July Traffic and Income Report - $7,084.50 - Skillful Cook
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July Traffic and Income Report - $7,084.50

July Traffic and Income Report.

Hi there! Bjork here checking in for our monthly traffic and income report.

Before I jump into the numbers I wanted to address something. We've had a handful of people (i.e. our parents) checking in to make sure that Lindsay is doing okay. As many of you know, it's extremely rare for Lindsay to go for more than a week without posting an update or a new recipe. So what's the dealio? She's posts 3 times a week for over three years, and then she just stops? It leaves some people saying:


Well fret not, mom and dad. Lindsay is doing just fine. She's actually been working tirelessly on a brand new e-cookbook that is based entirely around her creamy cauliflower sauce. As a matter of fact, I just had the honor of taste testing a plate of biscuits and gravy. Yum!

If you want to be notified when the e-cookbook comes out you can sign up for the early bird notification below.

Update (8.19.2013): Zippadeedoo! Lindsay finished and released the Creamy Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook. You can click here to learn more about it. (Update: This eCoobook is no longer for sale)

Let's jump into the numbers for July.


Total Income:: $11,121.19


Total Expenses: $4037.40

Net Profit: $7,084.50

P.S. If you're interested in learning more about some of the ways that you can monetize a food blog, we encourage you to download this free ebook, “16 Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog,” from our sister site, Food Blogger Pro!

a picture of the 16 Ways to Monetize Your Food Blog ebook from Food Blogger Pro and a note that says, 'free download from our friends at Food Blogger Pro'

Thoughts On Income

Food Blogger Pro

Some of you might be asking: “Did you really only earn $50 from Food Blogger Pro last month?” Nope! Right now, on average, Food Blogger Pro earns between $1,500 - $2,000 a month. We don't report that income because we want these reports to be realistic to what other food bloggers could potentially earn from their blogs. We decided that it's probably not realistic to assume that other food bloggers would have enough time, energy, or interest to create a membership site. However, other food bloggers would be able to join the Food Blogger Pro affiliate program. So, instead of including overall earnings from Food Blogger Pro, we've decided to include Skillful Cook's affiliate earnings from Food Blogger Pro. Kind of goofy to be an affiliate for ourselves, but we feel like it helps to keep these income reports as realistic as possible.

Two New Records

July was the most we've ever grossed from Skillful Cook, but it's also the most that we've ever spent on Skillful Cook. The increased income came from Tasty Food Photography, as we had a big discount that went along with the release of the 2nd version. It was really fascinating to see how effective a sale can be for increasing revenue. More about that later in the post.

The increased spending came from hiring a designer for Lindsay's new cookbook as well as increased payouts to the affiliates for Tasty Food Photography. One of the things we're learning with growing a blog is that there a times when we have to be okay spending money in order to grow the blog to the next level. It's never very fun to pay for hosting fees, memory upgrades, or accounting software, but those are all essential elements in helping to grow a successful, efficient, and stable blog. 🙂


Below are some screenshots from Google Analytics. You can click on these screenshots to view a larger image.

Traffic Overview

Analytics - Traffic Overview.

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Traffic Sources.

Top Ten States

Analytics - Top States.

I thought it was interesting that Minnesota (our home state) is towards the bottom but the average visit duration and pages per visit is higher than any of the other states (thanks, family). 🙂

Top Ten Mobile Devices

This area in Google Analytics is important because it shows you the top devices used to access your blog.

Analytics - Top Devices.

It's especially important if you look at these stats for your own blog and realize that you've never seen what your site looks like on one of the most popular devices used to access your blog. That's what happened to me when I looked at these stats and realized that I've never looked at Skillful Cook on a Samsung Galaxy.

That's where a site like Screenfly comes in handy. With Screenfly you can enter in your blog's URL and select a device. Screenfly then loads the device's information and shows you what your blog will look like on that device. Here's a screenshot of what it looked like when I was looking at Skillful Cook on a Samsung Galaxy SIII.

Samsung Galaxy SIII on Screenfly.

Thoughts On Traffic


July was the first time that Skillful Cook has ever passed 1,000,000 page views in a single month. A lot of that traffic has come from a couple posts that have gone viral on Pinterest.

Side note - When can you officially say something has “gone viral?” I always feel a little bit weird saying something “went viral.” Is there a cooler way to say that? Let me know if there is. 🙂

This is both exciting and scary. Exciting in that Pinterest has allowed Skillful Cook to more easily grow and gain a significant amount of traffic without having to do a lot of “beyond the blog” work. Scary in that Pinterest represents a huge percentage of our traffic, and if it ever “died” so would all of the traffic that is generated from it.

How We Made $3,582.05 From Our EBook In The Month Of July

Tasty Food Photography is an eBook that Lindsay published in March of 2012. Since it's publication it has been a consistent income earner for Skillful Cook, profiting around $1,000 dollars a month. But in July our profits jumped almost four times to $3,582.05 ($4614.30 total sales - $1,032.25 affiliate payout).

The drastic increase was from a combination of discounts and giveaways. Here's exactly how we went about setting up the discount and running the giveaways for the eBook.

