As the Holiday season ramps up, September feels like a distant memory. I had to rack my brain trying to remember what happened this month! But none the less, I pulled everything together to create a September food blog income report.
If you’ve been following along with these reports, then you might have noticed August is missing. A lot of life happened that month. Nick and I bought our first house (yay!) so that entire month was taken up by moving and settling in.
I also took a tiny step back from blogging for a couple weeks in August. I wish I could say it was relaxing, but the stress of the blog was just replaced by the stress of the new home! But it did help to inspire me. I was feeling a bit of a burnout after the summer so now I’m back way more refreshed and ready to tackle the Holiday baking season! It’s my first one and it is MADNESS! …but in the best way possible.
All in all, nothing crazy happened with the blog that month. It was about the same as July. The only difference is that I FINALLY switched my hosting provider which I’ll get into a little later in this report.
This month my traffic reached an all time high! It could be due to the change in season as more and more people are starting to search for baking recipes. BUT it’s also most definitely due to one recipe in particular.
On September 17th, I updated one of my old posts and you can see the uptick in traffic specifically on that day.
My Pumpkin Bread with Maple Glaze just sat on my blog for an entire year…not really ranking anywhere and not gaining traction on Pinterest. As soon as I updated it with new photos and optimized for keywords, I jumped to the first page of Google for a very difficult keyword – “pumpkin bread”. I was shocked!
And so I have a theory…whenever a post does really well on Pinterest, it also jumps up in Google search rankings. Not always, but 90% of the time this is the case. And that pumpkin bread is getting pinned like crazy.
The influx of traffic to that post might be a ranking factor, as Pinterest is a trusted source. I don’t know if there’s any solid proof to back this but I’ve definitely seen a pattern on my end.
Either way, this jump in traffic is mainly due to that one post…which also has me concerned for when it’s out of season. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens!
These numbers really put me in my place. I’m constantly worrying about my ability to rank higher in Google because it is SO competitive…but looking back a year is a real eye opener.
Since September 2018, my search traffic has increased over 4,000%. What???? If that’s not motivation then I don’t know what is.
As I learn more and more about SEO, I find myself actually enjoying it. It’s like a game in a way, tweaking and adjusting to see what works and what doesn’t. I never thought my creative brain would find interest in something like this, but seeing something you built continue to grow is definitely rewarding.
Top recipes for September 2019
- Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
- Pumpkin Bread with Streusel
- Edible Brownie Batter Cookie Dough
- New York Cheesecake
- Soft and Chewy Sugar Cookies
- Mediavine Ad Network – $1,286.02 at $13.98 RPM
- Sponsored Content – $4,450.00
- Freelance Photography – $1,780.00
- Amazon Affiliate – $20.41
- WP Tasty Affiliate – $140.98
- Bluehost Affiliate – $195.00
- Replica Surfaces Affiliate – $24.02
Total Income – $7,896.43
The record high in traffic also carries over to my ad revenue. That spike in traffic helped, but my site speed is also a contributing factor.
In the middle of September, I parted ways with Bluehost and switched to Cloudways as my new hosting service. Bluehost is great for bloggers just starting out. It’s a great price point and there are TONS of video tutorials out there to help people like me that are pretty clueless when it comes to the backend of your site.
…Says the person who migrated their own site over to Cloudways (still patting myself on the back for that one).
But once I hit 100K monthly pageviews, my site slowed way down. On top of that, I just continue to add more and more images which weigh down my site. Since switching to Cloudways, it runs much smoother and I have a lot of flexibility as far as adjusting the service to grow with my blog. The only downside is that it’s about $30 extra a month compared to Bluehost.
I should also note it isn’t shown as an expense for this month because I was charged in October.
I also gained some traction with my affiliate sales this month. These aren’t the exact amounts that I actually MADE in September, but this is what was paid out. Bluehost is what I recommend in my post on How to Start a Food Blog which is where those sales come from. Again, it’s great for bloggers who are just starting out!
WP Tasty is the umbrella company for two plugins that I can’t live without – Tasty Recipes and Tasty Pins. Tasty Recipes what I use for the recipe card you see on every single blog post and Tasty Pins adds a description field to my images that is specifically for Pinterest.
- Baking Supplies – $91.31
- SEMrush – $99.95
- Sitelock – $50.00
- Food Blogger Pro Membership – $29.00
- Mailchimp – $50.00
- Adobe Photography Plan – $10.78
Total Expenses – $331.04
Nothing crazy here, other than the lower-than-average amount of baking supplies. September and August were both a little crazy for me between moving and settling into the new house. I didn’t bake as much in both months which is why I didn’t spend my typical $200-$300 on ingredients.
If you’d like to see a full breakdown of each expense, visit my first income report: May 2019 Food Blog Income Report. The only item not mentioned in there is my Food Blogger Pro membership. This is a great resource for food bloggers that contains tons of tutorials, live Q&A’s, boot camps, and more.
Net Income – $7,565.39
Another great month in the books! If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask in the comments below.