Welcome to our fourth traffic and income report for our food blog and it feels like things are moving too fast with us reporting on our work for February already. In fact it only feels like five minutes since we wrote our welcome post and our about page.
After spending years reading income reports at the beginning of 2014 we started writing them as we wanted to share our story and help people with their blog along the way. That was for our diet site (which will sold in January) and we decided that from our very first month that we were going to share the income on here.
We also want to share with you the numerous ways that you can monetise a food blog and that you don’t have to start and end with Adsense & BlogHer. You have plenty of other options!
Thank you for reading my income report and I hope it helps you with increasing your own traffic and income on your food blog.
Our Food Blogging Income During February 2016
- Food Blogging Consulting & Management = $3403.67 (hire us by the hour to coach you here)
- Free Physical Products = $1465.07 (read all about how to connect with brands even if you have little traffic)
- Kindle = $157.57
- Draft2Digital = $58.74
- StudioPress Theme = $34.98 (read here all about our first month on Studiopress)
- Google Adsense = $27.45
- Paid Advertising = $14.80
- Aweber = $8.70
- Fiverr = $4.00
- Google Play = $3.10
- Amazon Associates = $2.44
- Content.Ad = $2.05
Total Revenue = $5182.57
Our Food Blog Expenses During February 2016:
- Freelance Writers = $233.00
- Virtual Assistants = $210.00
- Shutterstock = $135
- Bing Ads = $112.04
- Graphics Designer = $90.00
- Knownhost = $36.00
- Aweber = $29.00
- Hubstaff = $15.00
- Max CDN = $9.00
- Blog Vault = $9.00
- Knownhost = $9.00
- DMCA = $5.99
Total Expenses = $893.03
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For February 2016 of $4289.54
Due to the success of our new Facebook Group “how to start a food blog” we have had a lot of recent requests for coaching this month that has skyrocketed our consulting income this month. The problem with this is that it is based around your own personal time and it can be hard to strike a balance. Yes of course it is great money, but each time you’re coaching a client it is taking your time away from your food blog. But I also love coaching new clients (and old) so for now I am limiting it to X amount of hours per week so that I can enjoy the best of both worlds!
It has been a crazy month on the free products world. I love working with brands but seriously having 27 different brands sending me things on such a new blog is out of this world. I do have a threshold in place though, so only products that are worth $30 or more will receive a free review.
Then if it is below this then they have to pay a top up if they want me to print a review. Some will say that this is a “working for peanuts approach” after all free olive oil is certainly not going to pay the mortgage BUT at this point in my food blog it is all about building up a portfolio and when my traffic doubles I will double my fee to $60 and so on as my blog grows. Plus for those people that doesn’t pay a top up or are below the threshold I can sell the goods on. Just this month I have sold on a great deal of the products that I just don’t need.
I am also (slowly) building up my passive income bit by bit. Kindle in the big runner and I plan to have more and more ebooks on there. I also plan to release more indepth ebooks and work closer to offer products to help people grow and build their own blogs.
One thing you may notice is that I have swapped TimeDoctor for Hubstaff – and what you have to learn from this is that if a company is not providing you with what you have paid for then MOVE. I was getting sick to death of the TimeDoctor system not working for my outsourcers and it was supposed to make my life easier, yet it was making it harder. So we made the switch to Hubbstaff and things are much smoother and it is half the price!
We have also fully moved our hosting onto our VPS for RecipeThis.com it is so much faster and many move from shared hosting once they have 30,000 page views a month and as we are already half way there we thought we might as well get it done now.
Recipe This Blog Traffic February 2016
Here is what our traffic looked like for our fourth month:
Then if you compare it from the start:
What I hated about this month is that we missed a day and a half of traffic recording thanks to a Plugin issue. Our new plugin interferred with Analytics so until we edited it we had zero which was so annoying!
Here are our top 10 sources of traffic during February:
I love looking at my traffic and seeing what are the front runners and what is a waste of my time. As you can see we have officially had our first big hit from Yummly, January it was Stumbleupon and I just wonder what will happen in March!!! Our next target is 1000 page views per day and we are already 50% there.
Social Media Traffic
I read a Facebook thread last month and someone asked whether Twitter was worth bothering with or not.
Well from my traffic point of view my social media traffic comes in via this order:
- Google Plus
Our Twitter traffic is not the lowest but it is not the highest either. But what we get out of Twitter is excellent interaction, link backs to our site that helps with search engine optimisation and best of all brands are obsessed with active Twitter accounts and they will look at this before hiring you!
I also find that on a time management point of view that you spend about 10% of the time on Twitter than you do on Facebook, so maybe that is why so many of us complain about low Twitter traffic?
On the other hand there are similar complaints for Instagram. With it being so difficult to track and with you often knowing very little about it, it can often be a question mark over whether or not to bother? Well I like Instagram and it is again a great way to get your brand out there and spread the word.
But if you are struggling for time to put into the social media you could either do the slow burner where you just post your new content and then do nothing else. Or you put extra effort into the social media channels that you KNOW will do you the best in the long term. It is just an important choice you will have to make!
What’s Next For Recipe This?
At the moment we are just carrying on as usual. We are increasing our social media groups that we post to in order to help with traffic, we are making sure our food blog gets posted to daily, we work on our blog outreach and we are looking at improving our Podcasts.
We are also working on getting our blog posts ahead. We plan to have some time off during the summer and we want it ahead enough so we don’t have to worry about it and we can just keep it going via our social media.