Hey friends! It's that time again. This is the monthly series where I sit down with you and share the behind the scenes deets about what it's like to run a food blog. You get to see it all here. The good, the bad, and (sometimes) the ugly.
I'll start by sharing what TEMs income and expenses are. Even though it is next to free to start a blog, once it starts growing, so do the expenses. Luckily the income does, too. I find when I tell people how much I spend each month to keep the blog afloat, they're often surprised. I would have been too before I started blogging!
After that, I've got some tips for fellow bloggers. October through the end of December is the busiest time of year for food bloggers. Everyone is searching for holiday recipes. There are Canadian Thanksgiving and Halloween in October, American Thanksgiving in November, and Christmas in December. It's a crazy time of year. It's also the time of year when some of our seasonal posts see a spike in traffic. I've got a few tips on updating old posts to make the most of the holiday traffic.
Let's start with the numbers …
Total Income: $7,947.32
- SiteGround – $90 – My much loved hosting company
- MadMini– $59 – 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
- Video production – $275
- Support staff – $932.72
Total Expenses: $1,463.25
TOTAL PROFIT: $6,484.07
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:
$6,484.07 ÷ 365,975 x 1000 = $17.71
Top 10 pages
If you've been following these income reports for any length of time, one thing you may have noticed is that the top 10 pages rarely change. Sometimes they shuffle positions, and occasionally a rouge page will sneak in there if it's been linked to by a high-traffic site, but more or less they hold steady.
The exception to the ever consistent top 10s comes around the holidays. This time of year, seasonal content will often perform better than my evergreen posts. (See the arrow pointing to the homemade turkey soup.)
In September, that Homemade Turkey Soup post came in at the 63rd most popular post. Not exactly something to brag about.
The major jump in popularity came because of Canadian Thanksgiving, which we celebrate on the second Sunday in October. I can be fairly certain that around American Thanksgiving and again around Christmas, that post will get another boost.
Why it's important to know your seasonal content
Knowing which of your posts experience seasonal boosts in traffic lets you optimize those pages before the rush happens. Here are the things that I updated on the Homemade Turkey Soup post:
1. I added a link to the image on Pinterest.
2. Corrected a couple of typos.
3. Added nutritional info to the recipe. (I use Nutrifox for the nutritional data)
4. Added two additional internal links.
5. Included the recipe in two new seasonal categories.
Five steps you can take to get the most out of your seasonal content
1. Review the post with an eye for SEO. I've written more about how to update your SEO here. You want your post to jump to the top of Google searches.
2. Consider updating the photos. In an income report last year, I showed how many of my updated posts saw a huge spike in traffic. The homemade turkey soup recipe was one of them. You can see more here.
3. Make sure that the recipe is easy to follow, especially if it is an older post. If you're like me, your recipe writing skills have improved with time. Some of my oldest recipes are even hard for me to follow. Read your recipes as if you are making them for the first time and update anything that is not crystal clear.
4. Repin the images to Pinterest, making sure to add hashtags. (In case you haven't heard, Pinterest now allows searchable hashtags and gives preferences to the latest pins. Use 'em!)
5. Start promoting your seasonal content on social media.