It’s finally the beginning of fall, aka the best time of the year! 🙂 And also, the beginning of apple and pumpkin everything (anyone else overly excited about this??). Don’t worry, there will be plenty of Apple Cinnamon Overnight Oats and Mini Pumpkin Pies here on Jar Of Lemons! Today, we’re looking at our income, traffic, growth, and goals for August. We’re also talking about blog themes and sponsored content! Welcome to the Monthly Blog Income Report for August of 2017!
If you’ve ever wondered how a food blogger makes money, are wanting to grow your traffic, or maybe even start a blog, these monthly blog income reports have tons of resources and tips. You can check out why we started these income reports in our first one (Monthly Blog Income Report – April 2017)! As a reminder, these monthly blog income reports are NOT about the money, but are instead a way for us to share how we’re reaching our goals as a business and what we’re doing to grow. They’re a way for us to be transparent with you guys in order to (hopefully) help you achieve your blogging goals!
If you have any questions or thoughts, be sure to let us know in the comments below (or email us over on the contact page). We want these reports to be helpful to you guys!
Here’s August’s Monthly Blog Income Report:
Please note that some of the links below are affiliate links. These are products that I’ve used before and stand behind!
- A Month Of Healthy Eats Paperback – $41.34
- A Month Of Healthy Eats Ebook – $76.44
- Sponsored Posts (Ahalogy, Sway, Social Fabric, Linqia, and brands) – $1,163
- Amazon Affiliate – $91.65
- Mediavine Ads – $695.16
Total Income: $2,068
- Food – $169.99
- 1&1 Internet – $10.99
- Melody Loops – $29.00
- Facebook Ad – $0
- Food Blogger Pro (paid yearly) – $0
- Active Campaign (paid yearly) – $0
- Tailwind (paid yearly) – $0
- CrashPlan (paid yearly) – $0
- CoSchedule – $0
Total Expenses: $210
NET REVENUE: $1,858
This month (like last month), we had a very low expense cost. Aside from supplies for blog posts and our monthly host payment, the only other purchase we had was music for videos from Melody Loops. Additionally, our switch to Mediavine ads is proving to be successful!
We’re happy to say that this month there’s been growth once again! Although the growth is minimal in comparison to last month’s report, it’s growth nonetheless.
Goals & Takeaways
Sponsored posts are starting to pick up as quarter four quickly approaches! It can be tough to figure out how much to charge, how to balance sponsored content, how to communicate with brands in the most effective way, and how to organize it all. We recently took this Sponsored Content Bootcamp that helped us figure out how to price our sponsored posts, how to approach brands, and how to create amazing sponsored posts. If you’re thinking about having (or already have) sponsored content on your blog, now is the best time to get in on this Sponsored Content Bootcamp over on Food Blogger Pro! Guys, it’s incredible and SO informative, no matter how long you’ve been blogging!
So what’s our goal for September? Aside from obsessing over all the fall things, we’re focusing on organizing our approach towards sponsored content and improving the quality of the posts themselves. We want our sponsored content to be incredibly useful for our readers and beneficial for our brands, so that it’s a win-win. Our hope is to streamline the communication process a little better so that goals are met and the content is the best it can be!
Additionally, it looks like there’s a chance we might be remodeling our kitchen DIY style this month! (EEK!) Bad timing? Probably, considering how busy this time of year is. But when you’re motivated, you’re motivated! So here we go!! If you haven’t seen the current state of our house yet, check out this post and follow along on our personal Insta. I’m sure there will be posts as things progress!
What’s in a blog theme?
Whether you are new to the blogging world or are a seasoned veteran, you’ve likely heard plenty about themes. There is literally a whole industry out there dedicated to providing you with top quality themes! With so many to choose from, how do you go about finding the right fit?
Early on, I remember making the mistake of finding one that looked awesome and had what I thought to be all the “cool bells and whistles”. I chose that one solely based on those aspects! As I began working with the theme I soon found out that it didn’t matter how good it looked if I wasn’t using it as the designer of the theme intended. It was like I was fighting the design of the theme! I wanted a certain kind of layout, but the theme wouldn’t do that. I wanted to include custom page types, but it couldn’t do that either. “I hate this dumb theme!”, I thought to myself! Then one day it hit me. The purpose of this theme was not at all intended to be used the way that I was trying to use it. I needed to go back and really think about my site, what it’s purpose was, why it existed, and what I wanted to do with it!
Theme Tip #1: Map out your site’s purpose and the functionality you want it to have.
Once I did this, it became so clear. No wonder this theme wasn’t working the way I wanted it to! It was actually a really great theme, it just did something else really well. After searching for a theme that could do what I wanted it to do, things went a lot smoother.
Theme Tip #2: Find a blog theme that is easy to work with and extendable.
After searching, I decided to use the Genesis framework. This technically isn’t a theme … it’s a framework, but it’s built on top of a theme. This framework has lots of ways it can be customized and built the functionality into Jar of Lemons that the other theme was lacking! It’s SO easy to work with and easy to extend. It’s not free, but it’s worth the price. They even have lots of code snippets that you can copy and paste into your theme to do lots of common tweaks to your site. Genesis provides a free theme that you can use and customize to your hearts desire, or they also have premium themes for sale!
Looking for something different? The Foodie Pro and Brunch Pro themes are great, too!
Theme Tip #3: Always use a child theme.
I might have to go into more details about this one in a later post, but if you are looking into doing serious customizations to your theme, you will want to use what WordPress calls a child theme. The basic idea here is that a WordPress child theme is a theme that inherits its functionality from another theme, the parent theme. Because it inherits from the parent it keeps everything the parent has allowing you to further extend it without losing any of your changes when you update the parent. It’s basically a way to make edits to your theme without actually breaking stuff. Like a practice theme, in Christine’s words! WIN-WIN! You can learn more about child themes on the WordPress codex. Also note that the Genesis Framework comes with a nice child theme (included)! 😉
Here are some links to my favorite go-to’s for blog themes and resources:
EnvatoMarket: Themes, plugins
Genesis Framework: Framework / Themes
Proteus Themes: Quality Industry Specific themes (e.g. Phone Repair, Construction/Design, etc…)
Have questions or thoughts about this month’s report? Be sure to let us know in the comments below!