Welcome to our 21st food blogging and income report for July 2017.
After last month and a rather depressing and ranting income report we thought we better keep this month up beat and not make you think that food blogging was the devil.
Well that was the plan….then on the 4th Sunday of July my worst nightmare happened. The worst nightmare that as bloggers (or webmasters too) we absolutely dread.
The last time such a thing happened to me was in 2012 when I was at Universal Studios in Orlando. I actually stayed in the hotel room all day dealing with it and ranting while the boys went out and had a fantastic time enjoying all the adventures of the park.
What am I talking about you ask?
Our site went down. RecipeThis.com was not available. It went down from midnight our time until 2pm the following day. 14 hours of us not being online on the busiest day of the week.
You see we have a lot of healthy recipes and healthy people are always looking for new healthy recipes on a Sunday after they have stuffed their faces and want a new healthier start for Monday morning.
On a plus side our site has only ever gone down once before and it was a different site and it was 5 years ago. So once every 5 years I think I can get away with (well just about).
The reason why we went offline?
Well our site runs on a https rather than a http. This means we operate one of those secure sites like a shop does.
Then just like a domain name you have to renew the security on a regular basis and ours was due for renewal a year after we had originally set up.
It was done via CPanel and they assured us that ours would renew automatically so we didn’t need to do anything. So we didn’t worry about it and left it to it.Read How @recipe_this made money from their food blog last month From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
Then we woke up at 6,30am with our colicky baby to realise that we didn’t have any traffic for the last 6.5 hours.
OMG worst nightmare. So we renewed it online ourselves and then it was in the queue (with 17 people ahead of us) for our certificate to be confirmed and for our site to return to normal.
Because right now instead of a site we had a warning up that our site wasn’t secure to visit because our security certificate had expired.
So we waited in the queue and to our shock horror CPanel was not only in a different time zone to ourselves but they didn’t have 24 hour support. Which I find rather crazy considering internet businesses run 24/7. This meant that with the time difference they wouldn’t be available until 12noon. Which would mean our site would be offline for 12 hours.
We waited though and showed loyalty and the queue didn’t move much so we bit the bullet and went to Namecheap for our security certificate instead. Mainly because if the queue wasn’t moving we could have still been offline by the evening.
Namecheap was paid for and we were back online in 20 minutes.
That horrible security warning that our site was not secure eventually disappeared and our site was back to normal.
Our time for wanting to be back online was 2pm. This is because it’s the best time for a worldwide audience. The US, the UK, the Aussies and the Irish are all online together and its when we generate the best audience.
We were back online at 2.05pm so we just about made it.
The sad thing is that if it hadn’t gone down it would have been our best day ever for the site and Sundays as our best day are always crucial to us. But eventually we were back online and our traffic had its best day yet.
The important lesson to learn is that if your site does go down, to deal with it straight away and try not to let it stress you out too much.
Our Food Blogging Income During July 2017:
- Sponsored Content = $1418.10
- Google Adsense = $714.78
- Amazon Associates = $537.25
- Free Products = $405.00
- Amazon CPM Ads = $223.00
- Kindle = $110.49
- Draft2Digital = $107.96
- Google Play = $29.50
Total Revenue = $3546.08
Our Food Blog Expenses During July 2017:
- Virtual Team = $771.86 (read here how I outsource to the Philippines)
- Facebook Ads = $180
- Knownhost = $49.50
- Namecheap = $26.85
- Screenshot Monitor = $18.46
- Bluburry = $12.00
- Buffer = $10.00
- Blog Vault = $9.00
- Nekkra UG = $5.00
Total Expenses = $1082.67
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For July 2017 of $2463.41
What I am getting excited about with this income is my Google Adsense income. I have owned this account for more than a decade now and love Adsense. We love the fact that we get invited to Beta test their new services and how great the analytics side of things have improved over the last 10 years.
When we first opened our account it was for a diet blog that we owned (it was sold many years ago now) and we were told that as soon as we earned $70 we would get a pay out.
That was our very first target, so to say that we did 10* that amount on our food blog, when everyone said you could never earn anything from a food blog has to be our latest feel good moment.
Another feel good moment has to be the sale of our ebooks on Draft2Digital and Kindle. They were easy to put together and are a PDF option to many of our recipes. We have them for our Airfryer recipes, Instant Pot recipes and even our Ice Cream Maker recipes.
We sell on average about 100 ebooks a month and I noticed that we have not had a single refund in 6 months. This means out of 600 ebooks everyone has been satisfied with it.
