Hello again! Thank you as always for visiting and (hopefully) learning with me. If this is your first stop-in, I’m April and I’ve been blogging here since 2008. Just this past year though, I decided to switch gears from hobby blogger to can-I-make-a-career-out-of-this blogger. Inspired by Pat Flynn, I decided to document and publish my progress along the way in the hopes that it would be helpful to others.
Also, if we’re being honest, to help keep myself accountable. If you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to hit me up in the comments or send an email. If you just want to see the money deets, scroll on down!
May was kind of a weird month. It was a horrible, no-good, very bad traffic month. In fact, it was my lowest page views since starting this journey last August. Yuck. That being said, it was kind of a great business month, showing the third highest earnings since last August. Which doesn’t sound terribly impressive until you consider the fact that May is smack dab in the middle of Q2 with zero big holidays and very little advertising oompf. (That’s a technical term). So, while I definitely need to work on the traffic issue, I’m still not displeased with how things panned out this month.
Yay! After much hurrying up and waiting along with some technical issues, we’re finally mobile responsive and up and running with PadSquad! I have to say, while I was discouraged by my initial contact with customer service (I was told that after getting through the long wait my blog wasn’t even compatible. what? uhg!), they turned it all around and worked really hard at getting my blog fully functioning on the mobile platform. It’s only been a short while, but so far I’m very pleased with the results. And despite being crazy busy, Paul (Hi, Paul!) my liaison at PadSquad, is super helpful and quick to get back to me when I have questions.
I’m still with The Blogger Network (TBN) as well and a pleasant and unexpected outcome of moving a large portion of my traffic to a mobile theme and mobile served ads is that my eCPM with TBN nearly doubled. Which tells me, maybe my account was oversold before. The move does not seem to have affected my rates with Gourmet Ads, Infolinks or Adsense.
Influencer Networks/Sponsored Campaigns
Yay! I was contacted by a new company to work with them on campaigns! It’s not an influencer network, so I can’t give you a link to join, but I can say that if you’re ever contacted by Lunchbox/Unilever, take their call (or email as it were). They were wonderful to work with and I’m very hopefully that I will have more campaigns with them in the future.
I also had a few campaigns with Izea and several with Social Fabric this month. It really was a busy month considering where we are on the calendar. No complaints from me, though!
The big shift for me on social media this month is that I’ve been talking to other bloggers with better traffic about how they entice readers to their sites. It turns out, pinning your own content is just as important as pinning others.
Allyson from Domestic Superhero has been letting me pick her brain (seriously, folks. make friends with other bloggers.) and she suggested pinning and scheduling my own content to big shared boards. I’m not part of too many large share boards, so I think this may be a bit of a process.
Facebook continues to do well. Not as well as if I dedicated more time, but I still have a very active and engaged audience. If you’re struggling with Facebook, I would encourage you to check out my articles: Why Your Facebook Page Sucks and What You Can Do About It, and 25 Statuses to Get Your Facebook Audience Engaged. Also look up Holly Homer on YouTube, she’s basically the queen of Facebook success for bloggers.
Yummly is still a small, but consistent source of traffic as is StumbleUpon. I continue to be baffled by Twitter’s success and Google+’s existence.
I’m still throwing big puffy hearts at Mad Mimi. I don’t get huge traffic from my mailing list, but I still think it’s a good thing to have. I love that it takes zero effort from me. After setting up the drip campaigns and RSS parameters, the emails just go out like magic. And… AND… I added an affiliate link for Buck Books to the bottom of my RSS emails. So cross your fingers, because if I get conversions from that, then it would offset the price of the email service. Which, yay! (I feel like we’re yay’ing a lot today. Hopefully you don’t mind.)
Look away. Please.
Aside from adding BuckBooks to my RSS feed, I haven’t done or learned anything new here. Sorry.
I’m just going to make a list here of resources for now, but at some point I’ll have an ongoing post to point you toward rather than burying this stuff in an income report. Some links are affiliate links.
