Welcome to my food blog income report for Q2 2023! This Q2 2023 income report is to give bloggers a peek into what it takes to run a food blog and a little sense of where blogging income comes from. Make sure you scroll all the way down and read my “Quick Thoughts” where I go on a little rant but also show you a quick way to reduce stress from blogging overwhelm!
This post may contain affiliate links which means I may earn a small commission when you click on the links and make a purchase. I will never recommend products and services that I don’t support 100%. You can read my full disclosure here.
Hello, dear blogger friends! This was a busy quarter for me! I spent a lot of time updating posts, but also preparing to take much of the summer OFF. In my Q1 2023 Income Report, I talked about MY WHY. And that WHY was my family and having the financial and work flexibility to be able to travel with them (we love to travel!)
So this summer, we went to Big Sur, Tahoe, Italy, and as I write this, I am preparing to leave for England to watch my son play in a soccer tournament!
None of this would be possible without the flexibility blogging has given me. That being said, it’s HARD to be away from “work” for long periods of time. So there were a lot of things I had to do in advance so I could make sure everything ran smoothly while I was gone…because I was determined NOT to bring my laptop on vacation.
Everything turned out just fine. 🙂 This next quarter will be back down to business–lots of new content and getting ready for Q4!
WHAT I FOCUSED ON THIS QUARTER
Updating + Content Creation
At the beginning of last quarter, I listened to this Blogging Millionaire Podcast where he talks about “leaky bucket syndrome.” This is simply when your traffic stalls or hits a plateau because you keep publishing NEW content…but at the same time, your older posts are losing traffic because other bloggers have produced better content than you. Without updating, you slowly lose traffic and rankings.
Now, if you’re a newer blogger without many posts, then you don’t need to worry about this. However, once you’ve been blogging for 1.5 years are so, updating old posts becomes necessary.
In the same Blogging Millionaire Podcast, he also shows you exactly how to prioritize which posts you need to update by using RankIQ’s Ranking’s Audit Feature. It’s amazing and it’d exactly how I am updating my old posts. And the best part, it’s FREE with your subscription to RankIQ!
This quarter, I published 20 brand-new blog posts and updated 12…I updated only 3 last quarter! Here is the breakdown by type of post:
- New Recipe Posts: 17
- New Non-Recipe Posts: 3
- Updates to Old Posts: 12
⭐️Leaky Bucket Syndrome: When your traffic stalls or hits a plateau because you keep publishing NEW content, however at the same time, your older posts are losing traffic because other bloggers have produced better content than you. Without updating, you slowly lose traffic/rankings. ⭐️
I regularly check my site speed on Google Page Speed Insights. Just basically to make sure I am passing Core Web Vitals.
Everything has been peachy until recently. A few months ago, I checked and I wasn’t passing. GAHHH!! I had just created a (small) digital store with WooCommerce and also designed a few sales pages with Elementor (don’t ever do this!). So I knew these things might slow down my site.
So I decided to bite the bullet and do a full technical audit and core web vitals optimization through my hosting company WPOpt. I haven’t dealt with ANYTHING technical on my blog since I started so I figured now was a good time to get everything in tip-top shape.
Yeah, ok. Thanks for the suggestion– I have NO IDEA how to do that! BAHAHAHA!!!
So over the course of this audit, he not only diagnosed all of my issues, but he SOLVED them as well by doing some fancy back-end magic! LOL!
Glad that’s done.
Q2 2023 TRAFFIC SUMMARY
If I compare my page views from Q1, my traffic dipped slightly. However, I always try to keep the big picture in mind and look at numbers year over year vs. comparing to the previous quarter.
Does that make sense? If you compare Q4 numbers to Q1 numbers and see a huge drop off you might freak out. But most blogs have a seasonality to them, so comparing quarter to quarter isn’t always an accurate picture.
You’ll see below, I compared the same quarter last year, which is a MUCH more accurate representation of my blog’s growth,
Always keep in mind too, this business isn’t always upward momentum….it comes with ups and downs and ebbs and flows. One of the most important qualities a blogger can have is the ability to see the big picture and change and pivot with the current situation.
The numbers in parenthesis represent 2022 traffic for that same time period.
Pageviews: 353,219 (189,821)
Sessions: 303,207 (166,706)
Pageviews: 383,780 (209,089)
Sessions: 335,618 (181,950)
Pageviews: 415,099 (235,262)
Sessions: 364,100 (205,311)
Everything stayed consistent here. Most of my traffic is organic.
Last quarter, I was fully prepared for the Q1 slump…which didn’t happen until March! May and June were also low in terms of RPMs, therefore my income was a bit lower than some months in Q1.
As you know- the vast majority of my income comes from Mediavine ads (I was accepted in December of 2021. You can read the full post on how I got to Mediavine here).
You remember last quarter, I talked about starting to diversify my income and I have continued to have a fully booked calendar for coaching clients which has been a good source of extra income.
