Hi and welcome to this month’s income report!
I started Pickled Plum five years ago as a way to collect and share recipes I created on a whim. This blogging thing wasn’t something I envisioned doing long term: I was studying at FIT to become an image consultant and worked full time in retail. During that year I only managed to post one or two recipes per month. My schedule was packed and to be honest, I was taken aback by the amount of time and energy it took to shoot, edit and publish a recipe.
The second year was even worse: I barely gave the blog any attention, leaving it bare and neglected. I was struggling at my job and slowly realizing that fashion may not be my calling. The third year is when I decided to take this blogging thing a little more seriously. I saw that people were making money, thanks to blogs like Pinch Of Yum (who is responsible for making income reports so popular) and that gave me the motivation to focus my energy on taking better pictures, creating unique content and reading about SEO. Thanks to a very supportive husband, I was able to quit school and my full time job in retail to fully focus on my blog. What can I say – I fell deeply, madly in love with food blogging!
Since then, Pickled Plum and myself have grown tremendously. I’ve published over 550 recipes and finally feel confident that I can earn a comfortable living from it.
Why I am sharing this with you
The reason why I decided to publish monthly income reports is to show you that making money online can be done. Some blogs find success right out of the gate while others take longer to develop and find their voice. Mine was in the latter category. It took patience, perseverance and lots of coffee to get here. It wasn’t an easy climb but it was worth every drop of sweat! Whether you already are a blogger or are thinking of getting started, I hope I can help you navigate through all the steps and hurdles of blogging a little more easily. And just like the bigger blogs that were there to motivate me when I needed a lift (just looking at their earnings was inspiring enough!), I hope I can do the same for you!
BLOG INCOME REPORT FOR AUGUST 2016
*Please note some of the links below are affiliate links.
- AdThrive: $2,418
- Sponsored Posts: $1,525
- Amazon Associates: $152.24
- Swoop: $119.60
- Shareasale: $30.49
- Adsense: $29.22
- Ebooks: $18
- Sovrn: $6.46
- SiteGround Hosting: $54
- Tailwind: $10
- Active Campaign: $59.50
- Buffer: $10
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $10
- OptinMonster: $8.25
- Vaultpress: $5
- Cloudflare: $11.95
AUGUST 2016 NET PROFIT: $4,130.31
August was about the same as last month in terms of traffic although we did see a dip during the last few days of the month. That was to be expected since most people will try to take one last vacation before the first day of school. Overall August was stable and with September here, we should start seeing a rise in traffic.
TOP TEN TRAFFIC SOURCES
Finding the motivation to keep going
Last month I received a few emails and comments talking about how hard it can be to stay motivated when you have a blog that’s growing at a snail’s pace. Believe me, I’ve been there and with every goal I reach, I feel the same amount of worry and stress for what’s coming next. When will we hit the half a million page views mark? When will we be able to make enough not to worry about money every month? How come other blogs make more money/ get more traffic than mine? What am I doing wrong here?
These are all questions I often think about but try not to focus on. Here’s the thing: you are different than me and I’m different than you and all the other bloggers out there. We all have unique talents and views on life and food and that’s a good thing otherwise only one of us would be making money. I fell in love with this video Chelsea Handler recorded for Elle magazine because I think it applies for so many situations in life.
In it she says “what you have no one else has, so there will be a place for you. Don’t think that because someone got something, that you are not going to get something else. There’s room for everybody.”
I 100% believe this to be true. When we begin to lose motivation which happens to all of us, and when the voice of doubt inside our head becomes louder than the voice of reason, it’s important to stop for a minute and take account of all the work we have accomplished. I know it can be hard: you have been publishing recipes for months and barely see a rise in traffic and/or income growth. It’s hurtful and makes you wonder if anyone is interested in what you are sharing. This happened to me during the first two years of blogging and sadly, I let it affect me quite deeply.
I tried going more mainstream with the recipes I created instead of sticking to what I truly enjoyed eating. I felt like I was banging my head against a wall trying to figure out the secret to having a successful blog. Blogging wasn’t pleasurable anymore and I think my decision to go mainstream slowed me down because I no longer enjoyed cooking. Instead of looking at the 50 or more recipes I had created, a mention in Bon Appetit magazine, features in Buzzfeed, The Cooking Channel and The Kitchn, recipes published in a Swiss newspaper, I saw failure and nothing else. I had tunnel vision and could only see what I did not have instead of what I did. If you recognize yourself while reading this, I’m here to tell you to stop this non sense right now! The simple fact that you turned your dream of having a food blog into a reality is worth a high five. Many people go through life unable to have the strength to do what you did because of fear of failure. Good for you! Now, write these four questions down, answer them and keep that piece of paper close to your heart. Next time you feel down on yourself, pick it up and read it – it will remind you of why you are working so hard toward your goal(s).
- Why did I want to start a food blog? Remember why you wanted a blog in the first place.
- What am I proud of? Moments that happened with my blog that made me happy and proud.
- If your daughter (or son) was the one with a food blog and felt down or unmotivated, what would you tell her (or him)?
- If I give up on my blog, will I regret my decision? Why?
Tailwindapp Tribe and Pinterest
Lastly, I want to talk about the new feature in Tailwindapp called Tribe. For those unfamiliar with Tailwindapp, it’s a program that lets you schedule pins ahead of time with plenty of analytics to help you see which pins are successful. I have been using Tailwindapp for almost two years because it’s very easy to set up and I only need to go in once or twice a week schedule my pins.
Since Pinterest’s February algorithm update, many of us saw a significant drop in traffic. The new rule states that we all must share each other’s content (as opposed to only your own) in order to show up on other people’s boards. That can be time consuming if you have to search and pin various content from other people – and we all know how busy blogging can be! That’s where Tailwindapp Tribe comes in and makes things easy for you. Instead of having to browse Pinterest for pins to share, you can now invite bloggers into your own tribe and share each other’s content. I have been doing so with a few other bloggers and have seen an increase in traffic!
Setting up Tribe is easy and only takes a few minutes. You can invite food bloggers through Tailwindapp, Facebook or via email. Make up your own rules and requirements and create your own tribe! What I like about it is that you don’t have to go outside Tailwindapp to find content to share. Plus, it’s nice to know that the favor is being returned every time you share someone’s content that’s part of your tribe. It’s more fair and advantageous for everybody!
And that’s it for August!
If you have any questions or tips to share, please leave them in the comments section. I’d love to hear from you!