This affiliate program was set up primarily for our boat tour services:
for which we are offering a 20% referral rate, meaning you would get up to $500 dollars for every sale. But we plan to expand our site and services throughout this country, which with its more than 7,000 paradise beach islands and English as an official language, seems destined to become a top tourist hotspot in the world.
For this purpose we use a plugin which logs the path a visitor takes in our site before it fills in a contact form, anywhere on our site. This way, once a visitor lands on an affiliate entry page, s/he can freely surf our site and we will always know from where they originally came, to give you your commission when a sale is made.
Here is our first sample from Teacake Travels, who is linking to our affiliate page made for her. For SEO purposes, we always read the promotional page it will be linking from, to get inspiration, and then write up original content for that particular affiliate page, such as this example for Teacake. Then, whenever the visitor fills in one of our contact forms, we can see the path they took, as shown here:
Every time someone will contact us as a result of your affiliate link, we will inform you about it. This way you can test this principle yourself occasionally. Based on past years experience (although this year we have increased our prices to cover the affiliation) and because our prices for private tours are very competitive, we found that 40-50% of initial queries turned into a sale.
If you would like to take part in this affiliate program, we’d be happy to hear from you!
Below are the instructions I wrote for my first affiliate link builder!
Building backlinks through affiliate program
One can have the best website in the world, but if no one links to it, google will perceive it as uninteresting and subsequently lower the entire site in its rankings. If you rank first in the search engine in a particular keyword, most people don’t bother looking past the first, top three links. If it does not even get on the first page of top ten links, a website has little chance of receiving viewers. The less viewers the less business I make. It is also important how long the viewers spend reading the page. The longer they spend on it, the more g will consider it interesting and worthy content, which will get a boost in the site’s rankings according to g’s algorithm. So not only is it important to write interesting and useful content, but also to build backlinks (links to my site from other sites).
One good way to do this is through an affiliate program. My prices are substantially less than the competition and it affords me the opportunity to pay another website up to $500 per sale. Of course, it is also important that the website linking to me is related content, such as bloggers writing about their travels. Not only does an improvement in my rankings lead to more visitors and in turn more sales, but sales increase just from visitors on other sites clicking on my link and visiting my site. So a win win situation.
Below is my latest progress. It is just a list of websites I have approached for an affiliate backlink. I have achieved only two so far, some German guy named Marcel and a UK female with teacake in her email address. So no point approaching them again. And they are probably marked in bold, bright green text, as well as any other people I found a little bit of success in. So one possibility is you go through the entire list below and approach each one of them again (since I am offering a lot more than when I last approached them), or start your own lists. Each list is under a title representing the keywords I used in my google search when looking for candidate sites. I also make such lists because I do not like to bother people with repetitive offers.
For example, if I haven’t already, you might try “travel philippines”. You do a search for those keywords in google and go down the results. Any page that might seem like a candidate, you right click on the link and open in new browser tab. You can go down the google results page and right-click-open-in -another-tab-sites that look interesting, and once you might have ten new tabs open, you can go through each of them and examine if they could be good candidates. The reason I right click open is because it makes your job more efficient, so you don’t have to spend 60% of your time staring at a page waiting for it to load.
I’ll keep repeating this process, going further down in the google results pages until the sites do not look so interesting anymore, and then I’ll try another keyword search.
Good candidate sites
Obviously, they should be travel related. Here are the most important keywords that I can think of off the top of my head:
Island hopping philippines
Boat tours coron el nido
That’s just to give you an idea. But sometimes I’ll write a random page about some island here and be surprised how much traffic it gets. For example, you might decide to write some content about
Lazy beach life
you apply the usual tactics when writing that page to help get it higher up in g search results, after which you could look for affiliates using the same keywords. Therefore, these link building and content writing tasks basically work together, hand in hand, and I’m sure it is a combined skill that is worth having.
Obviously, you don’t want to waste your time approaching some monster commercial company like tripadvisor. Bloggers are usually pretty good to approach, and they like earning income from their pages. Perhaps I didn’t get great results before because I was only offering $100 commission, so perhaps up to $500 might capture some interest.
So basically, when you skim through a page and you get the feeling the owner might be interested and that the page would be good to link from, you simply contact them, either using their contact form or write them directly by email if they post their email address. If they respond positively directly back to you, you can just forward their email to me. Simply copy paste my letter below.
I like to be organised so I would appreciate it if you would keep records like I have below of everyone you approached in a list under each of the keywords you chose to search. BTW, I’m not interested in paying for links on other sites, although you are welcome or even encouraged to make a note of their offer in the list you create. I think my affiliate program is plenty enough generous.
If you do use their contact form, which I usually find easier, simply copy/paste my details and letter below.
Letter and info to copy/paste
Name: Karel Kosman
Subject: Affiliate link from your site for $500 per sale!
Hi, I own the site https://islandhoppinginthephilippines.com/ and organise boat tours in the beautiful Philippines with its 7,000 islands and countless, white sand beaches. I’d be happy to offer you $500 commission for every sale you send my way. We mostly offer only private, custom boat tours, although sometimes our customers are couples on a romantic vacation and who might talk us down in price, so the least I could offer you is $250 for such sales, but generally I have the budget for most of my customers, who can be larger organised groups or families.
The way I keep track is using the Wordpress plugin WP Forms. It has a Journey sub plugin which shows what path a visitor took through my site. For example, one affiliate page:
That is the author’s special affiliate link page and if a visitor writes to me on the contact form on that page or navigates their way around my site to eventually write to me on some other contact form (I do not post my email address), the records will always show where they started, and I always check this when approached by new customers.
During the high season I have organised as much as 14 tours in a single month, and since our prices are so competitive compared to other private custom tours, this could prove very lucrative for you.
Hope to hear from you! Karel
Questions from an affiliate
Hi Karel,I hope this email finds you well. I apologize for the delayed response; I’ve been away and busy.
I am writing to you today to follow up on your email about the affiliate program for your boat tours in the Philippines. I am very interested in this opportunity, and I think it could be a great way to generate traffic and revenue for both of us.I would like to know more about your commission structure. You mentioned offering a $500 commission for every sale, but I am unsure how you define a sale. Do you mean a booking made directly through your website, or does it also include bookings made through my website but finalized through other channels?
I am familiar with the WordPress plugin WP Forms and am interested in learning more about how you track affiliate sales using it. Could you please provide me with some guidance on how you would like it to work?
I would also like to ask if I can create a specific page on my website for your boat tours. I think this would be a great way to showcase your tours and generate more interest in them. I would also be happy to feature some of your blog posts on my website.
Is there any way I can see how many people I have sent to your website and how many of them have booked a tour? This would be helpful for me to track my performance and see how I can improve my marketing efforts.
Finally, I would like to ask you the following questions:
- What are the most popular tours that you offer?
- What are the best times of year to book tours?
- What are some of the challenges that you face as a tour operator?
- How can I help you promote your tours?
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We are a family operation managing private custom boat tours in the beautiful Palawan area, and are happy to help travelers with their plans through the country, having traveled a lot of it ourselves and planning to visit it all.