November 2020 Valerie & Valise Income Report

Ah, November. Normally I don’t mind you, but this year, like each new month I’m glad to be closer to the end of this year. November 2020 brought us the election of Joe Biden, too – which hopefully signals a shift toward better pandemic management and a sooner recovery to the travel industry.

My November now feels like a blur, as most months in 2020. I got to take a few trips and had some incredible travel experiences – and now I’m looking forward to December, setting goals for 2021, and entering the new year.


  • Travel: 🧘🏻‍♀️
  • Blogging: 👌
  • Business: 🤙

Travel in November

For a momentary reprieve, it seemed like we might be slowly getting back to normal travel in November – and I traveled accordingly. While that’s obviously not the case anymore as the pandemic continues to rage, I’m glad we got to make a few trips while it seemed safer to do so.

  • Destinations Visited: 5
    • South Lake Tahoe & Carson Valley, Nevada
    • Washington State
    • Grants Pass & Ashland, Oregon
  • Flights Taken: 0
  • Days on the Road: 13 out of 30 (43%)

November Travel Highlights & Lowlights

The best travel experience I had in November was… a tie between a glider flight over Lake Tahoe and Carson Valley and a relaxing short weekend cabin getaway in southern Oregon. I haven’t traveled much this year, but I’ve been fortunate for the trips I’ve been able to take.

The worst travel experience I had in November was… none. I’m also grateful that because I haven’t traveled as much as in the past, I haven’t had as many negative experiences.

My November travel highlight from years past was… London last year. I’ve had some great trips in November’s past (including that three-dessert dinner in Huntington Beach) and my first trip to Paris in 2011, but right now I most miss London. My last trip was last November, and it’s officially been the longest I haven’t been to London since my first trip. I think back fondly on that short trip and can’t wait for the next one.

Blogging in November

I’ll be honest: from a blogging perspective, November is one of my least favorite months of the year. Despite the hard work I put in through most of September and October as my traffic starts to decline, November is that one last month where my traffic continues to go down before the December traffic bump signals the start of a new year. This year was much the same as years past – even if my traffic is still up year over year.

  • Pageviews: 80,490 (↓13% from October, ↑31% from November 2019)
  • Unique Visitors:  88%
  • Traffic Breakdown:
    • Organic: 80%
    • Social: 8%
    • Direct: 10%
    • Referral: <1%
    • Email: <1%
  • Most Popular New Post: 19 Wonderful Weekend Getaways in the Bay Area (A sleeper hit from September that’s now batting a great average!)

Posts I Published in November

I’ll be honest: I was in a real funk for November, and I’m not sure it’s entirely cleared up for December. To combat this, I cut back on how much I was trying to write and worked on updating some posts instead of producing new content. (This is an equally important part of my site strategy, and just generally good practice to make sure my content is accurate.)

Here were the new posts I wrote this month:

Technically, the travel scarf post is a rewrite, but it’s a complete overhaul of the second version (the original dated back to 2013!) so we’re calling it new! And I updated my Tieks review and my golden goose PCH guide, too.

Lastly, for my blogger friends, I wrote this post, 7 To-Dos to Prep Your Blog for the December Traffic Bump in case you missed it

Blogging Highlights & Lowlights

The highlight of blogging in November was… growth year over year. I know I’m an exception in seeing growth despite the ongoing pandemic and travel restrictions. I feel grateful that my site is still growing.

The lowlight of blogging in November was… seeing both social and email traffic decrease as a percentage of my traffic. I’ve been working hard on these two parts of my business for over a year (email) and since April (social) and the returns aren’t there (right now/yet).

Business in November

I’ve been fortunate when it comes to income in November. It’s notoriously a month of income growth (or at least stability) despite the traffic decreases I mentioned. 2020, in all its weirdness, was thankfully very normal compared to years past.

  • Advertising income: 44%
  • Affiliate income: 49%
  • Product income: 4%
  • Blogging product/service income: 3%
  • Sponsored content/campaigns: 0%
  • Other income: 0%
November 2020 Income Breakdown

Total income for November 2020: ↓4% from October
Months I’ve been blogging: 86*

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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 November was… strong income even as traffic contracted. Like past months, my income has fared pretty well even though my traffic is in its slowest season. Can’t complain about that!

The business lowlight for November was… not having as successful Black Friday as I’d hoped. I came up with some fun ideas for Black Friday this year and maybe I just need to keep learning, but this year didn’t do as well as I’d hoped.

Upcoming in December

It’s a quiet month in the casa de V&V. We’re laying low – very low – before visiting my family in Minnesota for Christmas. We made the decision to see them following some medical emergencies and health issues my parents are facing, and are making the necessary quarantine decisions to make it as safe as possible.

Do you have any travel plans in December? Questions about this month’s report? 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.


  • Nomad Joseph

    Hi! Thank you for wonderful article. And thank you for writing such a detailed income reports. I think it really helps new travel bloggers like myself to get the idea how much work and time you need to put to see the income coming.

    Best wishes in next decade,


  • Angela

    Hey there!

    I really enjoy your writing style. I find it to be casual, interesting & entertaining, as well as informative. To be honest, this is the first blog? I’ve read. I don’t even know if I called it the correct name? But I KNOW I enjoy reading what you have to say. I like traveling and now that I’m kinda retired I want to do more of it. So thanks for all your tips and for taking me along on your adventures. AND I think it’s ABSOLUTELY WONDERFUL that you are enjoying your adventures while you are a “spring chicken” and young enough to just GO FOR IT!!! ENJOY!!!!!


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