Hola! It’s me, Shannon, checking in from the blog income plateau. And yes, I realize I skipped a couple of months of income reports. But I can assure you that nothing exciting happened whatsoever in terms of my income and expenses :D.
January is historically a great month for vegan blogs – I saw a record number of page views (about 250,000). *Unfortunately*, January is historically a piss poor month for ad revenue. Womp womp! If I had 250,000 page views in December I probably would have made $3,000 that month.
BUT. I knew this was coming, and so I strategized. Here are some things I focused on in January:
- Make it easy for new visitors to my site to figure out where to sign up for my email newsletter. This has worked! My week-over-week signups as a percentage of page views are tripled. This is all thanks to switching to Mailchimp and using customized versions of their sign-up forms.
- I started using Facebook ads more heavily. I’ve grown my Facebook following by over 2,000 people since the beginning of the year thanks to targeted Facebook ads.
Even though I’m not raking in the ad revenue from these additional followers just yet, it’ll compound on itself slowly. January was the perfect month to spend time on growing my following rather than growing my page clicks.
A look back at January
In January, I published 2 new recipes and one round-up. Honestly, I have more recipes ready but didn’t have time to create and publish posts for them :(.
The first new recipe was my sticky sesame cauliflower, which has been a big hit! I’m absolutely stoked about all of the Instagram remakes I’m seeing. This recipe is great, and deserves all of its success.
The second was my warming potato and pineapple curry. This has performed “medium”.
Total income: $1,765.53
Total expenses: $203.59
I enabled Swoop again this month because I was anticipated the usual January income dip. Obviously, I only made a few dollars from it. I reviewed metrics from the first half of 2016 when I last used Swoop, and January and February didn’t show many impressions, whereas both impressions and revenue ticked up considerably in the next few months. It doesn’t seem to be slowing down my site noticeably so I’ve decided to leave Swoop in place for now until I reach the $100 threshold again.
I started using Pixsy this month to help me target people who are using my content illegally. I was especially upset that a website had stolen a picture of my vegan meatballs and was using it to promote a non-vegan recipe! Pixsy streamlines the process of filing takedown notices and even taking legal action; as well, they use reverse image searching to present you with a list of possible copyright violations, so you don’t even have to find those yourself. The weirdest one so far was a supermarket in the Czech Republic using my hummus picture to promote the hummus sold at their in-store deli counter. A Malaysian food delivery service also stole the exact same picture. Just bizarre!
Now that I’m paying MailChimp for my email newsletter service, I’ve been putting a lot more effort into the newsletters to make them valuable without totally discouraging people from clicking through to my website. On top of what I already do to write a blog post itself, I generally spend another 30-45 minutes or more creating the newsletter for that blog post. Add it to my infinite to-do list that comes after publishing a new recipe! But I hope in the coming weeks and months I’ll reap the fruits of this labor.
See you next month!