Monetising the travel niche?

31 replies
Hey all

Any ideas on how I might monetise the travel niche?

I was thinking about getting into travel - writing about places that I have been to, but more importantly, leveraging other people, by getting others to post their experiences on my site and in my products.
#monetising #niche #travel
  • Profile picture of the author Alexa Smith
    Banned
    Hey Snowy

    I used to be in a couple of travel niches, not long after I started online. I don't do it any more.

    I tried by writing about a really obscure/expensive/specialist form of travel, and promoting an upmarket affiliate offer. (I did actually earn quite a lot from it but the company whose offer I was promoting is no longer trading ... "victim of the recession" ).

    My big problem with travel niches, in general, as an affiliate, is security of payment. It's all too easy to imagine that a significant proportion of customers, though they'll look at websites, of course, won't book anything other than the simplest deal without making a phone call or two, talking to a real, live person, and paying a deposit by credit-card while they're on the phone. It's not easy to see how reliably the affiliates get paid their commissions, that way.

    If anyone has a really good answer to this, I'd love to know what it is. But the couple of former travel agents here with whom I've discussed it seemed not really to have an answer to it that got me interested again. Which is a shame, because in some ways there's a lot of potential in "travel", I think, and it's certainly easy enough to write about.
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  • Profile picture of the author PaulGA123
    No experience in this but start with getting an email list?

    Are there affiliate programs with travel sites?

    I'm sure you could put up ads as well.
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  • Profile picture of the author GobBluthJD
    Write and sell your own guidebooks.

    Become hotel and airline affiliate.

    Language and phrasebooks.

    Lots of opportunities.
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  • Profile picture of the author shanrocks1985
    Use Google adsense , Sell banner using BuySellAds and use Affiliated product .
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  • Profile picture of the author Snow_Predator
    I was thinking about the whole guidebook thing. But I also want as many other monetisation options as possible.

    There's also the option of selling ad space on your website. Not adsense, but rather, contacting travel agents, destination hotels, etc and striking up a deal.
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    • Profile picture of the author fin
      I think a general travel blog is a crazy idea.

      Are you thinking about covering different places and offering different guidebooks?

      It's about as targeted as a North Korean missile.

      You'd stand a better chance specializing in a specific city, or at least drilling down so you can sell a specific product your traffic will want to buy.

      I think there are so many easier options out there.

      There is a guy with a big travel blog, Go Backpacking, but he also has a website about Medellin, Columbia. A girl, NerdyNomad, also has one about an African city.

      Go and ask them how they're making money. I'm pretty sure it's through local businesses and not guidebooks.
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      • Profile picture of the author Snow_Predator
        Originally Posted by fin View Post

        I think a general travel blog is a crazy idea.

        Are you thinking about covering different places and offering different guidebooks?

        It's about as targeted as a North Korean missile.

        You'd stand a better chance specializing in a specific city, or at least drilling down so you can sell a specific product your traffic will want to buy.

        I think there are so many easier options out there.

        There is a guy with a big travel blog, Go Backpacking, but he also has a website about Medellin, Columbia. A girl, NerdyNomad, also has one about an African city.

        Go and ask them how they're making money. I'm pretty sure it's through local businesses and not guidebooks.
        Yeh, I was planning on starting with something really specific - like a specific popular town/city, then when I've got enough rolling in from that, I'd move onto another town/city, and keep replicating what I learn from one town/city to the next.
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        • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
          Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

          I was thinking about the whole guidebook thing. But I also want as many other monetisation options as possible.
          Allen Says has a thread in his section of the War Room on what he would do if he was going to go into the travel market. Well worth looking it up, especially now that Kindle and CreateSpace are options.

          Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

          There's also the option of selling ad space on your website. Not adsense, but rather, contacting travel agents, destination hotels, etc and striking up a deal.
          Spend a little time looking at the site Ken Evoy uses as an example, done by his daughter (with a lot of help from him). Read the discussion on the SiteSell site about it. Something about Anguilla, if memory serves.

