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 our 18th income report.
The Income Breakdown:
- Tasty Food Photography – $1,663.25
- Bluehost – $1,560
- Google AdSense – $867.13
- BlogHer – $754.40
- Thesis Theme – $636.99
- Elegant Themes – $175.50
- Amazon – $29.63
Grand Total: $5,686.90
Income as Percentages
The Traffic Breakdown
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 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:
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.
The results were really fascinating:
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.
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.