9 questions answered by GetYourGuide affiliate Thomas Dowson
At GetYourGuide, our affiliate partners can be found in all corners of the world. What’s more, their blogs and travel sites cover a wide range of topics that make them interesting to different communities. We sat down with Thomas Dowson of Archaeology Travel to talk about the ins and outs of travel writing, how his blog transformed into a travel site, and his partnership with GetYourGuide.
1. First things first: how’d you get started?
I was fascinated with prehistory from an early age. Born and raised in Zimbabwe with archeological sites just minutes away, I later trained as an archaeologist in South Africa. I started my travel site, Archaeology Travel, to share my passion with others.
2. What’s the most important lesson you’ve learned as a travel writer?
If we ever thought the real world was small, the global village got smaller in the digital age — but faster. Much faster.
3. What has increased your website’s growth the most?
Without doubt producing content people want. And determining what people want to read is the challenge. Not finding the latest SEO trick to use to appease the search engines. I saw a great response from Google’s John Mueller to someone asking why their site wasn’t ranking. Mueller singled out their reliance on “top ten lists” as bad practice and said they should focus on producing unique, compelling, and high-quality content. The acronym “SEO” was conspicuous by its absence.
4. How important is mobile traffic to you?
In the second half of 2018, traffic to Archaeology Travel from mobile devices rose by 11% over desktop traffic, going from 37% to 48% of total traffic. Interestingly, traffic from tablets remained 9% throughout the year.
5. When does mobile use peak on your site?
Without going all supernerd with the numbers, traffic from mobile devices is significantly higher than from desktops during the summer months, whereas in winter traffic is substantially more desktop based. Our readers plan in the winter and visit in the summer. We respond to these behavioral shifts by producing content or promoting a specific set of activities that reflect these trends.
6. What does partnership look like with GetYourGuide?
When anyone from GetYourGet has contacted me to offer help, advice, or responded to my questions, it was obvious that the attitude was one of a genuine partnership. Having used affiliate schemes as a source of income since 2006, I can say with certainty that this attitude is very, very rare in the affiliate marketing industry.
7. How is partnering with GetYourGuide different?
Since signing up with GetYourGuide, I’ve never felt that my website was just a necessary intermediary to drive more sales. I’ve never been told by anyone at GetYourGuide to “add more links” in response to a question, as I have been many times by some other big service providers in the travel industry.
8. Would you recommend GetYourGuide to other travel writers?
I became an affiliate partner with GetYourGuide in 2014, and have recommended it to many people: bloggers/online publishers, people who travel and buy tickets and activities, as well as people who offer those experiences and services. I’ll continue to do so.
Over the last five years, I’ve seen many changes at GetYourGuide — both in the team itself and the technical aspects of the platform. Reading the founders’ story, it’s clear that GetYourGuide has always been guided by offering travelers a better experience. This ethos has become increasingly evident in the relationships GetYourGuide is building with its affiliate partners.
9. What’s your secret to affiliate marketing success?
I’ve found that to be really successful with affiliate income, you have to be proactive. This means being ready to adapt to changing trends and circumstances if not foreseeing them, and rising to new and/or different challenges. In my experience, the more I work on a piece of content after its initial publication, the more successful it becomes.
Feeling inspired? Head to Archaeology Travel to learn more about Thomas’ travel site.