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!
First of all, where have I been?? And what excuse do I have this time for not sticking to my regular (regular?) posting schedule? Sick with the stomach flu, that’s where. Not nice. Not pleasant. I won’t bore you with the yucky details ????
But YES, keeping to a regular posting schedule is definitely something I’m going for in May, since April is sort of almost over already.
Anyway, let’s not focus on my complete inability to organize my life and let’s dive right into my March Work & Income Report. What did I learn about blogging (and, um, myself?) in March?
Let’s look at some numbers.
Here are my Google Analytics statistics for March:
These numbers look quite optimistic compared to my February GA numbers. ‘Sessions’, ‘Users’, ‘Pageviews’, and ‘% New Sessions’ all went up! But oh wait, February is only 28 days. So while Pageviews has gone up a bit in March (I had 83,173 pageviews in February), the average amount of pageviews the blog gets per day actually went down from 2970 to 2725 pageviews a day.
→ March has 31 days. February has only 28 days.
So average amount of pageviews a day went down. What’s worse, in February, I only published 2 new post. In March, I published 9 posts. So despite the fact that I worked a lot harder, my pageviews went down.
Takeaway: more posts doesn’t necessarily mean more pageviews. So just posting more posts isn’t the way to grow my readership. I need to bring that content to potential readers, too.
First thing I need to develop: an exposure strategy.
I’m still loving my editorial calendar, but because Baby Boy and I have been sick the last two weeks of March (and AGAIN last week) I’m back to square one where it comes to the planning-ahead part.
In February, I worked super hard trying to get myself to a point where I’m working a couple of weeks in advance so I have a little room for error and recipe development. I actually still have enough material for a week’s worth of blog post!
And still! Still, my being sick has messed with my intended posting schedule. Despite all my planning ahead. For a couple of weeks I actually HAD a regular posting schedule! Which, I’m sad to say, is huge for me!
So what happened?
While I did most of the work in advance, the recipe developing, the baking, the photographing, (the eating), and the post-processing, I didn’t write the blog posts in advance. And if you’re sick (especially if you have the stomach flu) you don’t want to think about food. If you can’t think about it, you can’t write about it.
So for my editorial calendar to work (as in: give me room for error, days off, sickness, and the Unexpected), I need to start writing posts in advance, too.
So, next takeaway: when working ahead, include the all-important writing of the post.
My pageviews may have gone down, my income went up. Yay!
Again, I only earned money through CPM advertisements, which are the ads you can see in the sidebar of my blog.
First things first, I just realized that the income specifications I’ve included in my last two income reports was not really representative of those months. Instead of revealing how much money my ads made me in January and February, I detailed how much money the different ad networks I work with paid me each month. But SheKnows Media and Gourmet Ads pay bloggers 60 days after the close of the month, while Sovrn pays bloggers 36 days after the close of the month. So my January income is actually my blog’s October/November income. Does that make sense?
Anyway, from now on, I’ll tell you how much my ads made in the month the Work & Income Report is actually about.
Phew, I hope I’ve only confused myself ????
So, for March:
- SheKnows: $149.35
- Sovrn: $85.24
- Gourmet Ads: $52.53
Grand total: $287.12
- Food expenses: €48.78 ≈ $53.02
- Food Blogger Pro: $29
- Viraltag: $24
- Adobe: $12.76
- PO box for Mailchimp: $5.05
- Google Apps: $3.52
Grand total: $127.35
Ugh, and AGAIN not all my expenses are justifiable. In my February AND January Work & Income Reports I talked about how I need to either cancel my subscription to Viraltag, or write a blog post about it so I can use their services for free. But I STILL haven’t done that. Seriously me, what’s up with that? It’s not like I have money to spare….
What did I ACTUALLY made in March?
Income minus expenses: $159.77
In March, I spend 46 hours working on my blog. Of those 46 hours, I spend almost 22 hours developing recipes, baking, tweaking, and photographing. I spend another 13 hours writing the blog posts.
This is where I really noticed the difference my editorial calendar made. I managed to produce 9 blog posts in March, which is a LOT for me. And don’t forget, the last two weeks of March Baby Boy and I were both pretty ill! But thanks to the editorial calendar and the fact that I’d been working ahead, baking cakes and photographing them, I still got things done!
My Hourly Wage as a Blogger
So what did I make on average per hour in March?
Plus free cake.
Does blogging make you rich? Um… no? No.
To-Do List April/May
- Develop an exposure strategy to bring new posts to potential readers.
- WRITE A POST ABOUT VIRALTAG!!!
- Learn how to make my blog a more user-friendly environment.
That’s it for now. More on the whole blogging process next month!
Wow, I love how open you are about this.
That aside, just want to say your recipes are marvelous (I finally learnt about butter creams which do not need 3 crazy cups of icing sugar to not melt when the weather is hot).
Thanks for all the effort and time you’ve spent to share with us all this knowledge! =)
The Tough Cookie says
Hi Juliet, you’re welcome! I’m so glad you like my recipes 😀 Isn’t buttercream the best? The thing I like most about NOT working with powdered sugar, is that the resulting buttercream is actually smooth instead of grainy. Have you tried one of my buttercream recipes yet?
Nila, so sorry to hear that you guys have been sick. Hope you’re all better now.
I always learn so much from your blog. I’m in awe at the whole concept of a blogging calendar. I just kind of wing it. Planning ahead and goal making scare me!! Live reading your reports.
The Tough Cookie says
Hey Cindy, we’re all better, thanks! Just really HUNGRY because we barely ate anything for an entire week! I used to just try winging all things blogging, too, but I was always disappointed when something didn’t turn out the way I wanted. Think of the editorial calendar as a massive to-bake list 😉
Nila, thank you so much for sharing such useful information. I like the idea of an editorial calendar. I must create one. I love that ‘I know what I’m doing here’ feeling, not something I often have! So glad you and the little one are feeling better.
The Tough Cookie says
Yes, the editorial calendar is great for that! IT also keeps you focused. I’m the kind of girl who jumps from one plan to the next, so planning ahead really helps me focus on one thing (at a time) 😉