Income Report April 2023: April Showers? It’s Raining Traffic & Income!

When people talk about April showers, it’s usually a bad thing. On my end, it actually turned out good: April 2023 brought the highest total traffic to my portfolio of sites and the most income I’ve ever earned in a single month. Makes me wonder what those May flowers will be…

April Income Report Hero

By popular request, I’m bringing back my income reports – but I’m changing them quite a bit.

First of all, I’m showing you my whole portfolio of sites now; while it’s interesting to dig into the numbers of any individual site, this gives you a fuller picture of the work I do each month and what it produces.

Second, I’m not giving you my total income anymore. My husband reminded me that the internet is a big place that never forgets anything, and asked me to not share actual amounts anymore. Instead, I’ve come up with a proxy and am sharing the percentages. (You’ll see what I mean!)

I hope you enjoy this series returning – even if it’s just that you’re a little bit nosy about this sort of thing. (No judgment – I love reading posts like this too for other bloggers and site owners!) Bringing more transparency to the blogging industry is important to help us understand what we can improve and what’s possible. If you have any questions or feedback, I’d love to hear them in the comments.

Okay, enough preamble. Ready to dig into the nitty gritty of my site’s performances in April?

Content in April

To start, I thought it would be handy to show a breakdown of the content I created in April. One thing that I want to make clear here is that I work a lot. My writer and I produce a ton of content each month; in April, we published or updated 89 articles in total.

Here’s a pie chart showing the content I produced on each site:

Content Breakdown - April 2023

And here are the numbers for each site, broken down by new/updated so you can understand what that volume of content looks like:

As you might guess from reading through the weeds there, I did a pretty decent job balancing new content with updating old articles – it was about a 48/52 split.

I also included the total number of articles on each site, so you can get a sense of how big each site is compared to the traffic it brings in; unsurprisingly, the percentage of content I produced in April is pretty close to the proportion of total articles on each site (i.e. 27% of my April articles were published on V&V, and 28% of my total articles across all sites are on V&V).

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Traffic in April

Now let’s turn to traffic – this is the bedrock of every website-based business. In April, traffic to my sites was almost universally higher than in March, which was a really good sign for the travel industry this year (since the majority of my sites are in the travel super-niche).

Here’s a pie chart of my traffic on each site:

And here are the raw number for each site:

  • V&V: 227,707 pageviews
  • STG: 146,680 pageviews
  • LOMM: 70,088 pageviews
  • ELB: 87,219 pageviews
  • JT: 46,527 pageviews
  • FTB: 11,462 pageviews
  • GPTG: 14,385 pageviews
  • DS: 15,892 pageviews

As you can see, there is a bit of a Pareto principle here: V&V and STG are the big traffic earners, accounting for over 60% of the total traffic to my portfolio

Speaking of totals, my sites had 610,630 pageviews in April – this means April was my highest traffic month of all time. this is the second month in a row over 600k, and certainly feels like a great start to the summer season. (I do think this year is a bit like 2021 when summer travel/traffic peaked earlier in the year and May may be the apex…)

Income in April

Last but not least, what you came for – some income numbers.

While my content production is balanced and my traffic is pretty balanced, my income earnings are completely skewed: V&V is by far my biggest earner.

Income Breakdown – April 2023

More of the Pareto principle at work here – eh? V&V is not the biggest site in content, but it does bring in the lion’s share of income, primarily in ads. (I’ll come to a breakdown of earnings by type in a second.)

To give you a numeric example of what this income looks like, let’s imagine I made $20,000* in April. This is what each site would have earned:

  • V&V: $12,200
  • STG: $3,000
  • LOMM: $2,060
  • ELB: $1,000
  • JT: $1,280
  • GPTG & DS: <$250 each

One important caveat is that this is unrealized money – I use an accrual accounting system, so not all of this (theoretical) money would materialize into my accounts. People cancel stuff, change their travel plans, etc. Even in a month where I earn $20,000, I don’t get all of that in my accounts in the net-30/60/65/90 days when it’s finally paid.

Hopefully, that gives you a sense of what this looks like in real money terms – even if it’s not the exact amount I earned. (*I’ll use $20,000 as a standard metric each month even when my income is above or below that amount, to help you understand the data each month.)

In terms of the breakdown of my income by category, here’s how it went down in April:

  • Ads: 63.8% of total income (so $12,760 using our example above)
  • Affiliates: 33.9% of total income ($6,780)
  • Products: 2.2% of total income ($440)

I have a feeling this is pretty common for people – to be so reliant on advertising. I’d be curious to hear about your income breakdown by type if you’re willing to share

I hope that helps you understand a bit more about how my portfolio of sites works, and how it performed in April specifically (from a traffic and income perspective). Have any questions about the content I wrote, the traffic it produced, and my April 2023 income report? I’m happy to answer any questions in the comments!

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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.

2 Comments

  • Jenn B

    Hey Val, this is super interesting. I think the large proportion of income coming from ads is such an interesting metric – my husband recently asked if I thought ads were worth it (he doesn’t like seeing ads in general) and I was like yeah, some months that’s my only income. Until there’s a better stream, here we are. Congrats on all of your STELLAR stats this month, it’s inspiring to see.

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      Valerie

      Thanks for reading, Jenn! I generally figure users/readers who *really* hate ads will just have an ad blocker on (as I personally do). It’s just part of offering content for free on the internet – nobody used to complain about ads in the newspaper, but it was essential for newspapers to stay in business.

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