Well the first quarter has come to a close! While the end of January and February were a little bit rough, traffic has been picking back.
Spring break was very slow, but the last week or so have been much better.
Google Analytics Summary
- Sessions: 41,874
- Pageviews: 48,121
- Users: 37,178
- Organic Search: 26,897
- This is the only metric I really focus on when comparing traffic month to month. I would like to see this number growing by 10-20% each month, but unfortunately it was down from January. This is to be expected with a food blog, but I was hoping to compensate for the seasonality by publishing lots of new content. Food blogging is a long game so we keep doubling down on what we know works, writing high quality SEO focused content.
- Direct: 5,419
- Direct traffic was about the same as it was last month.
- Social: 6,757
- Pinterest: 3,744
- Pinterest is still on the decline. I am watching Pinterest traffic closely but will continue to pay for management through the year to give it a final go.
- Facebook: 2,920
- Facebook traffic was down this month. We dropped the ball on sharing recipes in recipe groups as much as we did in February. I want to be more consistent this month.
- Instagram & Instagram Stories: 88 (does not include tap bio)
- Pinterest: 3,744
- Referral: 2,772
- biteswithbri-com.cdn.ampproject.org: 2,006 (web stories)
- tap.bio: 219
- Other: 29
- Domain Rating: 26
- Total Keywords: 17,489
- Total keywords declined slightly this month, but rankings in the top 3 have not declined so I have not seen a traffic drop from this decrease. DR fluctuates and is down slightly from last month, but this is not a concern. We will check on it again next month.
- Ads: $1,754.56
- RPM: $41.90
- Page RPM: $36.46
March RPMs were great! I am happy to see an increase in the ad revenue even though sessions are still down slightly.
- Amazon Affiliates: $34.38
- Facebook: $116.42 (Instagram Reels Bonus)
- Client Work: $1,614.68 (Photography & Short Form Video)
Keep in mind that most of this income is not paid out monthly. Mediavine pays Net 65. Also, this income is passive, meaning that the money I made in march is not correlated to what work I did for the month.
All of this income went directly back into BWB to cover TopHat & other expenses.
- Short Pixel $5.50
- BigScoots: $59.95 (web host)
- TopHatRank: $2,600 (on & off site SEO)
- Pinterest VA: $595.00
- Accountant: $800.00 (2021 BWB & personal taxes)
- Groceries: $153.88 (only about half of the month)
Almost all of my expenses have been transferred over. Groceries for the first half of the month are not included in that total, but this is a good estimate of total expenses.
We hired out all pin creation so my VA expense is more than double this month than it was last month. I am really hoping this pays off in 4-5 months, if not we will evaluate.
The backlinks from TopHat for February were completed in the first half of march. Rankings for these posts have just begun to move up. I am hoping to see more results from the backlink building in the next 2-3 month.
As you can see, blogging is a slow burn. It takes months to see if a strategy is truly working.
What I Focused on in March
- I started writing more informational food posts, along with roundups to supplement my recipe content.
- I completely outsourced pin creation because I hate Pinterest. If we do not see results, I will likely shift my focus away from that platform entirely.
- Last month, I talked about having a more flexible schedule in March. This was a success. We got a total of 13 posts up!
- I am starting web stories again. I took a break on these because I was focusing so much on video, but created a new template this morning so my goal is to make 2 per week.
- My husband and I also started working on a new website on a staging site so hopefully in the future we can push those changes and have a little refresh.
- Casual video is good enough. I have just been capturing quick clips while cooking and throwing them together. I see no difference in engagement.
- RPMs will increase with time. I started with Mediavine mid January and my RPM has only been increasing.
- Being flexible instead of sticking to a strict schedule helps me avoid burn out.
- Publish more blog posts in April than in March.
- Continue posting short form videos.
- Stay consistent with web stories.
Hey Bri! It's 2023 and I'm wondering if you're still using TopHat"s services still?
I am not!
This is so encouraging and inspiring!! Thank you for sharing. I'm finally in the FB Reels Bonus Program so trying to focus on sharing more video, even if it's more casual. I hope Pinterest comes through for you. It's frustrating but I also see it as a long game... Looking forward to seeing your future insights there!
Yes! I was surprised how much money it actually paid considering my reels do not get very many views.