June Income Report- $455.29

June Income Report

Hi guys! Today is a pretty big day for Apple of My Eye because I’m posting my first official income report! When I started the site a little over a year ago, I had zero idea what I was doing. In fact, I didn’t even mean for AoME to turn into a food blog. I had been reading a ton of healthy living blogs and wanted to keep an online photo diary to chronicle my life in college and connect with other bloggers and talk about the important things in life. Like different nut butters and how I had eaten froyo seven times in the last five days.

Best. Decision. EVER.

For about half a year, I would only post a daily recap that usually revolved around school, a workout, and gross dining common food. I lived in a dorm room and didn’t have kitchen access. Then, I moved into my first apartment and was able to get more of a foothold in the food blogging world. I got a taste (hehehe) of how fun it was to share my recipes and what I was stuffing in my face. I took the plunge and became self-hosted on BlueHost, gradually started to teach myself how to use a DSLR camera and was posting probably around 3-4 recipes a month. It’s only in the last couple of months where I’ve really felt like I’ve been blogging regularly.

Basically what I’m trying to say here is that I’m no expert at food blogging at all and don’t want to come off as a know-it-all because, truth be told, I haven’t been at this long and have posted probably less than 30-40 recipes for the entirety I’ve been blogging. I really want to emphasize that I started off not knowing anything and, a few months later, I’m realizing that Apple of My Eye isn’t only just a creative outlet, but quite possibly something that could make me a part-time living someday. How cool is that?! 

My goal with these income reports and monetizing my blog are to:

Income Report Goals

So without further ado, here are my numbers for June!

Income:

  • Adsense– $50.06
  • BlogHer– $78.86
  • Swoop– $126.37
  • Sponsored Post- $60
  • Freelance Work- $100
  • Misc- $40

Grand Total: $455.29

Breakdown:  

Ad Networks: If you look on my sidebar and header, you’ll see a few ads running. These are great because I can just fix em’ and forget em’. They bring in a passive income without me having to do much at all. Here are the ones I use:

Google Adsense: $50.06

Adsense is the ad network that is easy to get into and install and is pay-per-click, which means that the site/blog owner gets paid when a visitor is interested in the ad and clicks on it. One minus to this is that my readers aren’t too click-y. Despite this, Adsense has brought me in over $500 since I started running their ads when I decided one day, “What the heck! I’ll try them out” and installed them.

BlogHer: $58.32

Blogher is also an ad network that you need to apply to get into, but it’s more selective on which blogs it adds to its network. It differs from Adsense in that is it pay-per-thousand based, which means that I get paid a certain amount for each 1,000 pageviews an ad gets. While the numbers may seem close to how much Adsense earns, you can usually expect a $2-5 CPM. This means that you get paid around that amount for each 1,000 views an ad gets. Since I had just joined their ad program, it took a while for their ads to fully settle into place and my earning were low for most of the month while my site was integrated. If I calculate out my earnings using the payout that’s usual, my income from them would be closer to $200-500. Darn!

Swoop: $126.37

First off, Swoop is awesome! If you go to one of my recipes, you might have seen a small ad in the ingredient section. This ad only shows in that one tiny place for relevant ads and brought me more than both BlogHer and Adsense together.

Swoop Screenshot

Sponsored Posts: $60

After I started posting more frequently (3-6 recipes a month) I started getting a few emails each month about other companies or sites wanting me to sponsor a post on Apple of My Eye. The benefit of this is that I’m able to name my price and be selective on which products/posts that I choose to share with you guys. I want them to be at least somewhat relevant to either healthy living or food, since that’s where my blog’s niche is. 

Freelance Work: $100

I did a whole post on Tips on Getting Freelance Jobs and was ecstatic to hear back that a couple of you guys have gotten some work offers/your first jobs! WOO! June was filled with stress and finals for me, so I didn’t have much time at all to do too many recipes for my freelance jobs, but they’re always a steady source of income. And the fact that I’m getting paid to make recipes and photograph them. It’s a pretty sweeeeeet gig! 

Traffic! 

June Traffic

So there you have it! Moving on:

Along with posting the actual numbers that the blog is bringing in, I also want to share what tools I use and the basics that allow me to monetize AOME in case you’re looking to start monetizing your current blog or even start a brand new one! Some of them are essential (like being self-hosted), while others play a big role in growing my photography or providing me helpful information/tutorials. Here they are!

Tools for Monetizing

 

BlueHost: Being self-hosted is 100% essential if you want to make money by blogging and I use BlueHost to “host” my site. When I first started blogging, I signed up for a free WordPress.com blog that I customized with a cute little apple-themed layout . After a few months, I realized that my passion for blogging wasn’t going anywhere and I was ready to make the small plunge to become self-hosted and start monetizing my site.

