As an independent blogger I believe it’s important to be transparent about any revenue-generating elements on my site. While all content on Indie Traveller is free, the site makes money in a couple of ways.
How does Indie Traveller make money?
I derive income mainly in two ways: sales of my book, and affiliate commissions. These sources currently account for around 75% of the income generated.
The remaining revenue comes from banner advertisements. I believe banner ads should be fast-loading and respectful of the user (so no pop-ups, auto-playing videos, etc.) which is why I work with a single advertising network that has high standards for ad quality and loading speed. If you see a bad ad, you can report it using the link below the ad.
This here is a classy joint. I don’t sell hidden links and don’t do sponsored posts or other types of “native advertising”. That stuff is dumb and deceptive and I’m massively against it.
If anything is ever paid-for, you will know.
What are affiliate links?
Affiliate links let me earn a small commission if you decide to make a purchase at a 3rd party website. For example, when I link to the Hostelworld booking site, this is usually an affiliate link. If you follow such a link and then make a booking, Hostelworld gives me a small kick-back (usually a few dollars). This comes at no extra cost to you.
I only link to product or services that I have used myself and/or am totally comfortable recommending. Currently, I use the following affiliate programs: Hostelworld, Amazon, Booking.com, Agoda, World Nomads travel insurance, Columbus travel insurance, Tortuga backpacks, Bluehost, GetYourGuide, Momondo, and Skyscanner.
I like affiliate links as a revenue source as they’re relevant, can help people out directly, and I’m totally in control of these links (no one is telling me what to write or where to link to). Since the affiliate systems are automatic I pretty much never have any contact with anyone at these companies, and I can recommend (or un-recommend) any product or service at any time. In other words, these are not sponsorships.
Amazon legally requires me to put a particular disclosure phrase on my blog, so here goes: “I am a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for me to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.” Just so you know.
My policy on freebies
Having a travel blog can sometimes get you perks or freebies. For instance, I may be able to do an activity or tour for free in exchange for some coverage. This is not a focus of my blog so it actually very rarely happens, but if I do work with any partners in this kind of way I’ll tell you this clearly within the post.