Traffic & Income Report: May 2016
I’m back with this months traffic & income report. This is my FIFTH income report and each month I become more and more thankful that I began doing these.
Unlike in April, I really hustled in May. I started scheduling out blocks of time for different tasks that I consider essential but that are easy to forget or put off for too long (more about that later). And I’m happy to report that the hustle really paid off! I had my highest pageviews month ever! Woohoo!
If you’re new to these reports, let me give you a very brief background: I started these reports in January of this year and plan to post a report each month to outline my income, expenses, and traffic numbers for each month. I’m also using it as a way to focus on a new thing each month and then report back my findings. These reports have already helped me immensely AND it’s helped me connect with a lot of other bloggers which I absolutely LOVE.
Alright- on to the report!
Woohoo!!! Traffic wise, this was my BEST MONTH EVA! I felt as if I had plateaued for a long time so it feels so good to see some substantial growth (~about 15k more pageviews than last month). Even more, I hear a lot of people saying that in the online food world, traffic is typically pretty slow this time of year. So, the fact that I’m seeing growth even during the slow season is a HUGE win for me :D
*does the happy dance*
New vs. Returning Visitors
As you might recall, one of my goals at the beginning of the year was to work towards increasing my monthly returning visitors. In January I started out with 17.3% and now it’s at 20.2%. I’m VERY happy to see this steadily (even if slowly) increasing. Thanks again to all of you who keep on coming back. It means more to me than you know :D
Top Ten Traffic Sources
Another big win for the month!! Organic Google traffic (meaning traffic that comes from people Googling something and then finding my blog as a result) has risen to be my #1 traffic source!! I think I say this every month but I’ve been working SUPER hard to make Google like me. I’ve researched SEO and applied as much of it as I can to my blog so I’m grateful to see that paying off. I would be interested to dive into my analytics and see which recipes are performing best in Google searches and how they’re ranking compared to other similar recipes. Stay tuned next month for that info (maybe?).
All of the other traffic sources are pretty much the same for this month which is good.
Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products and services listed are ones that I use on a regular basis and highly recommend. If you have any questions about any of these, shoot me an email.
- Freelance Writing: $0
- Sponsored Post: $200
- Food Blogger Pro: $5.80
This comes from a post that I wrote encouraging bloggers to sign up for Food Blogger Pro
- Food Photography School: $0
This comes from a post that I wrote with tips and tricks for food photography
- Greater Than Gatsby: $40.60
This comes from several posts that I wrote about how I edit photos with Greater Than Gatsby Actions & Presets
- Amazon: $32.12
This money comes from various Amazon affiliate links that I have throughout my posts.
*I’m not including any of the money that I make via my food photography business.
- WP Engine Hosting: $67
- Food: $122.71
I currently only expense food that I actually photograph for the blog and not food that’s just part of recipe testing.
- Adobe Lightroom/ Photoshop: $10.91
- Mailchimp Premium: $20
- The Blog Village: $25
What I Focused on in May
VIDEO!! Have you watched my first few recipe videos?? You can see them all HERE. I spent a LONG time researching the proper way to shoot video, how to set it all up, what software I should use to edit it and how to get some of those cool special effects. At the end of the day, I’m honestly just SO proud of myself for beginning to create video.
I’ve thought about shooting video for well over a year and kind of thought that I would never actually get around to doing it. It just all seemed so daunting and it felt easier to not do it at all instead of dealing with all of the many nuances of starting. Well, I’m SO glad that I did. So far, I’m loving video and have set a rough goal to produce one recipe video each week. I thought the difficult part of that would be finding the time (when the lighting is right) to shoot the video but as it turns out, the most difficult part for me is finding the time to sit down and edit the video.
I’ve decided to edit my videos with Premiere Pro which is mostly what takes me so long. I chose to go with Premiere Pro instead just using iMovie because I want my videos to have all the little special touches of professional videos. While recipe videos are still fairly new in the food world, it’s already a saturated market and I want my videos to stick out. The problem is that Premiere Pro is all so new to me so it has been taking me forever just to accomplish simple edits. However, I know that the longer I stick with it, the easier it will all be. My hope is that I can edit videos in half or even 1/3 the amount of time that it is currently taking me. I’ll update you on all things video next month!
And, HUGE SHOUTOUT to Trevor from the Blog Village for ALL of his help. He is a video expert and produces some truly amazing recipe videos for his wife’s blog Show me the Yummy. You can check out some of their videos on their YouTube channel HERE. Trevor started the Blog Village as a resource for bloggers and he has a WHOLE long series of truly amazing video tutorials on everything from setting up a blog to shooting and editing professional looking videos. I joined because I wanted to check out the tutorials on creating videos and let me tell you, I would NOT have the confidence to be producing videos if it wasn’t for The Blog Village and all of Trevor’s help. (just for the record- I’m not being paid to say any of that, I have just really loved the Blog Village and have been telling everyone interested in video to check it out! :))
Scheduling: As I mentioned above, one of my BIG focuses for the past month has been scheduling. I’ve always heard the sentiment that you should spend 20% of your time creating content and the other 80% of your time promoting that content. Up until recently, I’ve had those percentages flipped. But, now that I have hundreds of recipes in my archives, I think it’s far past time that I start promoting it all properly. And to do this, I need to be organized.
I started scheduling out blocks of time for different tasks that I consider essential but that are easy to forget or put off for too long including Facebook posts, Pinterest pins, etc. So, I actually put “Schedule out Facebook posts for the next 7 days” as a weekly reoccurring appointment on my calendar. So far it has worked out really well and helped keep me on task! And, I do genuinely feel as if it has increased engagement with my blog and increased traffic ever so slightly.
Focus for the next 30 days
Besides continuing to work on video and staying on task with my scheduling, one of my big goals for the next 30 days is AFFILIATE MARKETING! Through Share-A-Sale, I’ve found a lot of great brands that I would love to work with and promote; Brands that I would be proud to recommend to anyone and everyone reading my blog. I applied and was accepted to a few of these affiliate programs but now I need to work on incorporating these affiliate brands into my blog in a way that’s natural and not too…pushy sales-persony.
My hope is to start promoting a few brands and stick with those few brands. For example: it’s been 18 months since I first started promoting Greater Than Gatsby as an affiliate. I genuinely still LOVE and use their products to this day and even though I haven’t posted about them in a while, I still make about $40-50 from their affiliate program each month. In total, I have made about $2500 from their affiliate program, all from just 3 posts that I wrote. If you Google “Greater Than Gatsby”, my first post on them shows up on the first page. I think that I make a decent amount of affiliate sales that way. I’m hoping to add a few more of my favorite brands to the short list of affiliates on my blog.
Thanks to YOU
Thanks to you for visiting my blog, I have been able to sponsor a young girl in Haiti again this month (and plan to do so for quite a few months to come). My plan is to continue donating 10% of everything that I make from my blog. I’m grateful for this opportunity to give back, even if just a little for now.