A blog income report for food bloggers and other entrepreneurs for April 2016.
These reports are written in an effort to offer encouragement (and a little guidance) to other bloggers/entrepreneurs out there. I will be sharing the things that have worked here on Gluten Free with L.B. as well as the pitfalls that have been encountered. After all, the best way to learn is from other people!
After over 2 years of blogging I am nowhere close to being a blogging expert, but I do have some real (blog) life lessons to share. Whether you’re a fellow blogger or just curious about the ins and outs of making money from the internet, read on!
(Don’t have a blog yet but would like to start one? Visit my “How to Start a Blog” page to create your own in under 20 minutes!)
Traffic for April 2016
15,715 sessions (-5.4%) | 39,851 pageviews (-2.4%)
Total Income= $82.89
RPM = $2.08 (-29%)
*RPM stands for revenue/mille, or revenue/1,000 pageviews. It will be used on every monthly report. This helps gauge if monetization strategies are improving (making more money/1,000 pageviews) or getting worse. Since traffic varies from month to month, it is good to have a consistent measurement to determine how well your site is generating money.
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Total Expenses= $27.74
Total Net Profit = $-23.61
A Quick Catch-Up
If you want to catch up and see what GFwLB has been doing for the rest of 2016, check out the income reports from January, February and March of 2016!
A NEGATIVE Profit?!?
Yes. I finally bit the bullet and decided to put MORE money into the blog than it made this month. (Technically, I had not been doing this in previous months so we are still in the positive!)
My site speed simply was not cutting it. I want my site to be enjoyable for users and one of the main turn-offs for me when visiting other blogs is a site that takes too long to load. In order to decrease how long my site takes to load I decided to change my host provider. With this change came a little extra cash that had to be spent, but it was totally worth it! Read below for more details on my new host provider, Media Temple.
Changes Made in April
The dreaded advertising cycle…
Wow. When your site is relying solely on advertising income, having a low RPM from advertisers sure does stink. Not only were the advertisers paying less money/impression, but the traffic just didn’t seem to be rolling in this month. I have heard it before, but have not really believed it until now…
Food blogs have a cyclical nature!!
Everyone knows that most people are baking and cooking up a storm in the months of November and December. This translates into more views to your blog and thus more money that is made from advertisers. But this income is not solely correlated to how many visitors to your site you obtain. It also has a little something to do with advertising cycles.
Advertising cycles are broken up into quarters. Jan-March, April-June, July-September, and October-December. Advertisers allocate a certain amount of money to each quarter. It is no hard and fast rule, but the general trend is to see revenue from advertisers increase towards the end of each quarter, and increase from Q1–>Q4. So December:
People looking for good holiday recipes (Inc. Traffic)
the 3rd month in Q4 (Inc. Advertising RPM)
A really AWESOME income from advertisers.
As for April 2016 here on GFwLB… the low traffic combined with low advertising RPM meant it was a really slow month on income. But that’s OK… With each negative month comes a little more fire under my bum to branch out and try new revenue streams. Be sure to check out next month’s report to hear all about it!!
Moving on Up to a Faster Host…
Can I confess something? I chose this hosting provider for one primary reason… My favorite blogger of all time uses them!! And do you know what’s even more hilarious? While discussing the options for my food blog on their LIVE CHAT (Yes!! You can chat with a real person in real time!) she mentioned that Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum uses them too. O. M. G. If they didn’t have me already, the fact that they related my blog to one of the greatest of all times had me sold! (Are you hinting a bit of a food blogger crush here?)
Besides the fact that Lindsay and Bjork, her hubby, utilize Media Temple as their host provider, I also loved how easy it was to learn about the services they provide. I was able to chat with an actual sales representative about all of my questions and concerns. After that, their support team was super helpful when it came time to migrate my site from Hostgator to Media Temple and what my responsibilities entailed. Customer service is key in winning me over and they hit it out of the park.
