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Growing The Blenderist – October 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. 

october-income-report

This is the third month I will be publicizing my blogging income and traffic report. You might be wondering why I am doing this. I was inspired by the awesome folks over at Pinch of Yum. Lindsay and Bjork have done an amazing job of growing their blog over the years. Instead of hoarding their secrets, they have generously shared their experiences. They are so dedicated to helping food bloggers that they created Food Blogger ProFood Blogger Pro saved me a lot of time when I was first setting up my blog. I learned how to make my blog SEO friendly and how to drive traffic to my blog. I even learned how to take better food pictures. If you are just starting out as a blogger, I highly recommend you join the community over there. It’s a very valuable resource. If you are looking for information on how to make money from a food blog, I also recommend the book “How to Monetize your Food Blog” . 

I am so late posting this month. I have a bunch of excuses, but excuses are boring…so I’ll spare you the finer details but it involves an unexpected move. As I type this, there is a stack of boxes towering next to me and 99% of my kitchen is packed up. Blogging has been pushed on the back burner a bit. It’s frustrating as I’m chomping at the bit to get back to a normal schedule. Alas, life happens.

October was a great month for this newbie blogger. My traffic doubled from the previous month… October-traffic-report It was really satisfying to hit that 20,000 pageviews. I did a little happy dance.

This is how my growth breaks down on a monthly basis (rounded to nearest 100)…

  • 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

Not bad at all! Especially since I didn’t have any major media hits to help me out this month. I can take credit for the pageviews this month because I worked hard to get them. How, you are wondering? Well, I’ll get in to that in a moment. First, let’s look at the income!

This is my blog income and expense report for October…

Income:

Google Adsense $0.36
Sovrn $5.58
Gourmet Ads $57.74
Swoop $10.54
BlogHer $13.75

Total Income: $88

As you can see, my Gourmet Ads are rocking! I can’t say the same for BlogHer which is a letdown because I was so excited about joining the BlogHer network. I’ve heard a lot of rumblings among bloggers about the BlogHer payouts. It’s too early and I’m too green to have anything to compare it to, but compared to Gourmet Ads, I’m really not thrilled with the performance.

Expenses:

Media Temple Hosting $9.00
CoSchedule $10.00

Total Expenses: $19

I don’t currently include food costs in my expenses because I’m still working with my personal groceries. It’s not something I would claim on my taxes. Also, my hosting costs are low because I’m sharing the space with some other websites my partner and I operate.

Last month, I signed up for CoSchedule and I’m still really enjoying the service. It’s really great for scheduling blog posts and social media. If you like to see things all in one place, it’s worth checking out. They offer a free trial.

So, for the month of October…my income from blogging was…

$69!!!

Lucky number 69. Not too shabby.

Now, let’s take a look at where my blog traffic is coming from…

All-traffic-october

My Pinterest traffic increased significantly from last month. This is because I adopted an aggressive Pinterest strategy. Last month, I promised to talk a bit more about my Pinterest strategy. It really does deserve it’s own blog post and I promise to do a detailed post once I move and get settled. In the meantime, I will give you an abbreviated version.

My aggressive Pinterest strategy relies on group boards. I have found some group boards with loose rules. This means they don’t limit the number of posts you can submit per day. Every day, I make sure to pin my recipes to those boards. Even if I just posted it on the same board the day before. These boards have so many members that the content moves very quickly, so your posts do get buried in a matter of hours. Essentially, my strategy is aggressive, repetitive pinning.

You might think this would cause me to lose Pinterest followers. To my surprise I went from 150 Pinterest followers in September to 758 Pinterest followers as of today. I credit the exposure via group boards and re-pins.

This particular pin has been getting me a lot of traffic.

What I learned in October…

– Overall, repetition is a good strategy when it comes to Pinterest. As long as you respect the rules of the boards, don’t be afraid to post the same pin more than once on the big group boards.

– Sometimes the underdog (Gourmet Ads) surprise you!

– You don’t need outside media features to see a big boost in traffic if you are willing to do a little self-promo.

That is it for this months report. I hope you found something helpful in all my ramblings. You can always leave me a comment or send me a message if you have any questions!

