Welcome to A Sassy Spoon’s 2019 food blog income report! In case you missed it, I posted my first food blog income report for 2018 and promised to continue to share income reports so here we are. You can find the rest of my food blog income reports here.
A little background on me (in case you’re new here – hi!)
Hi, I’m Jamie and I create recipes, photograph and manage all things around here on A Sassy Spoon. Welcome! My background is in digital marketing. Before that, I worked in health care, managing a team while climbing the corporate ladder. I went to art school for a bit after high school but then I eventually graduated with a ‘safe’ business degree many years later. Read more here.
Pinch of Yum’s Income Reports is a prime reason I am here today. They inspired me to give food blogging a fair shot after I quit my safe, secure, full-time job back in 2016 without a backup plan. So I wanted to pay it forward by sharing my own income reports too. I’d be lying if I wasn’t also posting this food blog income report for my own accountability and to prove to other naysayers out there that food blogging can be a fulfilling, lucrative career. I’ve had to prove myself time and time again because I’m so often told that food blogging is not a “real” job. But guess what, I’ve made a full-time salary from my blogging biz and this is the proof.
Regardless of any promotion or raise I’ve ever received throughout my job trajectory, I was never truly as happy, accomplished, nor proud as I am at this very moment. I personally believe I’ve found my purpose. My hustling spirit and sheer determination are what have brought me to this, my dream career. I have you all to thank for that. Honestly, I wouldn’t be here without your constant support and loyalty to A Sassy Spoon. I appreciate you all so much! <3
Ok, let’s talk numbers!
Traffic was steady throughout the year, averaging 208K page views per month for a total of 2,496,355 page views for 2019. Top traffic drivers were Google and Pinterest.
My RPM (revenue per 1,000 page views) with AdThrive averaged $25.58 in 2019.
2019 Food Blog Income Report
Ad Income with AdThrive: $63,759
Sponsored Content: $29,266
Freelance Photography: $5,118.51
Business Coaching: $18,400.63
Affiliate Marketing: $789.99
Total Income: $117,333.13
Food Expenses: $3,450.00
Recipe Videos: $5,900.00
VA Services: $3,150.00
Mazuma (Bookkeeping/Accounting): $2,710.85
Wpopt (host): $515.88
InfluenceKit (reporting tool): $297.00
Adobe Creative Suite: $119.88
Google Storage: $119.88
MailerLite (email svc provider): $240.00
Zoom Video Conferencing: $119.92
Kajabi (Coaching Platform) $745.00
Total Expenses: $18,928.41
Net Profit: $98,404.72
Note: From this net profit, I still have to pay taxes and my personal / household expenses (including my student loans which are a pain in my a$$. I have a HUGE milestone goal to pay them off by the end of this year. Pray for me!)
No one ever talks about taxes or household expenses in these reports or any blog post about working for yourself. Yes, it’s a trade-off for living life on your own terms (which is amazing) BUT… it’s definitely something to keep in mind whenever you’re reading any of these types of business posts. It’s important for me to show you a realistic view of what owning an online business is like so feel free to ask any and all questions.
Overall, 2019 was a challenging year. I learned several valuable lessons, both work-related and personal. It was a year full of hope and promise, and heartaches and headaches. But all in all, it was a year of growth. Aren’t they all?
I began 2019 by sharing income reports showing all the ins and outs of my business which goes without saying… was pretty scary. Being open about how much I made and how made me feel so exposed… but also so proud. I did this. I created this from scratch and wanted to share it with the world!
After all your amazing feedback, I was able to successfully create a food blog coaching program to help other food blogger entrepreneurs turn their food blogs into a thriving business just like I did.
And if that wasn’t an accomplishment in and of itself, I sold out my coaching program in my first launch.
It felt absolutely incredible!
I met my income goal!
I also met my goal of making over six figures using my tactics for SEO, pitching brands, and creating quality content that keeps readers coming back for more. I’d always wanted to make six figures and I did it!
After 4 years, I finally made what I wanted to make. No more asking bosses for promotions and no more working overtime or working side jobs to reach my income goals. The beauty of owning your own business is that you can control the amount of money you make. And that I did.
