Thursday, 17 December 2015

There's Always Time For Tea and Cake | Christmas Edition!

2015 is coming to a close, and while I do plan on doing a rather large recap of the year in terms of blogging later this month, I wanted to share some more personal bits and bobs with you before the year is up. The last three months haven't been quite as excited as the previous two, but it's been a time full of adjusting and life lessons. Gotta love those lessons in life, bah..

First things first, I turned 21!

When I turned 18, I became a little.. unimpressed with Birthdays. That's not to say I didn't enjoy them, but I didn't get excited over them as much as I had previously, (I'm told that's part of growing up, but bah, who wants to do that?) and yet turning 21 had me thinking 'wow, I'm going to be alive for aaaaaaaaages, maybe it's time I set some goals..' - and so I've made a point of setting some for 2016. I also wrote quite a personal post on my Birthday on never settling for less than happiness, (and you can check out Instagram for a snoop at my presents if you're nosey like I am.)

Secondly, I still have my job!

With most jobs these days, there's a probation period in which you learn on the job and get paid to do it, and it also allows the employer to see you in action. This, for me, was both a blessing and really frightening. I confess, I made some mistakes, and they weren't always easy to forget, but the best news is that they kept me on, and that's amazing. I'm still loving my job and the people I work with, and I'm really enjoying making plans that involve money, because hey, everyone likes having money, right?

I finished up designing Afterwords

'Hey Amanda, what's Afterwords?' Well, thank you for asking. Afterwords is a coming soon book blog, run by my lovely friend Nitzan. Why is this a big deal? I designed it. Yes yes, I know, I don't do design work for people, and you're right, I don't, but on this occasion, I did, for free.  We'd always talked about a new design for her original blog, but then when she came to me about starting up solo again and mentioned how much she liked Nellie's design (eep!) I offered my services. Sure, it's not up and ready as of it, and it won't be until the New Year, buuuuuuuuut, with express permission from the lady herself, Nitzan has allowed me to share her design board.

Afterwords won't be officially opening until around the New Year, but to make sure you don't miss anything, follow Nitzan on Twitter and get cracking with her blog on Bloglovin'!

Twelve Days of Christmas is almost over..

For those of you who haven't been checking with Nellie and Co. over the festive season (where have you been my friend?!) I've been churning out twelve festive (and not-so-festive) posts to make the season a little brighter. Well, there's now only four more posts left, (21st, 23rd, 28th and 30th) and then it's time to pack up the tree, clear up the decorations and wave goodbye to Christmas for another year. I'm super pleased with the reception the little feature has gotten, and the love specific posts like my holiday gift guide for bloggers and how to avoid seasonal blogging breaks received too. It was super fun to put together, and who knows, I might even be tempted to do it again next year..

Related: Twelve Days of Christmas

I guest posted on Nosegraze

Let's just take a moment to appreciate how awesome this is please? Thank you. I'm super super amazed that this happened, and that my post on nicheless blogging was so well received - it's always been a subject I struggle with, the niche up or keep my blogging subjects varied, and it was nice to see so many people with the same thought process. What was also amazing was that Ashley was happy to guest poster on Nellie and Co. too and talk about building a business through your blog, and that was really awesome too. I'm in the middle of working some posts in the hope of guest posting a little more in future. You might be seeing me around a few other places a little more in the future.

The Books I've Managed To Pick Up..

I've still been pretty bad in terms of numbers of books I've been reading, but I have picked up a few books from authors I've really loved and checked out new installments, which makes my series reading pretty good in terms of those records. I've also made an effort to stop reviewing every book I read, so there's no review for Ex-mas, although I found it cheesy, a tad cliche, but everything fluffy and banter-filled and enjoyable still.

Time To Take a Look At The Nellie and Co. Stats

I was really pleased to see how Nellie and Co. broke onto the scene in my last Tea and Cakes, and now that we're over 5 months into this crazy adventure, I thought be to check in on those statistics and see what's happening. There will be an in depth look at Nellie's statistics in 2015 on 30th Dec, but for now, lets check out the last 3+ months..

