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Welcome to my May traffic and income report! This is the 19th month in the life of my food blog, which I started in November 2018. I’ve been tracking my progress and income from the very beginning so head to my reports section if you’d like to take a leap back in time or see more recent reports.
This was another good month for traffic but a sucky month in the world in general, so it’s been kind of hard to get excited about blogging.
I was definitely a little more productive and focused than last month, but took the blogging side a little easier while the kids are at home full-time and I needed to concentrate on them and the day job a bit more.
I feel a bit sorry for the kids, it can’t be much fun being shushed 9am to 6pm cos your parents are both working and have a ton of conference calls, at this stage I’d say they’d prefer to be back at school!
But it’s only temporary I guess and I can’t complain because we are fortunate to be able to work from home, at least for now.
Let’s get into the numbers for May, scroll on down or click on one of the links below to jump to the section that interests you.
Posts this month: 5
Better than last month I guess. I usually aim for eight a month, but not in these strange times… While I’m also teleworking fulltime and at home, with the kids, I’ve decided to cut myself some slack and cut back to once a week, and if I get another one or two posts out great, but I’m not gonna kill myself getting it done.
I’m already feeling more productive now that I’ve taken some of the pressure off myself if that makes sense?
May 2020 Page Views 88,474 (compared to 85,461 last month and 6,023 in May 2019)
On the surface, even though there wasn’t a big bump in traffic growth from April, it still looks like traffic is going well. However, if you look at the graph above you’ll see that the numbers aren’t the entire story.
At one stage in the first half of the month I actually reached 94,000 pageviews over the last 30-day period, and optimistically bought a plan with Big Scoots and moved to them because I was sure I was going to hit 100,000 pageviews soon and would need a plan with more growth potential than my previous one with Siteground.
Alas, there is a clear downwards trend towards the end of the month, which doesn’t bode very well for June.
Towards the last two weeks of May bloggers everywhere started reporting sudden drops in Pinterest, Facebook and Google traffic and couldn’t pinpoint why. For me it’s pretty clear – people are exiting lockdown.
It was to be expected (still stings a little!), that people are probably fed up of cooking so much at home and can’t wait to get takeaways and go to restaurants etc. I am curious as to how far the drop will continue in June, but we’ll see.
I had a new referral in my top ten this month, from a gorgeous lentil recipe from sheknows.com, a fabulous site. Otherwise, my traffic source percentages were pretty much business as usual.
237 (versus 217 in April)
Sheesh. Still terrible. Still putting off changing from MailChimp to a service that has a pop-up subscription form that is compatible with Mediavine ads (they’re all paid services and Mailchimp is still free – but yes, just being lazy now).
803 (versus 592 in April)
OneSignal still impressing me! I love that as soon as I publish a post it tells me how many people it has sent it out to and I see an immediate bump in traffic (also that I don’t have to send out emails, which I hate, and always bungle up).
I haven’t been super active on Facebook this month, so followers are just up to 3,603 (compared to 3,402 in April). It’s become pretty clear that I need some help and to pay more attention in this area.
In May I finished up with 1,671 followers, compared to 1,500 in April. This new Pinterest “Fresh Pins” this is EXHAUSTING.
I made ten new templates to make it faster to make new pins but it’s still an absolute pain. I also messed up as I decided to test turning rich pins off, but had forgotten that my VA was also manually pinning so I couldn’t figure out the true effect as I was making too many changes at once.
I’m going to have to do some more tests but it looks like I get more traffic – significantly more – with rich pins turned off. It’s true that people from Pinterest don’t spend as much time on page as they did when rich pins were turned on, but if those eyes never get to my page then I wouldn’t be making money anyway.
I’m cautiously confident about leaving them turned off, even though impressions have fallen, but I really need to test more with them on and off and with traffic fluctuating so much now it’s really hard to tell.
For now, I’m leaving them off. I think I really need a month with super stable traffic to test it out properly, I’m thinking August, but we’ll see.
In keeping with the slight increase in traffic, I got roughly 27,138 pageviews from Pinterest this month, compared to 29,645 last month.
403 followers (up from 370 in April)
So slow… Quick recap, I’m not hugely bothered about Instagram a number one, I live in Spain and most sponsors prefer people located in the USA, and number two I’m just not willing to get personal on it. My VA did post regularly this month though.
May Income : $903.20 (compared to $743.42 in April)
RPMs slowly crept upwards this month, meaning despite getting a similar amount of traffic I did earn more this month than last. I also had a ton of videos (around 25) that my VA made which I put up on the website and this made a large difference to my RPM.
My average RPM for the month was $12.46 dollars (per 1000 pageviews), compared to $8.70 in April, so there may be hope for blogger earnings this year yet!
I’m pretty happy to be with Mediavine, who have been great at calming everyone down and being realistic about what we can expect from our income in this situation – except for travel bloggers – there’s probably nothing anyone could do to console them, a lot of them have seen their income totally wiped out.
It’s definitely a warning to me that although at the moment the blog is just a side gig for me, I’ll need to diversify my sources of income later.
All income mentioned is the gross amount, not my net income, and doesn’t take into account deductions for tax, social security, accountant, expenses, etc.
Review and Goals
I had set several goals for May but did I meet any of them? Let’s take a look:
- Train up my VA a bit more to take over things like videos, which I really hate doing.
- Basically abandon Instagram and post no more than once or twice a week (Bye! It’s been fun! Not!)
- Focus on increasing my RPMs.
- Get some (any) content out.
- Research changing hosts as my Siteground package is only for 100k visits a month.
For once, I managed to achieve all my goals! And it was great – while it lasted. Unfortunately, my VA and I had to stop working together due to a ton of extra bill add-ons and Spanish bureaucracy, which we hadn’t anticipated.
We left it on good terms though, and she’s all fired up to start a blog herself so I wish her the best. For June, I’m not going to be setting myself any goals, as I know that I have a lot of new responsibility coming up at work, and I’m just going to have to play everything by ear.
Spoiler alert though – June’s report should be very interesting for you guys! I’ve been low key this month and last due to the circumstances the whole world finds itself in, but some big changes are coming next month!
I hope you found this report useful, if you have any questions or would like to see other items included in the next report, holler at me down below!
Stay happy and keep blogging!