Hi there! Bjork here checking in for our monthly traffic and income report.
Before I jump into the numbers I wanted to address something. We’ve had a handful of people (i.e. our parents) checking in to make sure that Lindsay is doing okay. As many of you know, it’s extremely rare for Lindsay to go for more than a week without posting an update or a new recipe. So what’s the dealio? She’s posts 3 times a week for over three years, and then she just stops? It leaves some people saying:
Well fret not, mom and dad. Lindsay is doing just fine. She’s actually been working tirelessly on a brand new e-cookbook that is based entirely around her creamy cauliflower sauce. As a matter of fact, I just had the honor of taste testing a plate of biscuits and gravy. Yum!
If you want to be notified when the e-cookbook comes out you can sign up for the early bird notification below.
Update (8.19.2013): Zippadeedoo! Lindsay finished and released the Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook. You can click here to learn more about it. (Update: This eCoobook is no longer for sale)
Let’s jump into the numbers for July.
- Tasty Food Photography – $4,614.30
- BlogHer – $3,918.84
- Bluehost – $1,040
- Lijit – Federated Media – $909.53
- Genesis Theme – $134.90
- CPM Only – $107.08
- Ziplist Recipe Box – $80.09
- Thesis Theme – $86.13
- Elegant Themes – $83.50
- Google AdSense – $82.82
- Food Blogger Pro – $50.00
- BlogVault – $14.00
Total Income:: $11,121.19
- eBook Designer – $1,111.10
- Tasty Food Photography Affiliates – $1,032.25
- Food Expenses- $463.82
- Media Temple (Hosting) – $319.35
- Amazon S3 and Cloudfront – $276.74
- PayPal Transaction Percentage – $261.43
- Memory Upgrade for Laptop – $172.99
- CrashPlan (Yearly Family Plan) – $149.99
- Props – $94.38
Adobe Creative Cloud – $32.13
- PayPal Website Payments Pro – $30
- USPS – $27.27
- QuickBooks – $26.95
- VaultPress – $15
- E-Junkie – $15
- Rafflecopter – $9
Total Expenses: $4037.40
Net Profit: $7,084.50
P.S. If you’re interested in learning more about some of the ways that you can monetize a food blog, we encourage you to download this free ebook, “16 Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog,” from our sister site, Food Blogger Pro!
Thoughts On Income
Food Blogger Pro
Some of you might be asking: “Did you really only earn $50 from Food Blogger Pro last month?” Nope! Right now, on average, Food Blogger Pro earns between $1,500 – $2,000 a month. We don’t report that income because we want these reports to be realistic to what other food bloggers could potentially earn from their blogs. We decided that it’s probably not realistic to assume that other food bloggers would have enough time, energy, or interest to create a membership site. However, other food bloggers would be able to join the Food Blogger Pro affiliate program. So, instead of including overall earnings from Food Blogger Pro, we’ve decided to include Pinch of Yum’s affiliate earnings from Food Blogger Pro. Kind of goofy to be an affiliate for ourselves, but we feel like it helps to keep these income reports as realistic as possible.
Two New Records
July was the most we’ve ever grossed from Pinch of Yum, but it’s also the most that we’ve ever spent on Pinch of Yum. The increased income came from Tasty Food Photography, as we had a big discount that went along with the release of the 2nd version. It was really fascinating to see how effective a sale can be for increasing revenue. More about that later in the post.
The increased spending came from hiring a designer for Lindsay’s new cookbook as well as increased payouts to the affiliates for Tasty Food Photography. One of the things we’re learning with growing a blog is that there a times when we have to be okay spending money in order to grow the blog to the next level. It’s never very fun to pay for hosting fees, memory upgrades, or accounting software, but those are all essential elements in helping to grow a successful, efficient, and stable blog.
Below are some screenshots from Google Analytics. You can click on these screenshots to view a larger image.
Top Ten Traffic Sources
Top Ten States
I thought it was interesting that Minnesota (our home state) is towards the bottom but the average visit duration and pages per visit is higher than any of the other states (thanks, family).
Top Ten Mobile Devices
This area in Google Analytics is important because it shows you the top devices used to access your blog.
It’s especially important if you look at these stats for your own blog and realize that you’ve never seen what your site looks like on one of the most popular devices used to access your blog. That’s what happened to me when I looked at these stats and realized that I’ve never looked at Pinch of Yum on a Samsung Galaxy.
That’s where a site like Screenfly comes in handy. With Screenfly you can enter in your blog’s URL and select a device. Screenfly then loads the device’s information and shows you what your blog will look like on that device. Here’s a screenshot of what it looked like when I was looking at Pinch of Yum on a Samsung Galaxy SIII.
Thoughts On Traffic
July was the first time that Pinch of Yum has ever passed 1,000,000 page views in a single month. A lot of that traffic has come from a couple posts that have gone viral on Pinterest.
Side note – When can you officially say something has “gone viral?” I always feel a little bit weird saying something “went viral.” Is there a cooler way to say that? Let me know if there is.
This is both exciting and scary. Exciting in that Pinterest has allowed Pinch of Yum to more easily grow and gain a significant amount of traffic without having to do a lot of “beyond the blog” work. Scary in that Pinterest represents a huge percentage of our traffic, and if it ever “died” so would all of the traffic that is generated from it.
How We Made $3,582.05 From Our EBook In The Month Of July
Tasty Food Photography is an eBook that Lindsay published in March of 2012. Since it’s publication it has been a consistent income earner for Pinch of Yum, profiting around $1,000 dollars a month. But in July our profits jumped almost four times to $3,582.05 ($4614.30 total sales – $1,032.25 affiliate payout).
The drastic increase was from a combination of discounts and giveaways. Here’s exactly how we went about setting up the discount and running the giveaways for the eBook.
We use E-Junkie to manage the sales and distribution of Tasty Food Photography. Here’s how we went about setting up the discount code.
1. Login to E-Junkie.
2. Select the Sellers tab, then seller admin, then Add / Edit E-Junkie Cart Discounts / Gift Coupons.
3. Add the information for your discount. The most important fields are Discount code, expiration, and the discount amount. After you’re done click Submit.
After setting up the discount code we moved on to implementing the giveaway. Here’s how we did it:
1. First, we emailed the Tasty Food Photography affiliates and asked if they were interested in hosting a giveaway on their blog. If they were, Lindsay sent them an email with these guidelines:
- Use Rafflecopter! Not required, but highly recommended.
- Create one primary entry that would be accessible to anyone (for example, leaving a comment).
- Give separate additional entries for following Pinch of Yum on Facebook or Twitter, or pinning the book cover image.
- Leave the giveaway open for at least one week.
- Share a limited time discount code (newversion30) with all your readers. This expires on July 8th.
- Send me the name and email address of the winner at the end of your giveaway and I’ll send them a download link for the new ebook!
2. When we received the name and email of the giveaway winners we’d log into E-Junkie, select the Sellers tab, select seller admin, and then select Send Free Download Link / Code.
3. We entered in the winner’s information, a simple message explaining the email, and then clicked Submit!
Creating a discount and running giveaways resulted in a month where we earned almost FOUR times as much as we normally do from the eBook. I hope that it can do the same for you and the products that you sell on your blog.
If you were one of the bloggers that ran a giveaway on your site Lindsay and I want to make sure that you know that we really appreciate it! Tasty Food Photography affiliates are the best.
Thank you so much for reading these posts and following along with Pinch of Yum. While it’s fun to try and grow the traffic and income, the thing that gets us really excited is hearing from, talking to, and meeting people like you (yeah, you!). Thanks so much for being a part of this thing we call Pinch of Yum!