Hey, Dustin here!
I am still trying to catch up on these here income reports. If it’s your first time seeing one of these let me walk you through real quick. Lacey & I run a healthy food blog called A Sweet Pea Chef. On and off I have created these income reports as a way to give insight into how to run an online business.
Recently we have moved them over to this sister site Married To Your Business where we walk you through how we created an online business in the healthy food niche.
Our goal is to inspire you to create your own online business or side hustle and provide you with insight into what we find is working and in some embarrassing cases not working lol.
So, with that said …
January 2015 was a decent income month not our best though despite having our best traffic month ever. This really stems from the new year. In January ad spend is always down even though we have good traffic in January and all our healthy content does real well as long as ad revenue is such a huge amount of our income this month will always dip a little bit.
This actually gets me pretty nervous especially for February which is typically our worst month every year (spoiler alert: it was again this year too).
The most immediate goal I have is to get our revenue over $10k/month every month and while January didn’t get there it is another step in the right direction.
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.
We are moving these over to Married to Your Business. The content just seems to fit better over here although we will be adding more food blog specific stuff to ASPC.
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.
Important Things In January
We finally got the new introductory offer really going in full swing. This was a big deal we have been learning a lot about sales funnels and how you need lower priced offers in front of larger more core product offerings. The idea being that you want to use these lower priced offers to attract customers and ideally pay for advertising. Then the higher priced offerings are where you really generate your revenue. I have a full breakdown of our new model here.
Plus we launched the 30 Day Healthy Program again. This was big for us since we learned a ton last October and wanted to implement it. We also wanted to offer one last lifetime membership go around for people to have access forever. After this we switched it to a monthly membership program called the Take Back Your Health Academy.
These were both really huge things for us and going forward we are going to be focusing a ton on the academy and how to make it a great resource for people looking to improve their health through food.
January was our best traffic month ever. We crossed over the 200k uniques a month mark for the second time and just barely passed all the records we set in December. I know this won’t continue as we usually see a little dive in number until August but I have some plans to try and counter that.
When compared to last January which was 114k uniques, we saw 109% growth if you have read these reports before you know this is really how I gauge our success is year over year comparisons.
With our pivot over the last year to healthy food only I’m hoping more and more January will be a strong month for us.
We are nearing 400k pageviews which is pretty cool. Big plans this year and getting pageviews to cross the 1 million mark in a one month is one the list :).
Top Traffic Sources
For January, most of our traffic was from Google. Over the last few months we have really started to work on driving more traffic from email and facebook as well as improving our pinterest strategy. We have gotten facebook to grow a lot over the last few months included some huge round number milestones which will help balance out our traffic strategies a lot.
This won’t last lol. Despite how good eggnog is.
And it is good.
January 2016 Income Report
Finally, onto the income report.
- 30 Day Healthy: $2028.00
- Meal Planning Service: $576.30
- No-Fail Cookbook: $77 (we are moving away from this cookbook and hopefully coming out with a new one)
- Healthy Kid’s Lunch Makeover: $0
- Blogher: $230.85
- Gourmet Ads: $50.03
- AdThrive: $1179.30
- Amazon Affiliate: $47.08 (this mostly comes from a post on the best kitchen tools Lacey recommends)
- Food Blogger Pro Affiliate: $0 (I did a post on Food Blogger Pro and how we used it to grow ASPC )
- Scribe Affiliate: $32.01 (I did a post on Food Blogging SEO and how we use it to grow ASPC )
- Market Samurai Affiliate: $97.99 (I did a post on Food Blogging SEO and how we use it to grow ASPC)
- Video Ads (AOL/Youtube) : $59.51
- Swoop :$50.11
- Sponsored Videos/Posts/Freelance Videos: $3200 (these are all lumped together for contract reasons)
- Contributor: $611.10 (Lacey and I started contributing to other sites in our marketing push and some of them generate extra revenue)
- Clean Eating Course: $657.00
- Custom Meal Plans :$57
- Gross Total January 2015: $8,953.28
- Last Month December 2015: $11,559.55
- Difference: -$2,606.27
- Last Year January 2015: $1,261.81
- Difference: +$7,691.47
Ad Revenue is up a bunch AdThrive has really helped a ton. Their performance over past ad systems has been awesome and in May we can move over everything to them which I’m hoping will get us a boost also.
