December was our best month by far. It doubled our previous best which was November. We had to hustle to get our Meal Planning Service up and running. We have been asked to do this quite a lot over the last few years. Not sure why we waited so long to create one, but so glad that we did. Everyone seems super happy with how the service is going and we have almost 40 people in there. If you are interested in checking it out, go here.
The evergreen, free updates on the cookbook keeps bringing in a little income too, which is awesome.
The reason I started doing these income reports in the past was to have a good way to keep track of all that was going on behind the scenes of ASPC. I like the idea of holding our team accountable as we grow this site into what we think it can be. Whether that’s adding video, improving content, or technical improvements, that might benefit everyone that comes here for Lacey’s great recipes.
If you want to check out the old reports, you can here.
FYI, we are an affiliate for some of the below links. All these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.
Meal Planning Service Launch!
One of our goals in making this a long term, viable business is to create a few different recurring revenue streams. For a long time, we have talked about how to make a meal planning service. This was something that people kept asking for. Whenever we surveyed our audience, 40-50% of people who responded asked for this. Lacey and I were super hesitant because it’s a big time commitment. There is a lot of work that goes into creating them and making sure they are useable. We also knew that we wanted to offer customization or it wasn’t going to attract people to the product. For example, who wants 4 servings when you only need 2? Another common issue was fixed number of meals, like some people want to plan 5 dinners out while others just want 4, etc.
After a lot of thought, I was able to come up with a solution. We would presale the product and, if enough people purchased, then I could go and create some software for Lacey to use that would allow her to create these plans a lot faster than by hand. Now, she inputs every recipe and then combines the different variations together and generates a PDF. A lot of the process is still manual, but we have automated enough of it so that Lacey isn’t knee-deep in meal planning all the time.
Pushing Through Fear
One of the reasons we put off this product was fear. Fear of what if people don’t like it? What if it is too difficult? However, we realized that a lot of it was just silly. If people don’t like it, we stop offering it. If we get too many people, then that’s a good problem to have and we can figure out how to handle that when it happens. I always have to take a step back and plan out everything and come up with solutions for scenarios ahead of time. Once I come up with a solution, I don’t worry as much about it and can put my head down and get something to work.
Launching the Product
The launch went great. It led to our best month ever in December. The total results of the launch were 37 people and $1,794.30 spread across December and January. We are all super happy with those results and even happier with the feedback we are getting in the VIP Facebook Group. Everyone is enjoying cooking the meals and sharing their successes at dinnertime. It’s really a great feeling to help people make dinner a little easier. With 3 kids and multiple jobs, we know it gets a little hectic at times.
The Future Of MPS
There are even more things we have planned for the Meal Planning Service:
- Membership Site (this will have videos, meal plans, etc.)
- Archived Meal Plans (so people can re-use ones they love easier)
- Meal Reviews (easier feedback on meals)
- Cooking lessons
- More customizations (ingredients removal, meal removal, etc)
- And more
Super excited to iterate on this product and to help everyone create great dinners.
More Site Records
December was a great month. As usual, our holiday numbers spiked which was great, but we also kept up good numbers just in general. It will be interesting to see how January and February are as they are generally our worst months in terms of traffic and revenue.
December had a ton of Google traffic which brought our average time on site and pages per session down a little. Still want to improve that more.
Top Traffic Sources
Again, most of our traffic spike came from Google so this won’t continue once the holiday season ends. Also, a little spike from Pinterest and direct.
Roast Beef still crushes it but one of my favorite things ever is eggnog. So, when Lacey made it for the first time a few years, ago I was ecstatic. Lobster Bisque was also growing a ton, too. We made videos of all the holiday traffic posts we could and that helped Youtube grow a bunch as well.
December 2014 Income Report
Finally, onto the income report.
- Meal Planning Service: $1,160.10
- No Fail Cookbook: $124.00
- Blogher: $359.22
- Google Adsense: $90.12
- PulsePoint: $0.56
- Lijit: $79.90
- Amazon Affiliate: $11.15
- Thesis Theme: $0
- Bluehost Affiliate: $0 we have a post on setting this up here
- Youtube Channel : $12.92
- Swoop :$160.01
- Total: $1,997.98
Blogher was still lower than expected so at this point I think we have to just plan on less for advertising. The Meal Plan Service was an awesome success. We are so happy with how everything is going and really excited to see that grow over the next few months. We really can’t thank everyone enough for the support of this small business we are growing. We hope you enjoy the food and content as much as we enjoy making it 🙂
Hopefully, all these numbers will help you to improve your own revenue streams on your blog or even start one yourself. Thanks so much for making this site possible. Without everyone checking us out and sharing everywhere, I don’t know where we would be. We really appreciate everyone.