Hello! This is Jason checking in for our monthly income report. I’m the husband who helps with the business and technical side of things so that Jessica can focus on the creation of mouth-watering recipe content. We have been sharing our monthly stats for over two years, in fact, this is the 32nd report in the series. I know, crazy right?
Why do we do this? We share this private information publicly not because we’re trying to show off, but to encourage people to become “creators” and start a blog of their own. It’s hard work, but if you enjoy a challenge and love to learn, blogging can then be quite rewarding both emotionally and financially.
Jessica’s monthly income reports also motivate us to show progress. We’re challenging ourselves to learn new things, test new techniques and improve quality. Over the years we’ve seen the blog traffic and revenue increase steadily, and we know this is due to those experiments.
Okay, ready to take a look at the numbers…
Please note we do make a small commission from each affiliate link listed here, but we want you to know that we stand behind the products we recommend.
- Grateful – $2,504.81
- Sponsorships – $1,915
- Amazon – $97.35
- FoodBloggerPro – $11.60
- Etsy – $7.18
- YouTube – $2.09
Total Income: $4,538.03 (+8%) — last month: $4,194.36
- Support Staff – $1,200
- Food – $176.28
- Facebook Ads – $122.73
- MailChimp – $50.00
- Synthesis – $47.00
- BoardBooster – $30.00
- OptinMonster – $29.00
- Food Blogger Pro – $25.00
- CloudFlare – $20.00
- Zapier – $20.00
- SurveyMonkey – $19.00
- QuickBooks – $12.95
- Grammarly – $11.66
- Buffer – $10.00
- TailWindApp – $9.99
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $9.99
- MiloTree – $6.00
Total Expenses: $1,799.60
= NET PROFIT: $2,738.43
Top Traffic Sources:
Rolling Traffic Comparison (YOY):
Here are the number of fans, followers, and subscribers for the various outreach efforts we have. Our goal is not only to increase pageviews on our blog but to also grow our digital tribe.
- Facebook – 29,383 (+5,542)
- Pinterest – 17,661 (+3,478)
- Instagram – 5,841 (+1,184)
- Google+ – 5,031 (+62)
- Newsletter – 3,846 (+197)
- Twitter – 2,552 (+1,006)
- YouTube – 645 (+22)
- Tumblr – 256 (+138)
- StumbleUpon – 181 (+7)
- Bloglovin’ – 96 (+2)
Total: 65,492 (+21%) – last month: 53,854
OVERVIEW ON INCOME & TRAFFIC
The January traffic bump is real! As you can see, our blog pageviews increased by 40% from December due to algorithm updates by Google and the social networks. This happened last year, and we had our fingers crossed that it would happen again this year. Because of the bump, we finally broke our goal of surpassing 250k pageviews which we set for ourselves in January 2016 when we broke 100k pageviews for the first time.
Here’s the length of time it took us to hit each of the following pageview milestones:
- Jul 2012 (1) – launched
- Jan 2013 (10k) – 6 months
- Jun 2013 (20k) – 11 months
- Nov 2014 (30k) – 2 years 4 months
- Mar 2015 (40k) – 2 years 8 months
- April 2015 (50k) – 2 years 9 months
- May 2015 (60k) – 2 years 10 months
- July 2015 (70k) – 3 years
- Dec 2015 (80k) – 3 years 5 months
- Jan 2016 (100k) – 3 years 6 months
- Jun 2016 (200k) – 3 years 11 months
- Jan 2017 (300k) – 4 years 6 months
Now for our next goal, our sights are set on hitting 500k pageviews in a single month. Any guesses on how long you think it will take? Leave a comment down below.
Tracking Amazon Affiliate Links in Google Analytics
This is neat. By using Google Tag Manager on your blog, you can track how many times an Amazon affiliate link has been clicked on and view the results within Google Analytics. What’s interesting about this tracking method is that you can see which page URL the clicks came from so you can look for trends and find ways to improve your Amazon affiliate earnings.
Amazon’s current Dashboard of statistics lacks certain information. I wanted to know which page was sending the most traffic to Amazon and potentially making Jessica’s blog the most revenue so I could implement the technique on other pages. Is the Amazon link in the first paragraph? What product is being linked to? Basically, I was looking for more data to analyze our affiliate income strategy.
I came across a super helpful video by Julian Juenemann of MeasureSchool.com, that takes you through the process of setting up an “Event” within Google Tag Manager and a “Goal” within Google Analytics to see the results.
If you’re curious, Jessica’s Shrimp Spring Rolls recipe is sending the most traffic to Amazon. People are not always buying the particular product we’re linking to, but if you’re not familiar with the Amazon’s affiliate program, we’re able to generate a commission on other products purchased during that visitor’s session. So if they don’t buy the Rice Paper for the spring rolls, but they buy a book instead, we get a commission on that transaction.
There were 14 blog posts for the month of January which was two more than December. Blogging is not a get rich fast scheme as you can tell if you’ve been following along with our journey here. One of our biggest challenges is finding the motivation to continue when things hit a plateau, or the growth is slow. This month we were very excited to see traffic soar to new heights, it’s been a very very very long road for us to get where we are. However, we are encouraged and motivated to keep the blog active and see where it will be in another year from now.
In January, our local grocery store just got these new shopping carts. Exciting I know. Now James at 2 1/2 years old enjoys going grocery shopping with mom, and she can actually get shopping done within a reasonable time.
As always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read our report. I look forward to updating you again next month.