Welcome to our May Blogging Income report.
First off, we did it!
At the start of 2018, we wrote our goals in a post titled “Our 2018 Goals: Trek to Everest Base Camp, Live Van Life and Make $20,000 a Month”
Well in May, due to some big partnerships, we SMASHED OUR GOAL, turning over $23,120.
Just writing that sentence above gives me the shivers!
When Anna and I first started our blog, never in our wildest dreams did we think our blog would ever turn into a business that could give us this level of freedom. There isn’t a day where we’re not grateful for our blog and the business that we have.
As usual, in this income report, I will break down exactly how we made this much money from our blog.
Ok, let’s get into this blogging income report, shall we?
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 below.
It is important to us that we give our new readers a glimpse of who we are and why we are doing this!
Update: We stopped publishing our income reports after things got a bit crazy as we started to grow pretty fast. If you want to know more about how we monetized our blog, check out our FREE training where we share our content strategy, the biggest change we made, AND how we make our money month on month.
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 a blog 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.
Reason 3: FREE Masterclass Training We’re passionate about helping people make money while traveling (so they can travel for longer!) This is what we did and although the road wasn’t easy, it is so worth it!
If you want more information on this, join our on How We Started Making a Full-Time Income from our Blog! The training is 100% free and is full of unique value bombs and actionable tips on how we grew our blog.
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 Blogging Boot Camp Course below. This course will help you start a blog and will teach you how to make money from it in just 4 days!
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!
Now, without further delay, let’s get into this month’s Blogging Income Report!
May Blogging Focus
For those who have been following our social media pages, you would know that Anna has been recovering from an accident in the UK (she broke her ankle in 3 places thanks to two dogs who ran into her) but despite this, we were able to go on a family holiday to Portugal, spend some quality time with my Dad and Step-Mum and visited some friends.
Throughout this, we also hustled and focused on two things this month:
- Closing 4 new big blog partnerships
- Putting the final touches on our brand new spankin’ blogging course called Blogging Fast Lane!
May 2018 Blogging Income
As always, I have broken down our income from 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 – $3,685.61 (-11.81% pm)
We run our display ads through the ad network Mediavine. This month we had around 500,000 page views and made a total of $3,685.61.
We are aware that our display advertising has been dropping the last few months…
- March = $4,522.53
- April = $4,179.27
- May = $3,685.61
But this is down to a few things:
- We turned a sidebar placement off reducing the revenue by a few hundred dollars and are using this space to promote our free start a blog course.
- GDPR. Some of our traffic is from the EU and the changes here mean some people are opting out of personal ads which means less RPM.
- It’s just the way it is! ha. What I mean is, March is always a good month for display advertising due to companies spending the rest of their budgets before the year ends. This is one of the reasons why we recommend people to diversify and not have all their eggs in one basket.
We are hoping that this month it will start to pick up again.
Affiliates – $5880.62 (-9.71% 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: $5880.62
Takeaways: Not a big change in our affiliate income this month, but we are hoping to boost this as we just closed four new affiliate partnerships. More on this in the next section on partnerships.
Sponsored Posts and Brand Partnerships – $12,688 (+269.47% pm)
In May we closed 4 big partnerships made of 2 press trips and 2 retainer affiliate deals.
A retainer affiliate deal means we will be able to focus and execute them to a much greater level than the usual one-off campaigns.
There aren’t many bloggers that close these kinds of deals but if structured and executed correctly, it can be a big win for both the blogger and supplier.
As I said last month, we made a decision to stop taking quick one-off jobs and to execute partnerships more effectively, we are currently mainly focusing on 6-12 month partnerships only. This means that we can spend more of our time creating quality content and really integrating the partnership across our site.
Products – $825.72 (-21.23% pm)
As mentioned, our revenue in January from selling our travel guides was over $700 a month, but at the moment it is around half of that, coming in at $306.
This is %100 my fault.
I deal with our sales funnels and technical set up but right now, I still haven’t had time to fix our funnel set up, since I switched and tested out Facebook bot pop-ups.
This means a large portion of our traffic is no longer seeing really relevant lead magnets, resulting in them not being shown the guides at a discounted rate.
We are now using Optin Monster for our lead magnets and so far, we are loving it!
The targeting options, especially with GDPR now in place are amazing. With rolling this out across our whole site this month, we hope to see our travel guide revenue jump back up to $700 a month and more very soon.
Total Income from Travel Guides – $306
Blogging Courses and Information Products – $559.68 (-20% pm)
As I mentioned a few months back, this is a brand new revenue stream that we will be growing over the next few months.
It feels incredible to be generating over 6 figures a year from our travel blog and we can’t wait to help other people do the same.
Currently, we offer one blogging training product called Pitch Like a Pro Templates & Training.
It is a mini-course designed to help new bloggers start benefiting from their blog straight away, by showing them how to pitch companies and brands like a pro.
We’re big believers that you don’t need a huge following in order to start contacting brands. It’s all about bringing value to the companies that you pitch and showing them a unique angle and why they should work with you.
In this mini-course, I dive into that through my in-depth video tutorials.
To take it to the next level, when people buy this mini training, they also get the exact email templates that we use for pitching for free hotels, food, activities and more.
These are templates that we have developed, improved, and customized over the years.
I can’t stress how valuable this training and templates are for new bloggers! In fact, some of the people who bought it already closed a few sweet partnership deals.
