A blog income report for food bloggers and internet entrepreneurs. It includes a comprehensive review of how Gluten Free with L.B. is making money blogging in June of 2016.
These reports are written in an effort to offer encouragement (and a little guidance) to other bloggers and internet 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!
Don’t have a blog yet but would like to start one? Visit the How to Start a Blog page to create your own in under 20 minutes!
**Psshhh… wanted to make sure you knew! Many of the links below are affiliate links. If clicked on and an item is purchased then I will get a small percentage of the sale–for that, I am super thankful! 🙂
Traffic for June 2016
17,510 sessions (+11.42%)
*Notice how Pinterest traffic has now jumped to the #1 traffic source for GFwLB. I’ll talk about that more in depth below.
- Google Adsense $19.46
- Gourmet Ads $34.32
- BlogHer $30.40
- Sovrn $15.19
- Swoop $3.56
- Affiliates $0
- Sponsored Content $200.00
Total Income= $302.93
RPM = $6.80 (+160%)
*RPM stands for revenue/mille, or revenue/1,000 pageviews. 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 income.
- Media Temple $36.50
- Get 20% off your first month with this link.
- Mailchimp $15.00
- Get $30 towards your paid subscription when you sign up with this link.
- Food Blogger Pro* $29.00
- TailWind Pinterest Scheduler* $12.00
- Vaultpress $5.00
- StudioPress Genesis and Divine Themes for WordPress $150.00*
Total Expenses= $222.50
*Will talk about more in next month’s report.
Total Net Profit = $80.43
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, March, April and May of 2016 here!
Changes Made in June 2016
How Gluten Free with L.B. tripled its income in one month…
This month was by FAR the most successful month, financially, that GFwLB has had to date. How did the blog almost triple its income? I am sure you noticed in the income breakdown above, but it was all thanks to a sponsored post opportunity through Social Fabric.
If you ever find yourself second-guessing if a product is the right fit for you, go with your gut! Don’t sacrifice the trust you have built with your audience for the chance to make a few extra bucks. Authenticity always wins in the long run!
“Authenticity always wins in the long run!”
What exactly did the sponsored post process entail?
- Filtering through multiple campaign opportunities and applying for the ones that were a good fit.
- Coming up with a clever idea for the sponsored product and explaining it in detail in their application.
- Waiting a few days-weeks to hear if I was chosen for their campaign.
- …And getting rejected by quite a few others in the process!
- Receiving an e-mail saying I was chosen and then doing a silly happy dance around the room.
- Finding out they wanted the “rough draft” within a week’s time.
- Going to the store to purchase the sponsored product (if I didn’t already have it at home.)
- Recipe testing multiple times until it was just right.
- Photographing step-by-step images and then a few more final images with a “hero image.”
- A “hero image” is the main image of a blog post that is shared on all social platforms and sometimes will contain the name of your post and or your sponsored product’s name.
- Submitting the rough draft for approval.
- Editing anything they found to be incorrect or needed improving.
- Waiting until I had the green light to post the recipe live to my site. (This can take a few weeks and may even get delayed!)
- Sharing the post on 4+ social media platforms with certain #hastags and links.
- Going out to celebrate with my hubby that my first sponsored post opportunity was a success!
There are numerous companies who aggregate different sponsored post opportunities. Currently, I am a part of Social Fabric, Clever Girls, Linqia and BlogHer. There are many more companies out there, but at the time I have decided to focus more on building my audience instead of applying for countless sponsored posts. It is a great avenue for increasing your income, but it does take quite a bit of leg work to apply for different campaigns. My goal is to increase my monthly pageviews and increase my total social media followers to 2,500+ before I focus too much on sponsored content. There will be much more on the topic of “Focusing” in next month’s income report 🙂
It’s OK to NOT just post recipes…
During the month of June I decided to change things up a bit. It’s so easy to get brainwashed into thinking that, as a food blogger, you should only post food recipes. That’s so not true!! As bloggers of the food genre, there are so many different topics to discuss. While yes, recipes normally do take up the large majority of our site, that is not the only thing we are “allowed” to discuss. (I say “allowed” very loosely because after all, who’s our boss?! Yup. That’s right. Ourself!)
