Welcome to our 12th food blogging and income report for October 2016.
As I write this on a Sunday morning I see that same familiar thing flash up into my Facebook feed. The same thing that I see in my Facebook feed on average 5 times a week. I have about 600 friends on Facebook that are food bloggers. My feed will often be full of social sharing threads that I participate in, requests for blog round ups, foodies sharing their latest recipes, food blogging tips and so forth.
But this message stands out from the crowd and this is why……it is one of many that I see on a regular basis moaning about the hard work that goes into food blogging. That it is no easy feat and that you’re often working 12 hours a day, 6 days a week on your blog to make a success out of it.
This is also us at the moment. Though instead of six days a week it is seven and it is often 12 hours a day too. Add to this having a baby that is six weeks old that is waking us up in the night for breast milk. Oh and we also have a soon to be 2 year old and a teenager as well. Plus no support with childcare or other day to day help.
Then for the final nail in the coffin add the fact that every day we are putting in DMCA claims because low quality blogs think it is okay to copy and paste our entire blog posts over and think that I am not going to complain!
Right now we are on a mission to get all of our Christmas content created and scheduled, a new site theme change and of course promotion and managing our outsourcing team.
There just isn’t enough hours in the day.
But even though its hard work we still love doing it and we know that as a food blogger you could through phases of having more on sometimes to less other times.
All I can say is that you have to really love food, because that’s all you will ever talk about and not mind eating a mixture of recipes in one meal setting because you have 5 different snacks to write up for your blog!
On another note, the hard work does pay off as when I look where I was in January traffic wise to where I am now in October it shows that just by working on your daily content and your social sharing each day can make a huge difference.
So if you’re having a bad day or have a husband sat next to you moaning at the thought of working on a Sunday, then remember the end game…
I am sure though, all you really want to know is our numbers so let’s start with our income for October.
Our Food Blogging Income During October 2016
- Sponsored Reviews = $1551.17
- Food Blogging Consulting = $500
- Google Adsense = $111.23
- Kindle = $83.29
- Draft2Digital = $62.30
- Amazon CPM Ads = $53.12
- Amazon Associates = $38.91
- Free Products = $30.00
- Google Play = $6.20
Total Revenue = $2436.22
Our Food Blog Expenses During October 2016:
- Virtual Assistants Team = $375.00
- Graphics Design Team = $62.00
- Shutterstock = $135.00
- Knownhost = $49.50
- Ever Hour = $39.00
- Stream Guys = $35.54
- Statusbrew = $25.00
- Rafflecopter = $13.00
- Bluburry = $12.00
- Max CDN = $9.00
- Blog Vault = $9.00
- DMCA = $5.99
- Nekkra UG = $5.00
Total Expenses = $775.03
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For October 2016 of $1661.19
Giving Yourself A Pay Rise
This week we will be giving ourselves a pay rise. Unlike an employer when you ask them for a pay rise after a year and don’t get one, we know that our hard work has paid off into one.
You see we have doubled our advertising rates. This is because we said that when our traffic levels hit a certain amount that we will be able to do this and advertisers wont mind.
We originally set our advertising fees based on our traffic levels of 30,000 page views a month. It was that great time when you can say “I get 1000 page views a day” so please advertise on my site. But now as I have had more than double that its time to give myself a pay rise and have the fees more inline with the traffic that you get.Read How @recipe_This made money from their food blog last month From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
If you are at that point when you do want to start charging for sponsored reviews or sponsored recipes a good price point is $2 for every 1000 monthly page views. Therefore if you get 100,000 page views a month then you should be charging $200. BUT if your traffic is below 40,000 page views a month you want to keep your minimum to $75 as you still have to think about the effort that you are putting into the work and to make it worth your while.
But by setting your prices based on traffic it gives you a focus and a reason to work harder at your traffic. You could have a plan of action to increase your traffic by 15% every month and then at the same time you are giving yourself a pay rise of 15% every month too.
I bet you couldn’t say the same for a 9-5 job!
Amazon Native Ads
I am sure you will have noticed our Amazon ads at the bottom of our posts. If not they look like this:
Basically, it is an ad unit from Amazon and it brings up some great related products from Amazon whenever you place it at the bottom of your recipe posts. In the example above it was from my recipe for Airfryer Sweet Potato Fries and as the recipe uses the airfryer it then displays ads to buy the best airfryers from Amazon. People have the airfryer on the brain so it is easy to convert them into customers. But the best thing about affiliate links with Amazon is that if they click on the link and don’t buy but buy something else a week later than you have still got yourself a sale even if it is for something else!
