I share my income reports to give you a behind-the-scenes look at what it takes to run Midwest Foodie as a full-time job that supports a family of three! It also gives me a chance to share with you what I'm working on and the new things I'm trying.
If you're new here, be sure to start at the beginning with my first income report to see how this blog got started!
Let’s take a look at the stats for January, February, and March 2022! These traffic totals do not include web story traffic.
1st Quarter Income Total: $64,270
|Pinterest E-Book + Vegan E-Book||$306|
|Pinterest E-Book + Vegan E-Book||$587|
|Pinterest E-Book + Vegan E-Book||$2,236|
Total Expenses $5,549
Monthly Recurring Expenses $2,589
Microsoft One Drive: $6
Peach Perfect Financials: $717
Other Expenses $2,960
VA/Content Writer/Photographer: $1,388
Facebook Ad: $100
Tax Prep: $1,129
Feast Plugin: $144
- Our January donation ($250) went to Black Girls Code. Here's a description of their mission from their site: "We build pathways for young women of color to embrace the current tech marketplace as builders and creators by introducing them to skills in computer programming and technology."
- Our February donation ($250) went to Save the Children. Here's a description of their mission from their site: "Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. In the United States and around the world, we work every day to give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn, and protection from harm. When crisis strikes and children are most vulnerable, we are always among the first to respond and the last to leave. We do whatever it takes for children - every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share."
- Our March donation ($250) went to Feed'em Freedom Foundation. Here's a description of their mission from their site: "Feed’em Freedom Foundation (FFF) ignites and centers Black Agriculturists to participate as owners and movement leaders within agriculture, land stewardship, regional food security response, and economic prosperity."
Please note that this “profit” does not take into account the taxes I will have to pay on it. It’s easy to look at these numbers and think the profits from blogging are great (which they are!) but it’s also important to remember that there are a lot of monthly expenses that go into blogging, and then taxes come along and take about 25%-30% of anything you have leftover!
- Ahrefs: About a week ago I purchased a monthly subscription to Ahrefs. I'm sure I've just barely scratched the surface, but I'm looking forward to seeing all that this tool has to offer!
- Feast Plugin: I cannot recommend the Feast plugin enough! I realize that most food bloggers opt for a site redesign once they're making consistent income but I continue to resist this trend and opt for a cheap theme and the Feast plugin. While other food bloggers and design folks enjoy looking at a beautiful custom theme, I am more in the camp that most blog readers don't care (and don't notice) if your site has a custom theme. I also find that some custom themes are super busy, especially on mobile, and I really prefer a minimalist, clean, simple approach to my site. Will I get a custom site design someday? Maybe, but not any time soon! Especially when the Feast plugin is so easy to use and inexpensive!
- Peach Perfect Financials: I just have to shout out Ansley from Peach Perfect Financials one more time. For more details, check out my 3rd Quarter 2021 Income Report where I talk about what she's done for me as far as setting up an S-corp. She has made the financial side of blogging as simple as can be for me and taken all the stress out of accounting and taxes for my blog! I'm currently on her monthly maintenance plan for an S-Corp which covers all kinds of amazing services each month and end-of-year taxes. I can't recommend her services enough!
What I've Been Up To
- Content: I've been reviewing old content, deleting thin content that I won't rank for, and updating old content that I'm hoping to rank for. The AdThrive Content Optimization Tool has been really helpful in doing this. It always feels so good to get rid of the old content and refine the existing content. I'll continue to do this through the 2nd quarter, but I got a majority of this done during the 1st quarter.
- Instagram: As per usual, my love-hate relationship with IG continues! My goal this year was to eliminate anything that doesn't bring me joy or money and let me tell you, IG hasn't brought me much of either lately! I have really scaled back with sharing on stories and in my feed. I just don't feel the spark right now and instead of fighting it, I'm leaning in and taking some time away. Could I be doing more sponsored content and potentially making more money? Yes. But I'm just not feeling it right now. Maybe that will change as the year progresses but who knows!
