Welcome to kuaby’s monthly report for November 2016.
If you are new here, the purpose of this monthly report is for me to document my journey of growing this travel website. In this report, you will also find the lessons I learned along the way.
Last month, the site stopped growing; This month, it got worst. Both traffic and revenue dropped.
Let’s dive into the details.
- 1 Profit and Loss Statement
- 2 Traffic Update
- 3 Revenue per 1,000 Impressions (RPM)
- 4 Community Update
- 5 Actions I Took in November
- 6 Focus for December
- 7 Question: How Do You Share Trip Highlights on Social Media?
Profit and Loss Statement
In November 2016, kuaby made a loss of $33.04.
Aside from Google AdSense, Amazon Associates also contributed to the revenue last month.
- Google AdSense: $8.29 (-13%)
- Amazon Associates: $0.91
TOTAL REVENUE: $9.20 (-4%)
There were many attractive Black Friday deals for software last month. I struggled to delete those promotional emails. One service even got me digging through my trash folder on Gmail during the final hours of Black Friday.
Anyway, I survived it without increasing the amount of money I spend on this site. Was it a sound decision? Probably. So far I don’t regret missing out on any of the deals I saw.
Here is the breakdown of my expenses in November:
- DigitalOcean: $12.00
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $9.99
- Grammarly: $6.25
- Google Apps: $5.00
- ActiveCampaign: $9.00
TOTAL EXPENSES: $42.24
As mentioned last month, I’d like to maintain the costs for this site before I break even.
In November, a total of 3,820 unique visitors came to the site as compared to 4,066 in October.
The drop of 6.05% was mainly due to the decrease of organic (7.85%) and direct traffic (14.66%).
One thing I didn’t do as much last month is reaching out to other travel bloggers and influencers. In October, I reached out to around 50 travel photographers on Instagram so I can reshare their photos on my Instagram account. Also, I was emailing bloggers and website owners to see if they are willing to link to me. I stopped doing both in November. This could be the reason for the drop in direct traffic.
On the other hand, I am guessing the decrease in organic traffic is because my newer content pieces failed to get as much traffic from search engines as compared to the older guides.
Here’s the list of top traffic sources in November:
And this is a list of the most visited content in the same month:
If you are interested, here are the links to the Top 5:
- KL Sentral
- KLCC to Bukit Bintang Pedestrian Walkway
- Sungai Chiling Fish Sanctuary
- KLCC Park
- KL Bird Park
Revenue per 1,000 Impressions (RPM)
Revenue per 1,000 Pageviews or RPM is a metric to measure a website’s efficiency in monetizing its page views.
kuaby’s RPM for November 2016 is $1.68, up by 2% month-on-month.
I do not know what the industry average is for this metric. Please share if you are tracking this metric for your blog, but it is not a metric that I am focusing on right now.
I spent a very little amount of time on kuaby’s social media accounts in November. It’s nice to see a small growth despite the lack of activity, but they definitely need my attention in December.
Actions I Took in November
It might look like I am putting in fewer efforts in November, but I did not. The following are things I performed for the site in November.
Implementing an Editorial Calendar
In November, I spent less time promoting the site to double down on processes and content creation. The result of focusing on these is an editorial calendar that I am adhering to strictly.
I now force myself to hit “Publish” every 5 days, even when a content piece is not perfect. The goal is to write at least 600 words a day, and by the end of the fifth day, I must publish something. Writing 600 words a day for 5 days will give me about 3,000 words, which is more than enough to construct a well-researched content piece.
To create a stronger sense of accountability, I even put up a pledge on my personal Facebook account for this.
An editorial calendar will give this site a consistent supply of new content. This will be the first stepping stone towards having a healthy growth in organic search traffic. The next step will be to set up processes around marketing activities like link building, community engagement, and influencer outreach.
Sharing My Progress on Social Media
Last month, I decided to reveal my progress with kuaby to friends who are following me on my personal social media accounts.
The response was very encouraging, and it didn’t stop on Facebook. After the post had gone out, friends started reaching out to discuss entrepreneurship, Internet projects, and marketing. For some of them, I didn’t even know they share common interests with me. Grasping the fact that there are so many like-minded individuals around me is fascinating.
In December, what I share on my personal social media accounts will go beyond the monthly report. I will also post about the learnings I picked up, my observations as well as what I am up to with more details.
If you are interested, add me as a friend on Facebook!
Focus for December
I am visiting Taiwan for two-and-a-half weeks in December. This will be the first time I am traveling after upping my commitment for kuaby, so it will be interesting to see how it turns out.
Integrating kuaby into My Travels
During the trip, I will still be working on kuaby. The editorial calendar will still be in effect.
Also, I wish to get my hands dirty with Snapchat and Instagram Stories. As a marketer by profession, I don’t want to miss out on platforms that are getting everybody’s attention.
Taking pictures or videos, and sharing them on social media on-the-go can get a little hectic. It might even turn me off. I will need to adapt by spending more time at attractions to maintain the slow traveling pace that I am used to. Let’s see how it goes.
Setting Up Processes for Marketing / Promotional Activities
Last month, I nailed the content creation process by implementing an editorial calendar. On top of that, I now have a simple process for drafting, editing, and formatting my content pieces.
As an extension to these, I want to come up with processes around marketing and promotional activities in December.
These activities will include:
- Posting social media updates.
- Engaging with audiences on social media.
- Participating in travel communities.
- Reaching out to travel bloggers, website owners and influencers.
- Creating lead magnets and email marketing funnels.
Once I have the processes for all these activities, I can then optimize how much time should I be spending on them versus content creation.
As always, I am very pumped about what’s in store for December. Leave a comment below if you have questions or suggestions for me. I will reply to every single one of them.
Also, do you broadcast trip highlights on social media when you travel? Which is your favorite platform? Share your answer together with links to your social media profiles in the comment section below. I am looking forward to reading them!