TRAVEL BLOG CASE STUDY: THE ROAD TO MEDIAVINE

I have never done a case study, but I love to read ones.
It is nothing better than reading travel blog success stories. How someone finally made it.
They give you hope. They give you the idea that anything is possible. That with hard work, anyone can do it.

So, let’s see if this is the case.
Let’s see if truly anyone can do it.

I have been dreaming of starting a travel blog since 2015. And until recently, I was only thinking about it. Because, you know, I never have the actual guts to do it. I found a million and 1 excuses why I can’t and shouldn’t …

… since then, I have lived in 5 different countries and visited at least 29 others. Which comes to 34 altogether. So I had (or have) plenty of material to write about.

“It’s better to have tried and failed than never tried, you can rest easy knowing you gave it a go.” – Katherine Kelly

Time has passed and in June 2022 I finally decided to gather up my courage and go for it. You know, like Katherine Kelly says; “It’s better to have tried and failed than never tried, you can rest easy knowing you gave it a go.”

On June 5th, 2022, I published my very first blog post titled “How to get a stranger to take your stunning travel photos”. A friend of mine gave me the idea when she said; “Oh, you should write about how you get strangers to take your photos since you always travel solo.”

Since then, the journey has been interesting (to say it pleasantly). I had no idea how many things there are to learn, and still will be. From tech stuff, design, SEO, writing … plus a ton of mistakes, rewrites, headaches and all the other things I don’t know yet.

So, without further ado, the intent of this blog is to share Anja On Adventure travel blog, journey, a travel blog case study with the goal to the road of joining Mediavine.

*Do note that this case study is a work in progress! I’ll be updating this page, hopefully, on the 5th of every month, as we go along.

Want more Content creation and Blogging tips?
ALSO READ:
3 KEY PLATFORMS EVERY SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL CONTENT CREATOR NEEDS
TRAVEL BLOGGER, INFLUENCER & CONTENT CREATOR | WHO IS WHO AND WHAT THEY DO
HOW TO DO “IF I WAS A …” TREND WITH FREE CANVA TEMPLATE
9 TRAITS OF EVERY OUTSTANDING TRAVEL CONTENT CREATOR

Interested in Instagram captions and Pinterest?
ALSO READ:

185 BEST WINTER AND SNOW CAPTIONS FOR INSTAGRAM
BEST WAYS TO USE PINTEREST FOR TRAVEL PLANNING

Disclosure (being transparent and honest should be fun): You know the way I run this blog. I only recommend products, experiences, hotels, etc. that I personally tried and actually own and use. And some that I am positive will be helpful for you. On this site, you will see pretty colorful links which are known as ”affiliate links”. If you click on this link and buy something you like, I’ll earn some money. I’m talking huge bucks here, like a new Tesla, yacht, and 7-bedroom mansion. Ok, honestly, most of the time it will be enough to help me buy treats for my dog and parrot, eco-friendly travel products or to help me build the time machine, and travel back in time to see the dinosaurs, do an interview of stone crafters on Easter island and have a serious chat with masterminds who ‘invented’ Maths. Thank you! Read more in Disclaimer.

Want to follow the updates of this travel blog case study? Save those!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

1. The vision of Anja on Adventure travel blog

A plan. A vision. A dream.
They say, that in order to get where you want to be, you need to have a vision. A goal.

Just like with traveling. You pick a destination where you want to go. You plan how to get there. You know why you want to visit that destination and what you would like to see and do there.

Same should be with blogging.  
Simon Sinek said it himself, Start With Why.

My why is travel. Travel is my passion.
And my second why is that I enjoy teaching people about it. Showing them places and telling them all about it. Like I don’t want to toot to my own horn here but I am also a geography & history teacher and a licensed tour guide. It all kind of fits together like puzzle pieces. Which I also love to do, btw. It also doesn’t harm to mention that I consider myself to be creative. Plus I love to document visited places. And I have to admit I learned a LOT (not just a thing or two) about videography when I worked as a part of a reality TV show 3 seasons in a row. I have tons of scrapbook albums full of photos, pamphlets, memorabilia etc.

