I’m writing this Blog Income: Monthly Income Report to show you (and myself) that just because you have a chronic illness does not mean that you can’t have your own successful business.
As someone that’s been sick for a lot of years, I always struggle to balance my time between work, family, and rest. Being sick is a full time job sometimes which makes finding time for anything really difficult. However I truly believe that chronic illness shouldn’t hold me back from living a full life, and that includes bringing in a meaningful income to help contribute to my household finances. Showing up to an office building for a typical 9-5 doesn’t fit my health needs or the needs of my family. I need a business with potential for growth but one that will allow flexibility to fit my health needs. Your typical 9 to 5 just won’t cut it. I truly believe that blogging (and the different revenue streams that go along with it) will allow me that flexibility and potential for growth.
I have three goals for this income report.
- To inspire others. To show you that anyone can start their own successful business regardless of their health. Being sick shouldn’t stop you from living your life. Helping others is one of the reasons I started this blog in the first place. My income posts are just another way to do that I can help set an example for others that may be struggling.
- To prove I can succeed. I also need to prove it to myself that I can be successful in business regardless of my health. Being sick has taught me that I’m stronger, smarter and tougher than I ever thought I could be. This blog is just another mountain that I need to climb. I will do this, in spite of my illness. I won’t let being sick derail what has become my passion.
- To track my achievements. Taking the time to write this post every month will ensure that I set aside some time every month to track my achievements and let go of the things that aren’t serving me any longer.
If you’re here just for the food, check out my Baked Italian Meatball recipe. It’s delish.
I was inspired by the income reports from Root and Revel, 40 Aprons and Pinch of Yum. They all started from zero. With hard work, they were able to make a full time income (and beyond). None of these people have chronic illness (that I’m aware of) so I feel like I can inspire a whole new group of woman as I grow my blog and income.
At this point, I’ve been blogging under thehonestspoonful.com for about 2 years. My family always comes first and my young son (Tyler, age 3) still requires a lot of attention and I only have childcare about 3 days a week. That means I’m only working about 10 hours a week, if that. It’s not always reliable as life has a tendency to get in the way (sick kiddo, appointments, sick days, etc.).
Let’s look at the numbers for April
Total Income: $787.21
- Beautycounter $599.46
- Reward Style $13.89
- Ebooks $23.86
- Freelance (Includes guest posting, photography, etc.) $150
- Scout and Cellar $0
Total Expenses: $141.20
- Website/Tech/Tools (Cloudways, Vaultpress, Tailwind, Kartra, etc) $110.99
- Courses and Education (Food Blogger Pro, SEO Audit, etc) $18.75
- Office Supplies $11.46
Net Profit $646.01
Traffic Overview: 17,659 pageviews
Top Traffic Sources
I was an early adopter of Pinterest and it’s been a top source of traffic from the beginning. Now I use Tailwind to schedule my pins and it saves a ton of time. It's also helped me stay consistent in posting and reach almost 2 million viewers every month. I highly suggest Tailwind! If you'd like to check out my Pinterest page, click here.
However, I’m not a fan of relying so heavily (almost 50%) on one traffic source. I’m looking to grow my traffic from google by focusing on SEO. I’ll talk more about that later on.
I’m actually shocked at how much traffic I receive from facebook. I didn’t even start my facebook page until a few months ago and it only has a handful of recipes on it. I do contribute to other facebook groups so my recipes are floating around but it’s not a focus for me yet. However, I think it would be beneficial to focus on it in the future. If you’d like to give my facebook page some love, click here.
Top 5 Posts on Bonaippetit.com
- Vietnamese Pickled Vegetables
- Chicken and Bok Choy Turmeric Stir Fry
- Best Chopped Salad
- Shrimp Bok Choy and Turmeric Soup
- Dill Cucumber Chips
Total Followers: 4059
Engagement rate: approximately 3%
3% is a pretty average engagement rate for Instagram. While I'd like to see my followers increase to 10k so that I can get the swipe up feature in stories I'm not actively trying to gain more followers. Again, I think instagram will grow as my blog grows. If you'd like to follow me on instagram, click here.
Domain Authority is a search engine ranking score developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engine result pages (SERPs). A Domain Authority score ranges from one to 100, with higher scores corresponding to a greater ability to rank.
