Welcome to the blog!

Oh hey, it’s me again. Back with another income report.

I’m really trying to bang these out ASAP so I can get onto the good stuff and catch up to 2018.

What is the good stuff?

I don’t want to spoil it for you guys, but starting in June 2017, my online income began to skyrocket, thanks to the launch of my membership site (The Functional Nutrition Library) and some exciting freelance projects.

I can’t WAIT to share all those goodies with you. But before we get there, we just have to get through one more ho-hum month – May 2017.

I also hope this serves as a wonderful reminder that you never know what exciting things are right around the corner, and how they might change your life forever.

In May 2017 I had no idea that the projects I would launch in the coming months would be so fun and successful. I was just chugging along, doing the same old thang, not even realizing that my life & work’s focus would change dramatically in the second half of 2017!

So keep going, keep trying, and never stop believing in yourself!

May 2017 Total: $1,937.16

Alright, so that’s a SLIGHT improvement from April… but still nothing mind-blowing.

Again, I was still working (a lot) as a tutor in May, so this was only a portion of my actual monthly income.

HOWEVER, I knew the school year was quickly coming to a close… and that I needed to get serious about ACTUALLY creating some online income.

I had some ideas floating around in my head… but nothing concrete yet.

Stay tuned for what I decided to go with, and how I went through the process of validating my idea before sinking too much time or money into it!

But anyways, let’s get back on track with May 2017.

How did I make that money?

May 2017 Income Sources:

1. Virtual Services ($1,810.67)

  • Nutrition Counseling ($919.17)
  • Consulting ($891.50)

2. Physical Products ($73.80)

  • Supplement Sales ($73.80)

3. Advertising ($52.69)

  • Google Adsense ($26.21)
  • Gourmet Ads ($25.97)
  • Sovrn ($0.51)

So this month I made the most money from working with 1:1 nutrition clients, followed by consulting for a school district.

Really, I was pretty busy this month, so I didn’t work too much on my business. I just took whatever happened to come my way.

But let’s break these sources down a little further!

Virtual Services

1. Nutrition Counseling ($919.17)

This month I made about $1,000 from 1:1 clients in my private practice. It seems like this is right around where I land every month when I put basically zero effort towards marketing.

With almost no effort (just a listing on Healthprofs.com ($29/mo), Google (free), and Yelp (free)), I bring in a slow trickle of clients.

I’d say 0-4 people call me each week, and I start working with 2-6 new people each month.

Since I want my schedule to have lots of open availability for blogging, writing, etc., this is the perfect workload for me!

I’m able to see clients virtually just 2 days per week, and spend the rest of the time working on other projects that I love.

2. Consulting ($891.50)

If you’ve been reading these income reports regularly, you know I’ve been doing some consulting on the side for a school district.

I helped the district rewrite their Local School Wellness Policy to meet the new federal guidelines.

It’s a pretty sweet gig, which I got by reaching out to my old internship preceptors 🙂

You never know who might be looking for help! It’s always worth checking in with your professional contacts if you’re looking to add more work to your schedule.

Since the 2016-2017 school year was about to wrap up, there was a lot more work than normal this month to put the finishing touches and edits on the wellness policy.

Thankfully, most of this work was from home, with just a few in-person meetings throughout the year. I’m really really thankful that I got this opportunity!

Physical Products

1. Supplement Sales ($73.80)

Not really any big updates here…

This income came from recommending & selling supplements online to my clients via Fullscript.

If you’d like more details on how Fullscript works, you can check out this article, or read some of my past income reports.

But long story short, it’s a great way to recommend high quality pharmaceutical grade products to your clients (when applicable), and earn a small amount of money from the sales.

My clients have really enjoyed my recommendations / instructions for the various supplements and almost always choose to fill their orders through my Fullscript account (although there is no pressure at all to do so).

I think this service is especially helpful for my food sensitivity clients who are sensitive to things like corn or yeast, and might have bad reactions to traditional supplements they might pick up at the store!

They can trust that they are getting a customized recommendation for a high-quality brand, and since I pass on part of my practitioner discount, they save money too.

It’s a win-win!


1. Google Adsense ($26.21)

This month my earnings from Google Adsense and Gourmet Ads were almost exactly equivalent.

In total, I earned more than $50 in ad revenue for the month, which I was super super excited about!

This marks 3 months in a row where my blog earned more than $50 in ad revenue. Yee!

That’s not chump-change to me, and could really make a dent in some of my monthly bills, or be put towards a nice night out with my man.

If you’re thinking about getting started with ads on your site, I’d recommend reading this article about ad networks for dietitian bloggers 🙂

It will help you figure out the network that is best for your level of traffic!

