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.
Are you ready to ruuuuuuumble?!?!?!?! Sorry, I just wanted to start this income report out on an exciting note and that seemed like a good idea.
If you are reading this for the first time, I promise it gets better. Every month, I write an income and growth report exposing the details of my traffic, expenses and earnings. I was inspired by Bjork and Lindsay over at Pinch of Yum . If you ever want to have your mind blown, go read their income reports. They did so well growing Pinch of Yum that they started another site called Food Blogger Pro to educate and support other bloggers. It’s a membership site, so you do have to pay but it is definitely worth it. When I started my blog, I watched all the Food Blogger Pro videos and I truly believe it gave me a head start. That is why I am proud to be a Food Blogger Pro affiliate. I just love it over there!
On to the numbers!
Remember how excited I was in December when I hit 35K pageviews? I was dancing on sunshine. I am happy to say I blew those numbers out of the water this month! I hit 65K pageviews!
Here is a breakdown of growth since I started blogging:
- 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
- January – 65,174 pageviews
I can’t believe what a huge leap I made in January. I’ll explain the source of growth a little later when I go through the traffic sources.
Did I make any money from blogging this month?
Food Blogger Pro Affiliate
Total Income: $217
|Media Temple Hosting||$9.00|
Total Expenses: $18
Oh man, so close to $200! Better luck next time. Just kidding! This is a nice jump up from last month when I made $104.
As usual, my Gourmet Ads are kicking butt. I love Gourmet Ads because they let me run 3 ad units. My Adsense is always low because I only use it to backfill my other ads. I backfill my ads in order to maximize ad revenue using a technique I learned in the e-book called Monetize Your Food Blog *.
*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.
I’m still feeling disappointed by BlogHer. They only let me run 1 ad unit and it really isn’t bringing in much money. I don’t think I’m going to renew my contract with them when the time comes. I know other people have had great success with them, but I’m not wowed.
You will see that my two expenses are Media Temple web hosting and ViralTag. I don’t pay much for hosting right now because I’m sharing the server. I got a deal on ViralTag, so it’s affordable. ViralTag is a social media scheduling tool that allows me to schedule posts to Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook and other networks. I primarily use it to schedule Pinterest pins on group boards. It is a huge time saver.
How Do You Get Traffic to Your Blog?
Let’s take a look at where my blog traffic came from this month…
I doubled my Pinterest traffic again! It’s been a nice little gravy train but I’ve been looking over my stats for February and I can already see a plateau.
My Pinterest strategy in December and January was aggressive pinning. The goal was to get my stuff infront of as many people as possible. That involved pinning about 70 of my own pins a day, every day on various group boards. It really worked for me. I grew my own following on Pinterest from about 150 to 2300+ and more importantly I drove a lot of traffic to my blog.
Unfortunately, there is a lot of rumbling amongst bloggers regarding changes to Pinterest. Most bloggers I have chatted with have noticed a decline in Pinterest traffic over the past few weeks of February. This does not apply to my January traffic, but I think it’s important to mention the changes. Those who are serious about growing their blogs are looking at new channels to drive traffic. I’m also using a different strategy on Pinterest, I’m focusing on my most popular content and boards with very high re-pins. If this all sounds like gibberish to you, sorry. Pinterest is weird.
January was a great month but I feel a bit like my castle is built on sand. I’ve had a peek at the February stats (Spoiler Alert) and traffic growth has plateaued. I’ve been drafting up ideas for a e-cookbook so that I can increase my income without having to increase my traffic. I’m still loving ViralTag because it makes scheduling Pinterest a snap. The less time I have to spend promoting my blog the better. I need to use my time to create content!
Full disclosure, I left something off my income report because the income and expenses were not 100% related to my blog. When I’m not blogging, I do freelance marketing and branding work. That work is amorphous. In December and January, I did some work marketing and photography work for a client/family member as a favour. I wasn’t expecting to get paid, but I did. The amount of money I earned was exactly enough to cover the cost of a pair of Lowel Ego lights for tabletop photography (affiliate link: Lowel EGO Digital Imaging, Tabletop Fluorescent Light Unit). I’ve opted to keep it off my reports because it didn’t really change the bottom line, but if you are a stickler you can add $300 to income and deduct $300 in expenses. I’ll be using the lights for the blog and for my other business projects.