May Traffic and Income Report – $23,378.49

Income Report Totals for May | pinchofyum.com

Hey there!

Bjork here, checking in for my monthly traffic and income report. It’s good to be back. I missed you guys.

Lindsay and I have been doing these monthly reports for almost three years now – our first income report was published in September of 2011. We started publishing these reports because we thought other bloggers might have similar questions to the ones that we had (and continue to have).

Questions like…

  1. How do I build traffic?
  2. How do I get comments on posts?
  3. What’s the most important thing to focus on?
  4. How do I create an income?
  5. What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?

Our day-to-day Pinch of Yum life includes a lot of learning and experimenting to try and come up with answers to questions like these (still working on #5).

While we’ve come up with some answers, we haven’t come up with the answers, so every month I come back and report on what we’ve learned. We talk about what works, what doesn’t work, what we’re working on, and what we wish was working better.

Before I talk about what’s working (and what’s not) this month, I wanted to address one of the most common questions we get from readers and other bloggers.

What does it takes to earn an income from your blog?

If I had to say one thing I’d say grit. Grit is the part deep down inside of you that helps you push through when you’d rather be doing something else.

Definition of Grit | pinchofyum.com

Definition of grit taken from the all-knowing Wikipedia.com.

Do you know successful bloggers? Chances are really good that they’ve published a lot of really good content. Chances are also good that they haven’t always been excited about creating that content. Grit helps you lean into the work and get it done when you don’t feel like it.

In other words, hard work pays off.

If I had to say two things, I would say grit and luck. Being at the right place at the right time and getting noticed by the right people. But know this: the multiplier of luck is grit.

A non scientific graph showing how hard work impacts luck | pinchofyum.com

The Beatles were lucky to be discovered by Brian Epstein, the manager that helped to orchestrate their rise to world-wide fame. But they had also played thousands of hours of music together before they were famous. Week after week, night after night, tiny bar after tiny bar. The Beatles’ grit (hard work) served as a multiplier for that “lucky” discovery by Brian Epstein.

In other words, the harder you work the luckier you are.

If I had to say three things it would be grit, luck, and the desire to continually improve. What did The Beatles do after they had their first huge hit? They continued writing music, playing shows, and crafting their skillz (intentional use of “z”).

If you continue to work hard (grit) then you might someday get your break (luck). But if you stop there you’ll be a one hit wonder. If you have a desire to continually improve then you’ll be able double down on your previous successes instead of stopping to admire them.

In other words, don’t rest on your laurels.

don't rest on your laurels | pinchofyum.com

So what does it takes to earn an income from your blog? Grit, luck, and the desire to continually improve.

**Bjork steps down from his soap box.**

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the numbers for May.

A quick note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses you can leave a comment and I’ll do my best to reply.

Income

Total Income: $29,597.77

Expenses

Total Expenses: $6,219.28

Net Profit: $23,378.49

Thoughts on Income

Ad Viewability

Viewability is a term that all bloggers should be familiar with. It’s an advertising term that will soon become standard terminology. My first encounter with the term came from an email sent from BlogHer that started like this:

I hope this note finds you well! As you likely recall, we’ve been talking about a new advertising standard called Viewability for over a year now. In late March, the Internet Advertising Bureau (IAB) finalized the definition, and in response the entire advertising industry has seen a big uptick in demand for “viewable” ad inventory. I’m writing to share your site’s Viewability percentage and, if necessary, to ask for your immediate help to improve any low-performing ad positions on Pinch of Yum.

I wasn’t very familiar with viewability so I did some research. Here are the questions I had and the answers I found. Hopefully these answers help you understand viewability a bit more.

What is viewability?

Three things: An ad is counted as “viewable” if 50% of the ad unit is fully loaded and visible for at least 1 second with no scrolling.

In essence, an ad is considered viewable if someone can actually see it and doesn’t quickly scroll past it.

Why is viewability important?

Brands want to make sure that their ads are actually being shown to people. Makes sense, right? If you were paying $5.00 for every 1,000 impressions of an ad you’d want to know that people were actually seeing those ad impressions that you were paying for.

The bad news for brands using display advertising is that most display ads (54%!) aren’t actually being shown to visitors. The ads might be loading but they’re either (1) below the content and the visitors never scrolls down or (2) above the content and the ad code didn’t load quickly enough before the visitor scrolled down.

