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How We Made Over $26k in November 2018 on the Travel Blog

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 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.

Life Updates

We’re excited that we finally got to partner with our friend Seth, who started Thirst Project, to build our very first well in Swaziland! Did you know that $25 can give one person safe drinking water for life? You can get involved by donating here or fundraising here.

We also started a new project with our friends at Presencia, where we’re going to send their kids on a trip, so that they can see the opportunities beyond their neighborhoods. Learn more about it here.

These are things we have talked about for quite a while. Our friends have always been doing amazing things for their communities and globally, and the very least we can do is work to support their goals. This essentially makes us the busy parent who works all the time to send their kids to college and rarely spends quality time with them, but we hope eventually we can get involved on a more day to day level too. 

In our personal lives, it’s been a rough one. We won’t go into any details to respect the privacy of our family, but we’ve definitely hit a low point. If we skip a few posts on instagram or on the blog, it’s because we’ve been a bit preoccupied.

How We Made over $26k in November 2018 - Travel Blog Income ReportPin

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Originally Published: Dec 6, 2018

How We Made OVER $26K in November - 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.

More: The Ugly Truths of Being a Travel Blogger told by Top Travel Bloggers

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 November 2018

In November 2018 we earned a total of $26,433.62

Affiliate Income
  • Sponsored Product Posts: $18,447.55 
    *our fave marketplace lately: IZEA
Display Ads
  • Adthrive: $6924.32
Income Comparison to Other Months
  • Total in 2018 Year Income: $218,643.91
  • Last Month Income: $28,729.32
  • Difference: 7.9% decrease 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. Since we’re sharing a lot of what worked and didn’t work for us, you already have a head start on us.


TOTAL NET PROFIT: $17,594.11

*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: 467,739
  • Daily Average: 15,591
  • Monthly Sessions: 367,487
  • Monthly Unique Visitors: 310,922
  • Social Media Followers: 319,774
  • Email Subscribers: 8,269

Blog News + December Goals

Blog Goals
  • ☐ Gather NYC content for 10 posts.
  • ☐ Add RewardStyle Widgets to Top 50 Posts for the past 3 months.
  • ☐ Figure out where to allocate the rest of our giving from 2018.
  • ☐ Write a recap of 2018
Life Goals
What's Working on the Blog

We’re already having conversations with 2019 sponsors and hope to close a few before the end of the year. Might as well get a head start on the new year! Sponsorships have always been our strong suit, but we always want to diversify.

With only two months left, we put together a list of places we want to check out before leaving NYC. I’m so sad we’re leaving, but our place doesn’t do month to month, and Jacob is sick of paying NYC rent prices.

What Didn't Work + Lessons Learned

We finally officially launched the e-course but didn’t have much energy to dedicate to it. The e-course is a full time job of its own, and it doesn’t help that we still feel so gross about e-courses in general. We got a few sign ups, but not nearly as many as we were hoping. The good thing is that we’ve already heard feedback that people are finding success with the course. We are going to regroup and figure out a better way to get the course out. In the meantime, if you’re interested in checking it out, email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you special access to it.

What are some of your goals next month? If you have any questions for us, let us know in the comments below so that we can share them on our next post.


Esther + Jacob

Esther and Jacob are the founders of Local Adventurer, which is one of the top 5 travel blogs in the US. They believe that adventure can be found both near and far and hope to inspire others to explore locally. They explore a new city in depth every year and currently base themselves in NYC.

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