Just like buses, you wait for one What Charlotte Baked blog post for four months, and then two come at once.
Happy New Year!
If there is one thing I’m consistent about, it’s my annual post looking back on the past year, as well as looking forward to the following one. I’m such a New Year New Me sort of person generally, and that always extends to this blog every January 1st.
This is the third annual January 1st post on here, which is sort of crazy to think about. Although I haven’t always been consistent at blogging throughout the year, I always start out in January again with the highest hopes and best intentions. And 2019 is no different.
Enough about me. Did you all have a lovely Christmas and New Year’s Eve? I’d love to hear about your Christmas bakes, and do let me know if there’s anything you’d love to see on the blog in the coming few months. I’m always open to suggestions.
The ups and downs of 2018
Although 2018 started out fantastically for this blog, I did go off the rails in the latter third of the year – but I talked enough about that yesterday. As much as it does make me a little sad that I didn’t keep last year’s goal of posting a new recipe every week, I do feel the break has given me a new perspective on blogging, as well as leaving me refreshed and bursting with new energy and ideas for 2019.
I’ll try to not suffer from blogger burn out in 2019. Promise.
Traffic wise, 2018 only got better as the months rolled on. December 2018 saw over 30,000 views in total, which smashed by 25,000 view target (which even I thought was a bit steep at the time). You guys really do love baking at Christmas time.
December 2018 also saw me double my previous best ever day for views, with Christmas Eve racking up over 2,200 views in one day. And whilst that might not seem a lot for some of you bigger bloggers out there, I was overjoyed with the numbers I was seeing! So thank you all ever so much.
What you’ve been loving in 2018
As usual, I always like to take a look back and see what the most visited recipes on my blog have been over the past year, more for my benefit than anyone else’s. And you can have a look back at the 2017 and 2016 best-of lists too if you like.
So here’s my top five most viewed posts in 2018:
This is a brand new entry on the What Charlotte Baked annual top 5, just pushing my personal favourite (the Raspberry Lemon Swiss Roll) into sixth place. This almond cake holds a very special place in my heart, as it was one of the tiers of my homemade wedding cake.
These little tarts are one of the weirdest success stories on my blog, as they are an old Cornish recipe that my Grandmother and I used to make when I was a kid. As my Grandmother is no longer with us, I had to try and recreate this recipe from scratch, and it appears there are a lot of you out there who remember this classic too!
My beloved Maltesers Cheesecake holds steady at number three, which just shows how much you guys are consistently searching for it. It’s an easy no-bake recipe which pretty much involves no skill and no attention to detail, which makes it a guaranteed winner all round.
Over 1 in 6 visits to the blog this year were looking for easy, big-batch cocktails for their wedding or party, which means I will be bringing some more pitcher cocktails to the blog sometime in 2019. My personal favourite from the list is the Sea Breeze, which is incredibly simple – grapefruit juice, cranberry juice, and vodka. And make it without the vodka for a delicious mocktail.
Of course this post is number one, what else could it be? Just over a quarter of the visits to my blog were to this recipe, and I am fairly sure this will continue into 2019. It seems that everyone just wants to make their buttercream super white, without compromising on taste.
What’s next for 2019?
I’m hopeful that the year ahead will be a bit more of a steady one. Unlike 2018, we have no foreign holidays planned, and no house moves on the cards. It’s going to be a year of saving money and trying to live like proper adults, as well as doing some smaller (and maybe one bigger) DIY projects on the house.
For the blog this means I’m hoping to be a little more consistent in 2019. I’m going to attempt to post a new recipe every fortnight (that’s every two weeks to you non-Brits), and if I post less, or more, then I won’t beat myself up about it.
I also want to work on being more authentic and a bit more me, rather than trying to be something I’m not. I’m never going to be a perfect housewife (nor would I want to be) and I’m far away from being perfectly styled.
I also want to try and vary where my blog traffic comes from. At the moment it’s pretty much all coming from google, with a little bit from Pinterest. But it would be great if I could increase the Pinterest clicks, as well as branching out into other areas.
And because I like things in a list, here are my goals for 2019:
- Post a new recipe once a fortnight, but not beat myself up if I don’t achieve this
- Be more authentic and post things me and my family want to make/eat, rather than what I think people want to see
- Start making some videos
- Work at Pinterest, and try to increase my traffic from Pinterest so at least 25% comes from there
- Take a class in photography or videography (or both) to improve my skills in these areas
- Network more, and spend time reading and commenting on other blogs, both baking and non-baking
- Get back on instagram
- Have at least 50,000 views a month by December 2019 (dum dum dum!)
I’m definitely aware that I won’t achieve all of the above by any means, and 50,000 views is a heck of a lot. But sometimes you’ve got to aim high, and January is definitely the time to do it.
If you’ve made it all the way to the bottom of this post, then thank you. And thank you to each and every one of the over 200,000 people who have come and checked out my little blog in 2018. I wouldn’t still be doing this without you, that’s for sure.
All the best for 2019!