Thus the need for tracking viewability.

Viewability gives advertisers an easy to understand metric that shows how often their ad is actually viewed.

What does this mean for my blog?

The biggest thing to be aware of is the start of an industry shift away from the terms “above the fold” and “below the fold.” While these terms will continue to have meaning, their significance will fade as the importance of viewability increases.

This is happening because websites no longer have a consistent “fold.”

Here’s an example. If you’re reading this on your desktop computer, go back to the very top of this post and then grab the corner of the window and move it back and forth (left to right). Do you see how the content shifts and adjusts? That’s because Pinch of Yum is mobile responsive. Many sites are starting to use this type of design to allow for easy reading on multiple types of screens and devices.

When the window gets to a certain width, the sidebar moves below the main content area. The sidebar is usually above the fold, but when the screen is small enough it moves to below the fold.

We can no longer say an ad is either above the fold or below the fold. Why? Because it depends on what type of device someone is using.

While the terms above the fold and below the fold can still be used, they won’t carry as much meaning in the advertising industry. This means that advertisers will start requesting certain viewability percentages as opposed to requesting an ad to be placed above the fold.

But I thought advertisers want ads that are above the fold?

At the core, advertisers want ads that are seen. It doesn’t matter to them where those ads show up, as long as people actually see them.

In the past, companies weren’t allowed to use viewability metrics because the big wig ad regulator people said that the available technology wasn’t good enough to track viewability. That’s why we had to use terms like above the fold and below the fold.

But the big wig ad regulator people recently announced that they think viewability technology is good enough to use, so it’s now okay for the advertising industry to track viewability and require certain percentages. This means that bloggers (like you) are starting to hear about it and are being asked to improve your ad’s viewability.

In short:

High Visibility is the New Above the Fold | pinchofyum.com

What was Pinch of Yum’s viewability percentage?

BlogHer shared the viewability percentage that we were currently getting on Pinch of Yum, which at the time of the email was 21.95%.

Yoiks! That’s really low.

What’s the deal with that?

It’s tough to say for sure, but I think the issue has to do with two things:

1. Our BlogHer ads are above the fold.

It used to be a requirement for our BlogHer ads be above the fold, but with the recent viewability changes it is now actually a disadvantage. It’s a disadvantage because of how we use photos in our blog posts.

Having a big photo at the beginning of a post means that people are more likely to quickly scroll down to the written content, where they’ll slow down their scrolling. The problem is that when people are quickly scrolling past the image they are also quickly scrolling past our ads.

Remember, high viewability is the new above the fold.

That’s why the best spot to have Pinch of Yum’s ads isn’t above the fold, it’s beside the written content (not beside the images). These are are the areas where people are most likely to slow down long enough for the ad impression to be counted as “viewable.”

Ad Viewability Example

2. Pinch of Yum is mobile responsive.

Most people visit Pinch of Yum on a mobile device like an iPhone or iPad. As we discussed before, the mobile responsive design on Pinch of Yum moves the sidebar down to the very bottom of the site. This means that ads have really low visibility when someone visits Pinch of Yum on a mobile device.

In order to increase our viewability percentage we could do two things.

  1. Show ads within the content on mobile devices.
  2. Hide the ads on mobile devices so it’s not counted against our viewability percentage.

We’ll most likely be moving forward with #2, but we’re not as sure about #1.

Anything else you’d like to add to the conversation around viewable ads? Do you think it’s a good change? Have you heard from other ad networks that are asking you to make changes?

Mobile Ads for the win (or not)

We did a test run with a mobile specific ad company called TapIt! (the exclamation point is part of the name, I’m not trying to express any excitement about it).

We had a small banner that ran on the bottom of iPhones and iPads. Overall the ads performed poorly. It wasn’t worth it for us to run these ads considering how many impressions we needed in order to create a decent income.

We turned off TapIt! and turned BlogHer mobile footer ads back on.

Has anyone had a good experience with mobile ad companies? I’d love to hear what others have to say about this.

Additional Advertising Companies

We’ve added a few advertisers into the mix and I wanted to report back on those.

We’re using Say Media as a second tier advertiser on Pinch of Yum (coming in after sovrn). The CPM has been coming in a bit above $1.00 and the fill rate is a low 10%. After that we’re using Gourmet Ads, which has almost 100% fill with a CPM of $0.43.

