Welcome once again to our monthly income and traffic report!
I know this one is long overdue. It is because we transferred to a different Ad Network and their reporting takes some time to get finalized. You can read more about that below.
We decided to do this to give you a glimpse into what is going on ‘behind the posts’ at Foxy Folksy and for us to keep track of the developments on our attempt in making Foxy Folksy an income-generating blog. 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.
Foxy Folksy has been up and running since January 2014 but only as a hobby blog. This means I was just posting articles whenever I was in the mood, like twice in a month or so. We only really started thinking that maybe we could make some earnings from it in early months of 2016. You can see how Foxy Folksy was doing in the months from my first income report.
Another thing worth mentioning, I guess, is that we are not in the United States. We are currently based in Germany 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 July:
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 - $123.30
- BlogHer (SheKnows) - $433.45
- Youtube - $54.17
- Gourmet Ads - $16.95
- Monumetric - $239.93
- Sovrn - $18.57
- Swoop - $2.89
- Amazon Associates- $25.19
- ShareASale - $20.02
- Hostgator - $0 --> this is from affiliate links on the page: How to create a blog
Total Income: $934.65
- Hostgator - $11.84
- Boardbooster - $20.00
- Monthly Giveaway - $58.89
- Food Blogger Pro - $23.25
- Facebook Ads - $2.00
- Mailchimp - $25.00
Total Expenses: $140.98
NET INCOME: $793.67
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 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.
RPM FOR THE PAST 12 MONTHS:
FACEBOOK : 2,574(up by 287)
INSTAGRAM : 5,585 (down by 107) ☹️
PINTEREST : 4,878 (up by 242)
TWITTER : 2,790 (up by 194)
YOUTUBE : 1,805 (up by 398)
EMAIL : 2,056 (up by 363)
- July's page views are up by 16.11% from 155,070 to 180,056. I can't say how happy we are to be out of the stagnant state that we were for the last four months. After the big jump from 116,831 in February to 152,596 in March, we seem to have been stuck at 150k+ Page views until now. I mean, I am thankful that it is holding up but our goal is to increase traffic and growth that would result to increase in income if all goes well. In the comparative graph below, you will see that the increase was brought by the increase in organic traffic and that is good, which means we are showing in the searches and that people are clicking on our URLs when they are looking for certain keywords. We also noticed that Pinterest traffic is finally back on track and is going up again.
- We had a total of 10 posts for July! Which is still good and well within the 10-12 target considering the busy/hectic schedule we have. My parents were here for a month from mid-July to mid-August. So that meant Armin and I were on the road or somewhere else most of the time, having short trips and vacation. Yes, I know you are thinking how can I say 'busy and hectic' when we are having a vacation. But believe me, it was! I had to write some posts in advance and schedule them ahead and that means cooking/baking double time too!
- Income for the month has gone up by 11% but with a slight decrease in RPM from $5.43 to $5.21! The increase in income is, of course, attributable to the increase in page views. But the decrease in RPM is a bit trickier to explain. I am sure it is caused by a major change we made with our Ad Network partner. More about it below.
- Youtube Earnings is still growing as we add more video on our Youtube channel. Youtube videos can also be a source of income thru Ads from Adsense. Unfortunately, I was not able to add new videos this month...ooopppsss! Yup, too less time.
- What's new! So, as I mentioned above (several times) and on last month's report, that we decided to move to another Ad Network. We left Monumetric and we are now with BlogHer.
Being a blogger outside the US, our opportunities are quite limited as compared to those who are in US. We do not get sponsorship deals. This is because even though most of our traffic comes from US (about 40% up), the US brands will not send products all the way to Germany when there are hundreds or even thousands of bloggers in the same country. German brands will also not sponsor us because I do not have so much German traffic. Our hope is that maybe once we are in the Philippines, we could finally work with local brands and maybe US brands as US products are easier to procure there than it is here.
So our main source of income is from Ads. But again, our situation is not ideal and to get approval from Ad Networks that are supposed to pay really well like Mediavine and Adthrive is more difficult. This is confirmed by a blogger friend, Lalaine from Kawaling Pinoy. Yes, I am talking about that Filipino food blog! I am so glad I reached out to her and that we are now friends. I was super excited to learn that we share the same dialect, we are both Kapampangans! She is the greatest! She gave me a lot of advice and one of them was about moving to BlogHer. She is now with Adthrive but she used to partner with Monumetric and then BlogHer. She even helped my case with Adtrive but since they only accept blogs that have at least 100K US traffic so I have to wait until I meet this requirement and we would try again.
So why move to BlogHer? I was actually skeptic at first because of some bad write-ups I read mostly pertaining to their exclusivity clause. I mean, when I started blogging, my dream was to be able to join BlogHer because all the big bloggers were with BlogHer! I was actually accepted to their publisher program almost at the same time I was accepted by Monumetric last year. I chose Monumetric because I didn't want an exclusive contract which BlogHer requires for 6 months, that means no working with other Ad Networks (affiliates are OK)! While I was working with Monumetric, I also worked with Adsense, Gourmet Ads, Swoop and SOVRN. Then, Lalaine shared her experience with both networks and said that in her case BlogHer gave her better RPM than Monumetric. Now, the choice was to be tied to one single network that pays higher RPM or to be with a non-exclusive network so I can have the freedom to look for other sources.
In the end, Armin and I decided to jump ship and give BlogHer a try. Good thing we didn't have to go thru the complete process and waiting time and BlogHer took us in again after asking nicely. We gave Monumetric our 30-day notice on the 12th of July and they were very understanding about it. We were supposed to keep their Ad tags up on our site until 10th of August but I explained that we will be on vacation and I will not be around at that time to facilitate the removal. They told me this is doable but with the corresponding fee. I know this before I signed the contract of course. It's a $0.20 eCPM fee based on the last 60 days performance, or (Total Impressions/1000)x.2. I asked for an estimate and they obliged. The fee was computed based on our impressions from May 13th-July 11, (1,243,045 impressions/1000)x.2= $248.61. Since we didn't have much choice we took it and told BlogHer to put up their ads ASAP and they were up on the 17th July. They did all the work and was fast too.
Not so strict after all. I would also like to share that before I gave the final go, I asked BlogHer for an estimated computation of possible earnings based on our current traffic and they gave us a sample computation. Additionally, because of our special case (Non-US blogger with only about 40% US traffic), they made an exception for us from their exclusivity clause. They allowed us to have 1-3 strategically placed Ads from Adsense!!! Are they not so nice?!
So we will see in the following months if this is the right move or not.
- What is next! Nothing much blog-wise! We now only have about two weeks left before the big move so I am not making any other plans at the moment. Have to schedule some more post for the month ahead, pack stuff for shipping, pack our luggages, prepare Sietema and her papers, sell or give stuff away, say goodbye to friends...so you know...busy, busy, busy!
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.