Last Updated on June 6, 2021 by Bianka
My Eighth Month Blogging Report
Hey guys! 🙂
I’m back with another blogging report!
If you’re new to my blogging reports: hi, I’m Bianka and this is my “food blog experiment” series where every month I set new blogging goals and then report back the results to keep track of how my new food blog is growing!
If you’ve read my previous blogging report, you know that I recently took some major life decisions and, as a result, I had to reasses my blogging schedule reflecting those decisions.
Let’s see how it went (spoiler alert: I’m excited af for this report)!
🗒 MAY BLOGGING GOALS REVIEW
- 10k pageviews (yes, I went there) – SUCCESS!!!!! This is my first +10k month!!! I’m so grateful!
- Post 1 recipe/week for a total of 4 recipes – SUCCESS!
- Get 4 links published – SUCCESS!
- 200k monthly viewers on Pinterest – SUCCESS!
- Complete Unit 03-04 of Foodtography School. – FAIL! Eeek!
- Batch more content. – SUCCESS!
📊 GOOGLE ANALYTICS
I’m so happy to have reached 11k pageviews this month. When I first started this blog, eight months ago, 10k pageviews seemed *VERY* far away. Here we are! (Also, my Avg. Time On Page is 5:07 – WOW!).
And yes, I know that major networks like Mediavine, etc. look at sessions, not pageviews.
To get a better idea of where I stand in the big scheme of “blogging” I went down the rabbit hole of “my eighth-month blogging” posts. I know this might sound bad because it’s basically comparing my journey to other people’s journey but I do like to stay grounded and see where others are at, from time to time.
From what I’ve seen, 10k in eight months is great and that made me even more grateful and happy.
I’ve seen tons (literally) of bloggers averaging about 700 to 4000 monthly pageviews in their eighth month. Of course there’s also bloggers hitting 20k or more, but 10k seems to be a pretty dang good result when compared to the majority of the reports I’ve seen.
If you’re a fellow blogger who’s far away from this goal: hard work, a good paid keyword research tool, and good photography and editing skills will take you to 10k/month sooner than you know.
I’m loving the pie charts lately. Look at that organic traffic growth, it was sitting at 19% just a few months ago! 🙂
Social is mainly Pinterest with zero commitment from my part, more on that later.
💸 Affiliate Marketing
This is actually a pretty funny update.
Back at the beginning of the year, I joined Amazon Associates. I was pretty excited and I added a few links, hoping I would hit the minum sales required to avoid being kicked out of the program but deep down I knew I was probably gonna get kicked out because my blog was (is) still so new and adding a few links wasn’t gonna cut it.
Well, in February I barely worked on the blog, same thing happened in March.
You have only 180 days to make those 3 sales.
I was waiting for my “you’ve been kicked out” email last month because I really did not work on affiliate marketing, like, AT ALL. I added some links to products that I genuinely believe in but then I stopped working on the blog altogether for a few weeks.
I started getting suspicious and checked my Amazon Associates account just a few days ago. What do you know? I made the sales.
I’m in!!! 🙂
Thank you to whoever purchased through my affiliate links. I’m so grateful! Obviously, it’s not serious money (like, at all) but it means I get to stay and that was exactly what I wanted!
I have already updated more posts to include meaningful affiliate links and I’m now excited to keep working on affiliate marketing!
🤍 YOUR FAVORITES LATELY
I’ve decided to stop including this section for multiple reasons but mostly because people’s favs have been very similar lately.
At first, this list looked different every month because my traffic was lower, so new recipes received a good boost from a referral and skyrocketed to the top of the list of popular posts for that month making the list very diverse and fun to go through.
It doesn’t really happen anymore as my traffic is higher and new recipes tend to get less attention than my most popular posts.
An Update on Photography and Editing
I also wanted to update you guys on my photographing and editing journey.
Back in November 2020 I decided to invest in Foodtography School by Sarah Crawford after following her on social media for a year or so.
I knew it was gonna be a good course because I could see her passion and skills, and she always made a good job at providing value in her free webinars, so I just knew her paid course was going to be packed with helpful information but I was still scared of making the leap.
A lot of people kept saying “Oh, the course is gonna pay itself back within a few months”. I was excited to learn but very skeptical.
Well, I got the course on Cyber Monday.
In March I was able to pay off the investment and actually make profit. Thanks to Sarah’s course I was able to start freelancing.
I now feel like I’ve finally found my photography and editing style. I know I still have a lot to learn, but I feel confident in my shooting sessions which results in faster shootings, less frustration, and more fun.
My food photography went from this to this:
My Lightroom editing skills also went from this to this (same exact pictures):
If you’re serious about food photography, get this course. It will change your path.
Just wait for their Black Friday deals if you’re trying to save money, their Black Friday/Cyber Monday deals are usually really good.
An Update on Paid Keyword Research Tools
Back in March I also invested in Keysearch, a paid keyword research tool.
These past few months I’ve been really working on keyword research and I finally feel confident in the recipes I choose create.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much of a difference this makes.
I know exactly which recipes are worth making and which are a total waste of time.
While there are some decent free tools out there, they’re pretty hit or miss resulting in a TON of wasted time on recipes that will never bring in any traffic.
If you’re serious about food blogging or blogging in general, get a good paid keyword research tool from day 1 and you’ll grow much faster.
I haven’t been spending time on social media at all. I know it’s bad for my social media presence but I’m really over polished social media presence (and yes I know people want “real” nowadays).
I know I should be out there making TikToks because that’s where people get popular now.
I know should be making Instagram stories, reels, posts and all that to provide value but it just feels like spinning my wheels, especially when it comes to Instagram.
I believe in Instagram as a portfolio (and I know I’m neglecting that).
But I also believe in organic traffic, which is why social media hasn’t made it to the top list of my priorities as of now.
Let’s also address the elephant in the room: Pinterest.
Pinterest has gone from goldmine to hit or miss over the years. Bigger bloggers have been losing traffic as well so if you can’t find a good strategy, it’s not just you.
If you’ve read my previous blogging reports, I did put a lot of effort into Pinterest at first which is why I’m getting traffic and subscribers now but my strategy went from “hella good” to “10 impressions” pretty much overnight and I haven’t been able to solve that.
I haven’t pinned in 4 months but my impressions, traffic and subscribers keep going up.
I’m not saying I’m doing the right thing by ignoring it but I needed this break.
I do want to get back into pinning the recipes I publish though, which is the bare minimum. I’ll start this month and see how it goes. I’m really out of the loop when it comes to Pinterest so I’ll give it a try.
👆🏻MAY BLOGGING GOALS
- 15k pageviews.
- Post 1 recipe/week for a total of 4 recipes.
- Get 4 links published.
- 250k monthly viewers on Pinterest.
- Batch more content.
That’s all for my eighth month blogging!
I’ve learned a lot throughout all these months and I’m really excited about Damn Spicy!
Thank you to each and every one of you that comes back for these reports or takes the time to leave ratings and reviews on my recipes!