December Income Report – $277.19

December Income Report - $277.19

Greetings! Bjork here.

I’m the proud husband of Lindsay girl. Isn’t she great?

Every month Lindsay lets me have a cameo on her blog. I use this post to report back to you, the readers, on the income that Pinch of Yum created from the previous month.

Our hope with these income reports is to be totally transparent as to what’s working and what’s not working when it comes to making money from a food blog.

I’m really excited about the information I’ll be sharing in this post.  More on that later, but for the now, the numbers:

The Breakdown:

Foodie Blogroll – $82.40
Amazon – $33.58
Bluehost – $65.00
The Thesis Theme– $28.71
VigLink – $67.50

Grand Total: $277.19

#1 Foodie Blogroll: $82.40

Foodie Blogroll fixed their site! The last few months we had to estimate the total income from Foodie Blogroll. Not so anymore! They do all of the estimate for us. Check it out:

Foodie Blogroll Total Earnings

The nice thing about Foodie Blogroll is that the income is fairly consistent. This is because Foodie Blogroll pays based on the total number of times that the ads are seen, not on the number of clicks or sales generated by the ads.

#2 Amazon: $33.58

This is the first time that we’ve had any income from Amazon Affiliate links. I assume that the holiday shopping season had a lot to do with that. We don’t have too many Amazon Affiliate links on the site – just a few at the bottom of the Resources for Food Bloggers page for products that Lindsay uses.

#3 Bluehost: $65

Bluehost is the company we use to host the Pinch of Yum website.

Hosting is kind of like renting office space for your website files. If you’re interested in learning more, you can find out more about hosting by reading the How to Start a Food Blog.

Almost all of the Bluehost affiliate clicks come from people that have visited the Resources for Food Bloggers page and the How to Start a Food Blog.  You can also read more about how affiliate programs work in this post.

#4 The Thesis Theme: $28.71

As mentioned in November’s Income Report, The Thesis Theme is the WordPress theme we use for Pinch of Yum.

We like it because once it’s setup it’s easy to navigate and make changes to your site.

If you’re just starting out with your blog you probably don’t need to drop $87 for your first WordPress theme. Find a free theme you like (or at least can tolerate) and use it for a few months to see if you actually like blogging. If you’re having a blast and are interested in upgrading your theme then check out the premium themes that are available. There are lots of options out there.  The Thesis Theme is just the one that works best for us!

#5 VigLink: $67.50

I’m really excited to talk about VigLink. We signed up for VigLink a few months ago.

I did a lot of research before signing up and found out that Google had invested $800,000 into VigLink, which helped convince me that it was worth looking into. :)

I also love their website. Super clean and simple to use.  Always a plus in my book.

VigLink is great because they automatically create affiliate links for you.

The $67.50 we earned from VigLink was essentially from someone coming to Pinch of Yum, clicking on a link, and purchasing a Bluehost hosting plan.  But they came from a link on our site that wasn’t an official affiliate link.  VigLink automatically “caught” this and made sure that we got paid a percentage of the sale since we had directed the customer to Bluehost.

Apparently the affiliate cut from VigLink is actually better than the one from Bluehost’s own affiliate program ($67.50 vs $65). I recently contacted VigLink to find out why this is but haven’t heard back yet.

A Few Tips to Improve Your Food Blog

Create a resources page

If you’re looking to create more income from your blog, I’d highly recommend creating a resources page. It’s a great place to offer a service to people that want to learn from you while also create some extra income.

A strong suggestion on a resources page: never suggest a program or product that you do not believe in. It’s easy to throw a bunch of links up and hope that someone clicks. It might work in the short run, but a more effective approach is to only advertise products that you truly believe in and gain the trust of your readers by consistently recommending high-quality products.

It Is Possible!

Creating extra income and getting traffic to your blog is possible. Sometimes it doesn’t seem like it, but it is.  We want to encourage you to keep with it!  For us, this formula has been super helpful in being able to create income:

Consistently Post + Enjoy the Process + Take Good Pictures

Good pictures can create tons of traffic by leveraging traffic from sites like FoodGawker, Tastespotting and Pinterest.  This has been the number one traffic generation tool for Pinch of Yum.

Here’s a really cool comparison of two different time periods in Pinch of Yum’s history.

The first is from May 1st, 2010 – Feb. 28th, 2011. This is before Lindsay started consistently submitting and getting accepted to certain food sharing sites.

Pinch of Yum - First 10 Months

The second is from Mar 1st, 2011 – December 31st, 2011. This is after Lindsay started consistently submitting to food sharing sites.

