In its third iteration/launch, Startbackpacking.com has been a budget traveler favorite since 2007!
We attract hundreds of thousands of unique visitors who return to find backpacking advice and budget travel help. We’ve enjoyed millions of pageviews as readers were inspired to travel, then returned to contribute to the site.
I’m the creator and editor, Greg Rodgers. I maintain this site as I continue to travel the world and share over a decade of tips and experiences with new backpackers. I left an engineering career at IBM after nearly 10 years in order to travel and help others do the same.
I believe more in “partnerships” than advertisement arrangements. Along with ad placement, all of our topic partners are promoted via social media, in new articles, and informally through word of mouth (I meet a lot of travelers along the way).
Approximately 70 percent of Startbackpacking.com’s traffic comes from the U.S., the U.K., Canada, and Australia. These are most often people at home planning trips. The rest of our traffic comes from travelers who are doing research while already on the road, most often in Asia.
- 43 percent of our readers are between the ages of 18-25
- 36 percent are between the ages of 26-35
- 21 percent are over age 35
A majority (75 percent) of our traffic originates from search rather than lower-quality “social” traffic such as Facebook and StumbleUpon.
Search visitors are much more likely to have an interest in the topic discussed and click your ads.
Backpackers aren’t too fond of rules, so there are only a few. But these guidelines are strictly upheld:
- We DO NOT sell simple text links.
- We do not accept guest posts with commercial intent or SEO “follow” links embedded.
- Your service or product must be of use to the budget travel community.
- We do not allow partners to set tracking cookies with custom code.
After a month of A-B testing, we found the best way to get your brand in front of interested travelers without being obtrusive. A simple, accordion-style mention of your sponsorship at the top of an article keeps things tidy.
Visitors click the drop-down button, allowing them to see a short blurb, your URL, and a banner. This configuration encourages engagement for web surfers who are more and more “banner blind.” Even visitors who choose not to click through are exposed to your brand and mission.
- Sponsor partnerships are exclusive. Only one ad is allowed per page — you own the spot until you let it go. This means if you grab the sponsorship position for “Teaching English” your site will be the only one allowed to advertise as our exclusive TEFL partner for that page.
- Payment is usually made via PayPal, but special circumstances can be accommodated. We can also set up automatic monthly payments.
- Discounts of 20 percent or more are provided for advertising terms of 6 months or longer.
Other Advertising Options
Assuming it doesn’t adversely affect user experience, I’m always open to new and creative ways to get your service in front of travelers. In the past, we’ve done widgets, custom contact forms, targeted content, and other creative ways that beat the usual options. The secret? Engage! If you have a new idea for how to work together, let me hear it!
I do custom coding and writing, and I’m full of mischievous ideas for creative ways to get your link in front of people — the right way.
We continuously conduct A / B tests to see the best placement of ads without disrupting our readers’ experience. If you’d like to be a part of this inexpensive advertising initiative, please reach out.
So far, our current system works the best for both reader and sponsor.
Here are a few hot topics open for new partnerships. Once a sponsor grabs a spot, it will remain theirs until they choose otherwise.
- Teaching English / TEFL
- Travel Insurance
WWOOF / Permaculture / Organic Farming
- Backpacking Gear
- Travel Blogging
What Does Advertising Cost?
Price varies according to solution, however, rates begin as low as US $100 for a three-month term of page sponsorship. Prices fluctuate a little depending on the popularity of the page. Although that price is very competitive in the travel industry, there are some ways to get a discount:
- Advertise for 12 months at a time or longer
- Bundle advertising across more than one of my travel websites (please ask for a list)
- Pay in lump sum rather than monthly
Please use the contact page to reach out or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Startbackpacking.com is independently owned, and all cash made from advertising goes to keeping this site alive. Our mission is to make the world a better place by getting as many people out on the road as possible!
Sustainability is a hot topic for this site.