January Income Report – $5,686.90

Making Money from a Food Blog - January

Hiya! Bjork here. I’m checking in for my monthly income and traffic report. If this is your first time reading one of the reports I want to give you a quick overview of what these posts are all about.

In August of 2011 Lindsay and I decided to start “The Food Blog Money Making Experiment.” We made a total of $21.97 that first month. Every month since then we’ve put together a post detailing the things we’re doing to increase Pinch of Yum’s traffic and income.

So, without further adieu, here’s the our 18th income report.

The Income Breakdown:

Grand Total: $5,686.90

Income as Percentages

January - Blog Income as Percentages

If you’re interested in learning more about growing a successful blog you can click here to subscribe to our “blogging tips” newsletter. You’ll also get a free eBook called “10 Mistakes that Bloggers Make and How to Fix Them.”

The Traffic Breakdown

Traffic Overview January

Traffic Sources - January

Top Pages - January

Thoughts on Income and Traffic

This is the most we’ve ever made from Pinch of Yum. It’s also the most traffic we’ve ever seen in a month. But I noticed something interesting when comparing December’s income report to this month’s income report.

Even though pageviews increased by over 200,000 from December to January, earnings from BlogHer and AdSense decreased! So how did Pinch of Yum manage to have its most profitable month ever when earnings from our two major advertisers decreased? Through affiliate sales (primarily from the How to Start a Food Blog page) and the product that Lindsay created (Tasty Food Photography).

It’s a great example of why you need to have multiple streams of income on your blog. To put it simply, if you’re interested in creating an income as a food blogger you need to (1) implement affiliate marketing throughout your blog and (2) create your own product that you can sell. BlogHer and AdSense are awesome companies, but the reality is there will be times when BlogHer and AdSense don’t have high paying advertisers, which means you’ll have lower income.

Tips and Takeaways

An Email List, Finally

I’ve been wanting to put together an email drip campaign for Pinch of Yum for the past year or so, but wasn’t able to do it until after the launch of Food Blogger Pro.

With an email drip campaign you create your emails ahead of time and then when someone signs up for the list the emails “drip” into the person’s inbox at certain intervals that you set. The purpose is to build a list of subscribers and then deliver targeted, useful content to them. For Pinch of Yum, the significance of this list is less about selling something and more about maintaining contact and building trust.

I decided to use aWeber (affiliate link) to build our list. The process isn’t too complicated, but it takes an hour or two to get things setup and tweaked. This doesn’t include the time it takes to create the content that you’ll be sending people. We started by creating 10 different emails with quick tips for food bloggers. Here’s a sneak peak at what content is covered:

Email List

If you’re interested in signing up you can do so below:

A/B Testing

For the first time ever we ran an A/B test on the Tasty Food Photography sales page.

An A/B test is when you create two different pages and then see which one leads to more conversations. In our case, we used Google Analytics to test two different pages to see which one resulted in more sales of Tasty Food Photography.

Here’s the original version: http://pinchofyum.com/tasty-food-photography
Here’s the test version: http://pinchofyum.com/tasty-food-photography-ebook

The results were really fascinating:

Google Experiment Results

The original version had a 2.93% conversation rate, while the test version had a .80% conversation rate. Whoa! That’s a huge difference. If used the test version instead of the original version this month we would have only earned around $500 from Tasty Food Photography!

The best thing about A/B testing is that you can continually improve the sales pages on your blog. The pattern looks something like this: Adjust, test, implement. Adjust, test, implement…

Here’s a video from Google that explains how content experiments work:

If you have something that you’re selling on your blog I’d encourage you to setup an A/B test using Google Analytics. This will get you started on the path to improving your conversation rate. Just a quarter of a percentage can have a big impact in the long run.

Thanks

Lindsay and I are both extremely thankful that you take the time to visit the blog and read the content that we create. More than anything we are constantly amazed at the kind, generous, and thoughtful people that we get to interact with on a daily basis through this little corner of the internet.


More from Pinch of Yum

Comments

  1. My Adsense RPM went down in December and January too. I think those months are usually the slower months where companies are not spending due to year end, resulting in lower RPM.

  2. Always fascinating!

  3. Hi Bjork and Lindsay! My favorite food blogging power couple. I’ve just started to learn why it’s so important to have many different streams of income for my blog. This month (Feb), I am making more from my blog than my full time job!!!! It’s because I joined a new ad network (in addition to BlogHer) and took on 3 freelance projects for 3 major companies. And have been growing my page views through smarter marketing. I’ve also started to work with a graphic designer for an eBook cookbook. :) I can only hope for as much success as Tasty Food Photography. PS: my BlogHer income was down in January too – it’s a slow month for advertisers all around, I’ve learned.

  4. Whoa…what a drastic spike in traffic! Awesome!
    Thanks for all the information.

  5. Thank you for sharing this with us.

  6. Thanks Bjork for sharing all that you’ve learned and the monthly income reports. I find them extremely helpful and very interesting.

