How We Are Funded
It’s no secret that it costs money to run this website, and that we need to make money to cover these costs. We thought it might be useful to explain in detail where the money goes and how we bring the money in, all in an effort to provide you with some transparency on how a website like ours keep afloat financially.
Running a website is a costly business. Many free-to-use websites are often funded through various means, most typically advertising. Advertising revenue means the website can cover its costs without resorting to charging its visitors. A pay-as-you-view internet doesn’t sound like progress to us and the last thing we would want to see is a world where you had to pay to access content on every website.
Where the Money Goes
Let’s start with the money that goes out each month. Typically, this website will have the following monthly costs:
- Domain name registration – It costs us to keep the name www.orlandofloridaholiday.co.uk in our ownership.
- Website hosting – We need a computer that runs 24/7 to store our website so that visitors can read our handy guides! We use an American based hosting company which manages a UK based server (that sounds more complicated than it really is!).
- Bandwidth – This is a measure of how many visitors we have. The more people that visit Orlando Florida Holiday, the more bandwidth we use up.
That was all very techy so for those who got lost or confused, here’s a simple analogy. Imagine the website is a transatlantic aeroplane (obviously bound for sunny Orlando). Domain name registration is the livery paint on the outside. It doesn’t do anything terribly major but makes it far easier to find your flight! Website hosting is the mechanical gubbins inside the plane that you never really see. Lastly the bandwidth is the go-go juice, the jet fuel. Each of these are important but when you put them together you’ve got yourself a machine that can rise into the sky and travel thousands of miles to the United States of America. In terms of the website, each of these are important separately but are all required to keep the website available to use, pretty darn close to 24/7 uptime, 365 days of the year.
Now that we have a website up and running we need some juicy content to be of any use to anyone. We have a small team of writers who usually write on an ad-hoc basis. Our writers thoroughly research topics and write in-depth articles about various key topics relating to having a great holiday in Orlando. Our talented writers tend to freelance and work from home (typically we use British or American writers).
We tend to use the web to source our facts and figures as the data available is often more up-to-date than a book printed months or years ago. Nevertheless, occasionally we do buy guide books and other publications if we think there’s value in them (for example, when we want to write an impartial review). Plus, you never know when those Mickey ears will come in handy!
We wish! It would be nice to be able to enjoy regular “research” trips to Orlando but it doesn’t quite work like that as usually life gets in the way and there’s not enough money to go around. Perhaps we need a “we want an Orlando holiday” fund in a Peter Kay “Mum wants a bungalow” style?!
We try to get out to Orlando and Florida as often as we can, but obviously this depends on how much cash is coming in. When we do manage to get over there we love checking out interesting hotels, new attractions, restaurants and soaking up the American way of life.
Obviously the dream would be that this website could fund at least an annual holiday to Orlando Florida but to do that we need plenty of cash coming in. So, tell your friends about us!
Everybody likes winning stuff! Our first trip to Orlando was a competition prize (no kidding!). We love being able to run competitions but more often than not we need to spend money on the prizes (unless we can secure a very generous competition sponsor).
Where the Money Comes From
Love them or hate them, advertising banners are common place around the internet. They are virtual modern day versions of billboards. We feel they have their place so long as they are relevant. Adverts for home insurance on this website just doesn’t quite seem right somehow. Generally there are three types of advert business model used on Orlando Florida Holiday:
- Tenancy banners – This is where a static fee is charged (either each month or for a block of months) to a brand for the privilege of displaying an advert on Orlando Florida Holiday.
- Cost Per Click/Impression banners – This is where we are paid a tiny figure (usually talking a matter of pence) for every click on the banner made by a visitor or impression generated for the banner on our website.
- Affiliate banners – This is where we display a banner for a brand free of charge but are paid a small commission for sales generated as a result of visitors clicking on these banners. More information about this business model can be found below.
We try to keep the banner advertising to a minimum, and try to ensure that they are relevant to the content. Where possible we try to advertise flight operators around articles and sections dealing with flights, for example. As a bare minimum, we only advertise companies that offer travel services to Brits travelling to the USA or retailers of American products and services in the UK.
Many companies enjoy the benefits of affiliate marketing. The premise is simple. As an affiliate, we refer visitors to the company and if they buy a product or service, we earn a small commission (in the travel industry the word “small” should be emphasised). Companies from multi-million pound corporations right down to small independent traders use affiliate marketing as a means to grow their customer base. The vast majority of the high street chains in the UK use affiliate marketing to grow their online businesses, as do new web-only retailers. Typically each affiliate program has thousands of affiliates working on it in some capacity, effectively working as a silent tribe of virtual sales force.
It’s the business model behind a lot of high-brow websites, and it’s a technology that is near invisible to most customers. Virtually all voucher code websites, cashback websites and comparison websites use affiliate marketing to finance the free service they offer to their users. Bloggers also use it to compensate for the time taken to write fresh blog posts.
Importantly, using affiliate links to make your purchases does not cost you anything extra. Companies that run affiliate programs factor this cost into their overall profit margins as a marketing cost. It doesn’t cost you anything extra when you buy something as the results of watching an advert on the television and affiliate marketing uses exactly the same principle.
We encourage you to use our affiliate links where possible as in a roundabout way when you make a purchase you’re helping to keep the Orlando Florida Holiday website running WITHOUT costing you anything extra. By keeping afloat, even more visitors can discover the gems of Orlando as the result of using our website and in a small way we consider that a public duty!
We charge brands to publish an advertorial article about their products or services on Orlando Florida Holiday. We’re very strict on what can be written about and how biased the article can be toward the company involved. We generally encourage such articles to be factually useful so as to benefit readers. Such articles are either written by our team or by the advertiser directly.
What We Don’t Do
It’s important to highlight that we do not make money from the following:
- We do not sell personal data our readers and visitors have provided to us (e.g. email addresses). We believe this often leads to increased spam and junk mail and we really hate sifting through the thousands of junk emails we receive every single day with a burning passion.
- We do not advertise brands, products or services that we don’t trust. There’s no point in recommending something we wouldn’t use ourselves. Whenever we mention a company we also try to mention any safeguards in place in case they get into trouble.
Does advertising lead to biassed content?
It’s a question we have asked before and imagine it’s what you’re thinking right now too. It’s a very good question that demands a politician style answer!
In terms of our travel guides, we do not write biassed content so as to showcase or highlight a particular retailer. We may suggest a couple of websites but these are often chosen for a variety of reasons, such as usefulness and popularity.
In terms of our travel news and travel deals articles, these tend to be related to affiliated retailers, generally as these companies contact us the most, thanks to closer relationships.