Last Updated on by Jeremy
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Welcome to the 58th entry into our monthly income and traffic report!
In this monthly update we share our traffic, earning, and spending figures for our blogs 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.
Prior to reading, it is worth noting that we have two blogs (one global travel and one local travel) and our income is based on the combined total of the two. We break down the traffic for each in this report for additional information.
October 2019 Traffic
Our traffic on Living the Dream for the month of October was approximately 96,600 page views. This is an increase of approximately 4% on a per day basis from September and an increase of 26% from October 2018.
In September I finally made the decision to remove dates from my URLs, and saw a near 15% increase in traffic almost overnight (okay, fine, it took a day or two but then immediately jumped). This traffic sustained itself throughout the month of October and resulted in the best traffic month we've ever had.
This was the first month we've ever broken 90,000 page views, and to get quite close to our 100,000 target is huge! Can't wait to see how this progresses in the next few months.
On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 157,850 page views- an increase of approximately 12% from September on a per-day basis and an increase of 56% from October 2018.
While not a drastic change like we saw on Living the Dream, this is still encouraging to me as our historical September to October performance is often near zero (or a decrease). So to see any sort of rise in traffic over the month is huge, and the 56% traffic gain from 2018 is in line with our YOY performance from previous months.
I may not be able to attribute this to any recent work, but it is showing that past SEO and social media work is still paying off, and for that I will take it.
October 2019 Travel Blog Income Report
Our booked income for October was approximately $6,864. This was a decrease of 3% from September 2019, an increase of 27% from October 2018, and an increase of 127% from October 2017. Excellent long-term gains!
The breakdown includes the following:
*CPM Ads: $5,064
While I was excited for the start of Q4 last month, I forgot that October is historically a slight RPM drop from September. Couple that with the fact that travel affiliates start to slow down in the fall, and we actually saw a bit of a drop between our two passive income streams when compared to previous months (despite relatively good traffic).
We're working on a few sponsored items that we thought would hit this month but didn't. If they do in November we expect it to be a really great month indeed!
Please note that the above is booked income. This is money that we have negotiated, contracted, and/or earned throughout the month but is not necessarily money that was received in-house. Payment for income can often range from a few minutes to several months (and, in some cases, can be canceled outright). While we track this for tax purposes, we only share booked income in this report.
October 2019 Expenses
Our dedicated blog expenses for the month of September were roughly $691, with the following breakdown:
*Social media ads: $245
*Conference fee: $69
*Registered Agent fee: $49
As I am spreading my payments out for the 2020 NATJA conference, we will have a new monthly baseline spending that is closer to about $650-$700 as opposed to the mid-$500 target I've been shooting for in the past.
So apart from a fairly high social media advertising budget this month, I have nothing to terribly unique to report with regards to spending.
*Plus travel/local expenses which we do not track here. This can be anywhere from $100-$2,000+ per month extra, but your mileage may vary based on your blog niche.
November 2019 Goals
For the next two months I'm going to set my growth at all costs mindset into overdrive. There are two reasons for this.
First, November and December ad rates are often the best of the year (by far), such that any additional traffic we can drive would be quite valuable to us.
Second, I have time!
I'm returning home from Korea just a few days after the start of November and have absolutely zero trips planned for the remainder of the month. Nope, none. As such, that means I have just under four weeks of free time available to catch up on publishing articles.
I may have only hit about 20 for the month of October (not bad considering I only worked ~14 days of the month), but for November I am going to try and get as close to my target of 40 as possible. This will continue on throughout December before a hard stop in January to take a much needed blogging break!
Looking For Past Reports?
Unlike other websites who host an article series on this topic, we only have one article for our travel blog income and traffic reports.
We do this for a number of reasons, but it is mostly because we do not want dozens upon dozens of posts on our site to this one specific topic.
To compensate for this, we update this article every month based on our current data and publish a graphical summary of previous months as well. If you have any questions about data from a specific month we are happy to share more details via email if you contact us.
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