Affiliate programs for flights and hotels not for travel blogs

Honestly, postponed post already, before it was necessary to write. But, probably, it is only now that I finally had everything in my head regarding my earnings on travel blogging. I already wrote a post somehow Do not start a travel blog (meaning for earnings), but there wasa bit of a different topic - such as there is search traffic, but there is a reader, they say, either to write info-articles or to be original. Read, if you have not read, this post is a kind of continuation-addition.

And now I wanted to talk about that inDepending on the format of the site (website, blog, portal), you can only rely on a certain type of monetization, and that affiliate programs for all air tickets and hotels are not initially suitable for classic travel blogs. Such is the harsh truth of life, and it is confirmed by many bloggers who earn almost nothing from air tickets and hotels. Take the same Aviaseels, from which the majority of incomes are small, while the TOP payments from the mailing list contain three-digit amounts.

The content of the article

Error in the map widget

So, many know that there was an error in the widgetthe cards from Aviaseels (in the mailing list they reported on this), which is why some partners (including us) earned quite well for some time. But then this bug was fixed and earnings returned to normal. For example, we have income from Aviasales (I mean Travelpayouts) returned to the amount of 5-15 thousand rubles per month, as it was before. I immediately started going to other travel sites, blogs, trying to figure out who else uses what, how much money he earns, and wrote off with someone personally.

Let me remind you, the bug was that any visitorreceived cookies with a partner number, even if the visitor did not click on the map widget. That is, all visitors left the blog with Aviaseels' cookie. Due to an error in the map widget, I noticed an interesting fact - most of those who came to the blog already knew about Aviaseels. That is why there was a lot of sales with the bug, and there are almost no sales without a bug.

What does this mean? That traffic on a travel blog is one that buys tickets, yes, but not through your blog. That is, either visitors do this from other sites, or they go directly to search engine sites (aviasesels, skycanner), knowing the address of the search engine in advance, the brands are well-known.

What does this mean for travel blogs? The fact that the typical content of a travel blog does not fit the sale of air tickets. And in fact, not only tickets are concerned, but also other travel affiliates. Because people coming from Yandex / Google to your blog, should potentially be ready to buy a ticket and is currently in search of it. It can be both completely new and those who are looking for specifics. Do you have a lot of articles for beginners? And are there many specific subject articles (on the topic of air tickets / hotels / excursions) on classic travel blogs?

Affiliate programs are not suitable for travel blogs.

Such a conclusion can be made regardingaffiliate programs for travel blogs. Now I will tell you in more detail why I think so. I call a classic travel blog a blog with travel reports, beautiful photos, and, as a rule, a small percentage of information. Or, in other words, it is an interesting reading piece, when the author travels to different countries and shares his impressions.

Travel affiliate programs are not suitable for travel blogs.

Travel affiliate programs are not suitable for travel blogs.

This classic travel blog is read mostlyseveral categories of people, but it all comes down to the fact that for the most part they do not need airline tickets / hotels / excursions, or they know how to buy them without you (independent travelers or similar bloggers). As a result, people read interesting reading matter, but you do not earn anything. A good example of classic travel blogs is LiveJournal, many top bloggers have large attendances (5-20 thousand unique ones), but there is no sense in terms of affiliate programs, the traffic is not that.

If you take our blog, from a certain pointwe began to pay most of the attention to information posts, which are not interesting to regular readers (not reading matter), but bring search traffic. But in order to make more sense of this, ideally you need to turn the blog completely into an informational site (or a portal with users), because in personal articles and travel reports, no tickets or hotels are sold. In my experience, simply recommending that “we buy tickets here” does not work at all. It is necessary that the person who is now in search of this very ticket came in initially. I think it is obvious that this other content should be on the blog, from which the blog will cease to be a blog, the format of the site is changing. And here it is not even much about the information content, but the content for a specific affiliate program.

Even more to say. I have a small site (not a blog), in which there are 30 articles about airline tickets and related topics. Traffic is scanty 20-50 people a day, but this traffic brings earnings of 1-5 thousand rubles / month, while a life-trip with its attendance of 6000-7000 per day brings only 5 times more (although the attendant is 100 times higher ). See how much the envelope is different. And does it make sense then to deal with airline tickets on the blog? Isn't it even easier to write the articles for that site so that the labor costs paid off more quickly.

