Behind the Scenes Peak at this food blogger’s income and 2023 goals

If you’re interested in what it takes to be a successful food blogger, then this article is for you! You’ll get an exclusive look at the income of one popular food blogger, and some stats to compare it to. We’ll discuss her strategies for monetizing and how she is planning for the future. You’ll also get some insight into preparing your own content goals for 2023.

“Jane” is a real blogger and runs a successful food blog. She gets over 100,000 pageviews per month. We are going to make her anonymous so we can share the personal details of her income, thus the blogger for this article, is ‘Jane’. Bless her heart.

Since content marketing is one of the main strategies for bloggers, we will use this free downloadable Content Strategy Planner to organize her goals and plans.

I hope you can use Jane’s story to inspire your goals and strategies in 2023.

Goals vs. Strategy

Some background on Jane – she has a food blog, and has been blogging since 2010. Her pageviews, since we started recording in 2012, look like this:

Jane’s goal is to help other home cooks with a variety of recipes that are fun, delicious and ready in 30 minutes or less. To do that, she needs to fund the blog, and let everyone know about her delicious recipes.

Jane was kind enough to share her real income with us. When she started, about a year into blogging, she started with a few adsense ads, which made under $200/mo. She was posting 3x per week. Now, in 2023, she is posting 4x per week and is making around $3500/month from ads. The graphic above shows her traffic over time.

To monetize her blog, she uses Ads and the occasional sponsor/ affiliate.

In order to make more money from ads this year, Jane will have to either increase pageviews or increase ads per page. Since the ads are optimized by the ad provider, we don’t need to worry about that. So Jane’s job in 2023 is to earn more pageviews.

Pageviews for Mature Blogs

Content marketing includes creating content for different publications, social media, guest posts, podcasts and more. Other organic marketing strategies that bloggers use to increase their audiences include

  • social media marketing
  • email marketing
  • giveaways
  • guest posting
  • Search Engine Optimization
  • ‘pods’ (not recommended)

Paid methods to grow a blog:

  • paid ads on search engines (adwords)
  • paid ads on social media platforms
  • influencer marketing
  • traditional marketing: radio / tv/ streaming ads

We are going to focus on organic content marketing for Jane. Other strategies that I recommended to Jane are:

  • social media marketing (specifically video and Pinterest)
  • email marketing to retain & monetize

If you settle on Content Marketing as one of your strategies – this planner is exactly what you need!

Real Bloggers’ Goals for 2023

Step one, as they say is to create Goals – the targets that you aim for. They are personal to YOU. Your goals don’t have to be “five figures”(who else is sick of hearing that?). Figure out what is important to you and quantify it.

Jane’s goal is to reach 10% more people this year and see a raise in ad revenue by 10%. We are going to help her with the Readership Component. She is doing her own work on sponsorship and affiliates.

On the graph below you will see the last month of pageviews for Jane’s food blog. The important things to note is the Time on Page, Bounce Rate and Exit %. Knowing this will give us a realistic target for our content this year.

Jane, is currently at 122,000 pageviews per month on average. She is making $3,500 / month from ads.

To increase readership in this very competitive niche, Jane will need to do a gap analysis of her content and her competitors, and obtain SEO and Social Media audits. We did this for her and sent her a report with suggestions. Keep reading to see our suggestions, broken down into doable tasks and spread out through the 2023 year.

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2023 Content Marketing Strategy & Planner

Planning Your Time Realistically

Content Marketing is an excellent and effective strategy to grow. Jane could grow exponentially if she did all that we provided as ‘ideas’. However, Jane is a real person with real-world commitments, as are you. So here is where we lay out realistic targets for what we can accomplish.

For Jane, we recommend that she reduce the number of new posts per week in order to have time for Pinterest and Affiliate partnerships. Although we are walking through the content marketing strategy and planner, we do recommend that Jane focus on monetizing through a variety of means. Extra traffic is a difficult and slow path forward.

Jane has been blogging for nearly 12 years and is getting pretty darn fast at writing posts. She has her photography set up all done and optimized. Her family knows that she’s not responsible for her actions should anyone touch the dish before its photographed.

In consultation with her family, Jane has chosen to work 20 hours per week. So anything that we add to her plate by way of strategy has to fit within those parameters.

A Doable and Strategic Blog Content Plan

At this point, we know Jane’s goals, we know she has 20 hours per week, and we know she has to maintain her current blog posting schedule. And we know that the following strategies, if planned out properly will help her reach her 10% goals.

Strategies to Use

  • increase direct visits via Email Marketing, try a reward program and/or content upgrades
  • Increase search traffic with SEO (use RANK IQ & WORDHERO)
  • Reduce time spent writing (Use an AI writing tool to speed up the process – WordHero)
  • Offer related content within the post to reduce bounce rate to 75%

Current Posting Schedule

  1. New & Fabulous Dishes
  2. “Best of” Roundups
  3. 1 refreshed and deserving oldie
  4. Seasonal and Fun New dishes

Plans by Quarter, 2023

Jane’s time is restricted, and so new strategies and tools will be phased in, as time allows. This is the target timeline, adding or testing one thing per quarter.

Qtr 1 goals & tasks:

  • Research keywords, for blog, (hire that out for overall research)
  • Learn to use another AI tool that optimizes posts, along with targeted keywords.
  • Continue with Post Schedule

Qtr 2 goals & tasks:

  • Create a Content Upgrade System (automated)
  • Gather supplies for a content upgrade
  • Continue with post schedule, now using AI & Keywords

Qtr 3 goals & tasks:

  • Post the content upgrade
  • research reward systems for newsletters
  • Continue with post schedule, using AI & Keywords

Qtr 4 goals & tasks:

  • Begin Reward System for newsletters
  • Review last quarter content upgrade and prep a new one, if effective
  • Continue with post schedule, using AI & Keywords
  • If time is saved using AI & Keywords, consider creating an affiliate shop for your favorite items and pushing them during the gift giving season

Content Ideas for Quarter 1 2022

Now we take our goals & tasks from above, and the content themes (1 new, 1 oldie, 1 round up, and 1 seasonal) and lay out our ideas. Here is an example from Jane’s plan to help inspire yours.

  • JAN: soups & comfort food, casseroles, leftover, something white & sparkly, also try WordHero, hire someone for keywords
    • wk4 (example):
    • 1 new: snowball themed cookies
    • 1 oldie: ham leftovers
    • 1 round up: favorite casseroles
    • Black Tie Dinner Party to get over the winter slump
  • FEB: romantic, pink, red, galentines, chocolate, hearts, also try 1 more tool, review keywords and review how to use them
  • MAR: spring look-forward, spring vegetables, using up root vegetables in a new way, decide and purchase AI tool, confirm final keywords.

I hope this gives you an idea of how to pull these things together. And also how easy it is to do after you have your basic homework done: content themes, goals, time commitment, and brand story. If you need a hand, don’t forget to download the 2023 Content Planner & Strategy Guide. And see the extra resources I’ve included below.

Time Saving Tools We Love

WordHero – AI blog post writer

RankIQ – we use this to do keyword research

2023 Blog Content Strategy & Planner

SEOCrawl – reports on everything you need to do to fix your site, plus keyword research and competitor gap analysis (currently on Appsumo with Life Time Deal)