Time for another monthly recap and blogging income report. This is where I share what’s new in the world of Desk to Dirtbag over the past month and offer a bit of transparency behind the life of a travel blogger.
On to this month’s report…
Back Home with Friends and Family
For the entire month of June, I was back home in the United States which meant lots of time to visit friends and family. Highlights of this highlight include a road trip with my mom through Idaho and Oregon, and another road trip with my dad out to Washington’s coast for a stay at the Quinault Resort.
The month went by very quick and was super busy, so I didn’t get to see/do everything, nor visit everyone, unfortunately.
I also got the chance to go cragging with an old friend of mine, which was awesome! We went climbing at Exit 38 near North Bend, which is a place I’d long heard about but never been to…
Part of the reason for going back to the United States during June was to attend a few different business conferences related to blogging and earning a living online…
Craft + Commerce in Boise
It started with a trip to Craft + Commerce which is put on by ConvertKit each year in Boise for online creators. The conference was only two days, but they had some really great workshops and talks from people like Tim Grahl, Jeff Goins, Rick Mulready, and others.
This was a very well run little conference and Boise is a super cool town (I’d never been) with plenty of things to do, restaurants to visit, and places to explore. I quite enjoyed the city, and the talks at the conference, even if I do suck at being a social butterfly and networking.
P.S. If you’re a creator, you should definitely be building an email list with your readers/fans. I use ConvertKit for my emails and love it.
TravelCon in Boston
Finally, I capped off the month with a trip to Boston for TravelCon, my second time attending (it was in Austin last year), as well as my second time in Boston (went for a political event way back in college). This conference is geared toward travel bloggers primarily and features some of the biggest names in the travel blogging, photography, and videography space, as they share some of their hard-earned knowledge, as well as a number of speakers and presenters from outside the travel niche bubble.
On the whole, the conference was a pretty great three days keynotes from people like Cheryl Strayed, Mark Manson, and Tahir Shah. There were a number of breakout sessions throughout the day with lots to choose from, so I’m looking forward to getting my hands on the virtual pass and seeing what I missed.
Even though this was a monster conference with like 800 people, I felt a little more comfortable this time around, perhaps because it was my second time there, and I had the recent slightly overwhelming experience of Craft + Commerce.
TravelCon does put on some really great parties every evening, at least! 🙂 Plus there are lots of opportunities to connect with brands, businesses, and other bloggers.
If you’re a social and outgoing person, these conferences are great for networking. I’m just not that kind of person. I still do get a lot out of the learning though.
Next year, TravelCon will be held in New Orleans from May 8-10 (2020), so get planning if it’s of interest to you. Will I see you there?
Long Distance Relationship
The only major challenge for the month was being so far from Andrea for so many weeks. She had to stay back in Medellin for her job, while I flew back up north.
It’s the first time we’ve been apart for more than just a few days in many, many years.
Thankfully, we’ve got technology these days which makes it easy to stay in touch by chat and to do video phone calls, plus I use the handy international phone plane that I’ve talked about previously.
Most Popular New Article of the Month
Your Guide to an Incredible Utah National Park Road Trip – Utah is definitely one of the most beautiful states in the nation and is ideal for road tripping if you love mother nature. Read more about the highlights of road tripping Utah’s national parks. And be sure to read about the best hikes in Zion National Park.
Other New Articles
- 8 Reasons to Visit Colombia on Your Next Trip
- The Reality About if You Need Travel Insurance for Colombia
- Visiting the Museo de Antioquia – Medellin’s Most Important Museum
- Where to Stay in Cartagena: A Guide to the Best Neighborhoods
- 10 Things to Know When Staying at Hostels for the First Time
- 7 Amazing Places to Visit in Mexico that are NOT on the Beach
- All About the Frida Kahlo Museum Mexico City and the Artist
- 25 Interesting Mexico City Facts that Not Many People Know
- 10 Best Things to Do in Merida Mexico
- 10 Best Mazatlan Tours and Activities for Your Next Trip
- 20 Incredible Places to Visit in Guatemala
So, that makes for another 12 new articles published during the month of June, maintaining the level of production for three full months now. Thanks to the busy travel schedule during the month of June, the majority of this had to be ready to go beforehand.
