Summertime is usually pretty slow because you typically will be travelling more which means less time to work on paid work.  Well good thing for me, I didn’t have much of that going on with my full time work so I closed on a few deals and continued to grow display advertising revenue thanks to Monumetric.  Find out how I did and a few tidbits of knowledge if you scroll down a little further.


Travel Blog Breakthrough really started because one day I had the crazy idea to take all the things I had learned about travel blogging up to that point and share it in the form of blog posts.  This turned into the Travel Blogger’s Toolkit series on Going Awesome Places.

Realizing that this was becoming bigger than what made sense for a regular travel blog, I took the leap of faith and decided to start another blog – this one you’re reading.  I wanted to do more than just toolkit blog posts though and that’s how the podcast started, and these income/traffic reports started.

I may be a bit naive here but one of the frustrating parts about travel blogging is that other bloggers tend to be so guarded with their information, instead of sharing and helping.  My philosophy has always been that we’re all in this together.  The better we can all become as bloggers, the stronger our voice becomes which then increases the amount of opportunities that come for us as a community.  Community is the operative word here.

The first report was all the way back to October 2014 and here’s a quote that I think will resonate with a lot of you.

Above all else, patience has really been the key.  You have to understand that things don’t just happen overnight.  As you’ll see below, it’s taken quite the long time to get my blog up to where it is today.  I know it still has a long way to go to stand shoulder to shoulder with the other titans of travel blogging but it’s all part of the journey.

I think the biggest thing that keeps these income and traffic reports going is the fact that the path to success is really a journey.  I for one am not one of the upper echelon bloggers.  In fact, I have to say that I still suck at A LOT of things.  The key at the end of the day is that these monthly reports are a perfect way to reflect on how to learn, iterate and continuing to do what you love.

As much as these are good ways for me to keep track of my own progress, I honestly do it for you guys.

  1. Because the goal of taking your blog to the next level and making money of it is not as crazy you think.
  2. Because if you’re feeling down and thinking “man this is friggin’ hard!”….well yes it is but you’re not alone. 🙂
  3. And really at the end of the day, it’s about generating conversation and ideas to ultimately hit those elusive breakthrough moments we’re all looking for.

BY THE NUMBERS

There was a big jump in revenue in August primarily because I got paid for some work I did earlier in the year which included Open Wines and hosting of a few Twitter Chats.  The work I’ve been doing on affiliates is also starting to make a difference as well.

I’ve been getting questions about how this campaign works so I’ve written a bit about it below.

August 2016

PROFIT

Note that I’ve converted all numbers into USD just to make it easy. 

Income

  • Campaign:  $1,461.65
  • Twitter Chat:  $589.76
  • Press Trip – $533.19
  • Advertising:  $488.10
    • Monumetric – $424.41
    • Google AdSense – $63.39
  • Affiliate – $267.79
  • Sponsored Post – $250
  • Freelance Writing – $244
  • Sponsored Link – $34
  • Course – $4.50

Total income:  $3,874.99

Expenses

Total expenses: $369.96

Total profit: $3,505.03

TRAFFIC

Traffic Overview

Going Awesome Places

The decline continues but honestly it wasn’t too serious to be a concern.  That being said, this is an area that I need to work on and the coming months will hopefully allow for this to happen.

  • Sessions: -668
  • User:  -655
  • Pageviews:  +4,218

Travel Blog Breakthrough

It’s really interesting to see the cyclic nature of the traffic with it consistently dipping on Saturday and rising back up throughout the week.  This is one reason why you don’t promote as much over the weekend and try to do more during the week.

As you know, I didn’t do much with TBB for the rest of 2016 so you barely see any growth.

  • Sessions: +137
  • User:  +81
  • Pageviews: +106


The below concentrates on stats for Going Awesome Places.

Top 10 Traffic Sources

Relatively static here.  The only change is the introduction of wowtravel.me as a referral.  They recently added me to their Top 30 Blogs To Follow list and I do appreciate the honorary mention.

Top 10 Pages

 

Last month, I saw 6,611 page views on the 5 Day Bali itinerary post but it dropped to 2,889 this month.  This one I have a hard time explaining as that accounts for the dip from 54,000 total pageviews.

The one new entry here is the Boingo Wifi post which I wrote back in November 2014.  All the traffic was coming from mobile (as indicated by hildnty).  This kind of makes sense as this is very much something that someone would search on Google while at the airport trying to figure out how to get free wifi.

