Welcome to our half year Blogging Income report roundup!
If you have read our income reports in the past, you will notice this one looks different. It is not a monthly income report but a round-up report on Q1 & Q2.
So far we have published income reports for the first 6 months of this year:
We liked publishing these and we got great feedback from people but we decided to start publishing QUARTERLY reports going forward for two reasons:
Reason 1: They will bring more value to you.
In our blogging business, we test out loads of new things. Funnels, email marketing strategies, SEO rankings, and even our content creation processes… just to name a few.
Now, these things take time to test and usually take more than a month to see concrete results. By publishing quarterly reports we can set clearer goals, execute them properly and then report back on how they went.
Reason 2: More variety
Again, we want our travel blogging income reports to be super valuable to you. We started to feel doing them monthly meant they were too similar to each other and showed no real progress on growth and goals.
Our main aim when producing these income reports is to give value and insight on how to grow and monetize your blog so we feel that moving forward, this is more in line with our mission.
The style of this report will be similar to our monthly ones but will include more detailed graphs, in-depth goals and overall, loads of value bombs which you can apply to YOUR 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!
- 1 Reasons Why We Publish Income Reports
- 2 Who We Are (For The New People Reading)
- 3 Q1 and Q2 Income Report
- 3.1 Focus Points and Achievements
- 3.2 Traffic Growth
- 3.3 Revenue Growth (Active Vs Passive)
- 3.4 Revenue Stream Breakdown
- 3.4.1 Display Advertising – 25%
- 3.4.2 Affiliates – 36.3%
- 3.4.3 Sponsored Posts and Brand Partnerships – 29.2%
- 3.4.4 Products & Services – 10.1%
- 3.4.5 Start a Blog & Make Money Course
- 3.4.6 Pitch Like a Pro Training & Templates
- 3.4.7 Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator Course
- 3.5 Passive RPM Growth
- 4 Total Blogging Income Q1 – $38,087
- 5 Total Blogging Income Q2 – $57,527
- 6 Q1 & Q2 Blogging Expenses – $12,324
- 7 Q1 & Q2 Blogging Total Profit – $83,290
- 8 Q1 and Q2 – Takeaways
- 9 Blogging Fast Lane Value Bomb
- 10 Q3 Goals
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.
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)
Our mission for Adventure in You has always been to inspire people to do more and live their life to the fullest, so they can create unforgettable memories.
For us, the only reason we get to experience the things that we do is all because of our travel blog!
Blogging has given us the freedom to create a life that we could have only dreamed about which is why we want to share it with others!
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 $15,000. As mentioned, 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.
Blogging changed our lives and we’re excited for it to do the same for others!
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 $2000 per month, join the waiting list for our Blogging Fast Lane course, which will be relaunching again in August.
This 7-week course is 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 this month’s Blogging Income Report!
Q1 and Q2 Income Report
Focus Points and Achievements
This year we decided to enter the “How to Blog” market within our business (hence writing these income reports).
We decided to do this because we were making over 6 figures a year from Adventure In You and a lot of people were asking us how we did it so fast (ie. within 2 years of starting a blog).
Soon, after helping a few people, we discovered we really enjoyed teaching others.
Currently, we are the middle of splitting the Blogging School into its own company (more on this later).
So entering this market and bringing crazy value to it was our main focus.
I am so so proud to say, that in Q1 and Q2 we:
- Launched a free course to help people start a blog and learn how to make money (over 6000 people have taken it so far!)
- Grew our Blogging Facebook group to over 2000 members.
- Launched Pitch Like a Pro Templates and Training (over 100 people have enrolled)
- Launched the Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator 7 week course (Pre-sale sold out in 2 hours!)
- Provided 1 on 1 coaching via Google Hangouts to over 10 people
- Tested Facebook bots (which didn’t work for us)
- Launched multiple funnels to promote our e-book travel guides
- Grew our traffic to HALF a MILLION views a month
We did all this while:
- Climbing to Everest Base Camp
- Traveling around the Philippines, Thailand, Nepal, the UK, Portugal, Poland, and now, Spain.
- Anna was recovering from a broken ankle in Q2
Out of all those achievements, creating the blogging products and building a community around blogging has been the best!
I can’t stress enough how much I wish we had these resources available to us when we first started. The value in the blogging products and community we have built so far for people, I believe is crazy!
