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July 2014

August 22, 2014

July2014I kind of gave up posting my stats and dollar amounts every month, but I thought I would do it this month, for fun.  It’s good for the soul to have a way to measure growth and see how far you’ve come.

Also, I just like bragging.  Today was a new high traffic day, and I’m feeling pretty full of myself at the moment.

All this fun traffic has come because of Stumble Upon.  The traffic from SU is short-lived, and rarely results in new followers or traffic to other pages, but it is fun nevertheless.

I want to start with some social media numbers.  It will be fun to compare these to last October.  To be fair, although I’ve titled this “July,” today is August 22, and the social media numbers will be as of today.

FACEBOOK:  6395   (page)
FACEBOOK:  13,988  (group)
GOOGLE +: 8397


I created a group on Facebook called “Just Dessert Recipes” and I added seven other admins.  It’s growing crazy fast, and it’s interesting to see what people post in there.  It’s a ton of work to weed out the spam, and the useless “Thanks for adding me” posts, but it’s been worth it.  I love the people in the group are interacting with each other, and sharing recipes.  The most interesting thing to me, though, has been watching what people ask for.  Every day there are people asking for specific recipes, and only rarely do I have a recipe of my own that fits the bill.  It’s given me some interesting ideas.

Let’s talk dollars.

AD NETWORK: $519.08

TOTAL = $1001.23


This was my second $1k month in a row, and let me tell you, I am thrilled!!  I told Robb that as soon as I have a thousand dollar month, I’m buying myself a Surface Pro 2.  Aaaaaand then they came out with the Surface Pro 3.  So I had 2 thousand dollar months in a row, and now I’m ready for my Surface Pro 3!  Almost ready.  Just waiting on some of this money to show up in my accounts.


In other news, I’m trying to push myself really hard on food photography.  I’m trying to get out of my comfort zone, forcing myself to reshoot mediocre or boring images, and playing a lot more with light.  And it’s paying off.  Here are a couple examples.


I redid the Scotcheroos this month.  Even though my new shoot was still boring-ish, there is a marked change between the 2014 images compared to the 2012 version.  Don’t you think?

I also took these drink photos, which, although not perfect, are still my favorite shots I have ever taken.  (So far.)  I can’t describe how awesome this win felt.  It literally has pushed me to re-shoot photos that I’m not happy with, change up my styling, lighting, and angles, because now I know that I can do better.


I looked at this photo over and over after I took it, in a big-headed, self-congratulatory way.  It took me days to get myself under control.


The other thing I have been pouring myself into is SEO.  I have studied, and worked, and studied more and worked more, and talked to people and read articles, and honestly, the whole thing is very confusing.  Still, I feel like I have made some big progress, and my Google traffic has been growing steadily.  I’ve been using Webmaster tools, and Google AdWords Keyword Planner, and Brainstorm tools to work on pushing old posts up in SERP’s, and seeing some small success.  I haven’t been using this strategy long, though, so I will have to speak more to that another time.

I’ve been following closely the disagreements about duplicate content.  On the one hand, some claim that Google is getting better and better at spotting original sources, and especially when content is syndicated with credit given, it seems to be a very good thing.  On the other hand, there are many unscrupulous people on the web, and stolen content which has been duplicated with no credit given is apparently the cause of a very large site losing as much as 65% of her traffic.  Online articles seem to disagree.  I need to read what Google itself has to say about it, although admittedly, Google is not perfect, and is as prone to mistakes as the rest of us, which makes what they say only a representation of what they are trying to do, more than what they are actually doing.


I’m dragging my feet on some bigger projects I have in mind, including a sweeping troubleshooting post and an article about high-altitude baking.  I really need to work on these, though, since I want everything in place when October rolls around.  October has historically been my highest traffic month, with December and November right behind it.  As I told Robb last night, operating from a higher level of thinking is HARD WORK.  Really hard.  And it’s exhilarating to not only be able to grow and improve, but to do so of my own accord, to push myself to be better, to be my own coach and boss.

I love my job!

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