Hey, guys! Welcome to the February 2017 edition of this food blog income report. If this is your first time here, it is the once a month when I share the details about what happens behind the scenes here at TEM. You get a sneak peek at where the income comes from, what the expenses are, and how much traffic the blog gets.
Normally, I share some blogging related tips after the income and traffic sections. This time, I've written a little about managing expectations and getting over feelings of frustration, and how that relates to blogging and earning an income through blogging. This industry has distinct high and low seasons, and as we head into the low season, I've got some ideas about how we can (mentally) work through the slump.
But first, let's get to the numbers …
Total Income: $2,845.37
- SiteGround – $100 – My new and much loved hosting company
- MailChimp – $75 – The company I use to send my newsletter updates.
- Tailwind – $10 – Pinterest scheduler – LOVE them!
- Vaultpress – $5 – Backs up all TEMs files.
- Teachable – $29
- Adobe Premiere Pro – $19.99 – What I use for video editing.
- CrashPlan – $5.99
- CloudFlare – $20
- Support staff – $361.13
Total Expenses: $626.11
TOTAL PROFIT: $2,219.26
Note: The income reported here is in USD. Although I am Canadian the majority of the income I earn through TEM, and my expenses, are in American dollars.
RPM is a handy formula to calculate how much money your blog is earning. The acronym stands for Revenue Per Mille, or revenue per thousand pageviews.
Total Profit ÷ Total Pageviews x 1000 = RPM
Using this formula we can calculate The Endless Meal’s RPMs:
$2,219.26 ÷ 302,622 x 1000 = $7.33
Top 10 pages
Maybe you've noticed, I've been procrastinating writing this post. The usual second Thursday of the month post (this one!) got bumped to the third Thursday and then again to the last possible moment I have to share this with you.
This moment happened …
Earlier this month sat on my comfy couch, in my warm apartment, a cup of hot coffee on the side table and my two fur babies snuggled up on either side of me. I think, “Life is good.” I take a sip of my coffee and mull over how awesome it is that I get to work from home (in my pj's!) and do exactly what I love.
I open my laptop, pull up a new page to write this post, copy and paste the income and expenses list from last month's report, and then fill them in with February's numbers.
Do you see where this is going?
It's the moment everything went wrong. This month's income turned out to be more than $600 less than last month's, and I can't even bear to compare the month before. Suddenly I'm ashamed/ embarrassed/ insecure/ frustrated and want to stop my feet and pout like a two-year-old. (Paints a good picture, doesn't it? Ha!)
The thing is, this downturn IS NORMAL. It's 100% completely and totally expected in the food blogging industry. Back in December's income report, I even mentioned that over the next few months TEM would likely be earning less.
I hope every other food blogger out there is more grown up than I am, but in case you've ever suffered from this same frustration, I wanted to share a few tips for how to move on and be a better blogger/ human being.
#1 – Keep a Sunshine File
A few years ago, I read about a “Sunshine File.” The idea is to neatly pack away all the nice things that people say to you so you can re-read them if you need a little sunshine in your life.
I archive any feel good emails I get into a folder titled Sunshine. When that embarrassed/ ashamed two-year-old comes knocking, I'll open it up and reread a few. It's amazing what a kind word will do to make you feel more secure and less frustrated. It's a little like magic.
It's hard to take frustrations about earning a little less than the previous month seriously when I read a message like this one:
… Thank you for being one of those unexpected little lights on my road to recovery.
No matter what industry you work in, earning an income is only part of the equation. Being able to connect with people and make a difference is what counts.
#2 – Get outside the blogging world
There is a big, wide world out there and it doesn't revolve around blogging. There, I said it, and it's true. Most people don't care at all about blogs. Some don't even care about food. (Gasp!)
When you pour your heart and soul into something, it can start to seem like the center of the world. Taking a step back can help put things into perspective.
⇒ Hang out with non-blogger friends and have conversations about non-bloggy things. (non-bloggy = technical term)
⇒ Read a book that has nothing to do with blogging, business, or food. It's juice for your mind and soul; drink it up. My current read is Michelle Obama: A Life by Peter Slevin and I highly recommend it.
Sidebar – Isn't Michelle Obama AMAZING? And please please please can the nice people election gods convince her to run next time??
⇒ Follow inspiring accounts in a niche that's not yours. Instagram is my personal favorite way to connect with people and business doing awesome things. Some of my favorite feeds are:
- @gaileguevara – An amazing designer and close friend.
- @humansofny – Raw portraits with stories that range from inspiring to heartbreaking
- @yoga_girl – Yogi spoken words and poses in beautiful settings.
- @cutepetclub – Because there's no such thing as too many cute kitten and puppy photos.
- @gasya – Circ de Soleil couple with their two kids = amazing.
- @tortus – My Instagram potter crush.
- @lauraiz – Cutest baby feed on Instagram. Trust.
#3 – Put things in perspective
When you started blogging, did you expect to earn an income? Are you now? That's awesome!
I started blogging as a way to add some food related experience to my resume. I wanted to change industries, knew I loved to be in the kitchen, but had no work related experience in the field. I thought maybe a food blog might give me some credibility. At the time, I never dreamed that it would become my job. I didn't even know it was possible to earn any money with a blog!
In the first income report I published back in March 2012, the blog earned $15.37. I remember being so happy! Now, a few years and a few thousand dollars a month later, and I'm disappointed? It seems silly when I remember that this wasn't supposed to earn me anything! Which leads to …
#4 – Practice gratitude
Being grateful for the good things in your life can range from feeling ‘obviously, I'm grateful' to ‘that's kinda weird.' The intentional act of gratitude tends to lean closer to the weird feeling once you start making a list, but this is where it also starts to get juicy. Where it really starts to work.
It was in the book/ movie The Secret by Rhonda Byrne when I was first introduced to the concept. Be grateful for what you have in your life, and more good things will come your way. At the very least, it's a good practice to change your outlook, especially in those moments when your brain reverts to its toddler self.
When I read my list, the feelings of frustration with earning a little less money this month fade away. I'm grateful for my amazing relationship with my partner, my super adorable little girl, my family who is always there for me, and my strong network of friends. I'm incredibly lucky to live a city that always makes it into the top three best cities to live in the world list. I'm thankful every time I read the news that I live in a peaceful country. There is no shortage of things to be grateful for. What's on your list?