This post is part of the Waikiki Site Series, in which I’ll show you how to build a successful travel niche website from concept to reality.
We’ve come quite far in planning the site, but before we start building we have to check if it’s worth it. I’m not doing this for free so we need to answer one question… Can it make money online? Considering the topic of Waikiki and tourism it would be a safe assumption that it could, but how? The details are what matters and we need actual affiliate income streams planned before this comes into fruition.
Below I’ve outlined a few of the monetization models for how the site will make money online. Keep in mind that this is an overview and I may add more in the future (actually it’s more than likely 😉 ).
Very obvious one here, but they’ll be placed in the main heat spot (the top left corner of an article) and will provide a small amount of targeted income. Cost per click for Waikiki related keywords runs about $2 according to Google’s tools.
Real Estate Leads
There are a ton of condos and timeshares in Waikiki, and I want in on the action. I will highlight rentals and condos specifically in Waikiki, then establish a relationship with a Realtor in Waikiki who will help me build the content for this particular section. Leads would be captured via a contact form which will automatically be sent to the Realtor. The tricky part is receiving a part of the commission and building trust with the Realtor. It would be in the Reatlor’s best interest not to screw me out of income because it would decrease his/her future business. I will also have to gain my Hawaii real estate brokers license in order to receive commissions since Realtors are not allowed to give kickbacks.
Most likely through an online booking site such as expedia or hotels.com. Expedia offers a 5% commission for hotels and 2% for airfare. Each hotel will have it’s own page with embedded links going straight to the expedia reservation page for that particular hotel.
Leads for Local Businesses
Scuba shops, para-sailing, charter fishing, etc… I will build content for each area of interest and offer free mentions for all businesses up front, but as traffic grows would prune it down to the one who is willing to pay me for the leads provided on the site. This could be done per lead or via a monthly advertising fee.
Hawaiian Themed Online Store
This could be a shopify store that could be run remotely yet linked on the same domain. Orders would be forwarded to local dealers much like drop shipping. Hawaiian art, wood carvings, and souvenirs would all be featured on the site.
Books and Travel Guides
There are a ton of books relating to Hawaii that could have affiliate links sprinkled throughout the site. There could also be a virtual bookstore on the site with books I recommend. Amazon.com offers affiliate income from sales directed from the site.
If I put my face out there I might also be invited to join people’s vacations in Waikiki… who knows? These are some of the main models I’ll focus on after building the content and marketing the site. It’s hard to predict earnings, but I’ll share them with you along the way.
What other monetization models could you think of for a travel niche website?
What other ways do you think the site could make money online?