Welcome to my 14th monthly food blog update, all about what I’ve been up to on Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in August 2015.
As always I’ll share with you my experiences and hopefully pass on a few helpful tips, as well as the usual visitor and follower numbers. If you’ve not read one of my reports before and want to know a bit more about why I write them, then take a look at my very first report.
Food Photography Tips
Firstly let me apologise for the lateness of this post. I know I’m not the best at posting it right at the start of the month, but this is late even by my standards. The reason it’s so late is that for the last couple of months I have been promising that I would write a food photography tips post. Well I was determined not to write my monthly report until the photography post was finished and I finally completed it last week (yay!). I’ve had some really lovely comments about it which has definitely made the time spent on it worthwhile.
I really enjoyed writing the post, and I plan to write more in future, delving into different areas of photography in more detail.
As mentioned at the end of my report last month, I had the boys home for the school holidays during August and so I cut back on the amount I was posting to make the most of the time with them. Therefore there is not a huge amount to share with you this month. I did though find time to understand Pinterest just a tiny bit more.
If you have a look at my Pinterest page you’ll see that over time I have joined/been invited to join over a hundred group boards. I was interested to find out which were the most successful boards in terms of repins, and whether different pins did well on different boards. My conclusions are nothing surprising:
- The boards which have the most followers provide the most repins. In my case the boards ‘Amazing Appetisers’, ‘Best Comfort Foods’, ‘!!Best Desserts!!’, ‘Dessert Recipes’ and of course Le Coin de Mel’s ‘Food Blogging Community’ and ‘Food…free from recipes’ provided on average for each pin over 20 repins (with Mel’s boards c.35 repins). Each host of the board has follower numbers well into six figures and some nearing seven.
- A common theme I found is that sweet things generally always do OK, people love cake and chocolate. However, main courses and side dishes tend to be either a huge hit or a total miss. I have two very similar recipes, my chicken chow mein and my salmon noodles, yet the chicken had on average 10 times more repins than the salmon!
- In general the same pin will do consistently well/badly across all boards (there are of course exceptions, for example healthy recipes always do much better on boards that want exclusively healthy food). This though is consistent with a couple of articles I have read on Pinterest, which suggest that Pinterest will only show your pin to a small amount of people initially to gauge how popular it is. The more clicks/repins that pin receives the more Pinterest will show it to other people in their home feeds. It will also look at how well a pin linking to that article had previously performed and again link this to how many people it shows the new pin to. If you are interested there is a really good article here providing an insight into how Pinterest’s algorithms may work.
- Sunday is by far the best day for repins.
- And finally… in general the perceived wisdom that longer pins do much better is true. I pin single and double pins for each recipe and almost always the double pin will outperform the single.
Moving to a .com
Back in May I changed my domain from a ‘.co.uk’ to a ‘.com’. Part of the reason was to try to increase my Google traffic, with the idea that I might get more non-UK visits being .com. In case anyone else was having the same dilemma, I thought I would provide an update as to what I have found so far.
Google Traffic – UK vs Non UK
As the chart shows, visits from Google have been steadily increasing since the switch. However, non-UK has been falling as a % of all traffic. In reality I don’t think the name change has made any difference whatsoever so far to Google, although I will continue to track and let you know if that changes.
A little bit of research suggests that if you have a non-country specific domain such as .com, Google will use other means to work out where you are based, e.g. where your hosting company is based and where most links to your site come from. In my case I’m with TSO host (UK based) and many of the follow links to my blog are also from the UK so it’s not surprising that it’s concluded it should show my content to UK based searchers.
A change that has happened is more of my content is appearing higher up in the search rankings. In June only five recipes had over 100 visits from Google in the month. In August this increased to thirteen, with three in excess of 1,000 visits. Hopefully it is a trend that will continue!
August saw a healthy increase in the number of visitors, and page views exceeded well over 30k. After a period of steady increases, it was nice to have a little bit of a step change. There was no one cause, Google, Pinterest and direct traffic all increased by at least a thousand visitors each.
- Google – 9,667
- Direct – 6,309
- Pinterest – 6,022
- Yummly – 1,516
- Foodgawker – 644
- Tastespotting – 273
- Wholeyum – 237
- Recipechart – 212
- Foodyub – 180
- Facebook – 171
Yummly was slightly disappointing this month, with a decrease in traffic after what had been a steady increase for the past 6 months.
Monthly Comparison of Visitor Sources
In August I spent quite a bit more time on Pinterest, in particular looking at other food blogger boards for inspiring food photographs, income reports and other interesting articles to add onto my own boards. It confirmed to me how many talented food bloggers there are in the world. This meant however that I wasn’t posting as often on Instagram, the result being a slow down in the number of new followers. Everything else was on trend, with perhaps a slight uplift on Pinterest.
Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen – Social Media Followers
Plans for September
Well being so late into September when I post this I know what I have done already!!!
- As stated earlier my focus has been largely on completing the food photography post. Please do take a look if you haven’t already.
- I also had the opportunity to write a number of review/sponsored posts and I’ll talk about my experiences with those.
- Finally I got the chance to meet up with a number of fellow food bloggers at the River Cottage. I’ll be sharing a separate post about my experience in the next couple of days.
That once again leaves me to say that I am very grateful for you taking the time to read this post and I hope to see you here again next month (hopefully not as late in the month) xx