My first ever food blog income report running a food blog giving you insights on my experience with Mediavine, how much I made with advertising, tips on maintaining an Indian food blog, sharing my best investment tips and goals for the coming months.
Crazy times all over the world and as much I wanted to write another beyond blogging @ TTCP and chat with you guys, I thought of clubbing this with a monthly income report about my food blog in India.
Things to keep in mind before you start reading this food blog income report: I am not a full time blogger (more about this here) and get to blog only on weekends and holidays. This income report is written by me, a part time food blogger in India supported fully by my sister who manages the social media for this site.
A little about The Twin Cooking Project
A food blog with easy and yummy recipes, that I run with my sister (Muskaan), who manages the entire social media for the site while I look after the content for this site. Read more about us here and here.
We hit publish on our first recipe in August 2017, continued posting in intervals until December 2017, when we received our first ever sponsored post deal with one of the biggest brands in food industry, followed by a long term delicious partnership through 2018 and 2019, giving us serious hopes for monetising our blog. (Brand partnerships and sponsored content was our highest earning source and this hasn't changed inspite of advertising)
Why am I writing this income report?
Ever since I set the goal of monetising my food blog, I have been reading countless income reports of fellow bloggers and to my surprise, there were hardly any from Indian food bloggers. I want to set this up (on monthly basis) to help you guys believe, how it actually is possible to make money on a food blog. Even though it may not seem like a lot, but isn't it fun to be able to monetise your hobby?
How exactly do I make money on a food blog?
The Twin Cooking Project earns its maximum through sponsored content. After having worked with nearly 15 plus brands in the food industry, I can safely say that this is a wonderful way to use and feature products in your recipes and make money with it. Number one tip: never agree on barter. Know your worth, and then add taxes to it! (More on this in my next "blogger resources" blog post)
(The most popular recipe on my blog: chicken gyozas is a sponsored post. By working with brands that you actually love, you will enjoy content creation even more...)
Another brilliant way to make money on a food blog is by advertising.
How exactly does this work? In simple words: you get paid for ads on your site.
Okay fine, yes, ads are annoying, I don't like them too, but hey, its a FREE food blog for you, you get amazing recipes and step by step pictures and there are a few ads running, which support this website. win-win situation. Do you see how this ad is placed neatly in my recipe card for my recipe for salted caramel popcorn? This is not very disturbing, is very accurately placed and therefore, checks both boxes: user experience & income.
To be able to make money on your food blog with advertising, you absolutely need to have a good amount of traffic on your blog. You need to real people visiting your site to make the viewability go higher.
The higher the number of people visit your blog = higher chances of ads being viewed by them = higher income.
How to increase or grow traffic on your food blog?
I wrote an entire blog post on how to grow your blog sharing eight easy tips. Click here or on the image below to check them out.
How to make money with advertising (ads) on a food blog?
Ad networks: get your site approved with an ad network and there are so many out there. The most popular ones in the food (recipe) industry are google Adsense, gourmet Ads, mediavine, adThrive. So far I have had experience with the first three and mediavine is my favourite so far. Keep scrolling for mediavine review, experience and income report.
Advertising on The Twin Cooking Project
- Google Adsense (May 2018 to March 2020)
In May 2018, our site qualified for google Adsense.
Pro: you do not need any minimum sessions and can simply submit your application. It needs to be user friendly and neat and clean.
Con: very low income. A very good earning day at blogging with google Adsense meant earning maximum 3 dollars a day.
- Gourmet Ads (August 2019 to March 2020)
In August 2019, our application for Gourmet Ads got approved.
Minimum requirement? 10,000 sessions a month. Unfortunately my experience was not that great as my site is in India and maximum traffic was also Indian at the time, which did not fill their ads and I did not earn as much as I had expected.
- Mediavine (since 12 March 2020)
The Twin Cooking Project has been working as a publisher with Mediavine since 12 March 2020. Here is my review on working with Mediavine and my experience so far.
Mediavine application process for a food blog in India
The most essential requirement for your mediavine application is having at least 25,000 sessions on your food blog or 30,000 page views in a month. In addition to that I set up certain goals for my mediavine application and made a list for myself.
Right after I crossed 30,000 monthly page views on my website, I submitted my application here. After submitting the application, one needs to generate a report on google analytics and send it to them. This is how my report looked like:
Problems with Indian websites/ traffic from India
After three weeks of submitting my application, I heard from Mediavine team with a mixed news regarding their concern that my majority traffic was Indian and how mediavine works best with websites that have majority traffic from US, UK, Canada, Australia etc. and that it was upto me if I would still like to go ahead inspite of knowing that the RPMs would be lower than other sites. Thankfully my site had already started gaining more traffic from US by this time and I was able to say yes to them.
Mediavine Application Approval
Finally that one email I had been waiting for, made its entry in my inbox on 06.03.2020 (exactly one month after submitting my application)
Mediavine set up process
The set up process majorly included signing contract, installing codes and getting rid of existing ad networks on your site before the official launch of mediavine ads. To say that the mediavine customer support is the best, would be an understatement! Not only do you receive step by step guides to set up your website, but the support team is so prompt through out the launch process, which is why I am a huge fan of their wonderful support team.
Food Blog Income Report
Income (*Sponsored post income not included)
- Mediavine (12 March to 31 March = 20 days): $259.52
- Google Adsense (01 March to 11 March = 11 days): $5.01
- Gourmet Ads (01 March to 11 March = 11 days): $2.90
Total income (advertising) for March 2020 = $267.83
- Food Blogger Pro --> $23/ month (highly recommend if you are an aspiring food blogger)
- Tailwind --> $15/ month (makes Pinterest scheduling so easy)
- WP Tasty --> $2.4/ month (The plug in your food blog is incomplete without)
- Bluehost --> $15/ month
- Lightroom --> $11/ month
*Grocery expenses and sponsored post income is not included in this report. Grocery amount varies and is consumed as meals post shooting and sponsored post income is something that I prefer keeping confidential. Do shoot an email if you still need any info.
**This report does not include taxes.
My thoughts on the income report for March 2020
March was a weird month all-together. Not just corona-wise, but also because this month I could only count 21 days for mediavine income calculation. Not only the RPM is low in the beginning days, but also with the global economy getting crazily affected because of the covid-19 (corona) virus, it was also not a great month RPM-wise in general for the entire blogging industry. It definitely got balanced with more traffic on the site as people spent more time in the kitchen. Though Q2 is going to be worse, here is hoping that I get more visits on my blog to balance out the low RPMs.
Food Blog Traffic
March 2020 witnessed the highest traffic on my blog with roughly 43,000 page views and I could not be happier. Even though the income is really not that huge of an amount, I love how you can actually make money by simply posting recipes on your website. Sure, its a lot of work, but really if you see it this way: cooking just does not feel like work to me and kitchen is my forever happy space. To read more about my experience as a part time food blogger, here are some related blog posts:
- beyond recipes @ TTCP Jan 2020
- beyond recipes @ TTCP Feb 2020
- a day in the life of a part time blogger
- food photography tips for beginners
- eight ways to grow traffic on your food blog
Most popular recipes of March 2020