Welcome to our sixth food blogging and income report at Recipe This.
I love that feeling of something new. That original feeling that something has at the beginning before you got used to it and before it becomes common place.
Like the beginning of a relationship, how good your favourite television show is or how cherished the first six months is with your baby.
When you start your blog it also has that feeling of something new and as we hit the six month mark at Recipe This it is hard to believe how far we have come.
We have hit our first traffic target, our first social media target and so much more. Not to mention all these amazing recipes we have cooked and written about. All our old family recipes have come out, I have enjoyed some amazing meals and best of all I have remembered why I used to love certain family meals and re-lived my childhood favourites!
For example as I write this Dominic is in the kitchen making homemade ice cream and milkshakes as part of our June 2016 ice cream maker theme. Then just yesterday I was offered to review steak stones. I don’t think there could be a better job in the world than this one!
There of course is still a long way to go, with my target of a good passive income aimed at the 12 month mark.
Before I jump in with traffic, income and further stories about what we got up to I just wanted to say thank you for each of you that has helped us in our first six months. And here is to us!
Our Food Blogging Income During April 2016
- Food Blogging Consulting & Management = $2649.50 (hire us by the hour to coach you here)
- Free Physical Products = $760.95 (read all about how to connect with brands even if you have little traffic)
- Kindle = $122.00
- Draft2Digital = $53.40
- MediaVine = $33.74
- Google Adsense = $28.00
- Amazon CPM Ads = $15.00
- Aweber = $8.70
- Gourmet Ads = $3.73
- Google Play = $3.10
Total Revenue = $3678.12
Our Food Blog Expenses During April 2016:
- Freelance Writers = $321.10
- Virtual Assistants = $201.37
- Bing Ads = $145.40
- Shutterstock = $135
- Graphics Designer = $50.00
- Knownhost = $36.00
- Aweber = $29.00
- Sumo Me = $20.00
- Hubstaff = $15.00
- Bluburry = $12.00
- Max CDN = $9.00
- Blog Vault = $9.00
- DMCA = $5.99
Total Expenses = $988.86
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For April 2016 of $2689.26
Today was a weird month in the income department and also a reason why I like multiple streams of income so much. I have hardly done anything at all this month from affiliate income streams yet other parts of our income continue to grow.
So if you are a fellow blogger (no matter whether you’re a food blogger or not) make sure that you have lots of income streams so together they give you a solid income that you can grow from.
The free products in exchange for reviews have really taken off. So much so that we are booked up for our weekly reviews until the beginning of July and as I am writing this at the start of May this just shows the huge amount of products we have received. The highlights for April has to be the amazing steak stones we have been sent (we received two), a pasta maker that we are yet to try and loads of pots and pans.
You have to learn as a food blogger that if you want to work with brands there is no better time to start than right at the beginning. Then people will send you products even though you don’t have any traffic and you can build up your portfolio for when you are in a position to make money from them. At which point we find that once you hit 50,000 page views a month you can charge away. So I suspect that it will be the end of the summer when we start charging a fee!
Another part of the income that is interesting is our advertising network revenue. As you can see we have slightly increased our Adsense revenue and our Amazon CPM has gone down.
This is all because we moved to MediaVine on the 20th of the month. This means that our Adsense income has gone up very slightly but it has been displayed only 2/3s of the time.
We are still new to MediaVine so we can’t say for certain that we will be with them in the long term, but for now we are happy. And when you do the maths and add our advertising network revenue together this brings it to $80.53 and compare this to last month which was $54.71 it is certainly better. But you also have to think that with MediaVine they are using more ad spots than what we had before.
We are now allowed to reintroduce Adsense ads and Amazon CPM to our ad range so we will do this during May to see what the affect is on our revenue.
But it is certainly interesting stuff!
Recipe This Blog Traffic April 2016
Our big fat target was to be at 30,000 page views by our six month anniversary of the blog and did we do it?
Oh yes we did!
We actually hit 30,000 page views for the last 30 days by about the 5th of the month, so that is the point when we contacted MediaVine as this was their requirement for signing up. And we did wonder whether we could maintain it all month and WE DID! So we are really pleased about that.
But that’s not the only thing we did. We also had as our next mini target to hit 100,000 page views since we started the site and we hit that too:
I imagine that you are probably wondering what our next target is. Well it is the big fat 50,000 page views and we would like to be there for September for when the summer season is coming to a close. We think this is really realistic as with the way the traffic is building July would probably be a better time for this.
We quit Facebook Groups…..
Like most food bloggers we seemed to spend all our time finding Facebook groups to post our recipes to, posting to them and then waiting an eternity for the Facebook admins of that group to approve us. Then you would end up in Facebook jail because you did too many in one day or joined to many groups in one day.
In the end it costs way too much to maintain and is just not worth it. So we quit those kinds of group activities. We now just post our content to the two Facebook groups that we are admins of, posting our content to our Facebook pages and a few personal updates to our Facebook wall for fellow foodies that we are friends with on Facebook.
We still participate in Facebook groups relating to social sharing and of course suggesting our recipes to be covered in link round ups. But that is all.
And it has not affected our traffic that greatly and it feels like a weight has been lifted.
May Action Plan
When I think of action plans I think of those really annoying ones you had to do for the bank if you wanted a business loan. They took forever and you were always nervous as you sat there in your shiny suit whether or not it was good enough or whether they would take you seriously.
In the blogging world you don’t need to do anything like that, but what you do need is a plan of action that you WILL stick to no matter what.
What are you going to do differently this month that you didn’t do last month? What could you do that could have a positive outcome on your food blog?
Well for us and for May we plan to:
Increase our Pinterest Groups – we are currently on 50 different groups all of which have a group following of 10,000 and over. We want more of this so that each day we can post to several groups. We also want to look at the groups we are already on and ditch any that are not quite doing it for us.
Work on building up our social media following – right now our social media following (combined) stands at 14,020 with a 3181 in one month. We want to keep on with this and grow it further and further. Our social media helps our brand and also has huge benefits on our search engine optimisation and we are greedy and want more and more. I will personally be really happy once we hit the 25,000 mark. But it will be interesting to see how long that takes.
Bring on your blog posts to 6 weeks in advance – We are planning a summer holiday in early June and want to only have to deal with important emails and social media updates when we are gone. Therefore we will be blogging in advance. As I write this on the 5th of May I am blogged up until about the 27th of May so we are not far off.
So make sure you have a plan in place to improve up to three things each month. You could make sure they are easy things to do, so that you wont be disappointed if it doesn’t happen and then the next month you can plan three more.
And then before you know it you will have fantastic long term growth on your food blog.
Sticking to your action plan
Our plan last month was to reduce our recipe submission sites. Get rid of the bad and increase the good and add new ones to try. Well we have done that. We now have 8 regular ones and we had 8 good Tumblr ones that we have increased to 20 as we try new ones out. It will then give us the opportunity to bring in more organic recipe traffic.
Our second plan for last month was to improve our advertising network list and we did that by taking on MediaVine.
So remember to not just sit there and think about it but to get on with it!