An inside view into My Food Story: find out how an Indian food blog is building traffic and creating an income.
Hey Guys! It’s that time of the month when I bring you a quick view inside My Food Story. To give you some background, this is a monthly post where I attempt to share my learnings while running a food blog, in the hope that we can help each other grow.
Inside My Food Story is going to be divided into two parts – Monthly Updates and a Guest Post by Cucumbertown, the platform my blog is hosted on. So here goes!
Updates from November
November was an interesting month, because personally I wasn’t able to spend as much time on the blog due to work, holidays and Diwali. I continued to focus on content, but all other promotional efforts were put on hold. This could have meant a huge dip in traffic. While traffic was lower than October, My Food Story managed to stay above its average traffic threshold. My biggest learning from this – Focus on generating quality content, and readership will follow.
I also focused on trying out new things such as video (I’ve set the privacy to public, so hopefully you can view it). Denver and I spent some time last month shooting our first video. At present it’s quite amateurish, but our aim was not to upload it on YouTube and get views. Video is something that has intimidated us for a while, and we just wanted to find out if we could do one, all by ourselves. And guess what, it’s not as difficult as it looks! My biggest learning was try it, just because it looks scary!
Cucumbertown also opened up it’s affiliates program last month. Affiliate marketing is a feature open to Ct bloggers (Also available on other platforms) where I can add links to products I like and if readers click on the link and buy, I earn a small commission on it (more on this in the Ct section). I ended up adding affiliate links to one post, and made TWO sales! While it’s nominal in terms of income, it’s heartening to know that two readers trust me enough to go with my recommendation and put their money on it. My biggest learning from this – always be authentic, so that readers can trust you.
Before we wrap up, I wanted to share with you that this is my 100th post on My Food Story and we complete a year of blogging sometime this month 🙂 I never thought I’d be able to come this far, and ‘not giving up’ hasn’t been easy. But here I am, and I hope I can keep bringing you quality content, month after month.
I’ll be back with more updates next month. In the meanwhile, here’s what Ct has to say. These are improvements/ additions that have been made to the blog in November, some of which helped me make a small income as well, which is always welcome 🙂
From Team Cucumbertown
November was a pretty exciting month for us and as always My Food Story was gracious enough to play tester for our new features which were rolled out this month. And there have been quite a few. The most exciting amongst these is the affiliate feature, which was added to My Food Story, enabling Richa to monetize her blog through affiliate sales. This screenshot below demonstrates how she can now recommend products she loves and uses on her post.
This is only the first version of the affiliate feature with just Amazon Affiliates enabled. More features and affiliate platforms like Flipkart will be added soon so that CT blogs can choose from different platforms.
Another big development this month was the introduction of the upgraded, highly useful Recipe Index. This features new improved categorization and an image based browsing catalogue.
My Food Story also features a super fast autocomplete on the search bar. This will help anyone who is looking for a specific recipe or ingredient to narrow it down far more easily. This will be available to other CT bloggers in a few weeks.
And now for the thing that we are proud of the most. My Food Story has now been moved to our new architecture, meaning it’s much, much faster than it was before and it’s going to make a lot of difference in the long run for that much needed love from Google. We’ll keep you updated on how it has helped her blog. In the meantime, if you are wondering why page speed is such a big deal, read more here.
November marks a big change for the way in which ads are deployed. We have started using DFP (Double Click for Publishers) to manage our ad networks. DFP is basically an ad management system that helps optimise income for blogs from ads. We should be able to let you know how much of a difference this has made by the next edition of Inside My Food Story.
This month the ad revenues were lower compared to last month. My Food Story made $30 in November. There are two reasons for this. Firstly November was a fairly slow month for all food blogs in terms of traffic, with festivals like Diwali and Thanksgiving causing traffic to slow down. Secondly, in the last week of Nov, we moved Richa to our new react framework and DFP was not set up for her blog. As a result, we lost revenue for 3-4 days which also contributed to an overall fall in revenue.
But there is also great news from the affiliate front. Mere days after implementing affiliates on her blog Richa has managed to get a commisiion $2 through the sale of two of her affiliate products. She managed to gather 3% CTR and 30% CTA which is significantly high compared to industry standards. So yay for that!
Those are the big announcements for November. There are already a lot of features and updates underway for December. We’ll also be introducing a new initiative – Office Hour for Ct bloggers where they can come and discuss their challenges and ask their questions to the team.
And finally to all the readers of My Food Story, a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! We shall meet again the next year!