Hey everyone! Trevor here, bringing you another hot off the presses income report for this chilly month of December. Seriously, the heat is on in our apartment and I have an additional mini-heater blowing.
If you’ve been following along lately, today’s contains a special announcement that I hinted about last month that we’re really excited about! Before we get to that though, let me talk you through the backstory and the numbers for December…
I know, I know, food blog… income report… huh? As always, the food will return shortly. I just polished off the last of the Vegan Flourless Chocolate Cake from Monday, so I feel confident recommending that one if you need something to tide you over 😉 Here’s a brief introduction to these traffic and income reports…
If you’ve stopped by our about us page, you know that Jennifer and I started this blog thirteen months ago with the hopes of it earning an income for Jennifer. I’ve since quit my job and we’re taking a calculated risk that we can make this blog both of our full-time jobs. We still have a long way to go before it’s to that place and we owe a lot of our realization that this was even a possibility to income reports like this. Our hope is that, for those interested, these reports can help to show what worked for us, the mistakes we made and that it is possible to make an income online doing something that you love if you work hard and stick with it.
None of these reports on their own tell the story of how to create, grow and monetize a blog. Think of each one as a chapter in a book that continues to be written. To get the full picture, I suggest looking at our traffic and income reports page where you can click into individual reports, like this one, to get the details.
Okay, enough with the backstory, let’s get on to the report and announcement…
Sponsored Content: $2,066.67
Google AdSense: $892.47
BlueHost: $100.00 <– this is from our How to Start a Blog page
Amazon Affiliates: $52.90
Genesis Framework: $34.98 <– the framework our site is built on
Gourmet Ads: $26.85
Adobe Creative Cloud: $54.79
Capture One: $10.00
Net Profit: $7,345.72
BOOM! That’s how we felt in December. What a great way to end our first full calendar year of blogging, probably the best Christmas present we could have asked for! We are so thankful to anyone who represents any part of that graph, it means so much to us that you come to us to find something yummy. For those of you who just come hoping to see a picture of Teddy, you won’t leave disappointed, he makes an appearance below 🙂
While this was our biggest traffic and income month ever, we’re bracing ourself for next month to be our first down month in awhile… and it’s most likely going to be significantly down. Advertisers reset their budgets not only for the quarter, but for the entire year which means most likely our advertising income is going to drop in half.
Traffic-wise, we’re hoping that all of the new people that found the blog over the holidays decide to stick around, but we’ll just have to see. This is a great example of why it’s so important to make sure you’re putting out great content because on a recipe site like ours, a lot of people will try something once with two possible outcomes. They love it and add you to their list of reliable recipe sources, maybe add a bookmark or follow you on social media. The other possibility of course is that they don’t like it which most likely means they won’t be running back to your site any time soon, you just ruined their dinner after all 😉 So always put out your best and never settle!
Tis the Season
What better time to talk about seasonality than the most recognizable season of the year. We had several recipes featured in December on various recipe sites as well as BuzzFeed etc. (which we’ve talked about is all about preparation meeting opportunity) as part of “Holiday Roundups”. Last month I mentioned Google Trends and I want to explain how that helps us to prepare for those potential seasonal opportunities. It’s actually really easy:
Each month, we like to look ahead two months to see what holidays, events, etc. will be occurring. From that information, Jennifer starts to brainstorm recipe ideas that seem like a good fit. To test the ideas, she then pulls up google trends and enters the keywords that would describe that particular recipe. Ideally, we’ll see an upswing in the chart during the period we’re targeting, which means it would be a really good fit and has potential to get picked up and be timely for our readers.
Those recipes will then be put on the editorial schedule beginning anywhere from 4-6 weeks out depending on how many recipes and the size of the event.
Valentine’s day is coming up in the middle of February. Let’s go through the process above. I’m brainstorming and I want to see if a Molten Lava Cake would be a good recipe fit. I head over to Google Trends and type in “Molten Lava Cake”, and here’s what I get back:
That’s a good sign. It shows us that a lot of people search for a recipe like that around Valentine’s, we’re not crazy and just really hungry for cake, and we have an opportunity to try and maximize that traffic for us. Now what we’re going to do is make sure we get that post out toward the end of January or very beginning of February so that:
- Our readers have some time to plan for it and get it on their list of options to make and shop for.
- Google has some time to pick it up and hopefully rank it well.
- We have time to share it across various social media channels and recipe sites.
- Editors at those sites or that may be looking around for content can find it as they plan for their roundups that will most likely be created 0-10 days before the actual day.
So that’s our plan. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. The most important thing is #1, our regular readers are getting something valuable that they have time to prepare for, turns out great and they share with their friends which can be more powerful than getting featured in any article. We can also feature the recipe again the week or so before in a roundup this year, next year, and so on.
That’s the brief tip and insight for this week… now on to the announcement.
I’m excited to finally announce what I’ve been working on the last few months, The Blog Village, a membership site where blogs of all kinds will learn to create, grow and monetize their content. This project was inspired by our experiences in growing our blog over the last fourteen months and wanting to help others achieve success of their own.
It’s still in the development phase, but I, Trevor, will be starting to blog there regularly in the meantime as we continue preparing for the launch which is planned for the end of March.
And visit: theblogvillage.com to see my first blog post about the popular fast motion assembly videos that you’re seeing all over facebook, how we make them, the tools we use and important tips and tricks when creating them!
Here’s to an amazing 2016 for all of you!