How This 38-Year-Old Earns $5k/Month From Her Biking Blog’s Multiple Income Streams

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Becky Timbers knew from an early age that she wanted to travel and see the world. She took advantage of travel opportunities in college, and once she graduated, she continued to find ways to lead a nomadic lifestyle.

After mountain biking with her family as a teen, she reconnected with her hobby as an adult and realized she could combine both passions: biking and travel.

She started her blog, Two Wheeled Wanderer , in 2019 to share biking routes and tips and document her rides around the country. Although the HCU hurt her traffic, Becky has been working to build out different income streams to increase diversification.

Today, she’s earning $5k per month.

Keep reading to find out:

  • How travel become such an important part of her life
  • How she got into cycling
  • Why she created her site
  • What happened during the pandemic
  • How the HCU impacted her
  • How she’s diversifying her income
  • Where her income comes from
  • Her main marketing strategies
  • Her thoughts on SEO
  • Her approach to keyword research
  • Her favorite resources and tools
  • The main challenge she’s faced
  • Her greatest accomplishment
  • Her biggest mistake
  • Her advice for other entrepreneurs

Meet Becky Timbers

I grew up in Vermont with a family that loved adventure and travel. My parents took my brother and I on two-week vacations every year during spring break. 

We went to places like Belize, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic, Switzerland, and Banff, to name a few. I loved these trips and knew from an early age that I wanted to spend my life traveling and seeing the world. 

When I was in high school, I did a 6-month study abroad in New Zealand. I had wonderful host parents who took me all around the North Island and I got to do a two-week trip down to the South Island as well. 

It was such a great experience and even further resolved my desire to build a life around travel. 

In college, I did another study abroad, this time to Africa. 

I spent a full year in Kenya and Tanzania. It’s hard to put into words how incredible that year was! Spending time with the Maasai and going on safari for class was magical. 

I spent a full year in Africa during college 

After college, I didn’t really know what I wanted to do, so I bought a one-way ticket to Hawaii (as one does…) 

On the island of Kauai, I saw an ad in a National Geographic Adventure magazine for a cruise ship company called Lindblad Expeditions. I applied to be a steward, and 2 weeks later I was flying down to Baja to start a life at sea. 

I worked on the National Geographic ships for about 10 years. I spent summers up in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest and winters in Baja, Costa Rica, and Panama. 

In between contracts on the ships, I would travel for weeks and months at a time. I didn’t have a home base and lived out of a backpack for many years. 

I will forever be grateful for my time on the ships, the people I worked with, and the freedom to see the world in that way. 

Kissing a gray whale in Baja
Enjoying a quiet morning on deck

Feeling like I needed to “settle down” and get a “real job,” I moved to Seattle and got my master’s in nutrition. 

My settled and career-oriented life lasted for about 4 years until I decided that wasn’t what I wanted. I was 33 at the time. 

I sold everything, packed my backpack (again), and went back to my nomadic ways, briefly working on the ships again. 

It was around this time that I started to get back into mountain biking, which I had done in high school with my dad and brother. 

I landed in California and met a group of friends who invited me to go on some mountain biking trips with them. That’s when Two Wheeled Wanderer got started!

Why She Created Her Site

I started Two Wheeled Wanderer in 2019 after my dad and I took a trip together to Squamish, BC. 

I knew there was great mountain biking there, but it was hard to find information and advice on what trails to ride, how to link them up, what to expect, etc.

So, after my trip, I wrote up a guide based on my experience and that was the first post I published to Two Wheeled Wanderer!

Two Wheeled Wanderer started after my dad and I took a mountain bike trip to Squamish, BC

I did have some previous experience with blogging. 

During my ship years, I’d kept a travelog-style blog to keep friends and family up-to-date on where I was. I knew that travel blogging could be a career and that is what I wanted for Two Wheeled Wanderer from the get-go.  

We all know what happened in 2020. 

When the pandemic hit, I think a lot of people were looking for ways to get outside and get exercise. Mountain biking and biking in general really exploded. 

I saw a ton of growth for my blog during that year, which was exciting since it was still pretty new. I also started getting into bikepacking and writing about that. 

I also started working for an established blogger, Kristen Bor of Bearfoot Theory, who I still work part-time for. She taught me so much and I wouldn’t be where I am with my blog today without her mentorship.

