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It might surprise you that less than a year ago, I considered quitting this blog. I was pretty unhappy with a lot of things in my work life, and was trying to prioritize where to spend my energy. Mr. V gave me the sound advice to ‘give it one more year’ – to make it to my sixth blogiversary (which will be in October 2019) and then decide what to do.

As you’ll see in this month’s, deciding to stick it out on this blog was the right decision! 

I had a wildly busy March. I was on the road more than two weeks, including a major international trip. Despite that, I published a fair amount (here and on Space Tourism Guide). I kept my ‘foot on the gas’ until I boarded the plane each time – and even then I kept plugging away.

The good news is that all my hard work is paying off… literally! Read on for the stats this month, and feel free to let me know any questions in the comments.

TL;DR: 

  • Travel: ✈️🗓
  • Blogging: 🏆🥇
  • Income: 💰💰💰

This month’s photos were taken on my trip to Chile in the first half of March.

Travel in March

While I’m not one to ‘sell the dream,’ I actually did get to enjoy some pool time this month!

March was the first month of heavy travel this year – but unlike in 2018 when that seemed to alternate, the rest of the year continues to be busy! 

March Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in March was… seeing the southern night sky for the first time. For the first four nights in Chile, I had my fill of the night sky, the southern Milky Way and the Southern Cross, the Magellanic Clouds, and all of my favorite constellations upside down. I’ll never forget that first view!

The worst travel experience I had in March was… being unable to sleep on the two red-eye flights to and from Chile. Did you know that it typically requires a red-eye flight each way when flying from North America to South America? I didn’t… and I can’t sleep on planes. Needless to say I was a little out of it the first day in Chile – and the first day home afterward!

Blogging in March

Pun alert! I’m ‘seeing double’ of my traffic from last month! 😂

It’s a little funny: for years I’ve been reading travel blogs and looking at their traffic, and dreaming of reaching that level. Now I’m finally in the ballpark of some of the travel bloggers I’ve admired for so long – and it’s surprising!

This month was a stunning success, a combination of some seasonal posts (about celebrating St. Patrick’s Day in Dublin and attending the Skagit Valley Tulip Festival) and I also saw my summer itineraries get an even earlier lift in traffic than I expected. In years past, my posts like my PCH and Alaska guides start to grow in April or even May – this year it seems people are planning earlier!

  • Pageviews: 78,327 (↑48% from February, ↑414% from March 2018 😱)
  • Unique Visitors: 67,765
  • Traffic Breakdown by Sessions*:
    • Organic: 40,663 (74%) 
    • Social: 7,681 (14%)
    • Direct: 5,652 (10%)
    • Referral: 576 (1%)
    • Email: 28 (<0.1%) 🤷🏻‍♀️
  • Most Popular Post: The Ultimate 10-Day Pacific Coast Highway Guide (as usual!)

*These numbers will not add up to pageviews, but is a more accurate representation of how I acquired traffic.

I am totally blown away by this month’s traffic numbers – especially my organic traffic (which is higher than my total traffic was a few months ago!) and my direct traffic, which suggests I’m perhaps getting some brand affinity and people are coming back on their own, rather than through Google.

Posts I Published in March

Because I was traveling so much, I didn’t publish as much as I had in months past. In addition to my February Recap, I published a brand new post, 10 Road Trip Essentials to Pack for Your Next Adventure, which is a road trip packing list that I think will help all my PCH readers.

I also updated my 10 Days in Alaska post for summer 2019 (I get SO many questions if it’s out of date, which is why every fellow blogger reading this should make sure their top posts are accurate!) and my Alaska packing list. All of you who are reading this and want to visit Alaska at any point in the future can trust I’m trying to keep those posts 100% updated for you!

Freelance Writing in March

I had a few stories published in March: A Quick Guide to San Francisco’s Best Neighborhoods in Lonely Planet and The Joy of Seeing Canada by Train in the San Francisco Chronicle. These two both make me proud: I’ve been waiting for some of my SF stories to start being published by Lonely Planet, and this is my third story for the Chronicle. I hope to keep that writing relationship productive going forward!

March Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in March was… all that traffic! I was expecting a good month, but that my highest traffic of the year would be in the summer months. Whether or not that proves to be true, I will look back fondly on this month for the readers, the comments, the emails, and the reassurance that my blog helps people explore the world!

A close second, which could really fit in any of the “highlights” sections, was spending 10 days with my blogger friends in Chile. Our mastermind group is the coolest one I know, because we help each other’s businesses and we travel together! #squadgoals #omgihaveasquad

The lowlight of blogging in March was… not having the opportunity and energy to publish more. I had set myself some more ambitious goals in terms of publishing and failed to meet those. That happens, but as my blog is increasingly my livelihood I need to stay committed to it – publishing, promoting, and all else it requires.

Business in March

I picked my most celebratory photo for this section! 💰

Traffic and income generally go hand in hand, so can you guess how the month went? *cue confetti and dollah billz in the air*

Income Report

  • Advertising income: $1,816 (↑96% from February)
  • Affiliate income: $1,831 (↑313% from February)
  • Product income: $187 (↑95% from February)
  • Other income: $0 

Total income for March 2019: $3,834 (↑171% from February)

(This is NOT my only income source. I don’t want anyone to think I’m living off this much while kickin’ it in the Bay Area. I have several other income streams!)

Business Highlights & Lowlights

The business highlight for March was… makin’ it rain! I mean, seriously, look at that total! Look at that monthly growth! I smashed my monthly income goal for the year this month, and I officially made more from this blog than from any other client or work I did in March. 🤑

The business lowlight for March was… ? There’s nothing to be bummed about with a traffic, travel, and income month like I had!

Upcoming in April

More star adventures, coming in April!

Well, as of the time of writing this, I’m finishing up a week of travel in Hawaii. This is the end of my Hawaiian cruise with UnCruise that started in late March. I’m also taking two short trips: one to Zion National Park with my blogger friend Marissa and another to Napa on a small group press trip. I’ve never been to Napa (or Sonoma, even though they’re close to home), so I’m keen to explore the North Bay a bit more. 

While April isn’t as big of a travel month as March was, it’s not a lax month by any measure. It seems that this frequent travel is the new normal! Who’s ready to follow along? Until next month! ✌️❤️✈️

2 comments

Reply

Great work Valerie! How great it is have a passion that blesses you and your readers and helps pay some bills to boot! Keep it up!

Reply

Thanks so much, Peder! Glad to be working with you on STG 🙂

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