Pinch of Yum - Most Recent 10 Months

Using this formula, we were able to increase Pinch of Yum traffic by almost 275,000 visitors in less than one year!  That’s quite a testament to the power of pictures!

Speaking of photography, there’s something that we’re really excited to share with you in tomorrow’s post!  Stay tuned.

Thanks so much for reading!

Let us know if you have any questions, thoughts, or tips as we continue on our journey!

And we’re thrilled to donate this month’s income from Pinch of Yum to an orphanage in the Philippines called Children’s Shelter of Cebu.

You should check it out.

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

Comments

  1. I read your post last month and didnt comment on it…but these are great. I like hearing other people’s perspectives and kudos to you for sharing so openly…most bloggers won’t or don’t discuss actual $$ and numbers.

    Bluehost…loved them for about a year or so until my site kept crashing with them, major service disrupts, major downtime, bad, bad, bad scene. Went to another host with true dedicated servers and am much happier. Otherwise I’d be all about their affiliate program.

    Consistently Post + Enjoy the Process + Take Good Pictures = 100% spot on. It took me a few years to get all 3 of those pieces, all working, all at one time. Or trying to :)

    • Interesting. Thanks for the feedback on Bluehost – we have had no problems at all but I appreciate your honesty! And it’s so true about figuring the formula out over time, isn’t it? I “blogged” for about a year before really figuring out what I was doing and where I was going. That formula has really helped me shape my blog, but I just wish I would have done that sooner. :) Sheesh. I guess all bloggers probably feel that in some way. Thanks for the comment, Averie!

  2. Thanks so much for doing this. It is SO helpful to me – just a baby blogger! Your resources are extremely helpful and encouraging.

    • You’re living proof that of that formula – especially now that you’re getting published on food sharing sites! :) Way to go!

  3. This is incredibly helpful. I wonder how much (if any) of this is possible with an ad network like Foodbuzz since they want you to use them exclusively. I wish I had read that contract a bit closer before signing earlier this year.

    • Thanks, Gina! As for the contract stuff, that’s exactly why we chose to go with Foodie Blogroll (less strict contract) even though I think they generally pay less. Maybe it is possible to still do some affiliate stuff with Foodbuzz – I would contact them to find out! It’s worth it!

  4. Fabulous! I am in the mom/food blog world and I would also recommend working with PR. You don’t have to stuff your blog full of promotions, but if you did one giveaway a month (of a a food related product or theme) and you received the same thing (such as a $250 visa gift card) you could increase your profits by almost 100%. If you develop working relationships with different food brands and their reps you will be considered for major opps like brand ambassadorships, recipe development, paid campaigns, etc.

    • Absolutely! Thanks for mentioning that, Emily! We’ve been working on something similar with a food product company, but it’s not quite set in stone yet. :) Thanks for the great reminder!

  5. Very interesting! I love your teamwork!

  6. Thanks so much for your openness with these posts, I find them super helpful! I also blogged for awhile before deciding to “commit” to it, and still need lots of work in the photography department but other than that we’re getting there…it’s such a fun experience!

  7. Commenter says:

    I think bluehost commission is $90 from CJ, so Viglink took their cut and gave you the $67.

  8. Hi! I LOVE your blog, and I especially like the pictures. Do you have any tips or tricks on how you take such beautiful pictures of your food? I might start my own food blog and would love to be able to take such attractive food pictures. Thanks!

    • You SHOULD start your own food blog! It’s lots of fun and a great learning process. :) As for the photos, my number one suggestion is take pictures in natural light! Also – check back on tomorrow’s post – there’s going to be a food photography related announcement that you might be interested in. Good luck with getting started!

  9. You two are inspiring! Thanks for sharing such great information.

  10. The two of you have been very inspiring. I never really tried to make money from my blog until now. I’ve decided that I’m going to post more often and start taking better pictures (I just ordered some photo lighting that should help out with that once it arrives). I just recently added AdSense to my blog and Foodie Blogroll Ads (still pending approval). My boyfriend is going to help me along the way and I would love it if he did some posts too! Your site has provided some much needed information for a food blogger that feels a bit overwhelmed at times trying to figure out the best approach for turning my blog into an extra revenue stream. My traffic numbers are a far cry from yours and I’m not quite sure how to change that outside of doing the things I’m doing now. I work full time, so I have a limited amount of time to devote to the blog. I am willing to devote several hours in the evenings and some time on weekends. Any additional information is greatly appreciated.

    Happy New Year and thanks again for the support!
    Terry @ Culinary Collage.

