icon-arrowicon-chevron-whiteicon-chevronicon-commenticon-facebookicon-hearticon-instagramicon-instant-poticon-listicon-lockicon-meal-prepicon-nexticon-pinteresticon-popularicon-quoteicon-searchicon-sugar-freeicon-twittericon-veganicon-videomenu-closemenu-open
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

November Traffic and Income Report

November 2016 Traffic and Income Report | pinchofyum.com

Heyo!

Bjork here checking in for the monthly traffic and income report here on Pinch of Yum.

Every month Lindsay let’s me have a lil’ cameo on Pinch of Yum to talk about the behind-the-scenes happenings here at POY HQ.

We’ll look at four things in this month’s report:

  1. November income totals
  2. November traffic totals
  3. November’s takeaway: The significance of Quarter Four and Quickly Finding Email Addresses
  4. A Word from Lindsay: Looking to 2017

I really enjoy talking about all this blogging/marketing/business/finance stuff, so I appreciate the chance to stand on this platform that Lindsay has built here and share my thoughts, and I appreciate you for reading and following along.

My hope is that you are able to pick up some nuggets that you can apply to whatever it is that you’re doing, whether it be building a business, a blog, a non-profit, or a career. Or maybe you learn something that just generally helps you out in your day-to-day life. Or maybe you just like to look at the income totals and leave.

Whatever it is, I hope you find something in these reports that’s helpful, informative, or motivating.

We’ve been working on Pinch of Yum for almost seven years now, which is like 35 in internet years. Need some context? We started POY BS (before Snapchat). Snapchat is a perfect example of how quickly things can be built online.

We’re a bit different than insanely fast growing companies like Snapchat. We’re all about slow, steady, and consistent. All of the numbers we share should be viewed with the understanding that it took seven years to get here, and the entire time we had two people (and now a bigger team with full-time staff) working to build this thing.

It’s taken lots of work, lots of time, lots of patience, and a little bit of luck (it’s always a factor).

The story of Pinch of Yum is not the usual story you hear when it comes to internet based businesses. The common story you hear is the rocket-fuel-powered-overnight-success-story business. But the slow-and-steady-growth-over-a-long-period-of-time type of company is more common than you’d think. It’s just that it’s boring to read about, or share with your friends about, which is why you rarely hear about these types of companies.

But don’t get confused and think that slow and steady means not taking action or not boldly moving forward. Daily action is critical.

The ultimate growth equation looks like something like this:

Action x Improvement x Time x Luck = Amount of Growth

This isn’t just for blogging or business. It’s a life equation. It can apply to your health, your spirituality, your relationships…

The more you increase any of those variables the more growth you’ll have. Increase them all and you’ll be in really good shape!

Sure, it’s not really possible to “increase your luck,” but what you’ll find is that the more action, improvement, and time you put in then the greater the impact a moment of luck will have on your growth.

What else would you add to that growth equation? I’d love to know in the comments below.

Let’s jump into the numbers for November…

Income Report Numbers

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 we’ll do our best to reply.

Income

Expenses

If you’re interested in learning more about some of the ways that you can monetize a food blog, we encourage you to download this free ebook, “16 Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog,” from our sister site, Food Blogger Pro!

a picture of the 16 Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog ebook from Food Blogger Pro and a note that says, 'free download from our friends at Food Blogger Pro'

Traffic Totals

Below are some Google Analytics screenshots from the month of November 2016.

Traffic Overview

Traffic Overview - November 2016

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Traffic Sources - November 2016

Mobile vs. Desktop vs. Tablet

Mobile vs Desktop vs Laptop - November 2016
Income Report Takeaways

November and Quarter 4

November is one of the best months for a food blog, especially a blog like Pinch of Yum that’s monetized through ads, affiliate earnings, and sponsored content.

November is a shining star for two reasons:

  1. It’s a high traffic month for food-related content
  2. Quarter four advertising budgets (i.e. buy buy buy!)

If you have a food blog or any content based website for that matter, you know that there are seasonal ups and downs when it comes to your traffic throughout the year.

