In 2016, I decided that I needed to find a way to earn some money from How to Bogota, at least as a way of covering the costs of hosting and domain renewal (around $120 dollars per year). I started to look into affiliate programs and how I might be able to incorporate these into my blog. I want to be completely transparent about this, as I know how annoying it can be when affiliate links and advertising banners start appearing all over websites! So here is what I have started to try out:
Airbnb has a referral scheme where anyone who already has an Airbnb account gets a referral link which they can either email to friends or use on their websites and social media accounts. This is my Airbnb referral link, which I have used in my post Where to live in Bogota and How to find a place to live in Bogota. Each time someone clicks on my link and signs up to Airbnb, I get £15 (about $20) in Airbnb credit when they make their first booking, and they get £35 (around $45) in free credit for using my referral link. So far in 2017 (up to July), I have earned $60 in credit because of three people signing up and booking trips. This helps reduce my costs when I use Airbnb, and means that I can instead put that money towards the costs of running this blog.
Guest to Guest is a home exchange website which gives anyone the chance to get some free or very cheap accommodation for a week or two in Bogota or anywhere else in the world because of the free credit you get when you sign up. No exchange of money is involved. You have the option to organize a free home exchange with someone (so you go and stay in someone’s home while they stay in yours), but you don’t have to exchange if you don’t want to or don’t have the option of doing this. You can ‘pay’ for the stay with your “Guest Points”. You get up to 750 points for free when you sign up. You can keep your own property ‘unlisted’ if you don’t want to exchange. If people click through to Guest to Guest using my referral link and sign up, I get up to 125 Guest Points (and they will get 100), which I can then use when I book accommodation, saving me money. This is my Guest to Guest referral link. So far this year (up to July) I have earned 125 points.
You can use Booking.com to book hotels at a good price all over the world. I’ve used it to book hotels in Cartagena, Villa de Leyva and Panama City. This is my Booking.com affiliate link. If someone clicks through to the website using my link and then makes a booking, I will receive about a 2% commission (i.e. $2 for every $100 spent). It’s not a lot, but every little helps!
I bought the theme for this WordPress blog from MH Themes for $49. At the very bottom of this page, there’s a picture with a link to their website. If you click through and buy a WordPress theme from MH Themes, I will receive a small commission. This is my MH Themes affiliate link.
If there’s a good book about Colombia that I want to recommend I will use my Amazon Associates link so that if you go ahead and purchase the book, I will receive a small commission. For example, Was Gabo an Irishman? Tales from Gabriel García Márquez’s Colombia (associate link) is a collection of 26 personal essays (including one of my own) about Colombia, our experiences living here, and how Gabo inspired us. I will only ever recommend books that I have read or products that I have used.
If I sign up to more affiliate schemes, I will continue to add these to this list. I’m currently thinking about Click Bank and CJ affiliate (not affiliate links) but I will only sign up to these affiliate schemes if I can test the products first, so that I can attest to their quality.
Thank you for supporting How to Bogota! 🙂
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