But right now Amazon affiliates programme has an offer that for any sale from the native ads during November you receive a flat rate of 12%. Therefore if you are struggling with your commissions and get hardly any and get the 6% rate it’s a chance to double your income!
Also if you are not fully monetising your site we would recommend that you start with Amazon ads and Adsense. They are a great double act and since leaving Mediavine we have found that our income has increased.
Recipe This Blog Traffic October 2016
In January Kyle (our teenage son) asked us what we expected traffic wise from the site. At the time we were in the process of selling our old diet site and it got 125,000 page views for that particular month as it was diet season.
He always thinks I am a bit bananas with my prediction but I did say that I would:
- Hit 50,000 page views in the summer
- Hit 75,000 page views by October
- Hit 100,000 page views by December (watch this space for that)
- Hit 150,000 page views by May 2017 (when the site will be 18mths old)
Well I had my first 50,000 page views month in August when everyone else was complaining about the summer slump. But I am sure you really want to know if I hit my October target or not…..well read below to find out!!!
Here is our traffic for October 2016:
As you can see we did it. We actually got 75,000 page views for the month of October and we are on course to hit our 100,000 page views in a couple of months. We have seen weekly growth in the search engines every month since we started the site and have also had great growth on social media.
From a referral point of view we have also noticed that as we are featuring on more and more sites that we are getting a lot of referral traffic at the same time.
Plus the recipe sharing sites always help us out along the way too!
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during October:
Many people get in contact with us about search engine opimisation and how it has become our top traffic source. Well the truth is that even though we coach people through it, it’s about the simple balance of social shares, good content and content that is optimised for the search engines.
This post that we wrote at the end of last year shares the stages of good quality SEO and I would recommend using it as your guide.
But the most important thing to think about is that you are consistent and follow the always there rule. Google is a computer and you need to tell them that you are there and you are there on a regular basis. If you post twice a week then that is fine but make sure you don’t ever miss post and that you will get those 2 posts out a week no matter what.
We follow the daily post rule as then the more recipes and general content we have on the site = the more social shares = the more Google positions.
Here is our SEO traffic from Google Webmaster Tools account:
I also recommend that you follow the micro niche style keywords and avoid going after big keywords because even if you rank for them, what happens when the next blogger comes along and knocks you off your top spot? If you compare this to being on the top of Google for 100 low traffic keywords compared to 1 high keyword you will stay at the top and never go anywhere and this will bring you long term reliable traffic.
I mentioned earlier in this income report that I used to have a diet site. Well the new owners of it blogged on it with unrelated content that had nothing to do with the site 6 times over the last 12 months. BUT because the SEO was good to begin with it has kept its traffic and you could stop blogging completely on it and it would still bring in a good Adsense & Amazon income.
Compare this to general traffic elsewhere that gives you a boost and then dies you know that Google traffic will be there forever. So look at your Google traffic (and Bing, Yahoo and AOL too) and see how you could improve it month on month.
The Facebook Group Has Closed
We decided to close down our Facebook Group a couple of weeks ago. It has more than 3000 members and thank you if that is you and sorry that you are missing out.
But something has to give and with all our social media channels to manage, three kids to look after, recipes to cook, blog content to write, I just don’t have the time.
Plus I seem to spend more time dealing with spammers of the group rather than helping those in the group. I have had adult content, winery ads, people trying to sell ebooks of content that is provided in the group for free and not to mention people blackmailing me into sharing their rubbish.
The final straw came when the same person that keeps posting to it was trying to post his affiliate link post to the group. It offered nothing of value to any of my readers and was just him trying to gain Tailwind commissions.
So sorry but a few have spoilt it for the rest of you, but you’re welcome to friend me on Facebook instead and PM me with any help that you need.
Next on the agenda is to finish the 2016 content. As I write this I have just 1 post left of November to finish, 13 pieces left for December and I have already started on January’s content. You probably find that weird that January has already started but I have monthly themes running on my blog and if I am making a recipe that suits a certain theme, I will then reserve content for then and then it saves doing it all at once.
It is all about being organised in order for your content and your content calendar to run smoothly.