Destinations Magazine

Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016

By Livingthedreamrtw @livingdreamrtw

Welcome to the 18th entry in our monthly income and traffic report!

In this series we share our traffic, earning, and spending figures each 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.

Last month we shared our results from May 2016, and now that June 2016 has ended, it is time to share those figures too! So how'd we do? Read on to find out!

Living the Dream's June 2016 Traffic

Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016

Our traffic for June 2016 was approximately 39,500 page views.

When compared to our traffic in May, our June traffic was up by just under 1% on a per day basis. When comparing June 2015 to June 2016 our traffic was up by 50%.

As mentioned at the end of last month, we are now seeing a pretty generous gain in Google impressions and page views over preceding months. In the last 90 days alone we are up approximately 10% in Google impressions and 15% in clicks on average. This growth has also been pretty substantial towards the end of the month, suggesting that our impression and click-rate rise is just getting started. As such, we now have a dedicated plan in place to track our traffic monthly and to update older articles for both removal (non-performers) and SEO updates (top performers) to try and continue increasing this performance.

If we can hold this for over the course of just one year, our traffic gain will be incredible even if other outlets (including social) are down like they have been over the past few months.

Last month we also started a campaign to grow our sites on Pinterest, which sadly did not amount to anything in our first pass. As we are not that thrilled about that social network in the first place we're going to pause our efforts for a while until we think about a new plan to try moving forward.

On the Discover the Burgh front, our traffic was just under 30,000 page views- making June our lowest traffic month of the year so far. We dropped the ball here through reduced advertising (down significantly from our original rollback plan) and we started rectifying this towards the end of the month with a notable uptick. I suspect it'll pick up quite a bit over the coming months based on how the last few days of the month went. On the plus side, we are still seeing rapid growth in our search engine referrals and are now achieving well over 5,000 page views per month from Google alone. Considering we were at only 1,000 page views per month just three months ago, this is an encouraging sign of things to come.


Living the Dream's June 2016 Income

Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016

Our booked income for June 2016 was approximately $1,095.

Although our proper advertisement sales were low this month, we had a rather astounding month for other earnings including a good jump in latent income earners plus our first paid campaign on Discover the Burgh! We are really excited to see how this one pans over the coming month as it could open the door for even more income in the future (but since we won't be getting paid for this one until the end of July, we can't really talk about the details yet).

Our earning dollar amount includes the following breakdown:

Advertisements: $100
Amazon Affiliates and CPM: $205
Hotel Affiliates: $37.50
Other Affiliates: $67
Adsense: $135
Media Sales: $50
Paid Campaigns: $500

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Living the Dream's June 2016 Expenses

Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016

Our spending for the month of June included the following:

Social Media Advertising: $310
Mailchimp Fee: $50
Staff Payment: $150
Blogging Promotions: $75
Computer Backup Services: $50
Image Backup Service: $30
Conference Fees: $205
Total: $870

Overall, our spending for June was up quite a bit for a number of reasons.

First, we brought on our second staff writer (Kendrick) and now have two team members that we are paying in exchange for articles. Second, we performed a few housekeeping tasks (like backing up our desktops and sending out a reader survey) that pushed the remaining categories up a fair bit for the month. Finally, an incredible conference was announced for food and beverage media in Pittsburgh (where our local blog is based). Meeting with national media and local businesses on one of our favorite topics? Sign us up no matter what that one costs!

When it comes to spending money for the site, I'm more than okay with that.

Goals for July 2016

Our goals for July are many:

  • First, as mentioned earlier in this post we now have a dedicated plan in place for overhauling our articles on Living the Dream through a monthly SEO audit. It took a few months to come up with the plan and validate our efforts, but now that we are seeing results it helps justify the time requirements moving forward. I'm looking forward to seeing the results of our first "full" month of tests when we download the data today.
  • Second, we have spent a fair bit of time overhauling our site to be a latent income earner (which as you can tell from the above income summaries worked out quite well). Now we're going to be shifting our focus into increasing our page views. Our first goal is to try and encourage more shares of our articles on the social networks, and we'll be adjusting a few things on our site to try and encourage more clicks over the coming weeks.
  • Third, we are finishing our first annual reader survey on Discover the Burgh to help understand our audience there better versus what Google Analytics tells us. We will be spending a fair bit of time putting together a nice PDF report to host on our site and share with potential business partners in the future that should drive up business inquiries moving forward.
  • Finally, we have our first major promotion coming up on Discover the Burgh. This one has multiple pushes that we'll be working on and are hoping for a pretty incredible result to share with future partners. But like we said above, since this one doesn't take place until the end of July we have to keep the details quiet for now.
You'll just have to wait until the end of the month to see how it all went!
Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016

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Income and Traffic Report #18 – June 2016
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