If you’re looking to promote Airbnb, there are now 3 types of partnership options you need to be aware of.
*3/21 Update: Airbnb has canceled their affiliate program, according to CNBC.
*5/20 Update: Airbnb has just launched a new affiliate program: The Airbnb Associates Program. You’ll earn 30% of the Airbnb service fee with a 28-day cookie. There’s chatter that the traffic requirements are much lower for the Associates program than for their Referral Program.
- The Airbnb Referral Program Commission structure: Up to $95 per user you get to sign up, capped at $5,000 in travel credits.
- The Airbnb Affiliate Program Commission structure: N/A at this time.
- The Airbnb Associates Program Commission structure: 30% of the Airbnb service fee with a 28 day cookie
The Airbnb Referral Program
Regarding the Airbnb Referral Program, the affiliate agreement says that:”Airbnb Users can earn Travel Credits towards future Airbnb travel if: (i) a referred friend clicks on their referral link to create a valid Airbnb account that complies with our Terms of Service; and (ii) the referred friend completes a Qualifying Reservation either as a guest or as a host.”
While the Referral Program looks decent- it doesn’t pay you in cash and it’s capped at $5,000, which I presume is a lifetime limit- the details are a bit unclear.
It’s really a fun incentive for non-affiliates to earn some travel rewards points with Airbnb from friends and family.
The serious money will be made with the true affiliate program below.
The Airbnb Affiliate Program
Regarding the Airbnb Affiliate Program, details about the affiliate program are scarce- I couldn’t find any online. Your best bet is to complete the application, get approved, and then let me know! The real money will be made with the Airbnb Affiliate Program. Airbnb’s affiliate program has some pretty high standards. According to their affiliate page, they require 1 million monthly visits to an app or a website.
Airbnb Affiliate Program (Video Review)
I shot a short video walking you through the Airbnb affiliate program and how I would consider promoting it. Leave a Like if you find it useful!
Getting Started With Niche SitesUse the strategies on this page in conjunction with my niche site process. Here it is in a nutshell:
- AuthorityHacker's Authority Site System (my review): a complete, step-by-step system to start growing your own highly profitable affiliate & authority niche site.
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- A reliable and fast hosting solution like SiteGround (my review)
- A brandable domain name from GoDaddy (my guide)
- A premium theme- I use GeneratePress but there are some cool niche themes on ThemeForest
- SEO Friendly Article Writing ($8-$12 / 1,000 words) from HireWriters (read: my HireWriters review)
- Powerful Backlinks from Authority.Builders (read: my Authority.Builders review)
- An automated social media drip campaign from MissingLettr
- An auto-responder to build your email list– ConvertKit is what I'm using (read: my ConvertKit review)
- Finally- you can always refer to my free step-by-step niche selection guide and all of my free niche reports for inspiration
Examining The Airbnb Affiliate Program
What Can You Promote
You’ll have access to their Guest affiliate program and their Host affiliate program. According to their affiliate page, publishers with access to the Guest affiliate program can promote Airbnb listings. This means you’ll get paid commissions for every guest booking you convert. Publishers will also get access to the Host affiliate program. This enables you to promote Airbnb hosting opportunities to your audience and you’ll earn a commission for each new host who signs up.
Why Should You Promote It?
Airbnb has access to 4 million homes in 191 countries, 60,000 cities, enabling your site or app visitors to book or host nearly any type of property. According to their affiliate page, they clear 100,000 bookings a day.
And, besides that, it’s a beloved brand- which means that it will convert.
Read More Of My Niche Reports
Travel Site Examples
If you’re interested in promoting Airbnb, you probably have an ancillary interest in travel. And nowadays everybody is obsessed with travel, for better or for worse.
So I’m sure you could name several travel-authority sites or Instagram profiles off the top of your head.
I’m not too familiar with the travel niche, so after some Googling, I found this handy list of travel sites:
Clicking through to the Amateur Traveler– it’s an example of a content-rich travel blog that presumably would be an ideal partner for Airbnb.
I ran a site search for mentions of Airbnb and found one post with an Airbnb affiliate link- ‘how to become an Airbnb host‘.
The site is a good example of the sort of holistic approach to site traffic I endorse.
They obviously have their blog, but they also have a podcast, a YouTube channel, an Instagram profile, a Pinterest account, and a variety of other social channels pushing traffic to their site and to affiliate & display ad monetization.
One of the best ways to strategically approach Airbnb promotion is to examine the top-performing sites in the niche and get inspiration.
How To Promote Airbnb
If I were to approach this niche, my first instinct would be to create a travel content site.
And, yes, travel is a saturated niche, but with some effort and keyword research (see below), you can find some low-competition spaces in the travel niche to exploit with long-form content.
Airbnb Keyword Research
Below, I extracted 1,000 of Airbnb’s top-performing organic keywords.
I removed a bunch of brand terms (and a million Airbnb misspellings) to make the keyword research clearer:
As you can see, there’s a ton of interesting keywords you create content for.
An interesting theme are keyword phrases like “things to do in new york”, “things to do in nashville”, “things to do in chicago”, “things to do in san diego”.
I also pulled out some ‘rental’ keyword phrases with a max Keyword Difficulty of 15.
These are really low competition options you can produce content for. Here’s just a few of them:
- houseboat rental key west
- rv rental houston
- room rental
- lake travis cabins rental
- rv rental tucson
- cabin rental in sc
- houseboat rental san diego
- yacht rental charleston sc
- rv rental miami
- rv rental orlando
- houseboat rental florida
- earthship rental
- cabin rental near me
TripAdvisor Keyword Research
Going even deeper, another way to find low-competition keywords is to examine travel sites with lots of user-generated content.
Sites that rank with user-generated content are prime SEO opportunities- easy to outrank in the SERPs.
I picked TripAdvisor. Below are 1,000 keywords that I winnowed down- you can see there are lots of travel destinations on this list:
“whitewater amphitheater” has a Keyword Difficulty of 0, at the time of this writing, getting 7,300 searches a month.
“argosy casino” has a Keyword Difficulty of 7, getting 8,600 searches a month.
And I can go on and on. Check out the table below- the idea here is writing up travel guides for these keywords and monetize with Airbnb.
Help people find the best accommodations as they visit the Whitewater Amphitheater.
Email and Social
One thing to be careful of with Email and Social- make sure you examine the affiliate agreement carefully to make sure there aren’t any email or social restrictions.
Oftentimes, affiliate programs will restrict placing affiliate links on organic Facebook content, or running paid traffic to the affiliate’s landing pages. Some even want to pre-approve email copy.
Other than that- I don’t have any really profound insights for email and social. You’re creating content and you’re sharing it via email and social.
And, if you are getting over a million visits a month to your website, enough to qualify for Airbnb, you don’t need me advising you on email and social promotional strategies!