We’re continuing to use Yellow Hammer Media in a 300×250 sidebar ad unit. The CPM is around $1 with a fill rate of 100% (which is great!). The issue we’ve had with YellowHammer so far is that the CPM drops really low when we use it as passback, so we’ve had to keep it in as a stand alone ad unit.

Note: If you’d like to learn more about how advertising works I’d suggest reading Kiersten Frase’s eBook, How to Monetize Your Food Blog (affiliate link). She does a great job explaining the basics of using ad networks and gives suggestions for some networks to start with.

RPM

RPM stands for page revenue per thousand impressions. Or, in other words, RPM shows you the average revenue you earn from every 1,000 page views on your blog. Below is the RPM that we had for Pinch of Yum in the month of May.

Blog RPM for May

If you want to learn more about RPM (and some other important advertising terms) then be sure to check out this post on Food Blogger Pro.

Traffic

Below are some screenshots from Google Analytics. You can click on these images to view a larger size.

Traffic Overview

Blog Traffic Overview for the month of May

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Blog Traffic Sources for the month of May

Mobile vs. Desktop Traffic

(these stats go through June 12th)

I recently setup e-commerce tracking for Pinch of Yum, which means I’m able to see purchase information for Pinch of Yum products. My jaw dropped when I pulled up the mobile vs. desktop analytics and included e-commerce data.

Mobile to Desktop E-Commerce Comparison

Do you see the staggering statistic in the red box?

The total number of purchases made from a mobile device is zero. ZERO! Isn’t that crazy?

It made me realize that we need to change our strategy for mobile visitors and shift our focus from promoting a product to promoting email sign ups.

An email signup is valuable because it allows us to continue to communicate with the visitor long after the initial interaction. It might even be better to just pass on the income we’d earn on from mobile ads and direct all of our focus on getting people to sign up for the email list.

Affiliate Marketing and Banner Ads

One of the ways that we drive traffic to our product sales pages is through the affiliate programs that we have setup for each product. After launching Everyday Healthy we had a handful of people that were interested in signing on to be affiliates but we didn’t yet have banner ads created.

I knew that I wouldn’t have to time to make the banners myself so I enlisted the help of a company called RightBanners. We’ve used them a few times before and the process has always been really smooth.

Everyday Healthy Banners

I recently wrote a post on Food Blogger Pro called the best type of affiliate marketing: what it is and why you need to do it. I talk about how we use affiliate programs on Pinch of Yum and how creating your own affiliate program could help you increase your income, even if you don’t have a ton of traffic to your blog. It’s an important concept to understand so I’d encourage you to check it out.

Broken RSS Feed

There were a couple days in May where the Pinch of Yum RSS email didn’t go out through MailChimp. I didn’t catch it, but we had a couple readers that were kind enough to let us know that they didn’t get an email that day.

After some troubleshooting and head scratching I decided to reach out to MailChimp support to see if they could offer any additional insight. They pointed me to a quality assurance tool from W3C that validates your RSS feed and makes sure there aren’t any errors. After plugging in the Pinch of Yum RSS I found that the feed was broken because of some code that had been carried over from a rough draft that I had written offline and then copied into WordPress (last month’s income report, actually).

This is a great example of the point I made in last month’s report about paying for a service (like MailChimp) versus using a free product (like Feedburner). If not for the support team I would have been left troubleshooting on my own, which probably would have eaten up a good portion of my day.

Because of you

It’s really true. It’s because of you (yes, you!) that this thing we call Pinch of Yum can exist as it does today. Thanks so much for reading, tweeting, commenting, emailing, and sharing these recipes with your families and friends. We love hearing from you!

We’re using a portion of this month’s income from Pinch of Yum to support one of the special projects at the Children’s Shelter of Cebu, an incredible orphanage in the Philippines where Lindsay and I lived and worked for a year.

Math Books for CSC

This month we’re supporting the Children’s Shelter of Cebu by purchasing some math books so that the kids can have new material for school next year. You can learn more about CSC’s special projects by visiting this page on their website.

