Travel Blog Income Report #48 – December 2018 – $7,660


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Welcome to the 48th entry into our monthly income and traffic report (that's over four years running)!

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.

December 2018 Traffic

Travel Blog Traffic Report

Our traffic for the month of December was approximately 68,050 page views. This was a drop of 7% on a per day basis from November and an increase of 37% from December 2018.

December is often our worst month of the year (roughly on par with February), and for 2018 this is no different. We saw a bit more of a drop this month than we did in previous years, but as we were coming off of record traffic in the summer months (to the tune of 64% YOY growth) we are not surprised by this drop.

The good news is that we often see a jump after Christmas (which we did- rather large actually) as well as 28% jump in January (mostly from Google), so we are eager to see if that trend continues in 2019.

If we have comparable peaks in similar percentages, 2019 may be the first year we have a 100,000+ traffic month if all goes well!

Local Blog Traffic Report

On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 188,750 page views- up approximately 21% on a per day basis from November and up 86% from December 2018.

Ignoring a one-time viral post we had on social media in early 2017, this month was our best traffic month yet and was carried almost entirely by our Christmas content- over 60% of our traffic!

We're fully expecting a massive drop in traffic in January and quite frankly do not know what we're in for. If we get close to 100,000 page views per month we'll be quite happy, but otherwise we'll have to wait and see.

December 2018 Income

Travel Blog Income Report

Our booked income for November was $7,660. The breakdown included the following:

*CPM Ads: $5,850
*Affiliates: $1,560
*Sponsored Content: $250

This was our third best month ever, and was our best month of passive income at $7,000+ on ads and affiliate sales alone!

This is quite encouraging as we push towards our 2019 goal of traffic growth at all costs. We have the income streams in place, now we just have to increase the page views to supercharge our earnings.

This month also brought our booked income for 2018 up to about $70,000- up about 140% from 2017 (where we were just under $29,000).

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.

December 2018 Expenses

Travel Blog Expenses

Our expenses for the month of December were roughly $738, with the following breakdown:

*Hosting: $200
*Mailerlite: $45
*Programs: $20
*Social media ads: $189
*Conference fee: $100
*LLC: $184

Our spending for the month of December was more or less on average with our monthly spending for 2018, and was a bit higher than our normal “baseline” due to financing a conference as well as an LLC for the sites.

The latter is something I was dragging my feet on for quite some time but finally got put together for the start of the 2019 calendar year.

All-in-all, we earned about $7.70 for every $1 spent in 2018, which is something I'm quite happy to report!

January 2019 Goals

My January goals are in-line with my 2019 goals at large that we established in last month's update.

2018 was mostly spent optimizing our passive income streams via CPM ads and affiliates, and we made a fair bit of revenue on the ~2,000,000 page views the two sites received during that time.

In 2019 the goal is traffic growth at all costs. If our baseline growth is on par with 2018 we're hoping to hit a minimum of 2,500,000 page views for the year (combined) through normal update patterns alone. However, we hope to supercharge that to increase it substantially.

Starting in January, we hope to achieve this via a number of things:

*Improving SEO on existing posts (~900 between the two sites).
*Publishing 2-3 articles per week on both sites, including guest posts on Living the Dream to cover some slack on our end.
*…and more coming beyond January.

It seems pretty silly to say our plans for January are these, but it really is the truth. Beyond this I'll be putting together the final steps for the LLC including getting a bank account, credit card, setting up the website, etc. which will be a fun diversion from getting the plans for the above in place.

Looking forward to this one!

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 share a graphical summary of our previous 24 months on a rolling basis. If you have any questions about data from a specific month we are happy to share more details via email at jeremy@livingthedreamrtw.com.

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