Hi all you friendly faces! I know I haven’t been all that consistent with these income reports, but I’m popping in today with my earnings for November. I initially started these income reports to share the things I’ve learned with all of you beautiful people in the hopes of inspiring those who have been considering starting a blog (it’s a blast!) and to show what works for me. I go through a ton of trial and error when it comes to blogging and I want to save you guys some time and hairpulling!
If you want to read more about my journey from blogging as a complete free time hobby to starting to make a small income from it, you can read my first income report here.
So without further ado, here are my numbers for the month!
Affiliate Link to eBook: $14.13
Sponsored Post: $75
Freelance Work: $375
Linqia Campaign: $278
Twitter Influence Tweets for BlogHer: $50
As you guys can see, I broke 1k this month, which is madness for me. Remember that I’m a full-time college student and have yet to have a “real person” job other than babysitting and tutoring. I never in my wildest dreams imagined that within a few months of serious food blogging, I would be making a good amount of money from my little corner of the web. The coolest thing in my opinion is the potential for my site to grow. Who knows where I’ll be in another 6 months. Heck, in another few years, I could be making a full-time income! If you’re thinking about taking the plunge with starting a blog or monetizing the one you currently have, go for it!
Ready? Let’s breakdown the numbers!
Midway through November, I realized that Blogher just wasn’t cutting it and delivering the CPM that I had been expecting since I signed up with them. This was a pretty big bummer for me since I was insanely excited to get accepted into their advertising network. I ended my contract early and replaced the Blogher ads I had installed with Adsense and Lijit. While I’m signing up with a new main ad network soon, I was pretty happy with the earnings I got with Adsense and Lijit. If I had them installed from the beginning of the month, I probably would have earned closer to $200 from them. Adsense and Lijit are relatively easy to get accepted to, which is a big plus for new bloggers if you’re thinking about starting to monetize your blog!
While my Swoop earning are only an estimated projection from past months (they don’t update earnings till a few weeks into the next month), I’ve found myself being continuously pleased with its performance. If you don’t know what Swoop ads are, they’re the little snippets that are placed within my blog. They only show relevant ads and are very unobtrusive to my blog, which makes me a huge fan. They, like Adsense, are pay-per-click based so I earn a little whenever a reader clicks on them/interacts with them.
Is all this talk about ads mumble-jumble to ya? You can get a more in-depth explanation on my first income report!
While I didn’t earn too much last month in terms of affiliate links, I did make a few extra bucks from a few of you lovely friends using my link to purchase a copy of Tasty Food Photography.
As most of you guys probably already know, I learned almost everything I know about food photography from this eBook and think it’s absolutely essential to new bloggers or bloggers who want to take their photography to the next level. While having pretty food photos isn’t all there is to food blogging, it plays a big role in giving your blog exposure. After buying Lindsay’s eBook, I started getting my food photos accepted on to sites like FoodGawker and Tastespotting, which not only increased my traffic dramatically, but lead to me being found (I think) by the Huffington Post and Buzzfeed. More people were brought to Apple of My Eye and subsequently pinned my recipes (as you’ll see in a sec, Pinterest brings makes up a huge chunk of my traffic), subscribed to my mailing list, and viewed/clicked on my ads. You eat with your eyes first!
A big portion of my income from November came from the contributor work I do for another blog. My boss found my blog, liked what he saw, and sent me an email asking if I’d be interested in the job. This to me is awesome because my blog acts as its own resume. I’ve realized that, when I end up applying to grad school or future jobs, I can put down AOME as a small business.
Cool fact (well, cool for a young college student like me): I just opened up a new bank account primarily to for my blog earnings since I needed a better way to keep track of my finances. It’s a good problem to have ;). Whoop!
For my contributor work, I essentially do the same thing that I do on AOME and create recipes/photograph/and promote them.
I’ve gotten a good amount of questions in the past about how I get jobs like this and wrote a small piece on what has worked for me. If you need any help, feel free to check out my post on Tips on Getting Freelance Jobs!
Here’s something new that I’m excited to share with you guys! Linqia is a “marketplace platform that helps advertisers find, connect and engage with trusted community leaders who manage targeted communities of people across many social networks with full tracking, monitoring and payment capabilities.”
This is essentially how it works:
- If you get accepted as a “Storyteller” by the Linqia team, you may occasionally be matched with a relevant campaign.
- While what the campaigns may include may vary, most involve you weaving a product/company into a blog post that is authentic and meaningful to both yourself and your readers. For example, my Daisy Brand Cottage Cheese post was a campaign run by Linqia and they asked me to create a recipe that showed how I incorporate the product into my everyday life. I eat cottage cheese regularly, so this was very easy and genuinely fun for me to do!
- Within your post and through your social media channels, you promote a trackable link that records how many engaged readers click on it. You get paid by the click up to a certain threshold, and if you get more clicks to the link than your initial threshold, your next campaign will have an increased maximum that will allow you to earn more! Your original threshold/earning potential are determined by how others with similar stats have done.
- Within 10 days of the campaign ending, you are sent your earnings. **The average earning from each campaign is $225!
One of my favorite things about Linqia is that the company “understands that you will only share content that resonates with your audience. Our partnering brands offer you a comprehensive brief and full creative freedom as to how and where you share their content within your story.” They don’t expect me to conform to a strict manner of writing, photography, or promotion. I can choose to take the campaign if it resonates with my personal taste and opinions and make it completely my own!
Something you might be interested in? Here are some of the requirements:
I 100% reccomend Linqia due to it’s great messege, communication from your team leader, and fantastic compensation. I’ve already been assigned two more campaigns for December and can’t wait to get started on them!
If you want to sign up for Linqia, I would appreciate it if you could sign up through my affiliate link! You guys da best.
There Ya Have It!
So there ya have it! A quick and dirty overview into what has worked for me during the month of November. I’m projecting (hopefully!) an even better financial month for December and give thanks every. single. day. for all of you wonderful readers and friends who help keep my site going and let me use blogging as a part-time job!
*I’m re-posting this section of my income report because I’ve already spent a few too many hours putting this post together and need to start studying for my genetics class . Hope you guys don’t mind the repeat!
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!
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
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.
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!
Have any questions, concerns, general musings, etc that you want to share with me? Feel free to leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org . I’m all ears!
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links for products I love!