Hello and welcome! Wow, I can’t believe it’s been 2 months since I started food blogging. September went by so quickly yet I feel like I’ve been blogging for ages. If you are new, my name is Ashley and I started this food blog on July 30th 2021. I have been closely watching my Google Analytics and learning about SEO (Search Engine Optimization), food photography and how to run a blog. This post will recap what I’ve learned, progress made and what I’m looking forward to in October!
Skip to the Good Parts
Besides updating you on my food blog, I truly thought I had nothing else to say. I was thinking to myself – “What did I do in September?”. Let’s all thank the universe for photography because these photos reminded me how amazing (albeit maybe not extremely exciting) my September was .
We had drives to the park for long walks and puppy play-dates with Asa (pictured left).
Cooler and darker evenings set the scene for a few S’mores nights (pictured right). It takes me longer to set up this bonfire than I would like to admit, but once it starts, the s’mores don’t stop! S’mores might be my favourite end-of-summer dessert! I also made S’mores in a few different ways: S’mores Cookie Bar and S’mores Chocolate Bark. Both were crowd-favourites (and my favourites too).
Finally, brunch with friends! Again, this may not be a big deal, but in 2021, it was! This was the first time in over a year I saw a few of my friends together! (Pictured left).
But let’s get to the good stuff:
September 2021 Checkin: Google Analytics
In August, I made a goal to reach 200 users for that month. [In that article I said I hope for 200 page views – I actually meant users]. In September, I ALMOST made this goal happen!
The above screenshot from Google Analytics shows the amount of users, sessions, and page views. All of which are important. Although I didn’t meet my goal of 200 users, those numbers tell me my little blog is slowly growing.
The above screenshot shows the top viewed pages for August (1 page does not exist). Those posts were either posted late July or early August, so I am not surprised they have a lot of page views. The first page listed is my homepage, the high view count likely comes from a direct link. As I started to actively share my blog through word-of-mouth and sharing the homepage link to others.
We have the top 4 traffic sources listed above. The “direct/none” traffic source can be from direct links (sharing the link directly to others) or unable to determine the source. Linkin.bio was added to my Instagram page and it has become a great asset to my blog. Linkin.bio is a tool to share multiple links in instagram bio, and it’s an easy way for Instagram users to have access to all recipe/blog links.
The next traffic source gets me excited – google/organic – this means people are googling a certain topic and my blog link will appear among the search results. Why am I excited about this? It all has to do with Search Engine Optimization = SEO.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
[Search Engine Optimization is] the practice of optimizing your web pages to make them reach a high position in the search results of Google and other search engines.YOAST SEO: What is SEO?
To help me understand what SEO is, I am reading this book: Effective SEO and Content Marketing: The Ultimate Guide for Maximizing Free Web Traffic by Nicholas Papagiannis. Essentially, using SEO can help with free, passive traffic visiting blog posts.
A few tips from the book that I am using on the blog are:
- Long-form content included in most of my posts (Have you noticed that my recent recipe posts have been longer?).
- Keyword research and
- Adding alt texts to my images
SEO is not easy, the 3 points listed is just the start. That being said, reading this book has helped me understand the importance of SEO for blogs.
In addition to learning about SEO, I am also learning about food photography! I enrolled in Foodtography School, an online school specializing in food photography. So far I have learned about basic camera settings (ISO, Shutter Speed and Aperture) and basic composition techniques.
Look out for my progress week-to-week in my upcoming recipe photos!
September Recipe Roundup
Below is a list of all of the recipes I posted this month!
The last day of September I received really good blog-related news. I am still in the process of adding it to the site, but hopefully in October I will be able to share!
October is in the middle of the Fall season, so you will see Fall and Halloween recipes. However, I’m already thinking about Holiday recipes! Comment below your favourite Holiday desserts.
This upcoming month I’ll continue to learn about Keyword research, SEO and photography. And I will check in next month!