Hi All! I know it is quite delayed but here it is! This year's first month's traffic and income report!
In this report, we will talk about our new theme, our new email marketing service, moving to a new Ad Network and meeting a very special person. If you can not wait to read about it, just skip directly to the bottom part of this post.
Why do we do this?
This is a way for us to keep a record on the growth and development of Foxy Folksy, a blog that has become a source of income. In these reports, we not only share the financial side of blogging but also the ins and outs of blogging itself. Hopefully, sharing this will also help others who are interested in creating their own blog or those who are also trying to find their way in making money from their existing blog by learning from our mistakes and successes.
I started Foxy Folksy in January 2014 but only as a hobby blog. Not until late in 2016 did we decide to do it full-time and see if we could make some earnings from it.
Here is a recap of from that time up to present:
Another thing worth mentioning is that we are not in the United States. We moved to the Philippines from Germany in 2017 but most of our traffic is coming from the US and then, second, from the Philippines. Why do I have to mention this? Simply because I am starting to learn that the opportunities for US-based bloggers are different for bloggers in my situation. I am also following some food bloggers who publish their monthly income reports but all I was able to find so far are US-based bloggers. It is a good way to get ideas where they get their income, sure, but some of their sources or advice are not applicable to me, a Non-US-based blogger. So I am trying to share the things that are working for me and those that did not.
Below are the numbers for the month of January :
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links and all of the products listed below are products and services I have personally used or still using.
- Adsense - $121.03
- BlogHer (SheKnows) - $674
- Youtube - $52.31
- Amazon Associates- $28.48
- ShareASale - $0
Income from Ads: $847.34
Income from Affiliates: $28.48
Total Income: $875.82
- Hostgator Hosting + domain - $26.84
- Boardbooster - $20.00
- Monthly Giveaway - $34.56
- Food Blogger Pro - $23.25
- Mailchimp - $45.00
- MS Office 365 Home subscription - $7
Total Expenses: $156.65
NET INCOME: $719.17
These are actual screenshots from Google Analytics:
RPM FOR THE MONTH:
What is RPM you say? Well simply put, it is how much you earn per 1000 Pageviews and you calculate it with this formula:
(revenue / pageviews) x 1000
Why is it important? Well, it is a simple way of tracking how the blog is performing from month to month when it comes to generating income. With this, you are also able to compare your own performance to other bloggers who are also publishing their income reports. The goal is, of course, to get this number to increase or in the least stable. A decrease in RPM means some improvement in your income strategy is needed.
Our RPM computation only includes revenue from Ads as these are the income that is directly associated with the number of page views. Commissions from affiliates are excluded as these are earnings from a sale which has nothing to do with the increase or decrease in page views.
RPM FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS:
FACEBOOK : 4,495(up by 230)
INSTAGRAM : 6,805 (up by 30)
PINTEREST : 5,543 (up by 104)
TWITTER : 3,569 (up by 133)
YOUTUBE : 4,721 (up by 486)
EMAIL : 4,731 (up by 485)
- January's page views decreased by 5.23% from 262,977 to 249,222. This is nothing unusual in the first month of the year, actually, the decrease in PV after December is expected in the following months.
- Income decreased by a whopping 54%! Although it was expected to see a fall in income for this month, however, this is definitely too much. January's RPM is the lowest ever for the same month over the past years since we started handing over the management of our ads to an Ads network. This is all I am allowed to say (I am not sure I am even allowed to say it) but due to the recent events, we decided that it is time to move on. Read more below.
- The total number of posts for January is 8. Still below the 10-12 monthly target.
- New Theme. So I mentioned in my last report that we moved to a new web host, Cloudways. It has been great and I cannot really complain about anything. At the same time, we also moved to HTTPS.
And just last March we finally changed into an awesome new theme. After comparing a lot of different themes out there, even the famous ones that most food bloggers use, we decided to go with TOTAL THEME from WPEXplorer. I soooo love this theme!
It already has a lot of built-in functions and features that are not always available with other themes, that means lesser coding or plugins. I was able to rid of a lot of plugins using this theme.
It is also highly customizable and super easy to use because of its drag-and-drop function. I really love how I can make all the changes, like tweaking colors, fonts, layouts etc. and see a live preview of the changes before I save them and make the changes public. Awesome!
When I say that we compared this theme with the other more popular themes, I meant that we also tested for speed and all the important stuff you should be looking at when choosing a theme. We used tools like GTmetrix and WEBPAGETEST and not only did it do well, it did better than the other popular (food blog) themes.
When I bought the theme, which is, by the way, cheaper than the other more popular food blog theme, it also includes a 6 months author support which I have used and found very very good! I asked the author, AJ Clark, for a code that would enable me to call on the first image of the most recent post to show up on the homepage instead of the usual featured image and he obliged and gave more than what is asked. Most of the things I was looking for are already provided in their fantastic documentation, so I did not really need to ask a lot.
- New Email Marketing service. In our last report, I mentioned that we are looking for a cheaper alternative to MailChimp and I am very happy to say that we found it. We now use MAILERLITE! It is so easy to use and adding a sign-up form to your site via their plugin is a breeze. We also do not use Privy anymore because Mailerlite also has the pop-up form. They also have the RSS to email function and email automation. Everything that you need, really, and they make it so uncomplicated. I am so much happier with Mailerlite than I ever was with MailChimp, that is my honest opinion.
- New Ad Network! Like I mentioned above, we were a bit unhappy with our recent RPMs and we thought we could do better so we decided to find a different Ad Network. We tried our luck again with Adthrive last January but the answer was still the same from our first application. However, at the end of March things suddenly took a turn. We applied the second time with Mediavine and we got in! HURRAY! We signed the contract and started with them just last April. But there is another development...we will tell you in our next report about it.
- Something really exciting happened last March! I met up with another Filipina food blogger! Ok, not just any food blogger but, for me, she is 'THE Filipina Food Blogger'! Armin and I met Lalaine of Kawaling Pinoy in person, here in the Philippines! We had a scrumptious lunch together and there and then hit it off! She is one of the most generous, down-to-earth and true persons I have ever met. I love this woman to bits and pieces!
What's next :
- A new blog. I am excited to say that Lalaine and I are also cooking up a new blog, The Kitchen Chums is the chosen name and we are still in the process of designing and finalizing things. If all goes well, it be launched next month.
- We are using a new Recipe Plugin. More about that in the next report as this one is too long already! 🙂
That's it for now! Until the next reporting!
Thinking of starting your own blog, you may want to visit my blog post on How To Start A Blog with a checklist of the things you should know before actually creating one and How to create a Blog for the step-by-step procedures on building your blog. You may also want to check out my Resource Page for the tools you need for your blog.