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Little Success Story - Traveling/Hotel Affiliate

Discussion in 'BlackHat Lounge' started by vallento, Dec 2, 2010.

  1. vallento

    vallento Regular Member

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    Occupation:
    Search Engine Optimizer
    Location:
    Little paradise island
    Home Page:
    I have always been very passionate for traveling so I figured that I should try and promote something travel related. I decided on putting up a city guide blog.

    I populated it with tons of hotel reviews where people also could book a hotel stay for the hotel in the review or search for something else in the city. The affiliate program I used was Hotels.com through CJ.com.

    I also added Adsense to the blog so I could maybe earn a few bucks from people reading my attraction reviews, restaurant reviews and important information like about the airport and flights (even sold a flight through Expedia's affiliate program which also available through CJ).

    Now after just 2 months the blog is ranking number one for the main keyword that I targetted and in the last 30 days I have earned almost 600 EUR. I am hoping to make at least 800 EUR now in December but December being Christmas and all could be weird for traveling - you never know though.

    Anyways what I wanted to say with this was that you guys starting out don't give up and if there is something you are passionate about like me with traveling then you should maybe try and make a few bucks out of your big interest it will make you so motivated to work hard on your project!

    The tools I used for this project:
    WordPress with All in SEO, Google XML Sitemaps.
    Bought a cool theme from the WP theme store woothemes.
    Xrumer for profile backlink blasts.


    Good luck guys!
     
    • Thanks Thanks x 10
  2. thedorf

    thedorf Senior Member

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    Nice work. Where did you pull the reviews from?
     
  3. vallento

    vallento Regular Member

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    Thanks man. I actually wrote the reviews myself. The city guide blog was about a city in Asia which I lived in for a bit more then 2 years so I could talk about the locations of the hotels without a problem. Then for the service and rooms I just went on hotels.com and read the reviews of all the hotel guests to be able to put together a good text on the rooms and the service of the hotel.

    Btw I have only made 14 hotel reviews. The blog has a total of 19 pages only and still I was able to achieve the results that I talked about in my initial post.
     
  4. sirgold

    sirgold Supreme Member

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    Great job! I did something similar in a different niche and translating random foreign reviews helped building credibility (and content...) for me. Maybe you need to adjust here and there but for certain niches (yours being one of them) it's not unusual to have guys commenting in broken English. Just make sure it's not too broken... :p
     
  5. albaniax

    albaniax Elite Member

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    Well done ! Keep it up.

    Tell us more about backlinking.

    Did you directly backlinked to your money-site?
    Or only from Web 2.0 pages, which point to your site?
    Did you interlinked them?
     
  6. callmelucid

    callmelucid Regular Member

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    congrats!

    I'm also curious about this as well
     
  7. IamNRE

    IamNRE Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    If you can do it!

    I CAN DO IT! :)

    Thanks for the inspiration man!

    All the best to you!
     
  8. vallento

    vallento Regular Member

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    Thanks man! Will keep it up. I am actually already working on my next city guide.

    I created a few thousand forum profile backlinks with Xrumer directly to the index for my main keyword which was "City hotels" then I also created a bunch of backlinks for some smaller keywords (category pages).

    Then to swoop the people that has already made up their mind for a special hotel they want to stay at in this city I created a bunch of backlinks for each hotel review (post) to rank high or no 1 for the hotel name.
     
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  9. lived66

    lived66 Regular Member

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    Good job. Congrats on the recent success.
     
  10. doroftei

    doroftei Junior Member

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    First of all congratulations on your success! I've had a similar experience with one of my websites and decided to move on to another topic I enjoy, which so happens to be traveling.
    It is not as much as a guide as it is descriptions and informations. It's slowly but steadily moving in the right direction. I was wondering if your content is unique or the reviews are from somewhere else? I think I may be spending too much time on content, rather than backlinking and traffic, so I'm curious to see your take on this.

    Thanks and once again congrats!
     
  11. vallento

    vallento Regular Member

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    I wrote about this a bit further up in this thread actually. I wrote all the reviews myself. I don't have many pages on the blog at all but the ones that are there are of high quality. Informative so it's good for the user and at the same time I applied solid onsite optimization to each and every single page mainly using the WP plugin All in SEO.

    So I haven't spent that much time on writing and since I also based parts of my reviews on other peoples reviews (from hotel.com) it went even faster and I was able to get first hand experience information in my review which I think is GOLD!
     
  12. florflor

    florflor Senior Member

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    Thjanks for this post. I did this a while ago but never backlinked.

    I think I am going to revisit it.

    Here is an alternative booking engine. I think it could convert good because it checks many deals.

    Code:
    http://www.hotelscombined.com/Affiliates.aspx
     
  13. vallento

    vallento Regular Member

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    That affiliate program really sounds great - better prices and more selection for the customers. I am going to signup. If you have an account and they have a referral program then send me a PM with your referral link and I will signup underneath you as a thanks for the tip!

    I am sure a lot more here will appreciate this share!
     
  14. spdgxp

    spdgxp Newbie

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    Vallento, thanks for sharing. I'm curious to hear more about this, since don't most "[city] hotels" style queries show the maps 7-box directly underneath the ads? Do you rank right below the 7-box or does your targeted query not display the box at all?

    Seems like you're targeting a super-targeted search phrase, so what sort of monthly traffic is translating into 600 euros for you?

    Again, congrats! :D
     
  15. effinOUTRAGE

    effinOUTRAGE Newbie

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    I am also wondering what traffic levels are to earn like that on hotel bookings?? I appreciate you outing your niche like that, it helped spark a few ideas for me.
     
  16. florflor

    florflor Senior Member

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    Hey vallento, happy to help. I will PM you now.

    When I had my old site, I had bookings from booking.com. Hotels.com was an alternative.

    Now I will revisit this shortly and I found the hotelscombined the other day, it is far superior I think. Perhaps you make less per person but I think it converts way better thanks to the "comparison" sell.

    To those who wonder about this, city guides are worth doing. I know 2 guys with sites like this who spent 5 years building organically and now they live off their single sites. Think about how much money people who go on vacation spend. Sure, most of us are poorer in the economy crisis, but there are many rich peopls out there still.

    And Of course, with BH or even just backlinkn knowledge, no need to wait 5 years :D Only thing I need is more time to do this!

    Hopefully you will all stay away from my city niche but if you see another site with many backlinks, say hello from BHW :D
     
  17. math182

    math182 Regular Member

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    Good work man, travel niche is becoming huge. Even my un-techno parents are buying trips online
     
  18. procmail

    procmail Junior Member

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    Yes, I noticed if you do a "CITYNAME hotels" query, the Google Places stuff show up first.

    Any way to get around it?
     
  19. Simas9

    Simas9 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    Congrats with your success :) I am also interested in how much $ or % do you get per one customer you bring to hotelscombined or a similar booking network? Thanks for you answer.
     
  20. neu009

    neu009 Jr. VIP Jr. VIP Premium Member

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    from what i read yo dont earn commission on hotelscombined. only per click 0.50-1 USD. Also I guess if none at all convert they will let u know. But compared to others offering a lot more per sale it depends. per click is good if you have ppl browsing only. if they r actually wanting to book thru ur site ur losing out on this one