Affiliate marketing is the other major way to generate "passive income." Integrating affiliate links into your PREselling content - what works? What doesn't? Which programs work best for travel sites? Not getting paid? What is the best way to use your Solo Build It!! site to PREsell SBI! itself? If it's affiliate-related, it's here!
#1367085 by Ann Marie from Stewart
Fri Mar 17, 2017 5:50 pm
hi all,

I am wondering if anyone has any advice regarding Trip Advisor and Trivago affiliate programs. Which one is better? I am currently with TA and am making a little money but not all of my hotels in my small niche are on TA. I am wondering if Trivago would be better??

Advice anyone.

thanks, Ann Marie
#1367134 by Dee from Cape Cod
Sat Mar 18, 2017 7:10 am
Hi Ann Marie -

My niche is also relatively small (geographically speaking), and I also have the issue that not all hotels/motels in my area are on TA. But I've found that, with a few exceptions, the hotels/motels that aren't on TA, aren't on the other booking sites, either. :(

I can't tell you about my experience with Trivago, because I've never used it on my site. However, I did check out Trivago's affiliate program some time last year to see if it'd be worth switching from TA to Trivago for my hotel and motel listings. (I don't use TA for my vacation rental listings.)

I decided to stick with TA, primarily because I liked TA's commission structure better. If memory serves, at that time Trivago's affiliate program would pay me a flat rate (40 cents?) for every click from my site to theirs; whereas, TA pays me 50% of the revenue TA earns on each "commerce click" referred from my site.

From what I could figure looking at my analytics for TA, I came to the conclusion that I'd likely make more from TA's 50% than I would from Trivago's flat rate.

The other thing that made me stick with TA over changing to Trivago was the large number of unique TA deep links I have on my site. It would've taken me a ton of time to change them all to Trivago links. So I made the executive decision that it probably wasn't worth the effort to make the change, just to see if I could earn a few more bucks a week with Trivago's flat-rate-per-click commission structure.

Sorry I can only give you my general assessment about TA vs. Trivago, rather than any hard evidence one way or the other. Maybe someone who has experience with TA and Trivago will jump in and educate both of us. Let's hope so!

Best Regards,

Dee
#1369094 by Susan from Montreal
Sun Apr 16, 2017 12:39 am
I've used TripAdvisor and other hotel affiliates for years, but have a love/hate relationship with TA in particular. Although they do pay a set % based on clicks to affiliates, they change the algorithm that they use to calculate which clicks "count" periodically, and I find the changes to almost never be to the advantage of their affiliates. They described latest change, which went into effect earlier this year, as having 8 different steps in order for a click to be counted as a click; bottom line, it seems to significantly impact clicks coming from mobile users - as a result, my overall income from them has dropped about 40%-45%.

If Trivago pays based on clicks (vs bookings, as do hotels.com, booking.com, etc), then it seems worth testing them and comparing results. I've never used Trivago, but have had good experiences in the past with HotelsCombined, which also uses the pay for clicks model.

It's been a couple of years since I've done close comparisons, but at that time, I found that with just a few exceptions, hotels that weren't listed on one hotel site (like TA) also weren't listed on others. Don't know if that's still true, though - haven't done any recent comparisons.

Also, it's worth testing to see whether on average, you do better with TA and the other pay-for-clicks model, or with booking.com, etc., that pay for bookings. When I tested for that on my sites a couple of years ago, I found that actual revenue was about the same, assuming that no more than 50% of reservations cancel, as sites like booking.com pay based on consumed bookings - meaning the person actually has to stay before you get paid.

Hope this helps!

Susan
#1369133 by Diane from Paris
Sun Apr 16, 2017 4:52 pm
We've pretty much eliminated all Trip Advisor links for a couple of reasons: it's distracting for the visitor to go to another selling site; secondly, the payout is pretty lousy.

We've switched entirely to booking.com. Yes, there are tons of cancellations but overall, we make more way more income with booking.com vs TA.

Hope this helps.
D
#1379835 by David from California
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:29 pm
I used TirpAdvisor links for years but never made a cent. The visitor leaves your site and never comes back is what I've found.

I don't know why I never received a penny from them, though, since there must have been some kind of earnings.

In fact, none of the typical travel affiilates have worked for me. I assume it's because my visitors go to the big sites to buy plane tickets and reserve hotel rooms.

Lets face it - I have bought a lot of airline ticktes over the years and never bought one through a small travel site - I have always gone to the major companies.

I have found that focusing on Amazon.com books related as closely as possible to your page is the best money generator on my sites at this time as far as Affiliates go.

Again, don't expect any earnings from either of the above programs unless you have daily traffic in the 5 figures IMHO.
#1379839 by Debs from SiteSell
Sat Aug 26, 2017 2:56 pm
People like the security of working with a known brand. Take advantage of that and work it to your favor.

First, make it known in your preselling text, and around the affiliate merchant's search box on your site that the visitor will be searching at SoandSo's site, a well-known, secure brand offering hotels, airlines, car rentals etc.

Come up with a variety of sentences to use on various pages, set them up in Reusable Blocks (or Includes if you upload). Keep them short so they don't trip duplicate content filtering. Insert where needed on your pages. Make sure each affiliate search box and link mentions who they are going to and how trusted they are.

Tell them you are affiliated with the brand (as an "affiliate" you are affiliated after all).

Not saying there isn't hanky panky going on with affiliate commissions, and hopefully there are others who will post their experiences too. But, we all have a responsibility to also presell, and ask for the visitor to order, use the search box, etc, if allowed by the affiliate merchant. You do have to ask in order to get good conversions.

Debs
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