Happy New Year to all of you – my wonderful readers, subscribers, followers and friends!!! Another crazy, rollercoaster, action-packed year of blogging is over and a new one is just beginning… Let me tell you all about it in my Easy Peasy Foodie 2019 Blogging Roundup! Find out what I have been up to… Find out whether I succeed in the goals I set myself last year… And discover what I have planned for 2020!!
My New Year’s Day roundup post is an annual tradition here on Easy Peasy Foodie – an opportunity for me to reflect on everything that has happened the previous year and set goals for the next. I always believe that I am much more likely to achieve my goals if I share them publicly!
If you want to read my previous roundup and goal setting posts, you can find them here:
Well, 2019 was as crazy, magical, fun and enjoyable as ever. There’s never a dull moment with blogging, that’s for sure! But truly, that’s what I love that about blogging – it’s constantly changing, and you never quite know what’s around the next corner. There are ups and downs, of course… but the ups always outweigh the downs! There are new opportunities every year and unexpected twists and surprises that mean you can never 100% plan for the year ahead… and whilst I do try to set goals at this time each year, I am also looking forward to all the lovely unexpected surprises that 2020 will bring!
As ever, I have been hugely encouraged by the way both Easy Peasy Foodie and Productive Blogging have grown and developed over the course of 2019. It staggers me that year in year out my blogs continue to grow and reach more and more people. And I am always touched by the many emails I get from you, my lovely readers telling me you’ve enjoyed a recipe, got out of a midweek meals rut, got excited about cooking again or that I’ve helped you grow and start making money with your blog. It’s emails like those that make blogging so worthwhile.
2020 is a big year for me as, come May 2020, I will have been blogging for 5 YEARS! That girl who tentatively set up a food blog in 2015 with the hope of it one day becoming a fully fledged business would be astonished and delighted at where blogging would take her. In fact, if I could go back in time and change just one thing it would be to have started blogging much much earlier in my life!
So, come with me and let’s take a peek behind the scenes at Easy Peasy Foodie HQ…
Easy Peasy Foodie 2019 Review
First up, here’s how I did against the goals I set myself this time last year…
Finish making SEO Improvements on both my blogs
Search Engine Optimisation work dominated a large chunk of the first part of 2019. While both my blogs were already fairly well optimised for search engines, and search engine traffic has been my main traffic source for years, I knew I still had some more work to do to get my blogs in tip top condition SEO-wise.
In particular I wanted to focus on creating more cornerstone articles, more work on site structure – especially my categories and tags, deleting some old content which couldn’t be updated and / or was no longer useful, improving my internal linking structure, generating more backlinks and further improvements to my site speed.
Well I am pleased to report I managed to do all of those things in the first part of the year and, as predicted, I have really seen the impact in my search engine traffic over the rest of the year and into 2020.
There’s a sense in which SEO work is never truly done and I’ll always be tinkering with things, but I really do feel that both my sites are in pretty good shape now SEO-wise.
Finish updating old blog posts with new photographs
Part of my focus on search engine optimisation was to update old posts on Easy Peasy Foodie with new photos. There are quite a few recipes on my site that are delicious, but hardly anyone reads them because the photos are terrible!
I had already updated a lot of old posts throughout 2018, but I had about 50 remaining that really needed some work. My plan for 2019 was to spend September updating and ‘relaunching’ these 50 posts with new photos, improved text, new pins, new social media posts etc.
However, something else happened in September and early October which meant that my photo update project had to be pushed into 2020 – more on what happened in September below!
My plan is now to complete my photograph update project in January and February of 2020 and I am hoping, if I achieve that, that this will also have a very positive effect on my page views throughout 2020 and beyond.
Create more videos
I made a start on getting to grips with video in 2018, but really, I only dipped my toes in the water – creating a few ‘Tasty style’ videos for Easy Peasy Foodie. My plan for 2019 was to build on that and start creating videos for Productive Blogging too.
Well this one was a YES and a NO.
I did manage to create a few videos for Productive Blogging – mostly for my courses (more about them below), but I didn’t create any new videos for Easy Peasy Foodie.
I came to the conclusion that, though fun, creating, editing and sharing video content for Easy Peasy Foodie was just too time consuming and, as I only have a finite amount of time – no matter how organised I am, I needed to prioritise the things that were going to make the biggest difference to my blogging business.
So, for the time being, I’ve shelved plans for producing any more ‘Tasty style’ videos for Easy Peasy Foodie. I do, however, plan to create more videos for Productive Blogging in 2020 (more on that below).
Update the design of Easy Peasy Foodie (again!)
Another goal that I decided in the end not to pursue in 2019. At the beginning of 2019, the plan was to do some more work updating the look and feel of Easy Peasy Foodie. However, as with video, I decided it was not a big enough priority compared to the other things I wanted to work on in 2019, so I have shelved this one for the time being.
I do have a few small things I’d like to work on in this area in the first part of 2020, but I don’t plan on making any major design changes to Easy Peasy Foodie this year.
Get better at Pinterest
This is one I goal I did manage to achieve (though, as with SEO, it will always be a work in progress!). One of the big things I wanted to do in 2019 was to increase my traffic from Pinterest, as well as learn how to use Tailwind’s SmartLoop feature, which allows you to automate Pinterest pinning, so old pins get repined a few times each year to keep them fresh and to drive more traffic to your blog.
