It’s time to wrap up 2014 with our December Traffic and Income Report. It’s already been six months since we launched HurryTheFoodUp, wow. In that time we’ve posted 35 recipes and recorded 21 videos.
Apart from that we’ve learned a shitload about blogging, photography, video making and last but not least….cooking!
In the beginning of November we set a goal: that by the end of December we would reach at least 500 visitors a day. At that time we had around 120 daily visits. That’s quite a jump – so did we make it? Yes, we did indeed! And so far it looks like January is going even better. In this post we’ll explain what we did.
Alright, as always let’s check out our Key Metrics Dashboard.
Key Metrics Dashboard
(If you want to learn a little more about the idea behind this dashboard, check out our Metrics For Food Blogger Pirates post).
As you can see in the image above, our total visitors more than doubled from 5993 in November to 13,878 in December. We think there are four reasons for this.
- All our recipes were holiday themed and suitable for Christmas or New Years.
- We posted more than double the amount of recipes in December (11) in comparison to November (5).
- Our efforts on Pinterest are starting to pay off even more.
- People just browse through more recipes in December; it’s holiday time and it’s cold outside!
Let me show you how our traffic is broken down in our top 10 traffic sources.
Top 10 Traffic Sources
We almost quadrupled our visits from google search. That’s absolutely amazing. We don’t really know why this happened, but we’re pretty sure it has to do with our recent efforts on Pinterest: the more our recipes get shared on Pinterest the more Google thinks they are relevant.
But since we also constantly stuck to the common SEO rules like well behaved boys, maybe this increase is the natural payoff.
Pinterest also almost doubled. I think this has mostly to do with constantly being active and having many more recipes to share in comparison to November. Dave was on fire. I think he only wanted to start this blog to show off his Christmas recipes. And I’m not sure if I just made a joke. (It’s true, I love Christmas food! – Dave).
Food Sharing Websites
We got lots of traffic from food sharing websites too. Same applies here: the more recipes you have, the more you can publish. Apart from that, Recipechart.com was kind enough to feature our Crowd Pleasing Potato Gratin. Thanks for that!
Facebook & Twitter
Most of our Facebook traffic comes from Recipechart’s Facebook page, not ours. Our efforts on the contrary, on both Facebook and Twitter, only lead to very few blog visits. As you can see twitter isn’t even on the top 10 list. When I look at the time I spent to prepare posts for these two channels I really have to wonder if it’s worth the effort.
All in all we’re very happy with December, and hitting our target of 500 visitors a day is a great feeling! A sweet as Christmas present that was, to be sure. Bam!
(We haven’t dropped below 500 again since the 30th of December, woohoo!)
Ok, since we’re on track regarding traffic, we want to focus a little more on the activation part in January.
With activation we refer to the behaviour of the visitor: The more she engages with our blog the more active she is.
There are various ways to measure the activity on your blog. To see how we’re doing I looked at our pageviews per visitor and also on our avg. session duration (see the top ten traffic sources chart).
I think our pageviews per visitor could be better than 1.39 and our avg. session duration of 59 seconds is also nothing amazing (see the top ten traffic sources chart). After all pinchofyum.com has on avg. 1.46 pageviews per visitor and an avg. session duration of around 1:10 minutes. Of course, there’s a lot more stuff to see, but still I think we have room for improvement 😉
So, our plan is to create a bad ass recipe directory. We also want to link our recipes better with each other (“Oh, you are looking for more soup recipes? Damn, then you should totally try out the red onion soup as well!”).
The idea behind it: the more relevant stuff people find on our website the more they will engage with us.
Nice Side Effect 1: With more pageviews we should also be able to generate more advertising revenue (and revenue is another topic we want to focus on this month).
Nice Side Effect 2: By better organizing our blog and better engaging our visitors google should like us even more and we might climb up a few more pageranks with some recipes. At least that’s how the theory goes.
By retention we refer to the amount of people who come back to our blog.
Well, this number is low. But it’s also no surprise since we had so many new visitors in December, which is why the returning user rate is lower compared to other months.
We’ll keep sending our newsletter, but apart from that we won’t touch this area for the time being.
We told ourselves that this will be the next big thing we tackle as soon as we reach 500 visitors a day. So now it’s time. And where else could I have invested our December revenue than in the book How To Monetize a Food Blog by Kiersten Frase from ohmyveggies.com?
Is it any good? Yep, I liked it and learned a fair bit. I made a short review of this book in our post 5 Popular Products For Food Bloggers.
Right now our RPM (Revenue per Thousand Impressions) is at around 1.30€ ($1.50) and there’s room for a lot of improvement.
This screams for a new challenge!
Increase RPM from 1.30€ to 4.30€ ($1.50 to $5) by the end of February!
But there are a few rules we will commit to:
- No aggressive advertising
- No affiliating or selling of products we don’t believe in
- No other kinds of shady rip off strategies to make a quick buck
After all Dave and I are in this because we want to inspire people and not piss them off. Otherwise we probably would have created a blog about how to make money with a blog (no offence, haha).
Cool, now you know what we’re going to wrap our heads around over the next couple of weeks.
And last but not least here is our earnings overview for December:
Total income: 27.44€ ($32.46)
Total expenses: -41.22€ (-$48.76)
Total December Earnings: -13.76€ (-$16.30)
Yep, we also bought the eBook SEO for Food Bloggers, but more about SEO in the next income report.
MORE INCOME REPORTS
Charlotte from My Recipe Book – £1.15 (6 months)
She shares her favourite recipes on her blog without restricting herself to any one diet. I love how she takes care of her community. And it’s obvious that other visitors think the same: they are excited with her content and always come back for more.
Deborah from Stinky Kitchen – $36.20 (5 months)
She does an incredbile job in promoting a healthy lifestyle with a funny, witty and down to earth language. Apart from that I wonder how she is able to create so much high quality content and design such a good looking blog in just a couple of months. Check out her December income report here.
Thanks a lot for reading and a happy new year!