HomeAffiliate MarketingHow These 40-Somethings Earn 6-Figures a 12 months From Their Journey Weblog...

How These 40-Somethings Earn 6-Figures a 12 months From Their Journey Weblog Utilizing search engine optimization


When Kris Caluwaerts felt so burned out at work he couldn’t take it anymore, he discovered himself at a crossroads together with Sylvia Van Overvelt.

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On a whim, they determined to take an opportunity and comply with their ardour for journey. Beforehand, they solely actually traveled severely annually. However, at that second in 2017, they determined to dive headfirst into their journey and so they created their weblog Wapiti Journey

Reasonably than being a normal journey weblog, they give attention to three predominant locations: Japan, South Korea, and Portugal. Their weblog has allowed them to journey the world and earn passive earnings.

In reality, they’ve been incomes 6 figures a yr from show adverts alone.

Maintain studying to seek out out:

  • What led them to create their web site
  • What their authentic concept was
  • The place their earnings comes from
  • Their predominant advertising and marketing methods
  • Their ideas on search engine optimization
  • Their strategy to key phrase analysis
  • How they create content material
  • How they develop their electronic mail listing
  • Their go-to sources and instruments
  • Their best problem
  • Their predominant accomplishment
  • Their largest mistake
  • Their plans to pivot
  • Their recommendation for different entrepreneurs

Meet Sylvia Van Overvelt and Kris Caluwaerts

Kris: Journey buddies since date primary—that is us! 

We spent half that night geeking out over journey tales. Seems, exploring the world is our shared obsession. Sylvia even dreamt of being an explorer as a child!

Sylvia: Life took a detour although. 

We each had regular jobs, and for years our adventures have been restricted to annual epic journeys and metropolis breaks. 

However then, Kris hit the brakes with a burnout. It wasn’t perfect, however it grew to become the push Kris wanted to show his journey ardour into one thing actual.

 We do not have children, however we have a furry little adventurer named Pepper!  

Sadly, he cannot be a part of our globetrotting expeditions, however fortunately, he is received superior cat-sitters on the prepared (aka our household) who spoil him rotten whereas we’re gone.

Why They Created Their Web site

Sylvia: Kris’s burnout was really a bizarre form of fortunate break. If that hadn’t occurred, we’d nonetheless be within the rat race. 

However it compelled Kris to do one thing along with his journey ardour, and hey, guess what? Seems we’re each loopy about exploring the world!

Fact be instructed, a weblog wasn’t our authentic grasp plan. We have been really going to construct this entire fancy journey platform for planning epic journeys. The weblog was meant to be only one piece of it. 

The thought was to create a web-based platform the place individuals might independently plan their journeys primarily based on waypoints. 

Kris labored on it for a few yr after his burnout. Nevertheless, it by no means went stay. 

Steadily, we realized that this is able to be too massive of a challenge requiring vital funding and collaboration with many individuals, which was not one thing we needed to pursue.

As that plan grew a bit too formidable, we pivoted and targeted totally on the weblog as a substitute.

Again then, we had no clue you would really make cash simply from running a blog. Who knew?! 

We found that entire aspect of issues as soon as we began digging into the running a blog world.

We began our weblog in October 2017. At first, we didn’t know what we have been doing. After our first journey to Japan in March 2018, we began to take it extra severely.

How A lot They’re Incomes 

Our running a blog journey began sluggish and regular. 

We initially wrote about no matter got here to thoughts, however after a number of months, we determined to get strategic and began researching search engine optimization and key phrase analysis.

The primary yr was powerful. We had barely any guests and it took months to earn our first fee of about 1 euro. We have been so excited, we did a bit of dance!

We saved going, even when issues have been powerful. It took a variety of perseverance, however finally, we began seeing some traction. 

We have been incomes about €2500 monthly when Covid hit. It was a troublesome time, however we saved creating content material and selling our weblog.

We believed that journey would finally bounce again, and we have been proper. Now, we’re each capable of make a full-time dwelling from our weblog.

Our predominant supply of earnings is affiliate internet marketing. We earn commissions from selling accommodations, automobile leases, and different travel-related merchandise. 

We’re additionally members of Mediavine Professional, which suggests we earned over $100,000 in promoting income final yr. 

