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Guide to making money online with Airbnb

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1. What is Airbnb?

     Airbnb is an online marketplace that connects people who want to rent out their homes with people who are looking for accommodations in that locale. It currently covers more than 81,000 cities and 191 countries worldwide. Airbnb is a shortened version of its original name: Air Bed and Breakfast

     The usage is very simple; moreover, it is much cheaper than other popular booking websites. The primary source of Airbnb’s revenue comes from service fees from bookings. Depending on the size of the reservation, guests are required to pay a 6-12% non-refundable service fee. A more expensive reservation will result in lower service fees for guests. With every completed booking, hosts are also charged a 3% fee to cover the processing of guests payments.

2. The advantages of Airbnb

  1. 1. Wide Selection

              Airbnb hosts list many different kinds of properties – single rooms, a suite of rooms, apartments, moored yachts, houseboats, entire houses, even a castle – on the Airbnb website.

  1. 2. Free Listings

              Hosts don’t have to pay to list their properties. Listings can include written descriptions, photographs with captions, and a user profile where potential guests can get to know a bit about the hosts.

  1. 3. Hosts Can Set Their Own Price

              It’s up to each host to decide how much to charge per night, per week or per month.

  1. 4. Customizable Searches

              Guests can search the Airbnb database – not only by date and location, but by price, type of property, amenities, and the language of the host. They can also add keywords (such as “close to the Kuala Lumpur “) to further narrow their search.

  1. 5. Additional Services

              In recent years Airbnb has expanded its offerings to include experiences and restaurants. Besides a listing of available accommodations for the dates they plan to travel, people searching by location will see a list of experiences, such as classes and sightseeing, offered by local Airbnb hosts. Restaurant listings also include reviews from Airbnb hosts.

  1. 6. Protections for Guests and Hosts

              As a protection for guests, Airbnb holds the guest’s payment for 24 hours after check-in before releasing the funds to the host. For hosts, Airbnb’s Host Guarantee program “provides protection for up to $1,000,000 in damages to covered property in the rare event of guest damage, in eligible countries.”

3. So how can you make money online with Airbnb?

     Get host to register his account at airbnb.com/host/homes and make sure their place is rented out and the guests successfully make payment. 

  1. 1 Firstly, determine who are Airbnb’s potential partners?

Potential partners: Hosts, owners, landlords,… who have one vacant room at least, and kitchen, washing machine, fridge are available. 

Airbnb doesn’t encourage hotels to join in this model.

Age: Above 25, high income, have rental house/apartment/room/homestay…

Location: capitals, big cities, popular travel destinations,…

  1. 2 Recommended advertising models
  • Set up Facebook ads in big cities, travel destinations where many travellers gather
  • Scan UID in real estate groups, travel groups, homestays groups then run ads.
  • Write instructions/guides on how to make money online in Airbnb then put in high traffic websites.
  •  Write posts such as: how to travel on a budget, travel abroad with 200$,… on travel groups. Remember to insert your affiliate link.

Good luck!


Airbnb used to have an affiliate program for marketers who wanted to refer hosts to the platform or to refer stays and experiences. It came with great perks for marketers who earned 25 percent of the guest fee for the first 500 bookings each month. As you referred more people to the site, you could even earn up to 30 percent of the guest fee.

Unfortunately, Airbnb ended their associates program on March 31, 2021.


Many marketers were left scrambling when Airbnb decided to end their affiliate program with very little notice. They gave Airbnb associates just 30 days to adjust their income expectations and find new strategies to earn more money.

The company is still quite successful, so why did they decide to end the Airbnb affiliate program?

In part, it was due to their new focus on recruiting more hosts to the service. They expected that their new marketing campaign to attract more hosts would be much higher as a percentage of the overall revenue of the company.

Perhaps this is why they could no longer justify paying a hefty percentage to the bloggers and social media experts who were part of the Airbnb affiliate program.

Many people speculate that Airbnb mostly opened their affiliate program in response to the decrease in travel during the pandemic of 2020. As conditions improved and more people resume their travel plans, the brand may no longer need the assistance to complete more bookings.