          Originally Posted by Snow_Predator View Post

          Yeh, I was planning on starting with something really specific - like a specific popular town/city, then when I've got enough rolling in from that, I'd move onto another town/city, and keep replicating what I learn from one town/city to the next.
          Don't plan on abandoning a site just because you've moved on, especially if you've made deals with locals. If you really want to be a player for a given destination, plan on sticking with it. It's not like building MFA or Amazon "review" sites.
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          • Profile picture of the author Snow_Predator
            Originally Posted by JohnMcCabe View Post

            Allen Says has a thread in his section of the War Room on what he would do if he was going to go into the travel market. Well worth looking it up, especially now that Kindle and CreateSpace are options.

            Spend a little time looking at the site Ken Evoy uses as an example, done by his daughter (with a lot of help from him). Read the discussion on the SiteSell site about it. Something about Anguilla, if memory serves.

            Don't plan on abandoning a site just because you've moved on, especially if you've made deals with locals. If you really want to be a player for a given destination, plan on sticking with it. It's not like building MFA or Amazon "review" sites.
            Hi John

            Yes, I remember reading about Ken Evoy's daughter's site some years ago. I just found the site, and I'll definitely be exploring it to see how they monetise it.

            I couldn't find Allen Says' post in the War Room though :s. Tried doing a search for 'Travel' and 'admin', just 'admin', just 'travel', and ... nothing :s
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  • Profile picture of the author Mrnace
    Interesting stuff.

    As some of you may know, I am planning a travel social network site (which wont be up for a while) and planned to use affiliates as one way of making money from the site. I planned to use online only travel agents or 'travel' companies, like skyscanners.com and hostel.com.

    I also planned to have certain parts on my site membership based. Premium areas for A* travelers.

    Another Idea is selling discount voucher books for cities. I read a book called '$100 startup' by Chris Guillebeau where this was descirbed in more detail. Basically, you talk to local tourist atractions in a certain city or area to see if they can get entry discounts for their discount book, like $100 off boat hire, or 20% off admission, selling the book for like $100's and having $1000's of of discounts in the book.
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    • Profile picture of the author Horny Devil
      Banned
      There's a very simple way of monetising travel sites and associated blogs, which unbelievably is almost always overlooked. Done correctly, and with the addition of viral YouTube videos (very easy), Facebook promotion, e-books/kindle, and high profile blogs . . then there's no reason you can't turn over a six figure monthly income.

      I'm not prepared to go into it on here as every man and his dog will jump aboard, and the market will quickly become saturated for others. PM me with your contact details if you want to know more.
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  • Profile picture of the author BobTheBostonian
    "It's about as targeted as a North Korean missile."

    The NK Military is no joke. North Korea Releases Video Of Paratrooper Attack On South Korea | NK News – North Korea News
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    • Profile picture of the author AdamHolland
      @snow - we just created a travel meta-search site. (Not going to link to it here, of course..)

      We integrated Expedia and Travelocity's APIs and affiliate programs (through commission junction) as well as our own high ticket travel membership.

      We'll definitely be looking for someone for blogging, ebooks/guides, etc..

      PM me

      Adam
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  • Profile picture of the author wesawu
    As a 20year veteran of the hotel industry I can tell you first hand that this is a very competitive niche with lots of big name players such as expedia, hotels.com, Travelocity, Priceline, Booking.com, BCD Travel, Hotwire, Orbitz, etc, etc, etc. Most large corporations have their own travel coordinator who have a preferred brand that they REQUIRE their employees to stay at with regards to hotels. The corporate traveler has no say so as to where he stays, for the most part. The rates set at these hotels are negotiated between the franchise and the corporation. The leisure traveler is more savy today and typically doesn't even call the hotel. He/She typically books a room and/or flight thru the brands own website or thru the big name online travel sites mentioned above. With that said, I believe you would be better off targeting foreign leisure travelers to specific US cities where you offer hotel, flight, tours etc. As Adam stated above, you can incorporate big online travel agency API's into your website. Be prepared to have a lot of high value content on your site that can not be found elsewhere. You may be able to target leisure travelers going to destination locations. i.e Europeans traveling to Mexico, Aruba, Carribbean, etc. Again, you must have high value content on your site. Hope this helps.
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  • Profile picture of the author hardworker2013
    You can setup a blog using either Blogger or wordpress and write some quality content and monetize the blog by putting banners from affiliate companies in the travel industry. You can use google to find companies that offer affiliate programs like hotels or travel agents. You can also set up adsense on your blog to earn money.
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  • Profile picture of the author HumbleGuy
    Interesting conversation going on here. I'd suggest to take action, start with anything and over the run, you'll learn lucrative stuff to follow later on. Best of luck mate!
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  • Profile picture of the author fin
    I agree with John. Stick to one city and become the ultimate resource.

