Hello from 2023! I can't believe 2022 is already over; it sure did seem to zip by pretty quickly, didn't it? If you want the full year's rundown, check out my 2022 in review post. Otherwise, here's a look back at the last two months of the year.
I didn't travel much at all at the end of the year, opting to stick close to home for the holidays to do all the Christmassy things in Cleveland, and to hang out with family and friends. (My family and Elliot's family had our first joint holidays in years!)
I did jump on a plane on December 28th, though, which you'll read more about below.
November and December: The months in travel
- Countries visited: 1 – USA
- States visited: 1 – Washington state
- Flight taken (incl. connections): 2
- Days spent on the road: 4
Re-exploring Seattle – Seattle has always been one of my favorite cities in the US since my first visit there more than a decade ago. I hadn't been in more than 5 years, though, but was delighted to find that I still really love the city. Since it was my travel buddy's first time in Seattle, we did all the touristy things we could in one short-on-daylight day: eating/shopping at Pike Place Market, riding the monorail, visiting the Chihuly glass museum, and going up the Space Needle.
Olympic National Park and Cape Flattery – From Seattle, we rented a car and headed west. We made a few stops within Olympic National Park (including at the beautiful Lake Crescent), and went all the way out to Cape Flattery, the most northwestern point in the contiguous US. We had excellent weather, and the views were stunning. We spent New Year's Day in a different part of the national park – but I'll save that for the next round-up!
Thankfully I did not book any of my flights on Southwest, and therefore don't have any lowlights to report about my post-Christmas travel! (Things actually went really smoothly.)
I'm definitely thankful that our families all stayed healthy through the holiday season. It meant we were able to celebrate all together once more! I also had fun shooting some Christmas portraits for my sister's growing family. Photographing a toddler is a trip, but at least we got a few good shots in the end.
November and December on the blog(s)
November and the first 25 days of December are always rough on travel blogs. People are planning for the holidays, purchasing gifts, and – in 2022 especially – worrying about end-of-year finances.
This year was particularly bad on my main site, but the after-Christmas traffic bump happened like usual, with a noticeable uptick in people searching for travel ideas again starting on December 26th (it always amazes me how quickly that switch flips, but it always does!).
I actually managed to write, publish, and update a good amount of content in the last two months, and am hoping I can continue this momentum into the new year and claw some of that lost traffic back!
A Dangerous Business traffic: 117,453 unique visitors and 159,639 pageviews in November, and 127,954 unique visitors and 178,326 pageviews in December
Most popular post: At the Edge of the World: A Floe Edge Safari on Baffin Island – This post is very different to the content I usually publish these days. It doesn't include very many tips at all, but rather is a collection of photos and stories from my favorite, most memorable trip in 2022.
Other posts published:
- 8 Fantastic Things to Do in Westport, Ireland
- 7 Reasons Taking a Tour in Ireland Might Be Right for You
- 3 Days in Dublin: The Perfect Dublin Itinerary for First-Timers
- 25 Epic Things You Have to Do on Iceland’s South Coast (and What You Can Skip)
- Year in Review: My Top 10 Travel Highlights of 2022
Posts that I updated/refreshed:
- A Magical Inis Mor Day Trip: 8 Awesome Things to Do on Inishmore in Ireland
- Amanda’s 2022 Holiday Gift Guide for Travelers and Travel Lovers
On my Cleveland niche site, on the other hand, the end of the year is the BEST time for me traffic-wise, since people here love the holidays! Traffic rose steadily through the end of the year, and while I didn't quite hit 100K visitors, I did still have a great year-end on this site.
Cleveland Traveler traffic: 85,210 unique visitors and 114,646 pageviews in November; and 90,518 unique visitors and 131,710 pageviews in December
If you want to see what I've been up to on Cleveland Traveler lately, visit the site here.
November and December on social media
On my @dangerousbiz accounts, I mostly shared Ireland/Northern Ireland content up until the holidays, and then took a bit of a break (with the exception of posting my year-in-review Reel). On @clevelandtraveler, it was all holiday content all the time until Christmas hit, after which I also took a little break.
Most popular post on Instagram (@dangerousbiz): These photos from the Dark Hedges were the most popular, and there was some good discussion in the comments about whether people thought it was worth visiting or not.
Most popular post on Instagram (@clevelandtraveler): On this account, my Reel about a local Christmas attraction called Castle Noel was definitely the favorite!
November and December business update
Remember, I report my earnings when they hit my bank account, meaning these advertising earnings are from August and September, and the affiliate earnings are mostly from October/November travel.
Ad rates were down quite a bit in the second half of 2022 compared to 2021, but I made up for it with affiliate sales and getting paid from some travel campaigns earlier in the fall.
A Dangerous Business November income report:
- Advertising: $8,686.61
- Affiliates: $5,801.07
- Course/product sales: $167.88
- Travel campaigns: $7000
- Other: $204.38
A Dangerous Business December income report:
- Advertising: $7,607.95
- Affiliates: $5,289.18
- Course/product sales: $244.88
- Other: $1,281.25
(Note that this is my income before deductions/expenses and taxes.)
On Cleveland Traveler, things have remained pretty steady, and my next income report will see a big jump in ad earnings thanks to all the pre-holiday traffic!
Cleveland Traveler November income report:
- Advertising: $2,410.04
- Social media: $218.43
- Other: $69.77
Cleveland Traveler December income report:
- Advertising: $2,304
- Product sales: $75.19
(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.)
Cleveland Traveler growth – This is really more of a yearly high rather than one from the last two months of the year, but I'm super proud at how I've grown Cleveland Traveler this year! Traffic was more steady than in previous years, and my income kept increasing. It's been great to have this secondary site with traffic and income patterns that differ from my main site. A good/bad month on one site isn't necessarily reflected on the other, which is comforting.
Traffic/ad income loss – I think the biggest bummer in the end of the year was seeing my traffic continue to drop AND ad rates never reach the highs I was expecting. (Ad rates for me were down more than 25% in December 2022 compared to 2021.) Higher ad rates at the end of the year can often even out the traffic downturn a lot of travel sites see, but it didn't really happen this year.
It's not something I can control, of course, and I still had a really good year overall (not quite as good as 2021, but I'm convinced 2021 was a fluke!), but it was still a slight downer to end the year on.
Upcoming this winter
At least I have some travel to look forward to!
January: Back to Scottsdale – I've visited Scottsdale a couple of times now, and have talked the Arizona city up so much that Elliot really wants to go! So we'll be heading back for about 4 days in mid-January to check out some new spots and do lots of fun outdoor things.
January: NYC – I'll be making my annual quick trip to New York City for the IMM travel media networking event. It's always a whirlwind couple of days, but it's one of the best times to catch up with travel friends and try to make some new business connections.
February/March: Morocco and Portugal – After the Most Stressful Week of My Life in March 2020 in which I had to decide not to go on my own reader tour to Morocco (which was then subsequently canceled anyway), I wasn't sure when/if I might return to Morocco. But then my friend Ashley (who was supposed to go on that ill-fated 2020 tour) mentioned that she wanted to finally tick Morocco off her list in 2023, and I offered to go with her. We've booked a tour with Intrepid Travel, and afterwards I think I'll re-visit some places in Portugal, too.
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!