If you’re not self-hosted, you’re extremely limited and can’t:

  • Run any ads (like Adsense or BlogHer)
  • Have sponsored/paid posts
  • Use affiliate links
  • Host giveaways

Bummer, right? 

For me, the cost of self-hosting (only $3.95 a month) is nothing since my blog makes more than enough to cover a full year of hosting service  in a single month. Even when I first started out with Adsense when I started blogging, I could easily cover my cost. Along with being able to actually start making money off of my blog, BlueHost let’s me have full freedom in customizing my blog’s theme, installing countless plugins (like the one that displays my recipes, Pinterest feed, and popular posts on my sidebar), and let’s me have control of my site. That means that no one can decide to terminate my site on a whim. It belongs to me and only me!

I won’t lie, it’s a pain in the butt to install and took me a half of a day of cursing at my laptop (a squirrel is probably more tech savvy than me), but it’s completely necessary and worth it when it comes to monetizing a blog. And after that first day of instillation, I haven’t had any problems whatsoever with self-hosting. Win!

Tasty Food Photography: If you’ve been following my site for a while, you probably know that I FREAKIN’ LOVE this eBook. I still use it to this day and learned 90% of my food photography skills from it. The author, Lindsay, is a sweetheart and explains everything in everyday language so you don’t feel like throwing your camera at the ground in frustration. 

Click here to visit Pinch of Yum.

Tasty Food Photography eBook

While having pretty food photos isn’t all there is to food blogging, it plays a big role in giving your blog exposure. To be honest, in terms of generating traffic to my site the only thing I really do it submit my pictures to sites like FoodGawker and Tastepotting, which drive tons of traffic to the blog and have directly lead to my recipes being discovered by The Huffington Post and BuzzFeed.

How to Monetize Your Food Blog eBook: This is a great resource that explains things nice and sloowww (which, if you’re like me, is fabulous) about all things monetizing your blog. From passbacks to writing your own eBook (a dream for me!), Kiersten’s book has it all!

 

 

I’ve added a page for Resources for Food Bloggers with a few of my favorites on my header if you’re ever looking for a quick guide!

Woohoo!

So there you have it! My first income report! In case you’re curious, three months ago I was making around $20-30 a month, so it’s pretty crazy for me to look at my numbers now and see how things have grown! I must say, food blogging is the best part-time job a college student like me could have ;) .

 

I hope it’s been helpful to you guys and I can’t stress enough how much I value your support and friendship. I have been going back and forth on whether or not to post income reports for fear of sounding insincere, but your reassurance and the hope that my trial and error can help all of us grow our blogs together gave me that last little push. 

 

If you’re a reader or passerby of the site and have been on the fence about creating a food blog, I say GO FOR IT! I can’t even express how much joy blogging has brought me and what a great friends I’ve made in the blogging community. Not to mention it’s brought me fun and exciting job opportunities that I never would have possibly imagined. Who knows what the future will hold?!

If you have any questions on how to start a food blog or on anything else, feel free to shoot me an email at christineskari@gmail.com :) .

 

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for products I love! 

 

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Comments

  1. says

    Christine, this is so cool!! I really admire how open you are about everything on your blog. I think it is amazing that you are sharing your journey and how you’ve grown with us readers!! :) This really inspires me- I would love to get self hosted in college perhaps and really start blogging consistently. I love blogging but I haven’t shown my blog to my family and most of my friends. Someday I wish to post regularly and self host like you! I’m saving this post for future reference. You should be so proud of what Apple of My Eye has become- its a huge accomplishment! Will you list your blog on your resume?
    • says

      Thanks so much Emily! I think becoming self-hosted would be great for you! You seem like you really enjoy blogging and college is a great time to chronicle your life. You’re never gonna get an experience like it again! I was actually really shy with showing my blog to my family friends. It took like… 6 months (holy cow haha) before I told anyone other than Kyle and my roommate. I would appreciate it a ton if you use my Bluehost link if you sign up eventually :)! And YES! I 100% will. That’s basically how I got all my freelance jobs and I think my blog sets me apart from other people :).
  2. says

    Thank you for this post! I have had my blog for a year and a half now and am currently making zero dollars off of it! Well technically I am making a negative amount since I pay into it. It’s nice to know how I can advertise on it just so it can pay its way!
    Ashley recently posted…What I ate wednesday: latest food diaryMy Profile
    • says

