Hello Travel Blog Breakthrough readers! Hope you’re having a good summer so far and that there is lots of travel and blogging happening. While May was pretty quiet on the income front, I saw a nice bump in June thanks to invoices being paid. One thing you’ll learn while working with brands is that invoices rarely get paid as quickly as you’d like. So how did June go? Let’s find out!
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.
- Because the goal of taking your blog to the next level and making money of it is not as crazy you think.
- Because if you’re feeling down and thinking “man this is friggin’ hard!”….well yes it is but you’re not alone. 🙂
- 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
Writing these income reports is my way of doing accounting. I have a nifty Excel spreadsheet to keep track of everything. As you grow, you’ll want to consider tracking things yourself as well.
Note that I’ve converted all numbers into USD just to make it easy.
- Sponsored Campaign – $1,227.52
- Sponsored Writing – $288.60
- Affiliate – $208.10
- Freelance Writing – $200
- Advertising $242.91
- Monumetric – $176.80
- Google AdSense – $66.11
- Sponsored Link – $44.00
Total income: $2,211.13
- Hosting – $278.58
- Tools (BoardBooster, AWeber, FMTC) – $30
- Podcasting – $15
- Mentoring (Sohelpful.me) – $9
- Email: $3.96
Total expenses: $336.54
Total profit: $1,874.59
Going Awesome Places
Ouch…some growth I saw throughout the year so far was wiped out in a single month. While I have been creating content over the past few months, it certainly hasn’t been as steady of a flow as before. Part of this drop may be seasonal but one thing I definitely haven’t been doing much of this year has been leveraging social media and sharing groups as much as I used to. We’ll get to that a little lower down.
What is interesting to see in the line graph is just how flattened out my traffic is becoming where Monday to Sunday there is a steady flow. I’m not sure if that is a sign of success but you definitely notice big spikes and dips with Travel Blog Breakthrough and that was certainly how Going Awesome Places was a year ago.
- Sessions: -2,261
- User: -1,761
- Pageviews: +3,114
Travel Blog Breakthrough
- Sessions: -297
- User: -199
- Pageviews: -425
The stats below are only for Going Awesome Places.
Top 10 Traffic Sources
The traffic from June to May is strikingly similar except a few key differences:
- The introduction of Baidu (China’s version of Google)
- Drop in close to 1,000 sessions from Direct/None
- Slight growth in Pinterest
- 1,000 session drop from Google
Top 10 Search Queries
I’m amazed to see tripping.com as a top search query for the second straight month. This was a one-off article I wrote over a year ago as a review and granted people are probably accidentally Googling “tripping.com” hoping to go straight to the site, I’m ranked on first page with the likes of TechCrunch and Wikipedia which is neat.
What has me a bit puzzled is “the hound height”. I did a search myself and didn’t see my page show up so I have no clue why this was ranking. Very odd! Google works in mysterious ways…
Let’s keep the random tidbits (and hopefully helpful) of information going for June.
Ghosting on Twitter
Over the course of this year, I’ve noticed that my Twitter referrals have slowly decreased. I didn’t pay too much attention because I’ve been spending less time promoting on Twitter and there were all those changes to Twitter this year with the introduction of the Home Feed, Moments and the general overhaul of their algorithm to make it more Newsfeed-like.
What really caught my attention was when I was using TweetReach to try to track my hashtag performance for a client I was working with in January. To my surprise, I couldn’t find any results under my handle for the hashtag even though I had been Tweeting like crazy. That’s when I found out about ghosting.
Twitter has been quietly ghosting accounts to try to combat bots and spammers but in building out their algorithm, they’ve been marking a lot of brands and influencers. Some say it’s because of the “excessive” Tweeting of URLs that triggers this but it is really hard to say.
What I did find is that tools like Hashtracker work fine but TweetReach and other smaller tools like Activity Walls will not pick up your tweets. Even the “Tweets” tab of Twitter Analytics craps out which is frustrating.
So how do you resolve this?
Unfortunately, there’s no easy fix as it’s in the hands of Twitter and there isn’t exactly a hotline you can dial. The only way to attempt to solve this is by using a super secret page on Twitter that you can find here where you can fill out a form in hopes that someone will read it and help out. Most likely your first few attempts won’t fix it so keep trying. You won’t get a notice saying it’s done but keep getting your friends to search “From: @yourhandle” on Twitter to see if your tweets show up.
Who else is experiencing this?
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.
15 CommentsLeave a comment
Thanks for that info on Twitter ghosting. I’ve been wondering why the Rise #travel1k list never picks up my travel tweets, and that may very well be why. I’ll have to see what I can do to fix if.
Notice you are using Boardboost, have you compared to Tailwind? What are your thoughts if you have?
I’ve actually been using both. Tailwind is great because of their new tribes feature but in terms of automation, BoardBooster is just way more advanced. Have you read my blog post on BoardBooster?
Hey Will: have a business prop for you…
Wow, amazing… you are the really proved… yourself… And i really inspired by you
Awesome! This is so interesting that you share all the info transparently!! Gives me a lot of insight for my blog!
I noticed a few months ago that my Twitter account had been ghosted as well, and I’ve noticed a number of other travel bloggers have as well. I actually noticed when the Rise algorithm changed and noticed that even though I used a specific hashtag, the Rise board couldn’t see it.
Did you have success in getting untagged as a ghost?
I did actually! Did you end up getting unghosted?
Awesome, thanks for sharing that! I’m an experienced web publisher but recently started a travel blog in English (I have one in Hebrew that’s doing fairly well). Glad I came across your blog – lots to read and learn here.
Hi Will! I think I need to start getting into this sponsored campaign stuff. Sounds like you’re really crushing it with Going Awesome Places. I’m impressed. Do you work from a platform or rely on advertisers to come to you? Do you have any posts about how to get started getting sponsored campaigns with brands?
Hey so sorry for the delayed response. In terms of sponsored campaign work, it’s honestly a mix of both. I get a lot of work from IZEA which is awesome and also some come directly to me through networking. Have you started working on any campaigns?
[…] I’m impressed Will Tang earned more than $1,800 from writing and ads in June 2016. What might contribute to his success is the fact he has two separate blogs: one focused on his […]
Very impressive Will! I’m inspired that you can actually come this far in blogging, well deserved buddy!
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