This is Kristen, stepping out of the kitchen for the monthly food blog income report. I started these income reports back in March 2012. That first month TEM made $15.37 … and I thought that was pretty darn awesome.
It might seem like a strange thing that I'm sharing the income I make here; usually, we keep our money making business private. When I started these income reports I had three goals in mind:
- To create a space where fellow food bloggers can learn and grow. I firmly believe that we can all be successful. The old business model of being competitive and secretive is out of date. If we help each other out, we'll both grow.
- Create accountability for myself. It's very easy to get caught up in the day to day activities of blogging, and not look deeper into what is working, and what is not. By sharing these reports with you, I'm forced to take the time to question and review the blog.
- I wanted to share my love of blogging with you, and maybe even encourage you to take the step and start your own food blog.
Speaking of starting your own food blog … last month I created a 5-day online course called 5 Days To Your Own Food Blog. If you've ever thought of starting your own blog, this course will walk you through how to do it. And the best part? It's totally free.
Ok, let's dive right in and look at the income details …
- Gourmet Ads – $323.79
- Conversant – $189.06
- Sovrn – $75.35
- Switch Ads – $43.28
- Say Media – $353.16
- Sulvo – $51.19
- Chicory – $46.98
- Other – $12.06
- Sponsored Posts/ Photography/ Recipe Licensing – $250
- Affiliate Sales- $76.94
Total Income: $1,498.75
- Media Temple – $45.83 – My web hosting company – they are AWESOME!
- MailChimp – $50 – The company I use to send my newsletter updates
- OptinMonster $21 – Popup plugin and sign up forms
- Tailwind – $10 – Pinterest scheduler – LOVE them!
- Vaultpress – $5 – Backs up all TEMs files
- Support staff – $325
- Facebook Ads – $37.37
Total Expenses: $494.20
TOTAL PROFIT: $1,004.55
Note: The income reported here is in USD. Although I am Canadian the majority of the income I earn through TEM is 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:
$1,000.55 ÷ 265,381 x 1000 = $3.79
Top 10 Traffic Sources
Top 10 Pages
Food blogging is very rarely a get rich quick scheme. It takes years of dedication to slowly and incrementally grow your audience. It doesn't take luck, it takes hard work.
As food bloggers, we must constantly be improving. We work on our recipes, our writing, our photography. We learn marketing and social media. We learn about the world of advertising and online sales. We wear many hats.
What is important to remember is that it's not about making giant leaps of improvement, it's about making small gains every day. Learn a new photography trick, read an article on marketing, implement a new email tactic. Each small gain will compound into long-term growth.
When I first started looking at TEMs income in March 2012, there were just over 8,000 page views. Now it's up to 265,000. You can see in the graph below that the growth has been slowly and steadily increasing over the past few years. In March 2012, TEM had roughly 250 visitors per day. Now it's up to roughly 8,500 per day.
The point here is to always improve. Set goals, and stick to them. Connect with your readers, produce quality content, and keep at it. Hard work will pay off.
What's not Working
Last month I talked about the importance of diversifying your blog's income streams. The ad business is finicky, and as a blogger, we have little control over the fluctuations. The month's income went down substantially because January is a low paying month for ads.
The goal I have for TEM in 2016 is to create alternative income streams, primarily through affiliate programs and book/course sales. I'll be sharing more about that progress in the next few income reports.
Thank you for taking the time to be a part of this month's income report. If you have any questions or thoughts I'd love to hear them in the comments section below.