travellers in particular to explore more including lesser known destinations.
Follow Mal on Instagram

13. Write Posts Where There is an Intent of Purchasing

One of the best ways to earn money from affiliates is to write posts for a reader with the intent of purchasing a product or service.

Adding affiliate links to your posts without thinking about why a person even reads them will only lead to frustration.

Think of it that way – a reader is more likely to book accommodation through a post about the best hotels in a city rather than an inspirational post about places to visit in a country with some tips on where to stay.

Similarly, readers will purchase tour tickets, travel gear, or travel gifts through specific posts that solve their problems. There’s no doubt that these kinds of keywords are not the easiest to rank for, so it does take a bit of creativity and niching down to find the posts that will work for you. This could mean writing about lesser-known destinations, writing reviews for specific products, etc.

Tip From Or of My Path in the World
Blog Niche: Europe Travel
Bio: My Path in the World is a blog dedicated to traveling in Europe, with an emphasis of making the most of each trip through hidden gems, detailed itineraries, and travel tips.
Follow Or on Instagram

14. Find Affiliates that Match You Blog’s Niche and Target Audience

The success of affiliate marketing depends largely on how interested your audience is in your affiliate links. One of the most important tips for beginners getting into affiliate marketing is to put a lot of effort into finding affiliates that match the blog’s niche and target audience. Affiliates should be carefully selected and not just picked because of convenience.

Consider carefully what the ideal reader would be interested in. There is no use in crowding a website with unnecessary affiliate links that just take away credibility. Do some research into other similar blogs in your niche and identify their affiliates for some inspiration.

Having relevant affiliate links will significantly impact your success in affiliate marketing and how quickly you’ll be able to make your first 100$. A relevant affiliate link is worth a lot more than fifty links that have nothing to do with your niche. Research and patience is definitely key.

Tip From Victoria of Guide Your Travel
Blog Niche: Budget Travel
Bio: Guide your Travel is a blog about budget travel, travel blogging, and travel photography. It focuses on South East Asia, Oceania and Europe and aims to give budget travelers realistic travel expectations.
Follow Victoria on Instagram

15. Join Affiliate Programs with Low Minimum Payouts

Choose an affiliate program without high minimums to receive your payouts faster!

Affiliate programs are a great way to earn additional income but if there’s a high threshold you need to meet to receive your payouts, it might not make sense for you and take far too long to actually receive your earnings.

I manage the Travel Insurance Master Affiliate Program. It’s a clear in-house program, that allows you to sign up in minutes, generate your unique affiliate link upon approval, and be on your way to earning easily. With 1 year cookie duration and no high minimums for payouts, the non-exclusive program is a great fit for travel bloggers.

Tip From Chelsea Capwell of Travel Insurance Master
Niche: Travel Insurance
Bio: Travel Insurance Master is a fast-growing travel insurance aggregator, providing an easy solution for travelers. We work with many of the world’s leading providers, and use our trusted smart algorithm to recommend the best plan for a traveler’s specific trip by offering clear side-by-side comparisons and explanations of benefits.
Follow Travel Insurance Master on Instagram

16. Create a Collaboration and Long-Term Relationship with an Affiliate Partner

A practical, easy and low cost tip for earning your first $100 with an affiliate involves creating a collaboration and long-term relationship with a potential affiliate. For example, it’s often possible to negotiate a special gift or discount for subscribers to your blog.

The added value can be a product giveaway such a swag, a gift or a 10% discount on a product, tour or service. Promoted effectively that discount or gift will draw new visitors to your site and when they click on the affiliate link ( such as ShareaSale where there are several merchants and suppliers in a variety of sectors listed) you earn a commission. It’s a win win win formula for the brand, the reader and you.

Tip From Michele Peterson of A Taste for Travel
Blog Niche: Travel and Food
Bio: A Taste for Travel celebrates the wonderful world of travel and food. The travel tips, healthy global recipes and itineraries are designed to help readers discover the best of Mexico, the Caribbean, Latin America, Canada and Europe.
Follow Michele on Instagram

Michele was my guest way, way back on episode #5 where we chatted about Why the Odds are in Your Favor if you Want to Become a Travel Writer. Michele is one of my favorite writers I met her on my very first media trip which was somewhere around 200. The media trip was in Nova Scotia, Canada and I had just started writing for Healing Lifestyles and Spas and was a staff writer for Portland Family Magazine. The media trip was a women’s walking tour through some of the most beautiful places Nova Scotia. Each day we would hike and explore and each night we’d stay in a high-end B&B. It truly ruined me for media trips.

That’s it! Those are the 16 tips to help you start earning income from your website with affiliate networking.

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What topics would you like me to focus on next for this series? What blogging topics do you want to understand better? Let me know here! 

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16 guest tips from travel bloggers who share how to make money with affiliate marketing. How to earn your first $100 with affiliate marketing.


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I hope you have learned how to make money with affiliate marketing for your website from the info tips. If you’d like more travel tips to monetize your site, below are some of my favorite articles focused on earning money as a blogger.

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Sign Up For Travelpayouts Affiliate Network! (Disclosure: This is my affiliate link and I would be extremely grateful if you would use this link to sign up to help support this free podcast!)

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Interviewing Lindsay Carretii, episode 21

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