Welcome to my food blog income report for January 2020! In case you missed it, I posted my very first income report for 2018 in January 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. Don’t have a blog yet? Click here to start a food blog!
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!
January ended with a whopping 244,467 page views which was pretty high considering January is a slow month for non-healthy food blogs. 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 $25 for the month.
Before we move forward, I want to reiterate this…
Please don’t let these numbers 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
January Income Report
Ad Income with AdThrive: $5,412.50
Business Coaching: $4,994.34
Affiliate Marketing: $131.64
Total Income: $10,538.48
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: $1,716.19
Net Profit: $8,822.29
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.
January was great. I felt pumped coming into 2020. New year, new energy. I love it.
Published New Content.
I shared a few new recipes on the blog which I realize has been helping a lot with page views. Duh, right? For so long, I’ve been just tweaking and updating existing posts and producing less new content however doing a mix of both updating existing content and creating new content has been keeping those page views on the up and up. Again, big fat duh.
Revising my Pinterest Strategy.
We’ve also switched up our Pinterest strategy. Miranda, my VA, has been helping me archive group boards that are no longer doing much for my engagement. We’re also being mindful of the quality of content that’s being pinned into said group boards. If it’s been a while since you’ve audited your Pinterest profile, I highly recommend you do. Make sure the group boards you are a part of are still sending traffic to your site. If not, get rid of them. Keep only quality group boards with quality content. Follow me on Pinterest!
No Sponsored Content.
I’m sure you noticed that I did not have any sponsored content $ listed under income this month. That’s because the only partnership I have at the moment is with Bob’s Red Mill. Gotta get back to pitching brands. Also, I’m looking for an agent to assist with this. Any recommendations? Share in the comments below!
With that said, I kicked off the Food Blogger Business Blueprint with 10 amazing ladies this month! In case you don’t know, Food Blogger Business Blueprint is my 6-week intimate group coaching program for food blogger entrepreneurs that are ready to turn their food blogs into thriving businesses.
These ladies have been kicking ass inside the program by organizing their businesses’ internal processes, planning out their editorial calendars, sharpening those time management skills, focusing on effective SEO tactics, and promoting with new social media + email strategies. I’m so excited to see all their success this year (and beyond!).
If you’d like to be the first to find out when the program reopens, join the waitlist!
Goals For 2020
Publish New Content.
My content goal for the year is to share 4-8 new recipes per month and update 2-3 existing recipes with all the proper SEO tactics to get all that organic search juice. I’m also excited to share more videos!
More Instagram Stories.
I know it may sound silly but this one has always been a challenge for me so I want to be more mindful of showing up for my audience and providing more value via this channel in 2020. Follow me!
Also, did you know I have a YouTube channel? You can subscribe here!
New Facebook Group!
Well, it’s not new but it has been revived for 2020. I really wanted a space where food bloggers can come share wins, vent about losses, and learn from each other so I opened this Facebook group last year and then kind of abandoned it. It has since been resurrected! My goal here is to share valuable tips and mini trainings about blogging + business at the very least twice a month. You can join the Food Blogging & Business Facebook Group by clicking here.
New Coaching Programs.
I will be releasing a few new coaching programs in 2020 and I’m SO amped about it. Beginner blogging courses, food photography courses, possibly an in-person retreat. Ahhhh. Ok, that’s all I can say for now but stay tuned! Big things coming haha. I’ll share more info soon.
- Oh! Also, side note: I will be hosting an in-person food photography workshop with Sam from @frostingandfettuccine in April in South Florida! Imagine a whole day with us, laughing, enjoying snacks, and taking photos of food. What could be better! If you’d like to stay informed about this workshop, sign up for the April Photography Workshop waitlist by clicking here.
From this point forward, I want to start including questions that I’ve received from you in these reports as added value so please feel free to ask any and all questions in the comments below. I’ll feature one every month!
“How many posts do I need to publish to start making money from my food blog?
“How many posts should I publish per month?”
“What’s the number of posts you need to meet the page view requirement for Mediavine?”
“How many posts did you have when you finally started making money?”
I’ve received these questions countless times and they are all valid questions but unfortunately, there’s no magic formula for reaching these milestones.
I wish there was a solid answer or a magic number I can give you like post 5 times a week and you’ll get there. There just isn’t a right or wrong answer here. Some people reach these milestones in months, some take weeks. It just all depends on so many factors.
I’d even argue that meeting this milestone goes beyond just creating blog posts.
Hear me out.
I’m sure you’d agree that there’s more to blogging than just posting recipes. Yes?
There’s food photography, finding your voice, engaging with your audience, being a complete resource to readers, sharing valuable tips and relevant recipes, etc. All those things are what build a brand and in turn, are what grow your page views.
Long gone are the days where blogs were only about stories about your life and your family. We’re building brands now. We’re sharing the stories AND providing value. We are the resource a reader is searching for when they Google a recipe. We’re the problem-solvers behind the recipes and we love what we do.
As soon as you switch your mindset from a “number” to focusing on building a brand, the sooner you’ll reach your goal.
I promise you.
Begin shifting your mindset to think of your blog as a brand vs. focusing only on how many blog posts you have to crank out before you could make a dollar. If you shift, you’ll be well on your well to a successful blog.
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. :)