February was an awesome month for us! Although we spent a good chunk of our month traveling around Thailand, we still made almost the same income as we did last month. As mentioned, we spent most of our time in Chiang Mai Thailand, working, hanging out with friends and training for our upcoming trip to Everest.
We took a trip to Pai, a nearby small town and as I write this, we are currently in Bangkok, getting ready to fly to Nepal.
After Nepal, we will be leaving Asia and heading to Europe!
Despite being really nervous last month when we published our first income report revealing How We Made $12,782 from Blogging In January 2018, the comments, messages and general feedback from that post were amazing.
As always, please know that in no way are we publishing these income reports to brag! If you’ve already read our previous reports, feel free to skip over the Reasons Why We Publish Income Reports and the Who We Are sections.
It is important to us that we give our new readers a glimpse of who we are and why were are doing this!
- 1 Reasons Why We Publish Income Reports
- 2 Who We Are (For The New People Reading)
- 3 February Blogging Focus
- 4 February 2018 Blogging Income
- 5 Total February Blogging Income – $12,703 (-0.62% pm)
- 6 Monthly Blogging Expenses
- 7 Monthly KPIs
- 8 Value Bomb and Next Month Focus
Reasons Why We Publish Income Reports
Below are the reasons we started publishing blogging income reports:
Reason 1: When we first started blogging, we knew people were making money from it but we didn’t really know how!
By reading other people’s blog income reports, we gained a deeper understanding of the different ways we could make money from a blog. We are hoping our blogging income reports do the same for others who are in the same shoes as we were two years ago.
Reason 2: We want these income reports to motivate you to keep hustling online or if you haven’t started blogging yet, inspire you to start today.
Making money from blogging isn’t easy… but it IS possible if you learn from the right people and work out a solid monetization strategy from day 1.
Last Reason: The selfish reason we want to start doing this is… to keep us accountable!
By hitting publish on these income reports, we are revealing our successes but also our failures. We learn and continue growing by reviewing our month to find out what worked and what didn’t.
Again, in no way is this a “oh-look-how-much-we-made” post!
In fact, it is quite the opposite as we want to turn this into a reflective learning practice for us, as well as for those that are reading these posts.
If this is your first time reading our blog, Adventure In You, then here’s a little bit about us.
For those that know us already, feel free to skip ahead.
Who We Are (For The New People Reading)
Adventure In You is an adventure travel blog, that focuses on reviewing the top adventure holidays and experiences in the world. On top of reviewing the best adventures in the world, we also provide travel advice and inspiration.
My partner Anna is from the Philippines and is the main writer behind the blog. I, (Tom), am from Wales and manage the business and technical side of the blog. We met while backpacking in Vietnam and have been traveling full time since 2014.
A year later, we started blogging full time in 2015.
We had both spent years saving up for our first traveling experience, with Anna working as a teacher in the Philippines and me working as a waiter in the UK, while finishing my degree.
Like most people, after having an incredible experience traveling, we didn’t want to stop. After we returned to the “real world”, we needed to find a way to keep fueling our wanderlust. We started our travel blog because we simply wanted to travel more but didn’t have the money to.
Our aim to was to build a travel blog that would provide a side income so that we could travel for longer. We never imagined that we could ever earn a full-time income (and more!) from blogging.
After a few months of working hard, we quickly made our first $500 and then what happened next blew us away. It changed how we viewed making money.
By the end of our first year, our travel blog started to bring in $2000 a month. The year after, we started bringing in $5000, $8000 and soon after, we hit $10,000.
This was when we decided that we wanted to help others achieve the same level of freedom we now have.
I want to be honest with you. When we first started travel blogging, we thought we were too late to the game and that we wouldn’t be able to make money.
Some people said we were too late to start blogging and that the market was too saturated… (To the nay sayers, thanks for motivating us 😉 )
Truth is, there was limited opportunity to make money blogging 10 years ago unless you had a huge following. Today though, brands are a lot more willing to work with bloggers, good ad networks have come out and the affiliate opportunities are endless.
