The online travel sector is hugely competitive, so it takes a lot of ingenuity to build a successful company from scratch.
The team behind OffOnHols.com are hoping that they can revolutionise the travel industry through affiliate marketing.
I spoke to co-founder Ian Vaughan to find out more…
Please describe what the company does.
Offonhols.com is a travel deals website where our community posts, finds and shares great travel deals.
The site is the first of its kind in the travel sector as it allows members to earn money from sharing travel deals they have found online, something they normally would have done for free.
What problems does it solve?
The UK public love holidays and search online every day for deals on holidays, hotels and flights etc., either for themselves or for friends and family.
We wanted to create a website that allows them to easily share these deals.
Many sites do this already, such as voucher websites and forums, but none of them share any commission generated with their users who have posted or shared the deal.
Our aim is to create a great travel deals website which will reward our users who contribute to the site by sharing any commission earned with them.
What are your goals?
To transform affiliate marketing making it accessible to all by turning website users into affiliate marketers.
We’ll reward them every time they share a link or make a recommendation that leads to a sale. This is a something they had already been doing for free.
We aspire to become a leading destination travel deals website rewarding those seeking out travel deals sourced from around the web.
What are the biggest challenges you face?
Travel is a competitive market and the biggest challenge we face is getting the word out to consumers that we exist, how we differ and how they can earn commission by sharing and posting travel deals.
The concept has taken nine months to bring to the market where a great deal of effort has gone into developing and testing the complex nature of the functionality behind the website to ensure a good user and customer experience.
How will you make money?
Our business model uses a number of income streams such as affiliate marketing along with sponsorship and lead generation.
The latter of which will feature strongly in the next feature release on the website.
Who is in your team?
I founded Offonhols.com with my work colleague James Timms. We both have extensive experience in web development and marketing.
Our core team at the moment is small but very experienced in delivering advanced websites and applications in major frameworks such as .NET, SQL Server, Oracle etc., along with very strong core digital marketing skills.
We also have a small in-house editorial team, but in reality our headcount is very large as we empower web users to be part of the team in effect by posting and sharing deals they find online.
Where would you like to be in one, three and five years’ time?
In one years’ time we want to be established in people’s minds as a place they can share travel deals and earn money and also a destination where people visit to find great travel deals sourced by the community and our in-house editorial team.
In three years’ time we want to be positioning ourselves as a major travel deals destination generating significant annual revenue.
Within five years we want to be looking back at how we shook up affiliate marketing by making every web user a potential affiliate marketer.
Other than your own, what are your favourite websites / apps / tools?
Skyscanner is a great meta search website along with Trip Advisor and the blog at Econsultancy.