  • - eCookbook with our top 25 recipes
  • - Email Updates for new recipes
  • - Exclusive discounts on our products

Comments

  1. Great report as always, thanks Bjork. I’ve still got so much to get my head around before I start looking at making money from my food blog, but I know your info and tips will go a long way towards helping me get there! Thanks :-)

  2. Thank you again for all the valuable information in this month’s report. Viewability must have been the word of the week among bloggers. I couldn’t help but feel frustrated at yet another hurdle to overcome when I received BlogHer’s email. Thank you for giving some more insight and sharing your intended course of action to improve viewability.

  3. I’m becoming mildly obsessed with these reports because 1) they are CRAZY informative and helpful, and 2) you add little funnies like “What’s the airspeed velocity of an unladen swallow?” which is awesome. Thanks for taking the time to thoughtfully share with us what you’ve learned working on Pinch of Yum. You are picture perfect examples of what it means to have “grit” but even more than that you are good people. I think that’s something people recognize through your blog and it is a large part of why they keep coming back. (The delicious food helps too, of course…)

  4. Great report, as always. Thanks for highlighting the shift from ATF/BTF to Viewability from IAB. It’s the first time I’ve heard of it. So far I only use Google Adsense and Conversant and have heard nothing from them on it. Conversant requires banner and skyscraper ads be above the fold so maybe they will be changing things soon.

  5. Where did you apply on Yellow Hammer? I don’t see a place to apply. Great job this month!

  6. Fabulous report, as always, Bjork! I really appreciate these!

    We JUST got ads up and running this week! We’re just with one company right now, and had to make some pretty drastic changes to our site in order to get it to work. We’re happy with the new look (we went from 3 columns to 2 and increased our margins a bit) but weren’t really prepared to have to make those type of decisions the day the ads went up! We’ve got 5 ads running right now … do you think that is enough/too many?

    Thanks again for all of your info – SO helpful!!

    • Congrats Gretchen! That’s a huge step. It’s tough to say just based on numbers. It has a lot to do with (1) what you’re comfortable with and (2) how they’re laid out on your blog. If you can space the ads out it helps to not have the appearance of ad overload on your page.

  7. Very much appreciate the transparency and detailed information. It’s interesting to see the costs in running and maintaining a blog and exciting to see how much blogging can potentially earn you with grit!

    Best,
    Tiffany

  8. Great info as always! Just curious, but do you no longer receive affiliate income from Bluehost? I know this has usually been a high income item for you every month. Is there a reason that you would have dropped this lucrative money earner?

    • Thanks for catching that Karin! I triple checked my addition but I didn’t triple check that everything was included in the list. The update has been made.

  9. Bjork,
    Once again, I didn’t understand a word of what you wrote about all the techie-bloggy stuff, but I loved your “non-scientific graph” about hard work and luck! Congrats to you and Lindsay for another month of great profits. Well done, Team Ostrom!

    • Thanks so much Jakky, and thanks for all of the hard work that you put into teaching. I know (from Lindsay) that you’re an awesome teacher. I can only imagine how much time, energy, and patience goes into your job!

  10. Thank you for the monthly reports. It’s so helpful to see the breakdown on how it all works. I’ve always found them super informative and look forward to them each month.

  11. Thanks for the great post! I, too, and trying to figure out how to fix my blogher ad on my mobile version… I’d love to just remove it from the mobile version, but can’t figure out how to do so!! I’d love any info you have once you figure it out!

  12. You should try experimenting with ugly ads. You’d be surprised how well ‘ghetto’ ads do.

    • Haha! I’ve heard that. I went to a seminar that an ad guy did and he said he made all of his ads on his own in Microsoft Paint.

  13. Another great read, thank you Bjork and I learned a lot. I subscribe to my own email updates, that way I can see if I don’t receive email updates then no one probably is. I can also monitor the layout and design of the email.

  14. Really enjoyed reading this Bjork, thank you, and I am loving following your excellent Food Blogger Pro course, which I subscribed to recently, as I continue on my food blogging journey! Thanks for this excellent post and your invaluable information for those of us who are still very much new to all this. :-)

    • Thanks Neil! So happy to hear that Food Blogger Pro has been helpful so far. Thanks for joining. I love what you said on your blog about the 80/20 rule. Lindsay and I are big believers in that as well. Looking forward to connecting more!

  15. I always enjoy reading your income posts. I think it makes most of us jealous yet inspired at the same time. Thanks for another great informative post. I (and everyone else, I’m sure) am always learning and being inspired by your posts!