The Discount

We use E-Junkie to manage the sales and distribution of Tasty Food Photography. Here's how we went about setting up the discount code.

1. Login to E-Junkie.

Login to E-Junkie.

2. Select the Sellers tab, then seller admin, then Add / Edit E-Junkie Cart Discounts / Gift Coupons.

Add or Edit E-Junkie Cart Discounts.

3. Add the information for your discount. The most important fields are Discount code, expiration, and the discount amount. After you're done click Submit.

Adding a Discount Code in E-Junkie.

The Giveaway

After setting up the discount code we moved on to implementing the giveaway. Here's how we did it:

1. First, we emailed the Tasty Food Photography affiliates and asked if they were interested in hosting a giveaway on their blog. If they were, Lindsay sent them an email with these guidelines:

  • Use Rafflecopter! Not required, but highly recommended.
  • Create one primary entry that would be accessible to anyone (for example, leaving a comment).
  • Give separate additional entries for following Skillful Cook on Facebook or Twitter, or pinning the book cover image.
  • Leave the giveaway open for at least one week.
  • Share a limited time discount code (newversion30) with all your readers. This expires on July 8th.
  • Send me the name and email address of the winner at the end of your giveaway and I'll send them a download link for the new ebook!

2. When we received the name and email of the giveaway winners we'd log into E-Junkie, select the Sellers tab, select seller admin, and then select Send Free Download Link / Code.

Send Free Download Link - E-Junkie.

3. We entered in the winner's information, a simple message explaining the email, and then clicked Submit!

Send Free Download Link in E-Junkie.

The Result

Creating a discount and running giveaways resulted in a month where we earned almost FOUR times as much as we normally do from the eBook. I hope that it can do the same for you and the products that you sell on your blog.

If you were one of the bloggers that ran a giveaway on your site Lindsay and I want to make sure that you know that we really appreciate it! Tasty Food Photography affiliates are the best.


Thank you so much for reading these posts and following along with Skillful Cook. While it's fun to try and grow the traffic and income, the thing that gets us really excited is hearing from, talking to, and meeting people like you (yeah, you!). 🙂 Thanks so much for being a part of this thing we call Skillful Cook!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations!! Isn’t it amazing what the word ‘discount’ will do??? Looking forward to Lindsay’s magic with her Creamy Cauliflower Sauce!!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I think that it is so awesome that every month you do better while still completely sharing your secrets and trying to help others. I am a firm believer that the more you give the more you receive. Most bloggers are very hesitant to share their success, yet you share so much and help so many and still do well. Keep up the awesome work!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    Another great income report! Thanks Bjork! I appreciate that each month you offer new insite on blogging.

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Yikes, I had no idea how terrible my site looked on mobile phones! Thanks so much for linking up to Screenfly. I’m on it!
    Janie x

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank you Bjork (and Lindsay!) for all the amazing information you publish each month. As a new blogger, it really gives me something to aspire to! Can I ask about Pinterest? You don’t appear to have your own Pinterest page and yet you generate so much traffic from it. I assume that’s purely from others pinning your posts. Was it a conscious decision not to have a Pinterest page?

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Julie! For the time being, I’ve consciously decided not to be a Pinterest user, although we have a Skillful Cook account in case people want to follow should I ever change my mind about that. The decision is 75% personal and 15% blog-related… personal in that I know that it would subtly fuel discontentment in my life (i.e. I need a house that looks like that sort of mentality), and blog-related in that I want to reduce distractions and, bottom line, spend as much time as possible generating awesome and useful content for my blog. So all the traffic from Pinterest is generated from other people pinning my recipes. Which is amazing! Thank you, friends and food lovers!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    That’s just plain awesome! Congrats to both of you! Looking forward to the Cauliflower Sauce eCookbook.

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these income reports. Congrats to both of you on the income! And also it helps out new bloggers like myself–teaches me so much. Thank you so much for posting these. 🙂

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    I am glad to read July’s income report! Sometimes I feel like I’m going crazy with how much money I spend on my blog. Food alone is an enormous amount of money! I’m also writing a cookbook, which has been VERY expensive because not only do I have to buy so much food, but I want to make sure there are a variety of food props and I’m not reusing the same ones in each photoshoot. Pricey! That and my server payment – so much $$! So I am glad I am not alone in the expenses side of things. And congrats on reaching 1M views!!! Such an exciting month for you guys. A ton of my traffic comes from Pinterest too, which is wonderful but also scary – because those visits aren’t long visits and usually readers are just clicking over to grab the recipe and leave. And just what you said – what is Pinterest dies one day? Ahh! Anyway, this is a long comment!! All I want to say is CONGRATS on all the success Lindsay and Bjork! 🙂 🙂 Good things come from hard work!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Sally, I’ve been thinking the exact same thing. I spend 25-50 dollars every single day at the grocery store, sometimes twice in a day, not to mention recipe fails that need to be redone and some recipes that need to be remade for just the photo shoot. It gets expensive simply because of all that food! And my cookbook is a LOT shorter than yours! 🙂 Thanks for the comment!

