March 2020 Valerie & Valise Income Report

If I had my way, I’d be starting this monthly recap with a lot of colorful choice four-letter words.

I don’t need to say why – everyone knows what’s going on, and if you’re coming here to read my recap, it’s because you have some morbid fascination with watching the dumpster fire that is my business. I get it – I’m a voyeur that way too. But [insert four letter word], man, this [four letter gerund] blows.

Note: I pretty much act like a spoiled, petulant child the rest of this post, which is one of the many ways I’m coping emotionally right now with the loss of my business . What you aren’t seeing is the gratitude I have for many, many things in my life, but I have been sharing those on Twitter and Instagram Stories if you need something to balance the tone of this post.


  • Travel: 🚫
  • Blogging: 😭
  • Income: ☠️

Travel in March

Well. I hate to finally write this and carve it into blogging stone. I was supposed to lead my tour to Jordan this month, but it was cancelled because of the pandemic. [FOUR LETTER WORDS!]

  • Destinations Visited: 0
  • Flights Taken: 0
  • Days on the Road: 0 out of 31

Originally I had given myself the rest of the month off from traveling because I was nervous about being prepared to be a good tour leader and show off this place I love… and then my Jordanian partner and I pulled the plug at T-7 days to departure. The next day, Jordan went into lockdown. Three days later, the SF Bay Area ordered us to Shelter-in-Place, and the whole state of California followed suit four days later. The day I was supposed to be introducing my group of intrepid travelers to Jordan, me and most of my guests were almost all under lockdown.

I can’t understate that this feels utterly devastating in retrospect – you don’t know how much work this tour took, though maybe I’ll write about it someday.

March Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in March was… none. Because I didn’t travel anywhere.

The worst travel experience I had in March was… I didn’t have any… Because I couldn’t travel anywhere.

My February travel highlight from years past was… Chile last year with my blogger pals. Looking a year back, I feel so grateful that I’ve had so many amazing travel experiences in my life. The travel industry is severely disrupted and we can’t be sure when it will recover. At least I have memories to look back on. (See? I do have a perspective of gratitude right now.)

Blogging in March

  • Pageviews: 78,327 (↓50% from February, ↓30% from March 2018)
  • Unique Visitors: 86%
  • Traffic Breakdown:
    • Organic: 76%
    • Social: 12%
    • Direct: 9%
    • Referral: 2%
    • Email: 1%

March Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in March was… finding my motivation to keep blogging as traffic was falling. I’ve heard it from many of my colleagues in the travel blogging world – it’s hard to keep going when your work yields no results. Like they say though, “when the going gets tough…”

The lowlight of blogging in March was… watching my traffic fall by half despite all the work I’ve done for the past few years. Damn it’s hard to know that I’ve done the right thing and put in the hard work, but – like everyone – I’m losing the wind from my sails.

Business in March

Unsurprisingly, with traffic so dramatically down, my income also fell like a stone. From past months, you might remember that income always moves more slowly than traffic – it grows at a slower rate and falls more quickly.

Income Report

  • Advertising income: 36%
  • Affiliate income: 53%
  • Product income: 7%
  • Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%
  • Blogging product/service income: 4%

Total income for March 2020: $3,527 (↓61% from February)
Months I’ve been blogging: 78*

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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 March was… a strong first few days that made up for the rest of the month… mostly. Key word mostly.

The business lowlight for March was… watching my income stop growing… and even shrink day after day in some categories. When the travel restrictions kicked in, understandably people stopped planning or booking travel. In some cases, they returned products or cancelled reservations, shrinking my income.

Upcoming in April

Given that we’re still not allowed to travel in April, I have literally no travel and no work coming up next month. I understand the reason and fully support the measures we’re taking, but if you have anything chipper to share in the comments to cheer me up, I’m gonna need it.

Until next month! ✌️❤️✈️

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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.

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