September was a kick ass month for Going Awesome Places all things considered. I cracked $1000 for only the second time this year. It’s not time to pop the champagne yet because there’s still a lot more work to be done!
This month, I’m going to try something a little different. Instead of all the detail I’ve done in the past, I’m going to keep things higher level to get you the information you care about up front. Let me know what you think!
INCOMEHere’s a breakdown of how the blogs did in the month of September.
Note that I’ve converted all numbers into USD just to make it easy. For each line also note the figures in parentheses which represent the change from this month to the previous. Keep in mind that even though something might show up as *NEW*, it may be an income stream I’ve had in the past.
- Sponsored Campaign – $485 (+446.50)
- Sponsored Post – $431.69 (+70.69)
- Advertising – $113.15 (-1.86)
- Freelance Writing – $100 (-150)
- Affiliate – $83.18 (+63.35)
- Sponsored Link – $24 (+0)
- Course – $4.95 (*NEW*)
Total income: $1241.97 (+$433.63)
- Hosting – $162 (Renewing with Bluehost)
- Tools – $20 (BoardBooster in depth)
- Podcasting – $15 (LibSyn)
- Mentoring – $9 (Sohelpful.me)
- Facebook Ads – $1.60 (Project with Yonderbound)
Total expenses: $207.60 (+$143.60)
Total profit: $1,034.37 (+$290.03)
THOUGHTS ON INCOME
The weirdest things happen. I go on that big trip in September but still manage to drive in a decent amount of money. That being said, I remember being feverishly busy after coming back because I had all these commitments on sponsored work I had to take care of. There’s no such thing as a slow month. That’s a good thing right?
The following are my current ad networks ordered by the income they drove in.
#1 The Blogger Network
I really don’t need to say much here. For anyone that’s been following my income reports, you know that The Blogger Network (TBN) has surpassed Google AdSense to be my top drive of income in the advertising space. The reason for the drop this month was the 10,000 less impressions despite driving almost the same amount of page views.
#2 Google AdSense
September brought in the other half of the advertising income with $41.19 which was an improvement over August ($31.57).
All is normal again in September with the above article ads outstripping all the other ad boxes. This got me thinking…what would happen if I had an ad blocks in the middle of the article as you get with a lot of big publication sites?
I thought I cut things off in August but it looks like it’s still being displayed. I’ve added this to the To-Do list to figure out where it’s leaking.
The trickle on Spoutable continued but they came to me with an interesting proposal to turn it back on in October for a new campaign. They’re an interesting one to keep in the mix just because they keep trying to innovate and come up with new campaigns related to travel . And hey for those that think “interstitials” are annoying, guys like SumoMe are introducing this feature too.
Just found out as well that they’re opening up their platform for sign ups now so head over here if you want to learn more.
I got a rare BlueHost sign up this month but that’s as exciting as it got. I do have some ideas that I want to try though. One thing I could try is Facebook Ads again to see if I can drive traffic from those that want to start blogging. The challenge will be to target the right people so that it’s not a waste of time and money.
What can I say, CopyPress pays the bills (sort of). I’ve gotten into a ryhthm with them to do roughly 2 posts a month which is as much as I can handle right now. Steady pay isn’t a bad thing so despite their terrible per word pay, I’ve kept this gig.
September had a wealth of sponsored opportunities which I took on because 1) the trip to Peru was expensive and 2) they weren’t too hard to do.
What’s the difference between a sponsored post and campaign? Campaigns are larger projects that could include a combination of things like a post, social share and Twitter chat while a post is typically a one off transaction for promotional purposes.
I’m usually a fan of the campaigns simply because this allows me to truly flex my arms and really impress the client. With this particular campaign, it was all about driving eyeballs to the project and capture impressive statistics throughout the whole project. These are great because if you build a solid enough of a relationship, they’ll typically want to work with you again.
I haven’t spoken about the course for awhile and while it took a lot of work to put together, it hasn’t paid in dividends in terms of revenue. Up for roughly 10 months now, I think I finally hit the $100 total revenue mark.
While not a huge success for me, I still think this is a viable strategy for income especially if you put together a solid course and have the ability to market it like crazy. I’ve neglected the latter part and again, just another one of those things on the “To Do” list.
TRAFFICHere’s a look at my traffic numbers from September.
Going Awesome Places
September was more or less consistent throughout the whole month. I saw dips in unique users but I’m not too concerned.
- Sessions (-1,892)
- Pageviews (-2,308)
- Bounce rate (-0.04%)
Travel Blog Breakthrough
Another drop in TBB’s traffic which is a little sad. All the blame’s on me though for not producing new content and marketing the site.
- Sessions (-642)
- Users (-489)
- Pageviews (-943)
- Bounce rate (-0.91%)
TOP 10 TRAFFIC SOURCES
In looking at September’s traffic, this is what I would call a model month in terms of how traffic these past few months have settled into. With my trip to Peru, I ran another test of what would happen to Twitter referrals.
- Pinterest is doubling almost every month. It’s almost caught up with my direct traffic.
- Having ReviveOldPost off does hurt the traffic but by how much? I only received 478 Twitter referrals this month vs last month where there were 1,256. That’s a differential of 778 which in the grand scheme of things is only 2.5% of my total traffic.
TOP 10 KEYWORDS
While it was down month in traffic overall, impressions through Google search went up by 6,841. While most of these are the usual suspects for my top ranked posts, one that came out of nowhere was “f-stop loka”. I wrote this review last year and I’ve never seen it positioned this high. This just goes to show you that you can write something and become popular 12 months later.
THE TBB PODCAST
I want to hear from you! What’s on your mind? Do you have specific questions about travel blogging? Do you have burning questions? Let me know.
First of all, big props to all of you that left a review. The podcast is finally displaying reviews because it has enough! Let’s keep it going and if you haven’t yet, leave a review on iTunes for the Travel Blog Breakthrough Podcast.
About the course: I go in depth into the 10 tools that all of you bloggers need to know about. I introduce the tool, talk about why it’s awesome and then show you how to set it up and use it as I would.
This month, only ONE lucky reader will get the course for the discounted price of $10. First to use code TBBSEPT gets it!
WHAT’S NEXTYes it’s November. I still can’t believe we’re almost at the end of 2015. The one big thing to look forward is December when I’ll finally have some time to sit down and spend some solid time revamping both websites and produce new content. It’s going to happen I swear!
3 key takeaways from September
I always get questions about what’s the key to making money blogging and I’ve boiled it down to three things.
- Running the ReviveOldPost experiment again, I’ve confirmed it’s roughly 2.5% of traffic that you’ll gain/lose. Take that for a grain of salt though because it depends on a number of factors like followers and total traffic.
- If you haven’t gotten into Pinterest yet, it’s time you do it. It doesn’t get any easier than the little hack that I’ve set up.
3 CommentsLeave a comment
Nice write-up! My site is right about at your level, around 40,000 pageviews a month give or take. I just signed up with The Blogger Network so I’m excited to see how that goes. We’re on BlogHer and Sovrn as well as Ad Sense like you. Keep putting out the great content and things should only increase.
Hey, love how you incorporate your adventure photos in the cover image. Income reports always give motivation too, glad to see a constant flow over the past few months averaging around 1k.
Thanks Pav! I thought it’d be a nice touch. These reports are all about reflecting and so it’s fun to go through the month’s photos I’ve taken.