The world is opening up once again. As the countries continue to roll out vaccination and gradually lift border restrictions, the industry is reviving after the pandemic-induced turmoil. Both the U.S. and the EU have already begun opening borders to travelers who can prove their COVID-19-free status.
This is inspiring news not only for those suffering from quarantine fatigue but also for travel bloggers and others who are earning on the market.
Here is one example. Jaseel Seethintakath, the founder of FareFirst, was keen on making money while studying at the university in India. After several attempts to find a solid source of income, he started to explore opportunities within affiliate marketing. Once he came across Travelpayouts, a pay-per-action travel affiliate marketing network with 250,000 partners, it turned out to be a gamechanger.
Learning the ins and outs of the platform, he managed to increase his income from $400 to a whopping $7,000 a month in just a year. Once his income reached over $200K per year, he started his own business – a mobile flight search engine FareFirst.
Jaseel’s story is not unique. Once a Moscow taxi driver, Roman Shvets, knows what failure feels like. After trying to set up several businesses that went bust, he discovered Travelpayouts. Over time, he managed to generate ad revenues and build his site thanks to the payouts. Now, he is living a life he had dreamed about moving to Goa together with his family.
Both generated revenue by using affiliate links, which are essentially ads, used by bloggers and other content creators to resell travel products. These can vary from text links to fully-branded display advertising. What makes these links different from Google ads and other direct advertising sources is that a person receives money only once a transaction is complete – a design embedded in the Travelpayouts’ and other affiliate networks’ business model.
The company itself dates back to 2011. At that time, one of the biggest air flight search engines in Eastern Europe, Aviasales, set the goal to increase its revenue through marketing channels. The best deal seemed to pay for specific purchases, not just to pour budgets into ads without any guarantees. The company decided to reach out to travel bloggers and other webmasters who could place links to their flights for revenue share after purchase.
As a result, Aviasales started to generate 30% of its total affiliate income through Travelpayouts. After the team saw the outcome, they decided to start one more business — an affiliate network that would unite advertisers, such as Booking.com, Kayak.com, and others, and affiliate marketers who would place their links in relevant articles to earn money when their readers purchase via those links.
Its CEO Ivan Baidin, together with his team, built a service that partnered with global and local hotel operators, flight engines and other travel services, turning Travelpayouts into the largest affiliate marketing network focused solely on traveling.
The rise of Travelpayouts
By 2017, Travelpayouts had paid out $15 million to its community of affiliates, which has become a critical link in its business model. Two years later, the company entered the U.S. market, partnering with large platforms such as Kayak, Airbnb, TourRadar, TUI-owned Musement, Klook, and GetYourGuide, among others.
Due to those partnerships and the growing demand from affiliate marketers, Travelpayouts became the fourth largest affiliate program following behemoth companies like Booking.com and Expedia. It has been also featured among the best affiliate programs for bloggers to earn affiliate income in 2021 and struck a strategic partnership with an affiliate marketing media, Affiliate Valley. Meanwhile, its CEO Ivan Baidin has joined Forbes Councils, a prestigious community for business leaders, where he regularly shares latest updates on the travel industry and affiliate marketing.
By engaging people in all corners of the world, the company is popularizing travel and helping others discover new destinations and experiences ranging from hiking tours in Georgia to safe transfers in Rio de Janeiro.
Having paid out over $28 million to its affiliates since its inception, the company believes that the community has been pivotal to its company’s success. This is why it puts resources in education though it’s knowledge base on the website, free webinars and other activities. In January 2020, the company organized it’s first meetup in the US within the Affiliate Summit West in Las Vegas, and then ran its online Affiliate Summit for over 5,000 participants. That same year it provided coronavirus relief to over 100 thousand webmasters, bringing the total compensation to over $100,000 from cash reserves, an initiative covered by Forbes.
The company is working on bringing more inclusivity to the affiliate market. In 2018, Head of Business Development and Partnerships at Travelpayouts, Tatiana Buyanova spoke at a SheCommerce conference in Spain, where she brought attention to a low amount of successful women among affiliate marketers.
With affiliate marketing expected to surpass $8 billion in 2022, Travelpayouts is dreaming big and is convinced that its journey has just started. It is exciting to embark on it together with its constantly growing community of affiliates who are able to become solopreneurs and earn by their own rules.