Excited for 2016! The year I begin trying to make an income with Food Marriage! I’ll start out by saying….VERY humble beginnings. But everyone has to start somewhere. A little over four years into this crazy blogging journey, I’ve decided that NOW is the time. Why now? Well, especially if you saw my recent post on why I didn’t monetize my blog in the beginning, you may have seen that I started it just for fun, I was focused on building content, and I did not understand advertising at all. I feel I now have a good handle on the direction I’m going and understand a lot more about the business side of blogging. So I’ve decided to create my food blog income report to share!
I spend about 10 to 15 hours a week commuting to and from work (my full time job as a corporate recruiter). The commute used to be the worst part of my day and I felt like I was wasting so much valuable time – however, I’ve recently discovered podcasts (I know….totally late to the game!!!) Now every day, I fill that time with listening to really great podcasts. I’m a huge Serial fan, but as you may know, with a new episode coming out just once every two weeks now, I have some other space to fill! I’ve been keeping my food inspiration alive with the Bon Appetit podcast, I’ve been listening to some of Pat Flynn’s Smart Passive Income Podcast, and I’ve been keeping up to date on parenting pop culture with the Spawned Podcast (they are super funny! Check them out if you get a chance!)
But mostly I’ve been binge-listening to the Food Blogger Pro Podcast. Whether you are new to the game of blogging or an experienced veteran, you will definitely benefit from listening to this podcast! Each episode Bjork Ostrom interviews someone different who is influential in the food blogging community. Each person’s story is so unique in how they got started and how they got to where they are today. Many of them also started out with humble beginnings and lack of knowledge. The best part? They want to help other bloggers avoid the missteps they made and help them achieve the success they know is possible. Because I am so thankful for those bloggers that have paved the way and who are so generous in sharing their knowledge, I wanted to join in on the community and share my journey as well.
How I will be measuring my income and expenses:
While I have not attempted to make money in the last 4 years with Food Marriage, I certainly have incurred expenses over the years (domain name purchase and renewal, web hosting, camera, etc). I will not be reporting any previous expenses before this point. #1 – I was blogging for fun, so just considered it my hobby expense. # 2 – I never truly kept a good record of expenses! So I actually don’t have a clear record before now!
I will be reporting income as it is paid out to me. Depending on the ad networks a blogger can work with, you can actually earn income that may take some time to pay out until you hit a certain threshold. Some bloggers report out their income in the month it was earned, and not in the month it was paid out. I find that it makes most sense for me to report on when it is paid, because let’s face it, money that is sitting with an ad network that I can’t access actually isn’t mine yet!
Income & Expense Breakdown:
- Gross Income:
- Ad Revenue – The Blogger Network – $25.45
- Canva – $10
- Net Income:
Income & Expense Summary:
I’m calling it a win that I have a net profit this month! Okay maybe it’s enough to buy me lunch tomorrow, but it’s a profit nonetheless!
My profits came solely from ad revenue. I’m so excited to be working as part of the Propel Program with the Blogger Network. While most premium blog networks require high traffic volume of 100,000+ page views a month to join, The Blogger Network created this great program to teach you how to grow your traffic while they take care of the monetization piece. It cost $99 to join the program (again another expense that I already previously paid in 2015, so not reporting at this time) but I do anticipate to make back that money quickly and continue earning even more! As part of the Propel program, you get access to a wealth of online trainings to help you grow as a blogger. They also take care of setting up all ads on your site, so you don’t have to worry about it. You are eligible to sign up for the Propel program if you have over 10,000 page views a month. The goal is to keep your traffic going up and up so you can continue to be successful and make money! I love how supportive they are of bloggers and also how quick their customer service is to respond if you ever have questions!
My only expense this month was with Canva. I know a lot of bloggers live by PicMonkey, but I’m personally obsessed with Canva! It’s generally a free service to use to do graphic design if you use your own photos or their free elements, but you can also purchase stock photos with a one time use license agreement for a great price! The photos are only $1. I don’t use stock photos that often, so for an awesome price and if I find exactly what I’m looking for, I’ll use it! I spent $10 this month since I bought a package – $10 actually gets me 11 images. A couple examples of the stock photos I’ve bought and did some design with include my post on Travel Tips for Flying with a Baby and 5 Tips for Blog Branding.
For January 2016, I had a total of 18,744 pageviews! It is so exciting to watch these numbers grow month! As I continue to create these monthly income reports, I plan to dive deeper into analyzing other data such as mobile vs. desktop usage and main sources of traffic.
Social Media Overview:
Pinterest continues to be a front-runner in the social media space for Food Marriage! One reason may be because of my increased pinning and utilization of a tool called Ahalogy! Not only does it give me the ability to schedule pins, but it also helps with elevating my SEO with Pinterest by helping pick out different keywords as I type in your pin description! It allows me to be part of an AWESOME content network with so many other talented bloggers. I love sharing my content and pinning the great things that I see from the other bloggers!
Another thing that Analogy does is give brands the ability to pin my content! A notable brand that has pinned one of my pins is Keebler Toll House Crackers! They pinned my Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots recipe to their Entertaining Made Easy Board! In the last 30 days alone, because it is on this board, this ONE pin for Bacon Wrapped Tater Tots has gotten 59,611 impressions, 944 clicks, 318 re-pins, and 28 likes! SO POWERFUL!
Gosh – where to start with my goals!? I have so many for this year!! If I had to narrow it down to my number one goal – it would be to blog more consistently! I’ve gone through periods where I’ve blogged very consistently, and then through periods where I didn’t blog for months on end (ahem….during pregnancy….ahem….again after I had my daughter). The goal I want to work towards is blogging consistently once a week and I plan to implement this starting in March.
Once I get into the rhythm of consistency again (which should hopefully in and of itself increase traffic, which should then increase income), but I would also like to then look into other avenues of blog monetization!
Thanks for joining me on my money-making journey! Looking forward to continuing to share my story!