So, to get to the point, my why is;
• to help other travelers with tips and tricks from the last 10+ years of travels in over 35 visited countries;
• to share my travels with other like-minded people and inspire them do the same;
• to document destinations and have an online scrapbook diary.

Don’t forget to pin those for later!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

2. Purpose of Anja On Adventure Travel blog Case study

In short. To display the process.

Starting something fresh and new is scary and exciting.
You see all those people thriving and reaping the fruits of their hard work and you are only dreaming of being there. We start, we know what we want but sometimes don’t know if we are headed in the right way.

In those times we need to see that we are going somewhere. We need to see that someone else was there before us and how they manage to get through. We need to know that we are not alone and that we are making progress.

The intention of this post is;

1. TO MOTIVATE

To motivate anyone who is just starting out. To remind them that we all started from the very bottom. That we all start from zero. Like, I love to read success stories. How random people started something out, followed their dreams, and then made it! This is to show you how someone with no blogging knowledge started and how far it can go. So If I can do it, so can you. Which leads to another purpose of this post …

2. TO DOCUMENT THE JOURNEY

Steve Jobs said “Overnight success stories take a long time.” I hope that through documenting the journey, readers and future bloggers will have the ability to see the entire process of “success”. To see ups and down and improvements made. To provide a perspective into the hours and learning curves put into it and to provide authenticity. 

3. TO BE ACCOUNTABLE

For me to follow and try to achieve my goals. To give reasons why something worked and why it didn’t, so you won’t have to repeat my mistakes and do things better from the get go. Also, to help me stay on track and push me when I won’t feel motivated enough. This brings to one more objective of this case study.

4. TO COMPARE

When I started out (June 2022), I was searching for posts just like this. Why? Comparison can be good and bad. It is normal for human nature to compare ourselves to others. It motivates us. Comparison gives us the information we want, how long it might take and get feedback when we are doing something good. It also gives us a boost of confidence, especially if our numbers are looking better than the ones presented. But, what if we are doing worse? Then, it gives us the opportunity to improve and it pushes us to start upgrading our knowledge.

Pin those for a later read!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

3. Goals for Anja On Adventure Travel blog

3.1. Why share goals?

Neuroscientists say that when we start doing something we should ask ourselves why we are doing it and what our goals are. I am not usually the one that would share goals openly. Just because I am afraid that if I share it, well, what if I don’t succeed and I fail?

Well, people who know more than I do, say that we should be able to describe our goals. Describe them vividly. Great description is very much associated with a goal’s success. They also say that a clearly described goal helps to create a vision, works as a motivator and leads your mind to what you have to do and what you want from your future.

After setting and sharing goals, you get more committed to achieve your goals. And as long as you share it with like minded people, they can also boost up your motivation. They can be great to provide new information, words of encouragement and share their perspective. It also makes you more accountable and relatable.

So, with a lump in my throat, and the feeling when you are half excited and half ready to panic, I am publicly sharing my goals with you.

Sharing your goals makes you accountable, and it also makes you more motivated, simply because you care what this person thinks of you

3.2. General and long-term goals

Goals for Anja On Adventure blog are;
• monetize the site and join Mediavine until June 2024,
• have first $10.000/month from Anja on Adventure blog until April 2027,
• go on a sponsored trip to French Polynesia, Cook Islands and/or Easter Island.

First part of this blog came to life on October 5th, 2022, and I set the goals above back in June 2022, writing them down on a yellow post-it note. At the time I had no idea how realistic or attainable they are. I still don’t. They might work out or I might fail. Who knows what will happen in an hour, a day, a year, or five years from now?

