This company doesn’t need a lot of introduction. If you have the travel bug like me, you would have picked up their books at some point in your life. Here’s the good news. With Lonely Planet Affiliate Program, you can now earn while sharing your adventures online. Curious to know how it works? Well, read on.
What Is Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is a legitimate revenue model that allows a company (that’s Lonely Planet) to recruit independent publishers (that’s you, the bloggers/affiliate marketers) through affiliate program in order to help them promote their products and services online.
When someone purchases through an affiliate link, you will earn a small commission from the transacted sale. Most of these programs are managed by service providers called affiliate networks, which will track and monitor your sales progress.
Who Can Apply
The program is basically open to anyone who’s interested in the traveling niche that can be further divided into the following sub-niches.
- Food and cuisine
- Homestay and local culture
- Family travel
- Wedding and honeymoon
- Budget travel
- Luxurious travel
So if you have a profound fascination for one of these niches, then you should highly consider using Lonely Planet as a source of online income.
Signing up for affiliate networks is pretty instantaneous, but that’s not usually the case for affiliate programs. Most companies will require a few details from you and I’ll explain why.
1) A Custom Domain Name
A domain is basically a name for a site and a custom domain is something that you pay for that has extensions such as .com, .net or .org. There are many services that would offer you free domains, but if you are serious in doing long term online business, I would suggest to go with a custom domain for more personality and branding.
Read this post to find out the best place to buy a domain name.
2) A Website
This has also become a standard practice for affiliate marketing because it makes you to deliver information FIRST before doing the ‘selling’. Again, there are many platforms that will offer to build a website or a blog for free, but keep in mind that they do come with a lot of unforeseen limitations.
If you asked me, I would recommend using self-hosted WordPress because it is easier to customize, it expands according to the size of your business and it is widely supported by web professionals. It’s a very solid platform to house your content and images in an organized manner. So even if you have 500 over blog posts, you would know where to look for them.
3) Niche Content
Obviously, in order to deliver information, you’ll need some content. So if you are into travel photography, you might want to include your background, your skills and maybe write about a few places that you think is best to take photos. Adding your own collection of pictures will keep your readers engaged and most importantly, convince Lonely Planet that you are really committed in what you do.
Now if you put all these 3 requirements together, it wouldn’t only make your website more appealing, but also trustworthy. These are the kind of qualities that companies like Lonely Planet want to be associated with.
Once you have all that in place, you can head over to these networks for application;
- Commission Junction (Asia Pacific)
- Affiliate Window (UK)
- Affiliate Window (Americas)
How Much Can You Make
Lonely Planet pays 15% commissions, so if you run a photography site and want to promote this guidebook, you’ll earn approximately $3.44 for every sale. Of course, that’s not all that you’ll be making.
You see, when you write an interesting content, whether it is a travel guide or a product review, it stays on the web and attracts readers for a very long time. The same content that generates $3.44 in commission has the potential to do the same, days after days and months after months.
In other words, if you are able to convert 100 readers into buying customers, you could make $344 from just one product. Multiply that by several products and hundreds of articles, you could be earning full time as a travel blogger.
The key here is to get good quality traffic by building an audience that is interested in your niche. When you are able to achieve that, you can scale the online business to whatever size you want.
How To Build An Audience
1 – Start with your niche. What kind of information do you think your readers are looking for? Each niche has different queries and fortunately, there is a quick way to figure this out. Google Instant is my go-to tool when it comes to niche research. Using the Alphabet Soup Technique, I can easily find what’s trending in the current searches.
From this simple experiment, I was able to discover five ideas for Thailand travel tips which I never thought of before. But are these topics in demand? That’s where the next step comes in.
2 – Target a low competition keyphrase. Drawing the ideas from Google, we’ll need to find out the popularity and competition of these phrases through keyword research. Using Jaaxy, my favorite keyword tool, I was able to gather this data within seconds.
These are all keywords with good potential because their level of competition is very low (QSR <100). Remember, when a keyphrase is easier to rank, your blog will get more visibility, sitting on the first page of Google.
3 – Publish frequently. Just like any travel blog, you want your site to be resourceful. The equation is quite simple. More content => more traffic => more sales conversion.
Is This Program Worthy of Your Time?
There are many features that make the Lonely Planet affiliate program a great monetizing opportunity. Here’s why I think you should be part of it.
- Firstly, it’s a well-known travel guide book publisher. They have sold more than 120 million books to date and it is very popular with people who like to plan their own travels.
- Associating your site with their brand will portray more professionalism and build trust among your readers.
- Their website and online shopping is fun and easy to navigate. Your readers will not have any hard time checking out information and making purchases.
- 15% is a very generous commission. Most companies only pay between 5%-8% for their affiliate marketers. Besides that, they also offer eBooks which is a great alternative for travelers who want to go mobile.
I hope this quick review has given you some exciting ideas on how to monetize online. If you wish to learn more, please visit my recommended affiliate training for more information. I’ll be there to help out too, so just reach out, okay.