July Income Report – Making Money from a Food Blog - $4,271.39
Our recipes, your inbox. Sign up

July Income Report – $4,271.39

Making Money from a Food Blog - July

Well hello there.

Bjork here (Lindsay’s husband). I'm checking in for my monthly cameo on Skillful Cook.

I was really excited to write this post this morning.

Then the electricity went out.

Which means that the internet went out.

Which means I’m drafting this post in good ole’ Microsoft Word. Writing in Microsoft word makes me feel like I need to be using MLA formatting. I'll resist the urge.

Here's the deal with this post. Every month I put together a recap of the previous month outlining the income we earned from Skillful Cook, the type of traffic the blog is receiving, and any tips or tricks we've learned that might be helpful. Our hope is that these posts can help you with your blog in some way or another.

We started putting these posts together just less than one year ago. You can see that first post here.

Here's the breakdown of July's income from Skillful Cook:

The Breakdown:

Tasty Food Photography eBook - $1,474.16
Bluehost - $780
Google Adsense - $631.42
BlogHer - $598.69
VigLink - $489.36
The Thesis Theme - $140.25
Elegant Themes - $136.50
Amazon Affiliate Program - $21.01

Grand Total: $4,271.39

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'

Affiliate Totals

The top income source last month was Lindsay's eBook, Tasty Food Photography. One of the reasons the book did so well was because of the incredible affiliates that are promoting the book on their sites.

Last month, affiliates earned a total of $548.86.

It's fun to know that the book is helping others to create an income from their blogs or websites.

Thanks to all of you that are currently promoting the book on your site!

If you're interested you can click here to learn how to sign up for the Tasty Food Photography affiliate program.


Here are some screenshots of the traffic to Skillful Cook in July. Click on the image to see a bigger version with more details.

All Traffic - July
Visitor Overview - July

Tips and Takeaways


Call me a nerd, but I’m becoming more and more fascinated with internet security.

**Bjork scrunches his nose and pushes up his thick rimmed glasses**

I was curious if people ever try to “hack” Skillful Cook, so I installed a security plugin for WordPress called Limit Login Attempts. The plugin blocks people after they try and login to your account a certain number of times with the wrong password. Twenty minutes after I had installed the plugin, we had our first confirmed hacking attempt. What?! And another one thirty minutes later. And another one twenty minutes later.

Lesson learned: there are bad guys out there that want to access your stuff.

Here's a screenshot of the most recent login attempts and the username(s) that they tried to use. Someone even tried using Lindsay's name.

Blocked IPs - Limit Login Attempts

Note: If I met these people in person I would give them a wet-willy, then a wedgie, and wrap things up by tripping them on their way out the door. That being said, I thought it would be in everyone’s best interest if I blurred out their IP addresses.

Needless to say, it’s a good reminder to make sure you are using really solid passwords - numbers, letters, and maybe even some symbols.


If you’re a fellow food blogger, you might know that Google oftentimes shows a recipe post differently than a normal post. I talked about tips for how to format it correctly in last month's post. If you're using WordPress, the easiest way is to use a plugin like Easy Recipe. Update: We've since launched our own recipe plugin called Tasty Recipes. 🎉

If formatted correctly, a recipe will appear something like this in Google:

Google Recipe Rich Snippet

So what do you do if you want to know if a post is formatted correctly, but the post is so new that it doesn’t show up in Google yet?

Google’s Rich Result Tool to the rescue!

Google has an awesome tool called the Rich Result Tool that allows you to put your blog post’s URL in to see what it will look like when it shows up on Google’s search results page.

Kinda cool, if you ask me.

Learn more about Tasty Recipes

Questions Answered

There are lots of people that come to Skillful Cook each month after searching something very specific on Google. I have come to the realization that not all of these people may find the answer they're looking for. I would like to attempt to give an official response here.

Google Search Term

Dear angry international croissant Googler: Totally understandable. Something that I'm sure many of us can relate to.

Google Search Term

Dear extremely picky eater Googler: Although we don't have a good solution for this, I would suggest starting with closing your eyes while eating.

Google Search Term

Dear slightly confused blog researching Googler: Could you restate the question?

Google Search Term

Dear desperate cake needing Googler: Fear not, we all feel this need at times. Check out Jenna's recipe for triple layer chocolate birthday cake.


My hope is that these posts provide some actionable tips that will help you grow your blog or website. As always, thanks for your time and interest in checking them out.

Until next time, cheers!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    Well July was a pretty awesome month for Skillful Cook wasn’t it? Congrats guys, it’s great to see all your hard work pay off and I know what a good cause all money goes too which makes it extra brilliant! Also, thank you for the useful info about security. It’s something that I always thought would just happen to other people but it’s obvious that it’s something to take way more seriously than that.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Kathryn! Lindsay mentioned that you’re based in the UK (London). I guess that makes sense given your blog’s name… Did you catch any of the Olympics?

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love your monthly reports and almost 5 grand in a month and not even posting daily? you guys are doing amazing!! congrats!!!

    That hacking stuff is….SCARY. Thanks for the info!

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow, very insightful series of posts. Especially this latest update. I’m installing that Limit Login wordpress plugin asap on my blogs.

    Thanks, and bon apetit!

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    I LOVE these posts. It truly helps me think of things I could be utilizing or doing differently on my own blog. You guys are truly doing amazing, even overseas 🙂

    I just installed the limit log-in plug-in. Do I have to do anything besides simply activating it? Sorry, that may be a silly and dumb question. Cannot believe how scary that is though!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      No dumb questions. 🙂

      It starts working once you install it. You can adjust the default settings by clicking on “Settings” and then “Limit Login Attempts”.

