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Valerie has been blogging since 2001, and has been running her oldest travel blog for a decade. You can find her across the internet on her various niche sites, but she started Site School to help fellow bloggers grow and create better content.

  • 2023 Blogging Lessons Hero

    5 Blogging Lessons I Learned in 2023
    (& Tips for You in 2024!)

    It's hard to believe it, but I've been blogging for a decade now. Back in October, I crossed the 10-year mark with my first site, Valerie & Valise (here's the case study update, too); I would never have guessed I'd still be pluggin' away at this keyboard all these years later – or that it would be the primary income I earn and which supports my family...

  • STG Hero

    Space Tourism Guide 6 Year Report
    [CASE STUDY]

    Sometimes, you start a project because you see a good opportunity for success. Other times, you begin something new because you just love the topic you're working on. In the case of my second site, Space Tourism Guide, it was always a little bit of both...

  • December Traffic Bump Hero

    8 To-Dos to Prep Your Blog for the December Traffic Bump (2023)

    Here we are, in the early days of winter, as the darkness descends and we all feel a little bit down. If your blog is anything like mine, you’ve probably been feeling the squeeze of seasonality since school “started” in September. (You can see what I mean in my October recap too.) My traffic always goes down this time of year, and I’m left feeling a bit low...

  • V&V 10-Year Case Study Hero

    Valerie & Valise 10-Year Report
    [Case Study]

    A little over 10 years ago, I was sitting on the floor of my parent's living room, unemployed and fresh from my MBA in London. Uncertain exactly what I wanted to do next, my mom asked me: "if you could do anything, what would it be?" I'd be the manager and editor of a travel magazine, I replied, an answer a bit more clearly articulated than I'd even known before she asked...

  • Q3 2023 Check-In Hero

    Q3 2023 Check-In: Accountability on All My Sites

    Can I be completely honest? I've been stuck on what to do with Site School! I don't set goals for it as I have with my other sites, and I haven't really focused on it in the past quarter since finding out I'm pregnant (!) and focusing on other sites in preparation for the impending addition to our family...

  • Ways to Demonstrate E-A-T Hero

    8 Powerful Ways to Demonstrate EEAT in 2023

    SEO is a world of acronyms. Heck – SEO itself is an acronym (Search Engine Optimization) though most of us forget that as we talk about and work on our SEO every single day. Unfortunately, SEO is an active process for most website owners – after all, the word is "optimization," not "optimized." The SEO strategy that used to work for you might not work anymore, and you need to be constantly learning and adjusting to help your website succeed with Google...

  • Q2 2023 Check-In Hero

    Q2 2023 Check-In: Accountability on All My Sites

    Three months ago, I sat down with myself to check in on all of my sites; as part of each site I run, I do case study recaps – usually at 6/12/18/24 months and then every year thereafter. During these, I set areas of focus for the coming period/year between recaps. But I wasn't really checking in on those much – and then was actually surprised I wasn't completing them...

  • July Newsletter Ideas Hero

    July Newsletter Ideas (2023): What to Send Your List This Month

    As the heat of July rolls in, it’s a perfect time to add a dash of summer zest to your newsletter content. Whether it’s sharing tips for beating the heat, showcasing summer product launches, or simply sharing behind-the-scenes glimpses of your team's summer activities, July is ripe with opportunities for engaging newsletter content. Remember, the goal is to create a sense of community, offer value, and most importantly, ensure your brand stays top of mind in a fun, relevant way...

  • Eat Like Bourdain 2-Year Report
    [CASE STUDY]

    It's hard to believe it's been five years since Anthony Bourdain died. Back on the first anniversary, I wrote a post on my travel blog about how his death inspired me to leave my traditional office job and strike out on my own to do this blogging thing full-time. At the three-year mark, I launched my site Eat Like Bourdain to create the best possible resource for people like me who are (still) inspired to travel and eat at the places Tony did...