The following is a guest post from Jessie, the blogger behind Jessie on a Journey, who has successfully implemented these strategies to monetize her travel blog with affiliate marketing.
A common question asked in our group Female Travel Bloggers, is how to monetize one’s blog. The answer is hard to pin down because while running a travel blog, there are limitless ways to make money: Branded partnerships, selling products, freelancing, advertising and speaking. However, there is one monetization avenue that all bloggers — regardless of niche — should consider pursuing and that is affiliate marketing.
Affiliate marketing refers to promoting brands and services through a unique affiliate link or code, provided to you after you apply and are accepted to a brand’s affiliate program. You then earn a commission whenever someone purchases through your link
This avenue may be overlooked as it is not upfront cash; however, it can make you more money in the long-run than, say, a paid press trip or Instagram giveaway. As long as you have a smart strategy, that is. Once you’ve implemented affiliate marketing on your blog, these highly effective strategies will help you succeed and boost affiliate sales to maximize your travel blog’s profits.
Why a Strategy for Affiliate Marketing is Important
Here’s the thing, if you don’t have a clear strategy for how you’ll get people to actually click your affiliate links, your efforts will likely fall flat; meaning that simply adding a backpack affiliate link into a post about road tripping in Italy likely won’t earn you a sustainable income. This is why it is so important to develop a strategy before jumping in, eager to make money.
Define Your Blog’s Mission.
I teach a number of blogging courses, and one template I like to give my students to help them define their blog mission is:
“I help ___ [group of people] do ___ [how you help]”
From there, you can take things a step further to dive into what the problems and the pain points of your audience are.
My secret weapon for finding these is searching through forums or groups on platforms like Reddit, Quora, Facebook and any other website with niche forums and groups where I can see what questions are being asked.
So, if your mission is “I help empower female travelers to take their first solo trips,” you might go into a solo travel forum and see what the females are asking and discussing.
As you can see in the above screenshot, there are many different topics being discussed, as well as outright problems being laid out, such as where someone asks about having trouble finding volunteer opportunities in Spain. Also, notice concerns with itineraries, inexperience, and safety.
Crafting Your Affiliate Post Content Strategy
Once you have this information and define your mission, you’ll be able to craft content that helps solve these problems and pinpoint affiliate marketing for your audience.
The trick is to incorporate your affiliate partner as a major component of the solution.
Using the above example might mean creating a post titled something like “How Solo Female Travelers Can Protect Themselves On The Road.” Notice how the title speaks directly to your solo female traveler audience, meaning they’ll, in turn, feel like the content was written just for them. Within the post, you’d highlight an affiliate partner focused on safety — such as a brand making personal alarms — and you’d empower your audience with step-by-step instructions on how to use them.
Digging Jessie’s Affiliate Marketing Strategies for Female Travel Bloggers and want to turn your blog into a profitable business? Jessie is currently enrolling enrolling students into her free 5-day profitable travel blogging e-course. Check out her free course, here!
Another Powerful Strategy
Along with publishing how-to tutorials that help your audience and promote your affiliate partner, another powerful strategy to utilize when crafting your affiliate content plan is incorporating buying keywords.
While the first strategy is all about alleviating issues for your audience in a way that benefits both of you, this tactic focuses on targeting people who are sitting at their laptop, credit card in hand, ready to make a purchase. The key is to target them using buying keywords like “Best [Product], “Comparison Of [Product Type” and “[Product] Deal” — basically words they would type at the very moment they’re looking to make a purchase
Now, of course, you’re going to want to have good Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for this. To really see your bank account fill up with affiliate income you’ll want to make sure you can rank on the first page of Google with the keywords you are using.
Not only do you need to rank well, but you want to have the absolute best piece of content in your post so that there’s no reason for the reader to click elsewhere. This means it is essential to consider every question this reader may have about the said product, and answer them within your post.
Why (And How) To Add A Comparison Table
Another helpful hack for increasing affiliate clicks is to add a comparison table. So, instead of simply linking to your affiliate once or twice within your content, you’ll create a table that provides more information about the various brands and has a “See Price” link column. Each one of these should contain an affiliate link.
Here’s an example:
The Takeaway for Affiliate Marketing Strategies
Being successful with affiliate marketing is all about having a strategy. With this method of monetizing your blog you can be authentic and promote brands you already use, and that you know your audience would love. With the above strategies, you’ll be able to ramp up your affiliate marketing strategy, so that you’re seeing sustainable income — which will continue over time and will grow with the more affiliate posts you publish.
What is your favorite affiliate marketing strategy? Share this and let us know in the comments.
Jessica Festa is a native New Yorker and owner of the solo female and offbeat travel blog, Jessie on a Journey as well as the online responsible tourism and culture magazine, Epicure & Culture. Since 2014, she’s been teaching online blogging courses to travelers wanting to make their dreams of location independence a reality. When not galavanting around the globe, you can find her leading photo tours in New York, taking yoga and hip hop classes, and sipping her way through the local cocktail scene.
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