Hey there! Bjork here checking in for our monthly traffic and income report.
Every month I put together a report that includes a behind-the-scenes look at Pinch of Yum. I focus on two things (1) the income and expenses and (2) the traffic. I also include any tips or tricks that we’re learning as we continue to find ways to grow the blog. Our hope with these reports is that they provide insight and inspiration as you start and grow your own blog (or business or non-profit). We don’t believe that there are any “secrets” of blogging and we’re not pretending to possess some type of knowledge that isn’t available elsewhere on the internet.
“It’s so funny when I hear people being so protective of ideas. (People who want me to sign an NDA to tell me the simplest idea.) To me, ideas are worth nothing unless executed. They are just a multiplier. Execution is worth millions.”
I love that last part. Execution is worth millions. Our hope is that these posts will inspire you to do. To execute on your ideas and see positive results because of it.
Let’s take a look at the number for August.
- BlogHer – $6,902.21
- Tasty Food Photography – $2,709.10
- Bluehost – $1,885.00
- The Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook – $1,778.80
- Lijit – Federated Media – $1,552.62
- Genesis Theme – $254.82
- Thesis Theme – $252.45
- Ziplist Recipe Box – $141.81
- Food Blogger Pro – $110.00
- CPM Only – $90.21
- Google AdSense – $73.16
- Elegant Themes – $58.50
Total Income:: $15,808.68
- Food Expenses- $664.44
- eBook Affiliates – $486.20
- Amazon S3 and Cloudfront – $389.49
- Media Temple (Hosting) – $350
- PayPal Transaction Percentage – $240.17
- GoDaddy (Domain Names) – $70.89
- Props/Utensils – $43.66
- Adobe Creative Cloud – $32.13
- PayPal Website Payments Pro – $30
- QuickBooks – $26.95
- VaultPress – $15
- E-Junkie – $15
- Rafflecopter – $9
Total Expenses: $2,372.93
Net Profit: $13,435.75
Thoughts on Income
In the October income report I shared three personality types that you need to have when creating an income from your blog. You can read the entire post to get a thorough explanation. Otherwise here’s a quick review:
- The Teacher – Creates tutorials and lessons that teach people how to use a certain product. Uses affiliate links throughout the tutorials to create an income. Example: The How to Start a Food Blog page.
- The Landlord – Rents out their blog’s “screen real estate” to advertisers. Example: The ads you see to the right in the sidebar.
- The Inventor – Creates a product or service. Example: The Tasty Food Photography eBook.
In July Lindsay put on her “inventor” cap and created a brand new product called The Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook. We knew that it was important that we add to the list of products that are currently available on Pinch of Yum, because while being a teacher and landlord can be profitable, it can also be a bit risky. It’s risky because you’re dealing with another company, and you never know when that company’s product or service will change (or completely disappear). An example is the recent change that the Amazon Associates program made to ban Minnesota from their program. I received an email from Amazon notifying me that the program would be shut down in Minnesota, and one month later we wouldn’t be able to create any income from our affiliate links. Here’s what the email said:
We are writing from the Amazon Associates Program to notify you that your Associates account will be closed and your Amazon Services LLC Associates Program Operating Agreement will be terminated effective June 30, 2013. This is a direct result of the unconstitutional Minnesota state tax collection legislation passed by the state legislature and signed by Governor Dayton on May 23, 2013, with an effective date of July 1, 2013. As a result, we will no longer pay any advertising fees for customers referred to an Amazon Site after June 30 nor will we accept new applications for the Associates Program from Minnesota residents.
Losing the income from the Amazon Associates program didn’t hurt too much (we rarely made more than $100), but it was a bit scary to be reminded about how reliant we are on other companies.
Hence the need to be an inventor. When you’re creating your own products you don’t have to worry about companies suddenly pulling the rug out from underneath you. You have complete control of the product and can sell it where you want, when you want, and for the price you want. We think that the inventor role is one of the most important roles that you can have for creating an income from a blog.
Have you ever created your own product? Was it successful? Leave a link to your product in the comments below so readers can see what types of products other bloggers are creating.
Note: I’ll be looking through the spam and approve any comments that are flagged because of the link.
Another reason why Lindsay wrote an ecookbook
We had heard from many food bloggers that wanted to write their own cookbook but didn’t know (1) how to go about doing it or (2) if it would be worth their time. The truth was that we didn’t know either. But now, after going through the process of writing, photographing, packaging, and selling the eCookbook, we can provide some concrete numbers and information for other bloggers that are interested in creating their own eCookbook. We’re both really excited to put together some material that will help other food bloggers release their own eCookbooks!
Embedded Recipe Ads
We’re experimenting this month with recipe embedded ads from BlogHer (see below). It’s the first time we’ve ever had ads in the content area, so we’re anxious to see how they perform and if readers find them too distracting. The ads are context based, which means the ad script can see the text on the page and attempt to show a closely matching ad. If there isn’t a good match then they don’t show up at all.
Below are some screenshots from Google Analytics. You can click on these screenshots to view a larger image.
Top Ten Traffic Sources
Top Ten Search Terms
Thoughts on Traffic
In last month’s income report I shared that for the first time ever Pinch of Yum received over 1,000,000 pageviews. This month we’re excited to report that, for the first time, Pinch of Yum had over 1,000,000 visits. Lindsay and I celebrated by eating leftovers from her eCookbook.
Organic Search Results
The last image in the traffic screenshots above is called Top Ten Search Terms. It shows the top ten search terms that people searched on Google that eventually led them to Pinch of Yum. The top ten terms are fun to look through, but what I really appreciate about that screenshot is in the bottom right corner: 1-10 of 15057
15,057 is the total number of terms that people searched on Google that eventually brought them to Pinch of Yum. It includes everything from “stir fry noodles with shrimp” to “dinner pancakes” to “why did my mung beans turn to mush?”. There are numerous factors that go into increasing your site’s ability to be found on Google, but the general equation looks like this:
Quality of Content * Quantity of Content * Duration of Consistent Posting = Getting Found on Google
The equation is simple, but it’s not easy. What it comes down to is producing quality content week after week, year after year.
In next month’s report we’ll be adding a “support staff” category to the list of expenses, as Lindsay and I are quickly realizing that we can’t do all of the things we want to do with Pinch of Yum on our own. We’ve enlisted the help of two of our extremely talented friends, Angela and Jade. Lindsay’s best friend Angela will be helping out with organizing some of the Pinch of Yum social media stuff (focusing on Pinterest). Jade is our friend from the Philippines. She’s a really bright girl that’s in school for computer programming. Jade is working part time for Pinch of Yum submitting to food sharing sites and making sure that websites that use Pinch of Yum photos include proper links back to the blog (side note: it’s insane how many people use photos without permission). The work that Angela and Jade have done is so much more than anything we could have ever done on our own. We’re incredibly thankful that they’re willing to lend their skills and abilities to Pinch of Yum.
Thank you so much for reading these posts. They’re always fun for me to put together. It means a lot to Lindsay and I that you follow along with this adventure we call Pinch of Yum.