There are some who wonder why I continue to write a food blog. Let me assure you, it is not because of the money. I do it because I love, REALLY love getting people excited about cooking. I receive emails and messages regularly from people who tell me that they have started to like cooking - because of my food blog. THAT is my greatest payment, for sure.
However, I do get some money from the blog itself. I thought I'd share how my food blog generates me a small amount of money so that people know and understand why I do what I do on the blog.
The number of impressions my blog gets is the greatest source of income. For me, I get paid $2 for every 1000 impressions my blog gets. This is provided to me through my contract with Foodbuzz, which is why you see their advertisement and badge on the top half of my blog. What does that mean for you the reader? It means that when you visit my blog, that is one impression. If you click onto another page of my blog, you've just given me two impressions. Stick around reading and clicking around my blog, and you could quickly rack up 10 to 20 impressions. I'd like you to come to my blog and stick around, clicking to see other posts and other recipes. This is why I should keep the tabs at the top of my blog (the Korean Cooking, Lunch box ideas etc) current so as to encourage more people to visit. This is also why I'll post links onto my facebook page to drive traffic to my blog. This is also why at the bottom of each post, there are three additional pictures, linking you to other similar posts, in the hopes that perhaps you will stick around. In the early days, my blog got about 5,000 impressions in a month - about 10 dollars. Now, I get close to 50,000 impressions in a month, which is close to $100.
Although $100 may seem like a lot just in terms of having a blog, it requires a ton of work. I know that I get many more impressions, when I post more often. I need to continue posting new recipes and ideas to keep my readers coming back for more. I also have to submit my photographs to Tastespotting and Foodgawker to get the random foodie interested in coming and visiting me. Also note what I did on those links I did for Tastespotting and Foodgawker. I sent you to the page holding my archives of submitted pictures in the hopes that you might find a photograph compelling and get you to click on it and come back to the blog. It's more work, but it might squeeze out an additional impression for me. All together, the amount of work that I put into the blog ranges anywhere between 15-25 hours a week. If I am not posting, then I'm editing photographs trying to submit them to Tastespotting and Foodgawker, or I'm trying to spruce up the blog in order to keep you on my blog just those two or three impressions longer. If you do the math, I'm making about $1 or $2 an hour on my blog. I make MUCH MUCH more as a private teacher/college essay reader.
Also on my blog you'll notice advertisements from Google. Those google ads, IF clicked on can also generate some income for me. In the early early early days of the blog, I thought that if I made $1 a day or $30 a month, the blog would be worth it. (This is before Foodbuzz's contract). I begged my mom to click on the google ad daily and I begged my sister in law to do the same. Close friends also tried to remember to click on the advertisement to help me generate income that way. All in all, in the early days, Google ads paid me about $2 a month based on the clicks that I got. These days I'm up to $25 a month from Google, but that is more based on the sheer traffic of my blog than the number of clicks on ads. However, a single daily click on a google ad often means that instead of the normal 60 cents a day Google might pay me, I could be bumped up to $1.50.
Some of my posts recommend a product to you. If you click the link, and choose to buy something from that initial link from my blog, I will get anywhere between 4-6.5% of the total sale in commissions. The vanilla beans that I use and recommend on my blog, if clicked on and purchased, generally gets me anywhere between $.60 to $.97. If you buy a few items from that initial click from my blog, then I get a commission for your total purchase. When I recommend an item to you, it is because I like and trust the item, generally has free shipping, and it isn't simply to generate a commission from you. My sister in law loves to see me get commissions so she deliberately links through my blog to buy anything from amazon, if only to provide me the commission. My brothers do the same. All told, Amazon commissions are usually anywhere between $10 to $20 a month.
The Williams-Sonoma commission is a new one for me. You have to apply to be one of their advertising sites, and once approved then you are able to post their ad on your website and potentially generate some income for yourself. I'm not entirely sure how the commission structure works in terms of traffic (I think if I send them 100 hits or so in a week, I get some money), but for any purchases made through linking from my blog, I get a commission of 10%. Since this is new, I have no idea how much money this will generate for me, but Williams Sonoma is a store I really do love (and spend too much money at) which is why I chose to have the link on my page. If it generates me a few bucks, then that's always nice.
All told, these days my blog makes about $150 a month. It's not enough to cover the grocery bills in this house, or even camera expenses, but it is money that I've used to send to Haiti and to cover some minor expenses of running the blog. But, I thought I'd reveal to you the behind the scenes of how a blog makes money, if only to be honest with my readers about why I do some of the things that I do. The commission and money is nice, but it certainly isn't any sort of motivation for me to keep the blog up. The other stuff - human relationships, family meals, and people learning to cook which is so much more important to me.
Tuesday, December 7, 2010
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