Building My Blog – October 2015



Welcome to my 16th monthly blog update, all about what I got up to behind the scenes of Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in October 2015.

This month I’m going to talk about what happened when I hit the Facebook “boost” button as well as sharing some of my blog’s key stats so you can see how it’s going (I reached another little milestone this month which brought a smile to my face 🙂 )

Building my blog october 2015

A little bit of background…

For anybody that’s new to these updates and is wondering what on earth I’m going on about, I write these posts each month as a way to keep me focussed on what I’m doing (fear of sitting down to write the report and finding I have nothing to say is great for ensuring I keep trying new things), and also to try and help other bloggers (or people thinking of getting started) to learn from what I’ve tried and to copy the good bits and avoid some of my mistakes.

I also share all of my blog’s key stats so you can see how it’s going and decide whether my advice is worth listening to or not!

What I got up to in October

Hitting that Facebook “boost” button

If you have a Facebook page then you can’t have failed to notice that little boost button in the corner of your posts (they remind you it’s there often enough, secretly whispering “hit the button, give us all your money, go on, go on, it’ll only cost you a few pounds”).

Pretty much ever since I set up my Facebook page I’ve been wondering what would happen if I hit it, especially as I’d seen other blogs that I know and love popping up in my newsfeed after using it.

I mentioned in last month’s report that I’d been paid to develop my recipe for White Russian Cupcakes so I decided to use some of the money I’d made to boost the post and see what would happen. This also seemed like a good choice as it had been popular when I posted it on my own feed with 14 likes and 1 share.

How boost works…

Setting it up was scarily easy. I clicked the little boost button, filled in my payment details and some audience criteria (who you’d like it shown to – country, gender, age, whether they already like your page). Then all I had to do was select how much I wanted to pay and how long the ad would run for. I chose a budget of £7 and for it to run for 7 days (£1 a day). It then took a couple of hours for Facebook to review the ad and check I wasn’t promoting something dodgy and it was unleashed onto the world.

What happened?

One huge advantage of hitting the boost button is that it means your posts are seen. My post originally got 14 likes and yet Facebook only decided to show it to 153 people.

Following the boost the post was shown to 3,500 people and ended up with 47 likes, 12 comments and 13 shares (some of those likes and comments are on the shares rather than the original which is why the numbers differ from what you see in the actual post). Of the 3,500 people the post was shown to 2,900 were paid and 600 were organic views. It’s great to see that if you boost a post and people like, comment or share that you’re not then charged for the extra views that generates.

That said, when I first hit boost I saw the organic views falling as the paid views rose, essentially I was being charged by Facebook for them to show the post to people that had already seen it – not many but still annoying.

What did I actually get out of it?

Do you know what, it’s nice boosting a post and seeing people liking and commenting – it feels good. But what if that’s it, people see the cakes, hit like because they look yummy and then move on to whatever other delights are lingering in their newsfeed.

I guess the point is that it would be nice if people liked the cakes so much that they clicked to come and have a proper read of the recipes and whip up a batch or two to enjoy themselves. Even better, while they’re there they decide that my blog is so amazing that they hit like on my Facebook page, subscribe to my mailing list, and basically follow me on every social media platform known to man to make sure they don’t miss anything I have to say in future.

At this point I’d love to tell you what a roaring success it was but in all honesty it wasn’t. From the original 153 views, 1 person decided to click through to the blog. After the boost I had another 14 clicks and 2 new page likes. Don’t get me wrong, any new views and page likes are great, I’d just hoped for more from my £7.

Will I be doing it again?

Not any time soon. I love it when people read my blog and I enjoy the challenge of sharing what I write with as many people as possible. Whilst it’s nice that people came to have a look, and hit that little like button I think there are better (cheaper) ways of engaging with people.

That said, I’m not completely ruling it out in future. I know that people have had success with better use of the demographic targeting (the type of people your post us shown to) basically ensuring that it’s shown to people that want to see it and are therefore more likely to love what you’re sharing.

Have you ever boosted a post on Facebook? What happened when you did?

All the numbers

Visitors

I hit a little milestone in October of an average of 1,000 visitors a day 🙂

Site Visits - Charlottes Lively Kitchen

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Visitor Stats 

Pageview - Charlottes Lively Kitchen

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Pageviews

Food Traffic Sources - Charlottes Lively Kitchen

Monthly Comparison of Visitor Sources

Followers

Instagram has made me sad this month – it’s been on such a charge recently so to see it plateauing is a bit disappointing. What I’ve found more disappointing is that I know that I’m getting new followers (as I get notifications) so the slow growth can only mean that people are unfollowing too 🙁

Followers - Charlottes Lively Kitchen

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Social Media Followers

Plans for November

Before I go, I’d just like to let you know about a couple of areas I’ll be focussing on in November…

  • Focus more on Instagram – it’s my favourite social media platform and the one I most want to do well with.
  • Sort out my Google+ page and You Tube Channel (They’re still a bit messy since I rebranded and I want to tidy them up).

