Showing posts with label year in review. Show all posts
Showing posts with label year in review. Show all posts

Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015, the Year in Review Clickable Collage-Palooza

I like the format of a Clickable Collage and the arrangement of the Instagram Hashtag2015BestNine,  so I decided to offer up 3 Best 9 Clickable Collages to summarize my 3rd full year of blogging, along with some thoughts about moving forward into 2016.

My top 9 most visited posts of 2015 were all published in earlier years.

(Click on each image to go to the recipe it represents, hover over each image for the title)

A review of the best recipes posted in 2015, most popular posts visited in 2015, and top-performing pins of 2015, along with thoughts on the coming year.
The most visited posts from 2015.
Image Map

This further reinforces a few things to me:

  • Social Media is the present. The area I really need to work on is getting my content seen by my ideal audience--people looking to eat locally who are unfamiliar with lots of the vegetables they encounter. People looking to feed their families more vegetable-filled meals. People looking to save money by using their garden abundance throughout the year. Some of the best sources of traffic for me come from participating in recipe round ups. I've got a routine down for finding bloggers looking for my content, what I need to improve on is other ways to share my content on the internet.

A review of the best recipes posted in 2015, most popular posts visited in 2015, and top-performing pins of 2015, along with thoughts on the coming year.
The most visited posts published in 2015.

Image Map
As with farmers hunkering down and working behind the scenes during the winter months, I too will scale back. I'm not going to fix a tractor or set up irrigation lines. I intend to post twice a week and spend my found hours on Instagram on Facebook updating my 500+ recipes so that they are formatted for easy searchability. After all, 28% of my traffic comes from people googling things like 'garlic scape recipes' or 'green tomato recipes', seeing my posts appear in their search engine, and clicking on my page. Thank you! I've said I plan to do this back end work before, announcing that I'm on vacation, but then I actually take a vacation and don't spend my blogging break working behind the scenes. I'll try this in a different way and report back.

A review of the best recipes posted in 2015, most popular posts visited in 2015, and top-performing pins of 2015, along with thoughts on the coming year.
My top-performing pins on Pinterest in 2015.

As for numbers, I don't have a blow-by-blow to report on but they are up. After I added social media sharing buttons in October I had a definite increase in traffic. I have no idea why I didn't do that sooner. It was on the Blogging To Do list, and I'm glad I finally got around to it.

A review of the best recipes posted in 2015, most popular posts visited in 2015, and top-performing pins of 2015, along with thoughts on the coming year.

 I'm joining in Meghan's party over at Clean Eats Fast Feets. Check it out!Image Map

 Follow me | Pinterest | Instagram | Facebook

Have a lovely 2016. Let me know how I can help you achieve your eating goals.

Monday, December 29, 2014

2014 Year in Review--the Photo Montage Palooza Edition

A mindless read for when you've got a moment to sit and visit with me
Why does everyone always end up in the kitchen?
I can't say that the year has flown by, but after hosting 4 amazing meals in 3 days for [and with help of] my extended family of 12 folks I can say that the last week has flown by. This wrap up post will be my last of 2014, and I'll be back on Monday, January 5, 2015, with Asante Sana Squash Banana Muffins. [You have to read it in the voice of Rafiki from Lion King. If you haven't seen Lion King you've got a week to bring yourself up to speed. And get an acorn squash. And a banana.]

This is my second Year in Review post, because I've completed my second full year of blogging.  I still enjoy it and have learned so many things from so many wonderful bloggers. This year I realized that I need to give myself permission to take breaks. When I do, I come back recharged and with the energy to implement changes I've envisioned. This Year In Review will be a bit different than last year's primarily because I still need to update some of my spreadsheets, but instead of trying to get the gumption to do those I figured I'd just go with what I've got ready. Let's get to the details.

First, a comparison of my statistics for the past year--first from Google Analytics (the real, accurate stuff) then from Blogger (which includes spam bots and is just not accurate, but that's what I see when I sign in so I'll throw it up here as well).

People came to my blog in 2014 looking for recipe ideas for produce--fresh tomatoes, green tomatoes, garlic scapes, kale, spinach and leeks. You also came looking for recipes for tomato soup, buttermilk pizza crust, make ahead mashed potatoes, healthy muffins, celery soup, fig pizza and leftovers. 

