How I made $2,000 in one month
I only promote brands and products that I love and use myself. Your readers will see right through you if your blog is full of random affiliate links. I’ve had so many links and banners on my blog that haven’t earned me a single cent. Affiliate marketing is all about finding out what works for your blog and your readers. So don’t get discouraged if you don’t earn money straight away, just keep on trying different affiliate programs and strategies
Some of the affiliate programs I’m part of:
Agoda – The only hotel booking site I use when traveling in Asia. Agoda is one of my biggest sellers, over the last year people have booked accommodation for over $16.000 through my links. The reason why Agoda does well on my blog is that I spend a lot of time writing about the hotels I love. I don’t just slap a link here and there, I write informative texts which offer value to my readers because they don’t need to go and do all the research themselves.
Starting out you earn between 30-35% of what the booking site gets in commission from the hotel. I think my average commission per booking is around $7. Payments are made the month following the guest’s departure from the hotel. With Agoda, you can move up to higher commission tiers, but just to get to tier 2 you have to get over 49 departed bookings per month. So as you can see being a hotel affiliate won’t make you rich overnight. Some might say it is a waste of time, but I think it is an easy extra income. Especially if you like me are already writing about different hotels in your destination guides anyway.
CJ – I signed up with CJ because of my other favourite hotel booking site, hotelscombined.com. I have used them since I started travelling in 2010, so whenever I write about destinations outside of Asia I usually recommend hotels combined to my readers. I’m also an affiliate for Homestay.com, Skyscanner, Grammarly and Tourradar through CJ. A tip: Tourradar regularly hosts contests with some sick travel prizes and you can actually earn a small commission for every person who enters the contest using your link.
ShareASale – Through this affiliate network I promote Pura Vida Bracelets which makes some of my favourite travel accessories, One.com my affordable and trusty hosting service and fashionABLE a women’s accessory brand which employs women in poverty who have overcome extraordinary circumstances. I have tried to work with other brands through ShareASale as well, but these are the three that works best for my blog and my audience.
Recently I also signed up with Skimlinks where you are automatically enrolled in thousands of affiliate programs like Amazon, eBay, Momodo and many more. After I installed some code on the blog all my links are automatically turned into affiliate links. All I need to know is which stores work with Skimlinks and that’s it! Pretty cool huh?
I addition to the larges affiliate networks mentioned above I also work directly with a couple of brands because I love their products. Both of these companies contacted me about a partnership because they loved my photos.
Freelance writing – $400
I wrote two short articles in English for other sites this month, one about Oslo and one about Bali. I got both of these opportunities because they really liked my blog and in their words “my quality content”. I’m very happy about that as I’m not a native English speaker so I always feel a bit insecure about my writing.
A tip to score some freelance writing gigs is to become a member of several travel groups on Facebook. Being active in Facebook groups has so far landed me three separate writing opportunities and one mention in a magazine. My favorites are Girls vs Globe and Female Travel Bloggers.
Ads – $300
I’m not a huge fan of display ads as they can make a blog look quite busy, but I think one or two is ok. Like many other bloggers I use Google Adsense, but I’m looking to change to a higher paying network when my numbers pick back up.
Over the last two months, I also displayed a banner ad for a travel agency under my header. The advertiser contacted me directly and we negotiated a fixed price.
Sponsored posts – $300
I did two sponsored posts this month, both on Instagram. One was paid and one was in exchange for a product. I decided to include the paid one in this report because they contacted me through my blog but we then decided that it would be more beneficial for the company if I posted on Instagram.
Inzpire.me – Although I didn’t accept any sponsored posts from them this month, I wanted to let you know about my favorite influencer network. I’ve been offered some pretty cool brand partnerships through Inzpire.me like Oslo Airport Gardermoen, Harper & Brooks watches and free entry to a festival. So be sure to check them out!