I hope for the best but we will all see what the future will bring. “I am the master of my fate, I am the captain of my soul.” – Invictus by William Ernest Henley. 

Experts say goals should be SMART. SMART being the acronym for Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound. There will be a section below, for quarterly goals, that will be updated regularly.

3.2.1. What is Mediavine

Mediavine seems to be a holy grail for bloggers.

To make it short and sweet, Mediavine is a full-service Ad-management network. It represents bloggers and content creators in various niches; from food, travel, tech, art and crafts. They aim to “build a sustainable business for content creators”. Mediavine focuses on ads so that content creators can focus on creating content. Duh!

Other Ad networks, that you may or may not have already heard of are AdSense, Ezoic, AdThrive, SheMedia, Monumetric, and others.

To join Mediavine you would have to meet several requirements. At the moment those requirements are focused on the speed of the website, 50.000 sessions per month, having original content, that most of your blog traffic is coming from Tier 1 countries … and others.

Do note that I only know what I have read and Googled online.

I have also heard, that it is not the easiest to get accepted but it is possible to do it. Even for hobby bloggers. With a lot of hard work, dedication and persistence, many were accepted after 1-2 years of blogging.

To join some needed 80 blog posts (I guess those are the blogging experts). The average number of blog posts people needed varies from 120 to 150. And there are others who needed 170 published blogs. This I also the number of posts I hope to be enough to get me in.

Follow the journey! Save those pins!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

3.3. Goals for Q3; June – September 2022

Goals below were written back in June 2022 on a yellow post-it note.

  • BLOG:
    – CONTENT; publish 28 blog posts (7 per month)
    How I got that number?
    I divided 170 by 24 months. Playing it safe and optimistic. I hope 170 is the magic number that will get me enough sessions to join Mediavine. I hope to achieve that in 2 years.
    – SESSIONS; 500
    You have to know I have zero (zilch, nada, niente) clue about what to expect and if this number is high or low.

  • PINTEREST: 10k monthly impressions and 100 outbound clicks
    Starting a fresh account for this blog. Pinterest changed a lot in the last few years and it is now much harder to get outbound clicks. All I hope for is to stay consistent and get at least a few clicks from it.

  • INSTAGRAM: 100 followers
    Not trying to focus on the followers’ number, but because of the benefits you get on Instagram. With 100 followers you get to see Insights data for your audience (location, age, gender, and times when followers are most active). Plus, you don’t look like a spam profile. FYI, engagement rate is way more important than followers count.
Women typing goals for her travel blog.

3.4. Goals for Q4; October – December 2022

Goals below were written on October 5th 2022.

  • BLOG:
    – CONTENT; have 35 published blog posts
    This is the 20th one. As 35 is the goal, I am hoping for 33 but will be happy with 30.
    I know I have to produce more content but I already have a guiding tour to Seychelles confirmed in the beginning of November. So, I will have to prepare for that and will be “out of office” for 2 weeks. Less time to write and post.
    Depending on the situation, I hope I will have a couple of weekend tours to Christmas markets across Europe (Graz, Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb). And I am planning to have the last week of December off, whether to go somewhere or just not blog, make puzzles, do a scrapbook, read a book … you know, those winter hobbies.
    – SESSIONS; 3000
    Aiming high just like with the number of blogs. To be completely honest, I will be thrilled to see a steady growth of sessions and if I climb to 2000.

  • PINTEREST: 40k monthly impressions and 400 outbound clicks
    Hoping to stay consistent, to pin pins from blog posts regularly and getting more impressions and hopefully more outbound clicks.

  • INSTAGRAM: post at least twice/week + stories when traveling
    I love Instagram but I am trying to focus more on producing content for blog. Despite that, I would love to keep posting at least twice per week and keep my profile active. When traveling I will try to show up more on stories.
Women typing goals for her travel blog

3.5. Goals for Q1; January – March 2023

Goals below were written on January 2nd 2023, on a bus from Merida to Valladolid in Mexico.

