PROOF: It Works – 3 times!!

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Proof it Works – Test blog in 12 months: Earnings from $700 to $7,000 per month, 120k to 430k monthly views.

Forecast growth: $15,000 monthly earnings, 1 million monthly views by January 2018.


Yes, I’ve been silent over the past year. Part of that has been me being uncertain that my blog growth and monetisation strategies are still working in this current, ever-changing environment. Not wanting to provide false information or hope to those reading this.

But today, 12 months after I started my case study, I am here to say with confidence that it works.

My blog growth and monetisation strategies work. The growth of my blog is not a fluke.

I’ve proved it. Not once. But twice. Actually, 3 times including myself. 🙂


I am not one for sharing financial and traffic details openly, I feel uncomfortable doing so. However, in the context of this post, I will say that my monthly page views are almost 4 million per month and my earnings are in excess of half a million dollars per year.

My website is built on organic growth. Viral spurts from social media and referral sources does not, with the traffic I get nowadays, have the material affect on my site traffic that it did in the past.

Don’t get me wrong. Spurts of traffic are always welcome. But it’s not a foundation for the growth of my blog. Nor is it part of my blog growth strategy.

RTE April 2017

THE PROOF: Test Blog

12 months ago, I approached an unnamed blogger who was in a “make or break” position in that this mystery blogger was either going to have to return to life in corporate or, as they dreamed, to make a full time living as a food blogger.

I scoured the blog. I cooked a number of recipes, wanting to immerse myself in this blog like I was an everyday reader, and read loads of posts. (I never left a comment or told this blogger I did this – even now, this will be a surprise when they read this.)

Truth be told, I wanted to get a sense of the true passion of this blogger and, frankly, the quality of their recipes, even if the recipes weren’t the type I usually cooked. Because good food is a universal language – whether it’s vegan, vegetarian, healthy, ethnic or mainstream everyday food.

I wanted to know whether this blogger really had what it took to be my test case. Whether the passion for cooking was really there. And I was convinced it was.

And that’s how I selected this blogger to be my test case.


Put simply, I asked the blogger whether they would be interested in being coached by me to grow and monetise their blog as a test case. I was very honest – I said it would be hard work, that I would be tough, I wasn’t going to tread softly-softly with gentle kindergarten-teacher words and fluff around the issues. I’d talk straight – sometimes even probably too bluntly.

I also said I was supremely confident that we could achieve significant blog growth but more importantly, substantially increase blog earnings to a full time equivalent income.

The blogger said yes.

And so we embarked on our little project the next day. 🙂


To be able to make a living off the blog within 12 months.


This is what we achieved in 12 months:

  • 130k monthly page views grew to 430k
  • Monthly earnings increased from US$700 to US$7,000

But most importantly: this is sustainable traffic and earnings that will continue to grow. The growth is organic. It’s not reliant on a pray-for-a-viral-Facebook-video or favour-trading approach or other bursts of viral traffic.


This blogger will hit 1 million views by January 2018. Earnings will be close to $20,000.

This is what we are working towards. I am confident we will achieve it.


Well, now. That will take all the fun out of this if I reveal the name!

I’ve been working secretly with this blogger for 12 months now. It’s been a long time coming and you’re just going to have to let me enjoy this moment for a bit.

All will be revealed soon…..

PS It’s not my mother (her blog is RecipeTin Japan). It’s not a level playing field because I promote her blog on mine and in my newsletter. 🙂



I wanted to prove my blog growth strategies work.

So I could create a simple guide.

So you can do it too. 🙂


Err, yes. 🙂 Me, my Mystery Blogger and Imma from African Bites, the one and only coaching client I took on for a small fee back in late 2015. When I announced the exciting news about the Mystery Bloggers’ achievement on the FBC Facebook Page yesterday, she contacted me to let me know that she is about to leave her job to be a full time blogger – GAAAAAA!!! I honestly almost cried. 🙂


Soon. When I’m happy with it.

I know that’s not an answer. But this project has been in the works for 12 months. It is not something I take lightly. It makes me really grumpy when I see so called experts making big promises with slick marketing talk but when you scratch the surface, there is in fact no substance or actual track record there. Or their only track record is the blog advice blog that they use to sell their services. 🤔 That seems cheeky to me.

So bear with me. Just know I’m working on it. And yes, it will include traffic and earnings statistics.

