The Reason Your Affiliate Marketing Game Stinks (And 3 Ways to Fix It)

Affiliate marketing is a tough nut to crack, and I would know.

Two years ago, in my 9th year of blogging, I was barely making $100 per month on affiliate marketing, despite having over 150,000 monthly page views on my two sites combined ($0.66 on a CPM, cost-per-1000, basis).

After many months of testing, optimizing, re-optimizing, and learning about best practices, I've overhauled my process to consistently make $1,500 to $2,000 per month in affiliate marketing on 225,000 monthly page views ($6.66 to $8.88 on a CPM basis- over a 10x increase!).

During this process, I learned the reason why my affiliate marketing sucks, and realized it is the reason why most travel blogger's affiliate marketing sucks. So today, I wanted to share more about this, and give the three biggest lessons learned in the entire process- whether you're a beginner looking for how to start affiliate marketing or are a bit more advanced and want to increase your earnings.

Read moreThe Reason Your Affiliate Marketing Game Stinks (And 3 Ways to Fix It)

Content Strategy Made Simple – Write Blog Topics People Want to Read


Whenever I hear bloggers give advice, especially at travel blogging conferences like TBEX or Travelcon, the most common content strategy I hear is simply this: write good content

With an estimated billion blogs out there, we simply have too many articles that are completely irrelevant to virtually everyone. Some may have great writing. Some may have fantastic photos. But at the end of the day, a well-produced article is still not good content if no one actually cares to read it.

In that respect, the advice of producing good content is highly relevant but needs further explanation.

In a market that is heavily focused on gaining larger and larger readerships for monetization, I have some bad news here. No one cares about the six random things you did this past weekend. No one cares about your opinion of an obscure life event that only affected you. No one cares about re-written press releases. No one cares about interviews with other media/bloggers they've never heard of. I could go on.

The reason for this is because good content, at least good content in how I think of it, is content people actually want to read. But going further, it is also content people want to read in large enough volumes to make a difference to your blog. This means writing content that is less about you and more about what people actually want- the topic itself.

If we as bloggers can't produce that, well, we may as well give up. 

Read moreContent Strategy Made Simple – Write Blog Topics People Want to Read

GeneratePress Review – The Last WordPress Theme You’ll Ever Need

We're now onto our fourth (or fifth?) theme here at Living the Dream, and after 11 years of blogging, I think we've finally settled on one we're going to keep for the long-haul. 

This theme, the one you're seeing, is GeneratePress– one of the most customizable and fastest WordPress themes on the market today.

As we are always seeking speed improvements for our SEO goals, and I am just generally a nerd when it comes to optimization, it didn't take much more beyond hearing a few thumbs up from colleagues that GeneratePress is the way to go.

I bought access to the premium features, started a site design, and was blown away by both the functionality and the speed (and to be honest, I'm probably not even taking advantage of all the features, either!).

As such, I have a feeling I'll be sticking to this one for quite some time.

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Dear DMOs, CVBs, Businesses, and Bloggers – Quit Stealing Images

It should go without saying that you shouldn't steal from people. I'm an adult. You're probably an adult. I don't steal from you, you don't steal from me. It is not very hard.

Sadly, in the realm of content and new media, theft, specifically image theft, is rampant.

Fellow “bloggers” have stolen from us. My city's tourist office has stolen from us. My state's tourist office has stolen from us. So many people in new media and destination marketing cannot be bothered to learn what copyright infringement is, and real content creators (specifically, real bloggers- without quotes) are the victims.

This has to stop. 

As I have no patience for this kind of, please excuse me, bullshit, I'm airing out some grievances today.

Notes: All photos featured in this article have been stolen from us at one point in time with the exception of the response letter sent to us by our state. I am also not a lawyer and this article does not constitute legal advice.

Read moreDear DMOs, CVBs, Businesses, and Bloggers – Quit Stealing Images