Welcome to our seventh food blogging and income report at Recipe This.
May 2016 on our food blog has been one of those months that many food bloggers have from one time or another and tend to want to forget. That of course is one of those months when everything has gone wrong and you kind of want to forget that the month ever happened and start afresh the next month.
But what I have found over the years, especially with all the different blogging clients I have had and coached, is that you have to move on and forget what has gone wrong.
So what has been so wrong about May 2016 at Recipe This?
Well we have had a chargeback via our payment processor for work done by the hour and we are currently in the middle of this being reversed and appealing it. It is an annoying long process but also a reason why we pay high fees to 2Checkout rather than just offering PayPal.
On top of this we have lost to key members of staff from our virtual team in the same month. One was our graphics designer and one was our virtual assistant that did a lot of our social media. This means that not only is it hard work to replace such vital roles but we have not been able to grow the site at the speed that we want to and we have this frustration that we are not sticking to our goals. Then when you add to this that we have very tight schedules and are trying to roll out new things it means that I have personally being putting in 12 hour days while ill, 5 days a week which is something I have not done in years.
We have had a really bad virus. It has been like a type of flu and it has been so bad that our energy levels have just disappeared. But when you are running a company with others relying on you and you have no assistant manager (or similar) to take over it means that you HAVE TO WORK and you can’t physically have a sick day.
I love Recipe This and I love working on it but sometimes it can go like this. And as a blogger (regardless of your niche) you have to take the rough with the smooth.
Plus we also have to remember to take the rough with the smooth. I very rarely have staff leave and many have worked with me for more than 3 years, so I should expect that it happens from time to time. So June is a new month and it is nice to remember that and hopefully this month will bring some luck!!!
But I am sure you don’t want to hear about my bad luck and just see what we got up to and spy on me so here goes:
Our Food Blogging Income During May 2016
- Food Blogging Consulting & Management = $2062.84 (hire us by the hour to coach you here)
- Free Physical Products = $608.74 (read all about how to connect with brands even if you have little traffic)
- MediaVine = $154.20
- Draft2Digital = $65.00
- Kindle = $64.77
- Aweber = $8.70
- Google Play = $5.87
- Amazon Associates = $1.71
- Amazon CPM Ads = $1.16
Total Revenue = $2972.99
Our Food Blog Expenses During May 2016:
- Virtual Assistants = $241.33
- Bing Ads = $166.23
- Shutterstock = $135.00
- Hootsuite = $107.88
- Freelance Writers = $45.00
- 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 = $831.43
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For May 2016 of $2141.56
First of all with our income, you’ll notice that we have MediaVine on there and that Google Adsense is missing. MediaVine is basically an advertising network that works as more of a management system. They will work with their Google Adsense, Gourmet Ads, Blog her and so on until you get the best price.
The plus side of this is that they are doing the hard work for you so that you don’t have to. They are also getting you more money than you would earn elsewhere. For example for the month for advertising network (thanks to MediaVine) we made $155.36 and this works out at $4.31 per 1000 page views. However the month before with a mix of our own advertising networks we made just $2.68 per 1000 page views.
But MediaVine are occupying more slots. But over all the slots are in easy to use placements and they don’t affect the viewing of the site to the reader. And it is nice that someone else is doing the work on our behalf.
So for now I am sticking with MediaVine and then seeing how it goes. Though, if you are thinking of joining then just think you need 30,000 page views a month, but on a new blog that is easily achievable.
Also this month we have seen a drop in our Amazon Kindle income. We kind of expect it at this time of year as nobody wants to go on a diet and buy a juicer or a slow cooker and instead they are all heading to the beach. In the world of the Kindle I find that the best months are between October-March and that the worst are May-September.
But what we have found, which has happened for the first time ever, is that our Draft2Digital income has beaten our Kindle. If you are unaware what D2D is then it is simply Kindle but for other places. So they publish your ebook on your behalf to the likes of Apple, Barnes & Noble, Nook and loads more that I have forgotten about. And just like Kindle they only charge on what they sell.
Recipe This Blog Traffic May 2016
We know that as it gets warmer it is harder to keep growing your traffic. So our target throughout May to September is to do better than we did the month before. This is to see growth but not to expect to double things. Then we expect to have great growth throughout the winter months as that is when people are more interested in kitchen gadgets and other similar things.
We plan to have themes every month on Recipe This that fits in with the season or what kitchen gadget we want to improve our SEO position on. Since we started our themes back in December we have built up SEO positions and good social media following for each of them and that is exactly what we wanted.
For example we did:
- December 2015 = General Airfryer recipes
- January 2016 = Soup maker soup recipes
- February 2016 = Airfryer desserts
- March 2016 = Spiralizer recipes
- April 2016 = one pot cooking in 30 minutes
- May 2016 = Frugal family recipes (mainly with our kitchen gadgets)
- June 2016 = Ice cream maker recipes
June of course isn’t over yet and we are already doing well for these recipes and for all the recipe months we have an ebook on the Kindle, Draft2Digital as well as great SEO. It is all about targeting your niche and giving your niche what they want. It is also the opportunity on a new blog to fill out some of your categories that are rather empty.
Just remember that not only should you stick with the niche that you are focusing on but also keep in touch with seasonal demand at the same time. For example in the summer people want salads, ice cream, smoothies, barbeque food and easy sides and in winter you have the potential to give them winter warmers and offer them diet food.
And if you can work on that over a regular basis then you will find it easier than you think to build up your traffic. So with this in mind you’re probably wondering what our traffic was like in May when all we wanted to do was grow it further.
Well May we did 30,000 page views and this month looked like this:
It was so nice to see the traffic moving more and to have a 20% increase in traffic in a month was fantastic. We also saw our first month of over 25,000 sessions.
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for May 2016:
It is nice to see that the same traffic sources are becoming our big hits month after month. I particularly love how well Tumblr is coming along seen as we don’t make much effort. Plus the same can be said for Yummly. Pinterest of course always feels like a lot of effort but from how much your traffic can grow when you go viral on there can make and break your food blog.
Get 5 recipes viral on Pinterest and you can easily be looking at 60,000 monthly page views just from Pinterest and this could be without doing anything else. I have a lot of Pinterest recipes now that have over 200 shares, so I am just looking to grow on that.
I always have to say to be patient and your traffic will grow quicker than you would think.
Remember it’s your food blog!
During the month of May I have been heavily working on getting my content out there in advance and doing lots of scheduling. This is because I live in Portugal and we have a lovely summer season. I want to spend time with my son when he is on school holidays and enjoy lots of family time.
So as I write this at the beginning of June my recipes are all done until the beginning of August and then I will do the content for August as I go so that I can enjoy the summer.
With having a blog doesn’t mean you have to work the 9 to 5 and choose when you want to work. We often work 2 days a week each (long 10-12 hour days) and then the rest of the time is our own.
Our meals will be planned around recipes we want on the blog so then it is not an extra effort to do recipes for the blog. And we even had a chicken evening a few weeks ago so that we could do a chicken theme week over one evening.
At the end of the day, you make your business what you want to be. Let yourself work around when your kids are at school or work in the evenings when they are sleeping. Its all about striking that balance that you want.