In the meantime, continue to ponder…..



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The Food Photography Book by Nagi from RecipeTin Eats


  1. says

    I’m really excited about this guide Nagi – And I wanted to take the opportunity to say what a great site this really is. I’m studying it like an encyclopaedia – it’s my go to bible and am implementing some of the recommendations into my very new site. Thank you again

  2. says

    This is so inspiring!! If u ever need another test case I volunteer! 😂 I’m in the same position of hving to return to corporate life and resiliently resisting. But to be honest I doubt my ability to make it in blogging (i blogged for 3 years to no effect) . But I still want to try 🙂 I am reading every single article on this (very helpful) blog in an effort to make my dream come true 🙂

  3. says

    Can’t wait for the release of your guide! Every time you come out with something new under your teaching umbrella, I am blown away! Thank you, Nagi!

  4. sugarsaltmagic says

    Nagi! This is so exciting. I can’t wait to hear more. I love, love, love blogging and would so love to be able to earn a living from it. What a dream come true 🙂

  5. says

    Thats the best thing about you Nagi – there’s no faff! I love that everything with you comes with proof and a lot of testing so that its just right. Can’t wait to buy your guide when it comes out!

  6. msnehamathur says

    You are such an inspiration Nagi. I blog from India and left my career as dental surgeon to follow my passion and I am glad I am do it both, follow my passion and make a living out of it. I am so looking forward to your guide and increase my earnings multifold. Cheers to you.

  7. says

    Yayayay, Nagi! So proud of what you’ve done and the time you’re u are taking to ensure it is solid. Now, will you be doing the great reveal and letting us know about your guide here on your site? Cannot wait 😊

  8. says

    I am elated to hear this news. I can’t wait for you to release it. I just started my blog and I bought your photography book and I love it.

  9. says

    So excited for you Nagi! REALLY looking forward to your guide, your Food Photography Book really helped me to start my recipe blog. Looking forward to a time when I can say food blogging is my “day job” just like Imma & your Mystery blogger.

    PS this is my first ever online comment – glad it was for you, you really inspire me with your honesty, knowledge & generosity x

  10. says

    I already knew you were amazing. Now you might have to be my hero too! So looking forward to the release And thank you in advance. 😀

  11. says

    Absolutely wonderful news!! I bet you were a tough but sweet taskmaster!! Very lucky mystery blogger and It’s great news that they can now follow their passion. I’ve always said the greatest people are the ones who share their knowledge. xoxo

  12. says

    Nagi, your heart and soul is to help others and you are so genuine in that. I am beyond excited to learn and implement every one of your strategies. I am ALSO so incredibly happy for your success and the success you have shared with so many. (Um, look at my old pictures before reading your book–yikes!!) Can’t wait to follow this journey with you!

  13. says

    Hi Nagi. Great stuff!! I have a bilingual blog and lot of followers from the country I was born before we came to New Zealand. Of course I am very interested to see this success story but would also for free translate your guide in Serbian to make it available for people in my home country. Hope you see my post and give me an answer..not in a hurry , I can imagine you are very busy.

  14. says

    Nagi, I think this is fantastic of you to put together such a guide to help us out and to show us how you and your mystery blogger did it. I’m so excited and so looking forward to this! Thank you for your time and effort in putting it together!

  15. says

    This is absolutely fantastic. I am sooo looking forward to your guide. I blog about Korean food ( and I always wonder if my niche would limit my potential to grow but I am not sure about expanding to other cuisines (I do love to eat all different ethnic cuisines) yet…anyway, thank you so much for sharing your expertise with us!!

  16. says

    Nagi! Congratulations!! This is so wonderful!!! As a former corporate person, (talk about total misery) I am so determined to never have to go back to a cubicle and I LOVE being a food blogger. You are such an inspiration to me, your recipes (that work), photography, videos, and helpful advice are so valueable and appreciated. Count ME IN, to be interested in your latest project, can’t wait!

  17. ktchncat says

    This is so exciting! I’m definitely looking forward to the guide I’d love to be able to own my time by my blog being my income, I’ve given myself 9 months to see some growth which I know may be too short but here’s to working at it and hoping for the best!

  18. says

    I love when people can truly have proof that something not only works for them, but can be applied and work for others. And…I actually helped Imma with her Pinterest strategy in Jan 2015!! So happy she is doing well!

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