Happy 2023, everyone! It's already halfway through March somehow, and the year is already feeling more “normal” than any year since 2019 has. (Granted, things will never truly be the way they were pre-Rona.)
My year got off to a roaring start with a trip out to the Pacific Northwest – in fact, I celebrated New Year's in the Hoh Rainforest in Washington State! And as I'm hitting publish on this, I just finished up a 2-week trip in Morocco.
2023 is shaping up to be a pretty epic year travel-wise, and I hope it will also be a great year content and business-wise, too.
Let's get to this update!
January and February: The months in travel
- Countries visited: 3 – USA, Spain, and Morocco
- States visited: 4 – Washington state, Oregon, Arizona, New York
- Flight taken (incl. connections): 10
- Days spent on the road: 20
Hiking in the Hoh Rainforest – I started the New Year off with a visit to a new-to-me national park, spending the morning of January 1, 2023 hiking and gawping at moss-draped trees in the Hoh Rainforest in Olympic National Park. This park (and specifically this section of it) is absolutely enchanting! I already wrote about it here: Visiting the Hoh Rainforest in Winter: Everything You Need to Know.
Chilling on the Oregon coast – After the Olympic Peninsula in Washington, my friend and I drove down to the northern Oregon coast, where we rented a beach-front apartment in the town of Cannon Beach. Cannon Beach is sleepy in the winter months, and we split our time between exploring beaches and state parks and just relaxing in our cozy digs.
Adventurous weekend in Scottsdale – In mid-January, Elliot and I flew to Scottsdale, Arizona for an action-packed couples trip. We went hiking, horseback riding (for me), mountain biking (for Elliot), and even on a UTV adventure. We also ate lots of great food and stayed at some fun properties. I always love spending time in Scottsdale, and think it's a great destination for a couples trip!
Exploring Madrid – After being at home for most of February, I left towards the end of the month and flew across the Pond for the first time this year. I spent 3 days exploring the highlights of Madrid – which, honestly, mostly involved food! Along with a food tour and lunch at the oldest restaurant in the world, I also toured the Prado Museum and the royal palace, and spent some time wandering Madrid's parks and famous squares.
Returning to Morocco – And on February 27, I flew to Casablanca to meet up with my friend Ashley and join a 2-week tour with Intrepid Travel. This wasn't quite the Morocco trip we were supposed to take together back in 2020 (I was supposed to be hosting that one with my readers!), but it was nevertheless great to finally get back there. (And, spoiler alert: we had the BEST TIME.)
Other than some rainy, chilly weather in Arizona that I couldn't have changed anyway, I don't really have any complaints about the first two months of the year! Here's hoping the rest of 2023 is just as good.
Becoming an auntie again! – In between trips in January, my sister had her second baby! A little boy named Maxwell. I started a tradition of taking newborn photos with Max's brother Will in 2020, so I was happy to be home to take photos of Max, too.
January and February on the blog(s)
Traffic always starts to rise after the holidays, and it was no exception this year. (Though it's always a bummer than February is such a short month!)
A Dangerous Business traffic: 163,049 unique visitors and 221,887 pageviews in January, and 145,078 unique visitors and 197,159 pageviews in February
Most popular post: An Epic 10-Day Iceland Ring Road Itinerary for the Best Iceland Road Trip – I finally got around to writing this behemoth of a post, using my big Iceland road trip from last summer as inspiration (plus 3 previous trips to Iceland). I think it's the perfect Ring Road itinerary!
Other posts published:
- 15 Things You Need to Know Before Taking an Iceland Road Trip
- How to Have the Best Cherry Blossom Trip to Washington, DC
- 18 Epic Stops Along the Causeway Coast in Northern Ireland
- Visiting the Hoh Rainforest in Winter: Everything You Need to Know
- Romantic Things to Do in Scottsdale for the Perfect Couples Getaway
On my Cleveland niche site, on the other hand, traffic starts to dip after the holidays. It didn't dip quite as far this year as in previous years, though, so that's good news!