Personally, I’ve really been digging the return from Google Adsense, and they do a great job serving up quick-loading ads that don’t drag down your site speed (which matters for Google search rankings!).

2. Gourmet Ads ($25.97)

Gourmet ads earned me just 24 cents less than Google Adsense this month.

I didn’t change any of the settings on my account this month, so it’s just same old same old!

Google Adsense serves up my header ad and 1 side bar ad, while Gourmet Ads has 2 sidebar ads and an in-text ad after the 3rd body paragraph of my blog posts.

The header ad and the in-text ads do the best, since they show up on both desktop & mobile devices (unlike the side bar ads), so I’d recommend focusing your efforts there if you haven’t put any ads on your site yet!

3. Sovrn ($0.51)

Damn, a whole 50 cents!! Hahahaha okay, this was officially my LAST month trying to put Sovrn ads on my site.

To be fair, I put absolutely zero effort into optimizing it, but it just doesn’t seem worth it when I can make $50/mo just by dropping some Google ads and Gourmet Ads on my site without much tweaking.

Buh-bye Sovrn!

Website Stats

So none of this information is really that helpful if you don’t know what kind of traffic my site was getting!

In May, ericajulson.com got 9,428 pageviews & theunconventionalrd.com got 497 pageviews (hehe).

I’m pretty excited about this, because again, it’s the 3rd month in a row that my main site received around 10k pageviews! Sooooo I think I can officially say that’s my average number of pageviews now. Yippee!

10,000 pageviews is considered to be kind of the entry-point for joining ad networks, so it’s an important milestone in the blogging journey.

Next stop, 30k sessions, so I can join one of the even bigger ad networks!

What’s even cooler is that I was able to reach these numbers without a bunch of recipe features:


You can see that I had a lingering boost of traffic at the beginning of the month from a Yummly feature, but nothing major throughout the rest of the month.

My daily traffic hovered around 300 visitors per day, which is an exciting number to see as my “new normal” 🙂

Where did that traffic come from? 


Well, most of it was “direct” traffic, which means these were visits from locations that Google was not able to classify.

This usually means the person bookmarked a recipe on my site or directly typed my web address into their browser.

But, it could also be from clicking a link from a non-web format like a word document or PDF, clicking from a secure site to a non-secure site, or from untrackable social channels like regular email or Facebook messenger.

My best guess is that this was referral traffic coming from a secure site (https), over to my unsecure site (http).

This is yet another reason to add an SSL certificate to your site!! You’ll be better able to classify your traffic in google analytics.

What is “other” traffic??

For some reason, google analytics has been classifying referrals from Yummly emails as “other”.

Not quite sure why… but whenever I get a huge surge of “other” traffic, it’s when I’ve been featured in a Yummly email campaign.

Who was my top referrer?

#1 was Food Gawker, a food photo submission website where bloggers can submit their photos to be featured.

Back in the day (like 2009-2011), Food Gawker was the KING of referral traffic for food bloggers. Getting featured on their site could bring several thousand unique visitors that day.

Then Pinterest came around. Nuff said! Now Pinterest is far and away the king of food blogger referral traffic when done right.

BUT, some editors for major websites like BuzzFeed and Huffington Post still go to Food Gawker to find trendy/current recipes, so I still submit.

For reference, Food Gawker brought me 453 pageviews, so it’s still pulling in a worthy amount of traffic for my baby blog!

The #2 referrer was Shape.com (the website for Shape magazine), thanks to an article they posted that included my Vegan Buddha Bowl recipe. That brought me 250 pageviews.

The #3 referrer was the website for Women’s Running magazine. They also featured my Vegan Buddha bowl recipe, thanks to a sharing thread in Dietitians on the Blog Facebook group!

What about social?

I still need to work on boosting my social traffic, but my #1 referrer was Pinterest, with 575 pageviews, followed by Facebook with 279 pageviews, and Buzzfeed with 164 pageviews.

Other May Happenings

Honestly, not much was happening in May.

Kinda the same old same old!

I was really busy with tutoring & the school district consulting project, so I didn’t have much room for working on other projects.

I also set aside some time for brunching with friends, which is super important & always appreciated!

I was especially excited to meet up with one of my college room mates who I hadn’t seen in 8 years (!!!!). She’d just been busy living in Switzerland, Italy, and Africa, and changing the world & all that. 😛

BUT, stay tuned… June spawned the idea for The Functional Nutrition Library, and I can’t wait to tell you all about it!!!

PS – If you haven’t checked it out yet, I totally recommend joining The Unconventional RD Community on Facebook, listening to my podcast & connecting with me on social media! (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)


Erica Julson is a registered dietitian turned digital marketing pro. She has over 12 years of experience blogging and building online businesses and has taught over 900 wellness professionals inside her signature program, SEO Made Simple.