You’ll notice, I have just over $100 in digital product sales–WOO HOO!!! Even though my $10 meal planner isn’t huge in terms of income, it’s nice to see passive sales roll in here and there for something I created months ago.
⭐️ This business isn’t always upward momentum….it comes with ups and downs and ebbs and flows. One of the most important qualities a blogger can have is the ability to see the big picture and change and pivot with the current situation.⭐️
My affiliate income for some of my favorite products went up this quarter. This is most likely due to my “appearance” on Bjork’s Food Blogger Pro Podcast. See my QUICK THOUGHTS below about being on this podcast!
Nothing has changed in what I am doing (or not doing!) with affiliate income.
I continue to love this aspect of my job and talking to you all one on one is sometimes much-needed in the often monotonous world of sitting at my desk!
I am just having to find the balance by providing the BEST for my clients, while also balancing my other blog work as well!
Q2 2023 TOTAL EXPENSES: $13,882**
Monthly Reoccurring Expenses
Adobe Lightroom (monthly): $10
Bank Account Fee (monthly): $15
Keysearch (monthly): $17
Canva (monthly): $12
Rank IQ (monthly): $29 or $49 depending on how many reports I run
Pinterest VA (monthly): $250
Bookkeeping/Accounting (monthly): $500
Quickbooks (monthly): $21
VA (monthly): $225
Blog Writer (monthly): $210
Photography: $1000 (roughly per month, depending on the month)
Technical Audit: $500
**Important Note: Okay, so my “expenses” might have seen a huge jump this quarter (they were about $8,400 last quarter). However, I starred this number because it doesn’t mean I am spending more money!
Last quarter, I filed for S-Corp status for tax purposes. This means I am now on my own payroll and have to “pay myself” each month which counts as an expense.
So just a disclaimer, I am not really spending any differently at all. I just have the added “expense” of my payroll (which goes straight into my bank account –lol!)
Q2 2023 NET PROFIT: $29,144*
This number INCLUDES what I am paying myself, so it’s a true picture of what I earn after expenses.
But don’t forget about taxes!!!! I pay my taxes quarterly and continue to stock away 25% of my gross income away in a “higher-yield” savings account through PNC Bank online. When tax time rolls around, I never have to worry about not being able to pay.
I stick with the 25% number even though I know it’s more than I need to put away. I like just putting it away right when I get paid and not seeing it again! Last year, I also had lots of “extra” tax money at the end of the year which was great for paying off Christmas presents and Q4-whatnot! LOL!
I also have to say, the sweet, incredible, amazing messages I got from you all after the podcast aired MADE MY FREAKING DAY(S)! Sitting here grinding on my blog day after day, I don’t think I know anything special, nor do I think I am doing anything unique, ya know?? But it’s so comforting to know that I have been able to help many of you by just sharing what has worked for me!
We’re all in this together, friends!
Food Blogger Central Facebook Group: I wanted to just touch on this quickly because I have noticed a bit of a trend among many of my coaching clients.
So many of them feel like there is just TOO MUCH INFORMATION out there and there is this huge sense of overwhelm and “information paralysis!”
I get it. 100%
I’ve been blogging for a while now, and I still feel that way every single day. I will never forget during my first 6 months or so of blogging, I had a mental breakdown (tears, the whole bit) in my car listening to a podcast because I was so overwhelmed with everything…the lingo, the stuff I had to do, the stuff I wasn’t doing…and on and on.
I have gotten SO much better at handling this stress and I have a few tips for you….
- FOCUS on activities that move your blog forward: Creating the best content you possibly can, updating posts, web stories…whatever other activities you feel move your blog forward.
- LIMIT your “education” time. You don’t need to listen to a blogging podcast every single day. That’s a great way to overwhelm yourself. Instead, pick a few where the titles capture your attention and jot them down. Then, listen to 1-2 a week and REALLY listen. Take notes if you have to. You’ll get so much more out of a podcast if you actually sit and absorb the info.
- TURN OFF NOTIFICATIONS for the Food Blogger Central Facebook group and LIMIT trolling this group to 1x week if not omit it altogether. While there is SO MUCH helpful info and SO MANY nice people on there, this group can also be a rabbit hole of negativity and overwhelm.
Please don’t do this to yourself. If you have a question–post it in the group or use the search bar for specific questions. Don’t just go on there trolling and scrolling! Like I said, it can be a rabbit hole and you’ll end up wasting time on there when you could be creating amazing content. #rantover
I’m forging ahead with so many great new recipes coming out and I’m going to continue updating my older posts…I can see it’s already been working!
Once school starts and I get back into a routine, I am really going to hunker down with my digital products for both YOU GUYS and my foodie blog readers 🙂 It’s just finding the time right now that’s killing me!
I know ya’ll can relate!
Anyhoo-I hope you enjoyed this Food Blog Income Report! I’ll be back next quarter with more numbers, thoughts, and rants! 🙂
In the meantime, if you have any other questions, feel free to drop me a line: [email protected]. I read every one of your emails.
Remember…I’m cheering for you!
XO ~ Casey