For a blog like Pinch of Yum, we see an uptick in traffic in November, December, and January. November and December are due to the holidays, with November being a bit better than December. January’s uptick is a result of everyone having a newly found (or renewed) passion for healthy eating. January tends to be the highest traffic month of the year for us.

Here’s a screenshot that shows the traffic for Pinch of Yum over the last five years. The blue dots on the line pinpoint November of each year. You can see there’s usually an uptick in November, a slight drop in December, and then a big jump in January.

November Traffic from 2011-2016

I’m curious to know: Do the up and down traffic patterns on your blog look similar, with the highest traffic months happening in November and January? Or do you focus on another niche that has completely different seasonal ups and downs? Let us know in the comment section below.

Quarter Four Advertising Budgets: buy buy buy!

When you look at that screenshot above you can see that there’s more traffic in January than in November. So why is November a better month than January when it comes to advertising and affiliate income?

It comes down to quarter four advertising budgets and the purchasing mindset that exists in November.

When I say quarter four I’m referring to the fourth quarter of the year, which includes October, November, and December. It’s also commonly referred to as Q4, which I’ll use for the rest of this post.

PR agencies, ad agencies, and businesses in general traditionally spend the most money in Q4 when compared to other quarters throughout the year.

Why?

Two big reasons:

  1. Marketing departments don’t want to have a bunch of money left over in their advertising budget for the year, so if there’s any remaining money to spend they need to spend it in Q4.
  2. For many businesses, spending money in Q4 is most effective because people have a purchasing mindset. Think Black Friday, Cyber Monday, shopping for Christmas presents, etc… General theme = buy buy buy!

The combination of increased traffic along with increased ad spend results in November being one of the highest-earning months of the year for a blog like Pinch of Yum.

The purchasing mindset also impacts the success of affiliate marketing, which is the reason why you see lots of holiday gift guides (like this one that Lindsay published) and other types of “here’s something you can buy today” type of posts.

The basic idea: Thanksgiving, Black Friday, and Cyber Monday are all happening within five days of each other.

Those five days are the sweet spot for a recipe blog that monetizes through ads and affiliate marketing.

Discovering Emails with Hunter.Io

I’ve been doing a little bit of cold emailing lately and have been trying to find an effective way to discover contact info. I’ve found a super slick solution in using hunter.io.

It’s not perfect, but it’s pretty darn good. For instance, here are the results for Pinch of Yum:

Hunter.io results for Pinch of Yum

I installed the Chrome extension after signing up for a free trial. It’s a fun and easy-to-use tool.

I hope you find it helpful!

I’ll pass the virtual mic over to Lindsay.

Lindsay, take it away!


Looking To 2017

Lindsay

Hey everyone! Fancy meeting you here.

Maybe this goes without saying, but lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about what next year will look like. We’re moving into our seventh year of running this blog, we’re managing an amazing team for both POY and FBP, we’re raising a sometimes lazy but mostly awesome fur baby, and most importantly, we’re preparing to welcome a HUMAN baby into our lives. ♡

As I look ahead to this year, I see myself focusing on just two big, lofty goals:

  • Staying creatively engaged;
  • Being present with and for our baby.

It’s a mindset shift that’s driving a shift in my methods and practices. Here are some of the ways that Pinch of Yum will change in 2017 as a result:

  1. Less sponsored blog posts. We have worked with some incredible brand partners over the last 2-3-4 years and I truly appreciate partnering with brands and what that means for our ability to grow and operate the business. How-ev-er. If my goal is to stay creatively engaged and find the time to be present with our baby, I know I can’t keep working with brands at the same rate that I’ve been doing in the last 6 months. I naively bit off more than I could chew with a handful of projects this fall and felt uninspired in the process. My hope is that 2017 will include only the occasional brand partnerships for blog posts – we’re thinking two per month at most – with brands that we love to the moon and back.
  2. Scheduling in advance. I am notoriously bad about waiting until the last minute to do things. It’s a glaring personal flaw. Or strength? There’s gotta be a strength in that somewhere, right? My plan for 2017 is to have all content drafted in advance of the publish date. Not, like, YEARS in advance. Just a day or two – so there’s no scrambling to get stuff done the morning that a post is going out. If I can pull this one off, I’d have all content scheduled out to publish at 4am. And I chose 4am because I know I would never get up at 4am to finish writing posts, so this will force me to get things done in advance and keep my mental clutter at a minimum. Sneaky, huh?
  3. Two posts per week. Yep – two recipes instead of three. My hope with this is quality over quantity – that it gives way to more inspired, more intentional, and more satisfying recipes and photos. Also: it gives me more time for baby snuggles in between. See: goals.
  4. New content series: I’m nervously working on a brand new type of content for the blog in 2017 – I am totally freaked out about it and also very excited. It has to do with people and stories and impact and it feels like more of my heart than I’ve ever really let come through on the blog before. That first goal? Staying creatively engaged? That isn’t just about recipes. It’s about keeping my whole heart and my whole self in the game of “blogging” so that in five years I can look back and say: wow, I feel really good about that. That blog thing was exactly what it was supposed to be. As I got really brutally honest with myself these last six months, I realized that getting there, for me, required making some changes to my existing focus areas. Stay tuned! Or actually, don’t. I’m kind of nervous so maybe just let me publish the first one without anyone looking. 😝

It’s because of you that this thing we call Pinch of Yum can exist as it does today. Thank you so much for making these recipes, leaving comments with your love and feedback, sending emails, following on social media, and sharing this food around the table with your families and friends.

Every month we donate a portion of Pinch of Yum’s income to non-profit or foundation that’s near to our heart. This month we’re donating to the Children’s Shelter of Cebu and helping to fund their budget for daily meals.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

78 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love reading these reports so thanks so much for continuing to share them. I’m in a similar niche so I see the same uptick in traffic in November but it continues into December for me since I have a few homemade gift posts that do really well on Pinterest this month. Also just wanted to say I have the same issues with not scheduling all my stuff in advance. Definitely something I plan to work on in 2017 😊

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Nice! And kudos for making homemade gifts! I hope to up my creative-homemade-gift-giving game someday. For now I’ll settle for last minute Amazon Prime purchase. 😉

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo
    tessa

    there will be many times in 2017 where you will be up at 4 am! but you will be too busy with the baby to deal with any posts. ha!
    do whatever you need to do to feel sane once the baby comes. we will still be here, waiting patiently. you have a great blog!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thanks for sharing! I can’t wait for what’s in store for POY in 2017! I’ve been a long time follower and it’s been so amazing watching you grow. I started my own food blog a couple months ago, and reading how you talked about growth being a slow and steady process keeps me motivated. You both are a huge inspiration to me :)!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thanks Julia! keep up the good work with your blog and always try to follow your interests and curiosities – that has never led me astray. 🙂

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Britt

    Woah, so excited for the new content series you are planning! I’m sure 2017 will be a wonderful year for your family.

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Mary Ann Rollano

    As a new mother much of your time will be given to your baby. Understandable! And you want that time. I can remember 23 years ago vividly, to this day, rocking my new baby girl in our living room rocker.

    I was just quietly rocking her on a sunny summer afternoon, when the entire world completely fell away and everything felt peaceful and right with the world. It was the most wonderful feeling. It was a time I cherish dearly.

    A newborn will bring new depth to your life. Looking forward to your new focus. Best wishes in 2017!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      This is the sweetest comment. Thank you for giving me that precious picture of what our future can/will be like, Mary Ann!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    These reports are so helpful! I just started my own teeny little blog and it’s so cool to see what it could become if I stick with it. And I honestly love everything the POY team does so I’m sure all your new projects will be amazing!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Inspiring as always. My blog is way to small to see any upticks, but this is something to change :-)….
    I am impressed by the 2017 goals from Lindsay. And I can’t wait to read the new development… extremely curious about it!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for all the great insight! I am excited for you guys to begin your new journey into parenthood! My goal for 2017 is to post at least 2x per week, my new little bundle sidetracked me this year for sure! Brushing up my photography skills would probably be helpful too…

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    My traffic looks nothing like that. It’s pretty up and down, but has averaged about the same for the last four years, which I totally can’t figure out. I even took like 9 months off after the birth of my last baby and it didn’t go down or anything. January is traditionally a bit higher though. Too bad ad companies aren’t paying as much then! I’m excited for the new content series next year (and your baby!), can’t wait to see what it is!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      That’s fascinating! Doesn’t it make you want to dig into the numbers more and figure out the why behind the ebb and flow of growth and traffic? Thanks for sharing Lindsay – and thanks for the nice comment.

