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 September 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 September 2016
35,082 sessions (+44.8%)
- Google Adsense $30.02
- Gourmet Ads $58.97
- BlogHer $197.28
- Sovrn $38.32
- Affiliates $18.58
- Sponsored Content $0
Total Income= $343.17
RPM = $7.86
*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 $10.00
- Vaultpress $5.00
- Promoted Pins $20.00
Total Expenses= $90.50
Total Net Profit = $252.67
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 rest of 2016 here!
The Doors Are Opening Soon!!
If you have read a few of these reports you might have heard me talk about Food Blogger Pro. It is an incredible community of other food bloggers that has been put together by the fabulous Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom over at Pinch of Yum. Not only is this membership site full of other people just like you, but it is also FULL of hundreds of helpful videos, blog posts, and live streaming events to teach you all things blogging.
They are opening their doors in just a few days! November 1-10 is Food Blogger Pro’s Fall enrollment. They open enrollment only a few times during the year, so if it is something you have been considering… definitely go check it out! If you are reading this after the dates listed, you can still sign up for the waiting list and will be notified of any other special enrollment times they have throughout the year.
OK… so now on to the food blog income report.
Changes Made in September 2016
Promoted Pins on Pinterest…
What are promoted pins and how do they work?…
Promoted pins are a relatively new form of advertising that Pinterest is offering. If you have a business account with Pinterest (which I HIGHLY encourage if you are trying to make an income from your blog!) then you have access to ads. Simply click on “Ads” in the upper left-hand corner of your Pinterest page.
Promoted pins, in layman’s terms, are simply pins that you pay money to be seen (or clicked on) by more people than would be seen (or clicked on) organically.
There are three ways you can “promote” your pin:
- Awareness – you pay a minimum of $5.00 / day to have your pin seen by at least 1,000 people.
- Engagement – you pay a certain amount of money per click, repin, or zoom-in.
- Traffic – you pay a certain amount per click to your website (normally costs more per click than per engagement.)
So which one of these ways is the best way to promote your pin?
Honestly, the jury is still out on this question. I have heard numerous people talk about how awesome running a traffic campaign is. However, I have found that the cost/click is so much higher than what I can achieve through other campaigns. If you are selling a product then I would wholeheartedly say Yes!! Run a traffic campaign because chances are your product costs more than the $2.00 it costs to get that person to your site.
However, if you are simply trying to grow your Pinterest audience and get people to discover your site, the brand awareness campaign may be your best bet.
How do you know which pins to promote?
Once again, there are controversy opinions on this topic. Some people say you should go with your newest pins and promote as soon as they go up. What I have found to work best is waiting about a month after a pin is pinned and then determine the natural virality of the pin. Ask yourself these questions: Are people engaging with it? Are people clicking over to my site? Is it seasonally relevant? Do you feel like the pictures are top-quality?
This last question is super important. Not to turn this entire post into a Pinterest post, but… pictures are HUGE when it comes to popular pins. Most people that are pinning are using a mobile device. Do you know what that means? The pictures they are seeing are MUCH SMALLER than what you see on your desktop! So be sure to pick top-quality and close-up pictures/collages to promote.
This pin is rocking it on Pinterest right now with over 12,000 repins since July! (and yes… I promoted it once for $5!)
And compare it to this one… A measly 23 repins.
Is it worth it to invest money into promoted pins?…
The answer is up to you. If you have a little extra cash to invest back into your blog, I say go for it! If after you spend $20-30 it is not producing any real tangible benefits… then you found your answer without wasting too much money. However, if you get a few pins that start to catch on, you might have just found yourself a new way to drive traffic to your site 🙂
Paying Attention to the Placement of Your Ads…
For the past few months, I had given up on tweaking my ads and simply let them be. One day in early September I thought – Hey, why not go see if there are any changes I can make. Boy am I glad I did!
I had been contemplating whether or not to switch to MediaVine, or even one day, AdThrive (they require 100,000+ PVs to join.) You can see that back in July I was getting around $4.63 RPM. This was well below the quoted $7-10 RPM that most people are getting with MediaVine and AdThrive. Life got busy and I was always a little hesitant to switch considering you have to sever any current relationships with other advertising networks, i.e.- BlogHer, GourmetAds, etc.
