“Housekeeping Week” continues on DadCooksDinner. I have a list of non-food topics to discuss. Rather than trickling them out, I’m publishing them all this week...kind of like ripping off a band-aid. Thursday will be back to normal, with a recipe post.
TL;DR version: If you follow DadCooksDinner, and you want to support me directly (instead of buying my cookbook or buying something through my Amazon links), you can now send me money through my tip jar.
Want details, including financial info for this blog? Keep reading.
Email from a reader:
Just bought a rotisserie grill and stumbled upon your site for recipes. I plan to use a few over the next few weeks. It’s a shame that I (and others) cannot compensate you (in a an easy way) for your valuable information. I don’t own a Kindle so I won’t be buying your book and I’m too lazy to deal with the Apple bookstore.
BUT, if you set up a link to Paypal, and continue to do what you do, I can send you $5 as my way of saying, thanks bro. (No, this is not a scam and I don’t work for Paypal.)
Suggestion from a reader in Austin, TX, edited to protect the innocent.
Can I work for tips? Should I?
I had a Paypal tip jar set up years ago, before anyone actually read my blog. In six months, no one ever used it. So I took it down.
I had the analytics to prove no one was reading. Except family members. (Hi mom! Thanks for reading!)
It’s time to try again. As an experiment, I’m adding tip jar and subscription buttons to DadCooksDinner. If you want to support the work that goes into this blog, make a one-time donation or small monthly subscription through this link:
Since I’m shamelessly asking for money, The least I can do is share the finances of a a mid-level food blog.
And I mean that. It’s impossible for me to do less.
Here’s my blog income breakdown.
Book sales: 45% of my income
The moment I published it, my cookbook became my highest source of income. Thank you, everyone, for buying my cookbook!
Amazon Affiliate payments: 35% of my income
If you click through one of my many Amazon links, and buy something before you close your browser, I get a sales commission.
Personally, I like this approach to supporting blogs, If I’m buying something from Amazon, I go to a site I like and click through one of their Amazon links. Amazon will send a small commission to the blogger, and I don’t pay any extra, because Amazon charges the same prices either way.
The only downside is...Amazon addiction. I’m trying to cut back, but it’s hard. So, so hard.
I have BlogHer and Google ads. This used to be a major source of income for me, but it is falling fast. I think Internet advertising is in a race to the bottom, cost wise, and my payments are dropping because of it. My blog traffic roughly doubles every year, but my advertising income has stayed about the same.
I stick with BlogHer because I like their community and the support they offer. I stick with Google because of their analytics, because they host my blog on Blogger.com, and because they provide the ads for the occasional YouTube video.
Sponsored Posts: 0% to 5%
Occasionally, I write a sponsored post through BlogHer. I keep editorial control, and the sponsor pays to have an ad and links on that post. Sponsored posts pay reasonably well, but they’re rare. I get one every six months or so.
I’m going to start selling sponsored posts on my own…I think. If you know of a business that’s a good fit as a sponsor, tell them to contact me.
The problem with sponsored posts is the quality of the sponsor. I get some offers for sponsored posts, but most of them are kind of shady - people asking to write paid guest posts on topics that aren't related to home cooking. Thanks, but no thanks.
It happen often enough that I saved a “not interested” keyboard macro. It gets used every couple of weeks. And don't get me started about requests to write for free so I can get "exposure" on their sites...
I don’t track expenses as carefully as I should. The blog itself isn’t very expensive - I pay a few dollars a year for the domain name, and a few more for my RSS/Email feed. I’m hosted on Google’s blogger.com, so I get free hosting until I use up the 10GB of space they gave me. At my current rate of growth, I’ve got a few years to go before I have to pay for extra storage.
The real expenses are food costs. And, to a lesser extent, kitchen gadgets. When I have an expensive purchase, if I remember to get a separate receipt, I can expense it on my taxes, and offset some of my earnings. But, usually, my costs are rolled up in my weekly grocery bill.
I have to eat those costs. Get it? Eat? Bwahaha!
I average fifteen hours a week on the blog. That includes writing, cooking, recipe testing, photography, formatting posts, email, and comments.
I spend at least an hour on weekdays, and more on weekends.
Then comes indirect time - reading books, magazines, and other blogs; visiting specialty food stores; trying out new recipes and techniques. Food is my hobby, so this “ research” is what I do for fun. I’d do it even without the blog.
This time fills what's left after shuttling three kids to events and convincing my wife I didn’t forget about her.
Where do I find the time? I don’t watch TV. At all. Only the occasional live sporting event, mainly Browns games in the fall. And, after the last few years, I should skip the Browns. I’d have less heartburn on Sundays.
How much money am I making? I’m too shy to give an exact dollar amount. But…after four plus years of blogging, my income is almost enough to pay for groceries for my family of five. Still not enough to make a house payment, though.
To narrow it down even further, our grocery bill falls between the “low cost” and “moderate cost” weekly averages according to the USDA.
That’s gross income, not net - like I said, this is my hobby. I ignore taxes and expenses; when I get a check from the blog, I spend it. Usually on a cookbook, or another kitchen gadget.
Then, when April 15th rolls around, I regret that I ignored taxes and expenses.
Take my income, subtract the expenses, and divide by fifteen hours a week and I make…yikes. I'm not quitting my day job any time soon. I can always dream about "retiring", and blogging full time - but then I look at college costs. With three kids, I’ll be lucky if I can EVER retire, even if I live to be 99.
Thank you for reading. If you want to support the work that goes into DadCooksDinner, here’s the link to the tip jar again:
Farnam Street Blog, Content Economics