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Growing The Blenderist – December 2014 Income Report

This is my once a month, super-nerdy post for other bloggers. If you come here for the recipes, you might find this post boring. I’m sorry! This post is all numbers and blog geekery. This post also contains a number of affiliate links. 

DECEMBER-INCOME-2014

Hey guys! If this is your first time reading one of my income reports, let me explain why I do this. I was inspired by the superstar mega-bloggers over at Pinch of Yum. Every month they share their income reports and every month I learn something new and valuable that I can apply to my own blog. 

I learned almost everything I needed to start my blog from the video courses over at Food Blogger Pro, a website that the folks at Pinch of Yum started to teach other food bloggers. If you are new to blogging or you haven’t been able to gain a readership for your blog, I believe Food Blogger Pro is worth the investment. The forums alone are priceless. I just love it over there

I decided to share my own income and traffic reports for a couple of reasons. First of all, it keeps me accountable for nurturing growth. Secondly, it gives other beginners something to relate to. Thirdly, I’m a nerd and numbers make me happy. So, let’s look at the numbers!

DRUM ROLL PLEASE! I hit 35K pageviews in December. That is 15K more than November. I’m going to go ahead and call that a triumph.

 

December-traffic-2014

 

Here is a breakdown of my blog traffic for 2014.

  • March – 2,700 pageviews
  • April – 10,200 pageviews
  • May – 8,100 pageviews
  • June – 7,200 pageviews
  • July – 7,400 pageviews
  • August – 16,200 pageviews
  • September- 12,321 pageviews
  • October – 24,216 pageviews
  • November- 20,532 pageviews
  • December – 35,209 pageviews

This makes me happy. I was worried December would be a huge fail because I didn’t have much time for creating content. I’m glad I was wrong.

Now, let’s see if I made any money from blogging this month:

Income:

Adsense $0.77
Sovrn $13.46
Gourmet Ads $82.84
BlogHer $27.25
Monetize Your Food Blog $7.50

Total Income: $132

Expenses:

Media Temple $9.00
CoSchedule $10.00
ViralTag $9.00

Total Expenses: $28 

Balance: $104

Look at that! I made over $100 for the first time. I’ll be rich from blogging in no time, right?

Looking at the income, you can see that Gourmet Ads are still my number one income generator. If you are wondering why my AdSense is so low, it’s because I only use AdSense to backfill ads using an the ad waterfall technique I learned in the e-book called Monetize Your Food Blog*. The ad waterfall allows you to take advantage of ad space when your primary ad networks don’t fill the units.

*I enjoyed the book so much that I signed up to be an affiliate, so if you buy the book through my link I get a commission without any additional cost to you.

If you read my income reports regularly, you may have notices a new expense. I am now using ViralTag as a social media scheduler. I was previously using Co-Schedule but I just cancelled my subscription. Co-Schedule is an awesome service with a great interface but I can’t afford to use both services. I got a great deal on ViralTag through a coupon the emailed me, so I decided to sign up.

Since I’ve been using ViralTag, my pinterest traffic is WAY up. I would recommend it to anyone who is trying to grow their blog traffic. I use it to schedule all the pins from my blog for 3 days at a time. It takes me about 20 minutes per week. That means I don’t have to spend hours on Pinterest pinning at strategic times. I set it and forget it!  If your time is valuable to you, ViralTag is absolutely worth the investment…even without a coupon.

You can check out my referrer stats for evidence of ViralTag’s magic…

December-Traffic-Sources

My Pinterest traffic doubled over last month. Sweet!

ViralTag can’t take all the credit. I’ve also been participating in some Pinterest sharing groups on Facebook. We help promote each other on Pinterest. It’s hard for me to determine the precise amount of traffic that is coming from this group activity, but I would estimate a couple hundred extra views a day (based on estimated stats before joining the groups). I highly recommend you find your own little community of food bloggers and start a sharing group!

