Income Report December 2015

Our very first – Income Report December 2015. This month we left behind Thailand and explored Myanmar. See how we made $6,038 while traveling

Income-Report-December- 2015-Pinterest-735x1102

In many ways we feel like we are living the dream – making money back home while traveling through Asia (and hopefully soon the rest of the world). But we are not some trust fund babies and definitely have not cracked the code on how to make money from our blog. So in the meantime we thought we would share how we are funding our travels and document our journey to blogging stardom (hehe).

Income Report December 2015

Source of IncomePrior Month USD*Prior Month ZAR*Current Month USD*Current Month ZAR*% Change
Total$3,630.38R50,172.78$6,037.51R89,771.5878.92%
Sale of limited edition prints$520.38R7,400.00$1,396.67R21,030.52184.20%
Rental Income from Airbnb$2,552.00R35,086.79$3,913.33R58,038.5765.41%
Superhost South Africa$558.00R7,686.00$727.50R10,702.4839.25%

Sale of limited edition prints

 Prior Month USD*Prior Month ZAR*Current Month USD*Current MonthZAR*% Change
Total$520.38R7,400.00$1,396.67R21,030.52
From Rabinowitz Photography Instagram$0.00R0.00$266.00R3,780.52First Instagram Sale!!!
From Exposure Gallery (Cape Town)$520.38R7,400.00$1,130.67R17,250.00133.11%

Income: As a fine art photographer, Adam’s job involves traveling to exotic locations, taking amazing photos, and then selling them as limited edition fine art prints for people to hang in their homes. Sales come from direct sales at exhibitions and decor shows, online sales through his website and recently through a gallery (Exposure Gallery in Cape Town) and even his growing Instagram following.

This month: December 2015 was the first month that we started to see some real sales coming in from the galleries. Of course this is great news. The gallery adds their commission on top of Adam’s normal price – so he still earns exactly the same as he would have earned selling the prints himself – but gets to travel the world instead. After many hours and a lot of care in building an audience, Adam finally made his first sale to an Instagram follower.

Goals for next month: Having had a taste of the passive income we could make through galleries, we are determined to research and approach a few more galleries and interior decorators in Cape Town and Johannesburg this month. (If you know of any good ones, please let us know). We also HAVE TO update Adam’s website with new stock and follow up leads from last year’s shows/ exhibitions

Rental Income from Airbnb

 Prior Month USD*Prior Month ZAR*Current Month USD*Current Month ZAR*% Change
Total$2,552.00R35,086.79$3,913.33R58,038.57
Sexy loft in the heart of the city (100%)$1,750.00R24,084.03$2,650.00R39,216.9062.83%
Modern 2BDR with Mountain Views (33.33%)$802.00R11,002.76$1,263.33R18,821.6771.06%

Income: While most of our friends were shopping for their first home, we bought a small one bedroom apartment in Cape Town’s city centre. We decorated it on a budget but equipped it with all the things we would love as travellers.

We listed on Airbnb in October 2014, broke even (from a cash flow perspective) in March 2015 and used the profits to set up another flat (two bedroom/ two bathroom/ with Table Mountain views) which Brigid bought with her dad and sister.

This month: December is at the height of peak season in Cape Town which results in a massive influx of visitors – both local and from abroad. That also means that both flats were at capacity charging season rates.

Goals for next month: Both these flats and some of the other flats we manage (see below) have Adam’s photos hanging as decor. This month we want to try to make the link between the flats, our story and the art a bit more clear for guests. Hopefully this will open up the possibility of making sales to guests.

Superhost South Africa

 Prior Month USD*Prior Month ZAR*Current Month USD*Current Month ZAR*% Change
25% profit share$558.00R7,686.00$727.50R10,702.4839.25%
Greenmarket Sqr Studio with a View$211.00R2,899.89$244.00R3,596.3024.02%
Spacious 2BDR on Greenmarket Square$294.00R4,065.31$230.00R3,394.62-16.50%
Greenmarket Square On Your Doorstep$230.00R3,205.89$527.00R7,705.65140.36%
Sexy loft in the heart of the city$306.00R4,237.96$464.00R6,691.6857.90%
Modern 2BDR with Mountain Views$423.00R5,810.95$664.00R9,890.7670.21%
Super central city pad (sleeps 4)$328.00R4,529.83$230.00R3,463.04-23.55%
Stylish 2BDR with Wrap-Around Views$440.00R5,994.16$551.00R8,067.8834.60%
Total income$2,232.00R30,743.99$2,910.00R42,809.9339.25%

Income: One Airbnb flat became two, then we started managing a flat for a friend, then someone we bumped into in the lift and now we have seven flats under management. Superhost South Africa was born. We currently charge a commission of 15% on the Airbnb income from each flat for the management and recover flat-related expenses from owners on a monthly basis.

It is hard work and definitely not the world’s most scalable business. Brigid roped her dad, Alex, in to run things on the ground while we travel. Brigid still oversees things and handles administration and accounting for a 25%  share in the profits.

This month: As mentioned above, December in Cape Town PUMPS. So all the flats were going at full force – making this the best month for Superhost South Africa yet. Two leads contacted us through the website this month but both were looking for short-term management (which we do not consider viable at this stage).

Goals for next month: Up to now we have been hesitant to market Superhost aggressively because we did not know how it would scale. This month we want to focus on content marketing and seeing what leads that generates. In addition, the time has come to review our pricing structures.

Blog Stats December 2015

Blog Traffic

income-report-december-2015-blog-traffic

Love Love Travel is still a baby – and our page views reflect this. With none of our pages ranking yet and very little promotion to drive traffic from social, this is probably as low as it will go. (Prior month stats: 354 sessions, 241 users, 424 page views)

Social Media (as at 13 January 2016)

1,268 Facebook Fans
3,949 Twitter Followers
10,226 Instagram Followers
1,510 Pinterest Followers 

Our social media properties are growing steadily through ongoing engagement on the platforms. We just joined Klout and want to track our Klout score from next month. From next month we will start tracking engagements too.

This month: So we are going to be really honest with you – the blog is nowhere near where we wanted it to be by mid-January – in terms of content and stats. Turns out it’s pretty difficult to travel and start a blog at the same time. But that will hopefully change this month.

Next month: We have made the call to travel slower – if we want to be serious about getting the blog to where we want it we will need to put in some serious graft. Our focus will be on:

  • getting some more content up – if you loved our Namibia posts wait until you see what we have got in-store for you from Mauritius, Chiang Mai and Myanmar.
  • promoting our first giveaway – due to the unforeseen seriously shitty internet in Myanmar, we could not promote our first giveaway properly and have decided to extend the closing date by one month.
  • become Pinterest Pro’s- we have read one too many posts recently about the crazy traffic other bloggers get from Pinterest to keep on ignoring it.

Questions?

We really want these income report posts to be useful to other aspiring nomads and bloggers, so if there is anything you think we should include or anything that is not clear, please send us an email on hello@lovelovetravel.com


 

* Quick note on exchange rates (for my accountant friends out there):

We receive some of our income in US Dollars (via Paypal) and then exchange it into South African Rands. For completeness we will show both amounts – the USD amount represents income earned, whereas the ZAR amount represents the total cash received (which includes an exchange gain/ loss). Income earned in South African Rands will be converted to US Dollars for comparison using the exchange rate prevailing at the time of the transaction.

** A note on Income VS Profit

The figures above show our revenue before expenses, i.e. the sale of limited edition prints does not include expenses related to the printing, shipping or selling of the prints, rental income from Airbnb does not include expenses related to the ownership or maintenance of the flats and Superhost South Africa does not include the costs of cleaners and other consumables.

 

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