      You’re so welcome, Ashley! Are you self-hosted? And yes- it’s wonderful to know you can pay off the monthly fee just by running a few ads :)!
    • says

      You’re so welcome, Emma! I’m glad they aren’t obnoxious. Sometimes I go to other sites and just leave because I get so fed-up with clicking out of ads. Thanks :)!
  3. says

    Thank you so much for posting this! I’ve been so amazed at how much I enjoy the freelance work I do and that I get paid to do something I enjoy! It’s awesome and thanks to you for your other freelance post that encouraged me to take the freelance leap. Monetizing my blog is next on my list and I’ll be coming back to this post. I’m having to reevaluate a few things with my blog, but hopefully I become self-hosted next week! It’s super exciting to see how successful you have been with blogging!
    Sky @ The Blonde In Black recently posted…Finding My Blog IdentityMy Profile
    • says

      You’re so welcome, Sky! Isn’t it freakin’ wonderful to have a job that you 100% love? I’m honestly overjoyed that you found work and that the post helped you. For freelance work, I think the hardest part is getting a foothold and starting. So excited for you to go self-hosted! If you don’t mind and choose to go with Bluehost, I would really appreciate it if you could use my affiliate link if you decide to take the plunge :). Can’t wait to see how far you go!! AHH! Exciting times!
  4. says

    Woo! Go girl! :D I think it’s awesome that you’re starting to do income reports — they’ll be super helpful for people who are looking to monetize their blog. And I know what you mean about never imagining that blogging would be able to provide a side income for ya… I never thought I’d make a dime from my blog, but lo and behold… :D
    Amanda @ .running with spoons. recently posted…. banana bread mug cake .My Profile
  5. says

    Um, oh my gosh. THANK YOU Christine! This was so helpful to me! I honestly can’t believe you’re making that much. That’s insane. I’ve tried using Adsense before but it says you have to be 18 so I’m not sure what to do… I really need to look into ads because I don’t run any!
    Leigha @ The Yooper Girl recently posted…Homemade Semolina PastaMy Profile
    • says

      Haha you’re SO welcome! It’s crazy to think of how fast everything has grown. Maybe you can put it in your paren’t name until you turn 18, then switch it over to you?
  6. says

    “I had been reading a ton of healthy living blogs and wanted to keep an online photo diary to chronicle my life in college and connect with other bloggers and talk about the important things in life. Like different nut butters and how I had eaten froyo seven times in the last five days.” Lines like this is one of the reasons I started following your blog. Congratualtions! and continued success!
  7. says

    I love this :)

    Thanks so much for sharing your results. I am new to blogging and I am currently look at my advertising options and have gotten a bit overwhelmed with setting it and having the right advertising partners. Your post has helped me to feel better
    Ness recently posted…Shakshouka (poached egg recipe)My Profile

    • says

      You’re so welcome, Ness! I hope that by being honest with how Apple of My Eye is doing and sharing what works/doesn’t work for me is the best way to help other bloggers get a hold on monetizing since it can be insanely overwhelming to maneuver. So glad it helped :)!
  8. says

    It’s so awesome that your blog has grown so much! I always look forward to your posts and recipes because your photos are freaking awesome and it is so awesome that you can make money off of something you put so much effort in to :D
  9. lucy says

    Thanks for the tips Christine! I was wondering if anything negative happens when you switch to self hosted. Like for example, if people have you on their reader or subscribe to your blog or whatever would that disrupt it? And would your website address change? I’m going to start a blog and wonder whether i should just be self hosted from the start…

    Also – do you use a template to design your blog? Can you just get these wordpress or do you look for them elsewhere? Are the wordpress ones pretty and professional looking like yours (:p)?

    • says

      Hi Lucy!
      Great question. When I made the switch, I was worried as well about my subscribers being transferred over. While it doesn’t happen automatically, all you have to do is go to the WordPress forum and ask a monitor to manually move over your readers. They are really nice/fast about it and mine were moved in less than 24 hours if I can remember correctly :). And your website url stays the same if it’s still available! To be honest, I would recommend starting with self-hosting right off the bat if you know you’ll stick with it since you wouldn’t have to worry about it later and it has so many benefits.

      I actually had a professional design my blog: Natasha from http://www.mycutelobster.co.uk. She’s the BEST and was so patient with me. I think I sent her upwards of 50-60 emails and she tweaked everything till it was exactly how I wanted. She was pretty affordable too at around $160. That being said, there are TONS on TONS of great free templates/themes once you’re self-hosted and finding one you like won’t be a problem. I just wanted to give AOME an extra added personal touch and decided to treat myself :).