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    It is amazing to see what you can earn with a food blog. We operate a German blog on baking (https://www.backenmachtgluecklich.de) and can only dream of such traffic – as there are only about 100M people in the world speaking German, but I suppose ten times more people read english.

    This fact does not only reduce traffic but also the monetarization options, as many of the providers you use are not available here. That’s why we plan to translate our blog to english and make it available to a much broader audience.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Jan – I think that’s a great idea. You might as well considering the fact that you have such solid english skills, beautiful pictures, and content that’s already written. Let us know when you have it up and running. I’d love to check it out! Danke!

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    Woohoo! I’m back for your July traffic income report and I have to say you guys are completely owning this website business. I’m happy that this month was your highest grossing month despite your expenses xD. You know what they say – it takes money to make money.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Jay – if there ever was a Gravatar that made me happy, it would be yours. 🙂

      Thanks for the kind words. Yeah – unfortunately that statement is usually true!

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    You passed 1,000,000 views in one month?! Wow! That’s incredibly cool! Congratulations to both of you for the hard work and entrepreneurship it has taken to reach this point. 🙂
    p.s. Lindsay, I made a deconstructed version of your Thai basil chicken wraps and it was phenomenal. I’ll make it again and bring some for lunch during workshop week so I can share. Seriously amazing stuff… (Think ground chicken, lots o’ basil, soy sauce, fish sauce, garlic, white sugar, jalapeños slices, ground black pepper, shredded carrot, chopped cabbage, orange pepper rings, and mounds of white rice all soaked in the juices.) I ate it hot out of the pan last night, cold for breakfast today, then again for lunch…
    p.s. Which recipes went viral?

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    So cool!

    1,000,000 views in a month! That is something to be very proud of y’all!

    You are super inspiring!

    I had one question looking over the expense record there…..I’m sure you have written on it somewhere before but a search didn’t turn it up. How do you determine what food costs you write off? I’ve heard some people say you can deduct and some say you can’t so would love to hear your thoughts!

    We are starting to grow and make our blog more than a hobby and we’d like to be able to deduct some of our constantly growing food budget!



    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Great question. I remember thinking the same thing when we started tracking expenses. When I asked our accountant she said that we should be deducting anything that ends up on the blog. So, basically, if it makes an appearance in a post or a cookbook it’s something we track as an expense.

      I’m not an expert though, so I’d double check that with your accountant.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on passing 1 million views in a month! What an accomplishment!

    Appreciate you guys taking the time to share your knowledge on generating income.

    How does it work paying income taxes on money you make from the blog? Would love if you would post about that someday : )

    You guys are great!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Hi Natalie! Thanks for the comment. We do have to pay taxes on our blog income, so we track all the income and expenses and then pass that on to our accountant who handles all the taxes for POY/FBP. But still, I think it would be a great idea to share (or have Bjork explain more) about how we keep track of what’s for the blog and what’s not, grocery store receipts, and separate business bank accounts… that sort of thing. 🙂 Thanks for the idea!

      1. Skillful Cook Logo

        Would love to read it! If I start generating income, want to make sure I am tracking it correctly for taxes. Thanks!

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! Congratulations and I love seeing those numbers. Mine is just a decimal of what you’re earning. Marvelous!!!! 🙂 Way to go!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    OMG: 1,000,000 views in a month! It’s amazing!

    My italian blog reaches only 2% of this number… 🙂

    Congratulations! Great job!

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I SO appreciate you sharing these income reports. I am inspired by you both! Skillful Cook is the reason I finally decided to start my food blog last year and I continue to be encouraged by both your recipes and these reports. Y’all are awesome!!!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats on 1,000,000 page views! I find your monthly income reports to be so informative and inspirational. These reports combined with food blogger pro have been a godsend in helping me start my own food blog. Thanks for sharing the love and being such great mentors for the rest of us!

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    Bjork, I love all of your income reports, they are super helpful and enlightening. It is fabulous what you and Lindsay have built, and the resources you provide for other food bloggers are so so useful. Thanks for being amazing, can’t wait to check out the e-cookbook!

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on your success! You make a great team and are an inspiration to many. We are enjoying your training videos on Food Blogger Pro. Thank you for sharing!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Juliette! We are excited to keep adding some videos this fall! I have some in the works right now, actually! Thanks for the comment. 🙂

  19. Skillful Cook Logo

    First off, congrats on all the success!!! I know there are millions of food blogs out there and it’s very exciting to see you are leading / charging the way!

    This breakdown is extremely helpful. I have this bookmarked and will be referring to this for guidance.


  20. Skillful Cook Logo

    i love your viral comment…though i am nowhere near 1M views/mo (huge congrats!!!!), i was off the charts stoked with my cheese & garlic naan recipe post went viral (in my eyes anyway)…the 2 big players in making that happen were stumbleupon and pinterest….it’s crazy how one “pin” or “thumbs up” can spike your traffic! thanks for all the tips/tricks!
    – gina

  21. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congratulations on the milestones, you two make an awesome team!! I love that the quality of the blog has never suffered due to side projects, only continued to be more and more wonderful. And Pinterest, die?! Horror. 🙂
    Thanks for sharing these updates with us!