October Traffic and Income Report - Skillful Cook
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October Traffic and Income Report

October Traffic and Income Report collage images.

Hey there!

Bjork here checking in for the monthly traffic and income report on Skillful Cook.

We’ll look at three things in this report.

  1. October’s income totals
  2. October’s traffic totals
  3. October’s takeaway: 5 Important Tools for Blogging

It’s a fun time here at POY HQ, as we’re in the middle of an enrollment period for Food Blogger Pro.

For those that aren’t familiar, Food Blogger Pro is a membership site for people that want to learn how to start (or grow) a food related website.

Learn more about Food Blogger Pro <—

Our fall enrollment period wraps up tomorrow night at 10PM CST, so if you’re interested in joining, now is the time to do it.

After I share the October numbers I’ll jump into talking about five important tools you should be using to grow your blog. A few of them (#1 especially) are must have tools if you're wanting to build your blog or website into a business.

Let’s take a look at the numbers for October...

Income Report Numbers

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we've used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses, you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.



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'

Traffic Totals

Below are some Google Analytics screenshots from the month of October 2016.

Traffic Overview

Traffic Overview - October 2016.

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Traffic Sources - October 2016.

Mobile vs. Desktop vs. Tablet

Mobile vs Desktop vs Laptop - October 2016.
Income Report Takeaways

5 Important Tools For Blogging

As I mentioned in the intro, we’re in the middle of an enrollment period for Food Blogger Pro.

What is Food Blogger Pro? Good question!

FBP is a training site for food bloggers that consists of over 300 video tutorials as well as a thriving community forum of bloggers from around the world. Lindsay and I (and other industry experts) walk you through the important tools, concepts, and skills that we’ve learned over the past 6+ years of building a blog.

We cover everything from shooting recipe videos (like the ones Lindsay has been sharing on her Instagram account), to setting up WordPress (the blogging platform we recommend), to advice on how to generate income from your blog.

Below I highlight just a few of the tools that we teach about in Food Blogger Pro.

1. Google Search Console

Google Search Console.

If you don’t yet have Google Search Console set up, stop reading this post and go set it up!

Google Search Console is a free tool from Google that gives you tons of valuable insight into how your blog is performing in Google search results. It's important to understand these analytics, as traffic from search engines is a critically important part of building a successful blog.

GSC will send you an email if it notices that something related to search is wrong with your site. While it can be a bit unnerving to get a warning from Google, it’s much better than the issue existing but never getting a warning about it in the first place (which would happen if you don’t have GSC set up).

In last month’s report on updating an old blog post, I used GSC to confirm that updating an old blog post resulted in that post showing up higher in Google.

It’s a powerful tool. And it’s free.

Need any more convincing?

2. Time Management

This, undoubtedly, is one of the biggest issues we run into as we work on building a blog.


More specifically, a lack thereof.

It’s abundant yet elusive. Everyone has the same amount of time, so why do some people get so much done while others struggle to keep up with their work?

The people that are able to make massive forward progress are people that can manage their time well.

I’m not a great time manager by nature (is anyone?), so I’ve had to implement systems that automate the process of time management.

Implementing just a few small-time management changes has had a big impact on my productivity.

Small changes can really add up. Getting back just 30 minutes a day adds up to 15 hours a month. There’s a lot of stuff you can do with 15 hours of time!

In the time management course on Food Blogger Pro, we cover lots of these small victories that you can implement. One of those small victories is called WasteNoTime.

WasteNoTime is an extension for Safari or Chrome that allows you to block certain websites. For me, that means Bleacher Report, CNN, Mashable, and StarTribune.

WasteNoTime Block List.

Those sites all fall under the don’t-want-to-do-something-so-I-open-up-a-new-tab-and-check-the-news category of time-wasting.

WasteNoTime helps to remind me that I’m just using those sites as a distraction from doing work. True, I could just pull up another browser like Firefox and go to those sites, but that little bit of friction is enough to redirect me back to my work instead of going down the rabbit hole that I had previously been searching out.

I also have it set up to apply the block between time 8 AM–6 PM. In the non-work times, I have 30 minutes to use on these sites.

WasteNoTime Time Allowed.

3. Yoast SEO

Yoast SEO WordPress Plugin.

Yoast SEO is the plugin we use to help us fine-tune SEO related settings on Skillful Cook posts.

SEO is both an art and a science. There are hundreds of factors that go into optimizing your site to show up high in search results.

Some of those factors are low hanging fruit, meaning they are things you can quickly and easily implement on your own.

