Welcome to our 15th food blogging and income report for January 2017.
Unless you have a chocolate food blog you will be celebrating a bumper January right now. The month of the year when it is full of diet content and when a blog post that does poor the rest of the year suddenly takes off because it is January!
I know this from personal experience because this has been the case for every food and healthy eating site that I have ever owned. They go so quiet the week before Christmas that you actually think that your site has died and then come the early morning of Boxing Day and your traffic has suddenly jumped in huge proportions.
I still have access to the analytics of a site that I sold this time last year and I thought it had finally gone down the toilet and that there was zero traffic coming in, then Boxing Day and it had gone so crazy you would think it had received the best viral traffic boost ever. But NO…..it was just a case of the interest in the keywords was the highest at this time of the year.
But then the end of January arrives and you get the reality traffic that the traffic is short lived and that you are back to how you were at the start of December.
Unless….unless…..unless that is that you have thought of this in advance and are planning how you are going to grow beyond the diet calendar.
Well that is exactly what we did and you can read about it further down in our traffic report. But I am sure before we talk traffic you want income figures so here goes 🙂
Our Food Blogging Income During January 2017:
- Sponsored Content = $1823.71
- Google Adsense = $436.16
- Amazon CPM Ads = $225.73
- Kindle = $208.06
- Draft2Digital = $136.62
- Amazon Associates = $114.59
- Free Products = $40.00
- Google Play = $27.35
- Tailwind = $1.50
Total Revenue = $3013.72
Our Food Blog Expenses During January 2017:
Total Expenses = $297.50
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For January 2017 of $2716.22.
Just like any food blog our income and expenses tend to go up and down. For example right now we have had a good month for sponsored advertising yet some of these are for orders for March and the bulk is for February. We will usually have one good month and then one average month where it will balance things out.
Plus it also depends what we have on our blog at the time and whether people would be into it or not and how we can plan advertising clients around it.
We also find that we often play off Draft2Digital with Kindle and that it is always a surprise which one will out do the other. Also I reckon Draft2Digital is really on top, because we have yet to get all our Kindle ebooks on there. We are hoping by this time next month all our ebooks will be live from our recycled content and then we can see a true picture.
We have also left Shutterstock. We used them the majority of the time for vector graphics. Those amazing vector images that you see on a lot of our social media graphics or those cute little clipart style background images on our how to posts. But Shutterstock started to charge us on a different date (billing us a week before we were due to be paid) and when they failed to deal with it and ignored our emails we decided they were simply not worth it.
Plus in reality paying for a recurring billing for 350 images when you rarely use 100 was a total waste of money!
We will of course be looking at a cheaper option this coming month.
New Assistants & Attempting To Grow
We seem to be going through phases at the moment with our team and with the way we want to continue with Recipe This.
We will hire someone, it might not work out or they may be slow or they are due to start work and then just disappear off the planet.
This means that even though we do have some excellent members of our team, that jobs we had outlined as to be done by new virtual assistants, doesn’t get done and we end up with a backlog and deadlines we wanted to reach don’t quite happen.
One of these things has to be a graphics designer. We had a great one that left for a new job in the summer and we have not managed to find one as good, or gets what we want or they fail to do the hours they have agreed to do.
We even hired one for 20 hours a week and they did less than this is 6 weeks and it makes you wonder sometimes if people actually want to work!
Then with the virtual assistants we wanted to have some in charge of helping us with our content upgrades and lots of social media promotions. Well out of 10 hires we ended up with 2 good ones. This meant that ebooks we wanted to launch in December were not ready on time and are still yet to be on the Kindle at the start of February and will be going live in a couple of weeks.
I often find that no matter where they are hired from and because the internet is faceless that you can have a lot of flakes doing the rounds. It is a real shame and I wish it wasn’t like this. But it is and makes me feel really grateful for the virtual assistants I do have that are amazing.
Read How @recipe_This made money from their food blog last month From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
But we are getting there now and don’t plan to do anymore hiring for some time.
Coaching Client Free
We are all now officially full time food bloggers. We left the last of our clients last week (they had paid in advance for January) and we can now focus on Recipe This. It is both exciting and frightening at the same time.
But unlike if we lived somewhere like the USA, Australia or the UK the cost of living is very cheap in Portugal. We can survive on very little and have a low mortgage therefore the risk to us isn’t huge. Plus we also still earn a passive income from ebooks that we launched years ago.
It will also mean that we can spend more time with our kids as our time is always so limited at the moment and there is not enough hours in the day!
