“Be not afraid of going slowly. Be afraid only of standing still.”
It felt like just a couple of months ago that I wrote my third blog anniversary post, and now it’s August again! Time really flies. A lot of things have happened to my blog and my personal life during the past year. Some are good things and some are not. Since this post is about the blog anniversary, this post will be more about the blogging, rather than about my life.
If my 3-Year Blog Anniversary was about feeling amazed that my blog could actually help people, then my 4-Year Blog Anniversary is about feeling confident that I can run and grow a travel website for the long haul.
I’m really proud that Trevallog’s readership has increased 2.5x compared to last year. The blog’s pageviews increased from 176,000 in the 3rd year to 449,000 in the 4th year. Last month (July 2019), the blog is receiving over 60k monthly views (about 2k views a day). Wow, I can hardly believe it!
What Happened in My Fourth Year of Blogging
1. Google algorithm updates.
Google algorithm can means 3 things for bloggers: good, bad or neutral. Over the time, Google constantly updates its algorithm to make sure their search engine is giving the best result for its users.
In March 2019, Google had a big core algorithm update and my traffic went up 50% overnight! You can see from the graph that my traffic was quite constant from August until February. In March, it jumped from about 1,000 views to 1,500 views a day.
In June 2019, there was another update and my traffic increased again. Right now, it’s averaging about 2,000 views a day, sometimes more, sometimes less.
I’d like to believe that it means Google finally realize my content is useful, hence it’s giving me higher ranking now. For that, I’m really thankful that my hard work was paid off.
2. My colleague found my blog from search engine.
I don’t tell many people in my office that I have a blog because blogging is not uncommon nowadays. So, when my colleague told me she found my blog when she was researching for a trip, I was over the moon. My SEO is working!
3. My blog became my side hustle, or part-time job.
I devoted my evenings and weekends to write content and learned about the technical side and business side of blogging.
I’m now earning consistent, but small, income from display ads and affiliates. It’s enough to cover my blog’s hosting, blogging tools subscription fees, courses to improve my skills & knowledge.
Oh, I also managed to treat my family to a staycation! It’s still not enough to cover my daily expense, so there’s definitely room for improvement.
4. I’ve learned how to design. I have never been an artsy person. I suck at art and design.
I begged my talented artsy friend to help me design pins, but she was pretty occupied. So, I had to choice but to dive deep into design on my own.
I spent so many hours designing my pins (check my Pinterest if you want to see my design!) AND designing my homepage. I’m pretty satisfied with how far I’ve come but my designs are far from great so I’ll keep practicing 🙂
5. I’ve learned to focus on the 1 thing I’m good at and let go of other things. I knew I’m good in writing long, useful content, so I spent more time writing travel guides. That means, I’m prioritizing blog content over being active on Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
6. I was mourning for a loss. At times, I felt like hiding under a blanket and not give a single care to anything or anyone. At times, I lost motivation at work.
But, somehow, my love for blogging kept me grounded and sane.
I grew up watching my parents built a business from scratch to a point where it can afford me the luxury to study overseas. I realized early in my twenties that I want to be like my parents.
I want to build a business from scratch. To be able to earn a small income by doing two things I love (travel and writing), it felt like my dream has almost come true.
Having the courage and determination to pursue my dream is a testament of how well my father and mother raised me. Thank you, mom and dad!
1. Free E-Book.
2. Trevallog Community.
Last year, I said that I will still offer free trip planning because I still could handle it. It turned out that around January 2019, I could not handle it anymore.
Some of my well-deserved weekends were consumed by the trip planning. I was glad to help and received thank-you from readers.
However, it’s not uncommon that readers don’t even reply me after I wrote them long emails. Hey, I’m also a human, not a robot who can create your itinerary in a split second 🙁
Sooo.. I decided to create Trevallog Community on Facebook. I feel that FB groups are more interactive than email exchange. Readers can get answers to their queries faster and from more than 1 people. It’s a win-win for everyone.
I want to give a big shout-out to my readers for sticking with me all these years reading my posts and sharing them on social medias, to my friends and family who also share my posts and understand that I need to take hundreds of photos when traveling.
Thank you and thank you!