June 2016 Travel Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)
A freelance writing and blogging career is a lot like a sales career. Some months are amazing. You demolish your numbers, hit the big bonus, and treat yourself to an item from your wish list (fellow Financial Peace Graduates will understand that last one).
Then, the next month is an absolute disaster. Your commission is half of what it was last month. Dinners out change from Ruth Chris to Ryan’s Buffet – and even that’s a splurge. Thus describes my May and June Income Reports.
May was absolutely amazing! I met my monthly number, earned my highest income since beginning the blog, and achieved my highest site traffic ever. One can say I was on a bit of a high when June began. This little dream of mine might actually come to fruition!
Then June happened… My income was down by 35% and traffic by 10%. I went from crushing my numbers to swinging for the bleachers and striking out. While my numbers weren’t terrible, I still felt a bit of despair. Was it time for me to consider rejoining the corporate rat race?
Truth be told, I was in a very difficult situation to make achieving my numbers possible. Our babysitter resigned in mid-May. I began to wear the hat of fulltime stay-at-home Dad on top of my already overloaded plate of starving novelist, freelance writer, and blogger. My working hours were cut to the early morning – before Deacon and Shannan were awake – and to Deacon’s naptimes. That’s four hours on a good day.
I tried to be systematic about it, strictly sticking to a schedule. The early morning hours were for novel writing. Deacon’s morning nap was dedicated to checking email and social media and pitching freelance gigs. Afternoon naptime was reserved for blog or freelance article writing. By the time the evenings rolled around, I was exhausted and braindead from constantly switching gears throughout the day.
I was finding it impossible to squeeze a fulltime living out of less than half a day of fulltime working hours.
Travel Blog Income Report
While my June income was down, it wasn’t a complete fail. It was still my second highest revenue month of the year at $1,327. However, it fell far short of my goal of $2,390. Those of you who follow this report regularly will recall that these goals are tracking to my make-or-break goal of earning enough money from my blog and freelance writing to cover the mortgage and fulltime childcare by Deacon’s first birthday in October.
Even with June’s setback, I still remain optimistic that achieving my annual goal is still possible. To explain why, I want to share both my May Income Distribution Report and my June Income Distribution Report.
First, you’ll notice that a huge chunk of income from May is missing in June. That would be income from my course sales for 15 Steps to Sponsored Blog Travel. I launched the course in beta in May and then closed sales until the beta completed and I made adjustments based on feedback from my beta group. I hope to relaunch the course in mid-August with a pre-sale special starting later in July.
Second, it may appear from a cursory glance that my income from freelance writing is back to being my main source of revenue, which is something I’ve been working against (freelance revenue is from something you don’t own and will always be capped). However, half of my freelance income came from a single project that paid an absurd amount of money and only took a few hours. It was a project that I wouldn’t have applied for without the support of the freelance community at 30 Days to Freelance Writing Success. Another quarter came from a bonus pool I hit on an article I wrote that went viral.
Peeling back those layers then reveals that my affiliate income and sponsored post income make up a significant larger amount than it appears. Both are growing from new strategies and opportunities that I’m actively working on. Once course sales are added back in, I should be able to hit my goal.
Business Operating Expenses
For two months in a row now, my operating expenses were through the roof. The reason, once again, is travel related expenses. I went on my second non-sponsored trip in two months. May’s trip was to Minneapolis for TBEX and June’s trip was to New York City for some self-exploration. Another large cost you may notice is for my virtual assistant.
I scratched my head for quite some time as to why my traffic had dropped. 2016 had seen a steady increase, tracking along directly with my goals. Then someone from my mastermind pointed out that I cut back on the number of weekly posts, which correlates directly back to my issue with time. There just wasn’t enough of me to produce three new posts a week, so I cut back to two in June.
I’m guessing that the fewer amount of posts I’m producing also correlates to a leveling off in social media numbers. As I look towards July, I have to be honest that I don’t have the capacity to keep up with even a two a week posting schedule due to our summer vacation (I’m not allowed to work during it). Instead, I’ll be promoting some posts from the archives that have been remastered according to affiliate strategies I learned at TBEX. I look to reporting on the results in July’s report!
Top Posts in June
Top posts are pretty identical to May’s with some slight reordering and the addition of my May Income Report for A Craft Beer Guide to Aruba. The Aruba post fell to number six.
- What to Wear in Europe this Summer
- 48 Hours in Asheville, North Carolina: A Self-Guided Brewery Tour
- 15 Surprising Vendors You’ll Find at Lowe Mill Arts and Entertainment
- What to Wear in Europe
- May 2016 Travel Blog Income Report (And Traffic, Too)