Recipe This Blog Traffic January 2017
We ended December on 118,000 page views and we are ending January on 227,000 page views. This means that in one month we have nearly doubled our page views. And that is certainly something that I would never expect to be saying!
I am also really pleased that our traffic sources are spread out and are not just coming from one place. Of course it would be nice to have a blog post take off on Facebook for the day, but come the next day, that traffic has vanished again and long term traffic growth is so much nicer 🙂
Here is our traffic for January 2017:
Our best traffic day of the month was the 2nd of January when we received over 10,000 page views and we imagine this was when all these people were searching the internet for soup recipes for starting their New Year diets!
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during January:
Google is still our number 1 traffic source and I am sure it always will be. We love SEO and we find it really easy to write content that is both reader friendly and perfect for the search engines.
Secondly it is always a battle between direct traffic and Pinterest. Both are great traffic sources and what I like about direct traffic is that is also includes our Podcast, some of our Tumblr traffic and lots of our Instagram traffic. And it shows that all these different traffic sources that we work on actually convert.
Plus we have seen 2 old round ups that we were featured in go viral this month on Pinterest and they have become top 10 traffic sources.
Our other traffic sources that we love (that didn’t make our top 10) included:
- Food Gawker
- Oh My Veggies
- Our Mailing List (you can subscribe here)
Though some of our traffic will be short lived!
We got a big bulk of our traffic from our soup maker recipes and as you know come Easter nobody wants to eat any more soup!
Here is our SEO traffic from Google Webmaster Tools account:
Well we did it. One of the big things we wanted to achieve was 500,000 impressions for the month. We thought maybe March or April, yet we did it in January. That means that when people were on the search engines that our website appeared in their results more than half a million times.
We thought this was amazing and realised that slow and steady is what all blogs should want to achieve. Each and every month since we started Recipe This our focus has been on a steady long term growth and every month our impressions has always been better than the month before.
One thing I am shocked about it is how few food bloggers actually check their Google Webmaster Tools on a regular basis. You need to check these figures at least 3 times a week to see how you are growing, if anything is wrong with your SEO and to see if any of your traffic has dipped.
Every day that I am online I check my traffic first while I am waiting for my emails to load. I will go on Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and then check my emails. Dominic will be doing the same except his checks will be our income side of things and our social media. Then after that (and all my emails have been answered) we will do our social media.
January Bumper Growth Plans
I really don’t see us as a diet site and never really wanted to be a diet site. I have done that several times and wanted to focus more on cooking from scratch. I am addicted to my chocolate chip cookies, my chocolate cake and couldn’t imagine life without butter so a diet site is certainly at the end of my wish list.
I do however still eat a lot of healthy meals to balance it out and eat Paleo about 75% of the time. Basically I am Paleo if there is no butter, white potatoes, sugar or soy sauce.
But our niche is kitchen gadgets which are very much focused around products that people buy to cook from scratch. Yet you also think (at the same time) that these kitchen gadgets are associated with certain diets.
For example people on Slimming World & Weight Watchers are mad for the Airfryer or the Soup Maker. Paleo enthusiasts love the Instant Pot, the Dutch Oven and the Spiralizer.
So as long as they bypass my Ice Cream Maker recipes and addiction to chocolate cake I end up with quite a following from the diet community.
This means that like everyone else my traffic is going crazy in January. The top performing gadgets were the Airfryer and the Soup Maker. And these gadgets took about 80% of our traffic in January.
Yet even though I will continue to rank for these in the months and years to come, I still need to focus my attention around what happens when diet season is over and that’s why we did a bumper month of content in January.
We had originally decided to focus around diet recipes to expand our traffic as that is what people want RIGHT NOW. So we did 10 days of Whole 30 recipes, 10 days of healthy blender recipes and finished off with 10 days of flourless recipes. BUT we had just bought our Instant Pot and with all the new users that had bought theirs for Christmas we knew we needed to get involved in this too.
So we did something really crazy and did both of them with 2 recipes going out every day throughout January so that we could give Recipe This a great traffic push.
We started the recipes in November and spent 3 months testing recipes, scheduling them and then a gruelling social media timetable throughout January. It was a lot of hard work but we got there and now in February we can breathe again!
Well with January being such a full on month we need some rest. We plan to work our way through our March calendar, start on some more blog posts focused around selling our ebooks and then return in March with new promotional plans.
Then after that it will be getting ahead best we can with our content so that in the summer, when the sun is shining on the Algarve that we are outside enjoying it!