  7. Thanks, Bjork and Lindsay, for sharing this information! I always look forward to these posts.

  8. Thanks for sharing, Bjork! I look forward to these reports and love to see that you guys are doing well with the blog :)

  9. You’re welcome for all those clicks on your ads. I’ll take 20% please. Nice work!

  10. Thanks for sharing! It’s really inspiring to see how far you’ve come in less than two years.

  11. This is seriously the best food blog EVER! I continue to be inspired by you guys each and every day. Thanks for sharing your income reports and testing experiments. You guys are KILLING it!

  12. Thanks for these posts every month! It’s so interesting to hear about what you’re doing and how far you’ve progressed since you’ve started tracking this

  13. Thanks for sharing all you’re learning! I’m currently working on an ebook thanks to your inspiring numbers. I’m just having a hard time deciding if I should publish it to be read on e-readers or make it computer based like (I think?) yours was. I have heard e-readers are best for text based books (which mine is, yours was photos of course).

  14. congratulations on such a good month! I learn so much every month Bjork! And of course I drool over Lindsay’s food every day :)

  15. As always, your income reports are fascinating and helpful. :) Thank you!

  16. These posts are always so helpful. Thanks guys!

  17. I love your recaps and never miss one. I learn something new, every time, about the behind the scenes aspects of blogging, SEO, etc that I wouldn’t otherwise know. Things like drip campaigns and putting up a side by side with A/B – that kind of stuff is fascinating to me. Keep these posts up, always! :)

  18. Thanks for sharing so much info with us! It is really interesting to see how you are able to turn it into a career. Congrats on your success! I’m seriously thinking of checking out that book when I have more free time. My day job is keepin me too busy. ;)

  19. Bjork & Lindsay – thank you again for another fabulous post on blog income! You two are both such an incredible resource for the food blog community and I am loving being part of your Food Blogger Pro program! I have a question regarding the “More from Pinch of Yum” section at the bottom of your posts. I’ve looked at adding some sort of widget (like LinkWithin or nrelate) for related content at the bottom of my posts. Do you use a widget or is this coding within your template? Thank you so much!

  20. Bravo! Well done! :)

  21. Wow congratulations guys that’s fantastic! I look forward to these posts each month and love the tips you give. Thanks!

  22. Hi Guys,
    Love your blog :)
    Just wondering how many post you have in total now?
    Thanks for sharing.
    Jen

  23. Remarkable. :)

  24. Great job this month! I also use aweber for my email list and love it. I enjoy having the emails scheduled out for my subscribers – it’s a great way to engage with my readers and build a list as well. Thank you for sharing this information every month. I look forward to it and really feel inspired by it.

  25. You guys are great. Thanks for sharing. I showed your blog to a friend. He was in awe.

    Bjork, I finally got brave enough to publish. I am pretty self conscience about my photography, but my friend said the same thing you said, so I jumped. Thanks.

  26. hey guys i just got this blog post in my inbox, and i am so happy for you guys, and to see you launched the food blooger pro! you guys are the nicest bloggers i met online!,Lindsey thank you for answering my email a while back about food blogging, its my dream to start one, and onces things go well i will totally signed into your program and buy all the stuff i need from your resource page, i wish you more success in life!

    love you both

    rima

  27. You are SO awesome for putting together these reports. Definitely puts things in perspective and makes me realize where I’m lacking and how I can improve. Not many bloggers would put it all out there like this, so I so appreciate it!! And you must be so proud of yourselves :)

  28. Thanks for sharing, always an interesting post.

    Lori
    Whoneedsacape.com
    Not Your Average Super Moms!

  29. This is very interesting. I also had a drop in my advertising income and I do have a list but it’s a free one and I haven’t got around to putting any newsletters together just yet. I’ve just signed up for yours though, it looks great.
    I loved the info on your A/B testing. What was it about the original page that you think encouraged a higher return?

  30. Bjork & Lindsay,
    I want to say thank you for your openness and enthusiasm. Your success has inspired me! I’ve signed up for the newsletter so I can get all the bits of advice you have to share.

    Congrats! All the Best! Keep it Up!
    Noel

  31. I love these reports! I’m learning things I never know otherwise….I feel so clueless. Now to start implementing changes:)

    Congratulations on so much success!

  32. You need to know which media networks to buy into.

  33. Hi!

    It would be really helpful if you could also tell us how you manage to increase your pageviews? Besides having good content, what else can we do to increase traffic to our blogs?

    Thanks a lot!

  34. Yet another great income report!

    Just writing my January round up to be published later, good work!

  35. Thanks for putting these together each month! I am going back and reading through some of the old ones, and learning so much!

  36. Thanks for sharing all of your tips along the way! You inspired me to get started blogging. Thanks, Lindsay, for helping me out a little when I was trying to get started!

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