This is a breakdown of our earnings:

We’re grateful for the chance to share our love of journey with the world. We’re excited to see what the long run holds for Wapiti Journey!

Our workload for the weblog can differ rather a lot. 

Within the early years, we have been each engaged on it full-time. Now, there are some weeks the place we’re full-time on the weblog, however there are additionally weeks the place we take it a bit simpler.

We’re taking issues a bit slower proper now as a result of it isn’t fully clear how Google goes to evolve. 

We do not need to pour a ton of time into the positioning if we’re unsure what the very best plan of action is in the meanwhile. 

Their Prime Advertising and marketing Technique

The Fastlane course was a game-changer for us. It taught us rather a lot about search engine optimization, specializing in our strengths, and electronic mail advertising and marketing.

 We realized the right way to optimize our weblog posts. We additionally realized the right way to establish the matters that have been bringing us probably the most site visitors.

The course additionally coated the right way to construct an electronic mail listing. We managed to develop ours to over 18,000 subscribers.

We’re so glad we took the Fastlane course. It is helped us take our weblog to the following degree.

Their Ideas on search engine optimization

search engine optimization is our bread and butter. We have by no means paid for promoting, and we depend on search engine optimization to drive site visitors to our weblog.

We solely write about locations we have been to and that we predict we will rank for. It is a massive distinction from our early days once we would write about something and the whole lot. 

This additionally signifies that we don’t cowl all of the locations that we journey to.

 We’re unsure if search engine optimization is lifeless or not. Google has been making some unusual modifications currently, and we have been hit by the HCU replace in September 2023.

We have been specializing in search engine optimization for the previous few years, however we’re questioning if we should always diversify. Nevertheless, we’re not fairly positive how we’d try this.

Key phrase Analysis

As I discussed earlier than, we do not write about each vacation spot we have visited. 

We additionally write in clusters, which suggests we create a variety of content material across the identical matter. We give attention to Japan, South Korea and Portugal.

These are locations we go to recurrently.  

 Key phrase analysis is tremendous necessary for this, and it is one thing we spend a variety of time on. I attempt to give attention to long-tail key phrases that the competitors hasn’t written about intimately but, and that complement current content material that is already doing effectively.

This takes a variety of work. Generally I spend half a day on the lookout for the precise key phrase.

I preserve these key phrases in an inventory and search for associated key phrases.

Hyperlink Constructing

Hyperlink constructing just isn’t one thing we actually give attention to. Not less than not on exterior hyperlinks. 

We will place inside hyperlinks in many of the content material we write, however we do not actively search out exterior hyperlinks.

Now that our weblog is a bit older, we’re seeing some exterior hyperlinks coming in mechanically. Not rather a lot, however a number of right here and there.

Their Content material Creation Course of

Earlier than we write an article, we verify to see if it matches with our current content material and if it is one thing we will rank for.

Provided that that is the case can we begin writing the article. 

Due to the element we put into our articles, it generally takes 3 to 4 days to jot down one.

So we actually need to ensure that individuals will really discover these articles earlier than we spend 4 days writing one thing that may simply gather mud. 

We at present have about 400 articles stay on our web site.

Their E-mail Listing

Guests can join emails in regards to the vacation spot they’re studying about.

When individuals go to a few of our pages, they’ll obtain a journey guidelines in alternate for his or her electronic mail tackle. As soon as they’ve stuffed this in, they’re added to our mailing listing, and we ship out an automatic electronic mail sequence. In these emails, we share helpful data and primarily direct them to our affiliate pages.

After all, we do not have these emails for all locations, however we get good suggestions on those we do.

We at present have 18,000 individuals on this listing.

We even have plenty of Fb teams the place individuals can depart their particulars after they be a part of, in the event that they need to. We get fairly a number of electronic mail addresses from there too.

We have now round 4 Fb teams targeted on particular locations the place individuals can ask questions. In these teams, we additionally share helpful data. We additionally extract helpful concepts for brand new posts from the teams. 

Their Favourite Sources

Kris: We’d advocate the Fastlane course. We realized rather a lot from this course within the early years. 

Sylvia personally follows the Revenue Faculty YouTube channel and we additionally realized rather a lot from blogger teams on Fb.

She follows the DNW group by Sharon Gourlay and the Mediavine group day by day.

Their Prime Instruments

Kris: WordPress is our running a blog platform of selection. 