As you can see, I only have 1 ranking keyword and about 1,000 inbound links. If I want to increase my DA and my blog traffic, this will need to change. This just confirms that I need to focus on SEO. Although I’m happy about my domain authority being so high compared to more successful bloggers like Root + Revel who as of May 2019 has a domain authority of 52. My DA hasn’t changed much in the last year so I’m hoping that when I focus on SEO that number will rise.
Last year this time, I was making $0 so this is a HUGE improvement. The majority of my income is from Beautycounter, which I started in May 2018. I had zero confidence that I’d be able to make any money from this business back then. I didn’t think that I would be healthy enough to make this work for me but I was pretty determined. I just keep talking about it and after a few months it started paying off. It’s nice to look back 11 months later and see my growth.
Beautycounter had a site wide sale this month, which was an incentive for a lot of people to make purchases. I also have an amazing team of female entrepreneurs that I’m so honored to work with. We all see spikes in our income during these types of events.
Beautycounter has given me the confidence to dig in and turn this blog into a business. I love the flexibility and ability to work at home so that I can take care of my son and myself. Not to mention that my goal of helping other aligns with their mission. If you’re looking for a way to work from home but do it on your time, I high suggest joining Beautycounter as a consultant. If you’d like more info on becoming a consultant, click here to check out the Beautycounter website.
You may have noticed that I don’t currently have an ad network listed on my site. This month I actually removed my old ad network because it was slowing down my site beyond what is reasonable. It was actually preventing my site from growing. My goal is to get to 35,000 sessions (I’m currently at about 15k) by the end of the year so that I can sign up with Mediavine. I’m pretty sure I could almost double my income just by using an ad network. That’s why SEO is my number one blog goal right now.
Since the purpose of this income report is to pull the curtain back on how someone with a family and chronic illness can make a living as a blogger, I thought speaking about my health was a necessary addition.
I had a minor dental surgery in March 2019. This was the second of three surgeries that I need. The first one brought on systemic candida which took 9 months to get out of my system and brought my weight down to a dangerous 100 pounds.
I went into this surgery feeling fantastic. The surgery went well and I had significantly less pain than the first. However, within a week of the surgery; I was starting to see systemic candida symptoms. My doctor confirmed that it was back in April. Needless to say, I’ve been fatigued and dealing with GI issues as well as brain fog. It’s been difficult to string more that a few good days together. Even when I have time to work, it’s been difficult to focus.
Number of hours worked: About 10 hours a week.
To calculate your Revenue Per Mille (RPM), you’ll need to divide the revenue earned by your page views. So, basically your RPM is what you make for ever 1,000 page views.
Traffic is a great way to make revenue from you blog however; it’s not the only way. It’s nice to calculate your RPM to really show that you don’t need lots of traffic to make an income from your blog.
$20 is a pretty average RPM for a food blogger so I’m happy that I’m slightly above average. I see this growing as my traffic grows. I’m not setting any specific goals to increase my income but focusing mostly on strategic goals (Focus on SEO, Beautycounter, etc.) that will help my income grow in the long term.
What I focused on this month
My primary goals were to focus on content and beautycounter. For me, it’s a combination of short terms goals (what will bring in income now) combined with long term goals (what will bring me income in the future). The blog itself doesn’t make much income yet however, Beautycounter does.
In regards to content, I’m working on making the best content possible. I’m trying to elevate the quality of my photos as well as the written content. I want each post to be packed with useful information along with a really delicious recipe that works. I take the AIP community seriously and don’t want anyone leaving here disappointed. Or feeling like their precious time, energy (people with chronic illness have limited energy) and money (specialty flours and high quality whole foods can get expensive) have been wasted. This is why I’m only doing one recipe a week. I’d love to do more in the future but right now; this is what I can handle.
Goals for May 2019
There’s a Beautycounter Incentive Trip happening in October and I’d like to be there. It’s going to be a challenge to earn the points required to go but I think I could do it. It’s going to take me far far far outside my comfort zone but that’s where growth happens.
I signed up for an SEO audit 6 months ago and it’s finally happening in May. I’m so excited because SEO might as well be a foreign language. However, I know that it’s the key to increasing my traffic. This would definitely help me reach my yearlong goal of 35k sessions so that I can add Mediavine as my ad network.
This post is a BEAST. It’s full of info and took hours to pull together. Did you find it helpful, inspiring or useful? I’d love to know your thoughts on if I should continue posting my monthly income reports.
I welcome any questions or insights in the comments below or via email me, firstname.lastname@example.org.