Devices

I haven’t done one these in awhile.  What’s REALLY interesting about this is how the reality is that mobile and tablet have surpassed desktop usage.  Let that sink in for a bit…

This just calls on the urgency that I need to figure out a better mobile strategy.  More on that in the upcoming months!

SO WHAT?

My random tidbits of gibberish and hopefully helpful information.

Ghosting on Twitter

August was the month where I FINALLY got my Twitter account unghosted.

How did that happen?

Honestly this was really a matter of persistence by submitting my request here.  Eventually they got back to me and here’s the timeline of how it went down:

  • July 27, 2016 – Assigned a case number.  Initial contact via e-mail
  • August 3, 2016 – I followed up via e-mail as  I didn’t hear anything back.
  • August 3, 2016 – Twitter responded back right away with a blurb about why I was ghosted (see below)
  • August 3, 2016 – I wrote back with my activity which may have been construed as spammy and told them I have already made this correction
  • August 3, 2016 – Twitter responded back with what I needed to do but was more or less a similar message to the original one. (see below)
  • August 12, 2016 – I wrote back to Twitter telling them I found one plugin that was still auto-tweeting and I turned it off (Revive Old Post) and asked for them to review again.
  • August 15, 2016 – Twitter responded back with “We’ve made a few tweaks to your account, do you mind checking again now?”
  • August 15, 2016 – I checked with the help of a friend and all was good!

First email response

Second email response

So what changes did I make to correct all of this?

  • Fully disabled the use of Revive Old Post so I wasn’t tweeting old posts
  • Changed my social share strategy on blog posts to make sure I was using unique messaging for every single tweet
  • Disable auto-sharing via Triberr

How Do Sponsored Campaigns Work?

Here’s my simple take on it all and how it’s worked for me so far.

Who:  Brands, companies, tourism boards, or PR agencies

What:  When the above people or group want to work with you as a brand to help promote something.  It could be a product, it could be a contest, or it could be some sort of marketing initiative.  I’ve done everything from writing blog posts, social media ad posts, native content on social media, Instagram takeovers, attend events, and speak at events.  What this isn’t is sponsored posts in the sketchier way where some SEO company pays you $80 to post some bogus content with a backlink.

How:  Now I get this question a lot.  How exactly does this come your way?  The truth is that it’s a mix of a few things.  1)  You either get directly contacted via e-mail asking if you’d be interested in working with them on this project/campaign.  2)  Same as #1 but instead of being reached out to cold, it’s through a personal connection with someone you met through networking events like Travel Massive.  3)  You have your own idea of a project and you reach out to them yourself.  Typically this has your own ulterior motive of leveraging the brand for some upcoming travel you have planned or if you know someone or if you just have a brilliant idea.

Getting paid:  This is where things get a little tricky because how much do you charge for the work that they’re looking for?  This is really a “it depends” kind of answer.  I’ll have to write something much more comprehensive at some point (and if you really want to learn more leave a comment below) but this is a matter of finding out what others are charging in your space and level and at the end of the day what is worth your time.  The professional way around this is to talk to people in your community and once you have a number in mind, create a proper quote to the person you’re working with that clearly lays out what you’re providing, what you’re getting in return and how much it will cost.  This goes a long way.

 

Want To See More From Travel Blog Breakthrough?

If you’ve found TBB hugely valuable over this past year and want to show your support, I’ve created a Patreon page where you’re able to show you love for as little as $1.

Of course, I wouldn’t expect you to do so without getting anything in return and so you’ll find several tier levels similar to Kickstarter where you can basically pick a package to get even MORE out of Travel Blog Breakthrough.  I’m committing to amp it up and for those that are truly committed to taking your travel blog to the next level, there are now ways for you to get access more of me.

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Will Tang

I'm the writer behind Going Awesome Places and through its growth, I've learned a heck of a lot from trial and error. I have a passion for helping others succeed and through TBB my hope is to empower you with what works (and what doesn't) so you know exactly how you can take your blog to the next level.

4 CommentsLeave a comment

  • How do you get so much revenue from Monumetric while I don’t see any ads on your site? Also, my RPM with them is sooo low I’m now looking for alternatives. Or do you have any tips on how to improve RPM with them?

  • Hey Will – great post! had a couple questions after reading it. How has your experience with monumetric been? i believe they charge a setup fee if you’re under 100k pvs so i’m wondering if you think the network is worth that? i’m currently debating between monumetric and mediavine (which doesnt have the fee).

    also – great news on getting your twitter account “un ghosted”! to be honest, i’m not quite sure what that means or how you knew your account was ghosted? could you perhaps add in some clarification on that?

    keep up the awesome posts.

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