December 2016 Travel Blog Income Report – Exactly What I was Expecting
Before we get started and you begin to panic at my results, please note that my December Travel Blog Income Report is exactly what I was expecting. As I explained last month, I had just come off a couple of months that can best be described as a rough patch, and some residual affects did bleed into December.
Oh, and my neighborhood was hit by a minor tornado. As a member of the HOA, I had to assist with some of the aftermath coordination. Since I work for myself, there’s no PTO to kick-in when I have to step away to field neighbor complaints about the progress of the repairs. I just don’t earn any money. Subsequently, I don’t ever recommend running for your neighborhood HOA.
More on December’s results later though….
Even with all the bad that happened in 2016, I wrapped up the year quite optimistic.
Perhaps that’s because I came off of an inspiring writing retreat at the Old Edwards Inn and Spa in December or because I had an awesome Christmas with my family out in Phoenix. Either way, I was able to look past all the bad that happened (and there was a fair amount), and focus on the good. As I discovered, the good far outweighed the bad. I’m using that positive momentum, along with lessons learned, to shape my first quarter goals.
Notice that I didn’t say 2017 goals? There’s a reason…
I’m following a new approach this year and am scrapping the annual mindset. Instead, I’m focusing on quarterly goals as outlined in the book The 12 Week Year. Quarterly goals have a greater chance of completion as the finish line is with the horizon.
I’m still working through the book, so I’m not quite ready to share my quarterly goals. However, I can tell you that so far I highly recommend The 12 Week Year. It’s been one of the most insightful and inspiring books that I’ve read in a long time, tying together many abstract objectives covered in other books in an digestible and actionable manner.
Travel Blog Income Report
The results of my December income report were a whopping $441! As I said earlier, this is exactly what I was expecting. Here’s why.
December was the first month that we had steady part-time childcare for Deacon. The previous months I unsuccessfully balanced work and stay-at-home dad duties, working during his naps. Due to this limited time working, I saw income spikes and droughts month over month. The reason is because on a slow month client wise, I would pitch my heart out. The next month I’d have more freelance client work than I could handle and wouldn’t pitch at all. Thus, the cycle would repeat itself.
With steady childcare, I’m hoping to straighten out my roller coaster income. However, I do anticipate a rough January as December was a slow month pitching. It appears the publishing world takes the entire month off and my pitches went unread.
Which brings me to my constant theme that I need to have more than one income bucket. Ideally, there are five that I’d like to fill as outlined in the accompanying graphic. Currently, only two show any income – affiliate and freelance writing. The strategies I’m developing from the 12 Week Year will hopefully help fill those other buckets.
My expenses were on the high side at $599. A large chunk of this was for my subscription to Food Blogger Pro. The rest were reoccurring expenses.
Travel Blog Traffic Report
December was the first month in a long time that I posted regularly with two new posts a week. I also repackaged and promoted an old post each week. As I predicted, my traffic was up by almost 2,000 hits a month to 6,946 visitors.
My top posts for December were pretty predictable, following the trend of beer travel articles and income reports.
- November 2016 Travel Blog Income Report
- 48-Hours in Asheville, North Carolina: A Self-Guided Asheville Brewery Tour
- A Craft Beer Aruba Beer Guide
- Adult Only Results in Aruba
- Brewery Spotlight: Rocket Republic Brewing
One old post on adult only resorts in Aruba manage to creep into the top five. I immediately repackaged the post and filled it with accompanying affiliate links.
I then got to thinking about why this post showed up out of nowhere. People are planning their winter vacations! Thus, I’m editing all tropical vacation related posts to make sure they are still relevant and have proper affiliate links.
As I started sharing last month, below are my top five referral sources.
While I really can’t compare my top referral sources to last month as I didn’t post or promote much in November (or October for that matter), I am quite interested in two things:
- First, what’s up with the Twitter traffic? It’s a social media known to not drive much traffic. Bloggers normally only use it to show numbers to potential sponsors, etc.
- Second, what happened to my Pinterest referrals? It’s half of November’s referrals and a quarter of October’s. I’m not panicked yet though. I plan to watch these number for the next month or two. However, has anyone else experienced declining Pinterest numbers?
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