Certain, it has its flaws and is continually below fireplace from potential hackers, however it’s nonetheless an actual blessing to work with. 

It affords so many prospects, and because the introduction of the block editor, it is also grow to be a lot simpler to use a wonderful structure to your web site.

Asana is our go-to instrument for maintaining observe of duties and priorities. We use it to divide up the work amongst ourselves and our VA.

In the intervening time, our crew is simply the two of us and a VA. Earlier than, we had about 5 freelance writers whom I discovered by Fiverr. 

Sadly, Sylvia was very unwell final yr, which resulted in us virtually not working for 9 months and never writing any new posts. 

Additionally, as a result of present Google updates, it would not appear opportune for us to speculate a lot time in new articles. As an alternative, we’re focusing extra on advertising and marketing our current posts. 

KeySearch is our weapon of selection for key phrase analysis. This useful instrument helps us discover the precise key phrases to focus on in our weblog posts in order that we will appeal to extra guests to our web site.

Their Largest Problem

Beginning a weblog is a comparatively low-cost funding in comparison with many conventional companies. Certain, you may want a laptop computer and a few internet hosting, however that is about it. 

The actual price comes within the type of effort and time. It takes years to construct a profitable weblog, and through that point you may doubtless be incomes little or no.

We have been lucky sufficient to produce other sources of earnings once we began our weblog. However when you do not, it may be powerful to make ends meet within the early years. 

It takes a variety of grit and dedication to keep it up, particularly once you’re not seeing any outcomes.

However when you’re enthusiastic about your matter and also you’re prepared to place within the work, it may be extremely rewarding. We have been capable of journey the world and do what we love, all because of our weblog.

Sadly, we have been hit by the HCU replace in September 2023… as a result of nothing within the on-line world stays the identical for lengthy! Change is the secret. 

As a result of we have realized the necessity to differentiate, we have additionally launched a brand new Japan web site known as Japan Right here We Come. Nevertheless, this web site continues to be in its infancy.

Their Biggest Accomplishment

We’re tremendous proud that we have been capable of develop this weblog from nothing right into a enterprise that helps each of us. And the very best half? We’re not slaves to it!

We often journey for about 3 months annually (in 6-week blocks). 

After we’re on the highway, we barely do any work for the weblog, however it at all times saved on chugging alongside simply effective. We are going to see what the long run brings…

What They Want They Knew When They Began

Kris: We knew we have been taking a danger once we put all our eggs within the Google basket. 

However we by no means anticipated {that a} single Google replace might have such a devastating impression on our search outcomes. We misplaced greater than 80% of our site visitors.

Up till the September HCU replace, we had been bettering with each replace. If we had recognized this was coming, we’d have diversified our site visitors sources.

Lesson realized. Do not put all of your eggs in a single basket!

We’d additionally select a title that resonates extra with a weblog

We selected this title once we began with the opposite enterprise and saved it once we reworked right into a weblog however Sylvia doesn’t prefer it in any respect.

Their Most important Mistake

Little question about it, we put all our eggs within the search engine optimization basket and uncared for different site visitors sources. In hindsight that has for positive been our largest mistake!

We ceaselessly obtain inquiries about whether or not we will manage full excursions. We’re at present exploring this selection. 

Up to now, we aimed to make our earnings as passive as attainable; nevertheless, given the present Google updates, we notice that relying solely on that’s now not viable. 

Establishing a journey company specializing in Japan and South Korea could be the subsequent step. Moreover, it could permit us to proceed studying, which we additionally discover extremely pleasant.

Their Recommendation for Different Entrepreneurs

Sylvia: Relating to running a blog, I discover it very tough to present recommendation proper now. search engine optimization has been the identical for years, and when you discovered a superb course and adopted the recommendation rigorously, you would make your web site successful.

However now the principles have modified. The sport has fully modified, and I do not assume anybody is aware of what to do proper now. 

Perhaps issues can be totally different in a number of months, however the uncertainty might additionally final for years.

So would I like to recommend beginning a weblog proper now? I do not know. 

However one factor we each agree on is that we’re each very completely happy that we began doing one thing with our ardour after Kris’ burnout. That has modified our lives fully.

Discovering work carefully aligned together with your passions is recommendation I’d give to anybody with out hesitation.





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