This guest post is by IFBC19 speaker Christine Pittman of COOKtheSTORY
When I started blogging, it was just for fun. I had no idea what I was doing and it didn’t really matter. But then my blog started to get a bit of traction, a bit of traffic. It was exciting. I started poking around trying to get more. I didn’t realize that I had a plan. I didn’t realize that I had a strategy. I just kept doing things, playing around in my stats and online, and coming up with ideas for recipes. My site kept growing.
Then, when I decided to make a serious stab at it, to turn my food hobby into a jobby (see what I did there? Ha!) something changed. It was back a few summers ago when I hired a high school student to help me with content creation for the summer. We were going to cook recipes and shoot pictures all day, every day, so that I had tons of content ready to go for the fall and winter. Cool, right? But what recipes should we make?
That’s when I realized that I had been following a blueprint, a serious content creation strategy, for years but hadn’t realized it. That’s right, when I suddenly needed to come up with 150 recipe ideas, I knew exactly where to turn. Where did I go?
Facebook? No. Pinterest? No.
My analytics? Yessss.
I used my site’s data to guide my content.
That’s what I’m going to be talking about at IFBC19. It’s the blueprint I used to grow one site from 250,000 page views a month to 1.2M a month in under two years (it’s now over 2M a month); to launch a new site and grow it to 100,000 page views in just nine months (it’s now above 500,000 a month); and to launch a third site that is on target to hit 10,000 monthly page views in six months — the same pace that each of the other sites met on their ways to success. My blueprint worked, not just for my first site but for two others as well.
That’s the technical side of why I want to present at IFBC. But there’s a more personal side. Over the years I’ve been to many talks and listened to many bloggers speak about their methods. I’ve picked the brains of numerous friends about their strategies. People have been raw and honest with me and have really shared their inner stuff. And I’ve learned so much from them. I want to give back.
But there’s something else. As much as these friends and colleagues helped me, I also often felt a bit alienated at these talks and in these conversations. I was hearing from people who had a particular niche, or who started blogging in 2005, or who got a huge Pinterest following in the very beginning. I didn’t have any of these things and wasn’t sure how their advice worked for my site.
That’s why, I think, I wound up developing techniques that don’t look outwards at blogging trends, social media trends, or food trends. They look inward at your own site, your own stats. You get to know what does well for you, and you learn how to maximize that. I feel like my techniques have allowed my sites to speak to me, and I want to help other bloggers rise above the noise and hear what their sites are saying to them.
Thank you for having me as a speaker at IFBC. I’m honored and excited to share what I know and I look forward to meeting you all in ALASKA!