January was really boosted by our 30 Day Healthy Program as well as launching our intro offer clean eating course. Both of these accounted for over $2,500 worth of our revenue.
January 2016 Expense Report
I started including expenses in these income reports in an effort to show profitability and specifically to help answer people’s questions about what we use behind the scenes and how much it costs.
I don’t recommend getting all of these right away when you get started. Instead just get what you need and work your way up.
This month was definitely high for us expense wise. Usually our expenses were around $1,000.00 a month (not including salaries for Lacey and Sean). However, lately with fb ads and groceries growing we have seen that number creep up a bit. Plus, we bought a lot of studio equipment so this month we went over $3k again.
- Wistia: $25.00
- Convertkit: $30.00
- Food Blogger Pro: $29.00
- Adobe Creative Cloud: $10.81
- Podbean: $25.00
- WpEngine: $265.43
- Contextly: $24.00
- Market Samurai: $25.00
- Scribe: $47.00
- Github: $7.00
- Facebook Ads: $515.75
- Kraken: $9.00
- Fb Ads Training: $97.00
- Crashplan (Backup Software): $14.78
- ClickFunnels: $97.00
- Samcart: $99.00
- Webinar Chat Software: $11.20
- Canva: $12.95
- SumoMe: $40.00
- Groceries: $532.63 (this has increased lately and goes with larger video deals we have made)
- Speechpad (transcriptions): $69 (I am trying to get all of our old videos transcripted)
- AWS: $56.44
- Kitchen Equipment: $611.57
- Video Equipment: $0
- IPS forum software: $30
- Legal Zoom: $340.65
- Total Expenses: $3,247.98
Net Total: $8,953.28 – $3,247.98 = $5,705.30
Lessons Learned From January
For January we saw record month and a lot of the work we put in last year really paid off. We are really excited about what the pivot has in store for us over the next year as well as growing the media portion of our business.
The focus on iteration and hyper focused attention to ROI when making decisions has really helped.
Now we look at everything and say how does this either help our audience or grow revenue and ideally both. This has really allowed us to hone in on the areas we need to improve
Goals For February
I want to start outlining goals for the next month each time. This gives us a few big tasks to cross off over the course of the month and ideally keep moving the needle in a positive direction.
For February my main goal was to stop the bleeding that I know happens every February. The combination of less days in the month, being the start of a new year and quarter and just not a very food/fitness focused month always means a lull. My goal was to get to $5k for February which would be a big growth year over year.
Let’s check in real quick on the January goals:
- Grow MRR to $5k a month by the end of the year (stretch goal of $10k) (I decided to fast track this goal here instead of this year I wanted to do it in 3 months and we are way behind)
- Create 2 new introductory offers that lead into our membership site (Way behind)
- Create 100+ videos and/or new pieces of content that’s over 2 a week for the whole year. (On Track)
- Hold 1-2 webinars every month on health related topics (behind)
- Launch the sister site Maried To Your Business (woohoo! one down already)
- Grow Traffic to over 400k visitors per month by the end of the year (about 40% growth here) (On Track)
Overall I think these are very doable based off the research I have done and the steps we took last year. It’s mostly about being smart and focusing even more on what’s working and removing what isn’t. We may also need to bring on some part time help to take care of some of the marketing and promotional work that needs to be done.
Thanks So Much
Hopefully, all these numbers will help you to improve your own revenue streams on your blog or even start one yourself. We know this wouldn’t exist without everyone supporting A Sweet Pea Chef. Thanks so much for sharing, commenting, and supporting us and this blog. We really appreciate everyone.
Also feel free to ask any questions you want I will do my best to answer them for you 🙂 I want to encourage as many people as I can to get started generating at least a little side income it can really help with your mindset just to get started.