Shannon checking in. For a few months now, I’ve been writing these monthly summaries about my website income and expenses, to hold myself accountable toward reaching my goals; and to give you a little window into my life moonlighting as a food blogger. About three years ago, when I started Yup, it’s Vegan, I would have been flabbergasted if you suggested I could even earn $100 in a single month. Last month, I broke my goal for the first time of making over $1,000 in a month, and next I’m shooting for $1,500.
July, unfortunately, was a retrogression from June. I chalk this up mostly to getting fewer pageviews on account of normal summer lull. But that’s okay! My rolling average is still going up, and life is good. July involved a whole lot of other stuff going on in my life so I’m grateful and amazed I could make a few hundred dollars from the website in the midst of that.
A look back at July
I published 3 new recipes and 1 roundup in July.
This roasted red pepper white bean hummus was a way for me to get a reliable recipe posted on the blog rapidly. I’ve made the recipe so many times I practically know it by heart. The lack of recipe testing needed meant that I could focus on styling the hummus and creating beautiful pictures. I love the setting and lighting on these photos. I love the recipe, too, of course. I’m definitely starting to wonder if hummus recipes are even worth posting anymore. There’s so many of them out there, they just don’t seem to get many views/recreations from readers.
My gallery of 30 one-pot vegan recipes has been a big hit. I’m sorta “known” for a few of the one pot recipes on my website so I thought this would be the perfect roundup to do while I didn’t have an oven or stove but wanted to post something new to the blog.
These avocado pesto zoodles are easy, healthy, and delicious. I’m a bit paranoid now that the photos aren’t visually appealing, as I expected this recipe to be much more popular than it has been. I asked a few people before posting it to confirm they agreed the photos look nice, but maybe they’re not everyone’s cup of tea. Regardless, it’s a great recipe, so I’ll just have to live with it.
I created a short guide to making stovetop cauliflower rice, mainly prompted by my teriyaki cauliflower rice bowls. In that recipe, I previously linked to an external website’s guidelines on cauliflower rice, and a lot of people were clicking to those guidelines. I realized there was an opportunity to keep that traffic within my own website, so I wrote up and published this recipe. Simple, easy, and doing surprisingly well on Pinterest!
Total Income: $935.66
Total expenses: $59.14
Honestly, I think the eBook was 29 lost dollars for me. I’ve already done plenty of research about food blog SEO and learned nearly nothing new. I think the eBook would be a fantastic resource for bloggers who haven’t looked into SEO yet, who haven’t done anything beyond use the basic settings of the Yoast SEO plugin, or maybe don’t even know what ‘SEO’ means. But otherwise, I’d pass. The majority of that information can be found elsewhere, if in not nearly as convenient of a form.
I didn’t make as much money from AdThrive in July as I did in June, but the CPM (roughly, the money made per pageview) was just about the same. I simply got significantly fewer pageviews in July than in June. This is normal in the summer for food blogs, as far as I understand. People are out and about, spending time with their kids, on vacation, etc., and just not cooking or browsing food blogs as much. For the people that do stick around and check out my website, I tried to provide easy, seasonal summer recipes, something I’m continuing with in August.
Also in August and beyond: I’m trying to focus on providing a few more ‘basics’ recipes that can be used within other recipes, as well as linked to as resources through my website. This will help promote overall SEO for Yup, it’s Vegan and encourage readers to stick around longer on my website. Finally, I’m currently putting the finishing touches (!!) on a free eBook that I’ll start offering to everyone who signs up for my email list. The eBook will go live in early September sometime. I’m also going to move over to Mailchimp email list hosting from the free Jetpack/Wordpress email list hosting, which means more expenses (boo) but way better-looking emails. I’m timing that move to happen concurrently with the eBook release so that I can be sure to most efficiently use my Mailchimp spending. 🙂
Aside from that, I’m re-tightening my focus on just providing quality recipes in general, and continuing to build a recipe catalogue that will keep people coming back to visit here. After spending a significant amount of time reorganizing the recipe index, site structure, and resource pages, I want to make sure recipes get just as much attention for the next few months.