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How I'm NOT making money with HotelsCombined.com affiliate program

Discussion in 'General Marketing' started by 123Hotels, Jun 1, 2012.

  1. Johann Thorsson

    Johann Thorsson Greenhorn

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    #41
    Hi guys,

    There is an easy way to make money with an affiliate system like HotelsCombined, and this is simply to get a good bit of high-quality traffic. We (Dohop.com) use HotelsCombined and are earning a fair amount but then we already have a good deal of traffic from people visiting us to search for flights. Hotels are simply the next logical step (and rental cars pay even better).

    Many of you have mentioned content creation as a way to get traffic and I think this is indeed a great way to get traffic, but only if it is good and original. I suggest starting in an area you know something about, like your own country, focusing on becoming an authority on accommodation. Start a blog attached to your site and add at least one blog post per week about something you know well. Make it reader friendly but with SEO in mind.

    Branding is very important, and becoming more so as Google restricts what appears in their search results and pushes their own stuff, so I think 123Hotels is actually a good domain, easy to remember.

    You might also want to segment into flight search (and may I modestly suggest our own flight affiliate program?) and rental car search to diversify your site and increase your revenue stream.

    You want to give visitors a reason to visit your site above all others. Trust is an important part of this. DmitriZ has some great points about trust (scroll up and read his comment); the "About us" and "Contact Us" need to be real.

    Advertising is very hard to do well, as the click will most often be more expensive than the average commission you will be getting per guest. Social media is a good way to go since it is mostly free, but it is getting very crowded. If you are clever, it is probably your best bet.
    SEMrush
    Best of luck to you all.
    Johann Thorsson
    Affiliate Marketing Manager,
    Dohop.com
     
    Johann Thorsson, Dec 17, 2013 IP
    SEMrush
  2. saskos

    saskos Active Member

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    #42
    I'm using HotelsCombined affilate program on my site, almost a month, use the search form:
    www.sobe-smestaj.com
    I can tell you that I'm surprised this is good, I am satisfied with this.
    Plans to introduce the private branding on a subdomain.
    This video helped me set up in cPanel, because I know it's right:
     
    saskos, Jan 26, 2014 IP
  3. majdi105

    majdi105 Member

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    #43
    How you did it ?
    it can detect the language automatically ?
     
    majdi105, Mar 1, 2015 IP
  4. esther.paul

    esther.paul Active Member

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    #44
    Well to be honest if I am a user I look for a nice design too along with good reviews. So I would certainly consider to redesign the look of it a bit to make it look more professional. Also the first step for you might be to ask people you know to try your service and then pass on a review about it. Reviews really help in bringing more customers. I maybe wrong but this is something which I would really consider doing.
    Good Luck for your work.
     
    esther.paul, Mar 29, 2015 IP
    Samo likes this.
  5. mentat47

    mentat47 Greenhorn

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    #45
    $6000 does seem pretty high for a domain name.
     
    mentat47, Jul 14, 2015 IP
  6. neodragon

    neodragon Well-Known Member

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    #46
    Last time when I tried hotelscombined they had pretty low CPMs, good luck
     
    neodragon, Aug 27, 2016 IP
  7. Samo

    Samo Well-Known Member

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    #47
    I'm sorry to see 123hotels.com did not make it and the site has gone.

    It seems everyone is after making a quick buck instead of "building a business" that lasts and builds value (& can be sold once it is established).

    123hotels & too many others who fail start with the supply side (CPA etc such as hotelscombined) and not from the demand side ... That is: "who wants this service and can I reach them cost-effectively with sufficient volume?!"

    If 123hotels owner had thought of a building a business, he'd pribably have done something like this:
    - establish a travel blog with an ordinary domain name
    - build organic highly TARGETED traffic and a solid following
    - test and make sure the traffic converts AND THEN buy a brandable domain and use hotelscombined or whatever

    Note that, if he had his own blog first, his traffic would be his forever. Sending traffic to a site that you cannot SEO etc means yo ulose the traffic forever the moment they leave your site.

