Whew, what a couple of months it's been! I just got back from a week in Tennessee, and I honestly feel like I just ran a marathon.
The last two months have been filled with plenty of ups and downs (ups like going on a couple of fun trips; downs like finally having COVID catch up with me), but I think the positives definitely outweighed the negatives overall.
Let's get to the update!
March and April: The months in travel
- Countries visited: 1 – USA
- States visited: 2 – Washington, DC and Tennessee*
- Flights taken: 2
- Days spent on the road: 6
*Technically speaking, I came home from Las Vegas at the very beginning of March, but I included that trip in my last round-up!
The time I spent in Tennessee was also split across April and May, so you'll hear about the second half of that trip in my next update!
Cherry blossoms in DC – I took a brief break after my trip out West in February, but soon was plotting a last-minute trip to tick off a bucket list item: seeing the cherry blossom trees in bloom in Washington, DC. I convinced Elliot to take a day off work, and we drove to DC for a long weekend at the end of March during peak bloom.
The Tidal Basin was very crowded, and we had trouble finding restaurants to eat at since we planned everything so last-minute, but in the end it was definitely worth it! DC really is incredibly beautiful in the spring. (And yes, I'll eventually write about that trip in case you want to do it yourself next year.)
Going back to Memphis – At the end of April, I headed back to Memphis, Tennessee, to attend the very last TravelCon travel blogging conference. I was a speaker this year, and loved having the chance to visit Memphis again! I didn't do many touristy things other than eat lots of BBQ, but we had some cool experiences as part of the conference – including a special second line march behind a brass band down Beale Street to the opening party. I'll never forget that!
Having to reschedule a work trip thanks to COVID – After avoiding it for more than 2 years, Miss Rona finally caught up with me in April. I'm pretty sure I got it the day of the Guardians' sold-out baseball Home Opener, though admittedly I had been more lax than in previous months about avoiding crowded spaces/indoor dining since numbers in Ohio were very low.
I luckily had a very mild case (it was no worse than a head cold for me, though I am triple vaccinated!), but I did have to shuffle around my Tennessee travel dates to ensure I could do a full 10-day quarantine. Luckily this wasn't difficult in the end, but it was an added stressor!
The extra good part, though, was that I didn't have any anxiety about catching COVID at TravelCon, or on any of my flights now that the airline mask mandates have been dropped. Silver linings, I guess.
March and April on the blog(s)
I definitely fell off the publishing wagon this spring – but maybe I'll blame COVID? (Ha.) In all honesty, I've been trying to update older content on both my sites, which has meant less newer stuff going up.
Luckily, when your main site is 12 years old, it can hum along just fine without tons of new content.
Traffic stayed pretty steady in March and April on both sites, with a slight uptick in April that will hopefully continue through the next few months!
A Dangerous Business traffic: 167,384 unique visitors and 207,961 pageviews in March; and 169,251 unique visitors and 229,426 pageviews in April.
Most popular post: 3 Days in Detroit: How to Spend a Long Weekend in Motor City – Detroit (like many other Midwestern cities) often gets overlooked as a travel destination, but it's such a cool city! This guide can help you plan a great long weekend there.
Other posts published:
- 10 of the Best Things to Do in Death Valley National Park
- Is Taking a Douro Valley Day Tour from Porto Worth It?
On Cleveland Traveler, numbers have stayed pretty steady, which is always what I love to see! The uptick in traffic in April was thanks to two posts going semi-viral on Facebook.
Cleveland Traveler traffic: 33,686 unique visitors and 43,260 pageviews in March; and 53,544 unique visitors and 65,587 pageviews in April.
If you want to see what I've been up to on Cleveland Traveler lately, visit the site here.
March and April on social media
In the last few months, I've been dabbling more in video content on social media, both on TikTok (more specifically, my Cleveland Traveler TikTok account @clevelandtraveler), and on Instagram with Reels.
I'll admit that I was very anti-Reels when they first rolled out (and I still don't love it when my *entire* feed is just Reels), but I'm warming up to them. You can definitely tell a more complete story with video, I think, and it's been a fun creative challenge for me to make them.
Most popular post on Instagram (@dangerousbiz): My most popular photo was this one from my February trip out West. This spot is “Movie Road” in Alabama Hills, and I understand why so many people liked it! My most popular Reel in the last couple months was this one, showing “Instagram vs Reality” at the Tidal Basin during cherry blossom season.
Most popular post on Instagram (@clevelandtraveler): On Cleveland Traveler, I've had a bunch of recent content get lots of views and likes (niche accounts are the way to go, people). But the most popular was this post from a local dessert shop!
March and April business update
(Remember, I report my earnings when they hit my bank account, meaning these ad earnings are from December and January, and the affiliate earnings are mostly from February/March travel.)
A Dangerous Business March income report:
- Advertising: $9,628.82
- Affiliates: $3,098.3
- Other: $397.93
A Dangerous Business April income report:
- Advertising: $9,630.67
- Affiliates: $2,259.77
- Other: $277.76
(Note that this is my income before deductions/expenses and taxes.)
On Cleveland Traveler, the last of my pre-holiday ad earnings hit my bank account in March, and then dipped back to more “normal” numbers after. Still pretty good, though, for a smaller niche site!
Cleveland Traveler March income report:
- Advertising: $5,544.25
- Sponsored video: $350
Cleveland Traveler February income report:
- Advertising: $1,171.97
(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 just over 2 years.)
Speaking at TravelCon – I spoke at TravelCon at the end of April about one of my favorite bloggy topics: affiliate marketing! I've now given a version of this talk so many times that I wasn't even nervous getting up on the Big Stage in the massive ballroom of the Memphis conference center. The talk went really well, and it was incredible to catch up with so many friends (and meet so many new people) over the course of the weekend.
Honestly, I don't feel like I had any big business blows in the last two months. Sure, getting COVID and having to rearrange work trip plans sucked, but the tourism board I was working with was super understanding and flexible (and the trip did still happen!), so I can't really count that as a low.
Upcoming this spring/summer
My calendar is slowly starting to fill up for the next couple of months. I'm still not planning things too far in advance because of… well, everything… but I do have some trips I'm excited about on the calendar!
Here's what I have planned:
May: London and Paris: Elliot and I will be dusting off our passports (him his UK one for the first time ever!) and heading across the pond to spend 10 days split between London and Paris. Despite my many visits to London, Elliot and I have never explored the city together – and Elliot has never been to Paris at all! Our trip so far is filled with afternoon teas, gazing lovingly at iconic landmarks, at least one bike tour, and much more! You'll be able to follow along in real-time on Instagram.
June: Arctic Canada: I'm booked on a seriously EPIC trip that will take me to Baffin Island in Nunavut in mid-June to sleep on the floe edge of melting sea ice and look for narwhals and polar bears. This is the most expensive trip I have ever booked, but all I'm feeling is giddy excitement about it! (This does remind me that I need to order a new camera lens though…)
I have a few other tentative things this summer, too, including a long weekend trip to Lexington, Kentucky, and perhaps another trip to Las Vegas to watch Elliot compete in a taekwondo competition. But we'll see!