This is our food blog income report for November 2018, outlining how much traffic we had, what money we made, where it came from, and what it cost to run our site. This food blog income report is awesome for food bloggers looking to expand and monetize their blogs! Also, why I write income reports.
My Cranberry Rosemary One-Pan Chicken went wild this month!
The income reports are back! Now that I’ve settled in with my baby girl, it’s time to bring back to life this accounting of my food blogger income and expenses. But first,
Why do I do food blog income reports? Well, there are two reasons.
- I was insanely inspired by the food blog income report series produced by Lindsey and Bjork Ostrom for years. I’d forward them to my husband the moment they hit my inbox, saying, “See! It’s possible! I can just do XYZ, and I’ll diversify my income streams, and I can quit my job, and all our problems will disappear and…” Seeing oh so clearly how other bloggers were making it work helped me design my strategy deliberately, and it motivated me that it could be done anyway. I became motivated to increase my traffic, create products, find affiliate programs that worked for me. They were just everything for me. And since I’m so passionate about helping other bloggers grow (Check out my food blog virtual assistant agency and my food blog and photography coaching program for proof! Of course, you should get in touch if you want to apply to be a coaching client!), it was an obvious step for me to open up, be super vulnerable, and have people say totally crazy things to me. Sure, I’m coming up on my 10 year blogging anniversary, but hearing “Must be nice!” or “Hey @randomfriend, you should start a blog and make this kind of money!”? I mean… I’m just saying. Ten. Years.
- Writing food blog income reports helps me strategize my own future growth! It forces me to stay accountable, illuminates where I’m excelling and where I need to improve, and how diversified (or not) my income is. And to me, this is a huge part of understanding how to grow, identifying what your strongest content is, and keeping a pulse on your growth or recession. So let’s do it, eh?
My traffic in November 2018 shows something really awesome! But first, a backstory.
Last year, I spent most of Q3 and Q4 working on seasonal winter recipes with the hopes that I’d be able to experience traffic surges like my non-healthy food bloggers do around holidays. I produced recipes like Perfect Whole30 Turkey Breast and Gravy, Whole30 Green Bean Casserole, and Instant Pot Whole30 Cranberry Sauce with Apples and Rosemary.
And then while I was preparing for maternity leave, I took a look at older recipes I thought could work well for me in the same season and spent tons of time reshooting them, creating videos for them, updating their content, and clarifying directions, all with SEO in mind.
Guess what happened.
I actually had a serious increase in all my seasonal traffic! My recipe for The Best Paleo Stuffing in particular served me well, which is great, because I was 8 months pregnant making paleo stuffing for a video in July and yeah. Let’s just… yeah.
Here’s a comparison:
And then how’s about a 2312% increase for you? I’ll take it.
Of course, we were working super hard with my Pinterest team to boost that one. And how amazing did they do?!
Moral of the story? I worked my butt off to support my seasonal content, and it paid off. Now if only I could nail down the Christmas content…
Pageviews in November 2018
Here’s my overall traffic in November 2018, compared to the last 30 days in October 2018.
And my traffic doubled from this time last year.
I don’t include any of my freelance work that isn’t completely related to my blog and my online presence. For example, I don’t include any income I might make from 40A., my food blog virtual assistant agency. Is my experience as a blogger related to 40A.? Of course! But is it completely related to my blog? Nah, so it’s excluded it.
This month, I was still halfway on maternity leave, so there isn’t much sponsored, freelance, or coaching income.
- Sponsored posts: $0. I worked on a multi-campaign project, but it wasn’t fully finished until December, so we’ll leave it be for this month.
- Ad revenue with Adthrive: $16,436.32. RPM (revenue per thousand impressions [pageviews]) = 16,436.32/659,151 = $24.94. Adthrive is amazing.
- Freelance food photography: none, Magnolia JournalBUT my photos appeared in the winter edition of the !
- Freelance recipe development: none this month.
- Food blog retainer clients: $400. I work with multiple bloggers on content development, SEO suggestions, digital marketing, and strategy each month.
- Food Blog & Photography Coaching: none.
- Beautycounter affiliate income: $92.44. I’m way out of the swing of things with Beautycounter and am planning to rev it back up soon. But I hardly posted about my fave skincare (EVER) while I was on leave, so my sales were pretty low!
- Thrive Market: $540. I’m a partner with Thrive Market and make a bit of money whenever someone signs up for a trial through my link. I was a Thrive shopper before they reached out to me, and I cannot overstate just how much I love this company! Also, I was 8 months pregnant in that photo on my landing page, so…. strategic box placement all the time.
- Sales: $243. This number includes all the items I have for sale on my site, like my digital cookbook The Paleo Instant Pot, my food photography presets, and my ebook Improve Your Food Photography Almost Instantly.
- Amazon Affiliate sales: $325.80. This is what I make when anyone purchases something using a link from my site. It doesn’t cost the buyer anything else, but gives me a small portion of the sale as a referral fee for the purchase. My Amazon affiliate sales are decreasing, since I’m actively prioritizing my relationship with Thrive Market.
Total Income: $18,037.56
- WPOpt: $43. I adore my host, and they keep my site running super fast. They even include an https certificate, so I didn’t have to deal with any headache at all. They offer different levels for different traffic volumes, so there’s something for everyone. I probably need to upgrade soon, but I still feel like WPOpt handles the volume well at the level I pay for. I highly recommend them.
- Mailerlite: $110. My list is so important to my traffic, but that focus has made it pretty large. I use Mailerlite because it does the job, and I really don’t feel like I need any fancy capabilities with my list. My subscription went up $20 this month because I reached 30,000 subscribers that month.
- Adobe: $50. I pay for the entire suite of Adobe apps, because I do so much design, photography, and videography. For my blog I used Premiere Pro, Lightroom, Photoshop, and Adobe Illustrator, so the $50/month deal is great for me.
- LinkMyPhotos: $5. This services lets me link my Instagram photos directly to my blog. A lot of people use LinkInProfile, but LinkMyPhotos is half the price and does the same thing.
- Food blogger VA: $700 My assistant helps me with finding social media links to share, on photo and video shoots, and on a million other things. She’s made the biggest difference in my business and what I’m able to do and earn, and I really think everyone needs a virtual assistant. More on that in the next paragraph! cal
Total Expenses: $908
Net Income: $17,129.56
So… I had my best month ever with almost zero freelance work and working only part-time while I stay at home with my baby girl full-time. Being a “full-time blogger” (Whatever that means!) is the best.
And, of course, make sure you get in touch if you’re interested in applying to become a food blogging and photography coaching client, retainer client, or are interested in learning more about our food blog virtual assistants at 40A.!106