Update! Our ultimate travel job guide – Get Paid To Travel: 101 Amazing Travel Jobs – is now live! If full time travel is your ultimate goal but you’re not sure how to make it a reality just yet, don’t leave without reading this first!
As time goes on, more and more online travel jobs are popping up for us nomadic souls who can’t keep still.
Yep, with today’s amazing technology, we can roam the world and still continue to make a good income from our laptops.
Well there are plenty of ways to make money online as a digital nomad but today I’m going to cover everything to do with affiliate marketing.
In this post you will learn:
- What is affiliate marketing?
- Affiliate marketing for dummies
- How to start affiliate marketing
- How to use your unique affiliate ID
- How to make money with affiliate marketing while traveling
- Affiliate marketing tips
Let’s get into it…
Travel Jobs: Affiliate Marketing And How To Earn From It While Traveling
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What Is Affiliate Marketing?
Affiliate marketing is the term used when a person or company partners with another person or company to promote their products and drive more sales online.
The person or company is usually given a unique ID to promote the products and when sales are made through that ID, the person or company receives a commission at no extra cost to the customer.
The products can be digital or physical and may be promoted through blogging, social media marketing, emailing, banners, advertising, networking and more.
What is affiliate marketing? That’s pretty much it in basic terms.
Affiliate Marketing For Dummies
Right about now you’re probably already thinking it’s all too technical and difficult…
But I’m here to tell you that affiliate marketing is super simple and that anyone can do it, seriously!
Not many people know about affiliate marketing outside of the digital marketing world but really, no matter what your background or expertise is, you can probably make an affiliate income from it.
Best of all, affiliate marketing is purely online so you can literally do it from anywhere (aka. get paid to travel). Cool huh?
Now before you begin thinking it’s all too good to be true and must be another one of those make money online scams, I want you to know that I would never recommend anything of the sort.
Affiliate marketing is a legit business model and is one of the most common ways bloggers, marketers and entrepreneurs all over the web generate income.
But like I said, most people who are not familiar with online business don’t know about it.
Done right (according to all the rules and regulations) there’s nothing deceiving or ‘icky’ about affiliate marketing, it’s just a simple way for companies to get their products in front of more eyes.
Think of it as a form of advertising and the commission they pay to their partners is the investment.
If you’ve ever gone to a website, clicked on a link to a product and ended up on someone else’s site, I can almost guarantee that you’ve been sent through an affiliate link.
At this point, if you purchase something, the person or company who sent you there will make a commission at no extra cost to you.
Next time you go to a website I want you to be more aware. Not in a bad way but just so you can see what I mean when I say almost every established blog/website promotes affiliate products.
When you are prompted to click on a link to buy someone’s product or even book flights, accommodation, insurance, etc, look at the link when you open it.
At first it may look like a bunch of letters, numbers and symbols and somewhere in between there may be something that looks like ‘ref=storyv’ or ‘ref=54738’ or ‘?aid=54738’.
There are many ways an affiliate link may be displayed but it will always include some kind of unique ID.
If you trust the site that you clicked from, by all means purchase the product with their affiliate link. It’s going to cost the same for you either way and it helps the website owner to keep their site up and continue creating awesome content for you!
In fact, I lie.
Sometimes, it will even benefit you to click through and purchase with their affiliate link because as an incentive for you to do so, they often offer a good discount.
So now you know what affiliate marketing is and how to tell what an affiliate link looks like, you might want to know how you can become and affiliate marketer and start making money while you travel…
How To Start Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing for beginners can be a little confusing when you don’t know what kind of products to promote, where to find these products or how to actually sell them.
Here’s how to get started…
Figure Out Your Niche
The very first thing you need to decide on before you start looking for affiliate partners is your niche. When you figure out your niche, then you can get an idea of what kinds of products to promote.
For example, we are in the travel niche so we focus on promoting products designed to help you travel more. This can include travel booking websites, courses, eBooks and physical products like backpacks and laptops.
