Hey Guys! Here I am today with another issue of Inside My Food Story – an attempt to share my learnings from running a food blog in India, in the hope that I can help other food bloggers 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. Let’s jump into this month’s updates.
Updates from May
I actually have some big big news this month so maybe get a cup of coffee, sit back and relax.
There were two major changes to My Food Story this month. The first is that we switched our URL from www.myfoodstory.in to mfsstagesite.wpstagecoach.com. This was a really subtle change and you probably haven’t noticed it, but if you type myfoodstory.in in your browser window, it should automatically redirect to .com.
When I started the blog I never realised it could grow so much. And when the decision to buy a URL came, I ended up buying a .in because it was cheaper. My organic traffic has always been negligible so I never paid it any thought. But one day I happened to have a conversation with Casey Markee from MediaWyse on the FBP forum (BTW registrations are open again so hurryyyyy) who suggested that one of the things that may be holding my organic traffic back is this.
We took his advice and immediately started digging, found the owner of the URL and after some negotiations initiated by my good friend Karan, we were the owners. Honestly, I was more worried about the next steps and how difficult it’ll be to manage the redirects. But you have no idea how easy it was! The good folks at Cucumbertown did all of this in less than a day and so far I have had ZERO issues!
The result is that my organic traffic has gone down temporarily, which we expected. I’m not 100% sure but I think this happens because Google treats this as a brand new URL and needs some time to “trust” and understand that it’s the same old site. Normally this takes 1-2 months. I’m working on building backlinks to the new URL anyway and hoping that the traffic will be back up soon!
The second major update is that I’ve finally quit my job! Yes, yes and yes, I’m now a full time blogger. Is that even a thing? I don’t know. It’s been three weeks and honestly I’ve never felt better. I finally feel like the pressure to perform is slightly off and I can actually concentrate on doing what I love doing so much. With the blog and a full time job, I just felt like I was running all the time trying to fit everything in, in the little time I had.
I know some of you may have questions about the why’s and how’s but I’m going to do a separate post where I give you more details. If you have any specific questions, leave me a comment and I will try to answer them in my post.
Apart from all this excitement, here are a few things I concentrated on this month:
Cleaning up my Pinterest boards – I realised recently that I had collected a lot of junk boards which weren’t giving me any repins. Instead of keeping them I decided to quit and move on, which in my case was super difficult because I’m a hoarder. Simply because it takes me hours to schedule pins to these boards and doesn’t help my Pinterest stats. I’m still figuring out if this helped, but here’s the criteria I set:
– I quit any boards that had a fewer number of followers than my Pinterest account
– I quit boards that had less than 10 repins in the last 7 days (Got this information from Board Insights in Tailwind)
– I quit boards which weren’t relevant to the content I was creating
Cleaning up old posts – Since Cucumbertown upgraded to the new Recipe Editor (which is awesome) I realised that some of the new fields that were added such as cuisine, style of preparation, name of the recipe etc. weren’t updated. These fields have been added for a reason, to give your SEO a lift and help us rank better. I’ve been going back and updating the content to these posts to make sure the old posts are all cleaned up. This cleanup will not do anything right now, but I’m sure I’ll see the SEO benefits in a couple of months. Remember, SEO is a long term game plan.
Here’s the April Ad Revenue breakup:
Gourmet Ads: $2.99
I have soooo much more to say but I’m going to stop now since this post has already been long enough. Here’s the update from Cucumbertown.
Updates from Cucumbertown
Last month was a whirlwind of activity to put it simply. The first two weeks were the excitement related to the release of the RecipeWriter and also taking all the feedback and improving on features related to the same. It was a humbling, overwhelming experience for us. Our bloggers including My Food Story reacted with a lot of love for this labour of love.
After this had barely ended, we also launched our first apps for convenience features on Cucumbertown. The first in this series is the unit conversion app, that eliminates all the feisty debates on gms vs ounces for Cucumbertown food bloggers. We have a few others apps lined up too to make the reading experience an enhanced one for the audience of our food blogs. This will include nutritional labelling, ingredient substitution and grocery shopping, in the future.
We have also started serious work on sponsored content as part of the monetisation plan. A sponsored content team is now working with a lot of brands to bring in lucrative partnerships for Cucumbertown powered food blogs. We are working closely with My Food Story on this and will be able to report how the associations go in the next report. So stay tuned readers. We are hoping for big things in the next few months.