Welcome to the 49th 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.
January 2019 Traffic
Our traffic for the month of January was approximately 82,767 page views. This was an increase of approximately 22% on a per day basis from December 2018 and an increase of 31% from January 2018.
We've normally seen jumps from December to January on the order of about 28%, so the jump in January is no surprise (albeit a bit low). In fact, traffic almost always jumps the day after Christmas and holds true for the start of 2019, and we saw that again this year.
Beyond this, our Pinterest traffic was a bit up and we had a few spikes (nominally) from Facebook as well. All-in-all a really good month with some encouraging signs for us to hopefully hit 100,000 page views for a month sometime in 2019!
On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 117,566 page views- down approximately 36% on a per day basis from December 2018 and up 45% from January 2018.
To put this one out there first, we were expecting a huge drop in January due to us receiving something along the lines of 90,000 page views on Christmas content in December. We were hoping to break 100,000 monthly to call it a good month, and we exceeded that by nearly 20%.
What really surprises us is the difference compared to January 2018 as our YOY growth was huge.
Facebook traffic was up, Google traffic for non-Christmas posts was up, and overall was a fantastic month with a good sign for the year as well.
January 2019 Income
Our booked income for January was $4,976. The breakdown included the following:
*CPM Ads: $3,223
*Sponsored Content: $350
Overall we were down a considerable bit for the month mostly from the fact that RPM's for advertising were down as much as 50% (although picked up towards the end of the month). Likewise, we had a dip in affiliate sales as we had a bit of an increase in November and December.
All things being equal, historically January 2018 is also our lowest income month of the year and we more than doubled last year's income this month (we were also only just a bit shy from our monthly target of $5,000). Whether this is also a sign for the year, well, we can only hope!
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.
January 2018 Expenses
Our expenses for the month of December were roughly $1,520*, with the following breakdown:
*Social media ads: $177
*Conference fee: $100
*Camera Lens: $654
*Plus travel/local expenses which we do not track here.
This month's expenses were a fair bit higher than most months as we're still paying off the conference fees and LLC fees, and also purchased an annual license to Grammarly as well as a new camera lens.
When we had such high incomes for the previous two months, well, we need a few good purchases to re-invest in our business!
February 2019 Goals
Our goals for January were to finish a new round of SEO optimizations for 900 posts and begin increasing our posting frequency on both sites to the order of 2-3 articles per week.
And you know what? We did it.
It was a bit of a slog, but at the end of the day we boosted our top performing articles with 800 keywords reaching nearly 4,000,000 monthly search volume. Some of these were for articles already on page one for any given term. Others were for keywords on page two and three. Others still were for keywords we had not used but should.
Suffice it to say, it was a lot of work- and we have a bit of backlog now from that amount of time.
While I can't say that the work has shown results just yet (still takes a while), we hope to see some improvements in the coming weeks. In the meantime, however, I'll be working on a few key tasks.
- Finishing our backlog to-do list. I would like to start March fresh with a completely finished list.
- Going to Tempe, Arizona for a press trip- hooray!
- Going to Uganda for our vacation- double hooray!
Suffice it to say, we're going to have a lot of new content coming out in March, so we plan to get everything set in motion to give us a clean slate for that.
Growth via content scaling is coming soon in Q2 2019!
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 email@example.com.
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