Time to check the numbers and see what November was like and why. Join me as I go over my travel blog‘s stats for the past month and my plans for December.
Ack. What a month. I spent the past 10 days or so out of commission. A bad case of back pain kept me away from my desk for a week and a half. I couldn’t even use a laptop in bed. I did whatever I could through my phone and let me tell you, that’s not nearly enough.
Today is the first day for me to actually be sitting in front of my desktop computer for more than half an hour (though the miracles of modern pharmacology!) All three of my blogs (two of them mentioned here, the other being a travel blog in Hebrew) are in dire need of new content. My flagship site stayed afloat thanks to the dedicated team of volunteers who manage the community but I still need to work on the 2017 Q1 content plan and I’m behind on content production and social media marketing there as well.
The pressure is on!
So, I’ll try and keep this post short. I have an additional post in the works about creating a social media strategy for my travel blog. Hopefully I’ll write and publish that one within a week or so. Today, I’m going to focus on the actual traffic and (non existent) revenue report.
As you may recall, I started blogging in June about my Blog Revival Project where I attempted to resurrect six of my old blogs. Within four months, I realized I was stretching myself too thin. I also manage one very large community website and once the initial energy boost subsided and I went back to 40-60 hours of work every week, the blogs suffered.
So, last month I decided to put four of those blogs back on the back burner and focus on the one I enjoyed the most, which happened to be my travel blog. I also keep blogging here on Yeys.com, documenting my progress and what I learn about blogging.
To keep things simple, I’m going to stick to monitoring the travel blog in these traffic & revenue reports from now on. It should be more interesting to take an in-depth look at a single blog. So, let’s dive into the numeric porn. Don’t worry, it’s very softcore as there are no profits at this point.
What I did during November
I was aiming for 6-8 posts during November but with my debilitating health problems I only managed to crank out four. I posted about an up and coming possible destination for us in Visiting Sanssouci Park & Palaces: All you need to know and about a local national park and UNESCO heritage site here: Beit Guvrin National Park in Israel – A Visitor’s Guide. Following a lot of research I came up with this awesome list for the post titled Love science? 18 places you have to see in London. And finally, a combination of our trip report and tips for visitors in Visiting Pikes Peak? Here are 7 things you need to know.
So much for content creation.
Promotion-wise, I kept up my Pinterest promotion efforts. Thanks to Tailwind, being under the weather has not affected pinning one bit. I had already joined a bunch of group boards and so pins go out into the world and receive shares and clicks.
I also started posting on Instagram and Twitter more often (hey, it’s one thing you can do quite well from your phone!).
Crunching the numbers for the Travel Blog
Time to look at the stats!
Traffic wise this has been another good month! Pageviews went up by 80% compared to October.
That’s the second month in a row of almost doubling traffic and it’s almost entirely thanks to Pinterest traffic. I posted here about my Pinterest strategy and here about applying Tailwind to carry it out. Applying the new strategies began in October and clearly, it’s working well.
More than half the traffic came in from Pinterest. The rest is a combination of links in comments left on other blogs, a bit of entirely spontaneous Facebook and Reddit (!) traffic and some search engine traffic.
Since social media is so crucial in the traveling niche and in preparation for boosting efforts on Twitter and Instagram, here are some figures for December 1, 2016. I’ll elaborate more on these – and on social media goals – in a future post.
Social Media Followers for the travel blog –
Facebook page: 0 (a page exists, entirely unutilized)
It’s all about the money (not really!)
Ok, so let’s take a look at expenses and income.
Expenses this month included hosting. Since I use a VPS for hosting, I’m going to calculate hosting for the travel blog at $15 a month.
Tailwind was the other expense this month at another $15.
So, a total of $30 for expenses.
The income side of the equation is even shorter. Basically, I don’t really actively monetize the travel blog yet. I’m not going to worry about monetization before it reaches the 100 daily pageviews range.
I do keep one small adsense banner in the sidebar, mostly to keep track of things and get some visuals in there. That ad made $0.55 in November.
As you may notice, I’m not overly concerned about the money at this point. Blogging is a marathon and not a sprint. It’s taken me three years to make a living off my flagship site and I don’t expect the travel blog to be much faster. Building an audience takes time.
My goals for December
What this blog needs the most is more content. Promoting on Pinterest is all very well but I need to have content to promote there and to lure in search engines. I’m going to shoot for 8 new posts this month but considering how November went, I’ll be happy with 6 quality posts.
I also want to push forward on social media. I’m not setting any concrete numbers as goals at this point. I’ll do that once I create an organized social media strategy. So, it’s a rather amorphous general direction for December, more than anything else.
I have an invitation to write a guest blog post on another travel website. I hope I’ll get around to doing that as well. This won’t happen unless I fill up my quota of 8 quality blog posts because I strongly believe good content belongs first and foremost on my own blog. But, if the stars align and I find myself with extra time on my hands, I may move ahead with that as well.
It may not seem like much but I have a more realistic outlook now and I know I’ll be able to dedicate 10-15 hours a week to this blog. At best and assuming good health. Within that timeframe – this plan actually seems quite ambitious!
Looking forward to seeing other bloggers’ reports for November and hearing about your plans for the last month of the year! Leave me a comment and let me know how your own blogging journey goes.