After resetting my goals at the end of June to make them even more ambitious, I’m excited to report that July was a really great month for this humble V&V blog. This time one year ago, I was feeling excited about the growth I had in the first half of 2018 – I’m even more thrilled about how this first seven months of 2019 has gone! Let’s dive in…
- Travel: 👌🏻
- Blogging: 🥇
- Income: 💰
Most of this month’s photos were taken on my trips to Houston and Nebraska.
Travel in July
After several months of really aggressive traveling, July felt like a bit of a rest. I was only on the road 35% of the month (after 60% in June!) yet I had some amazing experiences and got to spend some time at home.
- Destinations Visited: 3
- New York City
- Flights Taken: 4
- Days on the Road: 11 out of 31
July Travel Highlights & Lowlights
The best travel experience I had in July was… celebrating the Apollo 11 50th Anniversary in Houston. I was lucky to travel with a fun group of science and travel journalists and we spent the anniversary doing cool space things and dancing to a Walk the Moon concert.
The worst travel experience I had in July was… not being able to sleep in hotels. I’ve begun having problems falling asleep in hotels, especially on the first night. Being sleep deprived on days when I’m on the road working is really tough!
Blogging in July
I’m so excited to report that July was a really strong month – my highest traffic month ever… again! Cue my happy dance.
- Pageviews: 90,679 (↑8% from June 2019, ↑210% from July 2018 )
- Unique Visitors: 77,933
- Traffic Breakdown by Sessions*:
- Organic: 52,608 (72%)
- Direct: 9,960 (14%)
- Social: 9,440 (13%)
- Referral: 619 (<1%)
- Email: 48 (<0.1%)
*These numbers will not add up to pageviews, but is a more accurate representation of how I acquired traffic.
Posts I Published in July
Partially by plan and partly by accident, I published posts about only two destinations this month. I was trying to diversify more, but I got excited about London and ended up publishing more than expected.
- Scottsdale, Arizona: 11 Must-Try Scottsdale Foods & Drinks and 3 Days in Scottsdale: A Desert Oasis Weekend Itinerary
- London: 10 Local Travel Tips for Your First Trip to London and 7 Days in London: What to See & Do for a Week
Freelance Writing in July
I had a great month for freelance bylines – almost all related to the Apollo 11 anniversary!
- Celebrate the anniversary of the Apollo 11 lunar landing at NASA events around the USA (Lonely Planet News)
- 50 years after the moon landing, the Saturn V rocket—now an Alabama landmark—is an astronomical site to be seen (Roadtrippers)
- 5 Ways to Celebrate the Apollo 11 Anniversary in California (San Francisco Chronicle)
- The Best Places to Celebrate the Apollo 11 Anniversary (Lonely Planet)
- The Best Spots in the U.S. to Watch the Perseid Meteor Shower this Summer (Lonely Planet)
July Blogging Highlights & Lowlights
The highlight of blogging in July was… breaking 75,000 unique visitors this month. Hey, y’all! 👋🏻 Welcome to the party!
The lowlight of blogging in July was… lacking motivation to write. I’ve definitely been burned out for the past few months, what with traveling so much and trying to balance writing in between flights and hotels and press trips. I ended up reducing my plan for the next few months substantially to try and recover a bit – especially as I’m traveling a ton in August and September again.
Business in July
July wasn’t my highest income month ever, but that’s okay. Success doesn’t always follow a linear upward trend – it means learning and experimenting and growing in many directions. I’m looking forward to reporting on August and the rest of the year because I’ve begun to come up with new ideas for income and how to grow this blog into the 2020s.
July Income Report
- Advertising income: $2,020 (↑1% from June)
- Affiliate income: $2,362 (↑13% from June)
- Product income: $125 (↓49% from June)
- Other income: $0
Total income for July 2019: $4,506 (↑4% from June)
Months I’ve been blogging: 70*
*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… getting some great advice from the team at Mediavine to help me recover some income I was losing. I was bummed about my RPMs (amount I earn for every 1000 visitors) so I emailed the Mediavine team to get some outside advice. They realized I had changed one setting that was costing me several hundred dollars per month! Thanks, Mediavine – for the income at all, and then for helping me get more of it.
The business lowlight for July was… missing one of my adjusted income goals. I reset some of my goals at the beginning of the month, and I missed the mark a bit on one (by only about 1%). I’m ambitious enough than having 99% success is not enough for me!
Upcoming in August
On the road again! By the time you read this, it’s likely I’m already off on my next trip. I’m headed to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan for 15 days of city-hopping and trekking with USAID (an economic development program sponsored by the U.S. government). After that, I’m home a bit and then Mr. V and I will jet up to Seattle for our engagement party. I’m trying really hard not to travel any more than that this month!
Do you have any travel plans in August? Questions about this month’s report? Let me know in the comments.
Until next month! ✌️❤️✈️