Food Blogging Traffic & Income Report for May 2018. Watch over my shoulder as I show you how to increase traffic and improve your income on your food blog.
Last month in the income report I talked about the worst parts of food blogging. One of the main areas I talked about was stealing. Other bloggers stealing your ideas or your recipes and then writing them in their own words. Just because they had taken new pictures (or used stock photos) and re-written part of the recipe, you could still see as plain as day that it was mine.
I even saw one blogger, have exact same recipe names as mine and in the same order that they were on my blog. I wonder if they had just gone to my category and thought that was a good idea and ran with that on their site?
But beyond the anger what you have to remember is that blogging is all about being personal and telling people your story and the history behind your latest recipe.
I am a HUGE movie fan and must have watched the film Good Will Hunting about 100 times. If you have not seen it then you must. One of the scenes in it is about originality and it always makes me giggle. Though I have lost the swearing as this is a family friendly blog 😊
But what you must take from this quote is do you want to be the original one with amazing ideas or just following the herd with the same content as everyone else just with one different ingredient added?
I must visit about 20 food blogs a month. There is nothing special about their recipes, they just take better photos and have been to a lot of expensive photography schools. They will ALL have the exact same recipes going out on their blog, maybe a week apart from each other.
But in reality, there are millions of millions of foodie keywords we can rank for in Google so why compete over the exact same ones? There is probably about 200 that every food blogger wants to rank for, just because someone with more traffic does!
So to my fellow food bloggers, be original and its amazing how much more traffic you will get and how much your readership will grow!Read How @recipe_this made money from their food blog last month From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
How To Start A Food Blog
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My SEMRush Free Trial
Yes, really, I tried it. I tried it for a day and left! I mainly wanted to see what people had on me and the information of recipethis.com that was being shared. I was wondering that with so many people copying my latest recipes, if this is how they were getting their information on me and why people are paying such a large fee for something like this.
I am all for snooping and seeing what the competition is up to, but $100 a month is HUGE compared to a good look on Google.
If you want to snoop on your competition the easiest way is to look through their posts.
- Look for a popular post on the blog section
- Look for posts with the highest social shares
- Look for the posts with the most comments
These will give you the results you’re looking for.
I found on SEMrush that it was totally inaccurate on us. For example, it said our best positioned keyword for traffic was something we hadn’t even noticed ranking for. It turns out that it is #112 on the list of our highest SEO traffic results.
I also found that keywords we do really well for are about #300 on the list in SEMrush.
So, I am not that worried.
If people want to copy you, they will.
If you are out of ideas for blog posts and want to see what would be a success, then here is a different approach.
- Take your niche
- Find its best Facebook Group with the MOST activity
- Then search the group for recipe requests
- Do this everyday for a week and you will have 300 new recipe suggestions that people currently want
Our Food Blogging Income During May 2018:
- Free Products = $2639.30
- Sponsored Content = $2452.52
- Monumetric = $868.53
- Adsense = $600.88
- Amazon Associates = $449.82
- Amazon CPM Ads = $94.02
- Draft2Digital = $90.14
- Kindle = $66.76
- Google Play = $29.32
- Clickbank = $27.48
Total Revenue = $7318.77
Our Food Blog Expenses During May 2018:
- Virtual Team = $300 (read here how I outsource to the Philippines)
- Facebook Ads = $69.36
- Studiopress = $47.00
- Aweber = $29.00
- Screenshot Monitor = $15.97
- Canva = $12.95
- Bluburry = $12.00
- Rackspace = $10.97
- Buffer = $10.00
- Imagify = $5.00
- Boardbooster = $5.00
Total Food Blogging Expenses = $517.25
This leads to a total food blogging income from Recipe This For May 2018 of $6801.52.
When I list my income, I love to do so AFTER my expenses. I see some income reports market it around BEFORE and that is not realistic for an online business.
There will be some people out there that will look at the income above and wish it was them. Then there are people like me that wish it wasn’t and that I had a better set of income streams in place.