However, affiliate programs can be earned. Everyone has seen the top 10 payouts in a three-digit Aviasales affiliate distribution. Sure there are no bloggers :) Most likely, there are solid arbitragers andowners of aviatematics sites (including HS). In one of the webinars, it was just about this. Thus, we bloggers practically free of promotion of similar services, creating their image and brand with their recommendations, and arbitragers remove all the cream. Somehow it turns out, and there is not much point in putting affiliate programs if the blog is classic.

Earnings for a classic travel blog

After a few years of blogging, my conclusion is: Only Adsense, personal services and direct advertisers are suitable for travel blogs. Moreover, Adsense shows not very good results, because according to our statistics personal posts and posts about sights bring the least, that is, Adsense is also more for information projects, but it’s good that at least the information does not need to be sharpened strictly under affiliate programs . True, the envelope on the context of the worse, the more advertising is not relevant content.

If you look at top LJ blogs, then almosteveryone earns on direct advertisers. These can be advertising posts, brand references, product testing, and so on. True, it is necessary to be just top, so that companies for normal money want to cooperate with you. That is, it is not just about search traffic, but about a large permanent audience. Moreover, it is easier to type it in LiveJournal than on a standalone blog.

Naturally, this does not mean that you do not neednothing else to try, I do not dissuade, if someone does not understand. Perhaps something will turn out, and perhaps not. Although the key moment here is to “try” and set a goal to earn precisely, if you need one. It's just that many people write blogs for the soul, and somewhere in the depths of this very soul they hope to earn money, which itself will arise. So, in the course it does not happen :)

So you want to make money on affiliateprograms (air tickets, hotels, excursions, insurance) - focus not on the blog and your personal impressions, but on information, that is, create a guide / portal / directory. If you don’t like this approach (because it’s not as interesting as blogging), then increase readership in order to be able to sell your own services (guide, advice, info course) and place ads from direct advertisers and goods).

What we will do

I myself am now looking for a solution forour blog or more precisely the concept. On the one hand, I don’t want to make a completely information portal (content farm) out of a blog, because initially it was conceived as a personal blog, and I like the format of a personal blog, even if it is half informational. On the other hand, it is hard to start a blog without effective monetary returns, because you need to eat something. Moreover, we now rarely travel quite a lot, so there is nothing left but to write informational posts. :)

Total earnings are still at the level thatthey allow you to live at the expense of the blog, but you need to do something for sure, all the more so the ruble exchange rate leaves much to be desired and, generally, ideally, you have to move away from ruble incomes (some affiliate programs only pay in rubles). Good that Adsense is now coming in dollars, at least some diversification.

As I said, there are thoughts about the separation of topicsspecial children (and parts of the personal) in a separate site, and even such a site has already been made, but for the time being there will be just a split subscription, which is almost ready, we will start testing with this. Let's see what happens, maybe it will be enough.

He began again to test various hotelaffiliate programs: removed Hotellook, put Booking for 3 months, just replaced with Agoda, then try Hotelscombined. I tested it all before, but from time to time it seems that you need to try again, because the Internet is changing, traffic is changing, and what was beneficial a couple of years ago may not be beneficial now. Booking, by the way, turned out to be so so, probably due to the fact that it does not store cookies for a single day (Agoda stores 365 days). I also tried the excursion affiliate program Sputnik and it didn’t go like train tickets (there is a bit of this traffic). I cut the place occupied by air tickets, Whitelabel still has to check out, maybe the envelope will increase with it. Also, I’ll soon be busy with my website about flights, which I abandoned, maybe, if I’m busy with them, I’ll be more confused.

Briefly from not site affairs, but money. At one time I was lucky, I thought for a long time, but I managed to leave partially in dollars, so the loss of savings is not very large (although the price increase is straining, we must earn more now). Plus, I began to keep money on deposits (including foreign currency), use a credit card and more profitable cards abroad, cashbacks - it turned out too profit, albeit a small one.

P.S. Please share your earnings experience on affiliate programs in the comments, what went wrong, and what are the reasons. Maybe you need to test something from affiliate programs ...

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