Popular niches include fashion, beauty, travel, DIY, food, business, dating, parenting, health & wellness and many more.
Your niche can be something you’re interested in or have knowledge about but must also appeal to a wide enough audience that you can make consistent sales.
If you look hard enough, there are people and companies creating products in almost every niche imaginable so you shouldn’t have too much trouble when it comes to establishing affiliate partnerships.
Find A Pain And Provide The Solution
Once you have determined your niche, it’s now time to learn what your potential audience are struggling with so that you can help them through the products you sell.
A few simple ways to do this without an audience yet include:
- Searching through forums in your niche and finding out what people are asking for help with
- Typing terms that relate to your niche in the Google search bar and seeing what phrases pop up – eg. how to travel… and seeing what shows up
- Using a tool like Google Keyword Planner – type in your keywords (relating to your niche) and it will show you what people are searching for
- Surveying people you know who are interested in your niche by asking what their pains are
- Going to other people’s blogs in your niche and reading through the comments
When you have some sort of an idea about what your potential audience are struggling with, the next step is to start hunting for products that will help them.
As I said before, these products can be physical or digital but just a heads up, there’s usually more potential to make better commission on digital products as there’s very little cost involved in producing them.
For further training in affiliate marketing, sign up as a free member on Affilorama:
>>Sign up for free training (100+ video lessons)
Now, finding the products. Where to begin…
How To Find Affiliate Products To Promote Online
Before I go any further I feel like I need to mention that when I say ‘products’ it can also mean services, software, web tools, booking sites, etc.
You can be an affiliate for any company or anyone selling anything, providing they have an affiliate program.
When searching for affiliate products to promote, there are a few different places to look:
1. Affiliate networks/marketplaces
Affiliate networks are where businesses gain affiliates to sell their products.
As an affiliate, you can go to a network, search for products in your niche and then apply to promote them.
Once you are accepted, you’ll be sent to an area where you can find all of the links/banners you need with your own unique ID.
Common affiliate networks include:
- Commission Junction
- Amazon Affiliates
- Rakuten Affiliate Network
- Ebay Partner Network
Some of these networks are purely for digital products, some purely for physical products and others are for both.
Example of a network:
Recommended Reading: Top 20 Affiliate Networks 2016
2. Google Search
If you know a company that you’d like to work with, simply Google their ‘name + affiliate program‘. Often companies have affiliate programs without you even knowing about it until you search deeper.
Similarly, you can simply type in your ‘niche + affiliate program‘ to find new products and companies to promote that you may not have known existed.
For example, we wanted to establish an affiliate partnership with a hotel booking site so we went to Google and searched. Many different options showed up but we eventually chose to go with Booking.com.
Often, bloggers and online marketers sell their own products on their site and may be open to partnering with some affiliates.
If you like a product and you think it’s a good fit for your audience, contact the person or business and find out if they would be interested in partnering.
Sometimes, the product owners might be hesitant or want to get to know you better first so that they can trust you to promote their products ethically.
In this case, it’s strongly recommended that you attend networking events and congresses in your niche and in digital marketing.
The amount of commission you earn from the sale of a product is completely down to how much commission the product owner or network wants to give you.
If you choose to promote Amazon products through the Amazon Associates network or something similar, then you’re looking at the lower end of the scale, 3 – 10%.
Software, web tools and booking sites usually pay much higher and can normally range anywhere between 10 – 50%.
When you approach digital marketers directly, this is when you will generally see commissions of 60% plus. As I said, this is normally the case with digital products such as courses, eBooks, mentoring, etc because the overheads are lower.
Create a Brand
Once you have found some products or a network that you would like to work with, it’s now time to create your brand.
Promoting affiliate products can be difficult when you’re just Jenny from the block. You need to create a brand that represents your niche and is easy to remember so that you attract repeat customers.
You need to be the expert in your niche.
