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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Global Expansion Becomes More Attainable With Affiliate Marketing At The Helm

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Global Expansion Becomes More Attainable With Affiliate Marketing At The Helm

Global borders are blending – with social media connecting people from all corners of the world, international content becoming more accessible through streaming, and online retail bringing new brands and products to new markets.

But exactly how can brands take advantage of this global trend?

Anthony Capano, managing director at Rakuten Advertising, believes affiliate marketing is the key. I spoke with Capano about the benefits for global expansion that come with affiliate, key considerations for marketers when researching a new market, and how Rakuten Advertising is positioned to help brands navigate their global ambitions.

Gary Drenik: What are the reasons brands would want to expand globally?

Anthony Capano: International borders are becoming increasingly blurry. With advancements in technology, we’re seeing foreign content and culture that used to be considered “niche” become more mainstream. We’re also seeing the same impact on shopping behavior given the advancements in ecommerce—from the rise in direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands to the surge in popularity of influencers and social commerce.

Because cultures around the world have become more blended, there is more of an appetite for global brands. In China, for example, a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that preference for U.S. and European clothing brands among Chinese shoppers increased year over year. That same study also found that interest in domestic brands among Chinese consumers dropped significantly.

Brands that aren’t thinking about how they can tap into potential international markets are missing a significant opportunity. Smart marketers will reach potential audiences wherever possible, and if that audience is in another country there are ways to identify and effectively communicate with those consumers.

Drenik: What aspects of affiliate marketing make it a smart strategy for brands looking to expand into new markets for the first time?

Capano: Affiliate is the best way for brands to test new markets and introduce themselves to new global audiences. It’s a low-risk, low-cost model that allows marketers to pay only for performance.

It can be intimidating for a brand to attempt to attract new buyers in a new region. Additionally, marketers might think that a big brand awareness play is crucial for international success, and therefore might invest more heavily in channels like display, social, and CTV. However, those dollars are a higher price point, and there is significantly less measurable ROI, making it hard to understand how those dollars are really performing.

Instead, marketers should invest in affiliate to understand whether there is an appetite for their brand. Furthermore, there are real brand benefits that come with affiliate. It’s not simply a channel to drive performance—the contextual relevance of affiliate delivers many upper funnel benefits as well. Affiliate links are strengthened by the content in which they’re delivered. A consumer coming across an affiliate link will be impacted by its presence, even if they don’t click or complete a purchase. Affiliate provides the best of both worlds.

Drenik: What are the risks that come with global expansion, and how does affiliate address those risks?

Capano: The risks that come with global expansion are the same risks that apply to reaching new audiences domestically. Messages might fall on deaf ears or brands might struggle to build connections with consumers as expected. Therefore, the affiliate model is an attractive strategy for marketers to test new audiences. Because they’re only paying for performance, the risk is minimized because big brand dollars are not wasted on an underperforming campaign.

Drenik: How can marketers identify the right publishers in a market they’re not as familiar with?

Capano: Marketers looking to build publisher relationships with global audiences should look for the right affiliate marketing network to partner with. More than simply finding a partner that has a strong global publisher network, they should look for partners who have the right technology and services that help build the strongest publisher relationships.

This is something that we focus on heavily at Rakuten Advertising. We have a robust network of global publishers, but we also have the technology and data infrastructure in place to help advertisers and publishers make the most of their partnerships. We pride ourselves on our ability to connect advertisers with the right publisher to fit their needs, regardless of their geographic location.

Drenik: How does Rakuten Advertising help its customers achieve global success?

Capano: Rakuten Advertising helps connect marketers with the right global publishers to help them meet their individual objectives and successfully tap into new regions. We also have deep knowledge and presence in these global markets with local experts who can help advise and facilitate these relationships for mutual success. Our expanded global presence gives us visibility into the trends that impact other markets and allow us to provide seamless service to brands when looking to expand into new territories.

In addition to our global focus, Rakuten Advertising offers real-time data and reporting to help marketers understand how their campaigns are performing. This data, paired with our industry-best services helps marketers evaluate their affiliate performance and make the right adjustments to optimize ROI.

Our sizable global network, paired with our leading technology, data and services makes Rakuten Advertising the right partner for any brand looking to test and grow in new markets.

Drenik: What are some of the unique location-specific considerations marketers need to understand when considering expanding into a new market?

Capano: Using affiliate to enter and test a new market is quite easy. The challenge comes when a brand is ready to scale and mature their global program.

In addition to complying with local laws and regulations for things like data privacy, there are several considerations that have a significant impact on global success. For example, building stronger relationships with publishers and simplifying back-end processes may require marketers to work with networks that allow them to pay publishers in their local currency. Other considerations include understanding seasonal weather changes, language and dialect differences, how consumers leverage media and social platforms, and so much more.

Marketers also need to understand that international audiences have different online behaviors. They often prioritize different publisher types, engage with content in different ways, and prefer different shopping experiences overall. For example, a recent Prosper Insights & Analytics survey found that around 30% of U.S. women between the age of 18 – 34 are influenced by social media when looking for clothes to buy. It’s important for marketers to do the necessary market research to understand how global audiences behave before making the investment.

