Welcome to our first ever Blogging Income Report!
We are really nervous about publishing this, but after talking a lot about it and asking everyone in our Start a Blog and Make Money Facebook group, it became obvious… it was time to start.
Now before we get to it, please know that in no way are we publishing these income reports to brag!
In fact, we’re actually quite nervous about doing this because talking about money and how much you earn is usually considered a taboo in both our cultures.
So why are we doing it?
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.
- 1 Who We Are (For The New People Reading)
- 2 January Blogging Focus
- 3 January 2018 Blogging Income
- 4 Total January Blogging Income – $12,782
- 5 Monthly Blogging Expenses
- 6 January Blogging Total Profit – $10,442
- 7 Monthly KPIs
- 8 Monthly Takeaways and Focus for Next Month
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 January Blogging Income Report!
January Blogging Focus
We actually didn’t work as much as usual in January because we are training hard to get ready for our trek to Everest Base Camp. Plus Anna was busy sorting visas out for our upcoming trip to Europe (#VanLife).
Our main focus was to get all our usual tasks and backlog tasks from Christmas completed so that in February, we could focus more of our time on creating the Blogging Fast Lane course.
We want this course to be the best there is on the market (it annoys us seeing crap blog courses out there), so we will be spending a few months working on it to make sure it provides as much value as possible.
To make sure it is the best, we are planning to release it at a discounted rate to a small early bird group. That way we can work really closely with the first members, allowing us to gather valuable course feedback to further improve it.
We also want to be able to tailor our course to real-life struggles that other bloggers are dealing with.
A big backlog task was to roll out new inquiry forms across our Adventure Holiday posts so that our readers could inquire for more information and get the best service possible from us and our partners.
I managed to finish that, while Anna focused on creating content for our sponsored clients and members of the Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course.
Despite not being able to work much in January, we had our best month yet for income and traffic.
January 2018 Blogging Income
It’s important when first starting a blog that you focus on growing one revenue stream at a time, otherwise, it can get overwhelming.
Trust us, we’ve been there!
Later on, as you grow, you want to diversify your income streams. 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 ($). 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 – $3,281.78
We turned on ads for our blog in January last year when we hit 100,000 page views a month, but we really wish we had done it sooner!
We have now been working with the ad network Mediavine for 1 year and could not be happier with them!
With Mediavine, you get paid per impression ie. every time someone views an ad on your site.
In January we had over 400,000 page views and made a total of $3,281.78 through ads alone.
Yes, they might annoy some people but the average time people spend on our blog hasn’t gone down. If our stats are showing that our readers are still happy, and for us, that’s the main thing, then it’s a win-win!
Now, do you understand why we wish we had turned on ads sooner?
Affiliates – $4787.06
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, 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: $4787.06
The affiliates that surprised us this month was our hotel affiliate partners and Premier Tefl.
It probably doesn’t come as a shock to hear that we promote a range of hotel booking sites on our blog.
In January, we had pretty good success with our hotel affiliates bringing in around $2000. We know that a lot of people usually book their travels during this month and the next so we’re hoping this trend continues.
At this time, we also made the decision to stop promoting Hotels Combined. We are in the process of removing them from our posts and decided this for two reasons.
We struggled to use their affiliate platform and we found that our readers much prefer making their reservations through Booking.com or Agoda. We can tell this as the conversion rates are a lot higher.
Our tip is to test our what platform resonates with your audience and run with that!
In summer of last year, my lovely younger sister, Becky, went to Poland and Prague to take part in a Premier Tefl Scholarship.
She had an incredible time and not only walked away with a new skill set to teach English but also a new group of friends.
(Update: My sister loved it so much, she actually moved to Poland. For how long, I don’t know yet!)
Based off of Becky’s experience, we went ahead and started promoting Premier Tefl across our blog as a way to get your TEFL qualification and teach English anywhere in the world.
We couldn’t be happier referring people to them as we genuinely believe they are the best at what they do. If you want to read Becky’s review of Premier Tefl click here. They also have awesome European scholarship programs that you can apply for!
Sponsored Posts and Brand Partnerships – $3,965
January was good for us in terms of brand partnerships, although we didn’t take on many sponsored posts. The difference between the two are:
Sponsored post: A company usually pays you a one-off fee to add a link to an existing post or for us to write a new post and mention them.
Brand partnerships: More long-term partnerships where we work with companies on multiple pieces of content towards a bigger goal.
We prefer Brand Partnerships as we like to work with companies on a more long-term basis. We think our readers prefer it too.
We turn down a lot of sponsored opportunities monthly, mainly because we want to make sure that we only promote the best companies and those whose vision aligns with our brand.
