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.
The main theme of November was to get the new cookbook up that we were working on. While this was our main goal, we wound up setting all sorts of records for the site this month. Over the last few months, we spent a lot of time prepping for November and December. Knowing that we tend to get a lot of traffic those months, we wanted to make sure we took advantage of it. Like I mentioned in the recent SEO post, we use seasons to figure out how much content we need and where. Seasons affect food choice a lot and are important when planning out your content. So, in October and November, we added a lot of videos and extra content to reflect the season. We also redid old photos and made some good landing pages for the holidays.
FYI, we are an affiliate for some of the below links. All these suggestions are based on our experience and extensive research.
New Cookbook Launch Went Great!
It has been a while since we launched any products here at ASPC and we knew that had to change this year in order to really become the kind of business we are interested in becoming. While our primary goal is always to make dinner/cooking super easy for everyone with high quality content and easy, no-fail recipes, we also knew we needed a better business platform for accomplishing this goal. The first step towards that was to create a product.
After a lot of deliberation, we decided to redo the old cookbook and focus on this evergreen concept of continually updating the new one and giving everybody lifetime updates. Our reasoning for this was it gave us a reason to keep refining it and making it better. With every iteration, we can get customer feedback and add more recipes to the list. The idea is to keep the content useful for the readers and for us to gain a passive source of income. The main focus of the cookbook was to provide a solution to people’s need for a cookbook that always has recipes that you can’t go wrong with.
My initial goal for this launch was to beat our old cookbook sale record of $176 in a month, but with everyone’s support, we blew past that and made $359. We are really happy with that launch and now are focusing on keeping it evergreen so it becomes a more passive source of income where we add new recipes every few months and update everyone who has already purchased. I will keep you posted on how that works.
And, if you haven’t already, make sure to check it out: The No-Fail Cookbook. Even if you just look at the copy, photos, and landing page, it can give you some ideas on how to position your own cookbook 🙂
Creating A Downloadable Cookbook
I wanted to talk about how we created the cookbook and the process we went through. We have been really trying to update and improve the visual quality of everything on the site and so we thought it was about time to do the same for our cookbook. With Sean on board now and how much Lacey’s photography has improved in the years since we created the last one, we knew we could make something we were all really proud of. We started by making a list of recipes that felt like no-fail recipes and made sure to include a few in each category we wanted to have. With the list of recipes decided on, the next step was figuring out which recipes needed new photos. Most of Lacey’s old photos were all horizontal and we knew we wanted vertical ones so that meant quite a few redos.
With Lacey taking photos, the next step was to create some sample recipe pages we liked. This is where Sean came in. He created a few with some different colors and also started working on the cover. Pretty soon, we had enough for me to start putting together a sales page.
Sales Pages And Optimize Press
For our sales page, we use Optimize Press. I’ll go into using Optimize Press and sales pages, in general, in a later post. The goal however was to really hone in on our audience and their pain points and focus on how Lacey’s recipes can help them solve those. We broke the page up into a few different chunks and went through all of these. We also included some testimonials from people who really like Lacey’s recipes 🙂
We also wanted to make sure that we talked about the evergreen concept, answered any questions people might have and gave a guarantee. Sean and Lacey created a video for the sales page so Lacey could talk a little about the cookbook and make the whole process a little more personal.
Selling And Gumroad
Once I was done with the sales page, we needed to actually sell the product. That’s where Gumroad comes in. I use them for these things because it is super easy to get set up. In just an hour or so, you can create a product, set it all up, and connect it to your sales page. They take a 5% commission, which is a little higher than something like Stripe, but way easier to use when you’re getting started and looks really professional.
Launching The Product
Finally, the product was done and everything was configured and tested so we were ready to launch. We like to reward our email subscribers so the launch went to them first with a discount code. We also tried to follow some advice we have been getting from Internet Business Mastery and used an email launch sequence rather than just sending out one email. The results were awesome and, so far, everyone has been really happy with the product so we are super happy.
More Site Records
November, also saw our record for traffic in one month and for one day. We had 10,610 views as well as a bunch of days over 7k views that just crushed it. Finally, we hit my goal of 100k uniques this month. Not sure why I cared so much about this goal. I guess I just thought it would be cool 🙂
We saw lots of growth in November, hitting those goals I mentioned. Looking at the analytics, we seem to be hovering around 1.3 pages per session which isn’t where I want it, but still a lot better than it used to be. Average session duration is still around a minute.
Top Traffic Sources
We had a big boost from Google and a little boost from Pinterest this month which shifted our percentages quite a bit.
November 2014 Income Report
Finally, onto the income report.
- No Fail Cookbook: $359.00
- Blogher: $226.73
- Google Adsense: $76.58
- PulsePoint: $9.20
- Lijit: $18.52
- Amazon Affiliate: $15.57
- Thesis Theme: $65.01
- Bluehost Affiliate: $0 we have a post on setting this up here
- Youtube Channel : $12.06
- Swoop :$6.87 (Annoyingly this got turned off somehow this month)
- Total: $715.47
Blogher was still lower than expected and it seems like advertising this Q4 will also be lower than anticipated which is a bummer but also why we want to create products and services that completely replace advertising. As you can see, the Cookbook helped us reach our largest month yet.
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.