February 2021 Valerie & Valise Income Report

It’s hard to believe it, but here we are: the 12th installment of my monthly recaps from the pandemic. Last March feels like a hazy dream now, a whole year ago when I was shell-shocked and angry that my career and life were totally uprooted.

In the 12 months since, I’ve obviously gained some compassion and perspective; over 2.5 million people have died, and hundreds of millions more have had their lives upturned on their health destroyed by this terrible, devastating virus. Worst of all, our world seems even less bound together in our common humanity, despite our common grief.

But as one of my favorite songs by The Weepies says, “the world spins madly on.” Thanks to the vaccine, we’re starting to see a glimmer of hope and a chance for recovery. Interest in travel has started to grow, and my blog shows promising signs for the future. It’ll certainly be interesting to look back again in another year, and see how far we’ve all come.


  • Travel: 🀏 (a little)
  • Blogging: πŸ“ˆ
  • Business: πŸ’΅

Travel in February

After a “shelter-in-place” lockdown through most of January and into February, restrictions began to ease in early February and we made the most of it. Over the past year, I’ve kept relationships with some of the destinations and PR folks I want to work with in the future; one was heather who helped plan our trip to Mendocino last year. This year, she wanted us to explore Noyo Harbor and Fort Bragg – so we spent three days mid-month up there.

Due to more flexibility in Mr. V’s work schedule, we were able to make it a midweek trip. This was ideal for avoiding crowds and other people outside our household β€“ we didn’t see any other guests at the Inn where we stayed!

  • Destinations Visited: 1
    • Noyo Harbor/Fort Bragg, CA
  • Flights Taken: 0
  • Days on the Road: 3 out of 28 (11%)

Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in February was… going somewhere. Anywhere at all! Mr. V and I spent a few days at Noyo Harbor up northern California’s Pacific coast. It was so nice for a change of scenery and we had an incredible stay at the Noyo Harbor Inn.

The worst travel experience I had in February was… nothing? I didn’t have any bad travel experiences, which is something to be grateful for, I guess!

My February travel highlight from years past was… my last trip to Alaska, last year. I don’t think I’ll ever look back more fondly on a trip than the last “normal” trip I took before the pandemic.

Blogging in February

After a motivational rollercoaster of weeks and months, something lit a fire under me this month and I had an incredibly productive month. It was probably aided by starting to see traffic recover β€“ a hopeful sign that 2021 may be my best year blogging yet, despite the slow start in January.

  • Pageviews: 107,008 (↑9% from January, ↓3% from February 2020)
  • Traffic Breakdown by Sessions:
    • Organic: 79%
    • Social: 7%
    • Direct: 11%
    • Referral: 1.5%
    • Email: 0.9% 
  • Most Popular New Post: 53 Awesome Anchorage Facts & Statistics – This new post has been a firecracker! 🧨

Posts I Published in February

I had a really productive month for publishing! In case you missed any of my new posts, here they are:

I was also busy publishing new articles on Space Tourism Guide, Follow the Butterflies (Harry Potter!), my newest site London on My Mind, and I even published a new post on my almost-abandoned site, Discover Sausalito!

Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in February was… traffic growth over January. While January is normally one of the strongest traffic months of the year, that wasn’t the case for 2021. But that’s a good thing, as it means there’s still room to grow in the remainder of the year.

The lowlight of blogging in February was… lackluster email traffic. I haven’t been focusing on this the way I was in late 2019 and early 2020. I’m hoping to improve my performance here in the coming weeks – and that my subscribers will continue re-gaining interest in travel.

Business in February

Undoubtedly watching my income grow also helped me stay motivated in February. In fact, it almost doubled over January’s earnings! Unfortunately, this won’t stick around long; my affiliate income (which is now a very healthy majority of my earnings) is buoyed primarily by the Airbnb Associates program. Late in February, they announced that this program will be terminated at the end of March – so there goes another income stream! Time to go back to the drawing board to brainstorm other creative ways to earn… (That’s the constant mantra of bloggers: diversify, diversify, diversify!)

Income Report

  • Affiliate income: 60%
  • Advertising income: 36%
  • Product income: 10%
  • Blogging product/service income: 4%
  • Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%

Total income for February 2021: β†‘84% from January
Months I’ve been blogging: 89*

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*I share this number so you can see how long it has taken to earn this much. β€˜Overnight success’ usually requires years of hard work – this blog is no exception.

Business Highlights & Lowlights

The business highlight for February was… huge income growth from January. It turns out that February is peak season for Alaska travel planning – which equates to more affiliate accommodation bookings and people buying Alaska ebooks and custom itineraries. After the last year – and with the news that Airbnb is shutting down their affiliate program at the end of March – I’ll bank whatever I can get.

The business lowlight for February was… no sponsored campaigns. To be honest, I haven’t exactly been working on this part of my business – and my social media presence isn’t strong enough to earn them. But it would be nice to have some diversity in my income streams.

Upcoming in March

I don’t have any travel plans in March, partly because of the ongoing pandemic (of course!) and also because Mr. V and I are in the process of buying a house!

Assuming all the paperwork and financial checks go well, we’ll be moving to Cleveland, Ohio (near my blogger friend Amanda from A Dangerous Business!) at the end of April. So for now we’re still (stuck) at home on our Sausalito houseboat, tidying, packing, and getting ready for the next big adventure.

I’m also hard at work on the Alaska Summer Travel Summit, which is happening at the end of the month. That’s a big project that I hope will help people have incredible Alaska trips this summer – but it’s also the first time I’ve ever done something like this, so I’m dedicating a lot of time to it.

Do you have any travel or otherwise interesting life plans coming up in March? Let me know in the comments so I can live vicariously through you!

Until next month! βœŒβ€οΈπŸš™

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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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    Alix, thanks so much for your comment, and for reading! You’re so welcome – I love sharing and I don’t think transparency hurts anyone. I have nothing to hide, and I’m happy to help others rise up so the blogging industry gets better!

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