I was seeing pretty steady traffic growth until… the Helpful Content Update in September 2023. 

It’s pretty frustrating because I know my content is really helpful and there really aren’t any other bloggers writing what I’m writing about—detailed guides about biking destinations and trips.

I’ve lost about half my traffic, unfortunately. But I am hopeful that I will recover because I know what I’m doing is benefiting people. I receive emails and messages from readers telling me how much they appreciate my guides, so that keeps me going. 

I did add a trip-planning service to my blog where people can book a call with me to help plan their bike trips. It’s still very new, but I’m hoping this will add another source of income. 

Prior to the HCU, I also got hired as the Content Creator for a TDA Global Cycling trip down in Central America. The trip was 8 weeks and went from Costa Rica to Mexico. 

My job was to take photos of the riders, write blog posts, ride sweep on some days, and do whatever else I needed to do to support the trip. 

I absolutely loved it and will be doing two more trips this year (Paris to Istanbul and Cusco to Ushuaia). With all the uncertainty with Google and AI, I’m glad to have these trips as yet another source of income. 

The staff on the TDA Global Cycling Ruta Maya trip, I’m on the far left

How Much She’s Earning

Last year was my best year. I made about $70k from all my sources of income. 

I’ve always liked doing a lot of different things and having multiple income streams is a big upside of that. I know $70k isn’t a lot compared to some bloggers, but work-life balance is really important to me. 

I knew I wanted to make TWW a business when I first started it and it took me three years to build up to this income. I think I was accepted into Mediavine after my second year of blogging. 

I did use Ezoic briefly but did not have a good experience with them. I recommend waiting until you can join a premium ad network. 

Here’s the breakdown of my income from 2023:

  • Mediavine ads & affiliate income from my blog: 75%
  • Digital Products: 2% (I played around with this in 2023 and plan to do more this year)
  • Working as an assistant for Bearfoot Theory: 10%
  • TDA Global Cycling: 5%
  • Mountain bike coaching: 3%
  • Miscellaneous: 5%  

For 2024, I’ll be doing two more TDA Global Cycling trips, continuing to work for Bearfoot Theory, and adding trip-planning calls as a service. I also want to play around more with digital products. 

I still rely pretty heavily on ads and affiliate income, though, which I’m trying to minimize as my main source of income. 

As for traffic, in 2023, I was averaging about 34,000 sessions/77,000 pageviews a month. 

Currently, I’m at about 15,000 sessions/30,000 pageviews a month, so I lost about 50% of my traffic with the HCU. 

How much I work on the business really depends on what I’m doing. I still work for Bearfoot Theory about 10 hours per week. I’d say I put about 20-30 hours into my blog as well. But then I take days or weeks off to do bike trips!

Becky’s Main Marketing Strategies

My main marketing strategy is SEO. I’m regretting this a bit because of all the changes Google is making, but I do think having a good SEO strategy is important. 

I learned SEO by listening to podcasts, doing my own research, and Facebook groups (Blogging on WordPress with Grayson Bell), and learning from Kristen of Bearfoot Theory. I’ve learned so much from her and am super grateful to have started working for her early on. 

After the HCU hit my site, I’ve been going back and really building out my topic clusters. 

For example, I used to just have one blog post on mountain biking in Phoenix. But now I have a blog post for each of the individual trail networks in Phoenix as well as a post on the best mountain bike trails in Phoenix, etc. 

I think this will help Google see me as more trustworthy and authoritative on the topic of mountain biking in Phoenix. 

I also have a small email list that I’m working on building. I send out a newsletter every week and I have a pretty loyal following there. 

I get emails back about how my weekly newsletter is the one email they look forward to each week, which makes me feel great!

As for social media, I hate it. I really don’t want to put effort into TikTok or Instagram because they’re not platforms I enjoy being on. 

I know that my content would do well on YouTube, but again, I really don’t have any interest in making videos and there are so many people out there making great videos already that I want to focus on doing something that no one else is doing: writing guides to help people plan their bike trips. 

Keyword Research

I use Semrush for my SEO research. I’m honestly getting away from doing in-depth SEO research because my niche is so small anyway. 

If I’m writing about mountain biking in Bentonville, Arkansas, I already know what I need to write about to help people plan their trip.

