Our 1-Year BoardingArea Anniversary – So much winning!

House of Miles visit with Randy 2017-03-10
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Time flies when you’re having fun!  Today marks the one-year anniversary of joining the BoardingArea family.  If you’ve been following along the past year, you’ll notice that we’ve made some major improvements in the blog.  At least I hope you’ve noticed.  And we have many more changes planned.  But first, let’s take a look back at what has happened to get us where we are today.


Joined Boarding Area in May 2016

I am so happy that Randy gave us this opportunity, and I have Angelina to thank for making the introduction.  It is a wonderful opportunity to be exposed to such a large audience with the BoardingArea family.

The other bloggers have been very welcoming, and I’ve made so many new friends.  And the support and training provided by the BoardingArea team has been top-notch.  We even visited the House of Miles in March 2017 for in-depth analysis by Randy and the team.

House of Miles visit Randy on the table 2017-03-10
Randy literally was on the table with excitement as we discussed trends


And, of course, no visit to the House of Miles is complete without the traditional photo with Randy.

House of Miles visit with Randy 2017-03-10


Massive Traffic Increase – More than 300%!!!

From this year to last, we have been blessed with a significant increase in traffic.  Our page views have increased 342% versus the previous 12 months.  In other words, we jumped from an average of 10K page views a month to over 46K page views a month!

BaldThoughts traffic stats first year with BoardingArea

There are multiple reasons for the growth.

  • Obviously, joining the BoardingArea family has a lot to do with the growth, and we’ve had the good fortune of having two Featured Weeks with BoardingArea to meet even more of you.
  • Posting consistently is a big driver because readers know that when they come back to the site, fresh content will be waiting for them to read and (hopefully) learn from.
  • Our skills have improved with experience and from attending conferences throughout the year.  We’re writing better content, sharing stories that inspire, and improving the technical side of the house (SEO, social media, etc.).

And the biggest reason for the growth is you, the reader.  We appreciate how much the Bald Thoughts family has grown!  You come back and read on a regular basis and share interesting stories with your friends.  We owe you a big virtual hug!!!


New Writers = New Flavors of Content

Over the last 12 months, I’ve been fortunate enough to bring on 3 new writers – Charlie, Tyler, and Brett – to offer differing perspectives on travel than what I write about.

Charlie joined the blog in August 2016.  He travels quite a bit for work but also loves to travel on his own dime.  For example, he’s off to Australia over the long Memorial Day weekend.  Follow his journey on his Instagram account – TravelCharlie.  Charlie is a Diamond Medallion with Delta and Hilton Diamond member.  SoutheastAsia is his favorite destination.

Tyler joined in September 2016.  Tyler changed majors in college recently, so he’s highly focused on graduating and isn’t traveling as much.  However, his forte is finding amazing deals and ways to earn the maximum amount of rewards on your daily spend.

Brett is a college buddy of Tyler that started writing for us in February 2017.  He’s not a fan of the cookie cutter hotel brands, so he favors the boutique hotels that are independently run.  Brett is also a Millennial and his mission is to educate the next generation of travelers about the benefits of travel rewards.

And we also launched The Morning Shave, which is a daily collection of the most interesting travel articles that we feel you should read.


Our 10 Most Popular Posts over the Last Year

Over the last year, these were our most popular posts.  Take a look at any that you may have missed.  There are some really good ones!

  1. Learn How to Snowboard at Mammoth Mountain – 51,533
  2. 4 days and 3 nights in Vegas or Orlando for $199 with Hilton Grand Vacations – 27,386
  3. T-Mobile One vs. Project Fi – Which one is better for travel? – 17,416
  4. My $99 private jet experience with JetSuiteX – 9,549
  5. Southwest allows TSA PreCheck to existing reservations – 8,876
  6. The Morning Shave – Kicked off for cleavage – 8,439
  7. TSA PreCheck vs. Global Entry vs. CLEAR – Which is right for you? – 8,011
  8. The Best Hotels in Grand Cayman – 7,476
  9. How to rent a card using Chase Ultimate Rewards – 7,213
  10. The 3 best things to do in Aruba – 6,833

So, from this list, you can see that we offer a wide variety of content.  But they all have one common thread… it’s all about having the best possible experience for the least amount of money.  That’s why our mantra is “Travel More. Spend Less. Live Better.”


What Is Coming Next in 2017?

We’re over-the-moon excited with how much we’ve grown and evolved the business over the last 12 months.  But we’re not done.  There are big plans to bring you even more content and value for the time you invest with us.

Literally, every dollar of revenue that we receive from advertising, affiliate links, and sponsorships has been reinvested back into the blog (plus some extra dollars from our own pockets) in order to provide a better experience for our readers.

Here are the some of the changes you’ll see over the next 12 months:

  • A new site design that makes it easier to find the content that is most valuable to you.  We hope that you like it!
  • Printables that you can share with friends and family – like this one 5 steps to start travel hacking
  • A series of eBooks covering travel, personal finance, and credit
  • Courses to help you achieve your travel goals

And, I’m incredibly thrilled to be speaking at the Chicago Seminars for the first time.  I’ll be sharing why Kimpton is the most lucrative loyalty program you’ve never heard of…. OK, if you follow the blog, you’ve definitely heard be talk about Kimpton (a lot).  But, I’ll be sharing even more secrets in person at the conference.  Hope you can join me there!


The Bald Thoughts

Joining BoardingArea has been a great experience.  I am grateful for all of the readers that have helped us achieve the success we’ve realized so far… and I hope you continue to support us and share our content so we can grow even bigger over the next 12 months and hit all of our goals.  Thank you!

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