Traffic and Income Report – May 2014

Hello all, Marc here to talk about the blog’s numbers and statistics in this traffic and income report.

This report, which is published every month, will be a round up of what happened both in front of the scene and behind the scene at Smell My Kitchen.

This is also an acknowledgment of our own efforts to see where we stand as blog owners and it gives us the power to appreciate our website’s evolution. Feel free to comment or ask any questions in the comments section.

This is the first traffic and income report for our blog so I am pretty excited. Not much income since the blog is fairly new, but I hope it can still help somebody in the long run. It will help us see the evolution of the blog as well.

Let’s start with some stats about the blog.

1. Blog in numbers

This month saw the creation of 9 blog posts. This is pretty good considering the blog only has 30 posts. That means we almost double the amount of posts compared to the usual ~5 posts per month between January and April.

Looking back and the number, we can safely assume we reached our goal of 2 to 3 posts per week. The reason why it is “2 to 3″ and not “3” is because kids can be unpredictable and sometimes we are not able to take the time to cook, photograph and write three recipes per week.

The recipes for this month were:

We submitted the recipes to FoodGawker and TasteSpotting. Both with the same photo.

All of them were accepted on FoodGawker. Six of them were rejected on TasteSpotting. Erg.

In numbers we are talking:

We are fairly new to the food blog game, but from what I can see, TasteSpotting is more picky than FoodGawker and slower to process submissions.

But what about traffic? The sweet bbq ribs on the grill was accepted on both websites.

Here’s a data sheet of what the traffic looks like, and an added bonus of Fooderific:

The numbers speak for themselves. Does that mean TasteSpotting is not worth it? No, not quite.

TasteSpotting is still a reputable website and a backlink from it is worth its share. I will continue to submit our recipes to it, but I need to figure out what they like.

The pictures were rejected for one reason alone: composition. I don’t know if the pictures were really badly composed in their taste or if the reviewers are lazy and don’t like to give better explanations.

2. Traffic, followers and income

This section is probably the most important of this report. I will talk about traffic, where it came from and how much followers we gained and what I did to gain followers, if I did something.

The website’s traffic looks like this:

Compared to April, we’ve seen an increase of 76.23% over unique visitors and 37.41% more page views. Great!

When it comes to Facebook likes, we’ve seen an increase of 21 likes.

This doesn’t seem like much, and it isn’t, but at least we saw our first likes from outside our own circles of friends. Let’s hope it continues to grow as much as possible in June!

When talking about traffic, I have to talk about our top 10 traffic sources. This is something Google Analytics offers that is quite of interest when it comes to judging where to put your efforts.

As you can see, FoodGawker sent us the most referral followed by direct traffic – that was quite surprising to be honest… we may have skewed the stats with our own visits.

Pinterest takes the third spot and I really wish to invest more time in the wonderful social site that is Pinterest. Things can go viral in just a few clicks and I think it is necessary for Smell My Kitchen to build an audience on there. I need to figure out how to get more followers.

If you are not following our Pinterest board yet, please take two minutes of you time and do it or if you prefer you can follow our profile and all its set of boards!

As for income I will keep it as short as possible since there is not a lot to say.

We made 0.32$ with AdSense. That’s it.

What’s interesting though is that according to my performance report in AdSense, we didn’t have much page views compared to our report in Google Analytics. This tells me A LOT of people are using extensions like AdBlock.

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3. Changes to the Blog

This month I did a few changes to the blog itself. The most mundane one is the fact that I removed the date from the posts’ URLs (ie. instead of

I find it cleaner, easier to know where you are (from a user’s perspective) and I also changed the date within the post to “modified date” instead of “published date”.

The major reason behind this change is because recipes are what we call “evergreen content”. A cheese cake in a jar will still be a cheese cake in a jar 10 years from now.

We are not writing a technology blog. We are talking about food and food isn’t going anywhere soon. Bacon won’t disappear overnight – at least I hope so because I would be sooo depressed! Everyone knows that bacon = life. We can’t say that about the Zune.

The biggest change the website saw this month is the introduction of a new layout, which everyone should now see with the publication of this report.

It may not be new for some of you. Why? Because I did a split test, of course!

Using a WordPress plugin called SES Theme Split Test, I have been able to feed our readers two different themes. SES Theme Split Test sends two different variables to Google Analytics and you are able to track the effect of the new layout on your visitor.

What was of interest to me was the effects on new visitors. I wanted to see which theme made them stick around (average time on site) and which theme made them want to visit more pages on the site (Bounce rate and pages / session).

Here are the results (smellmykitchenlinkcolor is the old theme with brownish colors and smellmykitchennewcolors is the green and purple one):

We can draw two interesting conclusions from those numbers:

  • New users visiting with the new theme stayed on the website for almost three hours longer in total.
  • New users visiting with the new theme visited almost 150 more pages than new users visiting with the old theme.

In my opinion the new theme is better for Smell My Kitchen in term of look and users retention.

If you liked this report shareand comment below.

Every suggestions to make these reports better or our website better will be taken into consideration.

Thanks for reading.

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