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Tips For Selecting The Right Hotel Affiliate Program

It wasn’t that long ago that the only way to book a hotel room was with a call to the hotel itself. The internet completely changed the way people booked rooms because it gave them more options. Travelers can now compare room rates and amenities as well as read reviews to see what other tourists thought before they book. If you have a travel website or blog, you can make money through a hotel affiliate program that helps your visitors find hotels. Check out some tips to ensure you choose the right one.

Leads vs. Sales

One thing to keep in mind is that some affiliate programs pay you for any leads you generate, while others look at how many sales you make. A lead refers to someone you send to the parent site. While the person may use the site to check out rates and compare hotel rooms, they do not book a room. When you generate a sale, you refer someone to the site who makes a reservation. You usually earn less money for leads than you make sales, but you earn a small amount every time someone clicks on a link you share.

Click Types

Another thing to consider is what the hotel affiliate program considers a click. Not all programs pay you for each click. For example, you might sign up for a program that only pays for referrals when the person who clicks the link clicks on another. This often prevents you from earning money unless your visitor follows the link to the program and then clicks on another link to load the hotel’s website. You might refer hundreds of people and not make any money through one of these programs. The best affiliate programs pay you for every click someone makes.

Review Needs

Before you sign up as an affiliate, find out what the parent company expects from you. Though some programs simply ask you to run ads on your site that link back to their site, others require that you write and post a review about a specific hotel. Even if you have never visited the hotel before, you need to write a review that highlights the benefits of staying there and the amenities it offers guests. In some cases, you might work with a company that offers free nights at different hotels in exchange for your reviews, but you may also need to pay for the stays yourself.

Cookie Duration

Anyone who spends time online knows about cookies. These are small files that contain data about your computer and network. When you sign up as a hotel affiliate, one thing to consider is how long the cookie duration lasts. This tells you how long you have to earn money off a visitor. If the program has session-based cookies, you only earn money when someone books a room while using the link from your site. Other cookies last for several days up to 30 days. This means that you earn money every time someone uses your link to book a room, even if they don’t do it on the spot.

Commission Rate

There are more than 138,000 hotels in the United States alone. Every time you share an affiliate link on your site, you can make money off the travelers who click on that link. Do not sign up for a program unless you know your commission rate in advance. The commission rate is the percentage you make off each sale. It often starts at around 4% but can rise to 8% or higher. Some programs offer different commission rates or levels, too. You earn different percentages based on whether travelers book hotel rooms, rental cars, flights, event tickets, or other things.

Choosing the Right Affiliate Program

Choosing the right affiliate program ensures that you make money off the hard work you put into your site or blog. You appeal to tourists who trust your advice and reviews. Many programs require short or longer reviews, though some simply include ads that run on your site. Some of the things to think about when choosing a hotel affiliate program include the cookie duration, commission rate, and whether you earn money for the leads you generate or just the sales you make.


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