How We Made OVER $32K in August 2018 – Travel Blogger Salary

by I'm Struggling

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.

Life Updates

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.

How We Made 32K+ in One Month - Our Blog Income Reports // Local Adventurer #localadventurer #travelblogger #blogincome #blogger #travelblog #blog #problogger

This post may contain affiliate links, where we receive a small commission on sales of the products that are linked at no additional cost to you. Read our full disclosure for more info. Thank you for supporting the brands that make Local Adventurer possible.

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.

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 August 2018

In August 2018 we earned a total of $32,778.52. 

Affiliate Income

Amazon: $568.3Avantlink: $417.77 Commission Junction: $417.08Misc (Ebay, Skimlinks, AWin, etc): $123.36

Sponsorships

Sponsored Product Posts: $24,079.90 *our fave marketplace lately: IZEA

Display Ads

Adthrive: $7,172.11

Income Comparison to Other Months

Total in 2018 Year Income: $151,389.90Last Month Income: $23,001.44Difference: 42.5% increase from last month

Previous Income Reports

July 2018January to June 2018

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.

Expenses

Web Hosting: $19.95 (Want to start a blog? Here’s how you can start a blog in 5 easy steps)Keysearch: $18.60Virtual Assistant + Subcontractors: $1,627Teachable: $99 (check out their free weekly webinar)Office Supplies/Services: $890.33Test Products/Shoot Supplies: $2,256.10*Taxes: $1,372Insurance: $1,368.89Travel + Meal Expenses: $1,433.14

TOTAL EXPENSES: $9.085.01TOTAL 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

Blog Goals

Make a strategy to gather NYC content.Build our affiliate sales up again.Start marketing the e-course.

Life Goals

Find a new hobby.
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.

Popular Posts from Last Month

15 Fun Things to Do in Columbia SCThe Ugly Truths of Being a Travel Blogger15 Can’t Miss Things to Do in Quebec CityHow we made 23k in July 201825 Secrets on How to Travel Like a Local

Featured Question from Readers / Marketing Tip

Ask us anything! We’ll be featuring questions and answering them each month on these reports.

How to Work with Sponsors

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.

What have you been up to last month? Any fun plans next month? What are some of your goals next month?

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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