Recipe This Blog Traffic July 2017
We have had the first 6 months of the year where it has been up and down like a yo-yo. We would go up for January and other seasonal times and then go back down again. Traffic went from a 180,000 page views month to a 226,000 page views month.
So what happened in July?
Here is our traffic for July 2017:
Well our traffic went up. Even with a 14 hour down time we still beat January which was our best traffic month of the year. Our target was January’s but we actually beat it!
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during June:
You’re probably wondering why we have 12 results? Well this is because we find that out of our top 100 traffic sources that Facebook appears more than 10 times. This then gives you a much better look at our top 10.
You know traffic in this section are roughly the same every month. We have Google search as our number 1, then Pinterest, then Direct traffic (people love our Podcast and Instagram account) then of course Facebook. After this it is usually a mix of other traffic sources such as other search engines and other social media channels.
Every now and again a food sharing site sneaks up there, but overall it is led by social media, search engines and our Podcast. A nice mix of traffic sources and we know that at least if we lose one we can survive.
Just make sure your traffic is not a one trick pony.
Here is our SEO traffic from Google Webmaster Tools account
I love looking at Google Webmaster tools and its always a fantastic insight into what your site is doing and how it is growing thanks to your content.
What was great to see for this month was that the date the site went down we had an incredible amount of Google clicks. Probably in the top 5 for the best ever.
Plus I like to see SEO as the best form of traffic. A Facebook boost or a Pinterest boost are all well and good. But sales wont convert as well compared to if people find you through Google Search.
It is nice to know 1 in 3 of every visitors on our site enters via Google Search and this is our passive income coming together. Knowing that these visitors from past content are adding to increased revenue for our ad networks and our affiliate marketing and of course our ebooks.
So when we see an increase, even a little one, it feels so much better than going viral on Facebook.
One thing we don’t seem to talk about much on our income reports is our Podcasts. It is not that we are a shamed of them, its just that other traffic sources such as SEO and social media seem to take over.
Well we have been running a Podcast since about February 2016. We played about with it a bit until we found a theme that we liked.
We then produced our foods in season series for 2017 and earlier this month our August one went live. In these Podcasts we cover the foods that are in season, suggested recipes linking up to 50 recipes, our own new recipe as well as popular food holidays.
They go out on the first of the month and we have created graphics to go with them and they have done well on social media too.
But Podcasts are like videos where you are providing a different medium for your content.
I prefer Podcasts over video:
- First of all they are easier to produce and you can do them in your Sunday wear
- You can also stand out with more people doing You Tube videos than Podcasts
- Many people don’t do Podcasts because of the equipment needed
My favourite reason though is that when someone downloads a Podcast to listen to later, you are more likely to be remembered. Instead of the person just watching 10 seconds of your You Tube video and then leaving and never coming back, they will have downloaded your Podcast ready for later. It might end up on their camera phone, their MP3 player, their laptop, their computer or even their tablet.
Then they might be looking through their old storage (even 2 years from now) and you pop up and it grabs their attention again. It’s a much more effective way for returning visitors.
Plus you can also convert your Podcasts to You Tube videos too.
So what we did (starting in July) is to take our recipes…..make a mini Podcast with them….then convert them into mini You Tube videos.
This meant our recipes are not only on the blog, on social media, on round ups and on recipe sharing sites, but they are also on You Tube, Itunes, Stitcher, DailyMotion and so many other places too.
We have now hit 30,000 Podcast downloads and this just shows we are growing and what we are doing on our Podcasts is working.
A Simple Banner Ad
I have also introduced this section to our site recently:
The idea here is to use our analytics to see what is popular on our site and then create a prompt to increase this traffic even more.
For example popular searches on our food blog is both pasta and chicken. So we created some cute little banners and then it prompts these searches even more and helps increase the amount of pages viewed from each visitor.
Dive deep into your analytics. See what is popular and see how you can improve on this more….
I am working in advance for my content. I mean I know some of you work a week in advance, but I normally am a month ahead. That is because I don’t want a family emergency to come up and mean that we miss a date for a blog post.
So we blog Monday to Friday and never miss a planned post.
But as we have a new recipe ebook to get out for the Christmas season and because we have a very big and important content plan of action for next year, we are getting through anything that can be done now.
This means that we already have all of August content written and scheduled (just this post left as I write this). September has about 3 or 4 to do and we have several already done for October plus a couple for November.
And we say why not?
If it makes life easier and then you can focus your attention elsewhere then you should!