Well I am happy to report that I achieved both ambitions. My Pinterest traffic is up, and continues to grow and I have got to grips with SmartLoop and created several SmartLoops for my two blogs. I love how easy it is now to just add a new pin to my SmartLoop and know that I never need to go back and repin that pin again!
Create a product to sell on Productive Blogging
My plan back at the beginning of 2019 was to create an ebook and/or a course on the topic of SEO for bloggers.
Back at the beginning of 2019 I’d identified that there was actually very little help and advice about on SEO that was specifically designed with bloggers in mind – and what there was available was extortionately expensive.
I wanted to provide something practical and affordable to help bloggers gain a full understanding of SEO and use it to grow their blogs organically, and so achieve their blogging dreams!
Well, I did it! After a lot of research and hard work, I launched my very first digital course in June 2019, called SEO Jumpstart. SEO Jumpstart is a jargon free SEO course for bloggers who want to grow their blogs in a long-term, sustainable way and avoid being heavily dependent on the whims of social media algorithms!
And here’s a couple of extra goals that I achieved…
Productive Blogging LIVE!
Ever since I first started Productive Blogging, I thought that one day I’d like to host a conference for bloggers… but until May 2019, I thought that was something that would happen in a few years’ time. But then a few things conspired to bring that pipe dream forward by several years.
In May 2019, I went to Blog On X – a conference for bloggers in Manchester, and was hugely inspired by a talk given by Bex Band of The Ordinary Adventurer, who said that the one thing that had made the biggest difference to her blog was organising an event.
I was chatting this over with Mandy Mazliah of Sneaky Veg and a few other bloggers afterwards. As we were batting ideas back and forth, Mandy suggested that if I do the talking, she’d do the cooking… and by the way she knew of a venue round the corner from her house in London that would be just perfect…
And so Productive Blogging LIVE was born! (And was the reason I was quite so busy in September!!)
Fast forward to October 5th 2019 and Productive Blogging LIVE took place in South London with bloggers attending from all over the UK for a day of teaching (by me), amazing food (by Mandy), catching up, socialising and networking.
It was a truly special day and a terrific experience to host a live event. Mandy and I were so encouraged by the enthusiastic response to our first conference, that we’ve already started planning Productive Blogging LIVE #2 to be held in May 2020.
My second blogging course
The other extra goal that I achieved last year, that I didn’t plan on achieving in 2019 was to create my second blogging course – a course all about how to START a profitable blog.
I’m still putting the finishing touches to this course, but I’m planning to launch it this month. If you are interested, make sure you subscribe to Productive Blogging to ensure you get the updates as well as the coupon code for the special launch price!
My Blogging Goals for 2019
Well now, it’s time to set some goals for 2020, isn’t it? So, here goes…
Launch my second course
My first goal for 2020 is to launch my second blogging course, all about how to START a profitable blog. I am literally just putting the finishing touches to the course, so I’m pretty confident I’ll achieve this one by the end of January 2020!
Easy Peasy Foodie updates
With such an emphasis on Productive Blogging for most of last year, I feel I have neglected Easy Peasy Foodie a little. I plan to rectify that in the first couple of months of 2020!
I have a list of older recipes on EPF that desperately need updating with new photographs and, in some cases, improved text and more information on the recipe card (such as US units and nutrition information).
My plan is to blitz all these old posts to bring them bang up to date, as well as fix a few site-wide things on EPF that have been niggling me for a long time!
Productive Blogging LIVE 2020
The next project I want to work on after that is putting on another Productive Blogging LIVE in May 2020. Mandy and I hope to build on the success of Productive Blogging LIVE 2019 to make PBL 2020 even bigger and better!
We’ve taken on board all the helpful feedback we were given, found a new and even better venue in South London (with much more comfortable chairs!). Mandy will be creating another menu of delicious food and I’ll be putting together 3 brand new seminars, bearing in mind all the feedback I received about making the sessions more interactive. It’s going to be AWESOME!
If you are interested in attending Productive Blogging LIVE 2020, make sure you subscribe to Productive Blogging to get all the updates!
Create more videos
This was one I only partially achieved in 2019, so it’s back on the list for 2020. My main aim is make more tutorial style videos for Productive Blogging. But I also plan to look into creating slideshow style videos for Easy Peasy Foodie. I think these might help me make a compromise between the benefits of being able to show step by step how to make a recipe, without the time-consuming nature of recording and editing ‘Tasty style’ videos.
Launch my third blogging course
My final big plan for 2020 is to launch my third blogging course. I haven’t decided on a topic for this course yet, but contenders are email marketing, digital course creation, goal setting and productivity. But I am still very much open to suggestions… so, if you have a blogging topic that you’d like me to create a course on, let me know in the comments below!
I am super excited about what 2020 will bring and I hope you are too, whatever you are planning for 2020!
I just want to end this post by saying a MASSIVE THANK YOU to all of you my fabulous readers, subscribers, followers and friends – I couldn’t have done all of this without your encouragement and support. Thank you so much for all your comments, shares, likes, emails…and especially when you make my recipes and take the time to tell me how much you loved them – that really does mean the world to me!
I always love hearing from you, so do please drop me a line if you make one of my recipes, have a question or an idea, or just want to say ‘Hi’. You can contact me either by leaving a comment on an appropriate blog post or via Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
And, if you want to stay up to date with all the latest on Easy Peasy Foodie, don’t forget to subscribe!
I truly hope your 2020 is full of fabulousness!!
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