If your niche is vintage cars, you need to position yourself so that when someone wants to learn how to restore vintage cars, they think of you and the products you sell.
To start with, you need to come up with a name. This name needs to be catchy, easy to remember and not used elsewhere.
You’ll be setting up a website so the best thing to do is go to somewhere like Domainr.com and type what your website domain would be.
If the .com and .net extensions are taken and you’re left with the option of choosing .org or something like .io, I recommend changing your name because the more URL’s floating around that look the same as yours, the easier it is for people to turn up on the wrong site and forget about you.
Once you have a name, you should consider registering it as a business.
If, however, you think you might move into other niches in the future or start working on other projects in the digital space, register a more general business name and have your sites listed as brands.
Next is buying your domain name, setting up a basic blog and email account and creating accounts on social media with your new business name. Now you own your little corner of the internet!
If you need help setting up a self-hosted blog, watch my quick tutorial where I’ll take you through the process step by step:
>>Follow my ‘how to start a blog’ tutorial
You also need to set up a subscription service so that when people come to your blog, you can collect their email addresses and then send them content and offers via email.
When we first started we used a platform called Active Campaign which is really simple to operate and at $10 per month for your first 500 subscribers, it’s affordable.
Or, if you’d prefer to use an easy all-in-one marketing platform that not only sends emails, but also stores contacts, builds pages, hosts videos, creates members areas, processes payments and much more, you need to use Kartra.
This platform is super easy to use, it comes with various pre-made templates and emails and it’s just $1 to get started.
I would then recommend going to a site like Upwork and hiring someone to design a professional logo for you. Once you have this, then it makes it easier for people to recognise and remember your brand.
Start Blogging, Emailing And Posting To Social Media
Once you have your blog, email and social media channels set up, start posting content!
Remember to stick within the boundaries of your niche so that you attract an engaged audience.
Use SEO strategies to help search engines find and rank your blog content and post regularly so that your audience remembers you exist. This goes for social media as well.
When you post new content, be sure to send it out to your email subscribers (your most loyal fans). You also need to set up an automated email series full of helpful content which will be sent out to your subscribers over a period of time once they’ve opted in.
It can take time to build up momentum and start gaining readers and followers, so if patience is not your strong suit, you can reach out to other sites and guest post for them as well as invest in advertising.
Recommended Reading – Travel Jobs: How To Make Money Blogging From Anywhere?
How To Use Your Unique Affiliate ID
Now that you have your blog, email subscription and social media accounts up and running along nicely, start establishing affiliate partnerships.
The reason why I’ve advised you to start your blog and create all of your accounts before applying to promote the affiliate products you’re interested in is because often, product owners will ask to see your site and what sales strategies you plan to implement first.
I will move onto the sales strategies in the next point but right now you need to know how to apply to be an affiliate and how to implement the links and/or banners on your site and social media channels.
Applying to be an affiliate partner is generally quite easy.
Whether you’re applying through a network, the company’s own affiliate program or the product owner directly, most of the time there will be an online form to fill out and you may have to prove yourself to the affiliate manager.
Once you’ve been approved, you’ll be given your own affiliate login which will normally take you to a dashboard.
In this dashboard you can add all of your details, including your preferred payment method (we always go with Paypal) and you’ll also find all the links/banners you need for the product.
Your unique affiliate ID should already be included within the links.
Now you can embed these links within relevant content on your site and email automation series.
Alternatively you can post affiliate offers on social media (but keep it to a minimum) as well as add banners (advertising graphics) to your sidebar and different parts of your site.
If you are posting a link to an affiliate product on social media or somewhere where the link URL can be seen, it is a good idea to make it look more attractive.
The reason for this is because it can look spammy with all those weird codes at the end, turning potential customers away.
To make the affiliate link look more attractive and to tie it in with your brand, I recommend doing a redirection. On WordPress, redirection can be found under ‘tools’.
