Welcome to the 34th 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 October 2017 Traffic
Our traffic for the month of October was approximately 55,000 page views- up approximately 1% on a per day basis from September and up 37% from October 2016.
As we noted last month, this time of year is typically flat (or even down) for us in Google, but our recent SEO changes have produced a slightly upward trend that has offset our historical performance. As we chug along to the end of the year, when we often see a major rise in traffic that is sustained through the following year, we can’t help but look on with anticipation.
Will it be better, worse, or the same? You can imagine which one we’re hoping for, but we’re eager to see what happens all the same. All signs look positive, though, and the last few weeks of December can’t come soon enough!
On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 76,500 page views- down approximately 4% on a per day basis from the previous month.
Facebook’s decline is getting even more notable, and recent reports have said to expect even more organic reach drop coming soon. This, to put it bluntly, is infuriating if only because we have spent a fair bit of money to build an audience, and it is now being implied that we need to pay to reach them again. We did have one day of huge numbers from the network, but it promptly dissipated the next day.
I get that Facebook wants to make money, but the logic that I have to double pay to reach people who already opted in to read my content is just plain ludicrous. Thankfully, Google continues to pick up the slack on what Facebook gives up and is now our largest traffic referrer on an average day and that is all without spending a single penny with them.
As we move into holiday traffic, which we rank quite well for, we can’t help but shift our efforts to the new traffic champion, Google.
Living the Dream’s October 2017 Income
Our income for the month of October was just over $3,000 and includes the following breakdown:
Sponsored Content: $600
CPM Ads: $1,950
We’ve reached a new income milestone on our sites and broke $3,000 in gross revenue for the month, even if only by a couple of dollars!
This was achieved by two one-off sponsored content orders, which put us over the hump from our typical average for CPM ads and affiliates (which are fairly steady based on total page views).
I never like to rely on sponsored content as a means of an income source, as we have our rates high enough that only one or two partners are even remotely interested in any given year. Still, when we do get them we have reason to celebrate, and celebrate we shall.
As we move into the holiday season I’m looking fowrard to seeing what our CPM ad rates and affiliate sales do. Both typically go up during the holidays, so as long as we can maintain (or increase) our traffic, I suspect both will go up significantly in the next two months.
We can only hope.
Note: Our income and expenses factor in both of our websites, not just Living the Dream.
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Living the Dream’s October 2017 Expenses
Our spending for October was right on our baseline, about $545, with the following expenses being ones we will have each month regardless of what we do:
FB ads: $250
Monthly Software: $20
We expect November or December to have one final round of payments to Kendrick for his last few articles as a team member, as well as a few one off fees for registering trademarks and other thinsg we should have done a long time ago, so beyond this we expect the above structure to be fairly consistent as we enter 2018.
Well, if we keep advertising on Facebook, that is. Jury is still out on if we want to continue that one.
As our goal for October was to head out on vacation, our goal for November is to start publishing articles and social media content from the vacation!
Morocco was a fantastic trip, and we have ideas for four or five articles that we hope to get out over the next month- plus sharing all of our beautiful photos on social media, of course.
We are also winding down our latest SEO overhaul, and have done a ton of work on the back end of our sites over the last few months. We are finalizing our last round of internal linking and unpublishing of non-performing posts, and hope to have that all lined up by the end of the month to see if we can get a surge in early 2018.
Finally, we are going to start publishing new holiday and affiliate focused content over the course of November in order to try and increase our holiday affiliate sales moving forward. We’ve had some good inspiration for posts over the last few weeks (something we often struggle with when it comes to promoting products) and are excited to get the content out the door as soon as we can.
Holiday blogging begins now!