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The Food Blog Money Making Experiment – September – $72.59

Food Blog Income - September with cupcake.

Greetings! Bjork here. I am Lindsay’s husband and the proud sous chef potato peeler in the Pinch of Yum kitchen.

Two months ago Lindsay and I decided to experiment with making money from her blog. We thought it would be fun (and maybe helpful to others) to write a monthly post detailing the money we made from the blog and passing along any information we learned along the way. Here’s the update from September.

        The Breakdown:

            Grand Total = $72.59.

Our plan for this money is to go against the age-old adage and spend it all in one place. We consider it money well spent.

Foodie Blogroll: $27.68

Foodieblogroll.com has been having some issues lately (sales reporting is not working) so we can’t report exact earnings. Let’s go back to high school algebra to do a quick estimate of what we can expect for September Foodieblogroll earnings.

Income Traffic Report graph.
Income report equations.

Therefore, if my rusty algebra skills are correct:

We’re certainly open to other ad services, but for now, Foodie Blogroll seems to be getting the job done.

Affiliate Links (Thesis + Elegant) – $44.91

Disclaimer: Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. We will earn a commission if you purchase through those links.

We currently use five different affiliate programs:


Quick Tip:

An affiliate program is a pretty basic concept. You (the publisher) link to a certain product or service from your website. If a person comes to your blog, clicks on the link, and decides to buy the given product then you get a certain percent of the sale. For instance, the five links shown above this paragraph are all affiliate links. If you watch the URL when you click on the link you will notice it quickly flash a different URL before directing you to the final site. Here’s a screencast that shows what I mean (**nerd alert**):

The URL that flashes quickly is embedding a cookie (a web cookie, not a fluffy peanut butter cookie) that identifies your blog as the referral source. Basically, it lets the company know that if the person should purchase the product then you (the publisher) get a cut of the sale.

Another Quick Tip:

For those of you that are interested, here are some examples of the payout for the different affiliate programs we currently use:

So here’s our September affiliate story.  A couple weeks ago I was checking through the five affiliate programs we use, and I found that we had made two sales – one with Elegant Themes and one with Thesis Themes! It was almost hard to believe that the affiliate links had actually worked. The whole affiliate marketing thing almost seemed mythical to me.

Being the data sleuth that I am, I did some research and found that the Elegant Themes sale came from the Resources for Food Bloggers page  on September 16th.  The Thesis Theme sale came from the sidebar advertisement on September 12th.

Let’s pause for a moment and enter my brain at the moment I found out the Thesis Theme sale date.

“Wait… September 12th? Why does that sound familiar? What day was that? Monday I think… Wasn’t I working on some website updates then? Didn’t I purchase the premium version of the Thesis Theme that day?”

Indeed, the person that made the Thesis Theme purchase… was me.

Apparently while working on Pinch of Yum that day I had clicked on the ad I set up on the sidebar. A little bit later on I purchased the theme for a website I was working on. Sure enough, because I clicked on our own ad, we received some of our own own money back. It’s like finding $20 on the sidewalk and then realizing it was you that dropped it.  Things could be worse.

Once again, here’s a look at September:

        The Breakdown:

            Grand Total = $72.59.

The take away from September is that affiliate sales work! With just two affiliate transactions we easily surpassed our Foodie Blogroll revenue. We’ll be sure to keep you updated as we continue to search for high quality products or services that have affiliate programs.

How about you? Do you have a food blog (or other type of blog) that you’re thinking about monetizing? Any tips, tricks, or advice?

We love getting your questions and comments!

P.S. 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'

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45 Comments

  1. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Kathryn

    This is such a helpful post – I haven’t thought about monetizing my blog because it seemed like such a lot of effort for a small return but those numbers seem pretty impressive and what I really like about this site is the fact that the ads don’t feel very intrusive.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Lindsay

      Thanks! Sometimes they do feel a tad intrusive to me, just because I don’t always love what’s being advertised, but it’s a small price to pay for easy money. 🙂

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Lindsay

      I used to think the same thing… I can remember thinking how cool it would be to have over 100 visitors per day and now I often have more than 1,000. It happens – it just takes time!

  2. Pinch of Yum Logo

    We would love for our blog to eventually make us some bucks. Working on that goal. We actually found we make more money with Google Adsense than we did with Amazon affiliates.

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Lindsay

      Yeah, I found the same thing with Amazon affiliate links. I have made like 10 cents or something with it. 🙂 It’s all a learning process I guess!

  3. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is fun…so glad you posted this. It’s fun to hear that people are making a little money off their foodie passion…

    I’m having a giveaway at my site if you’re interested! 🙂 Thought I’d share the fun!

  4. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sandi

    Thanks for doing this!…I’m still a newbie to blogging & trying to figure it all out. Have you seen the current ‘knife giveaway’ on thepioneerwoman.com?…almost $50,000, yes fifty-thousand comments. Imagine the number of clicks!