Here’s the breakdown of my 2019 income as a whole.
The majority of my income came from ads on this site, thanks to AdThrive. Also, thanks to A Sassy Spoon’s amazing sponsors, coaching clients, and of course, the thousands of readers to this site, I was able to meet this goal doing what I love.
Sometimes I want to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming.
Last Half of 2019
I should also mention, though, that 2019 wasn’t all rainbows and butterflies. It never is. The last half of 2019, particularly, was hard. Really hard.
Now it may not have been apparent from the outside looking in or maybe it was… since I was barely showing my face on Stories nor sharing much on the blog.
The truth is my motivation to keep things afloat was slowly dwindling. My innate drive to brainstorm, be creative, and get shit done was suffering and, all my insides were just out of balance. I was dealing with a lot of personal/emotional issues and in turn, I was struggling to do the bare minimum.
And it was scary.
For the last half of 2019, I was basically in a mental coma, feeling dimmed and disconnected. I was just going through the motions and I hated every second of it.
I went to Austin in October and Cinncinatti in November for work. Something I’ve always loved to do — travel. Even that didn’t excite me. I met new friends, and tried to be ‘in the moment’ but I… wasn’t really present.
Have you ever felt that way? Where just getting up from bed was a chore or just participating in life’s activities felt forced. That’s how I felt. My energy felt negative and my mind was elsewhere. Worst feeling ever for someone like me that’s always upbeat and full of sass. ;)
In any case, I did show up. I complied with all my existing brand contracts. I shared a few new recipes on the blog and my coaching clients were served and happy with my coaching program.
On the inside though… I was just not ok.
Being Transparent is Important To Me
Why am I telling you all this? Well, first off, because it’s important for me to be transparent about my journey as a business owner. I started sharing these food blog income reports as a way to show you how you can make money with your food blog. I, however, think it’s important to also showcase the highs and lows of owning and running a business. It’s not easy. It’s NEVER easy. But it is rewarding.
In times like this where your mental health is just messyyy, it’s a huge blessing to have a business that practically runs itself. From the beginning, it was my goal to create a business model with systems and workflows in place that will allow me to be hands-off if need be.
And in this last half of 2019, it was very much invaluable to have had my business set up this way.
So while this may not seem like a “highlight”, it is. Why?
Because the business I created showed up for me when I wasn’t able to.
And there is honestly no better highlight than that.
Do you want that too? A business that can run itself instead of it running you.
One that can pay your bills when you’re not able to physically get out of bed. A business that can make money while you focus on other important matters like your health. It takes a lot of work to get to this point but I can assure you, it is possible.
I’m reopening the Food Blogger Business Blueprint this month and I would absolutely LOVE to help you turn your food blog into a thriving business with solid foundations and a business model that will run without you.
A lot of work will need to be done initially but then you will be able to reap the benefits of having a business that will not need your attention every second of the day. Click here to find out more info.
The Food Blogger Business Blueprint starts on Monday, January 13th. DON’T WAIT. There are only a few spots left. It will never be at this price point again.
A Sassy Spoon has really been a blessing, to say the least. I’m so grateful that I get to do this every day.
And even now four years in, I still can’t believe this is my job. I used to look at other food bloggers living off their blogs and wish if I could make that happen for myself. I, too, wanted to live off a blog. And here I am. I did it! And so can you.
I want you to feel the same contentment, flexibility, and freedom with your business too. Click here to sign up for the FBBB. Don’t let your 2020 goals become your 2021 goals.
You may also like:
- Food Blog Income Report: August 2019
- How To Avoid Burnout as an Entrepreneur
- Food Blog Income Report: How I Made $85,000 in 2018
- A Week in the Life of a Food Blogger
- How To Drive Traffic To Your Food Blog
I want to say a BIG thank you to all the readers of this blog. Your support means the world to me.
And thank you to my colleagues/friends in this food blog community for being there for me (you know who you are!). You have a special place in my heart.
Cheers to an amazing 2020!