Mad Mimi (email marketing)
GoDaddy (web hosting)
Gleam (pop up captures, contest entry hosting, etc)
Hello Bar (bar at the top of your website for promoting posts/gathering data)
Shareaholic (easy share/print buttons)
Conversions Box (Facebook like popup)
PicMonkey (online photo editing)
Canva (ebook/pamphlet/poster creator)
Swanky Prints (vinyl backdrops/fake wood)
Lowel Ego Lights (daylight mimicking photography light)
Canon Rebel xsi (my camera, I could write an entire post about my love for this camera)
Canon 40mm lens (best. lens. ever.)
Fiverr (hire help starting at $5/task)
Social Fabric/Collective Bias (influencer network)
Izea/Social Spark (influencer network)
Blogher/Sheknows (influencer network)
Clever Girls/Fanny (influencer network)
Pollinate (influencer network)
One2One (influencer network)
Tapinfluence (influencer network)
Linqia (influencer network)
Sverve (influencer network)
Tomoson (influencer network)
Find Your Influence (influencer network)
Link Vehicle (influencer network & affiliate hub)
Markerly (influencer network)
Business2Blogger (influencer network/job board)
Pinterest for Business (social media)
StumbleUpon Ads (social media)
Tailwind (Pinterest scheduler/social media)
PubExchange (traffic exchange network)
BuckBooks (affiliate marketing for inexpensive books)
Amazon Affiliates (affiliate program for Amazon merchandise)
Share-a-Sale (affiliate marketing hub)
Affiliate Window (affiliate marketing hub)
E-junkie (affiliate marketing hub)
Commission Junction/CJ Affiliate (affiliate marketing hub)
Gourmet Ads (advertising network)
The Blogger Network (advertising network)
Infolinks (advertising network)
Adsense (advertising network)
Adthrive (advertising network)
Padsquad (mobile advertising network)
Food Blogger Pro (food blogging course)
How to Grow Your Blog, Advice from 30 Top Bloggers (ebook)
How to Grow on Twitter (ebook)
Blogging on the Side (ebook)
Tasty Food Photography (ebook)
Pat Flynn Podcasts (podcasts on blogging/earning money online)
Thoughts and Things to Do:
This really hasn’t changed since last month, so I’m just going to list them again. Maybe if I keep saying (typing) these things it will motivate me to actually DO them. Time continues to be my biggest enemy. But I think that’s pretty universal.
Here are a few things I definitely want to address before the end of the year:
- Minor site redesign (cleaning things up a little more and making them more streamlined).
- Bringing older posts up to date.
- Exploring more affiliate options.
- Finishing the ebook.
Here are a few longer term goals:
- Getting a YouTube channel up and running – adding recipe slideshows and maybe some short cooking demonstrations.
- Putting together a series of ebooks and an affiliate network to sell them.
- Hiring a second VA to take care of additional administrative items and for submitting posts to food sites.
- Starting and selling a line of Mama Loves Food merchandise.
How about you? Did you try something new this month that worked? Do you have any questions about what’s happening here? Hit me up in the comments!
MAY 2015 – EARNED: $2,313.64
Money I earned during this month, but have not necessarily been paid yet. For example, most advertising companies don’t pay until 30 – 90 days after your impressions, and many sponsors don’t pay until your post has been live for 30 days.
Google Adsense: $14.62
The Blogger Network: $117.34
Gourmet Ads: $28.60
Social Fabric: $1,185.00
MAY 2015 – COLLECTED: $1,131.10
Money that actually made it into my pocket this month.
The Blogger Network: $171.19
Gourmet Ads: $39.23
Social Fabric: $1,131.10
MAY 2015 – EXPENSES: $366.12
Izea membership: $1.00
Groceries/post items: $103.56
Amazon book contest: $22.56
MAY 2015 – NET PROFIT: $764.98
MAY 2015 – TRAFFIC: 43,191
MAY 2015 – FACEBOOK:
- Likes: 2,715 (+49)
August 2014 – $227.49
September 2014 – $664.88
October 2014 – $797.11
November 2014 – $1,095.85
December 2014 – $2,880.00
January 2015 -$2,589.78
February 2015 -$1,231.07
March 2015 -$1,439.08
April 2015 – $1,331.40
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