I made $28,000 in a single month by sharing Airbnbs on-line — here is how

  • Erika Martin is a travel blogger based out of Milwaukee, Wisconsin who launched a Facebook page in May 2020 to share unique Airbnb stays in the United States.
  • As a member of Airbnb Associates, Martin earns a commission when people book through their links.
  • In the first six months their site was online, Martin made over $ 59,000, including over $ 28,000 in September alone.
  • This is her story as told to freelance writer Sarah Bence.
  • You can find more stories on the Business Insider homepage.

I’ve always been a person who loves to travel. Traveling brings me peace and I enjoy sharing different cultures and places around the world without spending a lot of money.

I started my first travel blog in July 2017, sharing inexpensive travel tips, reviews of my trips, and other adventures about “living the caviar life on a sardine budget”.

In June 2020 I decided to start a Facebook page to share my travel tips.

Erika Martin

At ‘The Patio House: Hill Country Casita’ Airbnb in Hondo, Texas.

Erika Martin

I thought that my Everywhere with Erika page could share shorter form content that would be more accessible with my busy schedule.

I started sharing what I call my “Airbnb Pick of the Day”. In my experience, Airbnbs are almost always cheaper than hotels and have many amenities such as a kitchen, outdoor area, and sometimes even a washer and dryer. It felt natural to share my own discoveries and favorite places to stay with others.

I had around 300 followers in June before discovering Airbnb Associates.

Erika Martin 1

In Airbnb, “The Patio House: Hill Country Casita” in Hondo, Texas.

Erika Martin / Business Insider

Airbnb Associates is a relatively new affiliate program. As a partner, I can use my unique partner ID to generate links to Airbnb properties. Joining Airbnb Associates was pretty easy as all applicants need is a travel platform like a blog or Facebook page. The program is currently closed to new applicants but is expected to reopen in the future.

If someone clicks my link and books an Airbnb stay within the next 28 days, I’ll earn a nominal fee. This fee results from the service fee. Although I earn a commission, it no longer costs my followers to book through my links.

Continue reading: Owners of some of the quirkiest Airbnbs in the US share how their businesses have evolved to accommodate cautious travelers looking for an escape

I had grown to roughly 1,400 followers by August when I shared a beautiful lake house Airbnb in Georgia.

Over 10 million people saw my post and nearly 70,000 people shared it again.

Erika Martin

Martin’s post at Airbnb Lake House in Georgia in August 2020.

Erika Martin

The Airbnb owner even reached out to me to thank me for sharing. This post resulted in more people following my page and within 24 hours my page had grown to over 27,000 followers. Now, at the beginning of 2021, I have over 88,000 followers.

In the six months I’ve run Everywhere with Erika, I’ve made just under $ 60,000 in Airbnb affiliate revenue. I made over $ 28,000 in September alone.

More followers mean more people will see my posts and click on my Airbnb links, and more income.

Anywhere with Erika however isn’t my full time job. I have a salary of 9 to 5 during the week as a consultant for an agency. I have been working mainly from home since March. I have to fit in with running the site around my day job and also being the parent of my teenage son.

I work with Erika on Everywhere for about two to four hours a week.

On Friday nights after work, I spend about an hour or two looking for the Airbnb properties I’d like to feature in the coming week.

On Saturday morning, I spend an hour or two more writing and planning my Facebook posts for the week.

During the summer and fall, I shared 40 posts a week – eight a day Monday through Friday.

Erika Martin

Martin on an Airbnb visit in 2020.

Erika Martin

I recently went down to five Airbnbs a day, or 25 posts a week, to better balance my work and family needs.

My success was all very unexpected. In a way, it still feels like Everywhere with Erika’s growth came out of nowhere.

Nevertheless, I owe my good eye and my growing expertise in the online aesthetic and travel landscape. I found that people love anything with cabins and houses with rustic decor. During the pandemic, people are looking for serenity, social distancing, and a breath of fresh air.

I choose Airbnbs as a feature based on a few factors.

Erika Martin

Outside an Airbnb booth where Martin lived in Pickens, South Carolina.

Erika Martin

When I make my weekly picks, I visualize the types of Airbnbs I personally want to stay with. I look for properties with good reviews, but I do my best to decipher negative reviews too. I also still post new properties without a lot of reviews as these new Airbnb hosts have to start somewhere. I am not counting anyone.

I keep a regular schedule of posting at the same time each day so my followers know when to expect my posts, and I occasionally schedule weekly topics like Airbnbs under $ 100 a night for larger groups or in a specific state.

This New Year, I plan to expand my social media coverage beyond Facebook.

Erika Martin

At ‘The Patio House: Hillsbrad Casita’ in Hondo, Texas.

Erika Martin

I am currently working with Erika on a website for Everywhere that gives me more freedom to highlight Airbnbs and share my affiliate links outside of Facebook.

I use Instagram but not that much as you can’t share links in Instagram post captions so the conversion rate is very low. On Facebook, users can access the links to the properties much faster.

Continue reading: I’m a Kentucky-based Airbnb superhost that has been renting to traveling nurses since the pandemic that decimated my normal business

Starting my travel site changed my life and my plans for the future.

I plan to take a career break from my consulting job next year to focus solely on Everywhere with Erika, to travel all over the world if it’s safe, and stay with Airbnbs.

Right now I’m working on my list of places I want to visit: Poland, Madagascar, Argentina, Ireland, Bali, Nicaragua and Mexico, to name a few. I also plan to do some trips to the US, hopefully Wyoming, South Dakota and Vermont.

My advice to other aspiring travel bloggers, affiliate marketers, or people who dream of making passive income: don’t give up.

Remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day: I blogged for three years before creating with Erika Everywhere this year. I’ve always loved Airbnb and it just so happened that they created this affiliate program and everything was fine-tuned. Don’t get discouraged, especially when you’re working on something you love.

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