At any given moment, some 9,500+ planes are in the air. These sky vehicles transport over 1.2 million people. The average domestic airline ticket is around $379. It’s no wonder the travel industry is one of the largest global markets. Airlines use flight programs, so you and I can promote flight offers on sites and social to facilitate the demand.
Flight promotions are one of the
best ways to make money blogging if you create travel niche content.
Well… our journey begins somewhere and often it’s with an airline ticket. The flight programs offer the same features one finds on big sites like Priceline, Expedia, Kayak, and Skyscanner. People coming to your site, reading adventurous content, and having the chance to book right then and there means you’ll earn for each referral sent through the flight programs.
The Airline Industry: What You Need to Know
The industry is distributed across nearly 5,000 airlines. Of which, 365+ are commercial airlines. Big players like Delta, American Airlines, Turkish Airlines, United, and Southwest Airlines dominate the consumer market. In 2016, American Airlines transported nearly 200 million people globally!
With that said… the travel niche and its flight promotions are a tough sell.
Mainly because people are so accustomed to using airline search portals or booking directly through their favorite airline because of loyalty programs. Yet, the travel blogger still has an opportunity by acting much like a travel agent or agency.
Niching down, sharing unique experiences, and offering suggestions for flights accommodating special needs is one option. A focus on flight programs that’ll take people to wellness facilities, group travel, or connecting them to fun adventures opens the opportunity to make money with each referral.
The Airline Market: By the Numbers
There are variable flight packages giving each promotion the possibility of earning more. The flight programs track visitors and pay per referral. Yet, if that person decides to choose a higher class or upgrade, then you earn the extra. These are easy promotions for anyone sharing travel-related content since a plane ticket is often the first action on takes when they’re serious about adventure.
Why would you promote travel affiliate programs and their offers?
- 47% of people want to travel around the world
- 55% of leisure travelers will take two trips a year
- 38% of bookings happen almost spontaneously (1-2 days or on the day)
- 40% of channels have seen an uptick in travel-related content
Talk about an awesome travel blog job! Imagine sharing your experience and getting paid for it? That’s the opportunity that lies ahead when you add flight programs and offers to your website.
Why Promote Flight Programs
Outside of the apparent need
that people need airline tickets to travel around, there are a couple good reasons why you’d want to promote flight programs:
- New content ideas
- Community stories
- Job and career guides
- Specialization and expertise
Look at how well flight hacking has become a travel niche topic. Or, the die-hard brand advocates that’ll get together just to fly to different locations – the flight is the main experience. Then, you’ve got people going for the glory of logging flight time and miles. You’d be surprised how many people simply enjoy airports and the flight experience.
You have all these great opportunities since it opens new content ideas. You could add a new category covering flight offer recommendations. Or, content about luggage, spending time on the plane, gadgets, and items to make the trip easier. Simply put, it adds a new vertical to your travel promotions.
There’s also the money
part (let’s not forget that).
The Travelocity program, for example, pays 3-8% for each referral. When your average airline ticket is $379, you’re talking about $11-$30 for each person booking through your link. This adds up quickly if people are heading out on round-the-world trips or booking family vacations while at it.
Flight programs also include upsells and cross promotions that’ll earn you extra, including:
- Flight upgrades
- Vacation packages
- Car rentals
Flight promotions do quite well – people buying all-in-one trips – which means more money for you. Or, if the content is encompassing (giving them a great guide to the area) then they may go through each one of your promotions and offers. A big, $3k+ trip could earn hundreds if it funnels through your travel site.
Let Earnings Take Flight with Flight Offers and Promotions
Will you go?
- Generalized promotions
- Targeted offers
Generalized flight promotions would be adding the program search functions on the site. This lets visitors pick and choose to their liking. You’re allowing the flight program to do the heavy selling; the visitor may choose to upgrade if needs and wants are met.
Deep linking flight offers create a secondary opportunity.
In this case, you’re linking to specific airlines or results. This requires more effort but pairs well if you have a highly targeted audience and topic. Example: You, operating a travel blog in Orlando, telling Orlando residents about an awesome event in Miami on specific dates. The flights in this timeframe may come at a higher cost – you earn more for the referral.
There are many examples of travel blogs earning money by promoting flight promotions:
… and many more if you’re looking around for those “Top Travel Blogs” posts.
These are outliers, though, because they’re earning through several monetization strategies. Some include promoted pieces. Others rely on services or products. But, many still have flight programs in resource sections for those hyped up and ready to book.
Even on the small scale promoting flight offers and promotions are worthwhile. Adding it gives utility
to the site – making it a one-stop shop for information. Visitors aren’t bouncing from site to site. Create good content and pour your passion into the work – do so and you’ll get people clicking the links.
How to Promote the Highest Paying Flight Offers and Promotions
Most of what you’ll do with the flight offers and promotions are set to passive. If someone finds it, likes the deal, and buys, then great! You earn a commission. However, there are plenty of ways travel bloggers encourage clickthrough to these promotions.
The two big things include:
- Travel guides
- Travel services
Guides are the bread and butter for travel niche bloggers. Most give a personal account of the area which creates a bond between blogger and reader. A lot won’t ever get to experience those things… but it certainly inspires a bunch! In those guides are often link to affiliated resources like the highest paying flight offers and promotions (the bigger the package, the bigger the commission).
Services, on the other hand, are a bit more hand-holding. The blogger may charge a fee for helping people set up an itinerary. Or, they’ll do it for free. Usually, this includes encouraging someone to purchase tickets, hotels, and other resources through their links – sort of a double-dip in earnings.
Look at some of your favorite blogs and see how they’re adding the offers and promotions in. Then, dig into the flight programs to see what information they offer whether it’s banners, creative, copy, email examples, or manager feedback –like:
- The Cheap Flights program
- The Delta Airline program
- The Momondo program
Besides the obvious (linking to their offers), you can promote travel in a lot of ways besides guides and lists:
- Live blogging
- Live video streaming
- Micro video experiences
- Food and drink
- User content
- Content made by locals
Look at your favorites and how many meshes together. Then, go beyond that. Give people something different when they read your travel blog. It’s hard to say what exactly this “is” but what a lot of what the community wants is stuff off the beaten path.
The Challenges and How to Scale Flight Offers and Promotions
Flight programs are okay
come back to buy… you may not get the referral.
What can you do to balance it all out while scaling efforts?
- Focus on building a strong community and getting them on your email list
- Go easy on the promotions (don’t do a 1:1 match of the flight program site)
- Add white label travel promotions in with the generalized flight programs
- Make more products to supplement income but also claim your authority
Remember, flight programs are easy to integrate – the market is there – but that doesn’t mean people will buy through your link in troves. Don’t give up the chance to build a passionate follower for a few bucks on their referral. Instead, spend that time building great content to keep them coming back, and so your
site becomes the hub for all things travel for them.
Airfare Is the Start to a Profitable Venture
Adding an airfare program is likely your first foray into monetizing your travel blog or site. It makes sense considering tickets are usually the first action one takes with traveling. Do know, though, you’re up against very popular travel bloggers and airfare websites with millions in advertising budget.
Bring it all back to its core: be passionate about your travel… make monetization secondary.
People will see through it if you’re becoming too overly promotional. They visit because they want neat stories and feel like they’re part of the adventure. They’re just as interested in the location as they are you. Being able to monetize by adding a simple flight program is an awesome bonus to it all.
Ready to start? Browse and compare the airfare programs we’ve collected and reviewed in our directory. Start with some of the big ones. Then, niche down until you have found the perfect match.