Precious Advice on Travel Affiliate Schemes

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Advice on the various travel affiliate schemes available for discount and luxury travel websites, both pay per sale and pay per click.

Thinking of starting a travel website? One way to make money from a discount or luxury travel site is to use travel affiliate programs. Simply place a link to a holiday product like a flight or a hotel and receive a commission on any bookings made.

The most popular types of affiliate links used by travel sites are those related to flights, hotels, car hire, villas, apartments and travel insurance. But it is also possible to promote other travel related products like holiday clothing, language books, timeshare and property investments related to a site’s content niche.

Types of Travel Affiliate Schemes

Most travel site affiliate schemes pay out on a pay per sale basis. That means that a customer has to click through to a recommended site, search for an appropriate flight, holiday or hotel and then make a purchase to generate any commission. With the travel industry being so competitive with tens of thousands of travel sites online, high traffic is usually needed to drive any significant revenue from most pay per sale affiliate schemes.

But there are also pay per click (PPC) and pay per lead programs. These are popular with travel comparison websites like Kayak which compares flight prices from hundreds of different airlines. When a visitor clicks on one of the flights offered, Kayak receives a commission from the airline and then passes a percentage onto the travel website owner.

Pay per lead affiliate programs only pay a few pennies per click-through, usually between 20 and 40 cents, but revenue can soon stack up. In the flight and accommodation market, PPC programs can often be preferable to traditional pay per sale programs.

Effectively Promote Pay Per Sale Affiliate Travel Programs

With pay per sale programs, a little hard work can pay dividends. A visitor looking for a hotel in a particular location, for example, will be more likely to click on a link if there is a picture and a description recommending that hotel. Similarly, if promoting a gorgeous villa with amazing sea views, a picture tells a thousand words.

Setting up dedicated pages using pictures and relevant content can take time but a 3% commission on a $5000 luxury villa even once a year can make a few hours’ work seem worthwhile.

Find Affiliate Programs for Travel Sites

The majority of travel companies use affiliate hosting companies to manage their affiliate programs. Popular companies are Shareasale, Commission Junction, and Tradedoubler. Simply search by keyword to find a merchant, narrowing down the search to the relevant travel category, for example flights or accommodation. Small sites with low traffic volumes may well be rejected by big travel companies like British Airways or Avis so make a shortlist before applying to any programs.

Alternatively, go direct to a chosen merchant’s website and click on the affiliate link that can usually be found at the bottom of any page. If there is more than one hosting company on offer, choose the one you already have an account with as it saves time keeping all affiliate merchants under one hosting umbrella.

Look for specialist programs to target sales more effectively. Adventure travel schemes, for example, can pay well as adventure holidays tend to cost far more than the average beach vacation.

Best Travel Affiliate Programs

It pays to experiment with different pay per sale and pay per click programs to see which affiliate scheme generates most business for a particular travel website. Stick with known trusted brands for best results and prepare to work hard developing dedicated affiliate pages with deep links for maximum revenues.

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