When I first set up a blog, my primary objective was to have a personal space in the web where I can share my thoughts and experiences. I used a free platform so maintenance was really no-frills. As I grew more serious about blogging, I decided to buy a domain to add a touch of professionalism to my blog.
While cost of buying the domain was minimal, I still signed up for Google AdSense in hopes of earning a little to offset the expense. Unfortunately, like in the case of most publishers, my account was banned by Google AdSense for reasons I know nothing of. Keeping my hopes high, I researched for Google AdSense alternatives and stumbled upon affiliate marketing.
Affiliate Marketing allows bloggers to run the ads of their partner companies in their websites. These ads may be in the form of dynamic headers, static displays and affiliate or text links. Personally, I don’t want my blog to look cluttered so I opted for some static ads and mostly text links.
If you wish to find out, here are a few platforms that I signed up with as an affiliate marketer:
GPSmyCity is a smartphone application that lets travelers download city guides for free. These city guides are actual articles written by bloggers and converted into easy-to-use travel apps. For a minimal fee of around US$2, you may avail of an upgrade which comes with an offline map and a GPS-enabled guide. When you want to visit an attraction, a landmark or a restaurant, simply click the “Go There” button next to the name of the place. You’ll have an offline map plotted for that place which you can follow either by foot or vehicle.
GPSmyCity allows travelers to discover other travel blogs and, hence, see destinations from a variety of perspectives. For details on signing up as partner, please click here.
Agoda is one of the largest online hotel booking sites today. I actually use it a lot if I wanted to get a comprehensive list of available hotels in an area as well as good booking rates.
To sign up as partner, look for the “Affiliates” link under the “Partner With Us” section. Creating an account is pretty straightforward. Moreover, Agoda does not have any minimum traffic requirement. Once approved, you may already run ads such as search boxes, banners and text links. For more information about the Agoda Partner Program, you may click here.
I signed up for the Travelbook Affiliate Program when they ran a contest for bloggers; write an article about the program and get a chance to win a trip to Caramoan. I was one of the bloggers chosen but I had to decline because they could not accommodate an additional headcount even if we had to pay for the expenses.
Anyway, I readily signed up for Travelbook because I wanted to help promote a homegrown brand that has a fairly good listing of affordable hotels in top destinations around the country. Just recently, we booked our accommodation in Dumaguete City via the Travelbook mobile app. For more information on affiliate sign up, you may click here.
Online shopping platform Lazada is perfect for lifestyle bloggers. Sign up as an affiliate marketer and you’ll be running ads in no time. There are various ad units available such as boxes, headers and footers, side banners and links. One may also choose to run the type of featured product like electronic gadgets, clothing and apparel, home essentials and a lot more. Commissions are based on the purchased amount. Get to know more about the program here.
Zalora is an online clothing and apparel shop, likewise perfect for lifestyle and beauty bloggers. Zalora is great for people who prefer the convenience of online shopping while scoring great deals and discounts on clothes, apparel and beauty products.
Signing up is also easy and fast via the affiliate program link. More information available here.
Roomorama is very similar to AirBnB; it’s an online booking site for short-term vacation rentals. It lists over 80,000 properties worldwide.
For partners, commission is paid out based on actual bookings. For more information on signing up, please visit their site here.
For affiliate marketers, links to attractions can be embedded to their posts. Extensive information on the affiliate program can be found here.
Chitika is probably one of the best alternatives to Google AdSense. Chitika’s ad units are very similar to Google AdSense but the former does not require minimum monthly web traffic. Just sign up and, in no time, you’ll be installing Google Adsense-like banners to your site. For more information, please go to www.chitika.com.
These are just a few of the tools that you can use to monetize your blog. There are a lot more out there, especially bigger ad networks that pay better commissions. As expert bloggers would say, always come up with good and valuable content because this will drive traffic to your blog. Most ad networks require a minimum monthly site traffic before approving publishers.