July and August 2023 Travel and Blogging Recap

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I’m a little late with this update once again, and this time I don’t even have a good excuse for it! Yes, I’ve been traveling a bit, but mostly I’m finding that the second half of this year is just whizzing right by and I barely even realized it was October!

I’ve continued to be pretty busy in the last few months – I think I’m definitely on track to be back up to my pre-COVID frequency of travel this year.

This roundup covers the last weeks of my 2 months in Europe (it’s still crazy to me that I was in Europe for 2 weeks this summer!), plus all the usual business and blogging updates.

Me, Keryn, and Tamara at the Fairy Pools in Scotland

July and August: The months in travel

  • Countries visited: 2 or 4 depending on how you measure it – UK (Scotland, Wales, and England) and the US
  • States visited: 1 – Michigan
  • Flights taken (incl. connections): 2 (to get home from London)
  • Days spent on the road: 20

Travel highlights

Re-visiting favorite spots in Scotland – My last update left off with me arriving in Scotland to start a UK road trip with my friends Keryn of Twist Travel Magazine and Tamara of Your Time to Fly. We spent time in Edinburgh, Inverness, Isle of Skye, and Glasgow – all places I’ve been before. But the great thing about road trips is that you can always see new things! For example, this was my first time going to the Fairy Glen and Neist Point on Skye, and my first time seeing the Hogwarts Express cross the Glenfinnan Viaduct. I’ll never tire of visiting Scotland.

Jacobite Steam Train crossing the Glenfinnan Viaduct
All aboard the Hogwarts Express!

Road tripping around Wales – From Scotland, we cut through the Lake District in England to spend a week driving around Wales. We saw castles and beaches in the north, and stunning coastlines and colorful towns (and more castles) in the south. Some of my favorite things we did included walking out to the lighthouse on Ynys Llanddwyn, doing two hikes along the Pembrokeshire Coast near St. David’s, exploring the colorful town of Tenby, and visiting the book-obsessed town of Hay-on-Wye.

Discovering a new part of Michigan – After recovering at home from such a busy summer for a couple weeks, I hit the road again for a quick trip to Ludington, Michigan. This lovely town sits right on Lake Michigan, and I had fun getting to know it. It’s the perfect Great Lakes beach town, with a cute downtown area, a big public beach, and a fantastic state park nearby.

Travel lowlights

Not-great weather in the UK – Summer in the UK can truly be hit or miss when it comes to weather. We had lovely days for about half the trip, but were met with chilly and wet weather the rest of the time – including most of the time on the Isle of Skye. That’s just how it goes, though, and you very quickly learn to always have a rain coat and warm extra layers with you at all times.

Amanda and Keryn very wet in Scotland
It was very, very wet and cold on the Isle of Skye

July and August on the blog(s)

I usually start to see a traffic slump on my main travel blog in the latter part of the summer, as people are actually off *taking* trips instead of researching them. This year, though, the dip didn’t really appear as expected – but that could also just be because I was affected by some algorithm updates earlier in the year, and my traffic has been down overall anyway.

July was also the first month that Google Analytics officially switched over to its new GA4 reports. This means nothing to anyone who doesn’t run a website, but it’s been annoying for those of us who do because it’s meant trying to learn an entirely new reporting system that doesn’t always make sense.

A Dangerous Business traffic: I can’t properly report July numbers, because my GA4 analytics were not reporting correctly for the first few days in July. But numbers were up a bit from May and June. And then I had 124,000 unique visitors and 187,000 pageviews in August.

As for new content, my goal lately has been to publish one new post per week, and I’ve been mostly successful at sticking to that schedule.

Most popular post: 15 Things to Know Before Visiting the Lofoten Islands in Norway – All the important things to know if you plan to visit this beautiful part of Norway!

Other posts published:

Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park
Big Sable Point Lighthouse in Ludington State Park

My Cleveland niche site has stayed pretty steady over the summer. I expect a back-to-school-season dip coming up, though, before traffic takes off again going into the holiday season.

Cleveland Traveler traffic: 59,000 unique visitors and 84,000 pageviews in July; and 56,000 unique visitors and 79,000 pageviews in August.

If you want to see what I’ve been up to on Cleveland Traveler lately, visit the site here.

I’m pretty far behind on sharing my summer travels on social media (and have been struggling to share much on my Cleveland accounts in general). I mostly shared Norway and Slovenia content on my @dangerousbiz accounts.

Most popular post on Instagram (@dangerousbiz): By far my most popular post was this reel I shared on August 31 about my obsession with Scotland. It’s still getting shared daily, so I obviously struck a relatable chord!

Most popular post on Instagram (@clevelandtraveler): This reel about a new immersive art installation in the city got the most views and engagement – and it’s really cool!

July and August business update

Remember, I report my earnings when they hit my bank account, meaning these advertising earnings are from April and May, and the affiliate earnings are mostly from June/July travel.

Ad revenue was down this summer (because my traffic was down in the spring), but everything else mostly made up for that drop, and my income remained really steady overall. We love to see it.

A Dangerous Business July income report:

  • Advertising: $6,682.45
  • Affiliates: $7,807.39
  • Course/product sales: $155.81

A Dangerous Business August income report:

  • Advertising: $6,525.68
  • Affiliates: $4,956.88
  • Course/product sales: $241.68
  • Other: $5,651.68

(Note that this is my income before deductions/expenses and taxes.)

St. David's Cathedral in Wales
St. David’s Cathedral in Wales

On Cleveland Traveler, ad income is starting to tick back up, which is encouraging to see. I’m curious to see what this holiday season will look like!

Cleveland Traveler July income report:

Cleveland Traveler August income report:

  • Advertising: $2,213.39
  • Other: $31.24

(Note: A Dangerous Business was started in 2010, and has been monetized for more than 11 years; Cleveland Traveler was started in 2019, and has been monetized for 3.5 years.)

Business highs / lows

Nothing super notable to mention this summer – which is a good thing in my eyes!

Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye
Fairy Glen on the Isle of Skye

Upcoming travel plans

November: Galapagos – Get ready for another Trip With Dad! I haven’t traveled with my dad since Turkey in 2019, but we’ve been talking about going to the Galapagos for years. So I finally decided to just book it! We’ll be going on a 10-day trip in early November that includes 7 nights on a small, purpose-built ship in the Galapagos Islands. I can’t wait to see all the fascinating wildlife!

December: Christmas markets – I’ve been saying for several years now that I really want to do another Christmas market trip. So when my friend Tamara asked if I wanted to join her for one 2 months from now, I didn’t have to think very long about it! The plan is to spend about 10 days visiting towns and markets mostly in Germany, with a side trip to the Alsace region of France, too. It will be fun to compare this trip with the Christmas market river cruise I took in 2015.

Want to follow along in real-time? Be sure you’re following my Stories on Instagram!

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