What I Learned in December:

  • Automating tedious activities (like pinning my own pins) is absolutely worth the investment. ViralTag for the win!
  • Engaging with other bloggers is very rewarding. I learn so much from bloggers at all levels.
  • Pinterest traffic is amazing, but I am a bit afraid that it will all come crashing down one day. It’s time to diversify my income so that I’m not a victim if that happens.
  • Authenticity is the key to having a “stand out” blog. My friend Levan over at My Wife Makes wrote an awesome post about it.

There we have it folks. The next post will be the beginning of my 2015 income reports. Things are looking bright, literally. I treated myself to a new lighting kit for my birthday and my pictures are looking better than ever. I hope to see you all next month!

 

18 Comments

  1. Hey Jasmine! This post is great! Congrats on the bump in income! 🙂 Gourmet Ads is well and truly the BEST, totally agree! Also, your Google / organic traffic is actually doing really well! It’s just gonna keep getting better and better for sure. Your suggestion for VirtalTag is also awesome – what a great tool! Wish that we didn’t have to manually upload the pins each time but functionality wise it’s solid!

    I also notice you’re using the ‘sticky’ ad widget on the right! Do you find it helps your viewability with GA?

    Congrats once again, and thank you for the blog post mention! Wishing you nothing but the ultimate success of all successes!

  2. Jasmine Lukuku says

    Hi Levan, I think the sticky widget is helpful but it does get a bit glitchy on mobile. I am trying to get the most out of my Gourmet ads, so I’m keeping it for now!

  3. Thanks for taking the time to post this information. I discovered your site on Pinterest recently and love the recipes by the way! I just started my first blog a few weeks ago, so I found this information really helpful. Signed up for ViralTag this morning and I think it’s going to be a very helpful tool. 🙂

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Sheena,

      I’m glad you’ve found this information helpful. I’m really loving viral tag. It helps me save so much time! Best luck to you with your blog!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thanks David! I’m making some serious headway, finally! It’s all very encouraging!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thanks Michelle! I appreciate your readership. I’m always happy to see you pop up in the comments!

  4. Hi Jasmine – I just found your post through FoodBloggerPro. Thanks for some great tips. I think I definitely need to explore Viral Tag, since I find it very difficult to find time to work on my Pinterest boards at strategic times. Wishing you every success in 2015.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thank you Mairéad! I think time is precious, I don’t want to spend all day on Pinterest! May you have success in 2015 as well! PS…I’m Irish on my Mom’s side.

  5. Congrats on making over 100 bucks! I’m still hovering around $2.00 a month, but I just added some affiliate links to my blog in the last few weeks and we’ll see what happens. I haven’t checked out Gourmet Ads yet! I’ll definitely give that one a go. I adore these income reports!
    Trish

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thanks Trish! Definitely check out Gourmet ads, it might take awhile to get accepted but they are currently my favourite ad network!

  6. Jasmine – thank you so much for your post here. I have learned A LOT. I have been looking into Gourmet Ads and I think you encouraged me enough with your post here that talking to them is the right thing to do. I’ll also be checking out ViralTag – are you an affiliate? If so, I’ll purchase through your link there to help you out! Again, thank you for sharing such great info! ~Wendi

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Wendi, I am glad to hear that you have learned a lot! I do have an affiliate account with ViralTag, thank you for offering to use it if you decide to go forward with it. Here is my link! You might also want to compare the Tailwind service. I’m not an affiliate for Tailwind, but I know a lot of people love their service. I’m very happy with ViralTag, but I’m all for everyone doing research before they decide!

  7. Thanks for the Viraltag tip – I wasn’t familiar with that tool.

    I also know what you mean about relying too much on Pinterest. It’s my main traffic source right now for both of my sites, and one of my big goals this year is to diversify my traffic streams, so I’m not so reliant on it. Which is good, considering some of the changes Pinterest has been making recently regarding affiliate links!

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