 

21 Comments

  1. Thanks so much for taking the time to do these reports, Jasmine. I find them really interesting and it’s so great that you are willing to share what’s working and what’s not. I really impressed with your Pinterest strategy – a jump from 150 to 758 is fantastic. Thanks again!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Thanks Geraldine! It helps me to do a monthly analysis, so it’s definitely worth the time…especially if anyone else benefits from reading it!

  2. hi Jasmine, I am a bit confused about group boards. I looked at a couple and can’t figure out how to request membership, do I have to click on the ‘follow’ tab. Also are the pins that are generated with a group board visible to my pinterest account board? If so wouldn’t that overwhelm the traffic for people who are already following me?

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Dahn, with most group boards you have to find the person that started the board and follow them…then send them a request to join. Each board will have it’s own instructions. Some boards founders want you to comment on one of their pins with a request to join. Other board founders will ask you to message them.

      This site has a lot of information on how to join group boards… http://www.mcngmarketing.com/how-to-join-a-group-board-on-pinterest/#.VHKzX5PF_Wo

      Other group members’ pins will show up in your follower’s feeds…but they won’t be saved as your own pin on your profile. Does that make sense? You might have some people who get frustrated with repetitive posts, but for every one of those people you will probably find 5 people who are happy to see the pin for the first time.

  3. Thanks for the great post! I’m obsessed with income reports so I loooved reading this.

    How many ads are your running from Gourmet? Are you only using the 300×250 size? I think I’ve been hugely underestimating the value of Gourmet!

    Great tips for pinterest too. I clearly haven’t been using it nearly enough!

    Can’t wait to see next months report, thanks Jasmine!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I run the maximum 3 ads and they are all 300 X 250. I run two in the sidebar and one at the bottom of the post. I am re-designing my blog to be three column…and then I plan to use a skyscraper on the left.

      Thanks for reading1

  4. Great post Jasmine, looks like things are going really well here!

    A couple of questions on your Pinterest strategy: how many times per day are you pinning to your group boards? IE if you’re on 50 group boards, do you pin to each of them 3 times/day? 6 times/day? Etc.

    Thanks! If you’re interested, feel free to check out our latest growth report, (I post them for my wife’s blog tomatoboots.co), here: http://www.tomatoboots.co/october-2014-growth-report/.

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I have to admit, I’m not that systematic with it. I was basically posting a batch in the morning and a batch in the afternoon…approximately 15 pins at a time. I usually pin 5 or so to each group board, but some boards have rules about the number of concurrent posts.

      I just got a wicked deal on a year subscription to Viral Tag, so I’m giving that a try. It schedules my pins at optimal times. Right now, I have it set to pin 45 times during the day.

  5. Jasmine, this is absolutely fascinating. There is so much I don’t know about blogging, especially the SEO stuff. And I rarely ever use Pinterest. I remember hearing you talk about aggressive pinning at the FBC conference. I need to get on the train! Hopefully you do a full post about it and I can benefit from all your wisdom and experience!

  6. I’m so happy when I read these, it makes me realize what a great community we have in food blogging! : ) Hooray for your income this month, yay! I need to start keeping track of mine, it’s kind of all over the place right now!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      It’s true! I’ve learned so much from other bloggers, so I’m happy to share what tidbits have been helpful to me!

  7. I can’t wait to hear more about your Pinterest strategy! How long have you been with BlogHer? It’s been around 2 months for me, and AdSense has been outperforming my BlogHer ads! I will need to look into Gourmet Ads. Congrats on this income report!!!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      I have been with BlogHer about two months, my ads are not performing that well.I’m going to give them some more time, but if it doesn’t improve I will not be renewing my contract.

  8. Hello Jasmine! Levan here. We’re on similar Facebook and Pinterest groups (hee hee!) Love these income reports and love the honesty! You fight the good fight and it’s so wonderful to be sharing this uphill blogging trek together! Looking forward to stay connected. I dropped you a Facebook message by the way!

    • Jasmine Lukuku says

      Hi Levan! Thanks for stopping by here! I’ll go check my messages now.

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