Most Popular Instagram Photo
I grabbed this shot on my new Samsung Galaxy S9 as we drove through Oregon (it’s a shot of the always beautiful Mount Hood). It’s the first time I’ve posted a cellphone shot on IG for years! This was the most liked photo during the month, but perhaps that was because it was the ONLY photo I posted during the month. Oops!
Be sure to follow me on Instagram for more photos and regular story updates from my adventures.
June 2019 Income Report
I know many of you are just curious about how much I’m making and how I do it, but first, here’s a quick rundown of my story:
I used to be a desk jockey working in Washington DC but then lost my job when my boss retired, so I set out to travel the USA and live in my truck. I started this blog to simply hold myself accountable with my travel dreams. I had NO idea what I was doing at the beginning and had no intention of turning this into a business.
And yet, here I am. I now run a pretty awesome online business and basically have found my passion in life.
A lot of you have wanted to start your own blogs after seeing the success that I’ve had, and I highly recommend it. If I hadn’t taken a shot with D2D, I would most definitely have returned to a similar sort of desk job and be stuck doing work I didn’t really enjoy very much.
First of all, fair warning – travel blogging (or any online business for that matter) isn’t easy in any way or for the faint of heart. It is definitely not something you should immediately quit your day job for. Making a living with a blog is a long slow road, but it is also incredibly rewarding.
Take a look at my free guide about how to start a travel blog: you’ll have your own blog set up in just 10-15 minutes, and will receive some pretty sweet discounts since you’re a D2D reader when you use my exclusive link.
Have you taken my free blogging course yet?
Even if you are just thinking about starting a blog or want to figure out how to get more traffic to the one you already have, this will be useful for you.
Basically, if you want to learn the foundational elements of how I went from a desk jockey drop out to a dirtbag living in his truck to a now “successful” blogger earning enough to travel all over the place – you’ll want to check this out:
Onto this month’s income report breakdown…
- $128.20 – Big Travel, Small Budget book sales
- $332.87 – Amazon Affiliate Sales
- $14.47 – REI Affiliate Sales
- $53.88 – World Nomads Travel Insurance
- $10.46 – D2D Apparel, Stickers, Etc
- $90.99 – Get Your Guide Tours
- $3,786.88 – Mediavine Display Ads
- $20.00 – ViaHero Trip Planning
- $74.50 – Superstar Blogging
- $10.17 – Viator Tours
- $36.00 – Survey Junkie
- $30.84 – YouTube Videos
TOTAL = $4,589.26
GOAL = $6,000 per month
76.5% of goal covered
Well, June marks a 2.5% dip compared to my high watermark the last month in May. No major complaints though because things seem to still be overall in a good direction… I’m running at about 75% of my goal income, which I feel puts me in a pretty good place to reach before the end of the year.
While lots of new content was published during the month of June, I didn’t really do much active work on the blog this month, meaning that July will be a pretty busy time as I race to catch up on all the things that were left on the back burner.
Note: The above figures are for income earned during the month but are often not paid until 60 or 90 days later. The numbers do not include income from freelance writing which is another significant source of income and my primary side hustle.
Don’t Forget: If you’ve got any upcoming travel, please book your flights, cheap accommodations, and so forth through my Travel Resources page.
I know many of you have enjoyed my periodic expense reports, so I thought I might try to more regularly incorporate them here… These are only my personal expenses and do not include any business-related expenses — I actually take a salary from the business income.
I’m living on the cheap here in Medellin at the moment and trying to keep expenses below $1,200 per month.
So I went beyond my target spending by a considerable amount, but that is primarily due to all the spending on travel and just shopping back in the United States (buying things not readily available overseas or much cheaper). Without those, my personal spending was quite low, actually.
I track my spending with Mint.com and highly recommend it to anyone who wants to get a grip on their overall financial picture, and which is a crucial part of how I manage my money while traveling.
Read More: Get Your Financial House in Order
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That’s all I got for you this month. Are you following along on Instagram or Facebook? Be sure to do so, if you want to get the latest. As always questions, comments, and feedback are extremely welcome.
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Love seeing you grow this blog! One thing… when you post pictures sometimes I can’t tell exactly where they are and I want to know. The roll over/alt text on the images all read as the post name. If you renamed these it would help people know what/where the shot is and potentially improve image SEO. Cheers!