October 2018 was the first month The Yum Yum Club opened its doors for business. By saying that I mean the website was created and the first blogs were written. Note, however, that this first month is a short month with the actual purchase of the web host being on 20th October. This report, therefore, covers 11 days only. Nevertheless, we’ve been busy and I wanted to get this October 2018 Business Report out to you as soon as possible and start to share how making money from a blog can be achieved!
The key topics for discussion this month are as follows:
- Setting up the blog
- A bit of techy stuff
- Writing the first post
- Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
- The finances (or not as the case may be)
- Plans for November
1. Setting up the blog
Now, this post is not an instructional section but more of a log of what has happened in the last month. To this end, I’m not going to explain exactly how to set up a blog here but I will be setting up a page that explains this soon. As soon as it done you’ll be able to find it here.
Having said that, setting up a website ready for blogging is actually quite easy. 3 steps only. Firstly, choose a host. I used Bluehost. Secondly, download WordPress which is the publishing software. This is available automatically as soon as you sign up to Bluehost. Finally, choose a theme (what the website will look like) from the thousands out there. You can then start blogging…
2. A bit of techy stuff
I did all of number 1 above on October 20th. I used a premium theme for food blogging from Studio Press (FoodiePro). However, there are hundreds, if not thousands of free themes out there so don’t think you need to pay for this from the start.
Having downloaded the theme I then started to play around with its format. Luckily, my initial aim was to mimic the demo site and Studio Press provide a tutorial for this. Now, I’m no computer scientist but I can use a computer and, to be honest, I found this relatively easy. Note though, for any question you have there a many written or video tutorials out there so just Google your question and you will find what you need.
What is worth mentioning here is about plugins. Plugins are basically add-ons to you publishing software, WordPress in my example. They add additional functionality. The key four I have added so far are the following:
- Mail Chimp for Word Press – if you have a subscribe button Mail Chimp helps coordinate your mailing list.
- BackWPup – a simple plugin that allows you to back up your site. Critical as you go through the learning stage.
- WP Recipe Maker – this plugin allows you to add a recipe format to blogs and looks very professional.
- Yoast for Word Press – this is a search engine optimisation tool (see below).
All of the above are free. Further note that there will be two new pages added soon. One will be around “Resources” which will talk in more detail about, for example, the plugins above and equipment used. Secondly, I will try and put together a simple “Glossary” explaining terms used in blogging and add to this as I go forward.
3. Writing the first post
There is not a great deal to say here apart from choosing something simple and just do it. I mean, for Pete’s sake. I chose cornflakes!! Now, the positive thing is once you’ve written one then you have more confidence to write the second and so on. I actually managed to write ten from October 20th through to the 31st. I will add though that I am pushing hard to get to over 20 because I think this is a good number to then start trying to get some advertising. This will then drive the first part of monetization.
Photographs are very important in attracting attention to your site and thus traffic, which is key to monetizing the site. I know the basics about photography and have an old Nikon D90 SLR that I dug out of the loft. I also have a couple of old photography lamps. However, nothing else. So currently have a very basic DIY set up which actually involves me standing on a stool to take aerial views of some dishes (see below).
I will talk far more on photography and video going forward but the key message here is use photographs as much as you can. Remember the old cliche, a picture tells a thousand words.
5. Search Engine Optimisation (SEO)
I will do a separate post on this under my resource or glossary page very soon. However, in the meantime just note that SEO is critical to getting Google to recognise your site and advance your pages to the front of searches. I used the plugin Yoast for this and I advise you do the same. It’s free and walks you through how to optimise your posts. From word count, headings, keywords, snippets etc. etc.
Again, more to come on this soon including Google Analytics and the use of social media.
Each month I plan to show both income and expenditure for the blog and thus the profit, or loss. The sections above should really explain how we got to this position. I also hope we will show improvement each month.
Now, you’ll appreciate that this first 11 days of The Yum Yum Club is all about set up and therefore cost. There was no revenue generated in October. Total expenditure was £394.24 and broken down as follows:
- Bluehost subscription (note I paid for 3 years to get a low rate. You do not need to pay this much – £179.93
- Bluehost Domain Registration (I set up a 2nd site for the future – www.theprobloggerforum.com – £18.22
- FoodiePro Theme (this is a premium theme but there are many that are free – £99.23
- Food Photography Book. Well worth it – £22.14
- The Yum Yum Club Logo (optional and a bit overpriced, to be honest) – £30.53
- Kitchen equipment – £20.60
- Food ingredients – £44.19
7. Plans for November
So what do I want to achieve in November, the first full month of The Yum Yum Club. Let’s go for the following:
- Continue blogging and get over 30 in total posted
- Establish the Resources and Glossary pages
- Improve the traffic (I have not discussed this yet but will expand more in the November report)
- Expand the shopping page
- Start using Affiliates
- Add some advertising
- Generate the site’s first revenue…
A busy month ahead!!
OK, that’s it for now. I do hope you enjoyed this section and I would love to hear your comments or questions. Just send them through the comments section below and I’ll be sure to reply.
Until next month…