Welcome to my food blog income report for February 2020! In case you missed it, I posted my very first income report in January 2019 and promised to continue to share income reports so here we are. You can find the rest of my 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 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!
February ended with over 268k page views. My top traffic drivers continue to be Google (organic search) and Pinterest. My RPM (revenue per 1,000 page views) with AdThrive this month averaged to about $24 for the month.
Before we move forward, I want to reiterate this…
Please don’t let the numbers in this report discourage you.
I share these income reports as a way to keep myself accountable but to also show how it is possible to make money from a blog. It took me years to get this point. With hard work and determination, you will get there too!
I never want these reports to deliver a message that any of this is easy or that I am gloating about my success.
It is HARD WORK and I am DAMN PROUD of how far I’ve come. I hope you celebrate these wins with me and find these reports inspiring for your own growth. <3
February Income Report
Ad Income with AdThrive: $7,226.84
Sponsored Content: $3,000.00
Business Coaching: $1,230.04
Affiliate Marketing: $58.22
Total Income: $11,515.10
In an effort to keep these reports as timeless, of value, and as relevant as possible, I’ve decided to share the resources I’ve used to keep my business running efficiently instead of itemizing all my expenses each month. If you have any questions about anything, in particular, please leave a comment down below!
- AdThrive (the ads you see before you have been powered by this network since 2018)
- Instacart (save time by getting your groceries delivered)
- Mazuma (my monthly bookkeeping service + accountant for taxes)
- FreshBooks (Or if you want to handle accounting on your own, this is what I recommend. It’s designed exclusively for small business owners)
- Wpopt (my web host aka my Internet landlord lol)
- SEMrush (a great tool for organic search (seo), site audits, and keyword research)
- InfluenceKit (a great tool for generating analytics reports after brand partnerships)
- Zoom Video Conferencing (a super affordable tool used for my video coaching calls)
- Kajabi (The best all-in-one platform for my coaching program + now my new email service; I used to use MailerLite)
- Nerdpress (a WordPress service for tech support, web security, site maintenance, + backups for small businesses)
- Adobe Creative Suite (I use the Lightroom + Photoshop cloud service for editing photos)
- Canva (the online tool I use to create pins for Pinterest, collages for process shots, Instagram Story templates, and more)
- Planoly (the best scheduler for Instagram posts)
- Google Drive (storage for my photos, videos, and business documents so I can access them from anywhere)
- Dropbox (also, great for storage and can be accessed from anywhere too)
- Tailwind App (a great scheduling tool for Pinterest to share recipe pins with tribes/Pinterest boards)
- WP Recipe Maker (the best Google-compliant recipe plugin for WordPress)
- WP Rocket (premium WordPress plugin that helps your site load quicker)
- Brunch Pro Theme (the WP theme you see before you powered by StudioPress + the Genesis framework)
- Food Blogger Pro (very useful platform for food bloggers that are just getting started)
- Food Blogger Pro Podcast (one of my favorite podcasts!)
- Namecheap (an easy way to search + register your domain name)
- Isabel from Isabel Eats (my dear friend and recipe video creator/editor/producer)
- Market with Miranda (my wonderful virtual assistant that helps me manage things around here)
Total Expenses: $2,338.35
Net Profit: $9,176.75
Note: From this net profit, I still have to pay taxes and my personal / household expenses (including $50k of student loans which are a pain in my a$$. I have a HUGE milestone goal to pay them off by the end of 2020. 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.
February was a great month. My traffic increased from January to February by 10% which means publishing new content and updating existing content consistently is working!
Who knew!? LOL. It’s not a revolutionary thing but for whatever reason, since I wasn’t doing that as consistently in the last few months of 2019… this mix of new/updated content has really been helping me get more eyes on the blog.
There’s your lesson of the day, kids: STAY CONSISTENT! It’s important at any stage of your business.
Pinterest “Fresh Pins” Update
My VA and I have been tweaking the heck outta my Pinterest strategy in the last few weeks. As I’m sure you’ve heard, Pinterest introduced something called “fresh content” in mid-February. The long and short of this update is that basically Pinterest will now favor new, never-before-seen content being pinned on the platform from now on. This doesn’t mean you can get away with just posting the same pin with a different pin description. Their algorithm will now only favor recent, relevant content and distribute it to a wider audience.
So, what I recommended inside my Food Blogging & Business Facebook Group (click here to join!) is for food bloggers to begin shooting their recipes from different angles so they have lots of photo options when creating recipe pins moving forward.
Each recipe should have ~5+ pins so you can pin them throughout the upcoming months. For existing recipes, you can use existing photos to create new pins, just be sure to use different fonts, colors, templates, etc so it appears fresh to Pinterest.
The goal is for Pinterest to see pins as new and never-before-seen so it can deem them as “fresh content” and give you that much-needed exposure boost!
So far, here are my results after implementing these changes on Pinterest.
Well, I should preface this by saying that I also disabled rich pins on March 23rd so this increase could be a result of both of those things – fresh pins and disabling rich pins. My traffic from Pinterest for March has also increased. More on that on next month’s report.
Which one of these sounds like you?
- “I haven’t started my food blog because it’s too late and the market is already too saturated.”
- “What if I can’t figure out the tech stuff, SEO, social media, email, what to write, how to write it… maybe I should just stay at my 9-5 even though I’ve always wanted to start my own online business.”
- “I started my food blog and I still have NO IDEA what I’m doing! I don’t even know where to start with everything.”
If any of these statements sound like you, then we have something in common.
I’ve said these EXACT words in the past!
I always let irrational fears and naysayers talk me out of doing the very thing that brings me so much joy today.
Don’t let this happen to you too!
You don’t have to venture out there alone trying to figure it all out yourself.
You don’t have to sit there, frustrated and defeated, thinking this whole blogging thing isn’t going to work out for you.
Introducing… The Food Blogger 101 self-study course!
A self-paced beginner blogging course that cuts straight through the BS giving aspiring food bloggers (like you!) all the tools and strategies needed to build successful food blogs from scratch at a really affordable price.
I’ve been diligently working on this course because I really wanted to help you reach your dream of becoming an entrepreneur despite all the Negative Nancys telling you it can’t be done.
This is proof!
These income reports are proof that I was able to beat the odds and grow A Sassy Spoon into a six-figure business. If you’ve always wanted to become a food blogger entrepreneur, now is your chance. This course will walk you through all the aspects of food blogging in an easy-to-digest way and it can all be done at your own pace.
Plus you get to ask questions and get answers from me whenever you need help. I mean, this is something I wish I would’ve had four years ago.
Can’t wait to see you inside!
Hope this income report was helpful for you!
Let me know if you have any questions. Leave them in the comments below and I’ll answer them in the next report. :)