  16. Loved this piece. Is there that much of a difference between a food blog and a non-food blog? I can’t imagine that there would be- or am I wrong? I think that any lifestyle blog would be using images in roughly the same manner as a food blog. (had to ask.. it did cross my mind)

    also the interesting part is that on email signups you could put advertising there so that people who get your newsletter would get some static but highly time/usage placements. Some people keep newsletters for the content they provide since it’s much less than a page long. ( of 8 x 11 content)
    I think that’s particularly smart and I had a question about running ads in the mobile content as well . Another question would be about running ads within the context of your desktop content. Have you tried that?

    Your comments and content just on this one post is fascinating!

    Stevie Wilson

    • Great thoughts Stevie. Lots of small differences between a food blogs and non-food blogs. The biggest thing is the prevelance of food on Pinterest, which has helped Pinch of Yum’s traffic a lot. Food is the #1 thing that people share on Pinterest – an obvious win for food bloggers.

      I’ve heard that in-email ads don’t perform too well, but I think affiliate marketing would work well if your post was (1) helpful to readers and (2) overlapped with the interests of your target market.

  17. So helpful, Bjork! I’ve been thinking about getting ads on my site so I can start making at least a tiny bit of money. I wanted a beginner one so I was going to use Google Adsense, but then I saw you have to be 18 to use it. So now I don’t know what to use! That’s also the reason I’m not on Blogher – you need to be 18. Someone needs to create a site that young bloggers can use!

    • That’s an awesome problem to have Leigha. Good for you for working on this at such a young age. Just imagine what it’ll be when you’re our age (28)! Ten years of content! :)

      Have you ever considered creating an LLC for your blog? I don’t know if that would solve the problem, but it might be a way around the age restrictions. That way you could apply as a company instead of as an individual. Again, not sure on how that works, but something to think about.

  18. As always Bjork, your income reports are super helpful and informative.

    I am disappointed that you haven’t figured out the answer to question #5 yet. Hopefully you will keep us all updated on your progress ;)

    I really appreciate your humor and personality that you put in your posts!

  19. Y’all are my heroes!! When I get my website up and running, I’m going to have my husband take care of the monetization like you do, Bjork. I can’t wait for him to dive into all of your helpful info! I keep him informed every month about how y’all are doing and we’re both just amazed at what you’ve done in 3 years!!!! As always, thanks so much for sharing! You guys are the bees knees. Hehehe. :)

  20. I always love reading Pinch of Yum’s monthly reports. it always leaves with with lots to think about. I’ve also been following your courses on Food Blogger Pro and have to say that the wealth of useful information is beyond words. It’s just awesome.

    I have an ever growing list of things to tackle, but feel confident I’ll get them done because of all the great information you both provide.

    A big THANK-YOU to you and Lindsay! :)

  21. Bjork–Thanks for sharing all the nitty gritty details to help us learn. I was a bit taken aback by our viewability stats, too!

    I think my biggest concern is that more intrusive ads (push downs, in-post ads and text links) are probably more viewable, but are also more annoying to our readers. We’ve always tried to avoid those in the past, and we’d like to continue to do so.

    I’m also not sure why miniature ads served on mobile devices (which account for over half of our monthly page views) would hurt viewability in the same way that a pushed down sidebar would. BlogHer hasn’t answered that one to my satisfaction yet, and I hesitate to give away half of our ad impressions until they do. What are your thoughts on that one?

    Thanks for sharing so much helpful information!

  22. One day soon I’m going to print out a whole load of these income reports & read them all through again because they are, for me, the very best resource I’ve come across. Unless you are going to write a book soon…hint hint … :-)

  23. Love these posts! Thanks for being so forthcoming with all your data, and all the things you’ve learned along the way. I have just started a blog — and have realized quickly how incredibly complex it is! So many things you have to learn to be good at. I love learning all of it– so hopefully a bit of grit will help me with the luck aspect :) I just watched a Ted Talk the other day on grit- https://www.ted.com/talks/angela_lee_duckworth_the_key_to_success_grit — I am also a teacher, so this one struck close to home for me. One of the best talks I have seen recently.

  24. Hi Bjork!

    As usual, spot on. Grit + hard work = long time down the road success. I get it. Thanks for the friendly reminder.

    You’re right up there with Neil Patel in my book.

