Hey everyone, it’s Dustin again. Like I mentioned back in the 2014 Gameplan post, we were going to start sharing these income reports. I originally got the idea from Pat Flynn over at Smart Passive Income and really like the idea because it makes everything really transparent. You guys can see and read about why we are trying what we try and how it works, etc. No guess work involved.
I also really like how it holds us accountable, which is something I believe Lacey and I have not done as good of job lately. We had switched from trying to grow our blog and community to using the site more as a personal (but shared) online cookbook. I am pretty disappointed in myself for taking that approach when there is such potential here. There’s potential for both a great foodie community and a small business for Lacey and me. I guess, sometimes, life gets in the way or — at least — we let it get in the way.
A few quick notes before we dive into the good stuff…
FYI, we are an affiliate for some of the below links. However, all these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.
Shredded Chicken Enchiladas
The Man. The Myth. The Legend. By far, our most viewed page is Shredded Chicken Enchiladas. It is really crazy. I don’t even like enchiladas much and I am really just a meat and cheese guy when it comes to Mexican food. But everyone seems to LOVE this recipe. Back when Lacey used to have cook dates for her personal chef business, everyone talked about how great they were.
As you can see in the screenshot above, we get about 15-30 percent of our traffic just from that one page. When this first started happening, I wanted to know why so I did a little digging. Turns out we rank on the first page of Google for “chicken enchiladas,” “chicken enchilada recipe” and number one overall for “shredded chicken enchiladas.”
Woohoo! All that research with Market Samurai helping Lacey choose titles and possible food topics seems to be paying off. Don’t worry, follow up posts on Market Samurai and how it helps are coming very soon. You may also noticed the little picture of Lacey next to her topic. That is Google Authorship and we have some stuff scheduled on that topic as well.
January Traffic Patterns
In these monthly look-back posts, I think it is helpful to dive into some of the traffic patterns we see as well. I wish I had done this from the beginning because it would be easier to do some comparisons. So we will have to go off memory where needed. January was actually a little on the lite side for us as far as traffic goes. We are usually between 80k-100k visitors but we have been dropping lately. This drop is probably due to the lack of new content (i.e. we hadn’t been posting very much) and our hosting service going down all the time. Hopefully, with the switch to WPEngine and our new level of content production, we can push past 100k soon.
As you can see, most of our traffic comes from Google, with a big chunk from Pinterest and direct as well. Our focus over the next few months will be to increase the food aggregator site traffic. We haven’t used Tastespotting and Foodgawker as much as we should. I also would like to build the facebook traffic because the engagement there is so great and I have seen lots of other brands do a real good job of providing good content to people and having great communities because of it.
After looking into the Shredded Enchiladas page analytics, I also wanted to dive further into the pages for which we see the most traffic. In the month of January, Shredded Chicken Enchiladas again reigned #1. However, you can see we get a lot of traffic from a few pages that, at first glance, you wouldn’t think would be great traffic generators.
A post on yeast and one on zucchini noodles. Two fairly niche things, but there they are in the top ten visited pages and with over 1k in traffic a month. I am very happy with that. This comes from thinking about possible recipes and then creating titles and content that will help focus on search terms. In the case of yeast, it was just a simple discussion on the different types of yeast. We had run into needing this info before so we thought ‘Hey, this might be useful for others.’
We also started really paying attention to the ups and downs of our traffic. It looks like the best day for us is always Sunday and the worst day is always Friday. Kind of interesting. I guess people like to cook on Sunday and like to go out to eat on Friday. This happens to line up with what Lacey and I do.
January 2014 Income
- Google Adsense: $146.26
- ContextWeb: $25.18
- Cooking Can Be Easy: $14.22
- Amazon Affiliate: $2.16
- Total: $187.82
Our main source of income currently comes from AdSense. We are looking to branch out by adding our affiliates to the Resources page as well as by creating some content that helps people start their own food blog (or any kind of blog for that matter). We also made a tiny bit from a cookbook sale and from Amazon. This is our lowest grossing month in a long time. Again, I’m sticking with the theme that I think this has a lot to do with our lack of attention to creating new and valuable content as well as our server being up and down all the time.
Sorry, for the January Income report being a little late. I am already working on the February one so keep your eyes out.