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I once again struggled with whether or not to write an income report this month. As this terrible virus continues to ravage the world, it seems very trivial and unimportant. However, in a time of great sadness, devastation, and uncertainty, maintaining some small bit of normalcy is literally what's holding me together right now. Being able to focus on the blog and spend my free time recipe developing and testing has saved me from going completely nuts.
So while it may not quite be "business as usual" around here right now, I chose to write an income report because last months was very well received and for consistency's sake I wanted to continue with them.
I also would like to note that I've seen a lot of folks shaming bloggers, influencers, etc. saying that they can't believe they're just continuing to work like normal while millions are sick and fighting for their lives. But I think it's important to do what makes you feel good right now. And to continue (safely) doing the things that provide for your family. So if that's sharing your make up tutorial or daily workout or what you made for dinner - do it. Also, a majority of the world is sitting at home right now looking for something to do on the internet, so don't hate on the folks who are giving them something to read, watch or talk about.
AND along the same lines, if YOU want to complain about being stuck inside with your wild children for 6 weeks - DO IT. If you're sick of making dinner every night for 150 days in a row, talk about it. If you suddenly have a new appreciation for teachers because you've had to home school your child and you're ready to pull your hair out - go ahead and vent a little. Chances are good someone else is feeling the exact same way. While it's important to recognize that there are others who have it worse than you do, your discomfort is still valid. Your feelings are still valid. Your emotions are still valid. We are all having a hard time right now, in different ways. And we are all responding to it, in different ways. Okay, rant over...
April ended up bringing the highest amount of traffic Midwest Foodie has ever seen. And despite the ridiculously low RPMs, this also resulted in the highest income I’ve earned from ad revenue in one month. Although, like I said in my previous income report from March, I am hesitant to even discuss numbers as so many folks are facing the reality of losing their jobs and small businesses are wondering how much longer they'll be able to keep things afloat.
However, I am proud of this income and I have worked MY BUTT OFF for it. And I am extra thankful for this stream of income now more than ever as my husband and I are both currently laid off from our day jobs. Luckily my husband was able to file for unemployment from his part-time job which brings in a small amount each week - like enough to cover groceries, literally. And while I thought that I would qualify for unemployment as well, unfortunately, because of the amount of money I'm making from the blog, I likely will not be eligible for unemployment benefits at this time (but luckily my employer is still paying for our health insurance - thank goodness!). This means the money I'm making from the blog is no longer "extra income" and has pretty much overnight become our main source of income. Which is another reason why I have to keep recipe testing and shooting and blogging. It's literally paying the bills right now.
> Pinterest: 97.62%
> Facebook: 1.72%
> Buzzfeed: .46%
> Instagram: .17%
Looking back on where I was at this time last year – in April of 2019, I had 38,793 page views with 30,796 sessions and 24,804 users. It’s exciting to see how much progress my blog has made in this last year.
As I mentioned in my first income report, Mediavine is my main source of income from the blog. I make a bit of money with Amazon Associates but it’s not much. Here’s a look at April stats:
Mediavine: $4,373.73 with an average RPM of $9.51
Amazon Associates: $109.64
TOTAL PROFIT: $4,483.37
Nerdpress (site maintenance): $122
Agathon (hosting): $70
ConvertKit (email service): $29
Canva (graphics for Pinterest): $13
Gsuite (email provider): $12
Lightroom (photo editing): $11
Tailwind (Pinterest scheduler): $10
Akismet (site security): $5
KeySearch Subscription: $8.50
TOTAL EXPENSES: $455.50
WHAT I’VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS PAST MONTH:
- I’ve just been trying to keep it all together. Mentally, physically and emotionally. I've been trying to eat what makes me feel good, move when I'm motivated, and work on the blog when I've got the energy to do so. I've been spending A TON of time outside which has greatly improved my mental health and really helped to decrease my anxiety.
- I’ve been staying up too late and sleeping in. Last month I was going to bed early and waking up early. This month I was back to my old routine of staying up til midnight and sleeping until 8am. It's what feels good right now. I spent the first couple weeks trying to fight it but more recently have just embraced the night owl life and am feeling better about it now.
- We've been finding a bit of a rhythm and it feels really good. We definitely don't have a color-coordinated sticker chart or anything like that, but we've fallen into a nice daily routine and I think that everyone is happier for it. I get to enjoy snuggles with my daughter in the morning because I'm not rushing off to work. Then we can make breakfast together before I retire to the office/studio where I spend the morning and early afternoon working. Then we'll all eat a late lunch together and spend the rest of the afternoon and evening outside. We usually go on a walk or bike ride each night which helps everyone decompress. The only constant that you can "set your watch by" in these crazy past 6 weeks is our daughter's bedtime. We've really been spending a lot of time enjoying the routine of bath, snack, stories, and snuggles. Getting her tucked in at the same time each night also allows my husband and I to spend some quality time together (or apart - because that's important too!) before bed.
- We've been making a list of things that we want to leave behind after the quarantine is over and the things we want to take with us. These are not physical "things" that we want to take or leave, but rather things like making more time for yoga and reading and leaving behind the guilt for spending an afternoon relaxing and doing absolutely nothing. If you haven't thought about what things you want to take with you after this quarantine is over, I encourage you to do so! I like to think that even with all of the devastation and heartache that this pandemic has caused, there is a silver lining that this gives everyone time to really examine their lives and decide how they want to spend the precious time we have on this earth.
- We've also been having designated "alone time" each day. We've been spending A LOT (like a lot, a lot) of quality time together over the last several weeks so each day we've been trying to take at least an hour to ourselves. Our daughter can draw, paint, play outside or watch TV, and my husband and I retreat to our separate corners of the house and do whatever we're in the mood for also. It doesn't always last for an hour, sometimes it's shorter - but it really helps us all keep our sanity.
WHAT I’LL BE WORKING ON NEXT MONTH:
- My goals for this month are the same as last month. Take things one day a time. Getting enough sleep, spending time with my family, and eating good food. Basically just trying to survive.
- Also, kind of a HUGE change for Midwest Foodie: I'm switching to AdThrive mid-May! It was a tough decision, but I've decided that you never know what's best for YOUR blog until you try it. So I'm switching ad companies just to see what works best for Midwest Foodie. With that said, I have love love LOVED Mediavine and really enjoyed working with them - so definitely no hard feelings there. I just want to test the water and see what my blog can do with AdThrive. I will keep you guys posted with my income report next month on how things are going.
Thank you all again for your continued support. From the bottom of my heart, I really appreciate each and every one of you. And I would never have been able to get this far without your support.
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS INCOME REPORTS!