Yoast SEO helps you fine-tune some of this low hanging SEO fruit, guiding you along in the process of picking a keyword and making sure you include it in the correct places throughout your post.

Here’s an example of the fields that we entered in Yoast for a chicken gnocchi soup recipe and the accompanying search result for that keyword:

Yoast SEO Settings and Search Result.

There are a handful of advanced settings that come along with Yoast which are worth looking into as well, but the post keyword is a good place to start.

4. VaultPress

Blogging without backups is like mountain biking without a helmet. You might be okay, but there’s also a good chance that you’ll eventually get hurt.

We’ve used our Skillful Cook VaultPress backup multiple times over the past year.

VaultPress creates a backup of your WordPress blog and stores it for you. The most affordable plan costs $5/month and creates a daily snapshot of your blog. We have the $15/month plan ($165/year) that creates backups in real-time throughout the day.

VaultPress Backups.

When you're going through the setup process make sure to add an FTP connection in VaultPress so you can quickly and easily restore your site if (when?) something breaks.

5. G Suite (Previously Google Apps)

One of the easiest branding improvements you can make for your blog is to use a blog specific URL for your email. It’s the difference between [email protected] and [email protected]. You want to be using the [email protected] address.

The best way to do this is to set up an account with Google’s G Suite (previously called Google Apps).

G Suite by Google.

We use G Suite for both Skillful Cook and Food Blogger Pro. It allows us to create branded emails for all our team members (and ourselves) and have a central place to share calendars and documents.

This still applies to you if you don’t have anyone on your team, as you still want that slick branded email.

G Suite starts at $5/month/user. If it’s just you that means $5/month. If you add someone to your team that means $10/month.

Learn More @ Food Blogger Pro

Hopefully, you found some actionable items in this quick little list.

If you’re wanting to dive deeper into building and growing your blog then be sure to check out Food Blogger Pro.

Food Blogger Pro Registration is Open.

There’s constant conversation happening on the community forum, and we’re releasing new training courses every month. It’s a happening place! We’d love to have you be a part of it.

As a reminder, enrollment closes out this Thursday at 10 PM CST.

See ya on the other side!

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  1. Skillful Cook Logo

    I love these reports Bjork! Good for you guys being able to do this full-time!!! These are always such a good reminder that you have to invest a few dollars back into your blog as well to grow your blog. It’s not just about what’s coming in. My issue right now (I know I’m being too frugal) is that I have so many email subscribers now that I will start to have to pay to keep that many because none of the free services allow for that many. I suppose that’s the right thing to do….right? Not just start canceling people on my own to decrease my numbers so I don’t have to pay for a service? That would be a mistake? Right? Thanks again for doing these, I know I don’t always leave a comment but find them helpful. Naturally, I don’t make anything close to what you make but have made enough for my “mad money” fun and for some great bonuses in life =) SO thanks!! And congrats on baby coming, mine is just 2 weeks behind yours and I am over the moon excited and am confident you two feel the same about baby Skillful Cook =)

    1. Skillful Cook Logo

      Thanks Laura!

      Yeah, email lists costs can add up quickly. If things continue to grow for you, which I’m guessing they will, then you’ll eventually need to start paying for the list.

      I’d spend some time thinking about what you’re trying to do with that list. Is there some type of service or product (even if it’s just a book) you could offer those subscribers?

      It doesn’t hurt to remove inactive subscribers, as they’re not really consuming your content in the first place. We haven’t done that before, but I know lots of bloggers that do it: https://mailchimp.com/help/remove-inactive-contacts/

      Obviously the method is different depending on your email service provider, but that link gives you the general idea of what to do.

      Three cheers for babies!

  2. Skillful Cook Logo

    I’ve been following your Income Reports for a few months now! Your growth is incredible and I enjoy learning from you both!

    p.s Congrats on the pregnancy !

  3. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is a amazing! As a beginner what advice would you say to stay motivated on blogging?

  4. Skillful Cook Logo

    Do you know if WasteNoTime is available for iPhones? I tried searching for it on Safari but couldn’t find one to download. Thank you!

  5. Skillful Cook Logo

    Thank You so much for your resources page and monthly reports. I just started my own blog and your site has been so helpful in getting me started. Your site is a real inspiration!!

  6. Skillful Cook Logo

    Hi bjork, do you mind tell us, the profit after expenses you spentin one month? thanks

  7. Skillful Cook Logo

    This is truly inspiring! I love and always looking forward to read your monthly income report! Checking out November’s one now and December’s one soon! Bet it’s gonna be interesting in December 🙂