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hey Lindsay
    I think your reports are quite inspirational. You hear a lot of “it’s too late to start” or “you should have been here 5 years ago” etc. It motivates me to see hw you are progressing so well and it is also great to see that you share your numbers here as well as your knowledge in the eBook.
    Thank you!:-)

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Matt! I’d love to share the details of our CTR and CPC but Google has rules against it.

      P.S. I love Food Network. When Lindsay and I were dating in high school I’d go over to visit and her family would pop popcorn and watch Iron Chef together. Fun memories! 🙂

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats to you both this is awesome! I look forward to your monthly earning posts because it’s exciting to see how much your blog is growing!

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow!! That is so awesome! I am really inspired by you two and am happy that I could be a part of your July earnings (signed up for Bluehost using your affiliate link)! Thanks for sharing this.

  8. Skillful Cook Logo

    To 2 of my favorite kids .I look for your news all the time ,well almost. It has to be hard getting all settled in, but when you a system of some order ,I think it will get better. I am proud of you. I went to Nancy Sat. on G’pas anniv. Your mom and steph came up too. Nancy & Mick made a swing set for Kelleys boys and Abbys girl .they are so cute . She made them out of there deck,good red wood lumber,no wasting here They put a new deck in .Also did some shopping and had pedicures, ,done ,really enjoyed your call ,was so surprised. I think I will go with Ellen family when they go to there cabin ,will be busy withall the little ones ,but fun .thanks for the update .Will be praying for you . God bless you & the little kiddies there .Love G’ma R

  9. Skillful Cook Logo

    I hate to sound stupid, but I did not understand the MLA formatting comment even after I googled it. Congrats on the excellent report this month. Thank you for the warning about the hackers. We hear about this all the time, but to actually see a report is scary. Oh, and thanks for the plug-in.

  10. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve never commented here before! I love the blog and I’ve been reading you guys for a long time now. I really like everything about it, but I have to say that these posts are about to change my whole reality as a blogger, thanks to you and your tips I’m taking many important steps to become a professional blogger and stop being just a creative girl with a blog. Thank you very much for the help and congrats!!! I really hope you go even further!!!

  11. Skillful Cook Logo

    Found your blog through Foodgawker, and was amazed! I too am at teacher in Mpls, love to cook, and my wife and I have been to CSC! We spent three weeks there one summer, and it was amazing to say the least! We sure have a heart for those kids, and hope to adopt from there someday! CSC is the best! May the Lord bless all your work with the kids, and may your blog be great source of income for many years to come!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      What?!? Small world! Incredible to think that we probably know quite a few of the same people (Paul, Marlys, Mitch, Ruth, Sandy). Was Joemar at CSC when you visited? It’s his birthday tomorrow so we’re throwing a big party for him.

  12. Skillful Cook Logo

    Wow! It’s interesting to see how profitable food blogging can be, and pleasantly surprising too since I’ve quite often read that it is not very profitable. I’ve just started a food blog for fun and hope that someday I can monetize it. I’ll add your e-book if I can manage to get anyone to my site…lol:)

  13. Skillful Cook Logo

    Bjork, put it in really simple terms for me… What should I click or do to help you guys make as much money as possible, without actually having to spend any money myself? 🙂 Oh, and please tell Lindsay that I spent the afternoon at Lakeshore Learning the other day and thought of her a zillion times!

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      So kind Jakky. 🙂 Dropping by the blog every once in awhile and leaving a comment is the best thing that you can do. Thanks for asking! I’ll be sure to pass along the note to Lindsay. I hope your summer is going great!

  14. Skillful Cook Logo

    Ok I think I may have been duped. I have Word Press. I was talked into Site Lock which was listed on Blue Host C-Panel. I had called Blue Host for help and they suggested it due to the high volume of visits to my blog. I had to pay $150. They did a widespread hardening to be certain that I had not been hacked and then gave me a password of 20 characters. The idea is this service prevents being hacked and getting trojans or viruses.
    Because it was listed on the C-Panel of Blue Host I felt comfortable but now you offer this Limit Login Attempts plug-in and I wonder if that is just as reliable. Say for next year…I don’t renew Site Lock but just add the plug-in.
    Thanks in advance for your advice.

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      I’m not familiar with the service, but chances are that it’s probably a little bit better than a simple plug-in. The plug-in helps, but I’m guessing the service is covering more than the plug-in. I would consider your purchase money well spent.

  15. Skillful Cook Logo

    I thought Blogher didn’t allow you to have other ads? Does it allow google adsense below the line or whatever it is they call it?
    You guys are so amazing about monetizing the blog or is that all you Bjork? lol
    I just reached 10,000 for the month and you have 230,000!!!! What!!!! I bet you could quit your day job if you wanted to. Congrats guys. Great job!

  16. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hahaha. I love the questions answered section. 🙂

    I asked this the other day in the June report, but since nobody’s going to look at the old one, I’ll ask here. Have you found a good BlogHer backfilling solution?

    Because of these posts, I put up BlogHer a few weeks ago and have already earned a new lens. So thank you! 🙂

  17. Skillful Cook Logo

    These posts are so insightful and helpful! I was just thinking that it would be great to give up a few hours of work and trying to decide how and where to make up for it. I am thinking that perhaps blogging could help : )

  18. Skillful Cook Logo

    Congrats on your continued increasing blog earnings. And thank you so much for the tips. I am going to check out the security plug in. Kind of scary so many people do that. Keep up the good work.