- Travel Topics
December was a pretty slow month for income and we actually dropped about half from November – wow! This was largely due to the holidays, as we work mostly with European companies and they tend to take several weeks off during the holidays. On the one hand, it’s good to see that even in a “bad” month we still were close to hitting that 10k mark, which is really my goal month to month. On the other hand, it’s definitely unnerving to see how easily it can all disappear, so to speak. It really speaks volumes as to our need to find a more stabled, diversified income – our main goal in 2014.
After settling down in Thailand a few weeks ago Vicky and I have been hard at work on some new projects. We’re constantly trying a bunch of different things, casting a wide net to see what works. I often talk about the 80/20 rule which says that you should focus your efforts on the 20% of things that are really paying off, however, many of our new projects have not proven themselves yet and therefore we feel somewhat compelled to do them all until we can clearly say that there is no future there. A few things we are working on are:
1. Continued online advertising efforts and finding new websites to purchase
2. Building niche sites (currently working on 4)
3. Building authority sites (about to start one project)
4. New business blog in March (more on this later)
5. Refocusing on AvocadoPesto
6. Offering services to companies such as blog management and social media marketing
7. Working with Etsy sellers to connect them with stores that will sell their products
8. The blogging partnership program
9. Our course, how to make money with your travel blog
And these are just the general, umbrella projects so to speak. Each has a lot of sub projects within them and we’re dealing with a lot of moving parts that are getting quite hard to keep track of. I hired two more assistants the other day to see if I could put them in charge of certain projects. We are now up to 9 total (5 general assistants, 4 content writers) and I still don’t feel like we’re getting all the things done I want. At the same time, I know we need to be strict with what we take on, and several of the things on that list have a few more weeks to prove themselves before we cut them off.
I mentioned last month that a Google update wiped out half our fleet (which also had a seriously negative impact on our earnings), however I have been working hard with Vicky to replenish it and we invested a lot of our earnings from December into purchasing new domains and getting them up and running. It’s always risky doing this but I felt that the timing was good, following a Google update and not expecting another one for several months, and that we had to take some chances. Halfway into January it seems to be paying off.
It’s been a few months since we started the course, how to make money on your travel blog, and I’m happy to report some success stories. For example, Gadi and Tun who have been working hard have published their first income report. Having spoken with a few other bloggers and seen their progress there are several who at a minimum have made their money back on the course and then some. Overall, I reckon it is about half of the 17 people who have signed up, who have gone from not making much or any money to profitable. Not bad after about 3 months! Still, there is a lot of work to be done to get the other half to this point. Largely, people came in at varying stages in their blogging career and some, being farther along, were at a stage where they were better able to make use of the material. Still, I think with another 3 months of work the rest of the gang will be able to pull through as well, and it will be a very successful experiment for most if not all parties involved. If you are interested, shoot us an email.
New Business Blog
Vicky and I have been talking about this for a while now and I’m finally taking the plunge to start my own business/entrepreneur blog, which I hope to release in March. Inspired by guys like Pat Flynn and Matthew Woodward it’s time to start writing about my passion – entrepreneurship. I think our last year has given us a lot of unique experiences and insight, which will make for a valuable blog. I have some great posts lined up and I’ve already started writing in preparation. The projects we’re currently working on are going to make for some great case studies. It’s going to be a lot of work, but I think it’s important to start working on our individual brand as well as a more long term strategy. ACoupleTravelers, we don’t think, is it, so we’re going to be focusing on AvocadoPesto and my new business blog.
Google Page Rank: 3/10
Domain Authority: 41/100
ACoupleTravelers – $8,605
AvocadoPesto – $1,005
Total Revenue: $12,167
Total Business Costs: $2,557
This month we donated $100 to Environmental Justice Foundation. The Environmental Justice Foundation (EJF) is a UK- based non-profit organisation working internationally to protect the environment and defend human rights.