This income report is the first in a series of food blog income reports, documenting the income and traffic elizabethcloe.com makes in the month of January. Make yourself a brew, grab a few biscuits and have a read!
So, with that in mind, why am I doing this? Good question. Food blogging is something I have wanted to do for years, but, up until last year, have never really had the courage to pursue it. Shoutout to my anxiety ! If I was going to start my very own food blog, I wanted to have an idea of what I was getting into. So in an effort to learn more and hit the internet and delved into the behind the scenes world of food blogging.
Discovering Income Reports
In the process of learning about food blogging, I discovered income reports. These posts are gold mines when it comes to monetising a food blog. Some of my favourites are Pinch of Yum, The Endless Meal, Jessica Gavin and The Whole Kitchen Sink. From these guys, I have learnt an invaluable amount and have been so inspired. I wanted to pay that forward while also holding myself accountable, so I decided I was going to write income reports of my own.
Starting a food blog in 2019
The thing is, starting a food blog in 2018/19 is a little bit of a different ball game. There are THOUSANDS of food blogs out there and you’re all competing for eyes on your blog. It’s becoming increasingly difficult to build traffic and income.
Not only that but you’re cooking, testing, photographing, editing and writing recipes. Don’t forget posting to 4 or 5 different social media platforms. And food sharing sites too. Make sure those posts are optimised for search engines. And then tear your hair out when something technical goes wrong and you’ve got to learn how to fix it! Yeah, food blogging keeps you busy. But I love it. It challenges me and I’m constantly learning. Plus I’m always cooking and eating and honestly, I don’t need much else to make me happy 😊
I decided that 2019 was going to be my year to experiment. Is it possible to make an income from a food blog today? I’m going to try and find out. And I’m going to document each month what I make, how I made it, what worked and what didn’t. And with all of that, I hope I’m going to provide you with useful information that you can use towards building and growing your own blog 🤜🤛
A little bit of background…
I started this blog in July 2018 and in the six months following that, I posted recipes in a relaxed and slightly sporadic fashion. Life was a little all of the place, what with starting my
I monetised my blog from the beginning, with a mixture of Google Ads, Gourmet Ads and Amazon affiliate links. In December I also added a Blogger Resources page with more affiliate links. And between July and December, I made a grand total of… (drumroll please)… $48.17.
Nothing fancy I know, but it was a start. I kind of consider the first six months of my blog to be the practice months, the ‘I don’t know what I’m doing but I’m doing it anyway’ months.
So, now we’ve covered ALL of that, let’s get to the real deal…
The January Income (and Traffic) Report
The Income Breakdown
Gourmet Ads: $11.08
Google Adsense: $3.93
Amazon Affiliates: $7.05
Siteground Affiliate: $0
Food Blogger Pro Affiliate: $0
Nutrifox Affiliate: $0
Pinch of Yum eBook Affiliate: $0
StudioPress Affiliate: $0
WP Tasty Affiliate: $0
Total: $22.06 (£16.85)
(I’ve chosen not to include expenses as, if I’m honest, they’re a little all over the place at the moment. I might choose to include them at a later date)
The Traffic Breakdown
RPM = Revenue per mille aka how much you earn per thousand pageviews aka (earnings/pageviews) x 1000.
RPM = $2.62 (£1.99)
What I’ve learnt…
Content, content, content!
This month I really wanted to push myself to produce content consistently, and I did! After all, it is the content that brings people to this little corner of the internet. In January I wanted to get ahead of myself and have lots of content ready ahead of schedule. I also started posting three recipe posts per week, which worked well for a few weeks.
However, I hit a little bit of a snag when one of the recipes I was testing, a sweet potato gnocchi recipe, just wouldn’t work. The texture was wrong, the dough was sticky and the taste was meh. I wasn’t happy to put that recipe up, and no amount of testing seemed to fix it. The issue was that from that one recipe, I had another two that were based around the sweet potato gnocchi. That’s three recipes, a week’s worth of content, out the window! Towards the end of January, I decided to scale things back to two recipes per week. It’s a goal I know I can definitely achieve and it gives me more room to get ahead in the upcoming months!
The Quarter 1 S
When it comes to RPM and advertising, I have learnt that advertisers are going to pay more in the latter half of the year. And that makes sense. In October, November and December, we have Halloween (aka my birthday, hint, hint), Christmas and (if you’re from the US) Thanksgiving. People are searching the internet a lot more for stuff like gift ideas and recipes. Advertisers want their products in front of consumers and they’re willing to pay more to do that. This means not only will you have higher traffic but you’ll have higher RPM’s as well.
This was well and truly proved to me in December and November. I had a lot going on in my personal life in these months and posted… nothing. No posts, no social media shares. Nada. Zilch. For all sense and purposes, I was off the internet grid. However, in December I earned a total of $11.16 from Gourmet Ads with an RPM of $1.73 and total pageviews of 5,790. These were the highest numbers I’d ever had and I’d done pretty much nothing to get them!
Fast forward to the end of January…
I’d increased my pageviews were up 45% (!) from the 9 new pieces of content I’d put out and my income from Gourmet Ads was… $11.08. Despite the increase in traffic, my income was pretty much the same as December! Why?
My RPM in January (from Gourmet Ads only, not all of my income) was $1.35. I was earning less per 1000 pageviews. If you remember back, I mentioned that there’s a lot going on towards the end of the year. Compare that to the beginning of a new year, where people are trying to save money, are going out less and consequently spending less. Advertisers are paying less and so… you’re earning less. I wasn’t aware of this when I started January, so it was a little disheartening. But hey, now we know, it’s nothing I’m necessarily doing wrong it’s just the way it is 🤷♀️
I’m pretty happy with how my Amazon affiliate links have worked out for me this month. I’ve seen a definite increase in earnings compared to last year. Happy days. However, There’s been no action on my other affiliate links. These links can all be found on a couple of pages on the blog: How To Start a Blog and Essential Resources for Food Bloggers. To be honest, I haven’t made much of an effort to market these and share these so I’m not surprised. It’s definitely on my list of things to do, promise!
Towards the end of
I hope this Food Blog Income report has been of some use to you! I’m going to try and get one of these done for every month of 2019, so keep following to see whether I actually make a few more bucks or… don’t?!
Are you starting a blog or trying to grow? Or have you been doing this for years? Or maybe you’ve got no interest in blogging, you’re just being nosey? Let me know all of your thoughts in the comments!
The Food Blog Income Report Series: