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It’s hard to believe July is over – it’s a month I’ve been focused on for a really long time. Why’s that? Because I got married this month! Mr. V and I tied the knot and became Mr. & Mrs. V… πŸ˜‰

It was also a month I knew I wouldn’t be able to focus much on my blog(s) – and I was worried about that especially this year when traffic and income are so tenuous. Luckily, as you’ll see, it worked out well… and now I’m back and ready to start publishing a ton more and continuing to grow.

TL;DR:

  • Travel: πŸ‘°πŸ»πŸ’πŸ€΅πŸ» then πŸš™πŸ”πŸœπŸŒ²
  • Blogging: πŸ“ˆ
  • Income: πŸ€·πŸ»β€β™€οΈ

This month’s photos were taken on my honeymoon road trip last month.

Travel in July

As you review the list below, keep in mind that this month was very unusual for the current climate. It can be briefly summed up as “mini-bachelorette,” “wedding,” and “honeymoon.” (Our honeymoon was a Southwest road trip to bring a car back from my parents’, with add-ons in the Midwest and California.)

  • Destinations Visited: 11
    • Leavenworth & Seattle, WA
    • Grand Rapids, MN
    • Sioux Falls & Mt. Rushmore, SD
    • Denver & Durango, CO
    • Monument Valley & Grand Canyon, AZ
    • Joshua Tree & Three Rivers, CA
  • Flights Taken: 3
  • Days on the Road: 18 out of 31

July Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in July was… celebrating our wedding in Seattle! Mr. V has officially made me “Mrs. V” (though our new last name doesn’t start with a V at all!) and it was such an amazing day to have together with our family and friends, especially right now. It wasn’t the day we originally planned and I wish it could have lasted a lot longer – but I’m also so happy it happened this year and we get to move forward into our next chapter together.

The worst travel experience I had in July was… the anxiety and guilt of flying. Even though our wedding was a much more “essential” reason to travel than a lot of people are using right now, I was still not happy to come home to a bundle of nerves in my stomach and worries about myself, my new husband (!), our families, and our guests. It has slowly passed, but it’s still there a little.

My July travel highlight from years past was… celebrating the Apollo 50th Anniversary in Houston last year. I didn’t even have to check my calendar of past travels – that one will always be a highlight!

Blogging in July

Despite everything going on in the world right now, my blog continues to be a source of joy and pride – and continues to recover (in fact, I’m up above last year’s numbers!). Though I’m sure July 2020 would have been mind-blowingly good in an alternative universe where we were still allowed to travel, I am glad my blog is able to at least hold steady against the tide of bad news right now.

  • Pageviews: 98,300 (↑11% from June 2020, ↑8% from July 2019)
  • Unique Visitors: 86,684
  • Traffic Breakdown:
    • Organic: 79%
    • Social: 10%
    • Direct: 8.7%
    • Email: 0.8%
    • Referral: 0.5%

Most Popular New Post: β€œShould I Cancel/Keep My Alaska Travel Plans This Summer?” Here’s What I Suggest

How do I keep track of all these stats? I’ve got an organization system! Check out my course:
The Blogging Organization Success System

New Posts I Published in July

The only post I published in July was my June recap. Wait, what?! You didn’t publish a ton this month, Valerie???

Nope, I didn’t – I took a month off! As you may have seen elsewhere on these internets, my wedding was in mid-July, and I knew I needed to focus in order to make that both fun and safe for our guests. I decided to downshift all three of my sites for the month; I also took a step back from all of my freelance work. My income will suffer a little, but it was definitely worth it for my mental health!

July Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in July was… seeing traffic grow despite taking a break. Blogging is a mix of passive and active work – most of what I do any given day, week, or month, translates into success (or failure) in the future rather than right away. That also means you can occasionally take a break without seeing an immediate negative effect (or one at all, if your break is short).

The lowlight of blogging in July was… realizing just how burned out I was that I needed a break. I know everyone needs breaks, but I’m notoriously bad for taking them. I haven’t really had one in a few years, and I was pushing really hard to create new content when the Coronavirus pandemic hit. After four months, I needed a break so I’m glad I kinda “had” to take one.

Business in July

While my income dropped a lot – almost 50% from June’s numbers –, I’m not stressin’. First of all, as you saw, I just took a month off and was able to travel a bit to help recharge my batteries after my wedding. Second, as I predicted last month, my income levels were driven primarily by a big campaign launched by my top affiliate, Tieks. When that campaign came to an end, my income and conversion rates both dropped back toward “normal” levels.

July Income Report

  • Advertising income: 25%
  • Affiliate income: 71%
  • Product income: <0.1%
  • Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%
  • Blogging product/service income: 4%

Total income for July 2020: ↓38% from June
Months I’ve been blogging: 82*

*I’m adding this number going forward so you can see how long it has taken to earn this much. ‘Overnight success’ usually requires years of hard work – this blog is no exception.

Business Highlights & Lowlights

The business highlight for July was… mainaining five figure income for a second month in a row! While I don’t think August will continue the trend, it was a wonderful and much-needed bump in my annual income to help me overcome the losses I faced earlier in the year due to the Coronavirus pandemic and the collapse of the travel industry.

The business lowlight for July was… having virtually no product income. I’m a little bit lost on this part of my business strategy: I launched three new Alaska ebooks that I thought for sure would at least sell a little every month… but nope! They’re barely selling and I need to get more creative to keep up the momentum in this part of my diversified income strategy.

Upcoming in August

At this point, I actually do have one trip on my agenda for August, though I’m not totally sure it’s going to happen: I’ve been invited on a press trip to Door County, Wisconsin. I don’t feel 100% comfortable with the idea of press trips happening right now, but it’s an outdoors focused itinerary that includes stargazing, hiking, yoga, and kayaking. I’m curious to see how destinations are adjusting to help create travel experiences that are safe and interesting; trust that I’ll report back my thoughts once I return!

There’s also a possibility I might put together a weekend trip or two in the coming months – all to places here in California though, and with full compliance with all state and local guidelines to help stop the spread of Coronavirus!

Are you planning any trips in August? Let me know – I’m curious if others are getting back to “more normal” travel.

Until next month! ✌️❀️✈️

2 comments

Reply

Hi, so glad you’re doing well.

We just got back from our 3 week road trip starting in Seattle and ending up in LA roughly following your 10 day guide but with a few “extras”. So helpful to have been able to base our trip on your recommendations.
Thanks again
Adrian

Reply

Great to hear from you, Adrian! I’m so glad my PCH post helped you plan your trip and it was a good time. Happy travels in the future!

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