A food blog income report for other food bloggers and internet entrepreneurs. It includes a comprehensive review of how Gluten Free with L.B. is making money blogging in August 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! Some 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 August 2016
24,218 sessions (+14%)
- Google Adsense $18.20
- Gourmet Ads $40.77
- BlogHer $154.44
- Sovrn $20.26
- Affiliates $0
- Sponsored Content $0
Total Income= $233.67
RPM = $7.58
*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
Total Expenses= $72.50
Total Net Profit = $161.17
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 the first half of 2016 here!
I will try and keep this one short and sweet since the Food Blog Income Report from July 2016 was quite lengthy!! And… we’re about to head out to our all-time favorite music festival of the year… Utopiafest!! Take a look at the tee-pee that we set up at our campsite 🙂 Hand-sewn and constructed by my crafty husband and side-kick (i.e.-best bud) Peter.
Changes Made in August 2016
What is SEO?
SEO stands for search engine optimization. This simply means how well you have organized and “tagged” your pages and blog posts with certain elements that Google (and other search engines) tend to look for. For example: Do you have a clear and descriptive title? Do all of your images have alt tags that contain your keyword? Is your post of ideal length?
Are your eyes glazing over yet? It is a lot. And a lot of it is unknown to most of us as far as what Google tends to look for. However, this last month I decided to instal a nifty little plugin called Yoast SEO plugin. It. Is. Ah-mazing!!
Yoast SEO Plugin acts as your SEO sherpa. Guiding you along the treacherous and dangerous path that is all things SEO. As your sherpa, he holds your hand as you go through the process and provides a road map for you to follow. At the very end, when you have made it to your destination, a fabulous green light will appear that lets you know you have optimized your post’s SEO according to Yoast’s requirements.
Now this is by no means the end all – be all answer to SEO optimization, but it is definitely a good starting point.
How to analyze your data for SEO…
One of the first things I noticed after fixing my 2-year long snafu with Google Analytics (read more about that here in the Food Blog Income Report from July 2016) was that my bounce rate was too high. I was getting upwards of 87-88% of people visiting my site and immediately leaving. That simply was not acceptable.
After foraging through the numbers I realized that a really good place to start was with my organic search traffic. Selecting the top ten posts people were visiting after searching in Google, I set to work.
This is what I changed in my Top 10 Posts:
- Yoast SEO
- I selected a keyword (after researching different keyword’s popularity through Google Trends) and tried to repeat that keyword at least 3-4 times throughout the post. I optimized all of the fields as best as I could without making the post sound weird.
- Related Recipes
- Instead of using a Related Recipes plugin, I manually placed 3-4 large 400 x 600-pixel images with links to the related recipe at the end of the post. Some people think the Related Recipes Plugins looks like spam so I wanted to make sure my readers knew that it was me suggesting the recipes.
- New Pinterest Image
- In the beginning, I rarely created long, vertical, Pinterest-optimized images. I took this opportunity to make a 400 x 1100-pixel image that would look great in Pinterest and inserted it towards the bottom of the blog post.
So far I have only had a chance to optimize 20-25 of my older recipes but will continue to do this until my top 50 or so are done. One of the main aspects Google recognizes is whether or not a reader liked what they saw when they visited your site. If a reader searches a term, lands on your site, and then immediately bounces back to their search results Google will ding you for this. So do whatever you can to make that reader stick around… Gooogle will most likely reward you for this!
As you can see in the chart above, GFwLB’s organic traffic growth has increased substantially after making a few of the changes mentioned above. The blue represents August and the orange represents June.
An increase of over 60% in organic search traffic!
Connecting with like-minded peeps…
Do you have a group of bloggers you meet up with? Or maybe you have connected with a few other foodies online… If you haven’t yet, now is the time!!
There is something to be said about strength in numbers. I don’t know about you, but I know that my sweet hubby, family and friends sure do get tired of hearing about pageviews, FoodGawker, SEO, and followers. They are extremely encouraging and try to offer some input, but I know I am boring them. And that is OK!! Because this is not their niche, this is mine.
After deciding to try and turn this whole blogging thing into a business about 6 months ago, I started to realize that depression and resistance can quickly set in. No one seems to totally understand how much work, energy, and creative juices it takes to make this whole thing run. Most people don’t realize the hours, the failures and the successes that we all go through. Until I met up with a few other food bloggers.
One group is organized through our local Austin Food Bloggers Alliance. They have a monthly happy hour in which we get to meet at a new restaurant and eat lots of free and yummy food. It was awesome! I got to interact with other people who not only have “recipe” blogs, but also write restaurant reviews. It was such a great time to talk WordPress and all of the pains and victories we each go through.
The other group I have started to meet with is put together by the wonderful people at Food Blogger Pro, Lindsay at Bjork . If you want to start focusing on turning your blog into a business, or even just want to see if you can grow your traffic/brand, I HIGHLY suggest you check them out! They only have 2 open enrollments/year, but if you get on their waiting list they will occasionally have an extra signup time for just the people on their list.
While Food Blogger Pro organizes the meetup, it is actually led by Austin locals, Dustin and Lacey Baier of A Sweet Pea Chef. They have had their food blog for over 7 years and are a wealth of knowledge and inspiration. The group is kept intimate, no more than 10-12 people attend, so we can all have a chance to talk about our month.
Do you have a local food blogging group in your area? I encourage you to check them out. It is such an exciting thing to know there are other kind and friendly people doing exactly what you are doing.
Do you live in a rural community? Try forming an online meetup with other people in your same niche. Just having another voice to talk to that gets it will make all the difference in the world!
Quick and “tasty” videos…
Video, oh video… why have you consumed our newsfeeds so?!
I am sure you have felt the urge to start cranking out videos but have no idea where to start. I get it. We filmed a few “in front of the camera” videos back in early 2016. They went great, but it was SO much work. And I wasn’t even doing the editing?! I am more of a no make-up and tennis shoes sort of girl so getting all gussied up for the camera just wasn’t my jam.
And then started the “Tasty” videos.
No face, just hands, and super fast.
I think I might be able to give this one a shot. So I did. After dabbling in Premiere Pro for a good 8-10 hours and watching numerous YouTube videos, I finally knew how to do the basics. It was rough, and not good lighting, and where exactly was the camera focusing?… but I published it. And you know what?! To this day, it has gotten more traffic to my site through Facebook than any of my other “more polished” videos.
Check out my first video here…
Do you want to learn how to edit videos in Premiere Pro?
My friend, Andrew, who was originally filming/editing my videos back in 2016 brought up a good point… Why spend your time learning a program that you will soon outgrow?
So Premiere Pro it was. If you want some help learning the basics of Premiere Pro, here is the YouTube video I watched to learn the basics. Her accent is pretty thick, but I found the progression of instructions to be very easy-to-follow and helpful.
I will be going more in depth about video in the food blog income reports to come. Be sure to leave any questions/comments you may have about it and I will try and answer them in a future report!
Leave Any Questions/Comments You Have Below
Want to see the most recent video?
Check out these Spinach Artichoke Spaghetti Squash Boats 🙂
What’s going on for the month of September?
Promoted Pins on Pinterest…
- What are promoted pins and are they worth it?
Changing ad placement…
- The importance of optimizing your ad(s) placement.
- Do you have an automated e-mail series set up?
Learning how to say “No” or “Not Right Now”…
- Knowing when a request does not align with your goals.
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!