Welcome to our blog income reports where we share ways we’ve been making money through the blog, the challenges and lessons we learned each month, and finally a place to celebrate successes however big or small. Though we have a few side hustles, we’re happy to say that the travel blog has become our main hustle.
Where has the summer gone? I don’t know about you, but August came and left in a blink. Sadly we forgot to take a day off every week, but we did take one morning off for our 8 year anniversary lunch and two evenings off to watch Mission Impossible and Crazy Rich Asians. That’s a solid start, though I’m sad to admit all I could think about was work during our 8 year anniversary meal. I know that it’s common for people take pride in being a workaholic especially in NY (and I have too), but it’s become a serious problem. I want to work to live rather than live to work. All it takes is one baby step in the right direction.
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Originally Published: Sept 17, 2018
How We Made OVER $32K in August - Travel Blog Income Report
Why We Share Our Income Reports
If you’re new here, you might be wondering why on earth we would share something so personal. We’ve been hesitant to share our income reports for the last 5 years, and we’re super nervous about this post, but since we’re all about trial and error, let’s see how it goes! We’re putting out these income reports for these following reasons.
To Show You How We Make Income Blogging
We always want to be 100% transparent about how we make money through this blog. The amazing thing about the blogging world is that every blogger we’ve talked to does things a bit differently. There are also countless ways to grow and improve your business. When we started, we made most of our money through affiliate sales. Since then, we’ve shifted heavily to sponsored content. A big part of this is because my background is in sales and it’s what I’m good at. You can learn more about my sale method below. As time goes on, this will continue to change, but we want to share how we focus on our strengths to effectively meet our goals.
To Show You the Potential of Blogging
Whether you have a blog or are starting a blog, we want to show you that you can make a career out of blogging.
Even if you don’t want to blog, there are a ton of ways to be financially and location independent and we hope to inspire others to go after it too. If you want to keep your day job, blogging can be a great way for you to make some extra side money.
Esther started the blog 6 years ago and I joined her full time 3 years ago. Even until last year, our parents were worried about us financially, wondering when we would stop “playing” and start taking our lives and work more seriously. Neither of us ended up being “good Asians” (namely a doctor, lawyer, or engineer). It’s an unconventional job and where most people don’t understand all the work that goes on behind the scenes.
We love that our jobs give us flexibility in what we do, but being your own boss isn’t all that it’s cut out to be either. You have to be disciplined and work hard at your business to grow it.
Note: There are a lot of great blogs and resources out there about blogging, but the tough part is that it’s not always replicable unless you also want to start blogging about blogging. We wanted to show you that it’s possible to start a blog on other topics and still make a living. Though we have an e-course in the works, we want to continue to show you that the bulk of our income still comes from our travel blog.
To Track How We're Doing
I’ve always loved sharing goals online and tracking them. Putting them out in the world (via the blog) has helped me so much with accountability. Since we’re constantly tweaking trying to improve the blog, looking at these numbers will help us learn whether we’ve been making the right changes. It’s amazing to see how the sources of income have changed over time and to see where we still have room for improvement.
Ultimately, our life goal is to make enough to live on half our income (right now we’re at 30%), where the rest will go back into the community or support organizations we love.
Breakdown of Income for August 2018
In August 2018 we earned a total of $32,778.52.
Income Comparison to Other Months
- Total in 2018 Year Income: $151,389.90
- Last Month Income: $23,001.44
- Difference: 42.5% increase from last month
Previous Income Reports
If you’re not getting the results you want, again, keep in mind that we’ve been blogging for 6 years now and the first month I tried monetizing my blog, I made less than $20. Give it more time and failing in the process is okay. I didn’t have the correct tools and a lot of it was trial and error. Consider it all an A/B test to figure out what will best work for you.
- Web Hosting: $19.95 (Want to start a blog? Here’s how you can start a blog in 5 easy steps)
- Keysearch: $18.60
- Virtual Assistant + Subcontractors: $1,627
- Teachable: $99 (check out their free weekly webinar)
- Office Supplies/Services: $890.33
- Test Products/Shoot Supplies: $2,256.10
- *Taxes: $1,372
- Insurance: $1,368.89
- Travel + Meal Expenses: $1,433.14
TOTAL EXPENSES: $9.085.01
TOTAL NET PROFIT: $23,693.51
*Roughly 30% of your income will go to taxes at the end of the year. The number above shows the money set aside for taxes to offset how much we have to pay at the end. It makes it less painful at the end of the year.
August 2018 Blog Traffic Breakdown + Stats
- Monthly Pageviews: 514,726
- Daily Average: 16,604
- Monthly Sessions: 359,907
- Monthly Unique Visitors: 298,479
- Social Media Followers: 294,956
- Email Subscribers: 8,599
Blog News + September Goals
- ☒ Make a strategy to gather NYC content.
- ☐ Build our affiliate sales up again.
- ☐ Start marketing the e-course.
- ☐ Finish bouldering all the V5s.
- ☐ Take one day off a week.
- ☒ Go on two date nights
What's Working on the Blog
We finally got accepted to RewardStyle. I applied twice in the past few years but got rejected both times for one reason or another. Still not 100% why. We reached out to them to see if they have any notes for us to share how you can learn from our mistakes (will keep you posted).
I also drafted my first ever Local Adventurer handbook to outline all the things I do for the blog and biz. I procrastinated so hard on this one. Hopefully, it’s not as boring to read as it was to write.
What Didn't Work + Lessons Learned
We soft launched the e-course (ever so quietly), mainly because we have been juggling so many things and haven’t had the proper time to market and promote it.
We also contracted out Josh and Macy to create some posts and videos for Local Adventurer, which has been stressful for me, since all the initial training takes time away from our day to. day work. Ultimately, though, I know these are growing pains and it will only make things better… later.
Featured Question from Readers / Marketing Tip
Ask us anything! We’ll be featuring questions and answering them each month on these reports.
The e-course is out! With a lot of trial and error over the years, Jacob has figured out the best ways to pitch and work with sponsors. One of our most recent sponsorships was a $35k deal. Plus, one of our students using the e-course has already booked $11k in sponsorships. If you’re interested to learn more, see the intro video here.