Welcome to our 13th food blogging and income report for November 2016.
We are now entering the winter months of food blogging and for me it is one of those times of year when you get to cook lots of comfort food to share on your blog. For that November and December time when everyone wants pasta, casseroles, and stews and of course loads of mashed potatoes. But like with a magazine you are often writing content way in advance. You are using your Thanksgiving food to prepare Christmas recipes and at Valentine’s Day planning Easter content.
This is mainly due to the fact that you don’t want to miss deadlines, you want to be organised and you want to take the pressure off yourself by working in advance. You also have to take into account that if you do it like this you can free family time up for yourself at important times such as Thanksgiving & Christmas.
But this means that here I am now on a rainy Sunday morning in early December writing this income report (my last piece of content for December) and then heading into the kitchen to make a healthy meatballs recipe for my January content calendar. While everyone else is enjoying the comfort food here I am on the super healthy content, with complaints from the boys that they want pasta and are sick of diet food.
Well I better impress them with a whole cooked chicken then and make them think its unhealthy!
But most importantly I am sure you want to talk figures so here goes…..
Our Food Blogging Income During November 2016
- Sponsored Reviews = $1000
- Food Blogging Consulting = $500
- Google Adsense = $178.11
- Amazon CPM Ads = $91.66
- Draft2Digital = $79.82
- Kindle = $65.86
- Amazon Associates = $41.66
- Free Products = $15.00
- Tailwind = $12.50
- Google Play = $7.75
- Chitika = $7.00
Total Revenue = $1999.36
Our Food Blog Expenses During November 2016:
- Virtual Assistants Team = $401
- Shutterstock = $135.00
- Brunch Theme = $56
- Knownhost = $49.50
- Ever Hour = $39.00
- Statusbrew = $25.00
- Bluburry = $12.00
- Blog Vault = $9.00
- Nekkra UG = $5.00
Total Expenses = $731.50
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For November 2016 of $1267.86
Income Changes & Traffic Rises
So you get all excited that your traffic has risen but then you are shot down with a bullet when you realise that instead of growing your traffic has actually decreased. You think to yourself that its not supposed to happen like that but it does from time to time.
So let me explain why this has happened at Recipe This right now.
Firstly we are between advertising campaigns. This is when we go out looking for new advertising partners compared to people coming to us. What you see above from sponsored content is all because of people that have seen our blog and signed up for our advertising. Rather than us going to brands and suggesting that they partner with us.
We were booking up our calendar for November and December and we ended up full. But this coming week we have our VA’s in place ready for contacting brands about our advertising calendar for January and February. But what we do expect to happen is a high income ads month, followed by a low one as people tend to book up for 2 months worth at once.
On another note I am in the middle of bringing our new content upgrade ebooks onto the Kindle & Draft2Digital and expect these numbers to rise. I also find the best months for these is in the New Year as the majority are aimed at healthy eating.
But the great thing is that when you take off non-passive income above I have still achieved $484.36 from content that is already on my blog. I could go off the blog and disappear and I know a year from now that income would still be there.
A living wage (where you live to your means) here in Portugal would be around $1500 so all I would have to achieve is triple the traffic (which I know I will achieve by the summer) and I know that if I have no paid ads I will still be able to put food on the table, pay my mortgage, eat out once a week and keep my addiction to the movies covered.
The Adsense Alternative Battle Carries On
I love Adsense and have now had my Adsense account for a decade. But on its own (well unless you have 50 million page views a month) is not enough to survive on. So you look for things to compliment your Adsense to increase your income. There are many out there, some pay peanuts, some ruin your site, some can’t cope on a secure site like ours and the list goes on.
Read How @recipe_This made money from their food blog last month From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
We are just on the verge of 100,000 page views which is the requirement for Adthrive and in the meantime we keep trying other places out. But it is a long term battle with very low pay out rates for good quality traffic.
Each time we see one recommend we give it a go, but nothing decent has come about so far.
This month we tried Chitika and we were heartbroken that for a prime position and 5 days worth of our 3000 page views a day and we earned the grand total of $7. The ad was swiftly removed!
So its back to just Adsense and Amazon!
Recipe This Blog Traffic November 2016
Another month and another traffic increase. This time we have gone from around the 75,000 page views mark to 91,000 and we are nearly in the 100,000 page views bracket for a food blogger, which was an early traffic target of ours.
Here is our traffic for November 2016:
What we love about our traffic is that apart from one month in the summer it has always increased. Every month it has got better and we are now starting to see good results from Pinterest & Google which for many food bloggers it is often their top traffic sources.
We’re also seeing a good long term rise from our Podcast. No surprise that our top downloaded Podcast is about Tailwind Tribes with everyone and anyone wanting to get into the act.
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during November:
What is nice to see is that Pinterest traffic has now gone above the direct traffic and is having excellent growth. I credit my son for that with his dedication to Tailwind and working each Saturday scheduling our old content to our growing Pinterest groups.
On another note with the traffic it is nice to see a good spread between our top traffic sources and that if you work at the content you will see regular growth.
Here is our SEO traffic from Google Webmaster Tools account:
We always get excited when we plan and create new recipes for the blog. Not just because we love to eat them and that we have had great fun in the kitchen preparing them together as a family, but which one of them is going to be the most successful.
Generally speaking 1 in every 5 recipes that we post on our blog will now get 1000 social shares. So there you are cooking something delicious and a couple of months later it gets just 200 shares. Then you do another recipe and think this is really nice but its not amazing and it gets 1200 shares. And its like “how did that happen?”. Well we all have different ideas of what is amazing and it’s just a case of the right person at the right time sharing it.
But logically (so far) out of the November and December content what did well that was seasonal was our turkey stuffing. And we just know that come next year we can then repromote it again and it will become a long term high traffic contributor.
But you have to produce lots of content on a regular basis as you can never second guess what will go viral. Its just a case of keeping going and keeping your fingers crossed.
The Growing Virtual Team
As well as working on the content calendar for January (which is going to have the most content we have ever put out in one month!) we are working on growing our outsourced team.
The plan of action is to have it as follows:
- 1 General Assistant – To do the general work as it comes up
- 1 Facebook Assistant – In charge of further growth on Facebook and especially to be doing Facebook Groups work
- 1 Tumblr Assistant – To be in charge of Tumblr submissions and account growth
- 1 Tiny Social Media – This person will be in charge of the smaller places outside of the main social media channels such as Medium, Google+, Linkedin etc.
- 1 Social Shares Assistant – This person will be in charge of social media sharing threads, Instagram growth, blog round up requests and a few other jobs
Out of these jobs we already have the Tumblr, tiny social media and social share assistant but we want to grow and grow. We don’t want to be in a position when all our traffic comes from Pinterest and Google as it is really scary in case something goes wrong with either of them, then you’re screwed!
Our other hiring will be all about getting assistants to help us with lead generation for advertising income and that’s what we have been working on these last couple of weeks.
One of the biggest battles is finding good virtual assistants that are easy to train and will commit to you in the long term. If you win that battle then you can then focus more on producing your amazing content.
We’re currently working on the new site theme changes. We have moved to Brunch from been on Daily Dish before. We love the changes but it’s a lot of messing around and trying to find time to mess with the code has been harder than we thought.
With 3 kids and loads of blog content and loads going on it feels like our time is being stretched in every direction.
So hopefully by the time we bring out the next income report we will have finally finished on it!
Also this month we finally plan to get started on our traffic from Reddit and with our assistant just starting on Google Plus it will be interesting to see what the traffic increases are like.