  10. Michelle says

    Christine you are definitely a smart cookie – and have such a visually attractive blog and honest, real tone to your writing. I have to say your ads are barely noticeable and not at all intrusive – especially for someone reading on an iphone where an accidental touch can click you straight out of a blog – so frustrating! So generous in sharing these tips with everyone too :)
    • says

      Aww, thanks Michelle! I don’t think there’s any better compliment than being called smart AND a cookie (chocolate chip, please) hahah. Yum :).

      This comment totally made my day- you’re the sweetest! I’m glad my ads aren’t all up in yo’ face all the time because I know from experience how frustrating that can be (especially on an iPhone).

      Have a great day! :)

  11. says

    I love your transparency Christine! I think you offer some great advice and I also had no idea about Swoop! Apparently that’s a profitable little tool to have.

    Sometimes I feel so overwhelmed with blogging on top of a full time job and life but this is proof that hard work does eventually pay off if you stick with it. I’m excited to watch you keep growing!! :)
    Sarah @ Making Thyme for Health recently posted…A Work In Progress…My Profile

  12. says

    WOW! Congrats to you! I am seriously impressed. I’ve had yet to make anything off my blog, however, I have also not put much time into setting up my ads. I did apply for Blog Her and was denied of course. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong. I’m about to give up actually, but reading this post gives me hope. :)
    Megan @ The Skinny-Life recently posted…Benefits of Balance & Step AerobicsMy Profile
  13. says

    Woahhhh girl this is a super informative post. It’s so impressive that you have only been blogging for a year and that you have taken the initiative to become self-hosted, add advertisements to your site, work with brands on sponsored posts, etc. I have been blogging for a year as well and I always joke that I am SUCH a tech newb (because I am), because I rely on my web designer and my techie friends 100% when it comes to all this stuff. Reading your post makes me want to learn more on my own, and I super duper wanna get involved with Swoop. They sound awesome!!! Go you :) xox
  14. says

    Ah, I’ve never heard of swoop! (I was rejected from BlogHer recently ): and have been trying to find more ad networks) Thanks for sharing! Although I’m a little confused as to where to put it code, it seems like putting anywhere is supposed to be fine activate
    Carmy recently posted…Think out loud #6My Profile
  15. says

    Hey Christine! Thanks for sharing your income reports! I am just starting to try and monetize my blog, and it’s nice to see how other bloggers are doing it :). I’ll be following along as your blog grows!
  16. says

    Thank you Christine for sharing your income report with us! This is very interesting! I started my blog back in December 2013 on blogger, I’m now trying to figure out bluehost.com I think that I’m going to move sometime this month! I recently started running Adsense ads on my blog, but I still can’t figure out blogher ads teehee! But this is very inspiring, I will be following you from bloglovin!! xx
    Diana recently posted…Mtabbal (Eggplant dip)My Profile
  17. says

    Great post! So glad to see more people being transparent about the money behind a blog — and not just the “big” blogs! We’re right about at the same level, so I’m excited to follow your progress!
  18. says

    Thanks for sharing Christine! I’m a big fan of Pinch of Yum’s income reports and love that more and more of these are popping up. (I’m starting the same thing on my wife’s blog, tomatoboots.co, as we speak. Only difference is her blog is earlier/younger so the focus will be on growth rather than monetization. Stay tuned!)

    One comment, I’d love to also see traffic of your site as well. Being able to correlate between that and ad revenue with Pinch of Yum was always super helpful as it puts things in perspective. We’re much earlier in our journey with Tomato Boots, so it also helps us to best understand when is the right time to monetize. Thanks again!
    Chet Kittleson recently posted…12 Things You Should Be Buying in BulkMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Chet! Thanks so much for stopping by :). I can’t wait to read the first report you do for your wife’s blog, so I’ll be on the lookout for that!

      I just added my traffic for June :). I hope it helps! It would be great to hear some of your thoughts!

      • says

        Thanks for adding that Christine, super helpful. Funny, your traffic is very similar if not higher than Pinch of Yum’s was when they first started doing their income reports! I’m excited to track your growth over the next few months.

        Also, our first report went out earlier this week. (http://bit.ly/1tINw10) Check it out when you get a chance and let me know what you think! (Also, definitely drop some tips when I make the inevitable “early blogger” mistakes.)
        Chet Kittleson recently posted…Homemade Ranch Dressing MixMy Profile

  19. says

    Hello Christine!

    Popped over here from PinchofYum..

