Welcome to the 51st 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.
March 2019 Traffic
Our traffic for the month of March was approximately 87,850 page views (a new record!). This was an increase of approximately 3.2% on a per day basis from February 2019, and an increase of 21% from March 2018.
While our traffic was up overall, we saw a slight downtick in traffic towards the end of the month. This was due to a slight drop in performance on both Pinterest and also Google which was, quite honestly, unexpected.
It is probably too early to say whether or not we had a slight change due to the algorithm adjustments published in March, but since we are still in record traffic territory I'm not going to be upset by it all the same!
On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was 120,450 page views- up approximately 4% on a per day basis from February 2019 and up 25% from March 2018.
Locally, we're still killing it and noticed improvements on all networks- even Facebook (some days getting 2,000+ clicks which was on par with two years ago)!
Overall, we were at just under 210,000 total page views between both sites in March, and we call that exceptional. Onward to our goal of getting to 1,000,000 monthly!
March 2019 Income Report
Our booked income for March was approximately $6,697. The breakdown includes the following:
*CPM Ads: $4,163
Our income for the month was entirely passive, much like January and February this year. This means that I've accepted zero ‘active' work assignments like freelancing or sponsored content for the last three months- something I'm rather proud of.
(Note: I did have some work in this period but all were commitments inked in 2018. Remember, our earnings report features booked income, not received income.)
To put it simply, I think this is pretty awesome as we've made well over $15,000 in Q1 (the slowest period of the year) all through passive means.
Even better? March was also our best month of the year so far for both CPM ads and affiliates, which is pretty exciting since March is still normally a slow month overall.
In fact, our CPM ads were just under our total November earnings from 2018 (and significantly above our October earnings) which suggests that we're going to have some really good months ahead if the trend holds!
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.
March 2019 Expenses
Our dedicated blog expenses for the month of March were roughly $693, with the following breakdown:
*Social media ads: $325
*Conference fee: $103
*Plus travel/local expenses which we do not track here.
In general, we were just a bit higher than our normal baseline spending to run our sites for the month.
Our LLC payment is complete (hooray), but we had some sponsored social media ads from a campaign we negotiated in 2018 that needed to be allocated, so our advertising budget was a bit higher- so they were a bit of a wash.
Overall, by May I hope to have the social media ads and conference fee taken care of, such that our baseline blog costs will be at their minimum once again.
More money to travel!
April 2019 Goals
As we did not travel a lot in March, we spent a lot of time publishing new articles- 31 in total!
My goal for most of 2019 is a growth-at-all-costs model in order to get closer to our goal of 1,000,000 monthly page views between our two sites- so I'm going to spend most of April publishing as many articles as possible as well.
30+ would be great, 40+ would be even better.
Considering I have close to 200 articles in draft mode or on my to do list I have no shortage of starting points. Motivation to do these, however, is something I am struggling with at times.
We also have trips to Cleveland, home to see our parents, and San Francisco for Napa/Sonoma coming up in April, so we'll be on the road a bit as well which we are really excited about (more article ideas!).
Likewise, I'm also trying to get better at working smarter, and have been adopting a 40 hour work-week setup for the blogs. This means I've been forcing myself to stop working at 5 most days, only minimally working on weekends, and picking up new hobbies like going to the gym, learning guitar, and, gasp, playing video games (something I quit doing 10+ years ago to have more money to travel/blog) to occupy my new-found time.
So while my model is growth at all costs, I am not going to kill myself to get there either. We are pretty happy with the current state of things!
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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