Welcome to our blog income reports! We’ve been meaning to get back into sharing our personal and blogging goals again. This time we also want to start sharing ways we’ve been making money through the blog, the challenges we faced each month, lessons we learned, and finally to celebrate successes however big or small.
Though we have a few side hustles, the travel blog has become our main hustle.
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Originally Published: Aug 27, 2018
How We Made $23K in July - 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 comes from our travel blog and not from e-courses and e-books.
To Track How We're Doing
Esther has always liked sharing goals online and tracking them. It helps her with accountability. 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 July 2018
In July 2018 we earned a total of $23,001.44. The affiliate number is a bit skewed this month because we received a bulk payout for Avantlink where some of our records were incorrect so they held a few month’s worth of payments. Otherwise, everything else is accurately detailed below.
Income Comparison to Other Months
- Total in 2018 Year Income: $118,611.38
- Last Month Income: $17,571.54
- Difference: 31% 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. I didn’t have the correct tools and a lot of it was trial and error.
First, keep in mind that roughly 30% of your income will go to taxes at the end of the year. Below you will see that we set aside some money for taxes to offset how much we have to pay at the end.
- Web Hosting: $19.95 (Want to start a blog? Here’s how you can start a blog in 5 easy steps)
- Keysearch: $14.08
- Virtual Assistant: $31.50
- Advertising: $175
- Design + Branding: $3,100
- Teachable: $99 (check out their free weekly webinar)
- Office Supplies: $480.23
- Test Products: $79.01
- Taxes: $1120
- Health Insurance: $663.61
- Travel + Meal Expenses: $1,653.76
TOTAL EXPENSES: $7,436.14
TOTAL NET PROFIT: $15,565.30
July 2018 Blog Traffic Breakdown + Stats
We had an issue with our google analytics and our new site launch for the first two weeks. Since we had weird spikes and it’s inaccurate, we’ll resume sharing these next month.
- Social Media Followers: 272,021
- Email Subscribers: 8556
Blog News + Goals
- ☐ Build our affiliate sales up again.
- ☒ Improve workflow with the team on Trello.
- ☐ Launch our e-course to bring in another revenue stream.
- ☐Marketing our existing content more effectively.
- ☐ Interview a VA.
- ☒ Complete draft of employee handbook.
- ☐ Finish reading Crazy Rich Asians.
- ☒ Find a new hobby or a new dance teacher. Sadly, ours moved back to LA. -> Kickboxing
- ☐ We both finished one V6. Now to finish bouldering all the V5s.
- ☐ Take one day off a week.
- ☐ Go on two date nights.
What's Working on the Blog
As we mentioned before, we were getting really spread thin. We had so many day to day tasks that it was hard to plan ahead for growth. We’ve always wanted to have a more regular schedule for Youtube, but now we have Josh who can dedicate his time to putting out a new video a week (they used to run a youtube channel together before doing acoustic covers)! You will also see Macy, who will be writing some posts for us in the upcoming months.
What Didn't Work + Lessons Learned
Just when we think we’re getting ahead, we go on a trip that throws us off our groove. It’s especially difficult when we don’t have reliable wifi. We definitely need to figure out a better system to keep things running while we’re “out of the office.”
How to Work with Sponsors
I’ve been working on putting together my process for anyone interested in growing that part of their business. I plan on sharing my sales method and teach you how to approach brands. It’s currently in Beta mode, and I would love for you to ask me any questions you have on this topic. Sign up for e-course notifications here.
How do you stay on track when you leave the office? Ask us anything! We’ll be featuring questions and answering them each month on these reports.
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.