People often ask me how I choose to start sites about different destinations, and why. The reality is that each answer is different. When it comes to my Jordan Traveler site, it was a memory of a trip six years ago – almost exactly around this time in 2016 – that left such a strong impression that I want other travelers to have the same experience. And I was fortunate to have that own experience again recently.
Since my last update three months ago, I’ve had the pleasure of actually visiting Jordan; my husband and I spent a week there running a trial tour in advance of the tour I hope to start offering through Space Tourism Guide / Valerie & Valise / Jordan Traveler in 2023.
It also reminded me that I truly love visiting Jordan and showing it to others – whether that’s through words on the screen, photos on social media, or in person. It is a challenging and captivating destination, and I’m proud to run a site that inspires others to go outside their comfort zone. Best of all, the site has been doing well, so I’m confident in continuing my efforts on it.
If you’re curious about my Jordan Traveler site in the year since I launched it, and my plans for the future, read on.
What are these Case Studies?
As a reminder, I do case studies for almost every site I’ve created, at the 6-month, 9-month, and 12-month marks. Then I switch to every six months for the next year; you can expect reports at 18 months and 24 months. If a site reaches its two-year mark and I plan to continue writing, I’ll switch to annual reports. Here are the ages of each site and its current status:
- Valerie & Valise – 8 years – annual w/ monthly recaps
- Space Tourism Guide – 4 years – annual
- Discover Sausalito – 2 years – semi-annual
- Follow the Butterflies – 2 years – semi-annual
- London on My Mind – 17 months – quarterly
- Great Plains Travel Guide – 14 months – quarterly
- Soup Whoop – 13 months – quarterly
- Jordan Traveler – 12 months (this post!) – quarterly starting at 6 months
- Eat Like Bourdain – 11 months – quarterly starting at 6 months
- True Crime Pods & Solar Smarts – 10 months
(Links will take you to the full list of reports about that site!)
Here’s a quick glance at the stats for Jordan Traveler at the one-year mark.
|Date First Published||May 7, 2021|
|Articles Live (as of 5/1/22)||36|
|Publishing Cadence||Weekly or Biweekly|
|Monthly Pageviews (last month)||11,919|
|Highest Pageviews (30 day max)||11,919|
|Google Traffic||77.8% (last 12 months)|
|Monetization/Amount Earned (total)||$150 (49% from ads)|
History & Status of Jordan Traveler
Unlike many of my other sites, I did not launch Jordan Traveler with a 10/10/10 strategy one year ago; instead, I launched with weekly posts, the first four of which came originally from Valerie & Valise. After 10 posts, I dropped down to biweekly and managed to stay steady on that schedule until last month when I stepped up to twice-weekly.
As you can see from the chart above, it took a while for this site to get momentum. Pageviews really started to take off at the six-month mark, pretty much right as the world began re-opening – the dip in month 7 is from Omicron. Since then, it’s been a little rocket ship! I’m not sure how high it will go before plateauing in the winter season, but I’m happy with how much it has grown in the short time and relatively few posts I’ve published.
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Content Structure & Effectiveness
Jordan Traveler is what I would call a “standard niche destination site.” The categories are exactly what you’d expect – and all-inclusive of what you’d need – if you’re planning to travel to a destination (in this case Jordan):
- Getting Around
- Things to Do
- Travel Tips
- Where to Stay
Surprisingly, the articles I’ve written have been almost exactly equivalent to how much traffic each category has brought in:
This is perhaps my most “healthy” site in that way: what I write is what brings me traffic. It’s actually really reassuring to see these charts laid out as they suggest I should keep on keeping on with my current strategy.
To be honest, I don’t have any specific takeaways from running Jordan Traveler for the past year. I started it a bit on a whim, and frankly, I’m astonished at how reliably I’ve been able to keep producing content when it wasn’t one of my primary focuses (yes, I have multiple primary focuses, which isn’t really possible and perhaps explains a lot!).
In any case, it’s hard to look back with critical eyes when I wasn’t necessarily being critical in the moment.
One thing I can say is that having a great team is critical to successfully running several sites. Without my team, I wouldn’t have been able to launch this site and help it grow up to this point with my eye only halfway on the ball. When all those other pro bloggers tell you to hire a team, listen to them (and me!).
One year down, how many to go? With each of these sites I started in 2021, I’ll be honest that I didn’t know where they would go – in the first year, it was all about seeing what worked (if it did at all!). Now that I’m at the start of a second year, it’s time to get strategic and try and aim for success.
Sharing the Load
My excellent writer has been asking to learn more about how sites are run, so we’ve actually been working to have her take on more responsibility with JT since it’s such a healthy little site. She’s been slowly learning about SEO and how to write content briefs and how to choose keywords. While I’ll still be involved in the content-production process and overseeing the whole site, it’s exciting to share the load on a site for the first time.
While JT is certainly not going to be as big as some of my other sites, there’s still no reason to avoid the best practices for earning money with what traffic I’ve been getting. I’ll be the first to admit that I certainly haven’t prioritized affiliates properly on this site; my itineraries hardly have hotels or tours or anything! I’m also excited that I’m currently working to get ads set up through SHE Media. Together, these two things should help the site get better at earning in the coming year with relatively little effort.
The Full E-Mail Monty
After investing in Love Your List 2.0 last year, I’ve been eager to apply the lessons learned to sites beyond my main travel blog, Valerie & Valise. In the coming year, I want to create a freebie, set up a full email system including automation and sequences, and start at least a monthly newsletter. That, in conjunction with the Jordan Travel Tips Facebook community I started, should create a healthy little community around this site.
This all feels like plenty to be getting on with, in the second year of this site. Do you have any other questions about this recap for Jordan Traveler? Let me know in the comments; I’m happy to share anything that I forgot to include!