Running a food blog is not just baking and eating. There’s actual work involved, too. In this Work & Income Report I’ll tell you all about blogging workload, income, expenses, and more!
Blogging has been good in February! Not that I’ve posted a lot – I only posted two posts, in fact, which is an all time low here on the blog – but everything that’s blogging BESIDES the actual posting has been really good. I’m having fun again and I have more ideas than ever 😀
Is this what being on a blogging roll feels like?
Anyway, in this post I’m going to share my number one tip to make blogging just a little easier and zen. It’s using an editorial calendar.
I started following an editorial calendar in February, and so far it’s been a great help!
If you don’t know what an editorial calendar is, please let me explain: it’s basically a chart showing dates when content, in my case blog posts, should be created and eventually posted.
My editorial calendar includes a few more things, like:
- When to shop for ingredients
- When to bake or develop recipes
- When to photograph
- When to write
Before I started using an editorial calendar, posting days would more often than not creep up on me. There’s just so much to do in a week, and I’m the kind of person that needs to write things down in order to remember them. Otherwise they just fly right out of my head.
Before the editorial calendar, blogging for me looked something like this:
- I’d post a recipe, close my laptop and go about my life.
- I’d practically forget about the blog.
- I’d suddenly remember about the blog the day, or maybe the day before I’d intended to publish my next post.
Sometimes, things would work out. I’d work hard and get it done. But sometimes I’d just panic faced with that ‘sudden’ deadline and feel either too uninspired to even come up with a decent idea, or time would simply be too short to execute it.
But things are different now. My editorial calendar has made me feel organized and like I actually know what I’m doing for once. Like I’m on top of things. As a result, I’m not only posting a lot more great recipes (have you noticed?), I also have sort of a clear vision of where I want to take the blog.
I don’t want to just post recipes every week. I want to post great recipes, but also grow my collection of cake building block recipes, so readers can mix en match those and come up with delicious cake ideas and recipes themselves. Oh, and I want more cake. Because cake makes me happy 🙂
I’m not completely on schedule yet, btw. It’s taking me a while. I’ve got a lot of posts planned, recipes made, and sweet stuff photographed, but I’m a bit behind on my writing. I’m trying to get myself to a point where I’m working 3 weeks in advance. Just to give myself room for error and maybe unexpected things like insanely sunny days. Spring is nearly here after all.
Here are my Google Analytics numbers for February:
Looking at these numbers, my traffic seemed to have gone down quite a bit. But that’s only because February is such a short month compared to January. In both months, I averaged about 2970 pageviews a day, so my traffic is actually ridiculously stable.
Here’s to hoping my traffic goes up in March, though.
So what did I earn blogging last month? Though I’ve been working very hard on the blog all through February, I haven’t changed my monetizing strategy yet. In other words, I earned my February income through CPM ads, provided to me by the same ad networks that helped me make last month’s income:
- Sovrn: $192,13
- Gourmet Ads: $85,51
Grand total: $277,64
That’s almost $50 more than last month! Even though I didn’t receive any Blogher revenue this month because Blogher only pays their bloggers 60 days after the close of the month. I actually got my Blogher December revenue on the 2nd of March.
Still, very happy 😀
- Food expenses: €60,75 ≈ $64,53
- Food Blogger Pro: $29
- Viraltag: $24
- Adobe: €12,09 ≈ $12,76
- PO box for Mailchimp: €4,79 ≈ $5,05
- Google Apps: €3,33 ≈ $3,52
Grand total: $138,86
Again, not all of these expenses are justifiable. In last month’s report, I talked about how I need to either ditch Viraltag, or write a blog post about it so I can use their services for free. But I haven’t gotten round to doing that yet.
Food expenses are more than 3 times as much as last month, but that’s because I made 3 birthday cakes and I had to buy some expensive ingredients for the Momofuku Birthday Cake, like grapeseed oil, acetate, shortening, glucose and 2 bottles of rainbow sprinkles. I also bought new piping bags. Luckily, I didn’t use all of it, so let’s call it an investment.
Besides, $64 for 3 birthday cakes? That’s not too bad! The Momofuku Birthday Cake ALONE is $46 if you buy it at the store, and THAT one’s only 6 inches, a lot smaller than my cake was. An 8-inch Proof Bakery’s Chocolate Espresso Cake? $52!
So $21 per cake is actually pretty good.
Total income minus expenses: $138,78
I worked a LOT in February. Birthdays, you know. I made three massive birthday cakes. Two for my own birthday and one for my niece’s birthday. So a lot of baking, recipe developing, washing up, and photographing. Luckily, a lot of cake eating, too 😉
In February, I worked 72 hours on the blog, which is about 18 hours a week. That’s really too much for me. I have other jobs. And, of course, a toddler to take care of. But since it was my birthday and I wanted to take the time to make some beautiful cakes, and since I was baking a bit more to get a few posts ahead, that’s okay. Let’s just hope it won’t happen again, because I drove the Rocking Rebel crazy with my maybe-a-bit-too-ambitious-and-optimistic baking schedule 🙂
Still, what do those numbers mean? It means that in February, I made $1,93 an hour blogging. Which is more than $1 an hour less than I ‘made’ last month. But at least I got free cake again, which definitely counts for something.
To-Do List March
- write a post about Viraltag so I can keep using their services for free. I meant to do this last month, but I forgot all about it.
- focus more on growing my traffic through social media.
Back with more recipes next week!