More so though… I am genuinely stoked that we are in the position to help others.
We didn’t want to just “make money from teaching people how to make money”.
That didn’t seem right to me or Anna.
So only after we had proven that we could generate serious revenue from blogging did we feel comfortable in helping others do the same.
I am so glad we stood by this because helping others this year with blogging has been incredible.
Even though we were focused on entering the “how to” market, we still wanted to grow our traffic and improve our existing funnels on Adventure In You.
Blogging stuff aside, Adventure in You is still our main business and is our primary income source.
Side note: I talk about funnels a lot and it’s not something a lot of bloggers use but it is a big part of becoming a Fast Lane Blogger. We teach it to all our students.
The below graph shows our traffic growth over Q1 and Q2 monthly.
We started the year at around 400,000 views a month, took a dip in February but then managed to build it back up.
We spent some time in February working on SEO which is why we took a dip initially but then made a big leap the month after. Since hitting 500,000 page views a month, we have stayed around there but we plan to work on increasing this again in Q4.
Revenue Growth (Active Vs Passive)
The below graph shows our revenue growth over Q1 and Q2 monthly split by Active income and Passive income.
For those that don’t know:
Active income refers to income received from performing a service.
Passive income is money that you earn without doing much to make it during that period.
We focus heavily on growing our passive income streams rather than active, so I am pleased with this growth.
Please Note: All income in this report 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.
If you are wondering where the growth came from, it was mainly down to three things:
#1 – Adding a Blogging School and Products
Obviously, as this was our focus for Q1 and Q2 we did plan to generate revenue from it. We saw the opportunity to share our expertise with others which is why we decided to create products for it.
Important: Do not teach other people “how to blog” unless you are genuinely experienced and an expert in it. If you try to just do it to make money, you will fail.
There are so many “gurus” and mentors out there so you need to be sure you walk the walk!
After 6 months of launching everything discussed above, the graph below shows how much of our revenue so far this year came from teaching blogging via our Blogging School and how much of it came from Adventure In You’s other revenue streams.
#2 – Growing Our Traffic Which Increased Display Advertising and Affiliate Revenue
We set our sights on reaching half a million readers a month and knew that this would in return, would grow our display advertising and affiliate revenue. After some serious SEO work, we hit our goal!
#3 – Closing Some BIG Brand Partnerships
In May, we made over $20,000 in one month! This was down to closing a few big partnerships. One with a tourism board and two year-long affiliate retainer deals.
Revenue Stream Breakdown
As always, I have broken down our income by the different sources.
Display advertising, sponsored posts and brand partnerships, affiliates and products.
You can see the breakdown of how much each income stream contributes to our business in the graph below:
Display Advertising – 25%
A lot of people are against ads. However, for us, they are a great revenue source that we can’t just ignore! When we first started with Mediavine, we had over 150,000 page views. We genuinely believe that our traffic would grow by this much if the ads really affect the overall user experience.
As mentioned, we run our display ads through the ad network Mediavine. and its makes up around 25% of our revenue. We love Mediavine and although have had offers from other companies to switch, we’re pretty happy with them.
Mediavine requires 25,000 sessions so if you are an intermediate blogger who is looking to up your passive income, definitely make this a goal. We LOVE Mediavine and love the community that they have built. Everyone there is super responsive to your queries and are always willing to discuss changes for your site.
For those that are just starting out (or those who are still far away from reaching 25k, we recently reviewed Media.net and have found them to be a better alternative to using Google Adsense. They are said to have higher RPM rates so definitely check them out!
Affiliates – 36.3%
For us, affiliates are our highest income stream at the moment which is great as most of this is completely passive. We spend a lot of time testing out how to continuously improve our affiliates by experimenting with different CTA’s, improving click-through rates and more.
It is super important that you keep track of data when it comes to blogging. This is what will set you apart from other bloggers! Knowing your metrics is key to making informed changes and tweaks!
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)
Sponsored Posts and Brand Partnerships – 29.2%
Although we prefer working with brands on a larger scale, at the moment, sponsored posts and brand partnerships, isn’t a revenue stream which we are focused on growing at the moment.
We work closely with our Fast Lane blogging students to teach them how to close retainer affiliate deals, which are far more valuable than normal deals.
