Income and Traffic Report #25 – January 2017

Welcome to the 25th entry into our monthly income and traffic report!

In this monthly update we share our traffic, earning, and spending figures from the previous month so you can get a glimpse inside the business of travel blogging. In addition to sharing these for your use, by publishing our information we are also able to stay on track with our own goals for our business.

Living the Dream’s January 2017 Traffic

Our page views for the month of January were approximately 54,000- up 28% on a per-day basis.

This is the second year running we’ve seen a huge jump in traffic come January, as our December 2015 to January 2016 traffic increased approximately 33% as well.

Our traffic gain came from two sources. The first was Google, which increased daily referrals just over 20% from December. The second was from Pinterest where we saw gains over 40% for the month. We also set new one-day records on both sources not once, but twice during the month which was most exciting.

Does this mean our SEO overhaul and hiring of a Pinterest VA are showing results? We’d like to think so, but we do have some historical data to fall back on that January is a jump regardless, so we’ll see what February brings.

On the Discover the Burgh front we just broke 60,000 page views for the month- a new record as well and a jump of 42% from December. We only saw a nominal gain in traffic from Google and Pinterest on this site, but saw a huge leap on Facebook thanks to our nearly 70,000 strong community there. Throw in the launch of a newly viral post that we share once a week, and you have a great reason to celebrate some gains.

Living the Dream’s January 2017 Income

Our income for the month of January was approximately $1,070, with the following breakdown:

Adsense: $170
Amazon CPM: $205
Amazon Affiliates: $125
Other Affiliates: $466
Direct Advertising: $100

Overall, we saw a bit of a decrease for the month of January on affiliate and CPM payments, especially on Amazon Affiliates, as we were coming off of the holiday season when our sales and CPM rates we much higher.

Towards the last few days of the month we completely overhauled our CPM display protocol and saw a 50% gain in Amazon CPM payments literally overnight. But we will have to get through a whole month before we can say whether nor not those stick.

Note: Our income and expenses factor in both of our websites, not just Living the Dream.

Want to support our site in your travels? Our Blogging Tips and Advice page has affiliate links to all of the services we personally use and recommend when blogging and our Book Your Trip page features all of the travel services we personally use when on the road. By making a purchase through our links we’ll receive a small commission and the price you pay should not change.

Living the Dream’s January 2017 Expenses

Our expenses for the month of January was $850, with the following breakdown:

Staff Articles: $200
Hosting (2 Sites): $200
Pinterest VA: $150
Mailchimp: $75
Facebook Ads: $223

Overall, our expenses for the month were relatively close to our baseline, and we’re okay with that as it was expected.

February Goals

As mentioned above, we did a lot of work towards the end of January to overhaul our CPM display ads and also work on a lot of SEO throughout the month to try and continue increasing our traffic (specifically on Living the Dream for the SEO).

We’re going to monitor and tweak our CPM placements throughout the month and continue on our SEO path for Living the Dream as we are quickly approaching the end of this “phase” of work. Once done, we will set it aside for 3-4 months while we wait to see if Google responds, and start over with the exact same work on Discover the Burgh.

Once we verify the results, we’ll be sure to publish a post on our thought process, as it is a doozy.

Our final goal for February is to finish booking our vacations for the year, plus a third vacation for early 2018. Where are we going? Well, in March we are spending a weekend in Cuba and in October we’re spending just under two weeks in Morocco! As for 2018, well, that one is going to stay a secret for now.

But we look forward to sharing more soon!

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