    Also wanted to add that you always get me thinking…..I just realized that I probably won’t make money the way POY does, but you’ve jiggled my brain into thinking of ways to monetize my blog that I think will work for me.

    Have you heard song of the Cebu by Veggie Tales? It’s pretty catchy.

  25. Thank you so much – I so appreciate these posts! Congrats to you both – Grit and luck at it’s finest :)

  26. Interesting information, as usual. I was glad to see you talk about viewability and now feel a little better about my own low view ability percentage. I applied to Blogher about 10 months ago, and just finally got a spot about 2-3 weeks ago, so I barely had a chance to experience it before all this view ability stuff. I have a responsive theme and would love to know how to remove the sidebar ad on mobile devices. I hate how that was the only question the last Blogher e-mail didn’t answer, and that is what I most need to know!

    I also would love to see how you would try to capture e-mails on mobile. I think that is a fantastic strategy but I’m not as sure how to implement it.

  27. Great post, as always, Bjork! And really appreciate you addressing the topic of viewability in depth. Getting that email last week from BlogHer was not the highlight of my week, that’s for sure, but its definitely where the industry is headed!

    I’m curious to hear how your viewability changes as you move around the ads! I haven’t had much luck with it so far–I have a feeling I need to structure my posts a little bit differently now (larger blocks of text, rather than very small blocks of text broken between 4-5 photos).

  28. This is incredibly helpful, as we just launched our new design. We have been playing with mobile ads, placement, and don’t have an opinion yet as it is too new. But geez, this helps! Thank you sooo much.

  29. Thanks for the report you guys! I always enjoy reading them. I’ve heard all the buzz about the change with BlogHer but have yet to hear anything from Glam, which is where I am. Curious to see how things move forward.

  30. Thanks Bjork for another great income article! Your lesson on grit couldn’t come at a better time. Just last week I was invited to join BlogHer and was wondering how I was going to increase posting frequency and keep a regular job. The answer: grit. Needed that!

    I was curious about your discussion on viewability and your percentage being dragged down because your sidebar goes to the bottom of the post on mobile devices. If you take the sidebar out of the mobile version, the ads still aren’t being seen on mobile devices. So would ad networks really increase your viewability percentage when they’re not getting seen on mobile either way? Isn’t that like “cheating” their ways of calculating that? Maybe cheating isn’t the word I’m looking for but it just seems silly to take out the sidebar when it’s not actually increasing the actual viewability of the sidebar ads.

    Also, when you mention other ad networks like Say Media and Gourmet Ads, what do you mean by using them as “second tier”. Are referring to having them fill in when BlogHer ads aren’t available (which I think newcomers can’t do anymore) or does it mean something else?

  31. Thank you for such an easy explanation of how things work. I really appreciate all of your insight! It certainly saves me time when I know how things work and what to focus my time on!

  32. Hi Bjork,
    Thanks once again for a really informative report. I think this viewability thing has a lot of people in a tither. One question I had was about Blogher. I thought that in the last email from Jenny, she said that Blogher wanted their ads to be in a prime spot, probably below the fold, but at the same time, wanted to be the top appearing ads on a site. So in other words, they want the best and top spot with no other ads above them. Sounds like an impossible situation for bloggers if this is truly what they expect. Please correct me if I’m wrong.
    This is the paragraph I’m referring to from the last email:

    Does this mean I can put BlogHer Ads below the fold?

    Yes. Here’s the caveat: BlogHer still requires that no other ads are placed above BlogHer Ads on your blog, but if you have viewability challenges, then yes, we recommend adjusting your ad positions to below the fold positions alongside content, and that you work with us to understand whether such moves are effective at improving your blog’s Viewability scores. This is a work in progress for the entire industry, and we may ask you to reposition units that are moved below the fold, but do not improve your Viewability.

    Thanks Bjork, I’d really appreciate your assessment of this.

    • Yeah… If you find your viewability is best below the fold then the solution (with BlogHer’s current rules, at least) is having no ads above the fold…just your own content. It makes for a great user experience. :)

  33. Thanks for a great report! I always enjoy looking at these and am just starting to consider joining BlogHer’s ad program. Would you recommend joining BlogHer’s ad program is my traffic is pretty low still?

