Travel Blog Income and Traffic Report #32 – August 2017


Disclaimer: This post may contain affiliate links. By using our affiliate links we will receive a small commission that helps us run our sites.

Welcome to the 32nd 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 August 2017 Traffic

Our traffic for the month of August was approximately 53,900 page views- essentially flat on a per day basis from July and up 25% from July 2016.

Historically our traffic in August through the rest of the year is relatively flat, and we saw that moving in to the end of the month. Our Google traffic was up about 7%, whereas our Pinterest traffic was down slightly as well.

If we’re going to be flat over all, I’ll take it with an uptick in Google as it is always our most reliable source of traffic. Maybe it’ll keep rising!

On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 94,500 page views- down approximately 12% on a per day basis from the previous month.

We’ve been seeing a fairly solid decline in Facebook traffic over the last few months, which could possibly be a sign of things to come organically. But our Google traffic for our Pittsburgh blog has been rising about 14% month over month for the past few months.

It isn’t much on the surface, but if this continues for a few months then we’ll be quickly over taking our Facebook traffic and starting to see solid growth once again (especially if our recent switch to https helps more in the SEO department- yes, we finally did it!).

Living the Dream’s August 2017 Income

Our income for the month of August was approximately $2,125 and includes the following breakdown:

CPM Ads: $1,650
Affiliates: $475

CPM revenue is tied pretty much 1:1 with our page views, and Mediavine’s rates are coming out of the summer slump and starting to rise- hooray! However, we were down a bit over all due to our traffic slump.

The affiliate overhaul we’ve performed over the last few months is paying off quite a bit, and we’ve seen a fairly large rise in affiliate sales over the last few weeks as well.

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 August 2017 Expenses

We’re just going to get to it and say oops! Our spending for the month of August was approximately $2,800 and includes the following breakdown:

Hosting: $200
Mailchimp: $75
FB ads: $265
Computer: $1,360
Monthly Programs: $20
Email Hosting Renewal: $159
Staff Writer: $150
Domain Renewal: $15
Computer Backup: $59
SSL Certificates: $300

Let’s pretend August never happened, shall we?

Okay, I’m just kidding. I ended up spending a lot of money this month and far exceeded any month of spending we’ve had to date.

We have a few reasons for this:

1) I received a rather tidy sum from affiliate commissions into my account (as they only deposit after a certain threshold), and I decided to reinvest that into a good computer that I sorely needed.

2) Google released a warning that non-https secure sites would get more overt warnings to readers in October. Naturally, that kicked me into gear for upgrading as I’ve been planning on it for a while.

3) We had a few annual renewals come in that was unexpect. Had I realized, I probably would’ve held off on the computer, but on the plus side I met a spend limit on a new rewards credit card and have points for yet another trip to Europe.

A win, I guess? I feel very broke right now though, so if anyone could send some financial vibes this way, I’d appreciate it.

September Goals

My goals for September are going to be fairly simple.

First, I want to get caught up on writing and publishing some more comprehensive guides that would help increase our social shares on Discover the Burgh. As these come in at anywhere from 3,000 to 7,000 words, I need to obviously get cracking.

Second, we’re going to monitor our performance after switching to SSL to ensure we do not have any loss of search clicks.

Finally, I’m going to try and spend as little money as possible in order to get caught up on my bills. August kind of snuck up on us!

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