Suzy: Week 21 – The Wrap Up

Suzy's Case Study - Week 21, the Wrap Up


If you’re wondering what this Case Study is all about, please read the introductory post from Week One.



You can browse through all the older installments here.



It’s been a long road, but we’ve finally reached the end of it.

“Suzy” and I met on a Media Trip in the spring of 2009, and over a couple of meals we discussed the challenges of writing for online publications versus traditional print media.

We talked about how travel writers are watching their paying publication opportunities drying up, as more magazines and newspapers go under every month.

We talked about how she feels compelled to accept every trip and writing assignment that comes her way in order to earn an income, and how that leaves her with little time with her family, and no sense of balance in her life.

I told her that it is possible to earn a living from a travel blog, but that it requires time, effort, patience, perseverance, and that you MUST follow a plan and use specific techniques designed to take advantage of the opportunities that the internet can offer, rather than doing what many others do, which is to just “put it out there” and hope that people find it.

We emailed back and forth for a few months, and finally decided that we’d work together to help her build a brand new, niche-focused travel blog, using the steps I would outline for her, that in time would begin to earn her some revenue and eventually allow her to slow down her hectic pace and find the balance she wanted.

The Case Study was born.

Each step in the Flow Chart links to explanations, free tools, and resourcesI created a Flow Chart with weekly goals, to serve as a road map for her, and we began in earnest in July.

Over the past six months, Suzy has come a long way, and learned a great deal about how to build, structure, optimize, and monetize a travel blog.

She’s learned that the keys to success are:

I’m pleased and proud to say that in the six short months her new travel blog has been in existence, she’s already garnered an impressive number of readers and achieved a Google PageRank of 2, which is quite a feat given that Google still generally “sandboxes” new sites for the first few months.

Her biggest challenge now is finding the time to keep focused on her new travel blog – continuing to add content, identifying and contacting potential direct advertisers, and promoting it through social media efforts. She understands that a critical component of earning revenue is first building an audience, and that takes time and effort.

Suzy also understands that while it can take a year, or even two, before a travel blog builds enough consistent traffic to begin earning any significant sum from Google AdSense or Affiliate Advertising, she can employ some of the advanced blog monetization techniques we covered in Weeks 16 & 17 installments, to escalate the revenue opportunities from her blog. By being more aggressive in signing up direct advertisers and writing an eBook to sell, she can put in place an income stream that will also grow over time.

The bottom line is that she now has a clear path and a goal. She’s well on her way to dominating her niche and allowing her travel blog to help take off some of the pressure. Hopefully soon she’ll find the balance she’s seeking in life.

Stay tuned! Next week I’ll be interviewing Suzy, and you’ll get to find out who she really is, and what SHE thinks of this whole experience!


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About Trisha Miller 116 Articles
Trisha Miller Editor-in-Chief, - Trisha joined the Travel Industry in 1996 with a background in telecommunications and helped to build (and later sell) one of the industry's top inbound call centers specializing in air travel. Her career in Travel Writing began with creating destination-specific content for a corporate travel intranet, and continued as she contributed content to a large number of travel-related companies that were establishing an online presence throughout the late '90's and early '00's. Currently she is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists, and a former Board Member of the International Food, Wine, and Travel Writers Association (2009-2015).  Still a frequent world traveler, and occasional guest-blogger on a number of other Travel Blogs, Trisha writes about travel and technology, sometimes both at the same time. You can follow Trisha on Twitter at:


  1. I can’t say enough good things about this series, Trisha. When I’m approached by writers interested in starting a blog, travel or not, I send them to your series. Even long time bloggers benefit from the information that you’ve written. Thanks for educating me!
    .-= Donna Hull´s last blog post: Ten Digital Photography Tips =-.

    • Thank you Mary Jo! I’m actually spending the next few weeks spiffing up the Flow Chart to give away to subscribers on my Email list, and I do plan on expanding it into an eBook, so hopefully I’ll have that available in a few weeks as well. I’ll announce it when I do!

  2. This is an interesting article, I like the idea of setting yourself weekly goals. It is worth pointing out that (as I’m sure you have, I am just about to start reading this series from the beginning) that blogging can take up huge amounts of time so wont necessarily give you a better work-life balance.
    .-= Thomas´s last blog post: Nike Launches Interactive City Guide App =-.

    • Hi Thomas – thanks for stopping by!

      You’re right that a blog can easily take up huge amounts of your time, but the object is to build a blog that – once it reaches critical mass – can be sustained with just a weekly post and a bit of attention to things like comments and reports.

      What is ‘critical mass’? It will be different for every blog, but it’s that point at which you’ve garnered enough readers, subscribers, direct advertisers, and possibly sales of your ebook(s), for it to be self-sustaining financially. Done correctly that process can be accelerated, but still takes time and effort to get it there. Once there, you should be able to finally find the balance!

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