That once again leaves me to say thanks for taking the time to read this post and I hope to see you here again next month. If there’s anything you’d like more information about then please feel free to ask and I’ll be happy to go into more detail xx


Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

15 Comments:

  1. Wow, an average of 1,000 visitors a day is huge! I saw you’d gone up on Tots. I reckon you’ll be in the top 10 by your 2nd blog’s birthday. Xx

    • I can’t believe how well it’s doing, 1,000 a day seemed a long way off just a few months ago. I was really pleased with my Foodies ranking this month, I’d hoped to get into the top 100 but I hadn’t expected to get as high as I did. I think top 10 might be optimistic but I’ll just keep working hard and try and do as well as I can. I saw you’re up in both Tots and Foodies – you must be pleased x

  2. Wow! Congratulations on reaching 1,000 followers a day. That’s amazing!! And thank you so much for the report on Facebook. I’ve been dying to know how you got on! Shame it wasn’t quite as effective as you’d hoped for. 🙁 But interesting nonetheless. Thanks for sharing your experiences. Eb x

    • Thanks Eb. It’s probably a good thing that it didn’t work better as I’d be tempted to boost everything and end up spending a fortune!

      • Haha! Good way of looking at it! Congratulations btw on your foodies 100 score – just noticed it. Seriously impressive climbing! I would say please tell me your secret…but I guess with these blog posts you pretty much are! Eb x

        • Thanks Eb. If you have a look at my July report there’s a bit more in there about the Foodies 100 criteria.

          In my opinion Instagram is a good area to focus on as follower numbers are a Foodies criteria in their own right and good interaction will also contribute to your Klout score, plus I love Instagram as it’s friendly and you’re much more likely to get likes and comments from people than the other social networks. For building visitors Pinterest is great, make sure you join some big group boards and your pins will get a lot more visibility than you would get just from your own followers.

  3. Once again I stand in awe at your achievements. I love this honest report. I think Facebook boost can be great for when you have got a client collaborated post as it helps them see the value in you & make for better relations between you & them. Instagram is a funny old thing. Have you seen any traffic from it? I love it there & it’s my favourite social media but I’m wondering just how much traffic it generates? Thanks again for a great report. I continue to look forward to see what you achieve. 🙂 Clare x

    • That’s a good point about boosting sponsored posts, especially for someone like me who had a very small organic reach on Facebook.

      It’s difficult to track Instagram visits as they show as direct in Google analytics. However, I suspect that it wouldn’t be many as I never see a flurry of visits immediately after posting a link on there. I don’t really love it for that reason, more because I find you get a lot more interaction on there than any of the other networks.

  4. Well done Charlotte! You are doing so well. You must be very pleased. Your blog is great, as are your recipes.

    • Thanks Fionnuala. I am pleased, it’s funny to look back at this time last year and see how far I’ve come although I still feel there’s so much more I want to achieve – I guess that’s what keeps me going!

  5. I’ve come to that very same conclusion about boosting on FB hon, personally I don’t think it’s worth it!

    Congrats on your milestone, that 1000 views a day is amazing 🙂

    • Glad it’s not just me, as I was writing I kept wondering how I’d feel if everyone came back and said “when I do it, I get amazing results”!

      I have to say, I’m really proud of myself for getting to 1,000 views a day, even a few months ago it was a target I thought was a long way off. A lot of it is down to how well I’m doing on Google and I’m acutely aware that Google visits can disappear just as quickly as they appeared so I need to keep working on building an audience in other places too.

  6. Love this post – it’s great to see how honest and open you are about blogging and your numbers! I’m yet to filter out the 70 odd spam posts to my blog, but hopefully within a few years I’d be close to your crazy numbers!

    With FB – I hate it myself, but would a bit of click-baiting help out in getting click throughs to your blog? As much as I hate being told ‘you won’t believe…’ or how ‘this one shocking quirk…’ will change my life, it has made me click through sometimes!

    • I’m with you in hating click bait. I don’t mind it occasionally (sometimes a post totally justified the tempting headline) I just usually find them a disappointment and after a few I’ll end up unfollowing people. That said I’m a complete sucker for click bait – I click on it all the time and usually regret it!

      I know there’s a lot I more I could do with Facebook but it’s stuff that doesn’t sit comfortably with me. I’m in the process of making peace with the fact that it may never be my strongest area.

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