Hey there! I’m Jason, the husband, and I oversee the business aspects of Jessica’s blog. Each month I give readers behind the scenes access so they can see what it’s like running a food blog. If that’s not your cup of tea, I won’t be offended if you click away and look at a delicious one-pot lemon chicken recipe instead.
If you’re intrigued by the business side of things, then I encourage you to hang around. Why do we create these income reports? Well, it’s 50% for you and 50% for us. If you’re looking to make money from a food blog, then you can use our income reports as a guide to help with your journey. For us, it’s simply about accountability and motivation to keep moving forward.
Food blogging is about building a brand, and it doesn’t happen overnight. If you’ve read some of our previous reports, you may know that I compare it to climbing Mt Everest. It requires tons of hard work and follow through. You need to dig deep and find that groove… I call it the Rule of One’s: One Recipe, One Pageview, One Improvement at a Time.
We are at 264 recipes as of writing this post. We started with creating one recipe per week, then moved to two, and after finding a rhythm, we’re now producing three recipes per week. With each new blog post our chances of getting picked up by Google, Pinterest, and the rest of the web slightly increases, thus building up more page views. Over time the more content we create, the more practice we get with photography, editing, and writing. I like to think our content quality continues to improve, and as a nice result, we’ve gained more followers interested in our brand.
So while it’s tempting to look for shortcuts, our focus is on the Rule of One’s and to keep creating content and learning!
If you have any questions or words of encouragement, feel free to leave a comment below. We always appreciate hearing from you. I will also do my best to get back to you as soon as I can.
Alright, let’s get into 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.
- Sponsorships – $390.00
- Sovrn – $282.14
- Gourmet Ads – $204.21
- BlogHer – $123.39
- Adsense – $66.89
- Amazon – $64.73
- Swoop – $63.44
- Gamut – $60.79
- YouTube – $2.33
- Etsy – $0.36
Total Income: $1,258.28 (+156%) — last month: $490.73
- Synthesis (Hosting) – $47.00
- OptinMonster – $29.00
- Food Blogger Pro – $25.00
- MailChimp – $20.00
- SurveyMonkey – $19.00
- EasyRecipe Plus – $14.50 (yearly renewal)
- Grammarly – $11.66
- TailWindApp – $9.99
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $9.99
Total Expenses: $186.14
= NET PROFIT: $1,072.14
Top Traffic Sources:
We show this stat every month. RPM is revenue per thousand impressions. This is a helpful metric to determine what the income is per 1,000 pageviews. It is calculated like this: RPM = (Revenue / Pageviews) x 1,000.
Here are the number of fans, followers, and subscribers for the various outreach efforts we have. Our goal is not only to increase blog pageviews but to also grow our digital tribe.
- Google+ – 4,839 (+44)
- Pinterest – 3,773 (+370)
- Newsletter – 1,534 (+294)
- Facebook – 1,310 (+42)
- Instagram – 824 (+317)
- YouTube – 516 (+0)
- Twitter – 415 (+25)
Total: 13,211 (+8.3%) – last month: 12,119
OVERVIEW ON INCOME & TRAFFIC
Google is funny. We did our Google Trends research and found that Chocolate Molten Lava Cake was a highly searched keyword for the month of February. So of course, we created this type of recipe thinking we’d see a big uptick in traffic. We published it a few weeks in advance of Valentine’s Day so we could submit it to FoodGawker, Pinterest, and BuzzFeed. Well, our search engine optimization efforts fell completely flat as we didn’t see much traffic from it at all.
Although out of nowhere, Google started sending tons of traffic to a recipe we created in 2014 for Beef Wellington. What a pleasant surprise, we pulled in 10,796 pageviews on Valentine’s Day alone, which set a single-day traffic record for us. Goes to show that you can never predict what recipe will truly be a hit. The best case is just to keep creating, who knows maybe that Lava Cake recipe will do better next year or the year after that.
In January, we discussed the idea of creating sponsored recipe posts as a way to earn extra revenue. We saw that fellow bloggers were making decent money, and there was potential for us to do the same. We dove in and joined the following networks:
- Federated Media
- Pollinate Media Group
- Social Fabric
- Clever Girls Collective
- Massive Sway
We were accepted to some companies pretty quickly, others we’re still waiting to hear back. Jessica has been handling the application process for available campaigns. This month we were accepted for two sponsorship opportunities. The first post took quite a bit longer to create than our normal workflow as there are several rules and requirements you need to follow. Although after having one post under our belt the second sponsored post went a little bit smoother.
Did you notice that funky traffic referral source, “P-1001 / FB” that jumped up to the 4th spot this month? One of the campaigns we created was chosen to receive a paid Facebook Ad that ran for one week. They handled all the ad-related stuff on their side while we saw the benefits of increased traffic, email subscribers, and an uptick in display revenue. It was a nice welcome to the sponsored content world.
Amazon Associate Links
We’ve started to place a couple of Amazon Associates affiliate links inside the actual recipe at the end of some posts. When there are unique ingredients for a recipe, Jessica tries to make it easier for readers to find and purchase those products while also providing an opportunity to earn a small commission.
We have been attempting to add at least one Amazon affiliate link per recipe; one is better than none. Amazon commissions don’t pay a whole lot, but it’s a good way to diversify your revenue sources.
Keep Using Instagram Hashtags
Jessica has been consistently using hashtags for the photos she uploads to Instagram. If you recall in our December report, we were featured by Yahoo Food, and we picked up some new followers from it. This month it was HuffPostTaste that featured Jessica’s Molten Lava Cake recipe and Freezer-Friendly Breakfast Sandwiches.
Be sure to follow Jessica on Instagram for ideas on the hashtags she uses.
There were 14 blog posts for the month of February, which was 2 less than January. This month our pageviews soared to new heights as we were 44% higher than last month. We’re excited to see the numbers go up, but we know that we just have to keep our heads down and keep cranking out content.
The Rule of One’s: One Recipe, One Pageview, One Improvement at a Time
If you’re struggling with your blog, we were there. In fact, we’re still there. Don’t give up. When we first started, I was terrible at photography, and Jessica struggled with her writing. The longer we do this blog thing, the more confident we get with our abilities and you will too.
Learn from every recipe you create and you will continue to get better, I promise. It’s not going to happen overnight, but find that groove and settle in for the long haul ahead.
One of the highlights from February is when Jessica met her blog-idol, Sally McKenney from Sally’s Baking Addiction. She was on a book tour promoting “Sally’s Candy Addiction” and she stopped by Williams-Sonoma in Newport Coast. Jessica got to chat with her and was inspired by her story and presence.
Just to put it in perspective if you’re not familiar with Sally, according to a recent interview with Bjork Ostrom from FoodBloggerPro, Sally receives approximately seven to eight MILLION pageviews per month. Ya, Incredible!
As always, thanks for stopping by and taking the time to read our report. I look forward to updating you again next month.