This food blog income report gives you a behind the scenes look at what it takes to run Midwest Foodie Blog as a full-time job that supports a family of three!
Let's take a look at the stats for June...
> Pinterest: 97.48%
> Facebook: 1.49%
> Buzzfeed: 0.84%
> Instagram: .16%
Looking back on where I was at this time last year – in June of 2019, I had 49,460 page views with 39,267 sessions, and 31,799 users. It’s exciting to see how much progress my blog has made since last year.
This was my first full month with AdThrive and to say that I am thrilled would be an understatement. I am doing literally the exact same thing I've been doing for years but making twice as much money and serving (slightly) fewer ads on my blog posts!
The one drawback that I often hear people mention as a reason that they don't switch to AdThrive is that you don't have as much control over your ad frequency and placement as you do via the Mediavine dashboard. However, I found that the freedom to make these adjustments to my ads with Mediavine encouraged me to fiddle with things way more than I really needed to. To the point where it was hard to even track whether the changes I made were helpful or not. So for me personally, I am loving that AdThrive takes care of everything and that I don't have access to adjust my ads manually.
If there is something that I need adjusted, all I have to do is send a quick email and they'll take care of it for me! I have been really impressed with their customer service so far. That was definitely one of my concerns with leaving Mediavine as Mediavine is very well known for their outstanding customer service. But so far, I am loving everything about AdThrive!
I am planning to write a full post about my switch and experiences with Mediavine and AdThrive in the future, but I want to get a few more months with AdThrive under my belt before I dive into that. Stay tuned!
- AdThrive (income from ads): $9,068.00
- avergae RPM (pageviews) of $17.60
- average RPS (sessions) of $22.19
- Amazon Associates (affiliate income): $64.40
TOTAL PROFIT: $9,132.40
This month we decided to donate $200 from our profits to Black Girls Code. Here is a quote from their site that shares a little bit about the important work that they're doing:
"Our Vision: To increase the number of women of color in the digital space by empowering girls of color ages 7 to 17 to become innovators in STEM fields, leaders in their communities, and builders of their own futures through exposure to computer science and technology. To provide African-American youth with the skills to occupy some of the 1.4 million computing job openings expected to be available in the U.S. by 2020, and to train 1 million girls by 2040."
Another cool thing that AdThrive did this month was match donations from its publishers up to $100,000. AdThrive matched publisher donations to any of the following organizations:
Let's just add this to the list of things I love about AdThrive! I also appreciated that they took a firm stance early on regarding the importance of the Black Lives Matter movement.
We will continue donating each month to an organization that benefits the Black community. I will keep you posted on where we donate next month and would love any suggestions you may have for us!
Nerdpress (site maintenance): $122
Agathon (hosting): $70
ConvertKit (email service): $49
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
Refurbished Laptop: $250
TOTAL DONATIONS/EXPENSES: $950.50
WHAT I'VE BEEN WORKING ON THIS MONTH:
- I've been trying to figure out how to be my own boss and balance working from home with family life. Lucky for us, my husband is currently on unemployment as the restaurant he worked at has been closed since mid-March. Which means that he is on dad duty all day while I get my work done. Of course, we live in a small house and our office is right in the middle of everything so it's definitely not *uninterrupted* work time always, but I am very lucky to get a few solid hours in each day. We also purchased a refurbished laptop, so I am able to be a bit more mobile than I was before and can sneak out to the backyard to do some writing or steal a couple moments of peace and quiet in our room. Overall, I am LOVING working from home and being able to work on the blog full time.
- The extra time I have now (not working 30 hours a week at my day job) has allowed me to recipe test so much more and consistently post 3 times per week without feeling super stressed and tired. It's amazing how much more I am enjoying blogging because I don't have to fit it in before 8am or after 9pm. Of course, along with the joys that come from working for yourself, there's definitely some stress because your paycheck really isn't a guarantee. Pageviews fluctuate each month, as do RPMs. However, if there's anything these last few months have taught us, it's that very few jobs are ever really guaranteed, no matter how secure they may seem. I feel extremely fortunate to be able to work from home and pay the bills with the income from my blog.
- I've also started working my way through Me and White Supremecy which is SO incredibly well written. I really enjoy the way Layla F. Saad writes in a way that is easy to understand. I was afraid that a lot of it would feel "over my head". But she really uses language that's easy to understand which I appreciate. I also like the way that the book is broken down into a 28-day format so that each day you can read a chapter and then journal and reflect.
- We also bought some new children's books for our daughter. I really don't think I realized the importance of reading books to her that celebrate Black culture and are centered around people that look like her. The books regarding hair have been particularly helpful in increasing her confidence and love for her hair. It was just a couple months ago that she told us she wished her hair was long and straight and that she doesn't like it short and curly. It nearly broke my heart. There is definitely some room for improvement here for us as white parents. Not that all of the books we read her featured white children - most of her favorite books feature animals or robots. But making sure that the books she's reading (and the shows she's watching!) include people that look like her has definitely become a priority for us.
- Here are some of the books she's been loving:
- As you can see from my stats, Pinterest continues to be my #1 traffic driver. Which again, is great, but also scary. Pinterest seems to change their algorithm frequently and as mentioned above, there are just no guarantees that this will stay consistent. But, there are also no guarantees that organic traffic will continue to bring traffic either, as we've seen so many Google algorithm changes recently. So for now, I am super happy with the traffic that I'm getting and cautiously optimistic and hopeful that it will continue!
- One thing that seems to be working well for me in regards to Pinterest is making new pins. I am only pinning new pins right now. I am making 20ish new pins for each new post, scheduling them through Tailwind to relevant boards, and using a mixture of interval scheduling and shuffling my queue to space them out quite a bit over the next couple of months.
- If you've seen my pins on Pinterest, you know that I keep them pretty simple. I have about 4-5 templates that I use - some have a single picture and some have 2-3 pictures. I keep the writing pretty clean and simple, however, I do love a good "script" style font now and then which I know I probably shouldn't. I stick to mostly black and white colors for my pins so that they match the overall aesthetic of my blog. I used to do more color but found that my black and white ones did best.
- I should also mention that none of what I do is probably considered "best practice" for Pinterest. It's just what has worked for me so far!
WHAT I’LL BE WORKING ON NEXT MONTH:
- Finishing Me and White Supremecy and starting to read Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race.
- Setting some serious work hours and protecting my time in the evening for family, fun, reading, or just doing nothing at all.
- Continuing to seek out and follow more Black foodies on Instagram and make more of their recipes
- Continuing to amplify Black voices through my IG stories and feed
- Continuing to keep the BLM movement at the forefront of my mind
- Working on the HashtagJeff course. You might remember this goal from last month...hopefully you won't see it on August's goal list! 🙂
- Trying to evaluate whether Instagram is the best use of my time. I honestly have not been enjoying it at all lately. It just feels like such an energy suck for so little reward. I get nearly no traffic from IG and don't do a ton of sponsored posts so it just doesn't seem like I should be prioritizing it the way that I am. I enjoy the interaction with readers and friends, but it just takes a lot of my mental energy and I think I could possibly focus that on more important things. Do you follow me on Instagram? Do you enjoy the content and behind the scenes stories of myself and my daughter cooking and the glimpse into our daily lives? If so, please let me know in the comments below!
Of course, I want to thank you again for your continued support. I really appreciate each and every one of you. This blog would be nothing without my readers!!
DON'T FORGET TO CHECK OUT MY PREVIOUS INCOME REPORTS!