July 2015 Valerie & Valise Income Report

Summer is sliding right on by here in Seattle; with hellaciously hot days, long hours at the full-time gig, and plenty of fun things happening outside, it’s been a busy month! I’m happy to report that July was a good month — not a great one, but good enough. Here’s a look at the month behind, and looking forward to the month ahead.

Blog Performance Last Month

July did pretty well, which is a good feeling:

  1. I had 3,458 unique page views last month — this obviously isn’t as great as June, but I’m happy to set a goal and accomplish it!
  2. I’m lacking in the partnerships area: there are lots of things in progress, and you can’t really rush these conversations. I imagine that there will be lots of new exciting things to report by the end of August!
  3. I didn’t really write “chapters” for this secretive mentorship program I’ve now alluded to twice, but I did give some serious thought to how the program might be structured. Shhhh… don’t tell anyone! It’s still a work in progress.

This month was a bit reduced in terms of my success, growth, and so on, but I’m okay with this: I think there are patterns and cycles to readership and engagement, and I’m not afraid to learn what those are. At the same time, I’m struggling to keep my blog as high a priority on my time as I’d like it to be, and I feel like that definitely affected my ability to seize opportunities and keep growing my blog. I wish there were a clearer way to say that, or that I had a clearer solution. Hopefully I’ll report back more on this soon.

Blogging Lessons Learned Last Month

Here’s the fun part: even when you can’t give it your all, and even when things aren’t as successful as you hope, you can still learn from it.

  1. You get what you give — I think I’ve said this before, but it’s true: what effort and love and passion you put into your blog or passion project is pretty closely related to the success you’ll meet with. In short, I need to step up my game.
  2. Past great ideas can become future great ideas — back in June, I started doing a new style of packing list, and I’m loving them. I’m not sure how effective they are for any of you or if you’re finding them helpful, but I think they’re pretty cool. At the end of the day…
  3. As long as you’re doing what you love, the rest is details — Write what you think, about what you love (this applies to whatever your blog, or passion project relates to). I hate to admit that the quote about “if you do work you love, you won’t work a day in your life,” but it’s probably completely true. I’ll keep testing and report back on that too!

Blogging Costs Last Month

I am always somewhat surprised to write this column and see what I spent and how I spent it. I know many people have said they find this useful, so I’m happy to continue writing them. I’m long overdue for an income report too, but I’m not sure when that will be coming. Until next month, here’s last month!

ItemRaw Amount% of Total
Facebook Ads$21.0413.8%
Google Ads$0.000.0%
Pinterest Ads$0.000.0%
Twitter Ads$0.000.0%
Total Spent in Month$152.58

Line Item: Administration

I spent money in this category — but not for this blog! I occasionally get a wild hare and buy a new domain for a new project… I’ve got about four of them now, in various states of completion!

Line Item: Facebook Ads

I spent only ~$20 this month boosting posts to my fans, admittedly far less than I normally do or meant to, really. I haven’t seen the same return from my ads this month, but to be honest, I also haven’t caught up inviting those who engaged with my boosted posts to like my page.

Line Item(s): Google, Pinterest, Twitter Ads

Still no spending in these areas. I like my money too much this month, I guess!

Line Item: Giveaways

No giveaways yet… Anyone have a good idea for one, or have a brand you’d like to partner with me on?

Line Item: Store

A bunch of my listings expired at the beginning of the month, but I actually chose not to renew them at this point — I haven’t really done a good job of creating a strategy for helping those generate income, so I’m going to let them sit for now. Maybe I’ll renew them in coming months.

Line Item: Travel

My main travel expenses this month came from my trip to Indianapolis, which was actually really affordable thanks to the generous hospitality of the Visit Indy team. I could never have done even half as much of the fun stuff I was able to enjoy without  their help and the bit I spent of my own. After all, why make money if you can’t spend it on things you enjoy and love?

Line Item: Other

Oh, good old Buffer at $10/month. What would I do without you?! I cancelled SumoMe List Builder Pro early in the month to avoid paying again, because even doing some testing, only my standard popup was really effective and I didn’t need any of the pro features.


It was good to have a relatively light expense month — I know that August and September will be blissfully travel-filled at the very minimum. That being said, it’s hard to draw conclusions about any spending behavior when not many “experiments” were run.

Predictions for August

  1. I’d like to get up to 3,000 Facebook Likes this month. That’s going to mean running some ads and being diligent about converting that into people liking my page.
  2. I’d like to find a new giveaway partnership of some kind. I guess I’ll have to do some work to figure out what that might even look like! I’m happy to contribute financially, so if you’re interested, be sure to let me know in the comments or by contacting me via email.

Blogging Goals This Month

  1. Successfully complete my GoPro challenge — 3 days down, 28 to go. All GoPro, all the time!
  2. Outline the Homesickness book — another secret project! I’ve got some work to do for a project in mind. Are you tired of saying I’ll be able to share more about it soon?
  3. Outline and plan the Mentorship Program — Taking the notes off my “chapters,” I’ve got some planning to do for an October launch of the Mentorship Program… I have no idea how it will turn out, but if you’re curious about the idea, I’m happy to share more via email. Hit me via the contact link in my footer.

So that’s me… How was your 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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