Just getting in there on the last day of January for my December income report!!
December was a brilliant month for revenue and traffic. If only it could be the same every month….
If you’ve been blogging for a while, you’re probably aware that ad revenue in particular, is usually great in November and December, then it totally tanks in January.
It’s always a little heartbreaking to watch earnings plummet, so I find the best idea is to either –
- Concentrate on the year as a whole and compare it to the previous year
- Compare your current month to the same month last year – that’s where you should hopefully see continual growth.
In this report, I’m going to talk a little about:
- Income and outgoings for December 2016
- Traffic sources and audience location
- What’s been happening in December
- Plans for the next couple of months
Ok, let’s get down to the numbers for December. I really hope the info in this post gives you some insight and ideas if you’re new to blogging and monetization. Also check out my How to Start a Food Blog post if you are thinking about giving this blogging thing a go too!
Note – there are some links in this post that are affiliate links – which means that if you click on them and then sign up to the service/product I’ll get a small commission (at no extra cost to you of course). If you do click through then thanks!
Income (fyi – this info is based on earning reports and invoices for work done in the month of December, it’s not based on money that has actually come in yet, so there may be some variations based on things like paypal fees or exchange rate fluctuations):
- Freelance writing: £1354.62 ($1715.08)
- MediaVine: £2648.66 ($3353.45)
- Sponsored Work £600 ($759.66)
- Amazon Affiliate sales £74.27 ($94.03)
- Stock photography sales £71.76 ($90.85)
- FoodBloggerPro affiliate sales £45.51 ($57.62)
- Tailwind Affiliate £0 ($0)
- StudioPress Genesis Theme affiliate sales £0 ($0)
- How I earned $40k in my first year of blogging affiliate sales £7.88 ($9.98)
- Tasty Food Photography £12.09 ($15.31)
- The Food Photography book affiliate sales £0 ($0)
- You Tube Ads (just started my You Tube channel – check it out here) £1.04 ($1.32)
Total = £4815.83 ($6097.30)
Expenses (currently this includes regular payments for tools, membership fees and advertising but not inconsistent things like courses, trips and props):
Total = £185.79 ($236.39)
Net Profit = £4630.04 ($5860.91)
Yay! managed to hit 300k+ pageviews in December – that’s a new record for Kitchen Sanctuary (beating November by 29k views). Here’s a screenshot from Google Analytics for December. Notice the sharp dip on Christmas day!
Here’s a breakdown of my traffic sources based on the number of sessions. Pinterest is continuing to be my higher referrer, although google search is catching up a little.
Here’s the info on the location of my readers:
- KS hit 305,000 views – compared to 114,000 views in December 2015. Seeing the huge growth in traffic is really spurring me on to spend more time on the Kitchen Sanctuary, and see how I can make it grow and develop further this year.
- I’ve been shortlisted for the Pinterest UK food awards! Four of my pins were nominated (I’ve included the pins below). I’m going to the awards ceremony in London on Thursday and I can’t wait! Even if I don’t win anything, I’m really looking forward to catching up with some of my blogger buddies!
- Six more of my recipes were published in Superfood Magazine just after Christmas. I was also interviewed in the mag – which was very exciting 🙂
- I made the decision to slightly reduce my freelance work. I stopped a couple of regular pieces earlier on in 2016, and I decided it was time to stop one of my other regular pieces. Whilst I love doing freelance, it was one of my lower income streams in terms of freelance writing, but also quite a lot of work. It took me a couple of months to come to the decision, and I did also discuss working for an increased rate with the website owner initially, but that didn’t work out. Stopping at the end of November meant I had more time in December to meet my other deadlines and give me a much-needed week off over Xmas. It’s also allowing me to start getting back to 3 posts a week again on Kitchen Sanctuary and giving me the space to work on a few other projects that I’d been putting off.
Targets for 2017 – I won’t bore you with all of the details, but some of my targets include:
- Doing more regular videos. So far I’ve done a few, but without a kitchen, it was really difficult having somewhere to set up everything needed for a shoot. I’m hoping to start creating a lot more video content from about mid Feb (once the kitchen is completely finished and Chris has got more time to help me!)
- Finishing up the new kitchen – plus a kitchen reveal video
- Updating social media header photos (food-collage photos) – for Facebook and Twitter. I’m hoping this will help to attract new followers – especially when I promote some Kitchen Sanctuary adverts on those platform.
- Facebook ads in Feb – I haven’t done any ads on Facebook for a couple of months, so I’m trialing a month-long campaign (only £1 a day) in Feb, once I’ve updated my social media header image for Facebook.
- Instagram live – I’ve been a little slow on the Instagram front – just posting once or twice a week. I’d really like to grow my Instagram following in 2017, so I’m planning to do my first Instagram story video in January
- Tailwind for Instagram trial – on the same vein as above, I’m also trialing Tailwind’s new tool for scheduling Instagram posts. The fact that I can schedule in advance will mean I can do a chunk of Instagram a couple of times a week, instead of remembering to do something each evening (I find the best time to post on Instagram is late evening UK time). The scheduling tool is currently fully integrated with ios, but is a little trickier for android users (which I am). For android, you create and schedule the post, then it sends you a text when it’s time to post. From there, it’s about 4 or 5 simple button presses to publish. So whilst you do have to do something each time you want to post, it’s very simple and quick.
- Working out!! I’ve been a lazy, chocolate-scoffing lard ball for the past few months (blaming the extension and Christmas for that). It’s time to get back into shape!!
That’s all for the December report. I hope you’ve found this info helpful. Please let me know if there’s anything you want me to talk about in a future report. Just drop me a note in the comments