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January 2014 – The Last Income Report

If you are interested in business, internet marketing, and making money online – please check out my blog, SelfMadeBusinessman!

Yes, it’s true – we are no longer doing income reports (except for this last, semi-incomplete one).

I realize this probably comes as a big shock to some of you. For a year and a half we have been publishing these reports faithfully at the beginning of each month. If I might say, we have even developed a bit of a brand for ourselves as “those travel bloggers that write income reports an make money”. I suspect that there are some people who tune in only once a month to check out this one report.

But after some cold, hard decision making I’ve decided to call the quits and I think it is for the best.

Here’s why

They’re no longer relevant

We started this little experiment a year and a half ago as a way to not only hold ourselves accountable and keep track of our own progress but also to share the in’s and out’s of our travel blog with our readers. It wasn’t just about income, in fact, for many months income played a small role. It was about traffic, social media, and different things we were doing to grow them.

Nowadays, we no longer do any of that. Not only does it take a lot of time but the truth is we aren’t really trying to grow the blog anymore and we haven’t been for months. We’re more focused on other projects we think will bring us more value and while I could go on and on about those in these reports they’re even less relevant to what goes on here than the current income reports. This is a personal travel blog, always has been and always will be. If I want to talk about those things (and I just might) it will be on my new entrepreneurship blog that I am starting in March.

It’s misleading

Our business has grown and we’ve expanded into new websites, niches, and projects. I’ve always reported the income from EVERYTHING we’re involved in, which is quite rare in income reports mind you.

I follow several other bloggers who publish income reports and I know for a fact that what they publish on their blog is only a fraction of what they are actually making online. Part of that is because people naturally want to protect their business. I can’t say I blame them for that. The other part, is that income reports, in essence, are meant to reflect what one person can achieve with their blog (through adsense, affiliate sales, direct clients, etc). For us, this has not been the case for almost a year now, as we have expanded into so many other things, Acoupletravelers is merely a fraction of what we report, and I don’t see the point of reporting on just what acoupletravelers earns.

There’s more to lose than to gain

In fact, a lot more. Over the last year and a half the income reports have been great for us and not all in an altruistic sense. They’ve brought us a lot of attention and clients for our bloggingpartnership program and online course. I actually enjoyed writing them for the most part.

But as we’ve started to phase those out, it’s mostly just unnecessary exposure. Yes, not all news is good news and I worry about some of the eyes on our blog as we’re linked to from a variety of sources and not everyone on the internet is so nice. While the income reports do bring a nice spike in traffic every month, particularly from matthew woodward’s income round up, inevitably none of it really sticks because this blog is meant for an entirely different audience. It’s not about internet marketing, making money online, or any of that stuff.

It’s a lot of work

Some people may have noticed that I rarely write for acoupletravelers anymore safe for these income reports, again, because we’ve just gotten so busy with everything else. The income reports take a fair amount of work to do each month as there is a lot of accounting and what not, and if I was to do them the way I should do them (traffic, social shares, etc) they would take even more. I wouldn’t mind a few hours back every month.

The quality has declined

We may make a lot more money now but if you look objectively at the income reports of the past, the current ones aren’t the same quality. Honestly, it’s not for lack of things to say. There’s more to say now than ever. Unfortunately I find myself dragging my feet because

1)      I don’t want to put in the necessary work with everything else going on to make them really solid.

2)      Even more, I just don’t feel like I can be 100% honest about things for competition reasons.

For example, I hardly break down our expenses like I use to, or even break out our different income streams. It just leaves things open to copy cats, or worse, for people who don’t know what they’re doing trying to mimic us. This may sound crazy, but sometimes I think the income reports do more harm than good. We’ve learned a lot of things in the last year and I think it was important that it happened gradually the way it did. It’s what kept us from making any big falls and losing a lot of money at once, and mind you, we have lost money in a wide variety of ways but always relative to what we make so it’s OK. The income reports can potentially provide false encouragement for people who are trying to skip those necessary steps.

Conclusion

At the end of the day when I thought about reasons why we should keep them around I could only come up with the following

  • Consistency – We’ve been doing them all along.
  • Clients – They do give us additional exposure we wouldn’t get month to month otherwise.
  • Information – To some people they might be beneficial.

One is a poor reason to do anything, and two and three are less and less powerful on account of declining relevancy and quality. When I weighted that against all of the above, it just didn’t seem like enough anymore – so that’s that.

I haven’t decided yet about whether or not I will reintroduce income reports on my new blog. If I do, it will hold true to what I make from that blog and projects related to that blog.

However, so as to not leave you completely with a cliffhanger, especially after last month’s drop off – January was by and large our best month ever and we cleared $20k, which was my goal for the year.

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19 Responses to January 2014 – The Last Income Report

  1. Congrats on the $20k, and I understand why you are stopping. Congrats on the success, and we hope to meet up on the road soon. Keep up the good work!

    Hannah @ Getting Stamped January 31, 2014 at 9:50 AM Reply
    • Thanks! Hoping to meet up sometime soon too! Happy travels!

      Vicky March 15, 2014 at 1:30 AM Reply
  2. I have been thinking about getting rid of my income report as well, or at least switching it to percentages instead. I’m not sure what to do.

    Michelle January 31, 2014 at 2:08 PM Reply
  3. woop. I’m the one who always checks in your income reports :)) sadly I still have a looOoong way to go before I achieve your numbers ^_^.. thanks still for helping me out and congrats on achieving the goal!

    grasya January 31, 2014 at 6:29 PM Reply
    • Thanks! You’ll get there eventually! We’re currently working on new projects to develop online income outside of travel blogging so we have a lot to learn ourselves.

      Vicky March 15, 2014 at 1:26 AM Reply
  4. Sad news!
    We learned a lot form you reports.
    And wouldn’t start travel-bogging without reading them.
    These reports were and still are an inspiration for us for everything that we do now on-line. And we are sure, for many other people too.
    So we hope on your new blog you will share some secrets too, not all of them, of course.

    Without exaggeration, we can say, that you guys are our role-models 🙂

    Thank you.

    Gadi & Tun February 4, 2014 at 6:31 PM Reply
    • Thanks so much – we’re flattered to be called role-models and to have inspired you! : )

      Vicky March 15, 2014 at 1:20 AM Reply
  5. If you’re making 20k per month, then now is definitely the perfect time to start an entrepreneurship blog to discuss the business side of things and share a few secrets! I’m looking forward to reading 🙂

    Scott - Quirky Travel Guy February 18, 2014 at 4:50 PM Reply
    • Thanks Scott – I’m looking forward to sharing!

      Dave and Vicky February 18, 2014 at 5:01 PM Reply
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  7. Sad to see you guys stop these reports but it makes sense. I learned quite a few things from you and I truly appreciate the value of the material you posted on a monthly basis. BTW, whats the URL of your new business blog?

    Ivan C March 27, 2014 at 5:47 AM Reply
    • Hey Ivan – the new business blog is selfmadebusinessman.com

      I think you’ll find the material there will be far greater than what we were giving out in the income reports!

      Dave and Vicky March 27, 2014 at 5:54 AM Reply
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