Hola! Welcome to the November edition of the Food Blog Income Report. On most days, you'll find me either in the kitchen or standing over my dining table with my camera in hand. Yes, my ‘photography studio' is my dining room. Today I'm taking a little break from cooking and picture taking to share some behind-the-scenes peeks at how TEM earns an income.
A few years ago (March 2012, to be exact) I started documenting what this little food blog earned. That first month TEM made $12.37, and honestly I couldn't believe how awesome that was. I blog because I love it, and to make enough money to buy lunch was pretty darn great. Since then TEM has grown from a hobby into a full-time job.
This month I learned a good lesson about stepping back and letting go. Read: control freak takes a break. I'll get into that and why I think it is valuable from both a personal and professional stand point. But first, let's look at the numbers …
- Gourmet Ads – $286.60
- Conversant – $237.50
- Sovrn – $61.59
- Switch Ads – $157.05
- Say Media – $210.38
- Sulvo – $91.03
- Other – $29.00
- Sponsored Posts/ Photography/ Recipe Licensing – $500
- Affiliate Sales- $16.67
Total Income: $1,589.82
- 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 – $522
Total Expenses: $653.83
TOTAL PROFIT: $935.99
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 know that The Endless Meal's RPM for November is $5.03. If you were around for last month's income report you'll know that this number dropped slightly. The reason for this is that TEM's expenses went up this month. Higher expenses = lower profits = decreased RPM.
Top 10 Referral Sources
Pages with the most pageviews
What's Working: Stepping Back
As a blogger, it's easy to become hyper-focused on the details. There's a tendency to look at Google Analytics every day, to login to your ads dashboards to each morning and to count how many new likes you got overnight on Facebook.
The struggle is real, guys. I know.
The problem with obsessing over numbers has to do with productivity and value.
The number one most important task as a blogger is to create valuable content for your readers. If you're a food blogger that means creating recipes that your readers will love and will come back to time and again. It means working to improve your food photography and learning to write in a way that speaks to your readers.
Think about your favourite blogs. What is it about them that keeps you coming back for more? Is it the writing? Do you love to drool over the photography? Or has every recipe you've made from your fav blog always turned out perfect?
- Quality recipes
- Beautiful photography
Chances are, if your #1 blog is a food blog, it's a combination of these three things that keep you around. And if you're serious about growing your food blog, it's these three things that you need to focus on yourself.
While it's important to keep an eye on “The Numbers” it's even more important to know how much attention you should be giving to them. Ask yourself:
- How much time am I spending (and possibly wasting) checking on my numbers?
- What value am I gaining by looking my traffic and income reports as often as I am?
- Does the amount of time I spend looking at numbers pay off?
How Much is Enough?
If you were paying yourself an hourly wage, how much would you spend on calculating the data from all the sources you're looking at? Are you overspending? Then it's time to step back.
If you're a one-person show then sitting down once a month to collect and analyze data and make any appropriate changes is enough. The rest of the month should be spent on creating valuable content, connecting with your readers and promoting your content.
Stepping back and letting go was a valuable lesson this month on TEM. For over three weeks, I completely stepped back. I stepped back as far away as Nicaragua, and didn't once login to TEM. Did the site crash? Did my income drop? Did the world come to an end? No, not at all.
What happened when I stepped back?
TEM kept on ticking. The posts I scheduled in advance were posted. The traffic to the blog remained stable. Ads continued to be served. Readers kept signing up to my newsletter. The number of new Facebook likes kept growing, just as they always do.
And … I got to take a break.
I mention this because I want you to know that it's possible to step away from your blog. You deserve to take breaks. You deserve to have a life outside of blogging. You and your blog will be better for it.
Thanks for taking the time to read this month's edition of TEM's Food Blog Income Report. You are awesome! If you have any questions, comments or just want to say “hi” leave a comment below.