Not to mention the social network platforms that are now available to you for free to grow an audience on. The time to get started is now and we couldn’t be more excited to be in the industry!
Since we started our travel blog we have been able to train hop around Europe, trek through jungles in Indonesia, dive with whale sharks in the Philippines, jump out of a plane in Switzerland, venture into the Amazon rainforest and more.
Blogging changed our lives which is why a part of Adventure In You is dedicated to blogging and helping others succeed in this space.
If you don’t have a blog yet but want to get started, join our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course below.
This free course walks you through picking a niche, name, getting your blog online and the different ways to make money. It also includes in-depth video tutorials on how to set up your blog on WordPress!
When you join this course, you also get access to our private Facebook group where all the other members hang out and help each other.
We wish we had a course and community like this when we got started!
If you already have a blog but are making less than $500 per month, join the waiting list for our new Blogging Fast Lane course, which is coming out very soon.
This 8-week course will be packed full of actionable information on how to explode your following and increase your revenue. We managed to get our blog earning 5 figures a month in just two years and we want to share the exact ways on how we did this!
Now, without further delay, let’s get into our February Blogging Income Report!
February Blogging Focus
Our main focus this month was to continue developing our Blogging Fast Lane course and work on removing a plugin that is causing major issues with our theme. We also started experimenting with Facebook bots to help us communicate with our readers more.
For our pop-ups and a few pages, we were using a plugin called Thrive Leads. We have been using them for a year now, but the experience has not been good.
Without getting too technical the plugin uses a set up called ajax meaning as our traffic increased, so did the amount of resources that were needed to keep our site online. Now we are almost hitting 500,000 visitors a month, this plugin was causing our blog to crash a lot.
After removing Thrive, we now use ClickFunnels for our landing pages and Many Chat for our Facebook Bot pop-ups and messenger set up.
Learning how to use the new Facebook Messenger features have been great. So far the opt-in rate for the pop-ups are lower than the email pop-ups we used before, but the open/click-through rates are a lot higher!
As an experiment, for the month of March, we are going to leave the Facebook pop-ups on, so we’re expecting a decline in email sign-ups and also e-book sales. The e-book sales will be affected as previously after we had an email sign up, we would offer a discount on our guide-books. These discount funnel made up around 50% of our guide sales.
Despite knowing this, we want to test out the new flow of Messenger and also build our subscriber base there.
It’s different communicating with readers via Facebook Messenger but after some practice, I am sure we will get used to it.
(How do you feel about bloggers and other companies communicating with you via Facebook Messenger? Let us know in the comments!)
We were pretty curious about our income in February as there is obviously 3 days less than January, but were happy to see we had another good month!
February 2018 Blogging Income
To make this income report easier to understand, I have broken down our income by different sources.
Display advertising, sponsored posts and brand partnerships, affiliates and products.
Please Note: All income is in USD ($) and pm stands for Previous Month. Although we’ve listed this amount as our income gained this month, some affiliate networks and clients take up to three months to pay.
Display Advertising – $3,411.96 (+3.97% pm)
We run our display ads through the ad network Mediavine. This month we had around 380,000 page views and made a total of $3,411.96.
We were really happy with this because halfway through the month, we turned off one of the ad placements, so expected that with 3 less days in the month and without that placement the revenue would be less.
We decided to remove the ad that appears in the sidebar and is sticky. We did this for two reasons:
- We really didn’t like the way it looked and thought it was annoying for our desktop readers.
- We wanted to advertise our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course there. This not only provides more value to our readers but looks better.
Affiliates – $6172 (+28.93% pm)
If you don’t know what an affiliate is, it is where you recommend a product or service and when a person purchases that product or service through your link, you get a commission for referring them.
We work with a range of affiliates but everything we recommend we 100% trust and/or use ourselves. We turn down a lot of offers monthly from companies, if we feel the product or service is of low quality or simply doesn’t fit our brand.