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Thank you for reminding us how long you’ve been doing this. It makes me feel so much better about my progress. As always, I just got a fresh burst of inspiration.

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Hannah Elizabeth

    I love you guys so much, there’s not a chance of me ever leaving!! I’d be whole-heartedly and genuinely interested in anything you posted…for realz. (Which kinda goes to show in that I read EVERY post even these income reports, even though I’m not a business-y person and a lot of it goes over my head…I just love you guys and love learning from you!) I can’t wait to see what 2017 holds for you and the POY family! I’ll be here cheering you on (but I’ll pretend I’m not if it makes you feel more comfortable lol)! 💖

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Tina

    Lindsay, I see you moving toward a Perennial Plate type of story telling, a new season in life calls for change, all good I assure you. Happy for y’all!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love these monthly reports and agree that the end of the year typically drives more website traffic and corresponding affiliate sales.

    On another note, I recently re-discovered your blog and am so impressed with how much it’s evolved over the years. Congrats on the success and the coming bundle of joy!

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi!!
    I have two websites focused in two different niches. The first one is about food and healthy tips, and its behaviour is as yours. November within the current year has much more visits than other months. Then december visits go down, but in January again go up a little bit more than November.

    The other website is about travelling, obviously from June to September is when it has the spikes, the rest of the year visitors are a very few less. But not only these, pages visited are also seasonal, so content related to beaches in Indonesia or Sri Lanka work very good all year, but european destinies work very good during winter… It is great analyze numbers!!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Really interesting Raul! The travel niche is a great example of content that could have opposite traffic patterns from a food blog. Unless it’s about getting out of Minnesota when it’s cold. We all want to travel somewhere warm in January!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Shannon

    As usual, your success and hard work are so inspiring! I’m happy for you that you’ll be able to improve your work-life balance in the new year. I see the exact same yearly traffic patterns with my site too.

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love the idea of slow and steady… taking action steps along the way.

    I’m also going to be trying to schedule posts ahead of time. My most popular posts are my tutorials. They take several hours… to plan, to make and photograph the item being made and then edit photos and write the step-by-step instructions. So you can imagine that sometimes life gets frantic when I’m trying to get those done and published.

    But if I can plan ahead and have those scheduled, I’ll be able to put together a higher quality tutorial and have in place plans to promote it without having to squeeze all that into a short time frame.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      I hear ya. Tutorials can be a beast! But like you said, a high quality tutorial post can be a huge long-term win for a blog.

  17. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Lindsay, I can’t wait to see what you do with POY’s new content series. I’m really excited to see it.

    Thanks to both of you for breaking it down and Bjork loved the equation you used for success.

  18. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katy

    I’ve never seen a blog report before, this was neat information and gave me some new perspective. Thanks for sharing!

  19. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I recently really started following you guys, the podcast, and the blog, and so appreciate all of your transparency with all you guys do. Also, I didn’t realize you were from MN, too. I live in Minneapolis. It’s always encouraging to see success in food blogging, but especially so when it’s someone who is local!

    AND if you’ll allow me to plug it, I run the social media for J. Selby’s – a new plant-based restaurant opening early 2017 in St. Paul, and I hope we’ll see y’all there!

  20. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Wonderful! I am not a food blogger, but I have been an avid reader for some time and certainly an admirer of your business professionalism. I wanted to ask, do you just hire for social media management now or do you still utilize like buffer or coschedule or meetedgar?

  21. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hey guys, I just stumbled on your site and these reports today. I recently set up my own food blog pescetarianpleasures.com and am totally inspired by it already. I want to turn it into a way of earning a living as this is my passion. I appreciate your transparency regarding income as this is something which is often not discussed online. I will make sure I check in periodically to see how you are doing. great stuff, keep it coming! from Char x