You GUYS. This month really surprised me!! I was expecting a pretty "meh" January, to be honest. I was bracing for low traffic, even lower RPMs and VERY low revenue. However, I was greeted by my highest traffic yet paired with unsurprisingly low RPMs - which in turn gave me about the same income as November and December of 2019.
That's pretty freaking awesome as the first month of the quarter is notoriously the lowest for traffic/income AND January is almost always the worst month of the year (unless you're a health food blogger)!
To say that I am pleased with this month would totally be an understatement. I am ECSTATIC!!! Below I’ll share with you my monthly traffic, monthly expenses and monthly profit.
Also, if you didn't catch my first income report - you definitely want to check it out before diving in here. It gives you a lot of background on my blogging journey and a really in-depth look at my income over the last year since joining Mediavine in January of 2019! Be sure to check out my November and December income reports too!
In January of 2020, my blog saw it’s highest amount of traffic!! WOOHOOOOOOO!
> Pinterest: 91.71%
> Facebook: 6.19%
> BuzzFeed: 1.78%
> Instagram: .30%
It feels awesome to be over 200,000 page views this month as there was a time (not too long ago) where it seemed like I would never even get to 100,000 a month!
It's also fun to look back at where I was a year ago at this time and see how far I've come! For reference in January of 2019, I had 22,197 page views with 15,316 sessions and 12,380 users. I'm still celebrating progress, not perfection!
As I mentioned in my first income report, Mediavine is my main source of income from the blog at the moment. I started with Amazon Associates in August of 2019 and have been making a bit of money with that also, but there is definitely room for improvement! Let’s take a look at January’s stats…
Mediavine: $2,525.96 with an average RPM of $13.84
Sponsored Post: $1,150.00
Amazon Associates: $59.77
TOTAL PROFIT: $3,735.73
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: $430.50
GROSS PROFIT JANUARY 2019:
The above total does not take into account taxes, which I am anticipating to be 20-30% of the total. So my actual take-home pay for the month will likely end up being around $2,400.00 or so. Which if I'm being honest is freaking AWESOME for me!!
What I've been working on this past month:
- I’ve still been publishing the same delicious content with a focus on easy dinners. These seem to be the most popular recipes that my readers are enjoying so I've been hard at work testing all kinds of simple dinner recipes for you guys!
- I've been taking a break when I need it. After the hustle and bustle of the holidays, I've been really trying hard to set aside time for myself to just relax. While I LOVE LOVE LOVE (almost) everything blogging, I'm realizing that I really need to take time to do things that help me unplug from the blog. For me, this is taking walks with my family (instead of recipe testing) or vegging out on the couch watching the Bon Apetit YouTube channel (instead of editing photos) or going to bed early and snuggling in the morning (instead of getting up early to write a blog post). I'm really trying to find that work-life balance.
- I've also been slowly plugging away at my editorial calendar for 2020. I typically have my recipes tested and the photoshoot completed about 6-8 weeks before I actually post the recipe on the blog. But I'm working on brainstorming recipes for the entire year so that I spend less time each week meal planning and more time getting to the good stuff. If there are any recipes you'd like to see on the blog in 2020, be sure to leave a comment on this post!
What I'll be working on this year:
- I'm working on landing some partnerships and sponsored posts. One of my goals for 2020 is to work more with brands that I use in the Midwest Foodie kitchen. I always love to see what products other bloggers use in their own kitchens - sometimes it's brands I've never heard of or products I've wanted to try. If there's a specific ingredient that I've used in a recipe, I always try to link it in the post anyway, so I might get a relationship going with the brand! As always, you will know when a post is sponsored because I will disclose it towards the top of the post or in any social media caption!
- I'll be working hard on allowing myself "free time" where I don't HAVE to be productive. One of my best and worst qualities is that I have a hard time sitting still for too long and I have a lot of guilt when I spend my time not being productive. If I'm at home, it's hard for me to NOT be working on something blog related. I frequently spend evenings at my parent's house because it's a place that I can totally unplug. I can't do any work there because I don't have any of my equipment. I'm learning to let go of the guilt that comes with spending time watching TV or scrolling through social media or reading a book. I need these mental breaks in order to keep getting excited about the content I'm creating!
- Of course, more video! I'm still not completely sold on the whole video thing since I don't often watch cooking videos myself, but I can definitely see how they are helpful for my readers as a quick preview of what's to come in the recipe. And so, I will be investing in more video!
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS INCOME REPORTS!
See you next month when I share my income report for February!!
I so love reading the income reports of real bloggers. I've been blogging for around 7 mo and haven't really monetized as yet... just trying to focus upon my content to give value to visitors.
Reports like this, from real bloggers, really do make a difference to me and to all new bloggers I think. It's far more motivating to read something based upon numbers that I feel are achievable for all of us having a go at it!
It's also encouraging to hear you feel the same way all new bloggers feel when you say about how you felt 200k page views was impossible for you at one time. Great to know we are all in the same boat at one point or another in our blogging journeys!
Thanks for being so open with your report. I'm going to include you in my next post about relatable bloggers who make money from their blogs. Hopefully this will help to inspire new bloggers who feel a little overwhelmed and need some encouragement!
Thanks again and good luck in 2020!
Thank you SO much Paul! I am glad that this report was helpful and motivating. I have found other's income reports to be motivating as well and have really enjoyed sharing my journey this way! You really do have to start somewhere and these income reports have been a great way to look back and see how far these years of hard work have gotten me. AND also to dream for what's to come in the future. Thanks for the feedback and best wishes to you in the new year!
Hey Kylie, I have enjoyed reading all of your income reports and it makes me so happy to see your progress!! So motivating. I am aiming for mediavine too and my biggest concern is the RPM. I lately learned that having a good RPM is in the blogger's hands and not the ad agency. According to my current google adsense earnings my RPM is just around 1 dollar. Do you have any tips on increasing the RPM? Thank you.
Sheenam - Thanks so much! The great thing about Mediavine is that they have a ton of resources and articles regarding increasing your RPMs! And I don't see any reason why you couldn't start implementing these things on your blog now as you prepare to reach the threshold to qualify for Mediavine! Some of their top tips include writing smaller paragraphs (1-3 sentences long), increasing font size and looking at line spacing. Mediavine also has an RPM challenge that helped me a lot too. Honestly, my RPMs are pretty low compared to other food bloggers and try as I might, I can't seem to figure out why! I do try to remember that comparing blogs is like comparing apples to oranges - no two blogs or bloggers are ever going to be the same. So it's best to compare where you're at now with where you were at this same time last year and see how far you've come! If you haven't checked out Mediavine's blog, I would highly recommend that you do so! https://www.mediavine.com/blog/ Thanks!
I’d love to see simple and fast family friendly meals that focus on Whole Foods and are gluten free!
Great to know! Gluten free meals are a bit of a foreign land for me as I do not have a gluten allergy (and neither does anyone in my family) but that's definitely something to consider as we move into the new year! Perhaps exploring the ways that my recipes could easily be made gluten free... Some great food for thought - thanks so much Cherise! 🙂