  • BLOG:
    – CONTENT; have 57 published blog posts
    Ideally, 65. That is if I want to catch up on the number of posts I had planned (7 per month). I am laughing on the inside because even 57 seems high at the moment. We will see. I will do and try my best. Not to search for an excuse but almost a whole month was ‘lost’ in Q4 when guiding tours. But … it was fun! More work to do now.
    – SESSIONS; 10.000
    Aiming high just like with the number of blogs. To be completely honest, I will be thrilled to see a steady growth of sessions and if I climb to 7500.
    – EARNINGS; $100 Ads + $100 Affiliates
    I hope to reach 10.000 page views and put some Ads on my site. I am hoping to join Monumetric (before Mediavine that is). No intention to put AdSense ads on my site or to join Ezoic. Just read too many bad reviews about site speed. Also, I will try to write some affiliate posts to and hope for someone to book through my link.

  • PINTEREST: 80k monthly impressions and 700 outbound clicks
    Hoping to stay consistent, to pin pins from blog posts regularly, and get more impressions and hopefully more outbound clicks.

  • INSTAGRAM: post at least once/week + stories when traveling
    I love Instagram but I am trying to focus more on producing content for blog. Despite that, I would love to keep posting at least once per week and keep my profile active. When traveling I will try to show up more on stories.

Pin those for a later read!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

4. Stats and Progress reports

4.1. Progress reports

4.1.1. Progress report for Q3; June – September 2022

GOAL
BLOG:
– CONTENT; 28 blog posts
– SESSIONS; 500
PINTEREST: 10k and 100 clicks
INSTAGRAM: 100 followers

RESULTS
BLOG:
– CONTENT; 18 blog posts
– SESSIONS; 826
PINTEREST: 40k in Q3 and 191 clicks
INSTAGRAM: 118 followers

I started with the goal of 7 blog posts per month. I quickly found out there are just so many things I have to learn and I had NO IDEA how time-consuming this is. I also have a full-time job and there were days when I needed a break. To just not think about anything.

1. Month (June 2022): I don’t know what I don’t know

Setting up a blog was really exciting even though I had no idea what I was doing. There were just so many things to learn that at times I thought my mind would explode from the info overload. I registered my domain name with Namecheap and hosting with Interserver. I wanted a website to be fast, easy to navigate, simple and free. So the images and everything could breathe. Because of that, I went with Avery theme from GeneratePress.

I Installed maybe 5 plugins, connected Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook with my website. I also connected Google Search Console, Google Analytics, and Mailerlite to my blog. But I wasn’t paying much attention to them since I had no idea why I even need them.

June Google search console insights

2. Month (July 2022): I know that I don’t know what else I need to know

After 2 months, the website was starting to look how I imagined. And only then I realized that you actually have to put your posts into Google Search Console, to be indexed and actually found! Consequently, the clicks in the first two months were mostly mine and from the traffic I got from Pinterest (73 outbound clicks). In the 2nd month, I also learned that you SHOULDN’T use numbers in permalinks – which I did in some of my first published posts of course.

3. Month (August 2022): I don’t know how to look for the things that I don’t know

In my third month, I was actually traveling and enjoying my holiday in Zanzibar. When I got back I was dealing with some technical issues since Google was saying my blogs were not Mobile friendly. I increased the size of fonts, changed photos to .jpg and it took a lot of time to find all the settings. It was especially hard because I knew what I have to fix but didn’t know how to ask Google for help. 

I only posted 2 blogs in August, but they were longer than 1000 words. I don’t try to care about the post length but I do try to make them at least 1000 words. Around this time I learned that you should interlink your articles and include “Also read”, or “You may be interested” inside your blog. AND that those links, your links, should open in the SAME tab. Links to an outside website should open in a NEW tab. Live and learn.