My top 10 search terms, according to Google Analytics, follow this trend:
But those are just the most common search terms--there are some gems if you read through all 4000 search terms that brought folks to the blog this year.  The most memorable search term for 2014 was my guinea pig ate a pepperoni. Here are the Honorable Mentions, in alphabetical order:

"Monday morning is fine with me" [yes, the quotes are included]
are turkey, ham and chicken excellent Thanksgiving items for a compost bin? [Umm, no. Not the way I make my compost, at least.]
are garlic scapes available year round? [sadly, no, but here are recipe ideas for you]
best damn vegetable tray [here are some suggestions]
chicken feets and beetroot soup [I don't have any chicken feet recipes. Yet.]
dwarf peach tree harvest [although we have a dwarf peach tree, only the certified wildlife harvest it]
fall lasagna; roasted mushrooms, butternut squash, spinach and caramelized onions layered with fontina and herbed ricotta [that sounds amazing. what time is dinner?]
food photography behind the scenes [yeah, I like to peek behind the scenes too]
forgot salt in muffin [I hear ya. Usually I forget the sugar.]
green vista farms zucchini hawaiian pizza brats casserole [what an interesting combination, do let me know how it turns out]
help I don't know how to cook with my greens from farm! [you've come to the right place.]
how to make a chocolate milkshake without ice cream [well, you could try using beets]
how to make a sweet potato casserole with white irish potatoes [I haven't tried this one before]
how to put pesto on a pizza [I use a spoon generally, and fling it carefully]
is adding cheddar shredded to my grilled cheese a good idea [Yes, yes it is]
Monday with Hatch chiles [I've read Tuesdays with Morrie]
my lou malnati's pizza arrived defrosted [you can order pizza? Cool, thanks for letting me know]
overabundance of turnips [story of my life. Here's some ideas]
play bacon and cabbage song [could you hum a few bars?]
pumpkin liver sausage dip [what an interesting combination, let me know how it turns out]
show the picture of kohlrabi [you can find one here]
turnip greens recipes that kids will eat which is not pizza or macaroni [I'm working on that one, myself. So far this is the best I've got.]
visit for sheila's snappy ginger slaw recipe [thanks for the tip]
wow me a meatloaf [Ok, here ya go.] [there's a website? Here's a pizza]

That little spike in the first graphic?  That's from the debut of my Clickable Collages of Recipe Suggestions. I posted it on G+ and folks popped over to check it out. I've got suggestions for what to do with produce, like beets, garlic scapes, or green tomatoes, as well as recipe ideas--like hummus or grilled cheese.

What am I most proud of? My newly revamped Visual Recipe Index by Ingredient.  I'd had the idea of what I wanted for quite some time, but didn't have the ability to create it until September.  My son has asked me to tweak it--to add categories for, say, chicken or liver instead of just fruits and vegetables. I think his suggestion is a great one and will be working on it.  Here's what the landing page looks like now:

Clicking on, for example, Garlic & Garlic Scapes brings you to the collection of recipes using those items, as seen here:

I really like folks to be able to find my recipes, so I'm delighted with the changes I made. I'm also pleased that this recipe index is used by you folks--more than a thousand views this past year:

At the beginning of 2014 our household animal collection consisted of 3 dogs and a composting guinea pig. At the end of the year we have 3 dogs (we've substituted Robert Barker for Wee Oliver Picklepants) but no composting guinea pig. I've earned over the $100 Google Adsense payout threshold twice, so the hosting fees are covered for a while. I pushed out of my comfort zone participating in #AppetizerWeek, #IceCreamWeek, and most recently #ChristmasWeek. This fall I got interested in spiffing up my Pinterest presence, and created the Farm Fresh Feasts board where I've shared every post, in order. It's been fun to look back at the changes over the months/years (gulp).

At my 4th amazing meal in 3 days (which was Thanksgiving dinner, you can see the Make Ahead Irish Mashed Potato Casserole in the slow cooker) I got a round of applause. If you've read this far--give yourself a round of applause too! See ya in 2015!