November 15 0 90

How to Monetize a Travel Website With Affiliate Programs: $10 000/ Month Case Study

The travel niche is historically one of the most profitable blogging niches. The niche declined during the covid era and now that it's back to normal, we are ready to show you how to monetize it better than before. Today we are sharing with you the top 10 affiliate programs for travel affiliates and a case study from Stephen Palmer, a travel blogger who started the website Irish Around Oz which makes him over $10 000/month.

In this article, we are going through how Stephen generated the idea for this site, monetized it, and scaled it. We shall also show you the best affiliate programs you can use to monetize a travel site for those who are interested in this niche.

Background Story

Stephen moved from Ireland to Australia in 2013 and he wished to share his experience with other Irish people who were interested to move to Australia. So, Stephen created a blog which was basically to share the highlights of his move and some information to guide the readers.

The audience that Stephen chose was narrow because only 0.5% of Irish people are estimated to visit Australia each year. That’s around 22 000 people only (pre-covid). However, Stephen has been able to make a full-time living from this website regardless of the narrow audience.

This website has attracted more than 4 million visitors in the last three years, and it’s growing.

Stephen originally set up Irish Around Oz as a part-time project but he ended up scaling it to $2 500/month in the first year. This initial success made him realize that this site had the potential to make more money. This was the moment when he decided to work on this site full-time.

Stephen says that this was the point when the website really started to grow and his income figures certainly back that up. Currently, it’s averaging between $7 000 and $10 000/month.

The Target Audience

Many people would have been skeptical about entering this niche due to the very low potential audience numbers. However, Stephen’s success is a testament that you don’t need to reach millions of people to make a living online. You just need to reach the right people.

Stephen says:

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"It was when I published the article ‘50 things you need to know before moving to Australia’ (now 60 things) that I knew I had found a massive gap in the market and Irish Around Oz was formed!"

With Irish Around Oz, Stephen created a real solution to genuine problems. He’s worked hard to create the ultimate online resource for Irish people traveling to Australia.

On this site, Stephen covers topics like:

  • How to get a sponsored visa to Australia;
  • A guide to taxes for a working holiday;
  • How to transfer money from Ireland to Australia;
  • Visa options to stay in Australia long-term;
  • How to ship your items to Australia, cheaply.

The website is now a one-stop resource for every Irish man or woman looking to move to Australia which explains its incredibly low bounce rate of just 3%.

Dominating His Niche
Once Stephen realized the initial success of his site, his plan was to make it the go-to platform for his target audience. He created several Facebook groups for his fellow countrymen to get advice on emigrating.

Some of the groups he’s created include:

These Facebook groups, each with thousands of members, helped him to build the ultimate online communities of Irish people in Australia and made him dominate this space.

A lot of information is shared in these groups and a lot of people see him a the guru for sharing with them travel information and survival tips while in Australia.

Traffic and Monetization

Looking at SimilarWeb’s report on the site, Irish Around Oz is averaging around 30 000 visitors/month.

The traffic spike in July because of the summer holiday in the UK, whereby more Irish families tend to visit Australia. Therefore they are looking for information online before they travel.

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His biggest sources of traffic are search and social media platforms.

To monetize the traffic going to his site, Stephen uses a combination of affiliate marketing, sponsorship deals, and display ads. Stephen says that the split is:

  • 60% from affiliate marketing;
  • 30% sponsorships deals;
  • 10% display ads.

Stephen promotes different products and services on this website as an affiliate. The most prominent type of affiliate offers he promotes are those dealing with transferring money from Ireland to Australia.

This is a smart affiliate angle for this niche because people always have to transfer money at some point.

The main money transfer affiliate programs he promotes are:

  • TransferWise
  • OFX
  • CurrencyFair

Other affiliate programs he promotes are:

  • CoSeats — for ride-sharing and moving vans (Australia only);
  • Seven Seas Worldwide — for international shipping (Worldwide);
  • Airbnb — for vacation rentals (Worldwide);
  • Taxback — for tax management (Australia Only);
  • Golnsurance — for travel and car insurance services;
  • Send My Bag — for luggage shipment (Worldwide);
  • True Blue Migration — for Visa and d migration consultancy (Australia Only).

The niches of the affiliate marketing programs above can work for most travel sites. If you are not targeting Australia then you can find offers in similar niches for the country you are targeting.

Another important source of income on Stephen’s site is the Jobs board. Stephen charges businesses around AU$ 50 to post a job listing for 30 days on the site.

Conclusion

Stephen has been able to grow and monetize this website to over $10 000/month revenues by serving a small dedicated audience. This strategy has worked not only for him but also for some other location-to-location websites like Moving2Canada.com which averages about 130 000 visitors/month.

These kinds of travel websites can be built for different audiences. The most important thing is to have the knowledge and dedication to find the information.

Stephen admits that The Irish Around Oz website works incredibly well because it satisfies the needs of its audience. The success is down to how well he created the content. You can tell that real-time, care, and effort have been put into making it what it is.

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This is a good model to replicate for the affiliates in this niche or those who are interested to get started.

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