Chances are that there wasn’t just one single reason why the higher-ups decided to end the Airbnb affiliate program. It was a combination of all these factors that played into the bottom line for the company.


The good news is that some of the best travel affiliate programs are alternatives to the Airbnb program. You could promote these on a travel affiliate marketing blog.

If your audience was relatively quick to book stays via Airbnb through your blog, then you should consider signing up with some of these affiliate programs.


While it may not offer commissions as generous as what travel bloggers would have received with the Airbnb affiliate program, Vrbo offers a solid option for a similar service.

Vrbo allows users to book a stay in a rental home around the globe. They have two main ways you can earn money as an affiliate:

  • Traveler referral: Earn 2% commission from travelers who book a listing.
  • New listing referral: Earn $20 commission for owners who list on Vrbo.

Vrbo is a convenient affiliate program to join, as it is coupled with several of the other top name brands found in the Expedia family, including:

  • Expedia
  • Hotels.com
  • Orbitz
  • Travelocity
  • Ebookers

Benefits of the Vrbo affiliate program include front-end widgets to make it easy to advertise listings as well as backend APIs. You can also make good use of deeplinks to refer your readers to specific properties and pages on the Vrbo website.


Much like Vrbo and Airbnb, Homestay is exactly what you might expect: a website that allows you to book a stay in someone else’s home. Their affiliate marketing program is more in line with what you may have come to expect from Airbnb with generous commissions on the more than 25,000 homes listed on their site.

Homestay offers lucrative commissions from 30 percent with a tiered structure based on the number of bookings you secure and your overall performance. You can partner with their affiliate marketing program if you are a blogger, but they also accept:

  • Travel websites
  • Destination guides
  • Travel agents
  • Education partners
  • Homestay providers

They also have a long cookie duration of 30 days, giving your readers plenty of time to mull over their next getaway.


As we mentioned earlier, Expedia and Vrbo are part of the same family of brands, giving you the access that you need to every booking need your audience may have. Expedia is used for more than just accommodations though. It is also used for car rentals, cruises, flights, packages, and more.

Like Vrbo, Expedia is offered through CJ Affiliate. This is very convenient for many bloggers who focus on affiliate marketing because it affords them access to more than just these two brands.

How much can you earn from Expedia’s affiliate program? Most affiliates see rates from 2 to 6 percent depending on what type of service your audience books. The lowest rates are reserved for hotel accommodations and car rentals while the highest is for cruises.

The cookie duration with Expedia is relatively short at just one week.


Booking.com represents a great option for affiliate marketers who used to rely on the Airbnb affiliate program (but is booking.com legit?). However, this is much like Expedia and caters to people who are interested in booking a hotel. 

Each year, they do approximately 7.12 bilion euros in business. What does that mean for you? It shows that they are a reliable global brand that is committed to growth.

How much can you earn through the Booking.com affiliate program? It depends on where you sign up for the program. You can access it directly through Booking.com where you will earn a hefty 25 to 34 percent of the Booking.com cut.

Other affiliate marketing experts may choose to join through CJ Affiliate, an affiliate marketing hub that caters to many top brands. If this is how you join the affiliate program, then you earn 4 percent of the gross sale amount.

The downside to the Booking.com travel affiliate program is that its cookie duration is extremely short. Readers will have to book their stay immediately upon using your link which means they may have to be quite impulsive when it comes to their wanderlust.


While the Airbnb program may no longer be an option, that doesn’t mean you can’t earn money with a travel blog. Some of these other top programs give you the capability to earn a comparable commission to what Airbnb was offering.

If you want to earn money for a similar service to Airbnb and earn a higher commission, then you should sign up for Homestay. On the other hand, if you want to give your readers access to several types of travel, then signing up for Expedia (and simultaneously Vrbo) could be the right fit for you.

Just because Airbnb is no longer an option doesn’t mean that you can’t still earn money from your audience’s wanderlust!


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