  34. Bjork, this is fantastic as always. I’m a researcher by day, with a specialty in factors related to success. I completely agree with you that grit is one of the most important factors for success in many things, blogging most certainly included!

    I wanted to let you know that the term “grit” (and it’s associated definition) can actually be attributed to Angela Duckworth and colleagues. I don’t think Wikipedia made that fully clear. Full reference is: Duckworth, A.L., Peterson, C., Matthews, M.D., & Kelly, D.R. (2007). “Grit: Perseverance and passion for long-term goals”. Personality Processes and Individual Differences, 92 (6), p. 1087. You can also find a PDF here: http://www.sas.upenn.edu/~duckwort/images/Grit%20JPSP.pdf.

    Thanks again for your great posts!

  35. I can’t tell you enough how much I have learned from just reading your monthly income reports over the years! While my blog has a long way to go in reaching the stratospheric numbers Pinch of Yum has, you have taught me so much in terms of what is possible! Plus, cheering you and Lindsay on as you reach greater heights is fun!

    BTW – anytime you want to tackle #5, you are welcome to come to my house! We have about 100 swallows nests built into the eaves surrounding our home. With 2 plus (including the babies now born and thriving in the nests) swallows per nest, can you calculate how many swallows we have swirling and twirling around our house? We call our house “Capistrano South” because the swallows have, apparently, left San Juan Capistrano permanently and now reside at our house! 5 years now! Love those crazy birds!

    P.S. Congratulations on your continued success – all of us bloggers understand the dedication and passion it takes to keep on keeping on! Grit really sums it up! We bloggers that read your reports (and I’m sure that numbers many thousands and thousands) value the insight you share. Please don’t ever stop!

  36. Hello! My friend recommended me to this site and I must say I am impressed. Bjork is a very good internet writer, and laid out all the ideas nicely and neat enough for even me to understand.

    When you’re designing a blog with ads in it, I understand that people scroll quickly pass the first image you have to get to the content, but is there anyway to control which images load quicker(ads) so the viewability percentage would go up? Thank you!!!!

  37. Hey guys! I love these reports and your recipes of course. Quick question, how do you make an income off Elegant theme. I used them for my blog design but I have no idea how to generate income out of it. Thank you

  38. You are so generous to share this kind of info. I have a question about affiliates. I’m also in Minnesota and had to take all of my Amazon affiliate links off of my blog. Are programs through other sites ok in MN just not amazon’s?

  39. Bjork, might be a little bit off topic but what is your educational / professional background. What did you go to school for? I am trying to learn about the technical portion of blogging to help my wife grow her business but I’m just not really sure where to start.

  40. Hi Bjork,
    These reports are most awaited, as a month starts I keep visiting POY just to read the income report. To be frank I go through them several times :) just to make sure all the points that are currently applicable to me.
    I wonder how much time you actually put in to these reports.
    I have few questions like How to sign up for Yellow Hammer Media? Do they have minimum visitors requirement?
    I don’t see income from Buysellads on POY now? I would like to know why you signed out?
    Please let me know.

    • Thanks for always checking in on the reports Sumana. It ends up being quite a bit of time once the screenshots are taken, images created, income and expenses added up, and post written. It usually ends up being a full day (or two).

      I think there’s a “Hire Us” tab on Yellow Hammer’s site. I’m not sure on requirements…

      We haven’t used BuySellAds for awhile. It wasn’t an intentional move away, just busy with other things!

  41. Stardancer says:

    I don’t blog much, but I love these posts. I find it fascinating how you and Lindsay cope with the intersection of your interest (food) + modern internet advertising (income). And how quickly it changes, too.

    If I ever do decide to monetize a blog it, I’m coming here first!

  42. “the harder you work the luckier you are” – love this! Working hard here ;). Thank you so much for all you do!

  43. I’m curious, why do your reports not include what you make on sponsored posts?

    • They do! That’s the one item that we report on when we receive the check as opposed to when we publish the post. If you look through the other reports you’ll see a “sponsored post” line item.

  44. THANK YOU! I have been searching for and easy to understand article and break down of numbers on how to monetize my blog. I will start from the start and work my way up back to May.

  45. Congrats on another terrific month! Your report has been informative and inspiring as usual. The news on “viewability” is very helpful, thanks for helping us stay on the cutting edge. :-) But your exposition on “grit” especially was needed today…suffering through a bout of writer’s block lately.