All you need to do is type what you want the new link to be and then underneath, paste the original link. Now you can post the new pretty link and it will continue sending people to the affiliate offer.
How To Make Money With Affiliate Marketing While You Travel
First of all, if you want to generate a good income from affiliate marketing, it’s extremely important that you only promote quality products that you use and/or trust, that are relevant to your niche and that provide value to your audience.
Promote a ton of crap that no-one cares about and you’ll slowly but surely see all of your visitors and followers dwindle away.
Always make sure your audience is your number one priority.
Build a relationship with them, send them valuable content without trying to sell to them, respond to their emails and comments, help them, meet-up with them if need be.
If you practice these things, you will gain their trust and loyalty which is highly important in the world of digital business.
If you’re just some random guy trying to sell diet pills from a website full of spammy links and ads, sure, you’ll get the odd person who makes a purchase but the likelihood is that 5 minutes later they won’t have a clue who they just bought from.
When you build up that trust and loyalty through having a strong brand, creating valuable content, promoting quality products and engaging with your audience, then you will have repeat custom.
Strategies To Sell – Copywriting
Before we get into all the details about how to sell affiliate products, let’s talk about copywriting.
Copywriting is the art of crafting together words that sell.
A good copywriter knows how to use power words that provoke a certain emotion in you. It is this emotion which then persuades you to purchase the product.
A good copywriter does not point out all the best features of a product.
Instead, they touch on your pains and struggles, give you a glimpse of a brighter side and then they offer the solution.
By this point, you’re already sold on the product before you’ve even heard what anyone else has to say.
Then when the testimonials are thrown in, bam, you can’t get to your credit card fast enough!
Has this ever happened to you?
That’s what good copywriting does.
So when you start promoting products through your content, you need to keep copywriting in mind at all times.
The difference between 10 click through’s and 1000 click through’s all depends on the copy.
Recommended Reading – Copywriting’s Definition, Meaning and Purpose (What Do Copywriters Do?)
Strategies To Sell – Good, Shareable Content
When creating content, its important to make it as valuable and relevant as possible for your audience.
As I mentioned towards the top of this post, knowing your audience well will help you to craft the content that they need, not what you want.
Then when you send out good quality, helpful content which touches on their particular pain point and provides a solution, of course, they are going to love it and share the hell out of it.
The more shares, the more eyeballs on your content, the more clicks on your affiliate links and the more sales you make!
Strategies To Sell – SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)
Much like creating good content that your audience wants to share, you also need to create good content that Google wants to rank.
Google ranks your content based on a number of factors but some of the most common are:
- Relevance to the search term
- Quality of the site
- Age of the site
- Speed of the site
- Quantity and quality of backlinks to the site
If you stay on top of all these things and continue to improve the user experience on your site, your content will slowly move up the ranks, more people will find it and you’ll start noticing more sales.
There is quite a lot to learn about SEO and affiliate marketing (too much for me to go into detail in this post) so I highly recommend doing some further study before you get stuck into creating content.
Knowing how to optimise your posts for search engines is vital if you want to receive a high amount of organic traffic (free traffic/visits to your site).
Recommended Reading: The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (for Humans)
Strategies To Sell – Email List
Building an email list is seriously one of the most important things you can do as an affiliate marketer.
When you provide the opportunity for your readers to become exclusive members and receive unpublished content from you as well as free gifts (such as eBooks and trainings) and discounts on offers they are interested in, of course they are going to become your most loyal readers.
When you work hard towards creating that loyal audience, they will continue to come back, read your content, buy your products and show their support.
Strategies To Sell – Advertising
One of the quickest and most powerful ways to grow your affiliate income is through advertising.
Yes… You pay someone else to advertise products that you are paid to advertise and sell.
Well in simple terms, let’s just say you create a Facebook ad for a $100 affiliate product in which you make 60% on any sales you close ($60).
You spend $300 on the ad and the average conversion rate (meaning the amount of people who buy through clicking on your ad) is 3%.