There is also a bonus module covering sponsored posts, with a few video lessons with me, plus (yes, I included it) my templates for pitching for sponsored posts/partnerships.
Blogging Fast Lane Pre-Sale
Last month we set a target and we hit it. We have now launched our new Blogging Fast Lane Course
Grow Your Following and Explode Your Income Through Blogging… Following Exactly What We Did!
The course will be showing you the exact framework that we used to turn our blog into our full-time income in just over two years. In fact, we’re even providing you a detailed roadmap on what to do to help accelerate your way into a money making blog.
The course is 7 weeks but we created the course in a way that students can work on it during their free time ie. around their jobs. We honestly believe that if you follow the roadmap that we created down to a tee, you will be able to start generating a full-time income for your blog in no time.
Our strategy is built on creating multiple revenue streams while making sure you have a solid framework for your blog.
If you want to be one of the first 25 students to purchase this course and skyrocket your blog, with us right by your side, then click the lovely yellow button below and sign up for updates.
One of the reasons why we’re limiting this to just 25 people is because we want to closely work with everyone to make sure we give hands-on support and get feedback.
If want to find out more about the Blogging Fast Lane course and how it can help you transform your blog, check out our full course below which includes information on the course outline and all the bonuses that you get when you sign up for the pre-sale!
Other Products: We also own a travel app called Get Stoked but we have shut down this project and are deciding on next steps.
Total May Blogging Income – $23,120 (+52.36% pm)
Money Earned from Passive Income Streams- $10,391.95 (-11.48% pm)
Monthly Blogging Expenses
Our expenses were higher than usual this month due to both of getting travel insurance with World Nomads and for purchasing a year with Optin Monster.
We also started spending more on Facebook ads. We saw a 20% ROI with our first campaigns which we think is a good start, but I still have a lot more to learn with them. We are hoping to hire a social media manager very soon.
VA – $50
Advertising Manager – $376 (runs on retainer and commission of sales)
Travel Visas, Insurance and Transportation – $494
Travel Gear – $0
Workspace (ie cafes, co-working, Airbnb) – $0 (working from family homes and cafes)
Facebook advertising – $889
Google Work (email and storage) – $14
Many Chat (Facebook Bot) – $29
XERO (Accounting Software) – $40
Convertkit (email marketing software) – $157.28
ClickFunnels (pop-ups and landing page software) – $299
Pipedrive (sales CRM) – $12
Other Software (Optin Monster and Zapier) – $337
May Blogging Total Expenses – $2,697 (+131.1% pm)
May Blogging Total Profit – $20,423 (+45.8% pm)
Page views – 498,991
Email Subscriber Monthly Increase – Wasn’t a KPI this month as we switched to FB bots
RPM (revenue per 1000 page views) – $46.33
Profit – $20,423 (+45.8% pm)
Value Bomb and Next Month Focus
Our Value Bomb for bloggers this month would be….*Drum roll please*.
Don’t Be Afraid to Invest in Yourself, Yo!
As I said above, we recently launched our new Blogging Fast Lane Course and if you read that page, we share our blogging journey.
When reflecting on what we’ve accomplished over the last few years, we realized that we wasted waaaay too much time trying to learn everything ourselves, pulling all the information from Google and experimenting.
So, how exactly did we get out of this rut? We found mentors, found people that we trust and eventually, bought their products and services and followed their proven processes and strategies that work.
We should have done this sooner!!
After spending over 18 months of trial and error, we took the advice of our mentors and started investing in courses for:
- Email marketing called The Machine – Cost $999
- Advanced Facebook – Cost $499
- Copywriting and storytelling courses – $499
- Affiliate marketing – Cost $197
- Multiple SEO courses and training ($300+)
These courses helped us explode our blogging revenue from a few $1000’s to over $10,000 a month consistently.
Now, depending on where you are in your blogging journey, these course prices might seem crazy to you. However, what you need to think is this…
How much time will this course or service save me?
How much is my time worth per hour?
Does this course save me more than it costs?
Yes, this value bomb is a direct hint that you should buy our Blogging Fast Lane course when it goes on Pre-Sale June 17th, because we are confident that it will help you start generating serious revenue from your blog.
On a more serious note though, regardless if you get our course or not, our advice still stands. Don’t be afraid to invest in yourself!
It will literally change the game for you.
If you’re ready to up your blogging game, Tom and I put together a special FREE Training where we give actionable steps on:
How to Make a Full-Time Income from Your Blog (Without Writing Loads of Content).
In this training, we walk you through three secrets where we talk about mindset and identifying your flow states, the importance of a content strategy, and lastly, the power of a good funnel. As soon as we started implementing the lessons that we’re sharing on this training, our blog started to flourish!
Until the next time… Your Adventure Awaits. GO FIND IT!
P.S. For those wanting to start a blog join our Free Blogging Boot Camp Course. To date, we’ve helped over 5000 people start a blog and learn how to make money through this course. The advice and the amazing community of people just getting started blogging will help you get over any of those things holding you back and help set you up for success.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below (such as Blue Host) are affiliate links, meaning, at no additional cost to you, we will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. As always, we only recommend products and services we trust.
Looking for more blogging related articles? Check out a few of our best ones
- How to Start a Travel Blog
- How we use Pinterest to Drive Traffic to Our Blog
- The Best Travel Blog Names (and how to choose them!)