We bought a blog and broke it a little bit. (Month 4 Acquisition Update!)

This post may contain affiliate links. See our affiliate disclaimer here.

When we started RVing full-time, the idea of making money while traveling was foreign to us. It was 2014, coworking was new, and remote work was barely a thing.

I remember making my first $75 while RVing in California, knowing it would barely put a dent into filling up our tank, but elated that this work-from-anywhere dream was even possible.

Flash forward to December of 2022, Heath and I bought a blog from a friend to keep that same dream alive. After selling multiple businesses, our cash flow all but dried up. The idea of purchasing an existing business was to build up a revenue stream that supported us while we traveled as a family.

Another goal: Get a return on our investment in two years (initial purchase price was $100,000)

Here on the blog, we are sharing monthly updates on our progress in the business. If you haven’t read them yet, I highly recommend catching up on past editions before you dive into this one! (Or at the very least, use the Table of Contents to skip down to see our revenue for each month to compare how we are doing!)

As of today, we’ve owned the business for four months and I’m excited to share our biggest wins and failures of month four. If you have any questions or thoughts as you read this, drop a comment below! They make us happy and we love answering your questions.

Let’s get to the nitty gritty.

What Went Well

Starting with the good!

We have a new website!

I think we’ve mentioned the lack of a new website theme as a fail the past three months in a row, but this month we finally went live!

There have been a few bugs and edits after we got the site live (which I’ll share more about later) but overall it’s been a breath of life into the website. We both love the final product and how this theme highlights the beautiful RV photos on our site better than the old theme.

We also updated our marketplace site to look like this:

The biggest update with this site other than making it easier for customers to list their RV is that we added a setting where sold RVs can be viewed live on the site. We noticed that most people look for inspiration for their own renovations by checking out RVs on our site, so by keeping these sold listings live, they can see more campers.

Plus, then when people click the links on social media, the URLs will still be live instead of giving 404 errors, which was a previous issue.

This was a heavy lift for Heath, who did most of the designing on the sites, but they look great!

Coupons are awesome. And free is even more awesome.

One of the reasons we bought RV Inspiration was for the “RV Inspiration Marketplace” on RenovatedRVsforSale.com. It’s a listing site similar to RV Trader but for only renovated RVs. This was the part of the business Heath was most interested in.

Our goal for 2023 is to get 365 new listings on the site, or one a day for the year.

This side of the business has the most growth potential, but with only 15 or fewer listings on the site each month, it didn’t offer the breadth of RVs that people want to see while shopping. We needed more listings.

So we decided on something a little unconventional. We were going to go after those 365 listings even if some were free or discounted. The idea is that as we add more listings, the site will attract more RV shoppers and be more valuable to sellers (the whole chicken and egg dilemma that many marketplaces face).

This is one of those strategies where you’re never really sure what will happen. If I give away a free listing, am I losing revenue because they might’ve actually paid for a listing? Will we lose money each month if we discount some listings?

After testing this strategy, the answer so far appears to be no.

We’ve actually grown our revenue and had the best revenue month ever for listings in March.

Most of the credit for the success of this strategy goes to our VA, Alexis. Not only is she actively offering coupon codes, but she is searching social media and finding people already selling their RVs and offering them discount codes. Since these people are actively trying to sell, they have converted really well.

Moreover, we’ve had Alexis target RV types we don’t have as much of on the site (i.e. skoolies) and offer them free listings. This way, we can create a better selection of RVs to choose from. (Previously we heard comments that our site had too many fifth wheels and needed more types of RVs.)

In the last two months, we’ve tripled the number of active listings on the site AND grown our revenue. Plus, many of our new customers have used a discount code (and who doesn’t love a good coupon)?

That being said…

If you want to sell your RV this year and it’s partially or fully renovated…hit us up for a coupon code to sell on RenovatedRVsforSale.com.

Best Traffic Day…Ever?!

I’m writing this post on April 2nd. We bought the business on December 2nd, so today officially marks four months as business owners and we are celebrating in style!

We launched our new website on March 22nd (hence the dip) and our traffic boomed today!


I’m very proud of myself because that spike is due to one article + its corresponding web stories I edited yesterday. Let me say that again. YESTERDAY. And it popped off on Google today with organic traffic.

Shout out to Ashley, the previous owner of RV Inspiration, for writing the post last year. It’s raking in the traffic today.

This isn’t the best day ever in traffic because Ashley had a wild 20,000+ page views in a single day back when she was the owner. But this was by far our best traffic day as owners!

I mentioned in our last update that I’m slowly going through old articles and updating the content. I’ve gone through about 40 articles or so now (there were about 120 when we bought the site) and my goal is to update every single one by the end of the year or sooner.

As I’ve updated the articles, I’ve worked in order of popularity (by pageviews) but also by RPM, or revenue per mille. After updating the 20 most popular posts, I’ve focused more on “earning potential” by choosing to update articles that have a high RPM, but aren’t getting the traffic they deserve.

The articles currently earning the most are pretty much the same as the top 20 highest-trafficked posts, with only a few exceptions. Instead of just focusing on what is already bringing in the most money, I decided to look at what had the most earning potential. This was a little bit of a debate between Heath and me on which direction to go, but since the top 20 had already been updated, I figured it would be more fun to try this route and test how our ad revenue changed.

The results?

The new articles I’ve updated—with earning potential of $45+ RPM versus our average of $30 RPM for most articles—have almost all moved into our top 10 most popular for the week.

Some of these articles weren’t even cracking the top 50 most popular posts, but are getting all the love after a little update.

The biggest question is how will this affect our ad revenue (stay tuned for next month when we find out).

Now I fully don’t expect this high to last. That’s why it’s so important to me to keep updating old content as we continue to release new content. We need to bring in traffic continually and own the top spot in Google for different keywords.

