Welcome to our year 2 food blogging and income report covering the period of 15th November 2016 to 14th November 2017.
We absolutely LOVE to do our annual reports. It gives us a proper chance to reflect over what we achieved/didn’t achieve. That way we can improve our income and our traffic and provide a better service for our readers.
But best of all I love annual income reports because you can reflect and say how far you have come in a year.
If you’re down about your income or your traffic on your blog, just remember we all start with zero visitors, zero recipes and we are all building something special together.
So if you do have that “I want to quit my food blog” then have a good read of this first before you do.
I have my bad days too.
I mean I REALLY HAVE MY BAD DAYS. It’s not that I am in a deep depression because I am not, but like any job it can get you down when it feels like you’re not going anywhere with it.
As a mother I sacrifice a lot of my time with my three kids and it feels like I often fall into the “always working” life balance. I will get up and go to my laptop as soon as I have had breakfast, I will stay on it until 8pm, then in between feeding my babies their evening milk I will be doing all the other work that needs doing via my tablet while watching evening TV. Then it is 11pm and I am off to bed. And many days feel like this.
I will often do 14 days in a row like this, maybe have 2-3 days that I call a day off. Though they are not really a day off because I will still have a couple of hours of social media, a couple of hours of emails to catch up and lots of recipe to test. Then it is rinse and repeat.
It never feels like I achieve what I want to in a day.
I am managing an outsourcing team to save time. They will have questions, they will have problems and it will take my time away from creating recipes. I will also spend time dealing with lots of admin tasks that need doing that can’t be outsourced. It means that often Mondays and Tuesdays are admin and I might think about being creative by the Wednesday.
As well as this it is dealing with sponsored content requests.
That have to be the worst thing. When they ask for your media kit….you send it….then they tell you they have no budget. Now this makes me angry as if communicating with each of these is 20 minutes a week. If you get 30 of them in a week that is 10 hours a week. Plus on top of this those that you are expecting to pay you and you have all the plans set up for them and you suddenly realise they don’t have their bosses permission to book sponsored content. I just don’t have this time to give to all these time wasters.
Catch 22 Situation
You end up in what I call a Catch-22 situation. You want to expand your ebooks, you want to create courses, you want to improve your traffic, you want to write more content, but you end up being suffocated with everything else that goes into it.
My opinion is that once I hit 500,000 page views a month, which will be enough income to live off passively, that in order to grow the blog that sponsored content has to go. I see so many other food bloggers having this same mentality and you can see exactly why.
It has just taken me 2 years to really think about this and say it out loud to you!
Our Food Blogging Income During Year 2:
- Sponsored Content = $16,151.00
- Google Adsense = $6300.17
- Amazon Associates = $3950.01
- Free Products = $3035
- Consulting = $3000
- Amazon CPM Ads = $2406.38
- Kindle = $1571.00
- Draft2Digital = $975.00
- Google Play = $238.00
- Other Affiliate Networks = $15.00
- Gourmet Ads = $7.00
Total Revenue = $37648.56
Our Food Blog Expenses During Year 2:
- Virtual Team = $5950.44 (read here how I outsource to the Philippines)
- Knownhost = $651.17
- Facebook Ads = $329.49
- Shutterstock = $270.00
- Screenshot Monitor = $208.39
- Bluburry = $144.00
- Tailwind = $119.00
- Blog Vault = $108.00
- WP Recipe Maker = $103.98
- Yoast = $81.84
- DIY Themes = $65.00
- Nekkra UG = $60.00
- Brunch Theme = $56.00
- Hosting= $54.31
- Canva = $51.80
- Buffer = $50.00
- Fox Push = $49.00
- Ever Hour = $39.00
- StudioPress = $33.71
- NameCheap = $26.85
- StatusBrew = $25.00
Total Expenses = $8476.98
This leads to a total income from Recipe This For Year 2 of $29.171.58
Freelancing Is Now Gone
In year 1 our biggest income was from freelancing. We used some old internet marketing clients that we had, that were in the food niche, to cover our living costs until we reached an income where we could walk away from them.
Having freelancing clients can be very demanding especially on your time and they can suddenly wake up one day, decide they are closing down their website and you are left clientless overnight. No warning and it is a real worry on your income.