Cleveland Traveler traffic: 50,763 unique visitors and 66,114 pageviews in January; and 42,982 unique visitors and 55,683 pageviews in February
If you want to see what I've been up to on Cleveland Traveler lately, visit the site here.
January and February on social media
One of my goals for 2023 is to stop stressing so much over sticking to a posting schedule on social media. I spent too much time in 2022 obsessing over posting to TikTok consistently (especially on @clevelandtraveler), which is silly since I make $0 from that channel. This year, my goal is to post when I have something to share, and not worry about it so much otherwise.
It's going to take some time to adjust, but already I've found myself with more time to focus on writing and other things that are more important to my business!
Most popular post on Instagram (@dangerousbiz): This Reel from the Hoh Rainforest was the clear winner – and it's no surprise to me!
Most popular post on Instagram (@clevelandtraveler): On this account, my Reel hyping up Cleveland (using the same template as my Hoh Rainforest one) just keeps going, spurred mostly by people who only want to comment about how awful the city is. 🙃
January and February business update
Remember, I report my earnings when they hit my bank account, meaning these advertising earnings are from October and November, and the affiliate earnings are mostly from December/January travel.
My income is usually a bit down in January because of less traffic and generally less people taking trips right after the holidays. And February? Well, February only has 28 days, so that always messes with earning potential, too! Plus, I'm switching around some affiliate programs right now, which I think will likely leave a gap in affiliate earnings for a few months.
A Dangerous Business January income report:
- Advertising: $8,221.87
- Affiliates: $4,859.87
- Course/product sales: $216.18
- Travel campaigns: $3000
- Other: $114.15
A Dangerous Business February income report:
- Advertising: $7,739.02
- Affiliates: $2,875.25
- Course/product sales: $255.71
- Travel campaigns: $4,155.12
- Other: $1,104.63
(Note that this is my income before deductions/expenses and taxes.)
On Cleveland Traveler, the pre-holiday ad money started rolling in in February, making it one of my better months!
Cleveland Traveler January income report:
- Advertising: $2,208.44
- Social media: $217.06
Cleveland Traveler February income report:
- Advertising: $4,587.41
- Social media: $188.91
(Note: A Dangerous Business was started in 2010, and has been monetized for more than 10 years; Cleveland Traveler was started in 2019, and has been monetized for 3 years.)
A successful IMM – At the end of January, I went to New York City for the annual International Media Marketplace (IMM), a networking event I try to attend every year. It was a quick trip – just 3 nights – but a successful event! I'm already starting to plan things for later in the year.
I'm not going to start the year off complaining about anything business-wise, especially after a very successful and fulfilling 2022!
Upcoming travel plans
March: Portugal – I'm in Portugal as I publish this, spending a few days in Lisbon relaxing/recovering from my Morocco trip, and then heading down to Lagos in the Algarve for a few more days before finally heading home.
May: Prague and Norway – Elliot and I are heading to a friend's wedding in Prague at the end of May, and have decided to go to the Lofoten Islands in Norway afterwards. I've always wanted to visit this part of Norway, and I think Elliot will love it, too!
June: TBD in Europe – I'm going to do that annoying thing that bloggers/influencers sometimes do and basically run away to Europe this summer! After Elliot heads home from Norway, I have no plans for a couple weeks. But some potential ideas include exploring more of Scandinavia, and perhaps a Slovenia road trip! Stay tuned.
Since my blog content is often delayed, be sure to follow along on Instagram if you want to see any of these trips in real-time!
Amanda Williams is the award-winning blogger behind A Dangerous Business Travel Blog. She has traveled to more than 60 countries on 6 continents from her home base in Ohio, specializing in experiential and thoughtful travel through the US, Europe, and rest of the world. Amanda only shares tips based on her personal experiences and places she's actually traveled!