Well it is that time of the month again. Time to look at bloggingwithapples.com garden totals, website expenses and revenue. I really enjoy the month I had both in the garden and online. I feel like I actually accomplished some things!
We started tracking our stats in March 2015 and you can read more about why in that post. Although we are still a long way from our goals we are hoping to turn BWA into a profitable business with the added benefit of changing our lifestyle from consumer based one to a creation based one. Every month is more baby steps to that goal. We completed 9 months of blogging, gardening, creating recipes, and sharing antique recipes. We have created 112 posts in that 9 months which is something I am really proud of and I thank you for your support!
GARDEN REPORT – JUNE 2015
The garden is all planted. You can see the final garden layout here. I will harvest and replant certain beds but for the most part, I am done with the major planting. I am also done with major expenses which is really nice. As of right now I am harvesting kale, chard, lettuce, other greens, radishes, baby zucchini, and herbs. I have cucumbers, sweet peppers, beans, peas, and cherry tomatoes that are closing in on ripening. Some pretty big harvests are right around the corner. I have already started dehydrating herbs to use in my garden herb mix.
I am currently knocking on wood but my garden looks the best it ever has and I am expecting a monster year of harvesting veggies, herbs, and berries. I am finding that forcing myself to write and document my garden progress keeps me motivated to not look like an idiot which believe it or not is pretty hard sometimes!
Onto the totals…
- Seedlings – $23.42
Total for Month: $23.42
- Sprouts – 1.25 lbs
- Radishes – .75 lbs
- Salad Greens – .75 lbs
- Herbs – .75 lbs
- Summer Squash – .5 lbs
Total for Month – 4 lbs
YEAR TO DATE GARDEN EXPENSES AND PRODUCTION
- Seeds – $70.64
- Seed Starting Supplies – $27.57
- Garden Supplies – $37.96
- Landscape Fabric – $31.96
- Stakes – $31.92
- Hay – $37.50
- Seedlings – $167.06
Total YTD Expenses: $404.61
- Sprouts – 6.75 lbs
- Radishes – .75 lbs
- Salad Greens – .75 lbs
- Herbs – .75 lbs
- Summer Squash – .5 lbs
Total YTD Production: 9.5 lbs
YTD Cost of food produced per pound -$42.59
Slowly working our way down from lasts months $69 per pound of food produced. Obviously the numbers are very skewed as the costs to put in a garden are incurred up front where the benefit is produced later. I really have no idea where that number will end as the year progresses but I am really excited to be tracking it to find out.
I am rounding harvest totals to the closest 1/4 pound at the end of the month to make it a little easier to track. I am also combining all the greens we eat in salads and sandwiches into the “Salad Greens” category which includes kale, chard, lettuce, spinach, tatsoi, dandelion, beet greens, and radish greens. At the end of the year I will harvest kale and chard to freeze and count that separately. All herbs will be combined into one category as the majority of them go into my garden herb mix.
Next up for the garden is going to be finding ways to attach ladybugs and toads to combat the cucumber beetles and squash bugs in the garden. I am also going to try an homemade spray for the plants to repel those insects and make slug and snail traps. Aside from playing defense I need to finish making the pathways in the garden. I would say I am about 3/4 of the way through that project.
WEBSITE REPORT – JUNE 2015
On bloggingwithapples we had 3,825 pageviews in June. 2219 unique visitors visiting a total of 2673 times. It was a pretty good month for us with almost 1000 more pageviews then May.
Here is where the traffic came from…
As you can see my direct traffic is firmly in the lead. Foodgawker is still my #1 source since I first started BWA but probably direct traffic will over take that in another month or two. Foodgawker, Tastespotting, Tastelogie, and Yummly are all food sharing sites. I submit my recipes to all of those except Yummly which people post and share too. My subscription BWA post email is up over 1% from last month which is something I hope to continue to grow and in my first full month blogging on the Bangor Daily New Blogs I received a little over 4% of my traffic from them which is a nice addition. Pinterest came in 11th for the month and I hope to push them into the top 10 next month.
