A peek behind the curtain is a monthly traffic and income report, where I share the technical side of what worked, and what didn’t to grow Rhubarbarians.
Welcome back, nerdy nerds! This is where I share all of the techy, numbery, nerdy stuff about Rhubarbarians. If you are here for recipes, HOLD YOUR HORSES, and wait till next time peeps. Buuuuuuuut, if you are here to see how things went in September, Rhubarbarians’ 11th month, behind the scenes, let’s chat.
Look at all those glorious foods up there! So, I had a really great cooking month in September. I cooked A LOT! I think that Fall bug flew in and never left. I had a lot of wins, a lot of fails, and a lot of just good old life happening in September.
Lows: So man friggin recipe fails. It must have been the constant cooking, but I tried to get just a wee bit too creative in September. About half of the recipes I created didn't turn out. See that monte cristo with apples (so good!), that was my 4th monte cristo sandwich I made. FOURTH! Also, I still haven't hit that 20k milestone I've been crossing my fingers for since May.
Highs: I attended my first food blogging conference! I met a lot of awesome friendly bloggers I've been admiring for years now, and picked up some tips and tricks to implement in the future. Also, Rhubarbarians hit it's highest revenue amount to date. WOOOOOOT! So, even without gaining traction with the page views, my revenue continues to increase.
First of all, I want to bring up my experience at the IFBC here in Seattle. It was my very first blogging conference, so let's just say I was nervous as all get out going into it. When I first walked in, it was literally a sea of people sitting at large tables, and I felt like the new kid in school trying to find the right lunch table. Like an uber-nerd, I sat in the very front. Right in front of the first speaker. It was great, but I didn't feel like I got to interact with anyone much. Should have sat in the back!
I moved on to a few seminars, and connected with some bloggers finally. Once I began to mingle, I really felt like I was in the middle of a supportive and friendly environment. The nerves started to disappear (especially once the booze started flowing), and all in all I had a really wonderful time.
To be honest, I'm not sure how much I got out of the conference, other than the interaction with other bloggers. I didn't particularly feel like I learned anything new, and didn't feel as inspired by the speakers as I thought I would. Maybe my hopes were too high. Am I the only one that feels this way? In the end, it was totally worth it, because I feel like I made some real connections and some true friends.
Page views time:
OK, so...... the page views blow. AGAIN! I keep hearing "the summer slump the summer slump" over and over in my head, but this is really getting old. I haven't seen an increase since July, and have been trying to hit 20K since May. Come on October!!!
Where did those page views come from?
#1. Pinterest. WOOOOOOHOOOOOO! I've been really focusing my efforts on Pinterest the last few months, trying to bump it up to that #1 spot. I kept seeing other bloggers really benefit from Pinterest, and decided that I just wan't using it the right way. Tailwind really helped me achieve this goal, because I can schedule out my pins throughout the day and not have to be present all day long. I also started pinning a TON of other people's content. I was really only marketing my own pins before September, but when I started to become active on Pinterest with more than just my own content, Pinterest took note. Definitely something to consider if you are rethinking your Pinterest game!
#3. Facebook. Facebook went down just a bit from August. I slowed down my sharing group activity to focus more on creating content. I am happy that it's only dipped a tiny bit, and is still in the 3rd spot.
#4. Yummly. Yummly jumped up from the #5 spot! Yay!
OK....... your 3 favorite posts in September are:
A new post! At the #1 spot! People really dug this recipe, and it did well across all of my sharing channels. Let's see if it can hold strong once tomatoes aren't in season.
Well........ duh. This recipe has been my one viral post that won't quit! It's been holding the #1 spot since I started these reports, and I'm shocked to see it get bumped by a new recipe. Exciting stuff!
There is a trend happening here. ANOTHER new post made the top 3!
So, I can normally see a common theme among my most popular recipes for the month, but September is kind of all over the map. Maybe because it's that in between Summer and Fall time? Not sure why these new posts did so well, but I'm happy they did!
Alright........ now for the income breakdown:
Guys! September had 5 different income streams! Booyah! Versifying income is so important when monetizing a website. I'm really trying to create as many different income streams as I can to make sure I am up with the times and staying afloat no matter what happens. Although there weren't any NEW income streams in September, it was the first month where I created revenue from all of my streams in the same month. Every little bit counts, and I hit my highest revenue amount to date!
Let's break it down:
- Clever Girls Collective. 100% of revenue from sponsored content. I was paid to feature a brand in a post. I only endorse products that I would use in my own kitchen.
- Mode Media contributor program. 100% of revenue from website contributions. I was paid to create food stories for Mode Media's Foodie channel.
- Virtual Assistant services. 100% of revenue from services. I was hired to perform administrative duties for a website.
- Foodie Pro Theme. 82% of revenue from affiliate commission. I received a percentage of sales from referral links.
- How to monetize your food blog E-book. 14% of revenue from affiliate commission. I received a percentage of sales from referral links.
- Tailwind. 4% of revenue from affiliate commission. I received a percentage of sales from referral links.
- Mode Media: 53% of revenue from CPM advertising. This was my top tier CPM advertiser. Medium fill rates, medium CPM rates.
- Gourmet Ads: 29% of revenue from CPM advertising. This was my middle tier CPM advertiser. High fill rates, medium-low CPM rates.
- Google Adsense: 18% of revenue from CPM advertising. This was my bottom tier CPM advertiser. High fill rates, low CPM rates.
Alright........ did you get all that? A lot to deal with eh?
Now, for my favorite blogging resource in September:
The Clever Girls Collective! September was the first month that Rhubarbarians had been selected to be part of a paid campaign. The contract and structure of the campaign was very straight forward, and I look forward to working with brands through them in the future! If you are looking for some paid sponsorship opportunities, I highly recommend them. Looking for more great blogging resources? Check out my blogging resources page!
The real takeaway from September is one that I take away from each and every month: blogging is a brick by brick business. It takes a lot of little itty bitty baby steps to get where you want, but in the end, you will get there. Rhubarbarians may not have gained much traction in the way of page views, but I layered quite a few posts onto that brick wall I'm building. That income pie chart grows slowly every month, and each piece of pie gets just a bit bigger along with it.
Keep at it, and don't lose hope.
How did September go for you? Did you learn anything new? Hit a milestone? Have a little victory? I’d love to hear about it!
Till next time dudes,