August 2018 Travel and Blogging Recap

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August can always be sort of a “meh” month when it comes to travel blogs; many of us see drops in traffic as summer comes to an end and kids head back to school, and I personally am always at the point in hot and humid Ohio where I’m ready for fall to get here already. It’s probably why I almost always end up traveling in August!

This year was no exception. See what I got up to below:

August: The month in travel

August wasn’t jam-packed with travel like June was, but the travel that did happen was pretty darn epic. This was the month that I took my dad to Iceland and Greenland. And, you guys, I’m a little bit in love with Greenland now!

  • Countries visited: 2 – Iceland and Greenland
  • Cities visited: Reykjavik, Ilulissat
  • Flights taken: 3
  • Boat trips taken: 3
  • Sled dog puppy kisses: Too many to count

Puppy love in IlulissatYou can’t get too close to the adult sled dogs in Greenland, but the puppies are a different story!

The best thing I ate: My dad and I went on a food tour in Reykjavik, which was SO GOOD. My two favorite dishes were an Arctic Char pan at seafood restaurant Messinn, and rye bread ice cream at Cafe Loki (I’m lactose-sensitive, and I STILL thought it was one of the best things I’ve eaten in Iceland!).

The weirdest thing I ate: We tried a lot of traditional food in Greenland, which included things like smoked reindeer (pretty good!), dried cod (not bad), and dried whale (gross). But the weirdest thing we tried was definitely seal soup. The best way I can describe seal meat is that it kind of tastes like fishy beef. It wasn’t the worst thing I’ve ever eaten, but I don’t think I’d ever eat it on purpose again.

The most epic thing I did: Umm… went to Greenland? I’ve been to the Arctic before, but not THIS part of the Arctic. It’s still wild and empty and just plain stunning, and I’m already dreaming about my next trip there.

View of Ilulissat from Hotel ArcticIlulissat, Greenland
August travel highlights

Re-visiting the Snaefellsnes peninsula – Since we had to go to Iceland anyway in order to travel to Greenland, I decided to show my dad around the country a bit. We spent a full day on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, which is one of my favorite parts of the country. We visited waterfalls and various beaches, did a hike along the beautiful coast, and I finally got to see Kirkjufell!

Visiting Iceland’s Highlands in summer – I’ve been to the Highlands in Iceland once before, though that trip didn’t end super well. I was excited, therefore, to visit again in the summer. We took a super jeep tour to the volcanic desert around Hekla, and then to Landmannalaugar and its painted mountains. It was a long day, but we saw so many cool things!

Rainbow mountains in LandmannalaugarLandmannalaugar

Getting up close to Big Ice in Greenland – I’ve dreamt of getting up close with huge icebergs for a long time, and Greenland did not disappoint. We spent 4 nights in Ilulissat, which sits on the edge of one of the largest and most active ice fjords in the world. The icebergs we got to float past on various boat trips were simply stunning.

Flying over the Kangia Icefjord – Dad and I splurged on a flightseeing tour in Greenland, too, which had us flying low over a glacier and the ice fjord. It was a slightly foggy evening, which made the whole scene that much more magical.

Flying above the Ilulissat Icefjord in the fogFlying above the ice fjord
August travel lowlights

My dad and I were really, really lucky with the weather in both Iceland and Greenland. We ran into no flight delays, no canceled tours, and far more sun than rain. I can’t complain at all about travel this month!

August on the blog

August was not my greatest month on the blog – and it was especially noticeable since July was so amazing! My site was negatively affected by a Google update at the beginning of the month, and that coupled with the normal end-of-summer back-to-school traffic slump meant that it wasn’t a stellar month for traffic. But I still published some great content!

August traffic: 158,846 unique visitors and 234,135 pageviews

Most popular post: New Zealand Road Trip: The Perfect Itinerary if You Only Have 2 Weeks – I finally wrote a big fat post about New Zealand, and it ended up being the longest post I’ve ever published! If you’re considering a NZ road trip and want to see the highlights on both islands, then this itinerary is for you.

Other posts published in August:

  • The Best Day Trips to Take from Dublin
  • What to Pack for a Trip to Ireland
  • 5 of the Best Cleveland Neighborhoods to Visit as a Tourist
  • Ohio Adventures: How to Have a Manly Weekend in Columbus
  • How to Plan a Weekend Away That Actually Feels Like a Vacation

August on social media

Most popular Instagram post: You guys really liked a lot of my Iceland and Greenland images this month! The most popular one was this photo of Kirkjufell, the famous mountain on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula in Iceland.

This was my third trip to Iceland, my second trip to the Snaefellsnes Peninsula, and my first time seeing the iconic Kirkjufell! On my first trip here, we were met by sleet and fog so thick that you couldn’t even see half the mountain. Today it was cloudy, but the kind of cloudy that still makes for good photos. 📸 I’m not the kind of photographer who will hang out at a location for hours in order to catch the right clouds or lighting, but I’m still pretty happy with how this turned out! Who else would love to see this spot in Iceland? 🙋🏻‍♀️

A post shared by Amanda 🌎 Travel Blogger (@dangerousbiz) on Aug 23, 2018 at 4:45pm PDT

Most popular Facebook post: Everyone got really into sharing GIFs to tell me about their top bucket list destinations. You guys also liked this post about disappointing destinations, along with these sunset photos from Greenland.

July business update

Despite a hit to traffic and spending more than a quarter of the month traveling, I still managed to have a really great month income-wise. (Yay for passive income!)

Income report

  • Advertising: $5,405.75
  • Affiliate marketing: $3,068.46
  • Branded content: $1,650

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

Business highs

Another 5-figure month – I’m not writing this to brag, but it’s really exciting to sum everything up at the end of the month and see that you’ve made it to 5-figures two months in a row. Back in my newspaper editor days, I couldn’t have dreamed of making this much money in one month (back then, I was barely making $10K in 6 months!). I’m proud of how much my blog and business has grown in the last year, and can’t wait to see what the last third of the year will bring!

Amanda on the Snaefellsnes Peninsula

Business lows

Seeing a drop in traffic – After months of exciting growth, it was definitely a bit of a blow to see such a marked drop in blog traffic in August. The late summer months are notoriously bad for travel blogs (because people are out there actually traveling, or getting ready for back-to-school instead of researching trips), but this year August also coincided with a Google update that negatively affected lots of blogs. I wasn’t hit super hard and my traffic is still up over August 2017, though, so I’m trying not to dwell on it too much!

Upcoming in September

A long weekend in Asheville – As this post publishes, I’ll be in Asheville, North Carolina, for a long weekend with my mother-in-law. Neither one of us has been to Asheville, so we decided to go down to see the Chihuly exhibit currently on at the Biltmore.

Austin for TravelCon – Towards the end of the month, I’ll be visiting Austin for the first time! I’m speaking at TravelCon, and can’t wait to eat some delicious BBQ and see lots of my blogging friends that I haven’t seen in-person for years. Tickets to the conference are sold out, but there’s also a virtual ticket available for those who still want to see all the sessions.

 

And remember that you can follow along in real-time with all of these adventures through my IG Stories on Instagram!

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