Hey, my favorite OL friends! This is January's monthly income report. If you've been following along with these income reports you probably notice one big difference for this month: way less income! TEM made about half of what it did in December.
If you're a food blogger, you'll know that this is an industry common trend. The last few months of each year (Q4) advertising agencies are trying to spend all the remaining money they have left. In January, they're closely monitoring their budgets. In other words, they're not spending money on ads.
From a personal perspective, it hurts the heart a little. Not going to lie! Even though I expect and brace myself for the drop, it's always a bit of a letdown. I talked about it in last January's income report.
This January, I want to address a question from one of TEMs readers. (Hi, Victor!) He asked about my support staff expenses and wondered what value they brought to my blog. It's a great question.
It's also great timing as my support staff let me spend a few weeks in January in Peru with my family without having to be tied to my computer. In fact, I didn't even bring my computer. It was a real holiday.
I'll share more about what my support staff does, how to know if it's time to hire someone, and where to find some help.
But first, the numbers …
Total Income: $6,437.17
- SiteGround – $90 – My much loved hosting company
- MadMimi– $89 – What I use to send my email newsletters
- Tailwind – $10 – Pinterest scheduler – LOVE them!
- Vaultpress – $5 – Backs up all TEMs files.
- Teachable – $29 – Hosts my course Oh My Blog
- Adobe Premiere Pro – $19.99 – What I use for video editing.
- CrashPlan – $5.99
- CloudFlare – $20
- OptinMonster – $16.58 – what I use for my newsletter signup forms
- Link in Profile – $8.25
- Support staff – $609.50
Total Expenses: $903.31
TOTAL PROFIT: $5,533.86
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:
$5,533,86 ÷ 433,290 x 1000 = $12.77
When to get an assistant?
While there is no defining line to tell you the moment you need to bring another pair of hands on board, there are some tell-tale signs. Ask yourself these two questions: Are things getting missed? and Are you happy? I think the answers you give yourself will be a pretty good indication if it's time to hire some help or if you are managing well on your own.
Are things getting missed?
→ When is the last time you responded to a comment on Facebook or Instagram? Are you able to post to your social networks regularly? Does thinking about social media give you anxiety and make you feel overwhelmed? Is it ‘just another chore' that often gets missed?
→ Is the recipe you wanted to share two days ago still unpublished because you haven't had time to finish the post?
→ When is the last time you responded to your emails?
Are you happy?
→ Do you shut down your computer in the evening and spend time with family and friends? Or is there simply too much to do to even think about turning off your computer?
→ Are you feeling overwhelmed with the never-ending to-do list?
→ Do you stress about not being able to get everything done?
What an assistant does
In the blogging world, an assistant is generally a virtual assistant, usually called a VA. That simply means they work remotely instead of sharing an office space with you. Any work that can be done on a computer you can hire your VA to manage.
Having a VA that handles many of the day to day tasks can free your time to create quality content and focus on the tasks you are really great at doing.
→ Manage your social media.
- Schedule Facebook and Instagram posts and respond to comments.
- Share your new and old posts to FB and IG and tag any brands where needed.
- Strategize for best social media performance.
- Schedule Pinterest pins individually through software such as Tailwind.
- Manage your Twitter profile.
→ Write posts for you.
- All the monthly roundups here are written by Jamie, TEM's awesome virtual assistant.
- Format posts by adding images and anything extra so you can simply write the post.
→ Blog updates
- SEO updates.
- Adding new information to old blog posts such as links to your other content.
- Recategorizing blog post.
→ Create graphics and templates
→ Share your content on food sharing sites and in Facebook groups.
Where to find a virtual assistant?
I think the best way to find an assistant is to ask other bloggers. Facebook blogging groups are a great place to start. Simply post a message to the group asking if anyone can recommend a good VA. That's how I found Jamie!
You can also reach out to other bloggers you know and ask them for a reference.
I've seen some bloggers who write a blog post with the details of the position they need filled and share that post with their email list. If you have a large enough following, this could be a great way to find some help.
There are also a number of virtual assistant companies. Fancy Hands is one I've heard good reviews about, but I haven't tried myself.
I'm curious … do you have an assistant already? Have you thought about getting one? What could an assistant do for you that would free your time? What would you do with the extra time?