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How a Solo Blogger Skyrocketed to 130,000 Monthly Views & $5,000 with Aussie Caravanning

Written by:

Carolyn Young is a business writer who focuses on entrepreneurial concepts and the business formation. She has over 25 years of experience in business roles, and has authored several entrepreneurship textbooks.

How a Solo Blogger Skyrocketed to 130,000 Monthly Views & $5,000 with Aussie Caravanning

Welcome to the inspiring world of a lifestyle blogger who has turned the Australian caravanning and camping scene into a digital haven for enthusiasts. What started in 2016 as MY RIG Adventures, a personal account of a family’s full-time travel odyssey, has since flourished into a pivotal resource amid the surge of interest in local explorations post-2020. This platform has evolved from a labor of love into a thriving business, underpinning the transformative journey of its creator from a nomadic storyteller to a full-time online entrepreneur.

Dive with us into this exclusive interview with Emma Todd and unveil the intricate tapestry of blogging, where passion meets practicality. Here, we uncover the intricate process of turning real-life adventures and challenges into a profitable and engaging online presence. Whether you’re an aspiring blogger or a travel aficionado, join us for a narrative steeped in resilience, creativity, and the relentless pursuit of growth in the expansive world of digital storytelling.

Introduction to the Blogger and the Niche Explosion

I’m Emma Todd, a 39-year-old blogger from Brisbane, Australia. I run MY RIG Adventures, a website based around caravanning and camping travel in Australia.

Although I started the blog back in 2016, since COVID hit in 2020, local travel has become more popular than ever, meaning that the caravanning niche has exploded!

Emma Todd

Blogging Beginnings and Content Focus

The main content that I focus on is informational and “how to” guides for those who are starting out as caravanners. I also create digital resources to help my readers out, such as printable checklists, budget spreadsheets, and planning guides.

Interestingly, I never set out to become a full-time blogger. However, life has taken me down that path, and it’s honestly the best job I’ve ever had.

I first created MY RIG Adventures in 2016 as I was packing up my life to hit the road as a full-time nomad with my (now ex) husband and two kids. I’ve always enjoyed writing as a creative outlet, and I wanted to be able to share my journey with anyone who was interested in doing the same thing.

On the road - caravan

Blog Development and Monetization

I started a simple WordPress site and blogged about the process of selling the house, getting rid of most of our stuff, purchasing a bus, then later a caravan, and building an off-grid home on wheels. Once we hit the road, I blogged about my different experiences, plus some camp reviews and helpful tips for caravanning and living on the road.

I was also sharing our monthly budget stats on Facebook, using a spreadsheet I’d created. That turned out to be so popular that I put it up for sale on the website, which ended up doing really well. It was at that moment that I realised I could actually make some money out of this, which would help to fund our travels.

Adapting to Life Changes and Boosting the Blog

Over the next few years, I blogged as much as I could in between travelling full-time and homeschooling the kids. We would stop every three months so that my partner could do a few months’ work, which would top the bank balance back up. During those stints of working while travelling, I was learning as much as I could about SEO and how to make money from blogging.

Emma Todd with her two kids

At the beginning of 2020, I reached the minimum threshold to get the website onto Mediavine (a premium ad network), which was 25,000 sessions per month at the time. Up until that point, I’d been sharing a lot on Facebook, in camping groups as well as on our page, which had around 16,000 followers. It was largely Facebook traffic that got the blog off the ground until I was able to master SEO.

However, in March 2020, all of the state borders in Australia were about to close, so we had to make a quick decision. Should we stay down in Sydney, not knowing how long the lockdown was going to last, or should we head back to Brisbane and be near friends and family? We decided to head back home. During the next few months, our marriage came to an end, which had been a long time coming for me.

So, it was time to pivot. I rented a townhouse for myself and the kids, then took about six months off to get myself sorted and begin to heal from the toxic relationship I’d been in since I was 19. Thankfully, as local travel was popping off, my website kept growing until I was in the right headspace to get back into it.

Since 2021, I’ve been blogging full-time and working to build the website as much as possible. I have taken a few short stints off from MY RIG Adventures to start two more websites because I want to diversify my income as much as possible.

One website is in the mental health field and is making about $500 AUD per month from 67 articles. I plan to get back to that one and add a lot more content in 2024. I have also started Organised Free Spirit, which is a lifestyle website. It doesn’t make much money at the moment, but it’s another project I will get back to in time!

Emma Todd with her kids

Blog Statistics and Income Streams

As of August 2023, MY RIG Adventures is averaging 130,000 page views per month, earning over $5,000 AUD a month.

The blog has three different income streams:

  1. Ads with Mediavine
  2. Affiliates (commission from referring sales to other companies)
  3. Info Products (selling my own digital products)
MY RIG Adventures Income Streams

The journey to getting the blog to its current earnings has been a gradual process over five years, but I’ve really only been working at it full-time for two years.

My combined blogging earnings from mid-2022 to mid-2023 have doubled in 12 months due to working on them full-time and focussing on tasks that will actually increase revenue. This includes adding more Info Products to the range, updating old content, and adding as much new content as I can.

Blog Content and Traffic Analysis

MY RIG Adventures has 245 articles as of August 2023, broken down into 97 camp reviews and 148 informational posts. 42 of those articles are less than eight months old, so they haven’t hit their peak just yet.

  • Info Articles account for 78% of traffic
  • Camps & Destinations account for 22% of traffic

These days my main traffic source is Google, but I still get a small amount of traffic from Pinterest and Facebook.

MY RIG Adventures Pageviews

Learning and Leveraging SEO

In the early days, I relied heavily on Facebook for traffic because I hadn’t yet learnt the power of SEO (Search Engine Optimisation). From around 2019, I started to learn all that I could about SEO, which eventually changed the game for me. These days, SEO is my main jam!

Resources that I recommend for those who are starting out on the blogging path include Income School on YouTube (especially the earlier content) and Niche Pursuits on YouTube. From there, research and learn as much as you can about the various terms and strategies that they talk about, and you will slowly add more and more to your own SEO toolbelt.

Blogging Tools and Email Marketing

To be a successful blogger, learning how to find the best keywords and key terms is vital in creating content that people will actually find through the search engines. To help come up with more article ideas and key terms, I consider what my competitors are writing about, plus use the ‘alphabet soup’ method. This is where you type a word or phrase into Google and then let it finish the sentence for you. This is the best way to find out what people are actually typing into the search engines.

Tools that I regularly use for blogging are Canva (for creating feature images, pins, and Info Products) and Keysearch (for finding new key terms in my niche).

I also have an email list with about 8,500 subscribers. Once someone signs up to the list, they will be sent through a funnel of four emails, sharing useful content and some of my Info Products. After that, I send out a weekly email, sharing just one blog post and something useful in the email that they can take away (even if they don’t click on the article).

Advice for Aspiring Bloggers

My biggest piece of advice for those who are embarking on the blogging journey is that it’s a long game, not a “get rich quick” scheme. Once you set up a good foundation and can keep adding more content to your website, you can definitely make a sustainable full-time income out of blogging. However, learning SEO and getting good at keyword research will be crucial to your success.

The benefit of blogging being a long game is that those who don’t have the time or motivation to keep going will all drop off, leaving only the serious players behind.

Half the game is outlasting the competition!

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How a Solo Blogger Skyrocketed to 130,000 Monthly Views & $5,000 with Aussie Caravanning