Another cool feature I love about Media Temple is that you can increase your usage limit in times of high demand. Let’s say I have been advertising the release of a new e-cookbook for months and the day has finally come that people can go online and order it. With another host provider I may be concerned that my site could not handle the influx of extra people. However, with Media Temple you can let them know a couple of days in advance and they will prorate you additional “usage” which equates to your site being able to handle more visitors at one time.
If you would like to check them out, be sure to use this link. They will give you 20% off your first month and I will get a little bonus, too! 🙂
Using Facebook to your Advantage…
Facebook, oh Facebook… oh how I have a love-hate relationship with you. Until recently. There is something to be said about community. Whether that is community in your everyday life with family and friends or that is an online virtual community.
Recently I discovered that there is a magical thing called Groups on Facebook. Instead of searching for people you can search for groups by topic. For me I searched: gluten free, celiac and food bloggers. Currently I am a member of 8 different groups. What this means is that instead of just sharing things to my personal page, I now have 8 different groups and all of their followers that my posts can potentially reach!! For example, look at this post below that reached over 2,300 people. *
Yes, most of those shares are me to my 8 groups, but the number of people it reaches is WAY more than the couple of hundred I was originally receiving. Next month I will go into more detail on when is the best time to share and what types of recipes seem to do better on different days of the week.
*Note: make sure to share from your website’s page. If you share from your own Facebook page you will not be able to see the number of people you reach!
How to Prepare for Vacation…
With summer in full swing a lot of us have fun trips and getaways planned. The last thing you want to worry about while you’re away is that your blog’s traffic is dwindling. Fear not, nothing MAJOR is going to happen if you don’t post for a week or so. However, you may lose that momentum you worked so hard to gain (i.e.- Pinterest followers, Google rankings, Traffic increases, etc.) Here are a few tips for how to prepare for going on vacation:
- Spread out the work:
- Two to three weeks before your vacation aim to make ONE extra recipe/week. If you post 2x/week = two weeks before, 3x/week = three weeks.
- Cut yourself some slack:
- It’s OK if you post one time less than you usually do while you’re gone. Don’t kick yourself if life gets hectic!!
- Get social — ahead of time:
- Set up your social media sharing AHEAD of time. I.e.- Facebook posts, Instagram and Twitter can all be scheduled/shared through a cool app I’ve been using called HootSuite.
- Utilize down time on your trip:
- If you know you have a 4 hour plane ride, aim to get some of your photo editing or blog post writing done then. Be realistic with how much you can accomplish during this time, because after all–you are on vacation!
- Unplug from the web:
- Try to unplug. For the first 3 days of our trip we had no electronics/cell phone reception. (We were backpacking through Big Sur!) Give yourself at least a day or two during your trip when you are completely disconnected with what’s going on online.
- Enjoy your time!!
- Don’t forget to relax and enjoy your time. You’re taking a break from your work! Utilize this vacation to recharge and let your mind take a breather so you can come back refreshed and ready to create more delicious recipes and posts!
Here are some pics from our trip to Northern California last month!!
(Big Sur, Napa Valley, and Pt. Reyes)
Our Campsite in Big Sur 🙂
Day Hike to the Hot Springs!
Enjoying Sykes Hot Springs.
Ahhhhh…. My first glass of bubbly after a 4 day backpacking excursion.
Tandem bikes make great marriage counseling tools for communication!
Schramsberg winery. They had over 3 million bottles in their caves!! I was like a kid in a candy store 🙂
My man spotting a whale in Pt. Reyes.
A Look Into the Future
What’s going on for the month of May?
When to share what on Facebook…
- My experiment with what times are best for sharing on Facebook.
The best mentor I have found…
- A website designed with people like you and me in mind.
A new way to organize your blog life…
- A look into a new calendar program that is helping me stay on task.
How GFwLB tripled it’s income in one month…
- Taking a look at different avenues for obtaining income on a blog.
YAY!! You made it to the end! Once again, I give you a virtual smiley face sticker for sticking around. 🙂 If there was something I touched on in the post but you would like more information about, please comment below and I will give more details in the next post or send you a personal e-mail response.
Until next month’s report,