This is where a global network like Rakuten Advertising would be highly beneficial. We have the knowledge and services available to help marketers understand these intricacies and help guide them through the entire process—from planning to execution. Entering and testing new markets is easy with Affiliate, but if a marketer is looking to scale their global program it’s important to find the right partner with the experience needed to help navigate all these important considerations.

Rakuten Advertising not only has the global publisher network needed to succeed, we also have teams across all markets that are multilingual and understand the ins and outs that will help marketers scale their programs.

Drenik: Thank you for taking the time to chat about leveraging affiliate to identify and tap into new global audiences.

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Affiliate Network Programs for Travel Bloggers to Earn Money

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make money travel blogging

Affiliate marketing is a prominent avenue for bloggers to convert content into revenue streams. By partnering with affiliate networks, travel bloggers can seamlessly integrate product recommendations into their narratives, providing value to their audience while earning commissions for generated sales. Here’s a curated list of some of the best affiliate network programs tailored for travel bloggers.

[This article contains affiliate links to trusted partners]

Amazon Associates

Amazon Associates is a pioneer in affiliate marketing, offering many products suitable for travel niches. Amazon’s extensive inventory caters to diverse audience interests, from travel gear and accessories to books and electronics. The program’s simplicity, global presence, and reliable tracking system make it an attractive choice for beginners and seasoned bloggers.

TravelPayouts

Travelpayouts is a premier affiliate marketing platform tailored specifically for travel bloggers, offering a comprehensive array of affiliate opportunities within the travel industry. Through Travelpayouts, travel bloggers can promote flights, hotels, car rentals, travel insurance, and other travel-related services, tapping into a vast network of trusted brands and travel providers. One of the standout features of Travelpayouts is its wide range of affiliate tools, including customizable widgets, search forms, and API integration, enabling bloggers to seamlessly integrate travel offers into their content and enhance user engagement.

Partnerize

Partnerize offers a robust affiliate marketing platform that caters to the unique needs of travel bloggers, providing access to a range of affiliate opportunities within the travel industry. Through Partnerize, travel bloggers can forge partnerships with leading travel brands, airlines, hotel chains, online travel agencies, and tour operators, enabling them to promote a wide array of travel-related products and services to their audience.

Impact

For travel bloggers seeking affiliate opportunities, Impact offers access to a range of reputable travel brands, airlines, hotel chains, online travel agencies, and tour operators. Impact provides bloggers with advanced tracking and reporting tools to monitor their performance in real-time and optimize their affiliate campaigns for maximum conversions. With its user-friendly interface and transparent commission structure, Impact.com presents travel bloggers with lucrative opportunities to monetize their content.

CJ Affiliate (formerly Commission Junction)

CJ Affiliate boasts an extensive network of advertisers across various industries, including travel. With reputable travel brands like Expedia, Marriott, and TripAdvisor in its portfolio, CJ Affiliate provides bloggers access to high-converting offers and exclusive promotional opportunities. Its user-friendly interface and robust reporting tools streamline the affiliate marketing process, enabling bloggers to optimize their campaigns for maximum revenue generation.

ShareASale

ShareASale features an eclectic mix of merchants offering travel-related products and services, from luggage and travel accessories to tour packages and travel insurance. Bloggers can leverage ShareASale’s platform to discover niche-specific affiliate programs, access creative assets, and track real-time performance metrics. With its transparent commission structure and reliable payment system, ShareASale remains a preferred choice for travel bloggers seeking monetization opportunities.

Awin

Awin features an extensive network of travel advertisers, encompassing airlines, hotel chains, online travel agencies, and tour operators. By joining Awin’s affiliate program, bloggers can effectively access travel offers, promotional incentives, and performance insights to optimize their affiliate marketing efforts. With its global reach and reputable brand partners, Awin presents a compelling opportunity for travel bloggers to monetize their online presence.

Affiliate Networks for Travel Bloggers

Affiliate marketing is a viable avenue for travel bloggers to monetize their passion for exploration and storytelling. By strategically partnering with affiliate network programs like Amazon Associates, CJ Affiliate, ShareASale, or Awin, travel bloggers can unlock new revenue streams while enriching their audience’s travel experiences.

Photo Credit: [@Premium_shots/DepositPhotos]



Alexandrea Sumuel

Alexandrea Sumuel is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. With 16 years of online marketing and SEO experience, a business management and information technology degree, and a profitable travel blog, she can help you start a travel blog or accelerate your existing blog with one-on-one coaching.

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AFFILIATE MARKETING

Can Travel Blogs Make Money?

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travel blogging

Travel blogging has surged in popularity, enticing globetrotters and storytellers to share their adventures with the world. From beautiful landscapes to cultural insights, travel blogs offer readers a window into different corners of the globe. However, amidst the appeal of wanderlust and the promise of digital nomadism, a crucial question looms: can travel blogs make money?

