Building My Blog – December 2015



Welcome to my 18th monthly blog update, all about what I got up to behind the scenes of Charlotte’s Lively Kitchen in December 2015.

This month I’m going to talk about media packs, taxes and of course all the usual numbers.

Building my blog december 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 building my blog (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 December

OK, I was super busy in December but it was mostly planning my lovely family Christmas and sharing lots of yummy festive recipes but I did manage to finish off a few bits and pieces which I’d like to share with you…

Making myself a media kit

I’ve ummed and ahhed for a while as to whether I should make a media kit for my blog and then I was asked for one at the end of November which finally pushed me in to getting on with it.

A media kit is basically a 1 or 2 page flyer (for want of a better word) to promote your blog with a bit about you, all your main numbers, and the services you offer through your blog. I’ve said before that making money from my blog isn’t a priority for me at the moment, but at the same time I’m not going to turn down a paid opportunity if it comes my way and it’s something I find exciting and want to be involved with. I certainly wouldn’t want to find that my lack of a media pack prevented me from getting those opportunities, especially as it only took me an evening to pull together.

That said, I know of quite a few bloggers that have made media kits and never had anyone ask to see it, many companies and PRs aren’t necessarily interested in it, but for the time it took I thought it was worth making just in case it’s needed again in future.

I made it in Paint 2 (super professional of me with my £2.50 graphics program) and I included a selection of my food photographs (I think the effort I make with pictures is one of my key selling points), along with my visitor numbers and social media followers. The icons for my social media followers are just screen shots of the social media buttons on my website, resized to look neat and tidy.

Here it is if you fancy a look…

CLK Media Kit 1601-1

… and if you want to create your own there’s plenty of other examples online. Google “Media Kit” and take a look at the image results if you needs some inspiration.

Completing my tax return

Sorry I know this one isn’t very exciting but it’s extremely important so I wanted to give it a quick mention. I was already registered as self-employed before I started blogging as I also do some part-time admin work too, so it wasn’t something I had to consider doing when I started being paid for blogging. However, if you’re blogging and being paid then you should register as self-employed, I’m not going to say any more than that as I really wouldn’t want to be handing out dodgy tax advice, so if you want to know more head over the HMRC website.

All the numbers

Visitors

After reaching my target of getting 40,000 page views in November I was really pleased to zoom on through 50,000 page views in December. It turns out that lots of people like looking at recipes in the run up to Christmas, especially things with chocolate and roast dinner side dishes. I felt an enormous sense of responsibility on Christmas day to see people looking at my website mid-morning and knowing that one of my recipes would be on their festive tables later in the day. I hope they all went well!

Charlottes Lively Kitchen - Visits Dec15

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Visitors

Charlottes Lively Kitchen - Pageviews Dec15

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Pageviews

Any they came from…

I’ve mentioned before about my secret blogging ambitions and I’m happy to say that I ticked off my second one this month (the first was to get into the top 100 of the Foodies 100) by having one of my recipes featuring in a Buzzfeed round up. I’ve heard of other blogs getting 1000s of referrals when they’re featured on Buzzfeed and you can see that I fell some way short of that. I suspect that their round up of Beef and Onion recipes wasn’t quite as shareworthy as some of their other posts. However, I was there and that makes me very happy!

Cottage pie recipe

My cottage pie was featured on Buzzfeed

Followers

Nothing too exciting to report on the followers front this month, everything carried on ticking on upwards. Instagram is still a touch on the flat side but I’m putting a bit of effort in in January so hopefully I can get it moving on up again.

Charlottes Lively Kitchen - Followers Dec15

Charlottes Lively Kitchen – Social Media Followers

Thanks for reading, if you’ve got any questions then I’m always happy to help xx


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23 Comments:

  1. That is really interesting to read, I love how you have documented it in graphs ect! I have only just started tracking my stats and it is very interesting to see things change. I have just subscribed to your list!

    • Thanks Stephanie, I know some people don’t like to look at their stats but I find it really useful to know what’s popular and what’s no so much, and where people are visiting from so I know where to make an effort. I’ll sometimes spot people coming from somewhere random and unexpected and it’s fun to go and see why.

  2. I really enjoyed this post. I’m a total stats geek so loved seeing all your figures. Well done on hitting your targets. I keep seeing people talking about media kits and it keeps reminding me how badly I need to do mine! #brilliantblogposts
    Debbie

    • Thanks Debbie, I’m a complete stats geek too! My old job was all about data analysis so I just can’t break the habit. I’ve set myself some very ambitious targets for 2016 so fingers crossed I can keep going.