    Seems that dude above me says business travelers stay at certain hotels, plus I wouldn't touch the cheap traveler/backpacker market.

    What about something like digital nomads? This is going to become huge over the next 10 years and there are already thousands of people in certain places.

    Take Bangkok as an example. There is literally nothing telling you what to do.

    Apartments at various locations around the city with different price points.
    Co-working spaces with prices.
    Different swimming pools, gyms, buffets, theme nights at clubs, etc.

    I'm sure digital nomads would love a resource for a certain city, plus they are already used to buying e-books so you could easily come up with one about something. They're already making thousands per month, or at least have a big savings account.

    If you networked with all the lifestyle deign blogs I'm sure they would promote you.

    You could also sell advertising to local businesses too. Or arrange meetups and parties in the city. You'll be the ultimate connector.
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  • Profile picture of the author Randall Magwood
    Sell high priced affiliate cruises and out of country tour/vacation offers. Commission rate is sky high, and many people are making a good living selling this.
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  • Profile picture of the author BobTheBostonian
    Like a Jack-in-the-box, you never know when the goddam thing is going to spring.

    Usually right after the food aid has arrived.

    Alright, back to Reddit with these jokes.
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  • Profile picture of the author dml8131
    Why not offer local tours in your own area to be one of your income streams? Or perhaps plan a larger tour to a destination such as Hawaii or Europe? These could be additional streams of income that have their platforms derived from your website. It also will give you credibility in the travel niche.
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    • Profile picture of the author gregmuzz
      I have been trying with my travel blog for 2 years and still yet to make any decent money, i have over 8000 on facebook all targeted and still dont sell affiliates. I have tons of content and do get decent amount of visitors but they are not converting. My site is targeted to one country. Hope it works soon
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  • Profile picture of the author topnichewebsites
    Can someone post Ken Evoy's daughter's site or PM it to me, I like to take a look.
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    • Profile picture of the author JohnMcCabe
      Originally Posted by BobTheBostonian View Post

      Like a Jack-in-the-box, you never know when the goddam thing is going to spring.

      Usually right after the food aid has arrived.

      Alright, back to Reddit with these jokes.
      Huh? :confused:

      Originally Posted by topnichewebsites View Post

      Can someone post Ken Evoy's daughter's site or PM it to me, I like to take a look.
      Do a search for "Anguilla beaches", and it's usually near the top.
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  • Profile picture of the author ContentWritingPhD
    Banned
    Sign up for affiliate programs. One is Click Bank and the other is Commission Junction. Look for travel related programs or products then run text links and ads or banners on your website. Believe it or not, whatever your niche is, there's a way to make money out of it. As long as you have good content and heavy amount of traffic, I'm sure that you'll do great.
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    • Profile picture of the author marco005
      Hey warriors,

      I grab into that little bit older thread.

      To put affiliate offers like travel,or hotel&fly bookings, is there not the risk,that the big travel company,stelas your customers?

      I think most people on your site when they booking a travel,the big company behind that hwre you work with,sends them after booking regular newletters with discount offers,so that the customers when he look for new travel,not book on your website-they will book it direct by expedia.com as example.

      That is the problem,they steal your customers? Is this so?

      Are there enough people who book expensive travels around $3000 or more on your affiliate travel website? Or they book only after visit an travel bureau they want to advise first before booking?

      marco005
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  • Profile picture of the author Ean Stark
    Use adsense, because - from what I know travel keywords have high CPC on adsense.

    Best,
    Ean
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