My first year of travel blogging

Another year older, another year wiser… and I’m still stumbling through the world of travel blogging like a blind man on crutches.

That’s right; Man vs World is celebrating its very first birthday. But rather than have a birthday party, now seems like a good time to look back on the year that’s been and see how much my baby has grown.

Daily visits to Man vs World
Daily visits to Man vs World

After owning this domain for months, on 30 January 2012 I was finally motivated enough to put up my very first blog post. After that I aspired to put up two or three blog posts every week – which I’ve managed to stick to, besides taking a brief holiday from blogging over Christmas.

Admittedly, it took me a long time to figure out how to use Google Analytics – but you can see from the graph above (Daily visits to Man vs World) that I didn’t see much traffic for a long time.

I did an interview on another travel blog in March that resulted in a very tiny spike, but at the time it was a huge deal (42 visitors in one day!). Then when I wrote about Songkran in April I exceeded 50 visits in one day for the first time.

Weekly visits to Man vs World
Weekly visits to Man vs World

But I really hit the big time between May and July when Man vs World received more than 100 visitors per day on no less than three occasions.

I remember thinking that was a very big deal indeed – until I saw my next spike in traffic, and the one after that, and the one after that.

You get the picture.

Monthly visits to Man vs World
Monthly visits to Man vs World

Month to month Man vs World continues to grow – although some months are definitely more difficult than others, battling away just to get a few more hits than the month before.

Of course, I can thank Google for a lot of that growth. For at least five months I saw little or no traffic from Google until one day… suddenly I was on the map!

Social media used to be the bread-winner at Man vs World towers; now, in terms of traffic, it’s Google that brings home the bacon.

Traffic to Man vs World via Google
Traffic to Man vs World via Google

And that growth didn’t go unnoticed. One day I woke up to find an email trying to get me to put guest posts up on my website; now barely a day goes by that I don’t have a similar email from somebody looking to “contribute” a “mutually beneficial article” to my website.

Do I look like a sucker to you?

In one year of travel blogging, Man vs World has made just south of $1,000 US. That’s going to seem like a lot to some bloggers and like nothing at all to others; I only tell you this to give newbies some idea of all the riches on offer.

Clearly, I’m only joking. I will not be giving up my day job anytime soon.

Thank you!

Because I’m a really sentimental guy I thought I’d just name and shame the three bloggers who have arguably helped me out the most.

@DocWends of Journeys and Travels tagged me into my first travel blogging game back when nobody knew this blog existed. Now, not a month goes by that I’m not tagged in something (I even started my own in October, My top travel regrets!) – but you never forget your first and he’s been a loyal friend ever since.

@BckPackerBanter of Back Packer Banter and @packsandbunks of Backpacks and Bunkbeds have both helped me out on the business side of things with great advice. Travel blogging doesn’t come with a manual – so I would have been lost without these two.

Happy birthday to Man vs World

And thank you to my fiancé, without whom I never would have finally gotten around to starting a travel blog in the first place. Check out her new website Antipodean London.

Last but certainly not least, I’d also like to thank each and every one of you – that’s right, you! – for reading my blog, swapping links, commenting and sharing my posts on Twitter, Facebook, Stmbleupon and whatever else the kids are using today.

You might also like 10 useful resources for travel bloggers and The many trials of an aspiring travel blogger.

About Simon Petersen 315 Articles
Travel blogger, journalist, sports and movie fiend. Chronicling the life and times of a Kiwi at home and abroad.

33 Comments

  1. Just found this post. This is encouraging, particularly to writers trying to make something out of nothing. Just goes to show how much hard work and dedication can pay off.

    Thanks for the encouragement.

  2. Happy Belated Birthday! Your site is very much an inspiration to all of us “newbie travel bloggers,” providing us with a hope for growth and the ability to create a travel community niche. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Congratulationssss!!!
    My blog has just turned 6 months old and I’m still figuring it all out.
    Traffic has grown since the beginning (luckily), but I still can’t show the stats you can. One day, hopefully:)
    Until then, I’ll keep enjoying the writings you put on here:)
    Good luck !

    • Good for you! They say the first six months are the hardest – but I’m not so sure it’s ever going to be easy!

  4. Congratulations to Man vs. World. Happy Birthday!!!

    I just started blogging 2 months ago. And although I’m getting 100/day traffic on some of my pages I’m still struggling to understand what is Google Analytics; I know it tells me how much traffic I get in a day. That’s about it.

    Another thing, I just dunno where to get more tips & hints on how to be successful in Google Adsense. I’ve been waiting for them to accept my application. But to no avail it is still fruitless. According to them they said they’re still reviewing my site. Whatever that means. But money or no money I just love what I’m doing in social networking & making new friends around the world.

    • I’ve avoided Adsense only because I think it looks a bit ugly – but I do hear it can be quite difficult nowadays to get them to accept your application! My fiance had heaps of trouble setting up one of her old blogs. Good luck and thanks for the comment!

  5. Happy birthday! I’ve just started my blog this past week and it’s amazing to see what visitors like, where they are coming from etc. Looks like you’ve done a good job at getting people seeing your content by posting great content, which is what to me, blogging is all about – telling a story and helping people out. Great work, and best of luck going forward 🙂

    • That’s the secret, Paul – great content! Having said that, there are definitely a few successful travel bloggers around who write like English isn’t a language they speak at all… Good luck!

  6. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!
    You are an inspiration, I’ve been at it for 6 months and was just having a conversation with my husband about the frustrations, highs and lows and wondering if it will ever take off. You’ve given me the hope to carry on 🙂

    • Cheers, Anna! That’s what I was trying to do – not show off but inspire new bloggers to carry on with what they’re doing! There are bloggers out there who have done better than me in a year and there are bloggers who have done worse; the point, though, is that everyone’s experience is different and if you persevere you’ll eventually see some solid traffic.

  7. HAPPY BIRTHDAY Man VS World!

    nice to see a blogger being open about stats and blog stuff for a change! Glad I could be of help to you too bro, you can drop me an email anytime 🙂

    Here’s to the next year

    *cheers*

  8. I must admit that I happen to stumble through to your post due to the words of the Doc, so I too must thank him for that.

    One year in? Quite the milestone when you consider how many people give up less than a few months in. It’s not always easy to maintain a blog, but when you find that rhythm, it all just kicks in…

    …I hope 🙂

    • The good Doc keeps on giving and giving! Cheers, mate – you’re right, those first few months might be the hardest. There were plenty of times when I would have thrown in the towel – but I can’t do that know because I’ve come to far!

  9. Mate, there are moments I treasure friendship, no matter how remotely it started, as a gift of a lifetime inspirations. I am so touched by this post and gladly you still remembered how I was able to linked you up into travel blogging, which we passionately shared.

    I saw you have grown up a lot as a phenomenal travel blogger and it is because you have labored so hard to give yourself the best and those who reads you, inspiring articles to go by each day.

    Thanks and Congratulations! I am most proud of what you have made of through your wonderful blog.

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