You see the one thing that I have always told other people to do is not to put all your eggs in one basket and to diversify your income.
Imagine if you part of Mediavine and you earn 95% of your income from it and 90% of your traffic comes from Pinterest. Then your Pinterest traffic drops by 90%. Then all of a sudden that $4000 that you are earning a month suddenly becomes $400. Or what if, like with Mode your advertising network goes bankrupt.
Well one of my higher paying eggs has not paid me since April and we have no idea if the egg is going to pay up at all. As we are now in June this is worrying. It works out at more than 19 mortgage monthly payments.
We are also about to go on holiday for the summer and have zero spending money. This meant that we had to take on lots of extra sponsored content gigs to be able to cover our costs and pay our mortgage.
This was the last thing I wanted to do, as there is a lot of work involved in sponsored content and it has made me so stressed in the build up to going away.
But it has given me a kick up the bum and made me realise I need to work on more eggs and better paying eggs.
The area I lack in are:
- Affiliate marketing – I focus too much on Amazon which can be very low paying compared to private companies. I watched a really good live presentation about affiliate marketing and loved it and it gave me the inspiration to give myself a good kick start.
- Ebook sales – I just put my ebooks on the KDP and similar places and don’t pay attention to how high the charges are. Then I promote it from my site. I want to focus on the big ones going on Clickbank instead. I even did the maths and a $20 ebook would earn me $17.50 on Clickbank or $13.45 on the KDP. Yet the KDP also taxes me on it for the US even though I don’t even live there!
- High ticket items – I am also looking at some higher ticket items I can sell in 2019 on recipethis.com so that I can diversify the income. I find the effort to a course can be the same as going through a book deal. I have always avoided book deals because of how low the ROI is but if it was for a high ticket item then things would be different.
- Recurring items – In my days in internet marketing it was always about the recurring items and the courses. I am starting to focus on this side of the blog and see where things lead.
If this is also YOU then you are not alone. And don’t think that we must all have 1 million-page views as I have people that earn the same as me on a third of the traffic. So, what if I could triple my income instead?
From an expenses point of view, I have been playing around with Facebook Ads. My strategy with Facebook (well part of it) is to promote my Facebook page content to groups. Each time I have a new (or old) recipe that I have posted to the page, I will then share it on relevant groups. For example, air fryer recipes to air fryer groups, instant pot recipes to instant pot groups and so on. But sometimes I lack relevant groups. In these cases, I will bump it up with ads.
This strategy means that I never have posts that fall through the cracks and that all posts to my Facebook page are getting some extra love.
I spend about an hour every night making sure this gets done and answering any replies that I get on groups that I am a member of.
Recipe This Blog Traffic May 2018
In May we got 328,000-page views. Our lowest for 2018 but more than 100,000-page views better than this time last year.
We have done a LOT of things to recipethis.com in the last month and we expected a traffic dip. BUT its also that time of the year when traffic can be lower than usual. So, to get 300,000+ is still an achievement.
Here is our traffic for May 2018:
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during May 2018:
I have been working hard on Pinterest traffic over the last couple of months. I have taken off rich pins on recipes, added some new graphics to popular posts and also made sure every image post I have, has gone out to all relevant Pinterest boards.
The downside of this, is that my Tailwind never works. This is because I have a lot scheduled and they can’t cope with it and need much better servers. I haven’t even been able to load the tribes section, so I am glad I don’t pay for tribes!
Here is our SEO traffic from Google Webmaster Tools account:
As you can see we managed to get just over 100,000 clicks in May. We are really pleased with this. That is because we made a lot of changes to our blog in the last month and thought Google would take a while to adjust, but it came through quicker than we thought it would.
Our summer road trip is finally here. As this food blogging income report goes live for May, we will be on the road. A road trip that has taken a lot of planning but has been worth it in the end.
Happy summer to you all and for us, next will be lots of cheesy family photos as we eat our way through England, France, Germany, The Netherlands, Luxenberg, Belgium & Spain!