    It’s so inspiring reading about bloggers making it happen. I actually showcase bloggers making $1000+ (http://blogboldly.com/category/grand-blogger-showcase/) because it helps to get monetizing ideas and KNOW that we can make $$ doing what we love.

    One component that’s important to see is how much traffic it takes to generate the income.

    Here’s what happened to me. For years I made money with ticket sites. And I didn’t know it at the time, but the conversions were crazy good. Example: 30,000 monthly visitors averaged about $2800. income. So when I 1st started other sites I thought I was doing something wrong when it took a LOT more visitors to make the same amount.

    Would you mind sharing your traffic with us?

    ~darlene
    Darlene recently posted…Cozy Tybee Island CottageMy Profile

    • says

      Hi Darlene! Thanks so much for stopping by. It’s awesome that you showcase bloggers making money, I’m definitely going to check that out :).

      Just added my traffic for June. Hope it helps :)

      • jojo says

        hi,christine,right now I am thinking about joining in blogher,may I ask you some questions?many thanks :)
        1.I know there is a 15 days for them to check your blog,but I heard there is a waiting list too,what does that mean?so how long does it really takes to be accepted by blogher network?

        2. about the traffic,right now my blog is 0 traffic,but blogher asks for your monthly pageviews,although it says you can enter “unknown” in the form if you haven’t tracked your pageviews blah blah…,but I am worried if they only pick blogs with some pageviews.can I fill a random number or just”unknown”? anyone you know have successful experience with “unknow”-views blog?

        3. if I got approved,do I need to supply any additional information? I saw some people say “fax”,I guess it’s about Us-based bloggers’ tax, is that right? but I live in Taiwan,so for bloggers outside US like me,is there anything else I need to provide ?

  20. says

    That’s awesome Christine!

    We’ve also started posting blog reports two months ago, although we are far from your level in terms of traffic: a little 2273 page views in June.

    This said, would you mind sharing a bit more information on your traffic building techniques? I know you said you just submit to FoodGawker and TasteSpotting but you must be doing something else.

    Are you commenting a lot on other blogs? Very active on Pinterest? Do you contact writers on Buzzfeed or other aggregation sites?

    Thanks in advance and congrats on your earnings!

    Marc

    • says

      I think your traffic is great!

      To be honest, FoodGawker and TasteSpotting are the main ways I promote. A good chunk of my traffic comes from organic searches or direct traffic, as well as Pinterest. I’m pretty inactive on Pinterest, but I think the exposure food sharing sites bring to my recipes cause people to pin and that leads to me getting a decent amount of traffic through Pinterest. I also was found my Huffpost and Buzzfeed through FoodGawker, which game me an insane amount of traffic. I do comment on blogs I love, but I don’t do that for traffic purposes. I like to keep up with my blogging friends and see what they’re up to :).

  21. says

    Amazing! I have a blog, but feel completely clueless about all this. I reallllly have to up my game and take the time to figure out how to monetize my blog.

    Thing is…I’m on Blogspot, so I think Google AdSense is my only option?! Sad I don’t know the answer to that question. Hm.

    Keep up the great work! You’re on the right track!

    • says

      I won’t lie, it takes a long time to get more of a hold on all the things there are to learn!

      I’ve never had a blog on Blogspot before, but I think your only option for monetizing is Adsense (so no affiliate links, other ad networks, or sponsored posts). Here’s a better comparison that I found! http://shopthebbar.com/blog/wordpress-vs-blogger-the-pros-and-cons/

      I know that a lot of bloggers end up switching to WordPress and then going self-hosted, but I can’t speak for everyone :)

  22. says

    Congrats on you first income report! It is so awesome for all your hard work over the past year to start paying off. I too need a Starbucks relief fund, or shall we say a “so my husband doesn’t really know how much I spend at Starbucks fund” LOL One suggestion though, your picture looks just like another blog’s income report picture. To really set yourself apart you might want to change it up a little. I completely understand the logic behind the picture, but just so nobody confuses you with another blog it might be a good idea to give it a completely different look (I mean that in the nicest way possible!! :) )
    Dana @ 3boysunprocessed recently posted…Pineapple Chicken Stir-Fry Over Cauliflower RiceMy Profile
  23. says

    Awesome job on posting your first income report! I saw your link on pinchofyums income report and I just had to check out what you are up to! I look forward to reading next months report! Please keep us all updated!!
  24. Peggy says

    Found you from Pinch of Yum response on their monthly income report. Congratulations on the blog and thank you for a very informative post!
    • says

      So glad you found it helpful! I have one coming up for November soon as well :). I didn’t get your email, though! Not sure if it got lost in cyberspace or my email is working up :(

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