    • Thanks for your comment, Terry! Congratulations on the steps you’re taking to strengthen your blog – new photo lighting and getting set up with some ads are both good moves!

      It can be really hard to manage a blog well AND also work full time (I know because I work full time, too!). I’d encourage you to keep it up and do just what you’re doing – just spend some time working on it at night or on the weekends. Remember that it’s about enjoying the process! It’s easy to get tied up in traffic numbers, comments, etc. but it’s more important that you enjoy what you’re doing. Also, I have a food photography related announcement (tied to increasing traffic numbers) coming tomorrow! Be sure to check back – I think you’d find it interesting. :)

      Feel free to contact me if you have other questions in the coming year. Good luck!

  11. Thanks for doing this! I’m a teacher (2nd grade)/blogger myself and have just recently started a food blog. I’ve had running blogs start and end in the past, but keep up on my current running/fitness blog on wordpress. I’m hoping to do a little more with the new food blog, and you are an inspiration!

    Rebekah

  12. Hi, this is so great that you’re sharing this info! I use foodieblogroll and get about the same monthly. I haven’t looked into these other avenues though! Thanks!

  13. This is very interesting. Thanks.

  14. I love the transparency that you provide! It’s really awesome to see what works, what doesn’t, and your success

  15. Hi Lindsay and Bjork, you guys are awesome. Love your team work. I started writing a food blog 2 years ago but never posted consistently. My photographs sucked. But now I’m taking my blog baby seriously and working on my photography and trying to post more consistently. I’ve also been looking to earn some money in the process and hence trying to get my pics published on the photo websites. I have had some success, but have lots to work on still. Loved your page, you are such an inspiration. My husband is also my best friend and he has designed my blog from scratch, takes care of all technical glitches and supports me so much! Happy blogging!!

  16. Thanks, great tips! I’ve had my food blog for about 5 years, looking to put some renewed focus and ideas into it. This post is a helpful resource in that process! I appreciate the transparency. Adding you to my blogroll!

  17. Waiting on pins and needles for January’s income post :) I am so glad I found your blog. I also love hearing other people’s experiences with making money from blogging. Very motivating and inspiring. Keep up the good work guys!!

  18. I just started with foodie blogroll. I see a lot of food bloggers using food buzz. Have you used them and what are your thoughts of what they pay per 1,000?

    • Lots of great insight here. Just started reading your site and I quite enjoy it. Also, must say that giving your profit away is a great thing to do and how exciting to track it – you got a new reader.

      Cheers,

      Ernie

    • I haven’t used Foodbuzz but I know a lot of food bloggers do. We’re actually talking about switching ad networks (check back for tomorrow’s post!) but we’re hesistant to join BlogHer/Foodbuzz because of the contract stipulations.

  19. Lindsey and Bjork, you guys helped me take the plunge into starting my own blog. I have been wanting to do it for a long time and when I found your guys website I knew I had to start. Just a quick question. Where do you find those tables that you have above? Mine only show the views. Is there a way to change it or is it in a totally different website that I don’t know about?

  20. Vaishnavi says:

    Hi, Not everybody do, what you are doing here. As a novice to food blogging world, I learnt a lot and am so glad to have found you. Will be visiting every day… Thank You.

  21. hi…. My site have been banned by google adsense.can i use both links to ?my site

  22. This is such a helpful post! My sister and I blogged together for close to three years, but we have really been trying to ramp it up this past year. I got so many great ideas from your post….much appreciated! I’m off to add you to fb and twitter…

    -Meaghan

  23. This is a great post. I keep coming back to it and comparing my results with Pinch of Yum’s. :) I noticed Lindsay started posting regularly in March 2011 and there were barely any comments. And then it picked up! Also search engines picked up the posts too. Takes time. I feel like talking to myself on my website right now.:)

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  28. Okay, POY is officially going to be my blog bible from now on. I’m going to go through your old posts and learn along the way. My blog isn’t a recipe based blog. Would you have any other tips for me? I don’t submit my pics to food porn sites such as TS and FG. I am still not too happy with my pics yet. I’ve heard that you don’t necessarily need recipes for the submissions, but that most people have recipes since the posts come from recipe blogs. I consider my blog a “culinary blog”, a whole other niche. But most of the blogs that I follow are food (recipe based and restaurant review) blogs. So I learn from them, but not every concept applies with me that might apply with everyone else.

    Also, I see that you used to use Foodieblogroll. I guess you don’t use that anymore. Can I ask when you dropped it and why? Thank you.

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