March 2021 Valerie & Valise Income Report

Well, after last March, anything has to be better, right? You may or may not recall that my March 2020 recap was very dour – I was angry and depressed that my business was decimated by the impending pandemic… and little did we know what was still to come from that!

I feel so grateful that I, my family, and my friends have so far weathered the pandemic and many of us are now vaccinated; my business has also survived the storm and is doing better than ever. This month’s recap doesn’t have a ton to share, but if you’re nerdy or curious about blogger businesses, it still reveals a lot.


  • Travel: 🙅🏻‍♀️
  • Blogging: 🏆
  • Income: 🤑

Travel in March

After a short trip in February, we actually didn’t travel at all in March. We did, however, get vaccinated – and that required a trip to Oakland, so maybe that counts?! It’s funny and a good thing we’ve all had to redefine our definitions of travel in the past year to explore more closely to home.

  • Destinations Visited: 0
  • Flights Taken: 0
  • Days on the Road: 0 out of 31

March Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in March was… none, as I didn’t travel this month!

The worst travel experience I had in March was… also none, which is good since I didn’t travel this month!

My March travel highlight from years past was… my trip to Chile in 2019. I’ve had some other great trips that occurred partly in March in the past (my trip to Alaska last year, my Caribbean cruise in 2017), but spending a week stargazing in the Equil Valley and exploring Santiago & Valparaiso with blogger friends was definitely a highlight!

Blogging in March

  • Pageviews: 182,208 (↑70% from February, ↑132% from March 2020)
  • Unique Visitors: 86%
  • Traffic Breakdown:
    • Organic: 80%
    • Social: 6%
    • Direct: 12% – primarily from Google Discover
    • Referral: 1%
    • Email: 1%
  • Most Popular New Post: The 11 Best Things to Do in Fort Bragg, CA for a Weekendthis post got a huge bump from social shares and Google Discover in its early days.

Posts I Published in March

Something lit a fire under me – maybe it was the growing traffic, or just realizing there are so many more stories and resources I want to share to help people travel this summer when the world begins to reopen… In any case, I had a super productive month of writing*, with 11 new blog posts in March:

As you can see, my main focus is still heavily on Alaska with some California content mixed in – as well as other states in the West. Luckily there are tons of great places to visit and write about here!

I also rewrite five other posts too – which explains why I have been feeling so burned out in April!

*It’s worth pointing out that I started using a copywriter to help me with some stories – Sarah is a rock star and I am hesitant to share her info so she doesn’t get too busy/expensive for me… but she’s truly great and I want her to succeed!

March Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in March was… having my highest traffic month EVER, especially after last March and the past year. It gave me real hope that I can keep going with this as my chosen career for a while longer.

The lowlight of blogging in March was… impending burnout. I know pretty well that if I push as hard as I did in March, burnout is right around the corner… This past week in April it came in full force! Now I’m getting back out of the unproductive phase again, thank goodness!

Business in March

With traffic doing so well, you’d assume business was good too – right? Honestly, it was! I didn’t see as much income growth as I saw in my traffic, but that’s partly because I was working on one big project that didn’t pay out until this month (April). That’s just how things shake out sometimes in this line of business, but something I’ve learned not to worry about.

Income Report

  • Advertising income: 43%
  • Affiliate income: 53%
  • Product income: 4%
  • Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%
  • Blogging product/service income: 0%

Total income for March 2021: ↑40% from February
Months I’ve been blogging: 90*

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

Business Highlights & Lowlights

The business highlight for March was… successfully completing the Alaska Summer Travel Summit! You might have missed it (in fact you should have missed it if you aren’t interested in visiting Alaska, if my marketing worked correctly), but I hosted a huge virtual event at the end of March. I had 300+ people sign up and over 100 people in each live session. It was a fantastic learning experience and great event I hope to repeat.

The business lowlight for March was… the impending end of the Airbnb affiliate program. As you may or may not know, I earn money in many cases when people click links on my site and then book or buy something. Since August 2020, that included Airbnb links as part of their new “Associates” program. Unfortunately, they announced the. end of the program as of March 31st – so like many bloggers, I had my best month of earnings ever, only to have it drop to $0 in April.

Upcoming in April

Even though I’m quite late in sharing, April is starting to look more normal. As Mr. V and I are vaccinated, we have already taken one trip (to Pinnacles National Park again and Monterey), and have a week in Hawaii planned for my birthday later this month.

Oh, and we’re also moving to our new house in Ohio at the end of the month, so we’ll be doing a cross-country road trip from California for that – and stopping for a few days to partner with/explore Reno, Nevada on the way!

Do you have any travel plans coming up? Are you feeling more comfortable traveling yet, or still waiting? Let me know in the comments!

Until next 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.


  • Jenn

    Ugh, so sorry for the loss (hopefully temporarily) of traffic and income. On the brighter side, you have amazing content and people will be so hungry for advice and ideas when we are over this pandemic. I am excited to start one of your blogging courses and do an SEO Audit (I haven’t forgotten but my husband got furloughed last week–he’s thankfully still working at 40%, so waiting on a couple of things before spending a little money). Wishing you safety and sanity and keep those gorgeous sunrise/set photos coming on IG!

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      Thanks, Jenn – and I’m so sorry to hear about your husband. Hopefully this will all be worth it and we’ll be able to get back to work and life soon. I’ll be here whenever you need me! See you on the Insta 😉

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