Products & Services – 10.1%
This is the revenue stream we are most excited about growing. It currently makes up only around 10% of our revenue but we plan to really grow it by:
- Marketing our Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator course more
- Potentially launching a more advanced course on Blogging Funnels and Email Marketing
- Producing more travel guide e-books
We currently offer a range of travel guide e-books for South East Asia but in Q4, we plan to release a Europe Adventure Travel Guide that will serve our readers looking for tips on things to do in the area.
Blogging School Products
Listed below are the products we are currently offering in our Blogging School.
Want to start a blog AND generate a side income? This FREE 5-day course is designed to help you come up with a name, niche, and guide you through the process of setting up a blog. The course includes video tutorials as well as a section to help you develop a solid monetization strategy for your blog.
Get sponsored to travel the world and get the exact email pitch templates that landed us awesome brand deals including free hotel stays, free products, and more- all within our first month of blogging! This course includes video training on how to craft the perfect pitch as well as a bonus section on how to make money from Sponsored Posts.
Ready to take your blog to the next level? This Blogging Fast Lane Course is designed to help accelerate your way to a money making blog. In this course, we take you through everything you need to do to create a successful blog. It also includes the exact roadmap that we used to turn our blog into a six-figure business in under two years!
Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator Pre-Sale & 1-on-1 Coaching
As mentioned in June we SOLD OUT our Blogging Fast Lane Pre-Sale in just 2 HOURS!
After purchasing the pre-sale, we also offered people the chance to purchase two 1-on-1 coaching calls with us, for a discounted rate.
We were so happy to see that a third of people who purchased the pre-sale, also upgraded and purchased 1-on-1 coaching with us.
It was also great working with so many people on a more personal level. We love strategizing and helping others grow their blogs!
We didn’t really have a financial target for the Blogging Fast Lane Pre-Sale. We just wanted to bring as much value as we could to a dedicated group of people.
Obviously we wanted to sell out but honestly, for us, the real focus is getting our students to a full-time blogging income!
We are super happy that this is apparent in the work that we do. Check out the comments from a few of our students.
If you are interested, join us in the Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator to…
Grow Your Following and Explode Your Income Through Blogging… Following Exactly What We Did!
The course shows you the exact framework that we used to generate a full-time income from our blog. In fact, we’re even providing you a detailed roadmap on what to do to help accelerate your way into a money-making blog within the first year!
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 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.
The Blogging Fast Lane will re-open in August
Passive RPM Growth
This was the metric I did not think was getting enough attention in our old income reports.
RPM – Revenue Per 1000 Page Views
We are building our blogging business as a lifestyle businesses. Meaning, we want it to generate serious money on autopilot and not be too dependent on our time.
We love it when we climbed Everest Base Camp, don’t work for three weeks, yet still managed to make over $12,000.
RPM is the metric that measures the success of this.
Even deeper though, would be Passive RPM. Before we would measure general RPM but it would fluctuate if one month we smashed our sponsorship and brand partnerships, which require time. This made us realize that actually the metric we should be focusing on growing is Passive RPM.
So in the graph below, you can see our Passive RPM growth for Q1 and Q2:
Overall, we are stoked about our passive RPM growth. Currently, we know we make $31.53 in passive income for every 1000 views, which is so cool!
Again we plan to grow this out in Q3 and Q4 by increasing our product range.
Total Blogging Income Q1 – $38,087
Total Blogging Income Q2 – $57,527
While there are a lot of bloggers who claim to make a lot of money from blogging, a lot of people don’t factor in their expenses and how much it takes to run their blog! This is really important for us as we want to give an unbiased view of our actual profit which is why we always indicate our revenue, our expenses, and total profit!
Listed below are our blogging expenses and how much we spent in Q1 & Q2.
Q1 & Q2 Blogging Expenses – $12,324
Listed below are the expenses we have running Adventure In You.
We are also slowing spending more and more on Facebook/Instagram ads recently. We saw a 20% ROI with our first campaigns which was a good start, and then saw a 100% ROI on our second campaign. We are also hoping to hire a social media manager very soon.
Workspace (ie cafes, co-working, Airbnb), Travel Visas, Insurance and Transportation
Google Work (email and storage)
Many Chat (Facebook Bot)
XERO (Accounting Software)
Convertkit (email marketing software) – moving soon to Active Campaign!
