It’s been a tremendous two years for us. When we launched this site in August of 2011, our hope and aspiration was to help our friends and families with travel deals and advice. Fast forward 2 years, we’ve counted hundreds of thousands of you opting to spend a few minutes with us every month, taking advantage of some great travel deals. We consider many of you our online friends that we banter with and offer invaluable feedback and advice. The feedback that you have collectively given us via Facebook, Twitter, and e-mail have been amazing. It has helped us improve our product on a daily basis.
When we started, we had minimal intentions of monetizing the site. Costs were low since it was basically our friends and family visiting. Over the last two years, the site has pretty much been free of ads and affiliate marketing. Even though we had an affiliate referral link on some KLM and Air France deals with TopCashBack, the team has collectively funded the cost of the public facing components of the site for the last two years.
However, with hundreds of thousands of visitors on a monthly basis, our web hosting fees are no longer simple beer money anymore. To help us offset the costs of running the site and make this site a viable ongoing enterprise, we have been testing two key monetizing features on the site over the last two weeks:
We have opted out of a lot of ad type categories. However, we have no control over the ads being shown. Google AdSense is the easiest way for us to monetize the site with minimal effort. It can be jarring to go from an ad-free experience to two banner ads. We hope, with the key categories that we have opted in for, that the ads are relevant to you.
We have joined a few affiliate marketing programs. They are all travel-related. On each post, where applicable, we will feature booking instructions with affiliate marketing partners vs booking directly with the airlines. As always, these deals can be booked anywhere. We will never feature a flight booking partner that does not give you the best pricing (e.g., we will unlikely feature a flight booking partner that charges a booking fee; in a scenario that we do feature a flight booking partner with a booking fee, it is because that is the only partner we could get it to price.)
Using these affiliate links, we will receive a small commission for each of your bookings. At the moment, the monetization efforts will be limited to these two features. While we don’t want to limit ourselves, we also don’t really want to go down the path of aggressive monetization either.
What Does It Mean Going Forward?
The changes that you see today are the scope of our efforts. In addition, every Tuesday we will also feature one post highlighting hotel deals from our affiliate partners. In no month shall there be more than 5 posts pushing hotels. We typically average about 200 posts a month and hotel deals will represent less than 2.5% of that.
With these monetization efforts, we hope to be cost neutral so that we can continue to provide the best daily flight deals in the marketplace while continuing to expand the scope and depth of them. We would love to hear your feedback on our efforts. Please leave us comments here, Facebook, Twitter, or via e-mail.
Thank you all for your continued support and generosity in helping us grow.
The Flight Deal Team
The Flight Deal does not sell travel products or services. We provide you with information about third-party travel suppliers’ offers, and link you to their sites. The information posted by The Flight Deal is valid at the time of publication. However, we have no control over the suppliers, and we therefore do not warrant or guarantee that their offers will not change or become unavailable. Nor are we responsible for their products, services or site content. Please see their sites for their most up-to-date offer information and all applicable terms and conditions.