4. Month (September 2022): I think I know what else I need to know

4th month was the one when I realized that SEO does not mean Something Else Obviously, but that it stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Learned about Keysearch, and meet Ahrefs (like heard of them and that they exist). Also started doing keyword research and using those when writing blog posts. I try to find 0 Volume keywords and target those, which are hard to find.

4.1.2. Progress report for Q4; October – December 2022

GOAL
BLOG:
– CONTENT; 35 blog posts
– SESSIONS; 3000
PINTEREST: 40k and 400 clicks/month
INSTAGRAM: 2 posts/week

RESULTS
BLOG:
– CONTENT; 35 blog posts
– SESSIONS; 3009
PINTEREST: 143k in Q4 and 950 clicks
INSTAGRAM: 138 followers

Well, despite all I managed to publish 35 blog posts and climb up to 3000 sessions and cross it by 9. Thank you! I was ecstatic when I saw the stats! Pinterest impressions were (still are great) but they plummeted when I wasn’t consistent with pinning fresh content. I use Tailwind to schedule new, fresh pins. Monthly clicks are improving and climbing. There was no progress with my IG. I wasn’t posting weekly and I was OK with stories. I know I can do better (since I work as an IG manager for others) but IG is not my main priority so it is put on hold.

5. Month (October 2022): I think the ‘honeymoon phase’ is wearing off

What sounded like so much fun is now putting pressure on me. That is because I read other success stories that are doing so much better than me … and they are able to produce more content. I spend half a month trying to figure out how they do it until I learned that there are people who are using AI writers to speed up the process of writing blogs. Or using people on Fiverr and other platforms. While I have nothing against it, I am not using it or to better put it, I don’t want to use it. I believe that there are much better writers but they can not write about my experience or they do not ‘sound like me’. So I made peace with it.

6. Month (November 2022): Nothing will fall apart when taking a break

I was excited about my guiding tour to Seychelles. Like, who wouldn’t be? But at the same time, not going to lie, I was a bit scared of what would happen to my blog traffic. You know, consistency, posting new blogs, promoting … We both survived 🙂 and I even came back with fresh and new ideas. While on Seychelles, I was more focused on Instagram. I only posted 3 blogs, but one of them was lengthy (without trying to do that). Heard about Web Stories and posted 9 of them. It wasn’t really a lot of work, since I was repurposing content from my Instagram stories and Pinterest Idea Pins. Interestingly enough, two of them go viral (for my blog size) and got me a huge amount of sessions. Happy about that.

7. Month (December 2022): I have no idea what I’m doing but I am doing it anyway

OK! I had a nice and relaxed time planned for the end of December. Well, I ended up in Mexico … so things didn’t really go as planned. Some would say it was even better. Before leaving I posted all the blog posts that were in my drafts. Just to meet my blog goal number. When in Mexico I didn’t have time to write (and to be fair, even if I would’ve there was no way I would do it). The whole beauty for me was to actually realize that blog ‘lives’, even if I don’t check on it every day. Plus, that writing a blog post with 0 search volume (according to Keysearch) pays off. Also, when my sessions hit 100/day I did a little dance on the inside. Small wins! Posted a few more Web stories but none of them went viral. But they do bring some traffic.

November google analytics and Google search console insights

Pin those for later!

Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.
Travel blog case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine.

4.2. Stats

No. of published blogsTOTAL No. of blogsTime frameGoogle Search Console clicksGoogle Analytics SessionsWords per blog (average)Earnings /Revenue
June
2022
66June 22
(26 days)
1365avg 1660$0
July
2022
511July 22
(31 days)
46152avg 2160$0
August 2022213August 22
(31 days)
207351avg 2750$0
September
2022
518Sept 22
(30 days)
406826avg 2900$0
October 2022826October 22
(31 days)
6881522avg 2600$0
November
2022
329Novem 22
(30 days)
10642016 GA4
8941 UA
avg 4000$0
December
2022
635Decem 22
(31 days)
19293009 GA4
5478 UA
avg 2700$0

