February is a funny month – it comes after one of the biggest months of the year for traffic and (usually) income, but it’s short so you can’t get your hopes up.
This year, February was good to me, as you’ll see. I had some amazing travel experiences, my blog was healthy, and my income was the highest its ever been. Though Coronavirus came in at the end of the month to start mucking everything up, 2020 is shaping up to be a banner year.
- Travel: 🧳
- Blogging: 🤘
- Business: 🤑
This month’s photos were taken in Utah and Alaska.
Travel in February
After a quiet January, it was a busy month! I was on the road for over half of February, for a mix of business, leisure, and bleisure.
- Destinations Visited: 3
- Salt Lake City & Moab, Utah
- Newport, Rhode Island
- Fairbanks & Anchorage, Alaska
- Flights Taken: 6
- Days on the Road: 15 out of 29 (52%)
Travel Highlights & Lowlights
The best travel experience I had in February was… a tie between a breathtaking view in Canyonlands National Park, watching a wonderful friend marry an amazing partner, and seeing the northern lights dance in the Alaska sky. It was a goooood month.
The worst travel experience I had in February was… fighting a cold while traveling in Alaska. I was already pushing myself hard to stay up late and do lots of activities in the day – and it resulted in sleeping one night when the aurora were at their best.
My February travel highlight from years past was… a great friends trip to Lisbon, Portugal back in 2013. It was debaucherous and fun but also before Lisbon was ultra-popular so I feel pretty cool about that. 🤙
Blogging in February
February is typically smaller in every way compared to January – after all, most years February has ~10% fewer days than the preceding month! Between this being a leap year and the hard work I put in last autumn to prepare for the winter season, February actually exceeded my expectations. Especially in email marketing – I’ve been working on that for six months and it’s finally paying off!
- Pageviews: 110,051 (↓7% from January, ↑109% from February 2019)
- Unique Visitors: 85%
- Traffic Breakdown by Sessions:
- Organic: 78.9%
- Social: 10.1%
- Direct: 9.0%
- Referral: 1.1%
- Email: 0.9% 🎉
- Most Popular New Post: 7 Days in Alaska: 2 Weeklong Alaska Itinerary Options (for the second month in a row! It’s a rainmaker! ☔️)
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Posts I Published in February
I published way too much in January, and I knew I was pushing toward burnout. So in February, I took my foot off the gas a little to allow for the 50% of time I spent on the road and some recovery. I published five new articles:
- 3 Days in Palm Springs: A Weekend Desert Oasis Getaway
- The 12 Best Hotels Along the Pacific Coast Highway
- Where to Travel in April 2020: 10 Exciting Destinations
- The 11 Best Juneau Cruise Excursions
- The Best Luggage Storage Apps & Options – Ranked!
I also updated an article from 2019 that was not performing up to the level I want: 5 Days in London: The Best Things to See & Do on a Quick Itinerary. It’s still struggling, but I feel better about the SEO now.
Freelance Writing in February
The main freelance writing I did in February was for a brand new publication: Forbes! I’m now a regular contributor to Forbes Science, writing about astrotourism and space tourism. I have to write a minimum of five stories per month; here are my February stories:
- SpaceX And Space Adventures Team Up To Expand Space Tourism Offerings
- Where To See The Northern Lights Before Winter Ends
- 5 Events Where You Can Run The Messier Marathon This Year
- Maui’s Haleakalā National Park Welcomes Stargazers With New Programs In 2020
- The Northern Lights Will Glow Across The U.S. This Week – Here’s Where To See Them
That last one blew up and was read by over 350,000 people! 🙌
Blogging Highlights & Lowlights
The highlight of blogging in February was… seeing my email traffic rise from measly 0.1% six months ago to nearly 1% of total traffic this month. Y’all know I’ve worked hard to try and figure out how to send valuable emails, and it seems to be working.
The lowlight of blogging in February was… an unexplained drop in social media traffic. One of my 2020 blogging goals is to grow my social media traffic to help insulate myself from Google algorithm changes… but Pinterest refuses to love me for some unexplained reason. 🤷♀️
Business in February
As you might recall, I changed the way I’m reporting my income as of January 2020. You can read that explanation here.
February, you saucy minx! While traffic was solid, my income in February was explosive. I grew across all categories, especially affiliate income. I’m feeling really proud of that.
- Advertising income: 32% (↑4% from January)
- Affiliate income: 51% (↑25% from January)
- Product income: 3% (↑249% from January)
- Sponsored content/campaigns: 5% (↑100% from January)
- Blogging product/service income: 9% (↑58% from January)
Total income for February 2020: $9,133 (↑23% from January)
Months I’ve been blogging: 77*
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*I share this number 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 February was… exceeding my goal to make $8,000 in a month from my blog in 2020. It’s only February and I’ve already broken one of my big goals! (I also set an email goal to reach 1% of traffic which I did too!)
The business lowlight for February was… nothing? Seriously, I have nothing to complain about here. 🙏
Upcoming in March
As I write this, I’m at home for the next 10 days until I leave for Jordan to guide my Stars-to-Mars tour… assuming it happens at all. Coronavirus has understandably decimated my traffic and made several of my guests concerned enough to drop out of the tour all together. I’m also not certain we won’t get cancelled entirely based upon Jordanian governmental decisions. So… I’m either anxious about leading that tour in a few weeks or anxious about not leading that tour in a few weeks.
I did discuss with Mr. V that if my tour doesn’t happen, we’ll book a last-minute nearby-cation one weekend to make up for it.
Do you have any travel plans in February? Questions about this month’s report? Let me know in the comments.
Until next month! ✌🏻❤️✈️