I started My Urban Treats exactly one year ago today. Although the website didn’t go online until the 17th of May the “offline” version had been setup and recipes where being written like there was no tomorrow. We where in the middle of the 1st Covid Lockdown working only 1/2 days so I had a ton of time on my hands.
So why did I even start the blog? Well one thing is for sure at no point was I even thinking about making any money blogging and the drive was never about money. I have always been a baking enthusiast and my friends and family always asked me for my recipes. And during a lockdown chat someone said, why don’t you start a food blog? It goes without saying I had no idea about food blogging until that day but I loved the idea and it didn’t take long for me to buy the MyUrbanTreats.com domain. Actually the initial idea was urbantreats.com but silly me talked about the idea on Facebook and someone saw it and bought the domain before I had a chance to. But that’s a different story.
Now, if you are reading this you are obviously interested in food blogging and making money doing so. And therefore I want to be transparent and tell you, I do have some advantages when it comes to setting up websites, marketing and SEO. Here is why:
- I have a lot of experience building websites so I could do all the technical parts myself, from setting up a Linux server to installing WordPress, the theme, plugins, configuration and even making adjustments to HTML and CSS to fit my design requirements
- I have experience in graphic design so I can create all my design material alone
- I have access to high end photography gear and lighting
- I have a good understanding of SEO, Google Analytics and Search Console
- I am a marketing director so I have a ton of experience setting up projects like this.
Given all these advantages I should be able to get my following up in no time right? Well think again. It didnt quite work out like that. Food blogging is a very saturated niche. Just writing out your favourite recipes is often not enough to just “make it” and start earning an income. Its been a year of hard work and a steep learning curve. And before I tell you what I found to be the keys to a successful food blog, here are some milestones that will show you how long it really took to make my 1st buck.
And here is a disclaimer, I am NOT raking it in with advertising bucks. Not at all, if people want to know the cold facts and numbers of food blogging, leave me a comment and if there is enough demand ill prepare some spreadsheets with a lot of honesty.
To simplify the milestones I’m using the following abbreviations
- Imp: Impressions on Google
- Vst: Visitors or Readers on that day
- USD: Dollars earned until that day
- Rcp: Recipes on the Blog
The format is Date / Milestone / Numbers
- 17th of May 2020 / Blog published / Imp: 0 Vst: 22 USD: 0 RCP: 8
- 31st Aug 2020 / No change in 3 months / Imp: 2 Vst: 27 USD: 0 RCP 15
- 12th Nov 2020 / Peak Impressions on Google / Imp: 473 Vst: 29 USD:0 RCP 19
- 16th Nov 220 / First Drop in Impressions / Imp: 346 Vst: 27 USD:0 RCP 21
- 1st Dec 2020 / Google Update / Imp: 111 Vst 12 USD:0 RCP 24
- 22nd Jan 2021 / Peak Impressions / Imp: 753 Vst: 34 USD:0 RCP 28
- 15th Feb 2021 / Accepted for Monetisation / Imp: 900 Vst: 48 USD: 0.85c Rcp 34
Can you see the trend? It took 8 months to get ranked high enough to be accepted to any kind of monetisation. And when I did get accepted, my first month earning with around 1000 visitors per month where not even a single dollar. Since then, things have improved but why have they improved? I made changes to how I work, how I research recipes and what I cook too.
Wanna know more about how I improved my visits and ranking? Let me know in the comments and if enough people want to read this, ill make it in to a series with all my tips and insight in to my journey. Before I say goodbye for today, here are some things I tried and I can tell you about. And trust me, a ton of these are a waste of effort and money.
- Hiring SEO “specialists” on Fiverr
- Getting Backlinks alone or via so called “specialists”
- Do Keyword Research before posting a recipe (that actually works well)
- Get help from a Writer
- And a lot more….
Let me know in the comments, id really like to hear form you and if you like a series like this in my blog.
Much love and keep baking