  5. Pinch of Yum Logo

    hi! thank you so much for doing this experiment and showing us all how to do it.
    i try to monetize my blog but i only make about 10-50 dollars/month. i use foodie blogroll and google adsense and i’ve yet to get paid for google adsense because you only get paid for every $100 you make, and i haven’t made that much yet.
    do you think it matters who hosts your blog? i’ve thought about switching to wordpress

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo
      Lindsay

      You’re welcome! It’s fun to hear from people who have also tried their hand at making a little blog money. 🙂 I use WordPress (as of a few months ago) and I love the theme I’m using – it’s called Thesis. And the Thesis Theme is supposed to be good for SEO (search engine optimization). However, Thesis is only compatible with WordPress, so you might want to consider theme compatibilty when thinking about switching. But really, it really doesn’t matter what platform you use to host your blog in terms of how much money you make. Good luck with your food blogging adventures!

  6. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I have a question. I am hosting my site on BlueHost but how do I “sponsor” blue host to become an affiliate? Is your “sponsorship” that earns your payment simply the blue host widget on the sidebar of your blog? Thank you!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Hi Mercedes! This is Bjork, Lindsay’s husband. I make rare appearances in the comments section to answer questions. I just checked out your blog. Love the first two pictures on the Coconut M&M Cookie Bars post. 🙂

      Here’s the link to the Bluehost affiliate program: https://www.bluehost.com/cgi-bin/partner – It doesn’t cost anything to sign up. They will have all of the links that you’ll need to get started. They have special URLs that track when people click on your link. If someone makes a Bluehost purchase after clicking on your link then you’ll get your affiliate payout. Let me know if you have additional questions.

      1. Pinch of Yum Logo
        Phi

        Thank you so much for the amazing post and explanation Bjork! Your monthly sales reports are really useful! I was telling my fiance that he needs to get crackin on my blog to help me out.
        Thanks again for all this info, and of course a big thanks to Lindsay for all the amazing blog posts and inspiration!

  7. Pinch of Yum Logo
    JP

    Thanks for sharing these insights and numbers! It’s amazing (and motivating) to see where you started in 2011 and how you’re doing now in 2012.

        1. Pinch of Yum Logo

          Hi Carissa! At this point (December 2013) I would say I spend 35 hours/week on it which includes the cooking, photographing, writing, editing, emails, comments, etc. Bjork probably spends 15 hours/week doing the back end stuff with affiliate sales, advertising, server maintenance, etc.

          1. Pinch of Yum Logo

            Hi Lindsay- way back in dec 2013 when you wrote this, where you still working/maybe volunteering in the Philippines and doing this much work on the side, or hadn’t you already transitioned to doing the blog full-time? THAnks!

  8. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I am thinking about using Bluehost and the Thesis theme thanks to your site and a few other articles I’ve read online. I will be sure to click through and hope you receive the commission when I make a purchase. Fantastic that you give your affiliate income to such a wonderful cause. I learn something every time I come to your site whether it is about food, photography or generosity to others!

    1. Pinch of Yum Logo

      Thank you Holly! In the spirit of transparency, we’ve shifted our finances since moving to the Philippines to work at the orphanage, so all of the profits you see aren’t all directly donated as they were before (at the time of this post). We love hearing that the information and resources on Pinch of Yum are helping people get started. 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  9. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Hi Byork and Lindsay! I am planning on reading this series form the beginning! Ha..I have a food blog for almost 2 years and finally after graduating, I can spend more time on it. I would love to earn $$ because I do spend time and energy into it, but all the techy stuff is alien to me! I finally heard from BlogHer, so I am hoping that helps as well and I am looking into the Blue Host affiliate program. My only issue is I dont have many page views…so I will be working on posting more often! Thanks again!

  10. Pinch of Yum Logo

    Even though I am not a food blogger I have been following this series for awhile. I decided to start from the beginning today to see how you started. I am curious if you know of a site like foodie blogroll that isn’t food orientated? I am looking for a good pay-per-impression ad site.

    Mahalo

  11. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Katherine

    Thanks so much for posting this. It is really cool to see how your blog income grew. I am just starting to blog for fun, and it’s a good way to remember recipes I make up, haha. Maybe some day i’ll make a few bucks. Thanks 🙂

  12. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I’m a Pinay housewife blogging about our adventures here in Dubai.
    It would be nice to earn something while I blog that way I don’t need to ask my husband to pay my host 😉 will start reading and earning.
    Thanks for sharing!

  13. Pinch of Yum Logo

    This is all very helpful! I am going to read your series from the beginning. When I signed up for my Bluehost account and purchased my theme I used all your links- so you should have gotten some money from my setup!

    So how do you sign up to for these affiliate programs? Do they only take people who have lots of page views already, or do they let anyone sign up?

  14. Pinch of Yum Logo

    I love reading your posts on the income. They are so informative and HELPFUL!!! Thank you!!! I just made my first $.23 yesterday LOL (I just added Adsense to my site). Anyways, thanks a bunch!

  15. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Sher Saini

    Thank you Thank you SO much for these amazing tips. I cannot wait to start writing my first food/travel blog soon. While money is not the big reason I’m going to be launching my blog, it wouldn’t hurt to think of this creative venture as a business. A big thank you to both of you, and best of luck with everything 🙂

  16. Pinch of Yum Logo
    Birgit

    Hi Bjork,

    Just laughed my pants off on your elegant themes earnings from this month. Keep up the good work en keep clicking those ads 😉