- Work/Life Balance: If you've been reading these income reports for a while you know this is something I've struggled with. However, I am happy to report that I've now gone in the opposite direction! I have been thoroughly enjoying life and working much less over these past few months. It has been delightful and wonderful. I've been reading, hiking, spending time with the family, cooking and eating food that I enjoy (without documenting every moment!), and just overall really soaking in life. It's only taken 5 years, but I think I'm finally figuring out what's important to me and what's important to the longevity of the blog so that I can have a life with less stress and more enjoyment while still making a living. Of course, there is always that nagging feeling in the back of my mind that if I'm not eating/sleeping/breathing blogging for 30-40 hours a week that my blog will implode and everything will fall apart. And that's why I've started therapy 🙂 Which is going very well by the way!!!
- My Pinterest E-Book was mentioned by Stephanie from Stephanie's Sweet Treats on this episode of the EatBlogTalk podcast. You should definitely check out the episode to hear Stephanie's amazing story - and, of course, an unsolicited plug for my e-book!
- I'm still plugging away with the strategy outlined in my e-book. I'm still not doing idea pins and I'm kind of just on autopilot as far as Pinterest is concerned. This quarter Pinterest alone brought me over 600k pageviews which isn't too shabby!
- There's been a lot of chatter in FB groups lately that Pinterest is dead and no one is getting traffic anymore. But I'm just not seeing that. When comparing historical traffic data it's really important to remember that the last 2 years have brought unprecedented life changes for everyone and blog traffic has fluctuated because of it.
- When I look back at my analytics, in the 1st quarter of 2021, I got 1 million+ pageviews from Pinterest. So getting only 600k this quarter is less, yes, but also - the world is finally opening up! We are all in a VERY different place this year than we were last year. Folks just aren't home and cooking meals every night like they used to be - I know I certainly am not! Looking back even further, my 1st quarter data from 2020 shows that I got 489k pageviews from Pinterest. So actually, 600k is awesome and also very on-trend with what I might expect from a "normal" 1st quarter.
- It can be easy to get discouraged when comparing numbers from year to year. But it's important to take CONTEXT into account because it's not always apples to apples! With that said, yes Pinterest has changed. Is it dead? No. Have some bloggers lost traffic? Yes. Does that mean you should jump ship and abandon it altogether? Also, no. Keep plugging away (just like you do with all things blogging related) and the results will come!
If you're looking for the tried and true strategy that has gotten me where I am today, be sure to check out my Pinterest e-book! More details below!
My Pinterest E-Book
- This e-book will help you develop a quick, easy, and simple Pinterest strategy that will drive consistent traffic to your site in JUST 20 MINUTES A WEEK!
- This e-book is ideal for those who prefer to work at their own pace. This is not a Pinterest course. It's not going to take you days or weeks to work through.
- It's loaded with screenshots and images to help clarify the concepts that you're learning and is geared toward those who already have a basic understanding of Pinterest, Tailwind, and Canva.
As always, thank you for reading! None of this would be possible without you 🙂 And don't forget to check out my previous income reports for more behind-the-scenes info!
You are goals lady!!! So so inspired by you! Also- Ansley is my accountant too and she just switched me over to S-corp, shes awesome!!!
Woohoo! Isn't Ansley the best!?!? So thankful for her! 🙂
As always, informative and motivating. Thank you for being so transparent. And congratulations on the continuing success!
I'm so happy with your income report. I really want to be able to make money from blogging. I'm still struggling with views and etc, but I will find ways to make it work. I wish you all the success in world.
Thanks for sharing! 🙂
Thanks so much, Jaine! I think the biggest part of blogging successfully is just staying consistent! Even if it's just spending 5 hours a week working on it - consistency is key!
Thanks so much for these insights, Kylie. It’s so helpful. Just wondering the exact report you’re using to see your page views in the images above - I can find similar reports but not the one showing page views at the top with that table at the bottom. Thanks for any advice you can give
I like to go to Acquisition > All Traffic > Channels. Then just adjust the dates, click the Edit button and customize the metric groups. Under summary, you can click "add metric" then type in "pageviews" and add the pageviews metric under "users". I know that most people measure in sessions nowadays but I still like to see the pageviews metric as well. Hope that helps! Thanks, Marie!
Brilliant - that works. So helpful. Thanks