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Welcome to our August 2016 Traffic & Income Analysis of Tasteaholics.com! This is a monthly record of our blogging and marketing experiences for us to review and learn from. It’s a way to keep track of what we tested, learned, and how we’re faring in the world of blogging. We hope it can help you as much as it helps us!

Now, let’s get to the good stuff:

Income Total: $6006.34

Traffic Overview

August Traffic Overview

August vs. July (respectively)

August vs July

Traffic by Top 10 Sources

Top 10 Sources

Updates and Changes

A Great Affiliate Program

Last month I mentioned that we found a new product by Healthful Pursuit – Balanced Weekly Keto Meal Plans. We got a chance to promote it in August and the results are amazing! We love her products and so do our users. If you didn’t read about it in our July report, the product is a keto meal plan that’s emailed directly to the subscriber’s inbox every week which includes:

  • 7 days of meal planning
  • Shopping lists
  • Allergen guides and alternatives
  • Keto tips
  • Simple to follow recipes
  • Other unique bonus info in each plan

The price is very fair and is based on subscription term.

  • Per month = $15
  • Per quarter = $36 ($12 per month)
  • Per year = $96 ($8 per month)

As affiliates, we earn 60% of each sale and it’s recurring! If a user continues their subscription, you earn when they renew.

You can sign up here to become an affiliate.

Leanne’s team at Healthful Pursuit is great and responds to customers’ and our own queries super quick (within a few hours usually).

New Sidebar Design!

Our sidebar was very bulky since we switched to this new theme. The headings for each widget area were HUGE, the ads were misaligned and larger than our widgets and the format of recent posts/articles was not very user friendly.

We did some design research by checking out popular websites and blogs and gathered a few elements we liked. After a few position changes and some css trickery, we have a whole new sidebar!

Latest Recipes

 

To get the effect of the centered H3 widget title with a line on each side, you’ll need a bit of CSS trickery using :before and :after.

#sidebar .widget h3 {
    overflow: hidden;
    text-align: center;
    font-size: 15px!important;
    text-transform: uppercase;
    color: #444444;
    font-family: lato;
    margin: 10px 0!important;
    padding: 10px!important;
}

#sidebar .widget h3:before {
    right: 0.5em;
    margin-left: -50%;
}

#sidebar .widget h3:after {
    left: 0.5em;
    margin-right: -50%;
}

#sidebar .widget h3:before, #sidebar .widget h3:after {
    background-color: #efefef;
    content: "";
    display: inline-block;
    height: 1px;
    position: relative;
    vertical-align: middle;
    width: 50%;
}

Give it a try on your blog if you like the styling!

We improved upon the “Our Cookbooks” section ads a bit as well:

Our Cookbooks

And we also added a “For Bloggers” section at the bottom of the sidebar to help promote this part of the blog more.

For Bloggers Section

Video Ad Player

AdThrive approached us with an interesting idea to increase our ad earnings – a sidebar video player that plays our own videos with ads in between.

It’s a great idea because it:

  • Advertises your own videos (posts)
  • Earns you more money per ad (videos pay more)

Here’s what it looks like:

Videos Section

AdThrive also offered to replace the video player (in our case, YouTube) on the video recipe posts to increase earnings.

We gladly accepted this as well because usually YouTube would be serving ads but not sharing the revenue. This way, we earn instead of them earning off our traffic.

Pinterest Traffic Growth

As we continue to grow, one of our main priorities is to increase Pinterest traffic. We’re a food blog so it’s only natural! Our Pinterest followers are starting to grow much faster than before. We’re over 20k now!

Tailwind is continuing to prove its worth and we’re really happy to have found it a few months ago.

Tailwind

If you haven’t used it yet, the features include:

  • Schedule pins for times optimized by Tailwind based on audience engagement, virality, traffic and more.
  • Schedule multiple pins at once.
  • Schedule repins directly from Pinterest.
  • Track repins, likes, comments, traffic and revenue on scheduled pins over time.
  • Track growth in followers, boards, repins and likes.

It a great arsenal of features and is relatively inexpensive compared to other tools we’ve seen and tried. You can get a free trial to start off before putting down any money.

If you haven’t yet, give Tailwind a try!

Our “In Five” Affiliate Program

We have a partner’s program for TryLowCarb.com in which 60% of every sale is yours!

If you’re interested in working with us and promoting our Breakfast in Five and Dinner in Five ecookbooks (and other future cookbooks in the works now!), check out our Partners Page for more info.

If you have any questions about the program, check out the FAQ or contact us. We would love to work with you!

Conclusion

August was our biggest month by traffic, pageviews and earnings overall! It’s due to a combination of more sharing, a new affiliate product (Healthful Pursuit) and video ads. Improving the sidebar was a big face-lift for the blog which will hopefully drive more clicks (pageviews).

We consider user experience extremely important, that’s why we worked with AdThrive to position the ads more strategically. It’s crucial that the ads don’t take up too much screen real estate and our site looks and functions well for our users.

How do your ads affect user experience? Are you running into design or functionality issues due to them? How have you tried to improve your site and ad placement recently? What have you found to work best for you? Be sure to comment below and let us know!

Check out our other income reports!

About the Author:

Rami co-founded Tasteaholics with Vicky at the start of 2015 to master the art of creating extremely delicious food while researching the truth behind nutrition, dieting and overall health. You can usually find him marketing, coding or coming up with the next crazy idea because he can't sit still for too long. His favorite book is The 4-Hour Workweek and artist is Infected Mushroom.

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