  3. This was great to read. Being new to blogging I worry about views and stats. I am 4 months in and get around 80 – 100 views a day. Looking at your graph it looks like I am similar to what you was this far in. Your photos look beautiful. It’s great to see all your stars on your leaflet and to see what you offer. Probably a great thing to offer! #brilliantblogpost

    • It sounds like you’re doing really well Kelly, I only had 300 visits in the whole of my 4th month so 80-100 a day is great!

  4. Oh Charlotte, I think you have a typo in your media pack. It says Charlottes Likely Kitchen in the second paragraph of the intro. I am sure you have noticed already, but just in case you haven’t.
    It looks great otherwise.

    • Yes, I put that in on purpose to see who was paying attention 🙂 I’ve decided it was best to take it out now though, so it shouldn’t be there any more.

      Thanks for pointing it out x

  5. Hi, This is really interesting as a (reasonably!) new blogger!
    Your numbers seem HUGE to me – what did you do between Dec 14 and Jan 15 to increase your traffic so much?

    • Take a look at the January report you’ll find it all in there 😉

      It was two main things really… Figuring out Pinterest group boards (so my pins were shown to 1000s of people rather than the handful that followed me), and improving my photography (which meant that more people were likely to click on and share my pins, and also getting approved for sites such as Foodgawker which also bought a lot more visits than December).

  6. Really useful post. I’ve just done a media kit too.

  7. I really need to re-vamp my media pack, I haven’t looked at it for a few months (bad I know), yours looks fab!

    I hate tax time.. eurgh paperwork!

    #BrilliantBlogPosts

    Hannah x
    smeethsaysfashion.com

    • Fortunately my tax was really simple this year so didn’t take too long but I’m expecting next years to be a bit more painful. I’ll definitely have to make sure I don’t leave it until the last minute!

  8. You’re fab!! Well done for all this..you have been working really hard and getting great results! I love the media pack. I have one but never use it (it goes out of date as soon as it’s written!) but it certainly doesn’t look beautiful like yours! How do you find out about these lovely design packages?!

    • Thanks Vicki, I’ve designed mine to be really easy to update so it only takes 5 minutes (it’s all numbers I have to hand so I just have to fill in the boxes). I doubt I’ll be asked for it much but it’s nice to have to hand just in case.

      Paint 2 was free on my Mac (I just searched for design programs in the mac store and picked a free one to try) and I upgraded to the £2.50 version so I could make slightly larger images. I’ve actually got photoshop so could probably do a much fancier job, but I’ve not figured out how to use it yet (it comes in a package with Lightroom which I use a lot for my pictures). I’m quite attached to the simplicity of Paint 2 though so I’d be a bit sad to switch away 🙂

  9. I’ve always wondered what to put in a media kit and a lot of the examples I’ve seen look really complicated. Yours is really simple so I’ve pinned it for future reference

    • Thanks, I looked at a lot of examples online too and picked the bits I thought best showcased my blog. I’ve no idea if it’s what they’re after though, fingers crossed it is!

  10. I love your reports, Charlotte. I always look forward to them. Your media pack is so pretty – hope it gets you lots of fab work! 🙂 I did my first tax return in December…I’d kept putting it off because I thought it would be awful and then, when I finally got round to it, it was so quick and simple…I wished I’d done it earlier!! Eb x

    • I found mine much easier than I’d expected too, I got my Mum to check it all through for me because I was convinced I must have missed something. I think it gets complicated if you start using all of the accounting adjustments but I just keep things simple. I have had a few payments in dollars for the current tax year so that’ll be an interesting new addition for next year. I’m definitely going to get mine filled in and out of the way earlier next time (you can remind me I said that next January!).

      • I have no idea what an accounting adjustment is…I am hoping I wasn’t supposed to use any…I am also planning to do my tax return much earlier next time…let’s see if we both manage it! 🙂

  11. Hi, this was really interesting! I’ve been blogging for years but never really started sharing it with people until recently. So a lot of this stuff is still a mystery to me. Thank you for sharing, I will have a read through your other posts 🙂 x

    • Thanks Megan, I hope you find it all useful. I’ve just been having a quick read of your blog and I’ll definitely be back for a better look later it’s great.

      If you’ve got any questions then let me know in the comments or drop me an email using the contact form x

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