What is it that you feel you bring to the table? (Besides that delicious plate of chocolate chip cookies! :)) Are you really into fitness? A yogi? A runner? Do you eat strictly vegan, paleo, clean or dairy-free? Do you live in an amazing city and know all of the local places to eat? Whatever it is that you feel makes yourself and your blog uniquely you is what you should talk about, outside of recipes.
For me, I decided to finally embrace the fact that…
- Yes, I eat a strictly gluten-free diet,
- Yes, that may scare a few gluten-lovers away,
- And finally YES! I have so much to share on this topic apart from recipes.
That is why I decided to post an article about the 12 Gluten Free Snacks You Need in Your Life! A little bit of a corny title, but 100% real. These were the top twelve snacks we have in our house almost all of the time. One of the areas I have found most difficult for people starting a new food journey (i.e.-eating gluten free, dairy free, etc.) is figuring out the best products to buy that actually taste good. Noone wants to spend their money on a bag of lentil chips that taste like cardboard!
My challenge for you for this month…
Find what resonates with your audience and give them an article that teaches them more about this topic!
The value of being active on Pinterest…
Pinterest is like the social media giant when it comes to food blogging. If you have not yet tapped into this potential traffic source… Do. It. Now!! But the key is not to pin sporadically, but to pin strategically.
“The key is not to pin sporadically, but to pin strategically.”
In last month’s income report I talked about a program I had recently discovered call TailWind. Tailwind is a Pinterest scheduler that allows you to set a bunch of pins to go out at the most optimal times of the day. In one 30-minute pinning session you can set up ~80-100 pins for the week! I will admit, I was a bit skeptical about this tactic and didn’t like the idea of overwhelming my Pinterest followers with too much of the same thing. However, I heard something that changed the way I thought about social media sharing, and Pinterest specifically… With the new algorithms on Pinterest (Twitter, Facebook, etc) only a small percentage of your followers will actually ever see your post.
So what should you do if only, let’s say, 10-20% of your followers are actually seeing your pins each time you pin something? Pin the same pin multiple times! No one is going to say anything to you if they happen to see your pin more than once. Chances are they will probably recognize it and will be more likely to repin the second time around.
As you can see in the graph below, GFwLB’s Pinterest traffic has reached the #1 spot for the month of June! Most of this is primarily due to a recipe getting 11K+ repins and therefore driving a lot of visitors to the site. since I am beginning to see an upwards trend for Pinterest traffic I am going to continue implementing my current Tailwind strategy described above 🙂
There is always something new to learn…
Last month I let you in on a wonderful resource that I have been using quite frequently called Food Blogger Pro. It is a great resource with tons of videos for all things food blogging. However, it does cost money! If you’re not exactly ready to spend much money, but still want to broaden your knowledge on the food blogging topic, you should check out a couple of these podcasts:
- Food Blogger Pro- Yes! Food Blogger Pro has a FREE podcast, too! In the podcast Bjork talks to many of the most popular and well-known food bloggers out there as well as some of the industry leaders in social media, web design, and many more topics.
- Chopped– Another podcast dedicated solely to food bloggers. Marly has such a warm personality and makes talking about food so much fun! She interviews many well-known bloggers and people in the food niche, much like Bjork.
- Smart Passive Income– This one is for all of the entrepreneurs out there! Pat Flynn knows all of the ins and outs of how to make money “passively” online.
The more you learn about a topic the more you realize how much you don’t know. That can be scary at times but also encouraging. It’s nice to know that you don’t know everything there is to know about a topic so there are lots of areas for you to improve!
What’s going on for the month of July?
The Importance of Focusing…
- Learning what is important, not what is urgent.
A New Look and Feel for GFwLB…
- The process of redesigning a site and what can potentially go wrong.
- Giving your readers a great resource by sharing other bloggers’ recipes.
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!