Understanding the Landscape

Before delving into profitability, it’s essential to grasp the dynamics of the travel blogging landscape. With the rise of social media platforms and accessible website hosting, anyone passionate about travel can start a blog relatively quickly. This has led to a market saturation, with countless travel blogs vying for attention.

Pros of Profitability

Monetization Opportunities: While success isn’t guaranteed, profitable avenues exist within travel blogging. Many travel bloggers monetize their platforms through various channels, including affiliate marketing, sponsored content, brand partnerships, ad networks, and selling digital products like e-books or courses.

Passive Income Potential: Once established, travel blogs have the potential to generate passive income streams. High-quality content remains accessible to readers long after publication, attracting organic traffic and generating revenue through advertisements or affiliate links without ongoing effort.

Travel Perks and Opportunities: Successful travel bloggers often receive complimentary travel accommodations, tours, and experiences in exchange for exposure on their platforms. This not only reduces the financial burden of travel but also enriches the blogger’s content with unique experiences and destinations.

Personal Branding and Influence: Building a successful travel blog can elevate your brand and establish you as an authority in the travel niche. This can open doors to speaking engagements, freelance writing opportunities, and collaborations beyond blogging, further diversifying your income streams.

Cons and Challenges

Initial Investment and Time: Contrary to popular belief, achieving profitability in travel blogging requires significant investment and time commitment. From domain registration and website hosting fees to content creation and marketing efforts, building a successful travel blog demands upfront investment and perseverance.

Competition and Saturation: With the proliferation of travel blogs, standing out amidst the competition is increasingly challenging. Navigating the saturated market requires unique content, consistent engagement with your audience, and strategic marketing efforts to attract and retain readers.

Income Volatility: Income generated from travel blogging can be volatile and unpredictable. Relying solely on revenue streams such as ad networks, affiliate marketing, or sponsored content leaves bloggers vulnerable to fluctuations in market trends, advertiser preferences, and algorithm changes.

Work-Life Balance and Burnout: Maintaining a travel blog involves juggling multiple responsibilities, from content creation and website management to networking and monetization strategies. Without careful time management and boundaries, travel bloggers risk burnout and sacrificing the freedom and flexibility they seek to achieve.

Can Travel Blogs Make Money?

The profitability of travel blogging hinges on various factors, including niche selection, content quality, marketing strategies, and resilience in the face of challenges. While opportunities for monetization and personal fulfillment abound, aspiring travel bloggers must approach the endeavor with realistic expectations and a long-term perspective.

Ultimately, success in travel blogging requires passion, perseverance, and adaptability in an ever-evolving digital landscape. By understanding the complexities and nuances of the industry, aspiring travel bloggers can embark on their journey with clarity and purpose, pursuing profitability while sharing their love for travel with the world.



Alexandrea Sumuel

Alexandrea Sumuel is a nationally syndicated travel writer and founder of the Wander With Alex travel blog. With 16 years of online marketing and SEO experience, a business management and information technology degree, and a profitable travel blog, she can help you start a travel blog or accelerate your existing blog with one-on-one coaching.

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3,066 victims lose over $45m in job scams between Oct 2023 and Jan 2024

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3,066 victims lose over $45m in job scams between Oct 2023 and Jan 2024

SINGAPORE – At least 3,066 victims lost $45.7 million or more after they were targeted in job scams between Oct 1, 2023, and Jan 31, 2024, the police said on Feb 20.

Scammers approached their victims through dating apps, messaging platforms or social media to befriend them or offer jobs, before asking them to perform tasks for a commission.

In the case of job scams involving tasks to generate traction on social media, the victims were added to WhatsApp or Telegram chat groups by scammers who promised them easy and profitable online jobs.

The scammers claimed that they represented online communications companies, marketing companies or even TikTok.

The victims were asked to follow TikTok or Instagram accounts, subscribe to channels, or like videos on YouTube, posts on Trip.com or songs on Spotify.

After completing these tasks, they were given a small commission.

Convinced they could earn more, the scam victims accepted further tasks and, in some cases, were given fake employment contracts.

In another scam variant, those targeted received WhatsApp or Telegram messages offering small commissions for completing surveys.

The victims were asked to contact other WhatsApp or Telegram users, or join chat groups where tasks including those to generate traction on social media or transfer money for fake investments would be discussed.

To perform these new tasks, the victims had to open accounts on scam websites and transfer money to bank accounts or cryptocurrency wallets provided by the scammers.

They realised they had been scammed when their website accounts showed a negative balance, and they were told to pay additional funds to upgrade their accounts, or when they could not withdraw their earnings.

People were also scammed in a variant involving affiliate marketing, with scammers approaching and befriending victims on messaging platforms, dating apps or social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.

Those targeted were offered a commission to help boost products on e-commerce platforms.

Subsequently, they were referred to other WhatsApp or Telegram users, who instructed them to take screenshots of certain products on e-commerce websites and make payments to specified bank accounts or PayNow numbers before they could get their refunds and commissions.

This process was repeated, beginning with low-cost items before progressing to expensive ones.

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