But in a way sponsored content is like 100% worse than this. You see instead of finding a client and managing their social media for a couple of years, you had to find a new sponsored content client each time. It’s like you’re starting again and again.
Of course, you will always have some regular clients, but what about the rest of the time? I look forward to the time, when I am writing year 3 and I can say I no longer need to rely on sponsored content and can take it or leave it.
There is a BIG issue with my income and I should be earning a LOT more
Look at my income and then scroll further down to my traffic. You will see food bloggers that have less traffic than me and earn double (if not more) than what I do.
So what am I doing that is so, so wrong?
Well in truth I am not making a high enough return on my page views.
Take Adsense for one. I am making about 25% of what other people are making for using advertising network management services, compared to using Adsense. Adsense is trusted but let’s face it that it often pays peanuts. Unless you’re achieving 10 million page views a month it will never give you a decent income.
We got our fingers burnt badly with MediaVine and it took the trust away. But we are currently looking at MediaVine/Adsense alternatives to see what is out there. If we could offer our readers a similar service and increase our income by 400% (which seems to be the norm) then I am all for it!
Secondly our ebook sales – We have used Kindle and Draft2Digital to kickstart our revenue from ebooks but we could be making more. We could be focusing on getting our own ebooks on Clickbank and having a good quality sales funnel that sells our ebooks for us passively. What if every ebook averaged $20 instead of $2 our monthly ebook revenue could be $2000 instead of $200 and that is a BIG DEAL.
Thirdly our affiliate income – we need to be focusing as much of our attention on this as we can. But instead of focusing just on Amazon and their 10% commissions we need to be looking more in the digital arena. What if instead we are earning 50% on a $25 ebook rather than 10% on a $2 kindle ebook? Now this is a huge difference and something we really need to work on.
If you are in a similar situation to me and have the same THREE PROBLEMS, then let’s get to it together and make changes. Just from having 250,000 page views a month, we can be looking at changing it from $3000 a month to $12,000 a month if we wanted to.Read How @recipe_this_made money from their food blog last year From Food BloggingClick To Tweet
Recipe This Blog Traffic Year 2
Let’s start by looking at year 1:
And then here is year 2:
As you can see we have increased our traffic in year 2 by 2 million. WOW 2 MILLION YOU SAY!!! That feels truly incredible and makes all those hours of hard work worth it. Your blog is growing and we feel really proud of the traffic we have achieved.
Here are our top 10 traffic sources for RecipeThis.com during year 2:
As you know RecipeThis.com is obsessed with SEO traffic and this certainly still applies. We still get the bulk of our traffic from Google and our SEO traffic in total accounts for 38% of the yearly traffic. On top of this the likes of Pinterest and Facebook accounts for 31%.
What I love about this is that you don’t have just one traffic source that takes over your traffic and that if one traffic source dips that you wont be in financial trouble.
Last year we said that we would be working on G+, Reddit, You Tube & Facebook traffic more closely. So how did we get on?
Google+ = We never wanted to put full time staff into G+ instead we wanted to discover the best Google+ communities for sharing our content to and sharing to our own G+ account whenever we have a new post. We found 2 communities we really like and approximately 2 hours a week is dedicated to it.
Reddit = I tried Reddit and hated it with a passion. It is full of bullies and is not worth the effort. I put the effort in and got very little back so soon ran away from the site and haven’t used it for a long, long time.
Facebook = Facebook Groups is where I wanted to focus my attention. I found 24 groups that I loved that fitted in with my niches and post to them whenever I have new relevant content. It is done via Google Sheets with myself and 3 of my Vas and I love seeing how well it works. It is still a job in progress but I love it. Though if you want to go through the FB Groups avenue then I recommend you get a virtual assistant to do it for you. That way you’re less likely to experience FB Jail.
You Tube = We have only started to take it seriously the last month or two, so this is still in the new stages to fully talk about.
Year 3 is about to hit us. That third year in our business when we want to get things moving in an increased income and traffic kind of way.
We will be working first on increasing our affiliate income, ebook sales and of course better advertising networks.
We also want to work more on our sales funnel and lots of new and exciting themes that we have coming along in 2018.
We are excited, and we are looking forward to what year 3 brings us.