Want more Content creation and Blogging tips?
ALSO READ:
3 KEY PLATFORMS EVERY SUCCESSFUL TRAVEL CONTENT CREATOR NEEDS
TRAVEL BLOGGER, INFLUENCER & CONTENT CREATOR | WHO IS WHO AND WHAT THEY DO
HOW TO DO “IF I WAS A …” TREND WITH FREE CANVA TEMPLATE

Interested in Instagram captions and Pinterest?
ALSO READ:

185 BEST FALL AND AUTUMN CAPTIONS FOR INSTAGRAM
BEST WAYS TO USE PINTEREST FOR TRAVEL PLANNING

Do you want to travel like me?
Here are some of my favorite travel tips and resources;

FLIGHTS: I use Google Flights or Skyscanner to find the best flight deals. The destination everywhere feature is perfect to find some cheap deals!

ACCOMMODATION: Booking.com is my favorite site for finding great hotel deals.

TOURS & ACTIVITIES: I like to wander around on my own, but when I want to explore with a group I book a tour with GetYourGuide.


Skipped to the good part? Here is the gist

Anja On Adventure Travel blog Case study documents progress made with a new travel blog on a way to hopefully join one of the top Ad Networks currently in the market, Mediavine. To do that, according to Google, most new blogs need 1-2 years and on average from 120 to 150 blog posts. Let’s see if I can make it in two years.

Will be happy for all the encouraging words and online support.

If you found this blog helpful, follow me on Instagram and Pinterest. Or you can subscribe to my YouTube channel. Here you will find a lot of travel tips, itineraries, and packing hacks completely for free. If you want to see more of it and would like to encourage me to post even more, you can say thanks and buy me a coffee.


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About Anja On Adventure

anja on Adventure

Anja On Adventure is a travel blog, a collection of insider tips and information on destinations, that I visited as a solo female traveler, tour guide, teacher, yacht stewardess, and Survivor challenge tester.

Anja, is a thirty-something adventure-seeking, sun chasing, beach hopping, gin-loving, tropics enthusiast with a creative mind and sarcastic spirit, who loves coconut and mango but doesn’t like chocolate and sweets. I am passionate about all things travel, maps, and puzzles. Click here to learn more About me.

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18 thoughts on “TRAVEL BLOG CASE STUDY: THE ROAD TO MEDIAVINE”

  1. Blogging is certainly a marathon, and not a sprint! There is SO much to learn within your first year (and then every time you learn something, you have to go back and update your posts/site with your new learnings!)

    Reply
  2. This is so encouraging! This was so helpful as someone starting out to see what type of goals I can even set! Thank you for sharing!

    Reply
  3. Great job! It’s great to write down all your goals and manifest it. I hope your next quarter is even better.

    Reply
  4. Thank you for sharing this case study and your goals with us. I am going to look into Mediavine for sure!

    Reply
  5. This was such an interesting post! I am working toward Mediavine too and sometimes it can feel discouraging because I still feel so far away. I think it would be helpful to write out goals like this!

    Reply
  6. Hi Anja, I’m curious about the webstories. Where have you posted them? I’m figuring out how to grow with the web stories plugin but I don’t know where I should post the stories when I have created them. Could you explain more or create a blog post about this? thank you!

    Reply
  7. Very honest report of your blogging journey so far. Good luck reaching your goals. I am on a similar journey so I understand your feelings.

    Reply
    • Thank you so much! How long are you blogging? Or how far along are you?
      When or even before I started I was reading and searching for case studies … just to see that hard work pays off and that numbers go up if you put in the work… so I want to do that for anyone just starting.

      Reply
    • Thank you! I read a lot of case studies and some were portrayed like this is super easy. While those did encourage me and give me hope, I soon realized that they are not the most realistic … so, I want to show my journey and encourage others but also to document my way of progress.

      Reply

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