Check out the latest update from February. An inside view into My Food Story: find out how an Indian food blog is building traffic and creating an income.
Hello my foodie friends! Today I’m bringing you another issue of Inside My Food Story with updates from February 2016. If you are reading these for the first time, this is a monthly post where I attempt to share my learnings while running a food blog, in the hope that as bloggers, we can help each other grow.
Inside My Food Story is divided into two parts – Monthly Updates and a Guest Post by Cucumbertown, the blogging platform my blog is hosted on. So here goes!
Updates from February
I’m a little nervous about sharing this, but also extremely excited. My Food Story had over 78k page views in January, which is almost double from last month. I usually don’t share traffic numbers but this was a huge deal and compared to last January, when the blog had less than 100 visitors a day, this feels fantastic!
Here’s what I think worked:
- Consistency – I’ve been aiming to post 3 times a week now and this has been a huge factor in growing the blog’s readership. Readers know when to expect a post from My Food Story and have started looking forward to them. More content also means better SEO, higher page views and more variety. Having said that, I don’t believe in posting everyday because it becomes really difficult to maintain quality.
- Quality content – I’ve said this before and I’m saying it again, it’s very important to post quality content so that readers value the blog and come back to it. I’ve consistently had 30% return visitors which is a healthy mix of new vs. old. If you are a food blogger, apart from posting recipes, try and post content which is helpful to readers. For eg. my post on homemade cream cheese is still one of the most popular posts on the blog, in spite of being a year old now. This month saw a major spike in traffic for it, probably because it’s the season of all things cheesy (read: red velvet cupcakes).
- Better pictures – I’ve become a true believer in the 1% infinity concept that my favorite blogger’s husband, Bjork talks about. It’s not as complicated as it sounds. Bjork says and I’m quoting here, “It’s one thing to continually create stuff. It’s another thing to continually create stuff while trying to get a little better each day.” With my full time job, I usually work mornings and evenings on the blog. Everything is a struggle, and I can’t do a lot in one go. So I concentrate on improving my photography a little at a time. It can be as simple as finding the best spot in the house to shoot or finally getting the hang of the manual mode or watching a few videos on editing and lighting. Every little bit helps. Jan was a defining moment for me as far as my pictures are concerned. I really feel like I’ve finally found my style. See here and here.
- Consistent Promotion – Apart from creating recipes, content and photography, I also spend some time promotion the blog on various platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter and Instagram. I feel these are the ones that work for me. As a result, I’ve seen a major spike in traffic from them, and it’s also led to features in Buzzfeed and on other blogs. In this age of clutter, if you are the kind of blogger who wants to grow their traffic, start focusing on promotion.
I’ll be back with more updates next month. In the meanwhile, here’s what Ct has to say. These are improvements/ additions that have been made to the blog in January, some of which helped me make a small income to keep this blog going.
From Team Cucumbertown
January is the month to lay down the foundation for the year to come. And as expected it was one of those months where we did not have a lot to shout about, especially in terms of new features. But that said, we have had plenty of reason to rejoice, especially for My Food Story. My Food Story hit the highest it has in revenues so far, and has managed to cross the $50 mark. This is a direct result of moving to DFP for ad management. And since January is not even the best month for traffic usually, My Food Story has shown a promising start to the year.
Another important thing that happened this month was an increase in search traffic. It is not a crazy number, but search traffic in January went up by 20% vis. a vis. December. While this may not be a big number, if this increase sustains, this is good news for My Food Story. Last month we had deployed CDN on myfoodstory, which meant that it would become way faster than that other comparable blogs. And with our overhaul of the architecture too, we have created more optimized pages, which all translates to better page speed and better ranking with Google.
In terms of features, we have rolled out Phase 1 of the user cards. User cards are basically a feature where in you can see all the information you want to about your commenters. Things like their blog links, Twitter handles, Pinterest, Yummly, Instagram, Facebook etc. This feature was actually requested specifically by Richa. So we are extremely happy that the first phase of this is out now. At the moment we are showing links to the commenters’ FB and Google Plus profiles, should they choose to provide this. Soon the remaining will also be added, so that bloggers like Richa can track where their audience is coming from, and help build their connections and relationships with their audience. The user card revamp is also setting precedent to a larger revamp of commenting section which will happen in 3 months.
Besides this, work has started actively on the new editor. Richa should be having a brand new interface to play with in a couple of months. Which just means more content for the My Food Story readers!
So what do you think? Are these monthly updates helpful? Is there anything in specific that you want to hear about? Feedback on format? I’d really love to hear what you think! Leave me a comment, or give me a holler on facebook or twitter.