Our affiliate income was generated by these partnerships this month:
Liveaboard (Diving trips)
12Go (Transport search engine in Asia)
Bluehost (Blog hosting provider)
World Nomads (Travel insurance)
Premier Tefl (TEFL qualification provider)
Convertkit (Our email auto-responder which was a HUGE gamechanger to our business)
Tailwind (Our Pinterest secret weapon)
Total Income from affiliates: $6172
When we first published an article on How to Start a Travel Blog last year, we were initially recommending Site Ground. After some terrible customer service experience, we moved our sites away and a few months back, started to recommend Bluehost to our readers and people taking our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course.
Site Ground is a good hosting option for many but after our experience with them, we no longer feel good recommending their services. Personally, although their customer chat service answers quickly, they usually can’t help you with your problem and just end up submitting a ticket for you.
For months our site was crashing and every time they would simply tell us we needed to pay more to increase our resources. We would pay more and then the next week it would be down again.
After a few months of this, we had enough so decided to move. We quickly moved all our other sites over to Bluehost. Due to the amount of traffic that we were getting for Adventure In You we decided to put in on a premium package with Performance Foundry.
The reason we recommend Bluehost rather than Performance Foundry is simply because of the price. Bluehost is the better option for new bloggers, or bloggers that are getting under 250,000 pageviews and not using all their hosting resources yet.
It’s exciting for us to be working with Bluehost, not only due to the extra affiliate income (which yes has been lovely), but also because through our Blogging School, we get to bring so much value to people just getting started blogging.
Although the affiliate commission from Bluehost isn’t a big part of our blogging income yet, we are looking to grow it as we keep providing value for people who just getting started blogging.
World Nomads is a travel insurance provider. They provide what we think is the best adventure travel insurance out there, which is why recommending them is so easy for us.
Our commission with them is growing every month. A big reason for this is back in December, we published multiple full travel guides for countries in Asia and Europe, with the aim to get them ranking for keywords such as:
- Vietnam Travel Guide
- Cambodia Travel Guide
- Laos Travel
At the bottom of each of these guides, we included a resources section which included hotel booking widgets but also a World Nomads search widget. Now that we are ranking for a lot of the keywords we were targeting, our affiliate income for travel insurance has increased by around three times!
If you don’t have content that is ranking yet, think about the content that you could produce and make a list. Do the keyword research so you know your keyword focus and if you will be able to rank. If it’s looking good, get writing!
Sponsored Posts and Brand Partnerships – $2,500 (-36.95% pm)
This month was an okay month as far as advertising partnerships goes. As you can see we made around 36% less than the previous month, despite doing a big outreach.
It’s seemed most companies burned through their budgets in January, so a lot of them have slowed down a little this month.
The problem in relying on this business model is that it’s always up and down which is why we encourage our students to focus on other streams such as products and affiliates.
Products – $620 (-15.07% pm)
As most of you know, we sell a range of digital guidebooks for Southeast Asia across our blog and this month, they sold pretty well.
We had over 60 new customers and around 25% opted to buy the complete bundle set that we offer.
As I mentioned above, we are expecting this revenue to half next month, due to removing the email lead magnets and testing out new sales funnels.
It’s an experiment we are ready to run with though.
Total Income from Travel Guides – $620
Travel App (Get Stoked)
It was a tough decision but this month we decided to kill (essentially pull down) our travel app called Get Stoked.
We don’t want to put any more money into the product at this time and couldn’t form a deal with our developer to keep it going.
Due to the fact that the app flow wasn’t fully complete ie. users could not book activities, we were getting messages instead. However, the issue was that even though the suppliers were getting messages from interested users, some of the suppliers simply wouldn’t reply quickly enough or wouldn’t even reply at all!
This meant that with the app live, we were disappointing users and it was taking some of my time up when I needed to chase partners.