ClickFunnels (pop-ups and landing page software)
Pipedrive (sales CRM)
Other Software (Optin Monster) – Paid for yearly
Q1 & Q2 Blogging Total Profit – $83,290
In all honesty, even just writing that figure above is pretty crazy. In fact, when I added up all the numbers and told Anna how much we made, I could see her getting emotional about it.
What we made in 6 months from our travel blog is 6x more than what she would make for a YEAR working as a principal in an international school, back in the Philippines.
This to us is crazy and every day, we feel so blessed to be working on something we’re passionate about WHILE making good money.
I know we worked hard for this but it doesn’t mean that we’re not grateful for it every single day.
Q1 and Q2 – Takeaways
The first 6 months of 2018 were amazing for us (apart from Anna breaking her ankle-that sucked!).
The main takeaways were:
- We LOVE helping other people start their blog and grow it.
- Our Blogging Fast Lane community is awesome!
- We have enjoyed slowing down a bit. If you are reading this report you are probably thinking “slow down?!”, but it’s true. In our first 2 years blogging, we worked as much as we could and struggled to turn off. Right now we have a great balance 🙂
- Funnels and automated emails are the difference from a normal blog and a 6 (hopefully 7 soon) figure blog.
Blogging Fast Lane Value Bomb
As mentioned, every Quarterly income report we will give you a value bomb taken directly from our Blogging Fast Lane community.
Our Value Bomb for bloggers this month would be….*Drum roll please*.
FUNNELS WILL CHANGE YOUR BLOG!
I know, I know…I’m starting to sound like a broken record but funnels have really changed the way we view our blog and I know it can do the same for you.
You see, we started viewing our content as a funnel (large on the top with a clear direction towards where we are pushing people).
This meant that every article had a purpose and was not just written for the sake of it. While we had some articles which we were monetizing through affiliates and ads, we knew we were missing a revenue stream by not offering an “end product.
This end product can either be your own product or a big ticket item which you are affiliating.
At the top of our funnel, we gather leads through our articles and captured their emails by giving away a free lead magnet. We would lead them down the funnel through email marketing, sending them to various articles which are trying to “push them down” the funnel.
This in return, gives us more page views while increasing our total revenue. If this was any other income report, I would explain the concept more, however, since funnels are something I am incredibly passionate about, Anna and I decided to do a FREE Masterclass training just for this.
Regardless if you are an existing blogger who wants to take your blog to the next level or someone who is interested in getting started if you attend our training, you will:
Learn How to Make Serious Money from Blogging (Without Having to Write Loads of Content!
We are super excited about this Masterclass as we believe it is really going to help you start monetizing your blog ASAP. In this training, we will talk about three things which made a massive difference in our blog and will show you how YOU can do the same.
Apart from the free training, there will also be a Q&A at the end where we will answer a few of the most commonly asked questions about blogging, monetization, funnels, and more! It’s going to be awesome!
Our main goal for Q3 is to grow our product revenue!
We have a busy next few months of hopping around places. So far, we have trips to Morocco, the Czech Republic, and Oktoberfest in Munich booked!
While it is definitely harder to get stuff done while we are on the road, the mixture between work and traveling keeps us on our toes!
We plan on growing our product revenue by relaunching our Blogging Fast Lane Accelerator course, all while we continuously add and update the content. This is because we want to create a course that is full of information and value!
Afterward, we are also looking at producing another travel guide geared towards Europe.
I am about to start coaching some advanced bloggers on funnels and email marketing, so we potentially might roll out an advanced course on that too later. That depends on the demand for it though.
We are also moving our automated email responder. As mentioned, we use Convertkit but have now outgrown their services because we’re now diving deep into advanced email marketing/site retargeting/CRM automation. For Q3, we are moving to Active Campaign and will be testing out these things plus seeing if it makes a difference in our overall open rates and deliverability.
So that’s it from us. As always, I hope you found this report inspirational! Remember, building a successful blog isn’t something that happens overnight. However, with the right strategies, it will happen!
Until the next time… Your Adventure Awaits. GO FIND IT!
P.S. For those wanting to start a blog join our Free Start a Blog and Make Money Course. Over 5000 people have taken this course so far. The advice and the amazing community of people just getting started blogging, this free course will help you kept get over any of those things holding you back and help set you up for success.
Disclaimer: Some of the links below (such as World Nomads, Blue Host etc) 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!)