The most popular posts on BWA for June were…
1. Lime Grilled Pork Tenderloin – 288 views
2. Brownie’s in the Garden – 149 views
3. Maine Lobster – 128 views
4. Deep Dish Pizza – 102 views
5. Daffodil Cake – 96 views
Daffodil Cake is still holding in the top 5 since its February debut. I get a lot of google organic traffic for that recipe. It just barely held on the the #5 spot beating Eclair Puffs and Orange Cream Cake by only a few pageviews each. Brownie’s in the Garden is only the 2nd time a non-recipe post has made my top five which is nice. That post and Maine Lobster were two of my favorite posts to write since starting the blog.
Onto Revenue and Expenses for June…
- Google Adsense – $4.78
Total Revenue for June: $4.78
Total Expenses for June: $35.95
NET FOR JUNE: -$31.17
Still operating in the red for June but that is okay. My focus is still on creating content and growing the BWA readership. In doing that I believe the revenue will eventually come. I could cancel my Food Blogger Pro Subscription and be close to break even at this point (in fact I would have been profitable in May) but doing so would rob me of a significant resource for growing my business. The amount of information I have learned from them is worth far more then the subscription price. I have figured out how to do things myself that I considered paying someone to do they seemed so far over my head at the time.
Website Progress and Projects
Social Media has been my big push and I got a number of projects off the ground in June. For someone who is usually only outwardly social when drinking, getting into the swing of social media has been a real challenge. This is what I have been doing to increase BWA’s involvement..
- Joined a total of 7 group boards with a total of around 70k followers (the boards not myself personally). This is getting my pins seen by significantly more people then were seeing them a month ago. 7 group boards is still a small amount for a blogger so I will continue to work on joining more – most of which I have join via Food Blogger Pro’s community forums.
- I finally figured out how to create fancy pants Pinterest Pins like these.
- Creating pins with collages and text have gotten me significantly more repins in the last week and I am hoping that combined with the increase exposure from group boards I will finally get my Pinterest traffic up. Almost every blog I have seen gets the majority of their traffic from Pinterest and that is an area I am way behind in.
- You can follow BWA on Pinterest at blogwithapples.
- I am finally using Page Manger to take over BWA’s Facebook page myself and correspond with folks directly. Considering it is one of our largest sources of traffic making Em just check in on the page from time to time wasn’t cutting it. I have never personally had a Facebook account so jumping into it was actually pretty hard and I am still figuring it out but I am looking forward to being more involved in it.
- I installed the Jetpack plugin for wordpress which automatically posts to Facebook when a new post is published on BWA. I am having a small issue with the fact it isn’t always pulling the featured post image to the Facebook post but once that is hashed out I will be happy. For some reason around 3 times more people are seeing the Jetpack published post then if I just directly post something myself so it seems to be getting our posts in front of more people.
- Moving forward I plan to post more on Facebook especially of smaller things like daily harvests and photos that might not make it into a blog post to engage readers more. You can like us on Facebook at bloggingwithapples
- I setup a Twitter account and started Tweeting! I actually like this platform quite a bit.
- The Jetpack plugin also generates a Tweet when a new post is published and I like this platform for sending out small photos and links that might not make it into full blog posts. With my barely double digits following at this point it isn’t driving traffic yet but I hope to build it over the course of the next few months.
- You can follow us on Twitter at blogwithapples
- I setup an Instagram account for BWA. You can follow us at bloggingwithapples
- Since Instagram doesn’t directly link posts to my site I plan to use to engage people more then drive traffic. This has been my favorite platform I started in June
So that is what I have tackled in June and hope to grow in July. I also created the icons on the top right of the website to link to each of our social media platforms and hopefully allow for more people to follow us.
Email Subscriptions – I also added a header bar to try to increase subscriptions to our email list. You should see a orange bar across the top of website that prompts you to enter email to subscribe for our mailing list. I am hoping that increases the amount of subscriptions BWA receives.
I have scary little planned for July. That doesn’t mean I won’t have a lot to offer but my ability to plan far ahead has been diminished by the demands of a busy summer schedule. One recipe I know I am looking forward to is a pan cooked Ribeye. My all time favorite steak. I have also purchased 2 new antique recipe collections that I will start going through and pulling some great old time favorites from.
Thanks for your continued support!
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