As of now, we are looking at selling the technology but keeping the name and brand, as we love it and want to eventually launch our own adventure holiday company under it.
We put a lot of money and time into building Get Stoked, so it was really upsetting to kill the project but we feel it was the right choice. Many mistakes were made and lessons learned. We underestimated the market we were trying to grow into and the resources that were needed to make it successful.
To be an entrepreneur you have to not be afraid to fail, so I am glad we gave it a go.
Total Income from Get Stoked – $0
Total February Blogging Income – $12,703 (-0.62% pm)
Money Earned from Passive Income Streams- $10,203 (+15.97% pm)
Thanks to our affiliates and products, it’s crazy to think that we’re able to generate this amount of money even if we spent a lot of our time traveling around Thailand.
Yes, it takes a while to put all these systems in place, as our website grows and as we continuously make tweaks to our funnels, we hope to keep growing this amount.
We can’t wait to see what our revenue is from our passive income streams next month, when we go offline for two weeks as we head up Everest Basecamp!
Monthly Blogging Expenses
Our expenses this month were high mainly because we booked a few flights. One of the best things about running a travel-related company is that we can files things such as flights and travel gear as monthly expenses.
VA – $50
Advertising Manager – $150 (runs on retainer and commission of sales)
Travel Visas and Transportation – $1412
Travel Gear – $424
Workspace (ie cafes, co-working, Airbnb) – $230
Facebook advertising – $280
AWS (image hosting) – $17
Canva year renewal (Pinterest tool) – $120
Google Work (email and storage) – $14
Many Chat (Facebook Bot) – $10
Convertkit (email marketing software) – $102
ClickFunnels (pop-ups and landing page software) – $99
Pipedrive (sales CRM) – $12
Sendowl – $24
February Blogging Total Expenses – $2,942 (+20.46% pm)
February Blogging Total Profit – $9,761 (-6.52% pm)
Page views – 378,144
Email Subscriber Monthly Increase – 2,311
RPM (revenue per 1000 page views) – $33.60
Profit – $9,761 (-6.52% pm)
Value Bomb and Next Month Focus
I have changed the name of this section from “Monthly Takeaways and Focus for Next Month” to “Value Bomb and Next Month Focus”, because we want these income reports to provide as much value as possible to others reading.
After talking about how we could improve it, we decided that instead of just discussing our takeaways we would also add the biggest thing we think could help other bloggers.
So this month our Value Bomb for bloggers would be….*Drum roll please*.
Produce cornerstone content.
Bloggers that have been blogging for a while might roll their eyes at this as it isn’t a secret. However, for us, it has massively helped not only our blog structure but also our income.
For us, because we had so much content around Asia- we needed to create pillar pieces to help our readers find articles. We unpublished a few articles, wrote additional content where needed, and published these long travel guides featuring key destinations.
Now these guides, provide a great overview and help funnel our readers to other relevant content making the user experience much better.
Since producing our free travel guides for Asia, etc, we not only have increased our page views by around 15,000 a month but also increased our travel insurance affiliate income by 3x and hotel affiliates by another 30%.
This March, as we are going to trek to Everest Base Camp in Nepal, our blogging focus will be to see how the Messenger pop-ups perform and also produce more video content.
Hoping to go live on Facebook for the first time ever this week! Wish us luck 🙂
Until the next time… Your Adventure Awaits. GO FIND IT!
Ps. For those already blogging but making less than $1000 a month make sure you are on our waiting list for our Blogging Fast Lane course. This 8 week course is going to be packed full of actionable advice on how to increase not only your blog following but also your income.
Pss. For those wanting to start a blog join our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course. Over 1500 people have taken this course so far. The advice and the amazing community of people just getting started blogging, will help you kept pass any of those things holding you back and set you up for success.
Looking for more blogging related articles? Check out a few of our best ones
- How we get paid to travel the world
- How we use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Our Blog
- The Best Travel Blog Names (and how to choose them!)