This year, as we head into Europe, we are aiming to increase our Brand Partnership revenue by 2x, as we partner with the best brands for our Top 50 Adventures campaign.
Products – $730
We sell a range of digital guidebooks for Southeast Asia across our blog and in January they sold pretty well.
We had 75 new customers and around 20% opted to buy the complete bundle set that we offer.
We love selling our guides as we feel they are really great value. We showcase the best of each country in a well-designed easy to read guide, which provide both value and inspiration to the reader.
Although we are currently not producing new guides, we have an updated version 2 of our Thailand guide coming out soon.
So if you reading this and bought version 1 of our Thailand guide, you will be getting the new version 2 guide for free, very soon!
In the future, we are looking to get our guides on Amazon and produce them in print. We just haven’t had the time to do this just yet!
Total Income from Travel Guides – $730
Travel App (Get Stoked)
Those that have been following us for a while, will know that we also own a travel app called Get Stoked.
Almost 2 years ago, we took a small investment in order to build a travel app.
We spent around 15 months designing and building the app, while also building Adventure In You alongside it.
After 15 months, we decided to pause the project. The app, however, is live on iOS and connects you directly with activity suppliers that we trust (Currently only in Thailand).
We paused the project as we simply didn’t have enough money at the time to keep funding it, especially since we weren’t monetizing it just yet. We also noticed that Adventure In You was doing well and realised that this was the part of our business we enjoyed working on the most.
At the moment we are working on a deal with our Get Stoked developer/partner to see if we can kick it back to life.
Expect an update on this soon!
Total Income from Get Stoked – $0
Total January Blogging Income – $12,782
Money Earned from Passive Income Streams- $8,798.84
Monthly Blogging Expenses
Our expenses this month were a little higher than usual as we had a few flights, visas and annual subscriptions to pay. Plus I attended a Nomad Summit conference in Chiang Mai.
(For those that don’t know, we’ve spent a large chunk of our time recently flying from one digital nomad hotspot to the next, learning about SEO, digital marketing trends, and email marketing!)
VA – $60
Ad Manager – $400
Travel Visas and Transportation – $480
Nomad Summit Conference – $99
Workspace (ie cafes, co-working, Airbnb) – $400
Facebook advertising – $190
AWS (image hosting) – $24.61
Tailwind year renewal (Pinterest tool) – $280
Google Work (email and storage) – $14
Convertkit (email marketing software) – $119
ClickFunnels (pop-ups and landing page software) – $99
Blog Hosting (year renewal for our other smaller niche blogs) – $137
Pipedrive (sales CRM) – $12
Sendowl – $24
January Blogging Total Expenses – $2,340
January Blogging Total Profit – $10,442
Page views – 400,584
Email Subscriber Monthly Increase – 2,500
RPM (revenue per 1000 page views) – $31.95
Profit – $10,442
In future income reports, we will show the increase or decrease from the previous month. For the case of this first report, I have just listed the numbers.
Monthly Takeaways and Focus for Next Month
Our biggest takeaway from January was that it was time for us to fully embrace helping others blog, hence publishing this income report. We started our Start a Blog Free course at the end of December and were blown away by the response that we’ve gotten so far!
To us, we couldn’t be more stoked that we’re now in a position to advise and help others through the crazy roller coaster ride of making money online!
We have been blogging for just over 2 and a half years now and in that time, we’ve not only traveled (a lot) but also learned so much about the online world.
For us blogging, has the lowest barrier to entry into the online world. Meaning, anyone can get started in less than an hour.
That being said, because of this very reason there are a lot of blogs out there. We want to help people develop great blogs that not only help people but also help the blogging industry as a whole.
On top of that, we will also continue to train for our trek to Everest Base Camp and produce more content around Van Life! (We are currently going on 4-5 hour treks 3x a week but are looking to up this soon!)
As always, we would like to thank you guys for reading. Without your constant support, love, and words of encouragement, what we do wouldn’t be possible.
We feel grateful every day that we get to produce travel content that helps and inspires others. For us, it’s a dream come true.
As this is our first blogging income report and if you are reading this, you are probably interested in blogging. I wanted to leave you with this…
A successful blog is one that helps the readers solve a problem by providing value.
Through our blog Adventure In You, we help our readers solve travel problems through our travel guides and get the courage to travel through our inspirational posts. We also help those readers that want to build a successful blog, through our Blogging School.
If you are reading this and want to make money blogging, first think… what problem can I help my readers solve? If you can’t answer that join our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course so we can help you find your niche. 🙂
Until the next time, remember… Your Adventure Awaits. GO FIND IT!
Update: Take a look at our February 2018 Income Report
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!)