  46. Bjork! Once again you’ve nailed it on the spot! Loved the three-ingredient secret to success (grit, luck and desire!). And this viewability thing? Completely new to me! Loved hearing the way you explain it – somehow you always make it sound so simple and easy for the non-technical layman person like me! Thanks so much, and keep on with the 1% to infinity attitude! Every single income report has so much for us to learn from!

  47. Bjork, I have a question about sovrn (formerly Lijit), not sure if it is not big for here. But, we just disconnected it for our blog because it slowed down the blog loading time to much. The sovrn adds were videos, not sure why, I do not see video adds on your blog and you are doing rely great with sovrn. Any idea?

    • You should be able to connect with someone from sovrn and ask them to block all video ads. We had them initially but immediately asked them to filter out all video ads.

      • I see, somehow I did not think about it. Thank you! With the videos from sovrn adsence did always better for us. So we did not miss sovrn. But looking into your numbers, it is a different story. Will give sovrn another chance ;).

  48. This is expletive-ly amazing. Thank you times a million.

  49. Hi Bjork and Lindsay,

    Congratulations on the fantastic blog and continued success. If you stop Blogher ads on mobile, won’t you take a big hit with Blogher revenue if close to 50% of your traffic is mobile?

    Thanks!

    Shen

  50. Thank you so much for the info on viewability. I’m a brand new blogger so this is extremely helpful to me. I really appreciate the fact that you share your knowledge and experiences. Thanks, again!

  51. WOW! Thank you for all the information you shared. Some of it really went over my head but that is the beauty of reading this…I will learn what I do not know!

  52. I just wanted to let you know that these reports, and you and Lindsay in general, are what prompted me to start my own blog/website! These income reports are CRAZY helpful for getting a glimpse of what I need to do to get serious about my passion and goals. I so appreciate it, and I’m sure you’ll be hearing more from me in the near future :)

  53. That is really interesting! I have recently signed up for sovrn but I couldn’t figure out how to apply for the ads because I am not from US and I don’t have a US tax return number. I sent them a message few days ago but still no reply… I guess I will have to find an alternative untill I can apply for Blogher.

  54. WOW! Thank you so much for posting all of this information. As someone who is new to blogging, it is inspiring and motivating… but I am printing out your “grit” definition to put up in my little office. This has been a passion of mine for awhile, but not giving up is the key to success! Thank you for this wonderful post :)

  55. Hi Lindsay and Bjork, thanks from the bottom of my heart for sharing your journey to new bloggers like myself. You have really summed it up with the GRIT and LUCK definition. You both are truly inspiring people. Wish you continued success in the future.

  56. Hi Bjork! Can you tell me a little bit more about how you’re using Lijit? Are you just using them to backfill BlogHer inventory, or are you running the ads by themselves somewhere? I’m currently backfilling BlogHer with Google Adsense, but I’m wondering if I can get better results from Lijit (or even how to integrate them at all). Thanks!

    • Quick followup…BH just let me know that since Lijit is a competitor, they will not backfill with those ads. So now I’m DYING to know…how are you finding such success with Lijit? Thanks Bjork!

  57. Thank you so much for all of the information you share. It’s just such a great resource for people just beginning to understand the blogging world and I thank you so much for posting all of this!!

  58. Always inspiring to hear how Pinch of Yum is growing and evolving. :) I’m somewhat curious as to what percentage of the traffic these income reports generate for you.

  59. Hey there Bjork! I’ve found the solution to increasing Viewability rates with BlogHer without having to get rid of your ads. I’m posting the tutorial on Monday. Could I link to this great explanation of what Viewability is in my post? Thanks!

  60. I am actually glad to read this web site posts which contains tons of helpful information, thanks
    for providing these data.

  61. Hey are using WordPress for your blog platform?
    I’m new to the blog world but I’m trying to get started and create my own. Do you require any html coding expertise to make your
    own blog? Any help would be greatly appreciated!

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  63. Bjork, these income reports are always so helpful. It’s amazing to me that you guys started out your earnings at around $21 and have grown so much in such a short amount of time It’s incredible…an inspiring. I CLEARLY have a lot to learn…but I am dedicated to it and look forward to being where you are right now…in time!

    Blessings to you and your wife! Keep up the amazing work!

  64. Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored to death at
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