April Roundup. April flew by as swiftly as the birds speedily building their nests, in a flurry of creativity and spontaneity. Aside from working, I also had my first Covid vaccine. That was mostly my life: work, blogging, cooking, photographing and sleeping.
My blog is now four months old and I have learnt a huge amount in those four months, about blogging, about myself and about rediscovering cooking. I'd like to share my month with you on a regular basis, it's a great way to maintain accountability for my targets, and you all might find it interesting too.
What did I enjoy this month?
Them on Amazon Prime, a horror period piece that combines social history with a terrifying demonic twist
Hidden Valley Road, the wonderful, inspiring and at times, scary, true story of the Galvin Family, wracked and wrecked by schizophrenia, but ultimately contributing to the ongoing investigation and treatment of the illness. I listened to this everyday on my drive in to work, and couldn't wait for that journey. Brilliantly written, without getting too bogged down in scientific wordiness (I know this sounds shallow, but I struggle with too much science-ese. My bad). Also available in hardback, and paperback too.
The amazing vegan food at Borough Market. I'm writing a post devoted to the best places in London to find vegan food (clue: almost anywhere), but Borough is a great place to start: Thai, Mexican, Chinese, Japanese, cheese, cakes. You name it, you'll find it here.
This month on the Blog:
In April we:
- cooked Chia Jam using up some old squishy fruit in the fridge.
- we rustled up delicious Cajun Tofu Tacos
- we discovered the best Lemon Cookie recipe ever!
- we made the quickest bread ever!
- we tried the Tik Tok famous baked Feta Pasta
- we made delicious vegan Peanut Butter Cookies
- we discovered our dream scone recipe
- and we made moreish Biscotti!
What's seasonal in May?
Coming in May, I have a wonderful recipe for vegan Rhubarb Cake, an old-fashioned, gently scented cake that will hopefully please everyone. It pleased my mum (I baked it for her birthday) and she is VERY difficult to please.
Asparagus is just coming into the shops now. I love it's slightly earthy, green flavour, but it really does make my pee smell. Don't let that put you off...
Of course, we have some delicious new potatoes to enjoy, so I might just rustle up a vegan frittata of a sort.
I will also be sharing with some of the best places to find vegan food in London, how to make a fabulous and very naughty Peanut Butter Pie and much more that I literally can't remember right now as I've had a really long day at work ?
Blog Update and Goals
So, a lot of people share their blog financials, I don't have any financials yet, although I signed up for Media.net ads on my page and am in the process of being approved for Amazon Associates. I am not anticipating any financial reward from either of this probably for the duration of the rest of this year, unless my blog suddenly goes viral, which is a nice dream, but we like to have attainable goals, not just pipedreams.
Media.net were incredibly easy to sign-up with, and the whole process was painless. The ads are fairly innocuous on the page, but require two clicks to achieve a payment. With Amazon, I am advertising on my social networks about my Amazon storefront, and I have just started sharing links on my Web Stories (read on for more about those). On reflection, I still think that my traffic is way too low to consider ad revenue of any sort, and my main target is to finish this 2021 with 100 blog posts under my hat, and a DA of over 20.
Social Media Targets
For the first time ever, I have a diary that I actually use. I buy a new one each year but never use it. I am now viewing the blog as my own business, and so I need to be organised, to set myself targets, stretch targets and to hold myself accountable.
My targets for Social and Blog for April were:
- Instagram: 3000 followers av. 250 likes per post ✔
- Pinterest: 400 followers/150k monthly views
- Blog: 5000 page views per month ✔
This morning (29th April) I had hit the targets for IG and for the Blog, although I'm still 9 followers away on Pinterest and my monthly views fluctuate wildly. I hadn't anticipated on hitting the IG target because I had been a little lax on there, I often find IG to be draining, and unrewarding. However, I went on a spree of interacting with other foodie Instagrammers and this worked to boost my numbers. My next target for IG will be 5k, but I will be kind to myself and give myself until August for that target. 10k and the swipe-up in stories function is the ultimate goal.
I am not sure how I feel about IG lately. In January, I had a flurry of clients wanting me to promote products, including a paid one, but I have not heard anything since. I think this is less to do with my own personal work output, and more to do with the economy being in a bit of a slump, and so advertising budgets are currently low.
Again, with my blog, I am aiming to get to 6k page views, however. I had a huge spike in PVs for a week in April that was triggered by Google featuring one of my Web Stories. This HUGELY boosted my page views and visitors, but disappeared as quickly as it happened. The moral to this tale is to not rely on what is, essentially, artificially boosted numbers. Whilst the page views were genuine, they were not actual visitors to the blog, and just people viewing my story.
- Instagram 3500 followers, 250 likes per post
- Pinterest 450 followers, 150k monthly views
- Blog 6k page monthly page views
So, I recently discovered Google Web Stories (yes, I'm behind), and I've been dabbling a little with it. I enjoy the fact that they are automatically shared to Google, thus increasing your chance of having a trending story that can benefit your blog; furthermore, and perhaps more importantly, you are able to add Affiliate links too. The ability to add links to stories makes them potentially a really valuable tool.
I use an app called Jumprope to create my stories, I then upload them to the Web Stories plugin for WP and they are then automatically linked to my blog. They can also be used on Facebook stories, Instagram stories and Pinterest Story Pins, giving them multi-platform functionality. They can also be embedded into web pages.
This was April for me. With things slowly and surely getting back to normal, I am excited about what the next four months of blogging hold for me. What are your goals?