This means you make 9 sales. 9 sales x $60 is $540. You just profited $240.
You can then take that amount and invest it back into advertising. This time you have $540 to spend.
With a 3% conversion rate, you make 16 sales. 16 sales x $60 is $960, and so it goes on.
Affiliate Marketing Tips
Now that I’ve gone through the process of affiliate marketing with you, I want to leave you with some affiliate marketing tips to get you started…
1 – Create a self-hosted blog and start publishing (keeping SEO in mind) to begin growing your audience.
2 – Post regularly on your blog and social media channels.
3 – Find good quality and relevant products to promote, making sure that the commission is worth your time.
4 – Build a relationship with your audience and gain their trust.
5 – Always be thinking about how you can provide a solution to a pain, whether it’s through affiliate products or free content.
6 – Don’t inundate your site and social media channels with affiliate links. This looks spammy and annoying and you will find it more difficult to build an engaged audience.
7 – Keep a steady balance between affiliate posts and non-affiliate posts. Yes, you need to drive sales in order to grow your business but too much and people will start getting annoyed.
8 – When adding affiliate links to your blog, be sure to make them “no follow“. Because you are essentially getting paid to promote a product, Google requires you to add the no follow value so that the site you are linking to does not receive “link juice” and move up the ranks. Read this for more information on no follow links.
9 – Do some study on SEO, advertising and digital marketing so that you can keep up with or ahead of the players (there can be a lot of competition, depending on your niche).
10 – Don’t just place the links everywhere and forget about them. Just because you can do this job from anywhere, it doesn’t mean you can completely sit back and watch the money roll in. You have to be productive, focused and up to date to see any kind of results. It’s not a make money doing nothing kind of gig.
11 – Finally, be transparent. Don’t hide the fact that you’re promoting affiliate links on your site – tell your audience and they will trust you more.
Affiliate Marketing Conclusion
By now, I’m hoping that you’ve gone from having little to no knowledge about affiliate marketing to actually knowing where you need to start and how to begin earning an income from it.
As I said above, this is not the kind of gig where you can just sit back, relax and make money from a few links on your site. Maybe in the future, things will look more like that but for now, you need to work.
That said, this is the kind of gig that you can do from anywhere and if you take it seriously enough, you could be funding your full time adventures around the world by the end of next year.
Affiliate marketing is simple when you know the steps you need to take and the best part is that once you’ve done it, the strategies can be repeated over and over again.
There is almost no limit to affiliate marketing so go out into the world wide web and begin your affiliate marketing journey!
For further training in affiliate marketing, sign up as a free member on Affilorama:
>> Sign up for free training (100+ video lessons)
From one traveling affiliate marketer to another (you’re already one in my eyes), get your game face on and start hustling!
Recommend Affiliate Marketing Tools and Reading:
- Affilorama Free Training Membership
- Travel Jobs: How To Make Money Blogging From Anywhere?
- How To Start A Self Hosted Blog Step By Step Tutorial
- Bluehost.com – Purchase your domain (with 50% discount)
- Active Campaign – Email Marketing Software
- Domainr.com – Check for available domain names
- Upwork – Find freelance designers and writers
- Top 20 Affiliate Networks 2016
- Copywriting 101: How To Craft Compelling Copy
- The Beginner’s Guide to Search Engine Optimization (for Humans)
- Free eBook – 12 Steps To Full Time Travel
** I also recommend checking out these 15 awesome travel job courses that’ll teach you the exact skills you need for many more kinds of remote jobs you can do from anywhere.
Over to you! Leave your answers in the comments section below…
- Are you considering affiliate marketing while you travel? Do you have any more questions? Ask away!
Have you already started affiliate marketing and have some more tips to add? Please share you insights!
This post contains some affiliate links. If you click on one and make a purchase, we will receive a small commission to keep the site running and providing free content at no extra cost to you.
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