This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure.
Here is the monthly Food Blog Income Report for May 2019 - follow along with me to see how I'm growing my blog into a business!
May was a little slower traffic-wise. I was hoping to see more growth, but the summer slump is real. I saw a decline in organic traffic, however saw a slight increase in traffic from Pinterest and Facebook.
I have definitely been working hard to re-optimizing older posts for SEO. Most of my "new" posts are just re-published optimized posts. It feels good to update some of those old, maybe not so perfect, posts.
I also finally got in the video game in May. I only got one video posted, so I don't have much info to go off of yet, but I know video is the way of the future.
Plus, video should have a positive impact on my earnings. We'll be able to see better in June as I post more videos and have a chance to make some additional ad income.
Why I Started Went Here 8 This
To be candid, the reason I started my blog was to make money.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely LOVE food blogging. Creating new recipes, photographing them and getting to share them with the world is a passion of mine. I want everyone to be enjoying their food as much as I do!
That said, food blogging is HARD work, especially while working a full time job. It really only leaves me with early mornings, evenings and weekends to work on the blog.
I have always had the goal of retiring early from my day job. But in order to make that happen, I needed to start generating some income on the side, and what better way than to start my own business?
I'm here to tell you that you can do it. If I can do it, you can do it.
I'm not going to sugar coat anything in these blog income reports. I have been in the red most months. That's because I live by the philosophy that you have to spend money to make money.
Yes, you can start a blog for a minimal amount of money. But in my opinion, if you want to see serious growth you:
1) need to spend SOME money. Not all the money, but you will need to make some investments in your business; and
2) be willing to work harder than you've ever worked before. Food blogging is competitive. But there definitely is a lot of money to be made.
These income reports are going to show you how much money I really make, before and after expenses. (but before taxes) I strongly believe the investments I make in my business today will pay off in the future.
I started Went Here 8 This in October 2016, but didn't have a CLUE what I was doing until mid way through 2018. I have used a lot of resources to include attending blogger conferences, joining Food Blogger Pro and reading as much as I can in Facebook groups and other media to learn everything I can about making this blog a successful business.
May 2019 Blog Traffic:
May started out well, but pageviews started to decline towards the end of the month. Much like April, I expect to see a decline due to the summer slump. However, if I compare it with a year ago, growth has been huge (from about 7K pageviews/month to the 56K pageviews/month currently).
My total page views for May were 56,364.
My traffic for May 2019 came from the following top 5 sources:
- Organic: 45%
- Social: 40%
- Pinterest: 71%
- Facebook: 25%
- Buzzfeed: 3%
- Twitter: 1%
- Direct: 11%
- Referral: 3%
- Email/Other: 1%
One of my goals for 2019 is to improve my link building so I am able to get more traffic from other sites, as well as look better in the eyes of Google. If you want to learn more about link building, check out this presentation given by Casey Markee.
A couple example of some articles I wrote to help with link building are below:
May 2019 Income Report
I had made small amounts on my blog for the past 6 months, but only averaging around $50/month. In December 2018, I qualified for Mediavine (an ad network) and that has become a game changer.
In May 2019, my blog income and expenses were as follows:
- On page advertising (Mediavine): $1,076.76, with an average RPM of $24.20.
- Amazon Affiliate Marketing: $195.15
TOTAL INCOME: $1,271.91
My total expenses for May 2019 were $1,586.09; (note some of the below links are affiliate links - I earn a small commission if you buy through these).
- Hosting (Cloudways): $12.50. Good hosting is a must. If you're on Bluehost, you're going to want to switch now. Cloudways is a great option to make sure your site is always up, and also helps site speed, which is extremely important.
- WordPress Support Plan: $113.00. I use Nerdpress to manage all the technical/security aspects of my website. Because me and tech do not get along. It's better if we have space.
- Imagify Image Compression: $4.99. If you're not compressing your images, you need to be. This is a great plugin that doesn't affect the quality of you images too much.
- Food Blogger Pro Membership: $23.25. Learn more about Food Blogger Pro.
- Social Warfare Pro: $2.42. A lot of people have jumped ship on this plugin for social sharing due to security issues, but I keep holding on....
- Tailwind: $19.98. An absolute must for scheduling Pins on Pinterest. I also use it to schedule Instagram posts.
- Link in Profile: $9.99. Includes an option on Instagram for people to click on a link to bring them to this site.
- Lightroom CC: $9.99. I use Lightroom for ALL my photo editing.
- Premiere Pro (video editing): $20.99.
- Askimet: $3.00. I use this to protect my blog from spam.
- Virtual Assistant Services: $805.00. I have two Facebook VA's because I DESPISE Facebook. It has saved me a huge amount of time and I can't wait to hire more help for social media so I can focus on content creation.
Total Regular Monthly Expenses: $1,025.11
One Time Expenses for May:
- Travel Expense (EFC Conference): $275.98
- EFC 2020 Conference Ticket: $285.00. Loved it so much I can't wait to go back and meet more bloggers and learn more great info!
TOTAL EXPENSES FOR May: $1,586.09
For the month of May 2019, I am showing a loss of $314.18. So I'm back in the red, but mainly because I hired another VA to help with Facebook, and I spent money on the EFC conference which won't continue in June.
**Note: many of the above expenses I pay yearly to get a discount, but have annualized them so you can see what the monthly expenses come out to.
I did not include food expense in the above. I do deduct food expenses on my taxes so if you want to know what I spent, its $350.31. We do, however, eat all the food I make for the blog.
During the month of May, I spent an average of 30-35 hours a week working on the blog. I also work full time (about 45-50 hours/week). Like I said above, if you want to run a successful blog, you have to work HARD.
Want to know what the best plugins are? Check out this post for the Top 10 Essential WordPress Plugins for Food Blogs.
**In December, I signed up for a WordPress support plan with Andrew Wilder from Nerdpress. My site speed has increased immensely, which I fully believe results in higher traffic. If you're not tech oriented, I highly recommend checking out one of his support plans. (I'm not an affiliate, I just love the service he provides)
Read More Income Reports:
What Am I Doing for Next Month?
In January, I had an SEO audit with Casey Markee which is the best thing I have done for my blog yet. I highly recommend his services if you want to grow your blog. You can find him over at MEDIAWYSE.
So, for the rest of the year, I will be working hard to improve the SEO on all current and older blog posts. SO. MUCH. WORK. You'll get to see the outcome of this in the coming months income reports so make sure you check back next month to see how it's going!
Want to Make Money Blogging?
Just get started. Seriously. Dive in and learn everything you can possibly can and get that blog up and running. Hopefully this income report will inspire you to do so.
Because like I said, I knew NOTHING when I started. And if I can do it, you can do it.