Fortunately, this month I made a very important change. BlogHer has had a sticky bar ad available that not only shows up on your desktop, but also on mobile devices. This. Was. Awesome! I installed it on the site and waited. As you can see, in only a matter of 2 months the RPM has increased over $3.00!! Granted, September is the last month of Q3, and advertisers are ramping up for the holidays… but still a solid improvement, nonetheless.
So if you have been avoiding your ads like the plague… I encourage you to see if there are any small changes you can make to bump up your ad revenue! Let me know what you try and if it works… I would love to hear!
The Importance of Automated E-mails…
What are Automated E-mails?
Automated e-mails are ones that go out whenever a subscriber takes a specific action. The way I have had it set up on GFwLB is that a subscriber signs up for the e-mail list and within an hour they receive a welcome e-mail. This welcome e-mail contains a free e-cookbook as well as a beginner’s guide to eating gluten-free.
If you would like to know how to set up an automated e-mail(s) with an e-book attached through Mailchimp, be sure to check out this post here where I walk you step-by-step through the process.
Sending out an “opt-in” is a great way to attract new subscribers. But how do you keep them engaged? How do you turn them into loyal followers and not just a one-time reader?
Recently I added a second automated e-mail that is sent out 3 days after a user subscribes. In this second e-mail, I ask them a very important question… “What are you struggling with in the way of gluten-free cooking?” Finding out what my readers are struggling with will not only help me write more applicable content, but it will also help them because they will get an answer to their biggest problem. Also, if I am ever wanting to create a new product, having valuable feedback from my audience will allow me to narrow down the product’s topic to something extremely relevant to my readers.
It is my hope that in the future I will be able to build out an even more complex automated e-mail campaign. I will be sure to fill you in when this happens and let you know what the results are!
Learning How to Say “No”…
As GFwLB has continued to grow, I have started to get more and more inquiries about writing posts for brands or other websites. This is both super exciting and a little overwhelming.
One thing I want to encourage you to do today is to determine your vision for yourself with your blog. It could be anything from having hundreds of thousands of visitors to your site, making a full-time living from your blog, or it could even be something as unique as cooking on live TV frequently. Wherever you envision yourself in 6 months, 1 year, or even 5 years… WRITE IT DOWN!
Write Down Where you Envision Yourself with Your Blog!
Once you have written down your vision, only then can you answer those e-mails that come in requesting your time and attention. Each and every one of us only has so many hours in the day. Hours that need to be divided between your current full-time job, family, friends, spiritual life, exercise, health, your blog… you see where I am going with this? We are bombarded with demands on our time!
So let me ask you this….
- Say your goal is to make a full-time living from your blog.
- Someone e-mails you asking if you would like to write a post about their product.
- In exchange for this post they will send you a free bag of their chips.
What will you say? Is a bag of chips worth the 4-8 hours you spend developing, testing, photographing, writing and promoting that recipe post? If you feel your time is worth more than the dollar amount attached to the bag of chips then by all means… let them know!!
On the flip side…
- Say your vision is to have a massive Instagram following and to be an influencer on this medium.
- This chip bag company has 100,000+ followers, and you have a mere 500.
If you ask them for promotion on their Instagram account maybe then your answer will be yes!
So that’s my philosophical rant for the day. Learn to say no when you feel like it is not a good fit. If you want to keep the door open, let them know what it is that you need in order to say yes! next time.
I would love to hear any questions, comments or things that have been working well for you on your site…
Leave Any Questions/Comments You Have Below
What’s going on for October’s Food Blog Income Report?
The holiday season for food bloggers…
- How Q4 looks for food bloggers.
The internet is like an enormous spider web…
- Don’t forget about link building on your site!
What to do when life gets overwhelming…
- How to find balance between your blog life and your real life.
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!
**Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If clicked and an item is purchased I will receive a small percentage of the sale, at no additional cost to you!**