I do think link building is important, but I haven’t spent much time on it, mainly because I’m shy and I don’t like promoting myself! I’d rather have it happen organically, which is what Google says they want, too. 

I’m working on increasing internal linking, though. I just signed up for Link Whisper to help boost internal linking. This is something I haven’t focused on in the past and I think it’ll help with SEO. 

Her Content Creation Process

I recently started using Asana to keep my blog posts organized and help me maintain some sort of strategy when it comes to updating and writing new blog posts. 

I’ve organized everything into topics and each month I choose a topic to update and expand on. 

For example, April is “Arkansas mountain biking month.” 

I have a bunch of posts that I’ve already written that need updating and then there are posts I need to write to complete the cluster/topic. 

I’ve organized all of my blog posts into topics or clusters. Every month I choose 1-2 topics and update those blog posts and write new ones to really round out the topic.

Her Email List

I have about 2250 people on my list. I use FloDesk, which I really like. Right now signups are pretty passive with forms on my blog and in the blog posts. 

Another goal for 2024 is to be more intentional with lead magnets and create an intro series to help boost my list.

Becky’s Favorite Resources

I love the Niche Pursuits podcast for sure! I listen to the new episodes every week. 

On the business side of things, I highly recommend Ramit Sethi. He has the podcast “I Will Teach You To Be Rich” and a book of the same title.

He’s taught me so much about managing my money and I would be in a much worse place right now with my traffic/income dip from the HCU without having taken his advice.

The tools I use consistently are:

  • You Need a Budget, for managing my money
  • Asana, for keeping my blog posts organized and sticking to a content strategy 
  • TrustedHousesitters, as one of the reasons I’m able to travel so much to different biking destinations is because I use this service as a housesitter.

    I get a free place to stay in exchange for taking care of pets and homes. I do live in a van and can travel that way, but it’s hard to stay productive when you’re living van life full time.

    I’ve been using TrustedHousesitters for over a decade now and love it. 

Her Biggest Challenge

The biggest challenge I’ve faced by far is trying to figure out Google and maintain visibility in the SERPs. Because most of my traffic comes from SEO, it’s been a bit of a rollercoaster with all the Google changes. 

At this point, I’m really focusing on creating good content that is user-focused, which is what Google keeps saying is important. 

Because of the uncertainty, another challenge I’m facing is building new revenue streams. This isn’t a bad challenge, but it’s certainly harder than getting passive income from Google!

Her Greatest Accomplishment

I think my biggest accomplishment is having the confidence to follow my curiosity and intuition. I’m 38 and I’ve managed to not have a “real job.” 

I feel like I’m really good at figuring things out, finding cool opportunities, pivoting when I need to, and building a life that I find interesting.  

Also, to accommodate my unique lifestyle, I live in a van. I bought it in November 2023 and got it built out—my layout was designed around fitting bikes underneath my bed.

I currently travel with three: two mountain bikes and a gravel bike. My van was finished in February 2024 and I moved in!

Living and traveling out of a van has allowed me to explore biking destinations a lot more freely and cheaply than having an actual home. 

Last summer I spent 3 months in North Carolina. This past winter I was in Arizona for 6 weeks. And I’m in Arkansas for two months right now!

Getting ready for a bikepacking trip in North Carolina, in front of my van

What She Wishes She Knew When She Started

Ironically, I wish I had not tried so hard at SEO. I think a lot of the blogs (including mine) that were hit with the HCU are over-optimized and written for SEO instead of for readers. 

I wish I’d used my voice instead of “Google’s voice” and included more personal experiences in my blog posts instead of making them simply informational. 

Her Main Mistake

There are so many! But honestly, I don’t think I’d change anything because they were all great learning experiences. 

Early on, I paid a lot of money for a blog redesign on Squarespace only to switch to WordPress a few months later. 

I think a current mistake I’m making is not paying for help, but I want to get my blog to the place where I feel good about my content and design before I hand tasks over to someone else. 

Her Advice for Other Entrepreneurs 

You have to love it. Like really love it. 

It’s not easy work and it can be lonely and demoralizing at times. But the only way to succeed is to get through those tough times. 

Could I have more stability and maybe even make more money with a “real job?” Sure. Absolutely. 

But I love what I do, I love helping people plan their biking vacations, and I love the freedom that this life affords me. It’s hard work, but for me, it’s worth it. 



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