Banning at Hotelscombined and experimenting with hotel affiliates

Oh, I was tormented here with the withdrawal of funds from the Agoda affiliate program, so while I am impressed, I decided to immediately share some observations regarding hotel affiliates, with which I have been experimenting for the past six months. I can't say that the experiments are straightforward, but it's high time to do something in this direction..

Initially, I had widgets and links from Hotellook (TravelPayouts affiliate), then I changed all links to Booking, then to Agoda, and finally to RoomGuru (formerly Hotelscombined). I did all this while the season was in Asia, so the statistics can be considered indicative..

Hotel affiliate programs

Hotel affiliate programs

The content of the article

Hotellook affiliate program

Six months later, I switched back to Hotellook, the conversion is not worse than in RoomGuru, there are more tools.

Cookies are stored for 30 days.
Payment for booking.

The affiliate program (registration) has been around for a very long time, a couple of years for sure, or maybe more. As you probably know, the payment goes for the bookings made, so you need to wait until you enter the regime. After all, a person can book a hotel in six months, and earnings will also be in six months. With my attendance, it brought on average 100-200 bucks a month at the old rate (then it had not yet risen), that is, 1500-10,000 rubles, respectively, more in the season, less in summer. Towards the middle to the end of 2014, earnings were very small, no more than 100 bucks, the crisis affected, after all, the hotels I have here are mostly Thai.

At Hotellook, I really like the hotel map widgets. Logically, they should show excellent conversion, but I didn't have time to use them. If anyone knows, tell us how you have them go on blogs.

Booking affiliate program

Cookies are not stored at all.
Payment for booking.

The first in line was Booking. I pulled myself together and replaced all the links on the blog with booking ones, I spent a day on this. The logic was simple, Booking is very popular with Russians, it seems to me that most travelers use it, so they will not hesitate to book on it, the main thing is only to give them the correct link, that is, to recommend a hotel. Links stood for 3 months, waited until «go to the regime». It turned out about 50-80 euros / month. Not much. I think it would have gone up to 100 euros, but I removed the links. The dollar exchange rate had just changed, but it still worked out a little in rubles, about the same as in RoomGuru. I suppose the absence of cookies affects, if not for this, it would have been more. Much more targeted traffic is needed.

In terms of widgets, Booking has nothing original, only standard banners and Search Box.

Agoda Affiliate Program

Cookies are stored for 365 days!
Payment for booking.

I've heard for a long time that Agoda works very well on sites dedicated to Asia, and cookies are stored for a whole year. Straight tidbit, right? I got confused, changed links again, only now on Agoda. They stood for about 2.5 months. Agoda's statistics are the worst I've ever seen, it's very difficult to evaluate something from it. Tech support is also so-so, I corresponded with them for a month before I was able to withdraw the reward. It feels like bots are answering, not real people (they don't really answer questions). The funny thing is that their personal account is buggy along the way, and after a long correspondence and replacement of bank details in the account and via email, they still wanted to transfer money to the wrong place 🙂 And that was not the end, because the bank (after all me as usual, withdrawn to the IP account) required an offer in Russian, while Agoda only had it in English, so I had to translate it. It's good that not all, but only a part. By the way, the reward cannot be withdrawn to cards like Epayments in the usual way, you need to write to the technical support and submit for the payment search, because the payment goes without a note in which you could indicate the ePID, not a problem, but still.

So, it turned out in Agoda about 100-200 bucks a month already at a higher rate. That is, the most profitable option among the previous ones. And if «go to the regime», then I think it would be a little more, after all, 2.5 months is not enough, and at the end of the season there was already a case.

Agoda also does not have much partner tools, only banners and a search form.

Hotelscombined affiliate program

Cookies are stored for 365 days!
Pay per clicks.

Well, and the last option, which I did not even hope for, because here you pay for clicks, not for bookings. It seems like it should not be profitable at all. I have put this affiliate program for a long time, it was the first on the blog, and only then it was replaced by TravelPayouts with its hotels. So, not having time to replace all the links (I basically wanted to test on the sidebar banner), about a week later I got banned. The same ban, for which many people scold this affiliate program. Because the ban is such that you can't even withdraw any funds. Moreover, they cleverly do it, wait until you accumulate 200 bucks (min amount) and only then check your traffic, and ban it if it does not match their parameters (no reservations, only clicks). On the one hand, they can be understood, what for are they partners who do not bring them profit and through whom there are no reservations, on the other hand, why wait for the minimum threshold? Not honestly somehow. As a result, I wrote to the Russian-speaking support (it's useless in English, they won't even answer), and they gave me a second chance. Like, if there are reservations, they will unban me back. I finished changing all links, added new ones, removed the banner, replaced it with a widget.

RoomGuru is now bringing in $ 300-500. Not bad, I think, considering that the season is already over. The main thing is not to get the ban again now, because there are no statistics on reservations in your personal account, only clicks. In vain they are so, partners could control this process themselves..

Hotelscombined-RoomGuru does not have a lot of partner tools, ordinary banners and a more or less normal search form.

P.S. Please note that on your blog, any of the affiliate networks can show completely different results, since everything depends on the specific traffic. I propose to share my developments / thoughts in the comments. What are you using?