In this post, I’ll break down the Lyft affiliate program– how to join, the commission structure, some keyword research, and how I would build a site that gets traffic that converts on ride-sharing offers like Lyft.
Lyft is a San Francisco, California- based, on-demand ride-share app. It launched in 2012 and operates in around 300 U.S. cities, including major metropolitan areas like New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
It does over 1 million rides per day and was recently (2017) valued at over $11 billion dollars (Source).
The Story Of Lyft
Their Affiliate Programs
2021 Update: According to Lyft, “The Ambassador and Referral Partnership programs are phasing out. We greatly appreciate all the work our Ambassadors and Partners have done to help grow the Lyft community.”
Check out the Uber affiliate program if you want a ride-sharing alternative.
Lyft provides a Referral program and an Affiliate program. The referral program is more of a family and friends promotion opportunity, while the Affiliate program is better suited to more serious online publishers.
Both programs reward you for signing up Referred Riders or Referred Drivers.
I’m going to discuss the Lyft Affiliate Program going forward because the referral program is the more relevant option for niche site publishers.
I did apply to their affiliate program- so if/when I’m approved, I’ll update this post with more information.
The Affiliate Program Commission Structure
The payout structure is somewhat unclear. As of this writing in June 2018, according to the program terms, “Lyft shall pay you a referral fee (the “Referral Reward(s)”) for each Referred User according to the Referral Program Rules, subject to maximum payment amounts as described below. The amount of the Referral Payment is determined as of the time the new User satisfies the then-applicable criteria for qualifying as a Referred Rider or Referred Driver (the “Reward Criteria”) (as an illustrative example, taking a first passenger ride, or giving fifty rides within thirty days of becoming an approved driver). The Reward Criteria may change over time and by market at Lyft’s discretion.”
Translation: It basically says that they will pay you some amount, depending on a ‘Reward Criteria’ that can change at any time (“The Reward Criteria may change over time and by market at Lyft’s discretion.”) and will cap your earnings however they feel like it (Lyft may set maximum Referral Reward amounts that you can earn through the Referral Program”).Lovely stuff. My recommendation is, if you’re in this transportation niche, join their program and shoot them an email to get some specifics about the commission structure.
It’s likely that if you have a website with traffic that you can figure out a concrete referral payment structure for your traffic. I couldn’t find an email address within the affiliate program details, but you can contact their support here.
Lyft Earnings Potential
How To Join
To signup for their affiliate program, head over to their partnership page.
VigLink and Lyft
VigLink also can help you monetize with Lyft. The way VigLink works, if you have normal, non-affiliate, links on your site pointing to Lyft, if you integrate with VigLink, they’ll automatically transform your normal Lyft links to affiliate links.
According to this landing page, VigLink pays out “$35.00 commission and a $5.00 Flat Fee for First Ride”.
Before using VigLink, I’d get in contact with them to nail down the exact terms- because the above payout structure is somewhat unclear.
How To Promote It
To promote Lyft or another ride-sharing app, you obviously need qualified traffic.
While there are a bunch of quantitative affiliates out there running paid ads to affiliate programs- that’s never been my preferred strategy.
I’ll outline how I’d think about promoting Lyft- but first I wanted to do some basic keyword research to further examine this make money online opportunity.
Lyft Keyword Research
Below, I extracted 1,000 (with some duplicates removed) of Lyft’s top-performing organic keywords.
This keyword research table will help you brainstorm content ideas for your niche site.
Building A Content Site
As I’ve written about extensively, my promotional strategy is to create content-rich websites that publish high-quality information.
I’ll try to capture email addresses and push compelling content out to social media that drives traffic back to the website.
Example Niche Site
I Googled for a “Lyft review” and came across this ride-sharing authority site: RideShareApps.com.
This particular post offers a driver review of Lyft:
As you can see, at the bottom of the site’s post there’s an affiliate link to sign up to the Lyft driver program.
One way I would gin up a ton of content is by conducting interviews with actual Lyft drivers.
You could post on Craigslist asking to conduct interviews with the drivers- I bet a bunch of them would do it for free for the exposure.
You could conduct the emails over the phone, or even have them submit forms. If you did a video interview, you could post it to YouTube and transcribe the content onto your website- two birds with one stone!
High Quality Information
This is the sort of content I would focus on creating- content that is interesting and informational but also monetized.
Not all of your content needs to be directly monetized. For example, you could create a page on your site dedicated to Lyft contact information.
According to KeywordsEverywhere, the search term “Lyft contact” gets 18,000 searches a month. If you published a detailed post outlining all of the different Lyft contact options, and it ranks in Google search, you’ll get a lot of traffic to a page that isn’t really a ‘money page’.
But you’ll be able to capture emails or get users clicking through to other pieces of monetized content.
In a nutshell– get the traffic first and then figure how you can creatively monetize or capture their contact information. That could be through email marketing, social media follows, or installing a push notification WordPress plugin.
What Niches Work For Lyft?
You could, obviously, build out a ride-sharing site and review the different apps for both drivers and riders.
Or, perhaps you can create a travel site- do profiles of city destinations and promote Lyft as a way to navigate foreign locales.
Below, I extracted 1,000 of TripAdvisor’s best-performing organic keywords. You can see that things like “argosy casino” is getting 8,600 searches a month with a Keyword Difficulty of 7 and “the social orlando” is getting 6,500 searches a month with a Keyword Difficulty of 0.
TripAdvisor Keyword Research
The point being- these are easy terms to rank for in the travel niche.
There are several ride sharing affiliate programs out there. Granted, the program terms for Lyft are somewhat opaque.
But that’s also a competitive advantage- you can reach out and craft your own custom deal.
In my experience, lots of make money online publishers are lazy- they don’t want to do the legwork.