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 site speed. If you see a bad ad, you can report it using the link below the ad.
This here is a classy joint. That means I don’t sell hidden links to dubious websites. I also have a strict policy against any type of undisclosed sponsorship (such as product placement or so-called ‘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 often 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, and Lonely Planet.
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).
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. While it is not the primary focus of my blog I do work with partners from time to time, as it lets me travel more and create more content than I otherwise could.
When content is the result of a partnership (such as with a tour operator or tourism board), I will tell you this clearly within the post.