April 2022 Valerie & Valise Income Report
Busy, busy, busy – that’s how April sticks out in my memory. For the first time in two years, I feel like April began to give us a sense of returning to some normalcy. I spent a lot of time on planes, some of it not even wearing a mask; I went to conferences and events, many of which not even wearing a mask; I ate in restaurants and went to parties and traveled almost-normally.
I also worked, a lot. As we crossed into Q2, several sites I had put “on hold” came back into focus, and I suddenly found myself not only managing my travel blog, but also prioritizing six other sites too – and trying to decide with a few other sites as well. It’s been a hectic few weeks, but it feels good to be back in motion – both literally, and figuratively.
As usual, here’s a recap of my travel blog for last month, as well as those income numbers y’all love to see.
- Travel: ✈️✈️✈️
- Blogging: 📈
- Income: 📈
This month’s photos were taken on my Eastern Cascades road trip and at TBEX Tri-Cities.
Travel in April
I had a busy month; this was the first month that I could genuinely say “I guess travel is back?”
- Destinations Visited: 3
- Jordan (Dead Sea)
- Washington State (Seattle, Ellensburg, Chelan, Tri-Cities)
- Memphis, Tennessee
- Flights Taken: 8
- Days on the Road: 16 out of 30 (53%)
April felt a lot like the entirety of 2019, where I was on the road over 50% of the year – and I don’t really like it. My ideal balance of travel and home is about 33%-67%, so I was definitely overcommitted this month. However two of my trips were partly/wholly related to work conferences and were very productive for me and the business, so they were worth the extra days away.
I also have almost the entire month of May at home, which helps me recuperate before several big trips coming up this summer. I can’t wait to share those once they happen!
Blogging in April
April was a pretty good month on the blogging front – the site grew month over month, which is always feels good. However, traffic is actually down compared to 2021. I’ve spent a lot of time thinking about that over the past few weeks and I think it’s the reality that with flights becoming so expensive, plus limited availability for cars and hotels, people are traveling less this year than they did last year – especially to an expensive destination like Alaska.
It’s obviously disappointing as I had an amazing year for traffic last year – but it’s not something I have control over. Like when the pandemic began, I just have to keep moving forward and keep diversifying my efforts to help my business stay healthy even as the tides of traffic/travel demand come and go.
- Pageviews: 183,376 (↑9% from March 2022, ↓12% from April 2021)
- Unique Visitors: 161,783
- Traffic Breakdown:
- Organic: 79%
- Direct: 11%
- Social: 8%
- Email: <1%
- Referral: <1%
Most Popular New Post: The 27 Best Things to Do in Anchorage (According to a Local!)
How do I keep track of all these stats? I’ve got an organization system!
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New Posts I Published in April
I only published one new article in April, mostly because I was so busy traveling and keeping my other sites running while traveling.
However, I really love this post: I went on a day trip to Stehekin while visiting Chelan, Washington, and came straight back to my hotel and wrote the post that evening. I don’t often get that kind of fiery energy about writing on V&V anymore – especially while I’m on the road –, but was just so pleased with the experience that I wanted to share it right away.
Business in April
Business – like blogging traffic – was good in April. Overall income grew, though I will admit I’m concerned about the ratio of advertising income compared with other income streams. For the most part, I’ve become heavily reliant on advertising to generate income. That’s okay, but it’s precarious – if ad rates fall or Google kills third-party cookies (someday), my ad income is such a big part of my overall business that I’ll feel that hit hard.
However, as I mentioned: people are researching trips less and they’re booking them even less than that (once they discover how expensive things are). So folks aren’t buying the products I sell, nor converting on the affiliate links I have. It’s just an unfortunate reality of the situation right now, and not something I have a ton of control over.
April Income Report
- Advertising income: 77%
- Affiliate income: 17%
- Product income: 6%
- Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%
Total income for April 2022: $12,632 (↑9% from March 2022)
tRPM: $69 (0% from March 2022) (What is tRPM and why does it matter?)
Months I’ve been blogging on V&V: 103 (no site is an overnight success!)
Overall, I certainly can’t be unhappy about this month: I traveled a ton, traffic grew, and income grew too. However it’s not all roses – the business is feeling a bit unsteady and lopsided, and I have work to do to get it back on surer footing in the future. Have any questions about this month’s recap? Let me know in the comments.