For more on the process I’ve used for updating and revitalizing old content, read last month’s summary here.

Show me the money💰💰💰

I will dive into specific numbers later in this post, but we exceeded our growth goals for month four! This was a big win.

Back in January, I texted Heath when we grew our revenue by $1,000 in our first month.

“What if we did that every month?” I threw it out casually (but also felt like this was crazy). “What would that be?”

“$12,000?” Heath asked confused.

“No, like what if every month we increased by another $1,000 in revenue? What would that be for the year?”

I whipped out a spreadsheet and did the math:

December 2022 $3,800.00 (actual)
January 2023 $4,400.00 (actual)
February $5,400.00
March $6,400.00
April $7,400.00
May $8,400.00
June $9,400.00
July $10,400.00
August $11,400.00
September $12,400.00
October $13,400.00
November $14,400.00
December $15,400.00
Total: $122,600.00


We bought RV Inspiration for $100,000 and our goal is to get a return on our money in two years. If we achieved this seemingly unachievable growth, we could almost get that return in a year! 😱

I will share some of our expenses below so you can get a better idea of our burn rate as well. And also because I don’t actually know how much we’re spending on the business each month and I really should check out those numbers…

Stay tuned.

What Didn’t Go Well

It can’t all be good.

We lost and had to remake content.

Getting the new website live was a huge win for March! However, it came with drawbacks.

When you change themes on a website—particularly an old website full of lots of blog posts—the best way to do it is to spin up a staging site. This is basically a practice version of the website where you can set up the theme exactly how you want it without messing up the live site for visitors.

Once the staging site is ready to go, you switch places a la Parent Trap and your staging site dawns a fake British accent and goes public.

Pin on Cult Movies... the ones you have to see

When it goes public, you use a backup of all the content from the old site and put it up on the new site.

It was during this part of the process that we lost some of our content. I’m not sure what happened or why the articles disappeared. Some of it was ultimately recovered, but some of it I needed to recreate from scratch.

It was in this process that we made Google a little mad…

We made Google mad 😡

When we redesigned our website, we did it on a wing and a prayer that the new theme wouldn’t mess up our ad revenue. That was our main focus as we worked on the launch a couple of weeks ago. We even had the AdThrive team go through the site and put placeholder markers so we could see how everything would look when it was launched.

But what we didn’t really think about was how many links might break or not transfer in the theme switch.

When our new site went live, we had one hundred new 404 errors pop up on URLs. We THINK we’ve fixed some of the bigger 404 errors, which ended up being smaller than it seemed. I spent a couple of hours completely rebuilding those pages this week and we had Google recrawl our site to show them that the errors were fixed. Hopefully, this makes the internet like us again!

If you’re a blogger and you haven’t yet, I highly recommend you create a Google Search Console account. This is what we use to get alerts when there are errors on the site, but also where we can see a ton of data on how we are showing up in Google search.

Another tool we used during the website switch was called Rankmath, which helped us see all of the pages & posts laid out on our website (so in theory we’d be able to see if any didn’t transfer correctly).

March Numbers at a Glance

Pageviews on RV Inspiration: 164,315 (up from 159,709 in February)

New listings on the marketplace: 26

Live listings: 40

Total revenue: $7,832.86 (up $2k from the previous month!)

It’s worth noting that March is three days longer than Feburary, so the slight increase in pageviews this month is actually a decrease in average daily page views. This is partially due to the site being affected during the transfer. But the dip did not affect ad revenue.

March Revenue Breakdown

RV Inspiration Ads: $4,180

RV Inspiration Marketplace Ads: $545.64

Old ad network: $57.59 (technically this was for February, but we got paid in March and I missed it for last month’s update!)

Listings: $1,554.99

Amazon Affiliates: $1,147

Other affiliates: $332.23

Product sales: $16.80

Total: $7,834.86

Average Expenses

One thing we haven’t shared or paid much attention to in the business is our expenses, so I want to give a high-level overview of what we’re paying each month.

Subscriptions, plugins, apps, and recurring charges: $700

Writing and editing team: $500-$750 (variable based on the number of articles published)

VA: $600 (for managing RV Inspiration Marketplace & Instagram)

Website support: $150

Pinterest admin: $400 (new in March)

And this month: a little over $2,000 for the new websites

We’re averaging around $2,000 in expenses but March is definitely going to see a big spike with bringing on someone to manage our Pinterest and paying for the website.

Key Takeaways

When we first got quotes for redesigning two websites, they were all five figures. At the time of getting those quotes, we were making under $4,000 on the sites and could not afford those quotes, so we decided to do the design ourselves and then hire for the technical part. (That’s where that $2,000 we paid comes in.)

While we don’t know how well the site will perform long term yet, we do know that we saved a lot of money by going this way.

Heath and I aren’t great at website design, but we’ve learned enough over the past 10 years of blogging that we could cobble together a site and hire out the stuff that was out of our comfort zone. I think this is by far one of the biggest skills you can bring into any business. Not web design specifically. But the ability to learn how to do something yourself enough to create an MVP (minimum viable product) and then bring in someone else to make it shine.

You don’t have to know how to do everything yourself, but if you know just enough, you can go farther than you think.

Heath did an amazing job designing the new websites and I love the way they turned out! Hopefully the rest of the internet likes it too.

Moving Forward

I think April will be very telling as RV season ramps up and as we take a back seat on running the blog. As you may know, we will be in Japan and New Zealand for over a month and won’t be in front of our computers often. I’m very interested to see how the site performs with no work from Heath or me 😬  Will our traffic and revenue dip? Have we done enough for it to sustain itself without our help? Time will tell!


As always, drop your comments and questions below!

Featured image and renovation credit: Tera Wages, Armosa Studios