    Food for thought
     
    Samo, Sep 2, 2016 IP
  8. Eugi

    Eugi Greenhorn

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    #48
    What should you choose for Europe market booking or hotelscombined?

    Example:
    the customer books a room in a hotel for 100€.

    - booking takes 15% commission from the hotel (15€) and gives me 35% => 5.25€
    - hotelscombined said that my revenue will be 7.5 - 8%, but it's strange, if they take from the booking 50% it's 7.5%, so then they gave me 70% it's the same 5.25€ but in $. But maybe they get more % because they are a big company...

    To accept the offer from hotelscombined I have to move all my links to them, so I don't know what to do, + -:
    - booking uses session-based tracking
    - hotelscombined use 1-year cookie, but will user uses their system more than on booking?

    I am confused, hope someone has tried that and knows what is really better...
     
    Eugi, Sep 20, 2017 IP
  9. EmpireExchange

    EmpireExchange Greenhorn

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    #49
    Facebook Groups for travelling, post VALUE content that doesn't pitch i.e "Have you ever been to (never been heard of beautiful country)?" then attach some beautiful pictures and describe how hospitable it is and how cheap the food is etc. Some groups will let you link your URL, if they don't then make the post from your FB Business Page then share it to the group. Quora, answer questions link to your site. You can't directly link to an affiliate offer but you can link to your website which has affiliate links. Twitter, use the search feature. Answer questions then plug your site.
     
    EmpireExchange, Aug 22, 2018 IP
  10. TravelPayouts

    TravelPayouts Active Member Affiliate Manager

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    #50
    Hi, yesterday those working with HotelsCombined got a letter about a temporary pause of the affiliate program. We're not here to speculate and do understand the whole situation (and even hope that everything ends up good for HC), but it looks like their affiliates could use some help.

    Thus, we'll offer a simple temporary decision: all the affiliates with HC links on their sites now can redirect all the trafic to Hotellook program in a matter of minutes by installing a script of ours on the website.
    You can learn more here: https://blog.travelpayouts.com/en/hotelscombined-affiliate-program-alternatives/
    Hopefully, it will help affiliates to minimize the losses. Any questions? Feel free to contact!
     
    TravelPayouts, Mar 19, 2020 IP
  11. Eugi

    Eugi Greenhorn

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    #51
    hotelscombined pays me a % of what they get. So I really don't understand WHY they stopped. No bookings? Ok, you don't have to pay me, what is the problem, really disappointed with this decision.
     
    Eugi, Mar 19, 2020 IP
  12. TravelPayouts

    TravelPayouts Active Member Affiliate Manager

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    #52
    The decision is understandable, as the amount of bookings went down significantly. But we believe that affiliates like you shouldn't lose their traffic, you still can monetize it. Feel free to check our solution and (at least temporary) redirect your traffic to Hotellook. It makes perfect sense in situation like this.
     
    TravelPayouts, Mar 19, 2020 IP
  13. Eugi

    Eugi Greenhorn

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    #53
    Already moved :) Anyway, I don't understand the decision. If the amount of bookings went down significantly, been to 0, they don't need to pay, that's all. Since they pay a % of booking made with my links only :/
     
    Eugi, Mar 19, 2020 IP
  14. Terem123

    Terem123 Greenhorn

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    #54
    You are in a very competing niche where it's very hard to get any traffic to any domain out there entirely and possibly. So I do want to make it better anyway. You need to create a tons of content to that matter entirely. Use free traffic sources to the max please.
     
    Terem123, Mar 19, 2020 IP
  15. TravelPayouts

    TravelPayouts Active Member Affiliate Manager

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    #55
    Well, as they've stated in the letter, it's just a temporary decision made in the light of the circumstances. So let's hope it'll get back to normal soon, and we're happy to help you!
     
    TravelPayouts, Mar 19, 2020 IP