Since 9th September, Nellie and Co. Has: (Edited 14/12/15)

  • received 8,389 pageviews
  • received 3,920 sessions
  • received 1,858 users
  • received 177 comments
  • received 44.6% worth of new visitors
  • had a bounce rate of 64.18%
  • received 39.5% of views through social media
  • received 21.2% of views through referrals
  • received 18% of views direct from followers
  • received 14.2% of views through organic results

Lets dig a little deeper into those statistics..

1. Pageviews: I'm a little disappointed in my pageviews from the last 3 months, however, I know exactly why this happened. My brief, but noticeable 13 day vanishing act in September played a huge part in my viewing figures, both because of lack of content and being offline a lot, but life has a funny habit of throwing hurdles at you and making you jump them first. As much as those 13 days no blogging sucked, I know that should I ever need to do it again, I have Buffer at my disposal and can avoid looking like I'm on a break while taking one.

2. Bounce Rate: Bah, I beat myself up so much about my bounce rate even though I know the 60% mark is good for blogs, so I'm constantly battling between being pleased and being less than pleased, however, now that I've started producing free content extras and products, I'm expecting my bounce to possibly increase when people check out my products. After all, downloading my products is way more rewarding than getting a good bounce rate.

3. Organic Search Results: One of my little aims for Nellie and Co. was to establish myself online and be a front runner in terms of search results, and I'm really happy with what I've achieved so far. 14% is really awesome for me, and it just goes to show that by working my content around what people want and need, and what will help gets you on the radar. Shout out to Detox Your Brand too, as that course really worked wonders in terms of how I appear online, definitely check that out.

Goals for January-March 2016
  1. Increase Organic Search Results percentage to at least 15%
  2. Increase Pageviews to 3,000 minimum a month by March
  3. Increase Email Subscribers by guest posting twice/thrice.

Your Most Loved Posts Were:

Nellie and Co's Top Commenters Were:

So, what's happening in the next few months?

First, a confession.

I've not really been around the last month or two in terms of blogging. You could say I've been on a semi-transparent blogging break, which is pretty ironic when you consider my post on avoiding seasonal breaks, however, that semi-transparent break will become an actual short break after the 30th December. I haven't had much opportunity to chill out and relax properly since September, and I can't wait to waste a few days on some new movies, some gaming and maybe even a book or too. I'll be away from all things Nellie and blogging between 31st December and 11th January.

Once I'm back from my break away, I'll hopefully be making a few investments, (spending money, what?) settling on some solid goals and striking a better balance between blogging and everything else. Currently, I pour all my spare time into blogging and Nellie and Co. and I don't want that anymore. I want to work better, not harder. I want to reach my goals and not feel I have nothing left in me afterwards. From a visitors perspective, things probably won't be changing too much, but from mine, it's all one big changing rollercoaster, and I can't wait to jump back on it.

I've already got most, if not all of my goals ready to roll, books, blogging and life related goals to boot, and I'm seriously ready to get started on some awesome, fresh new content on Nellie and Co. - taking my growth, my develop, and my brand into new and places. I guess I'll be seeing you on the other side my friend. Keep safe, stay happy and never settle for anything less than happiness..


  1. The design page thing (not sure what those are called?) for Afterwords though? Looks GORGEOUS. Just added it on Bloglovin'! Congratulations on keeping your job -- I really really admire people who work + blog at the same time because I'm dying just as a student. Your stats are definitely something to be proud of, and super interesting because bloggers rarely publish this level of detail! Thanks for sharing!

    We'll miss you during your brief hiatus, but I look forward to seeing this blog in the next year :D

    1. Thank you so much Alyssa, it was of course a joint venture with Nitzan and I'm super pleased and happy to have worked with her on it. I do sometimes worry my stats aren't super huge, but I want to give other bloggers the faith that hard work will help them like it helps me. So glad to be back and posting, thank you!

  2. The design board for Afterwords is AWESOME! You could totally start up a business doing design! :)

    I think 8000 pageviews are fine! I don't get anything near that - it's great that Nellie and Co seems to be doing really well. When I saw your bounce rate I nearly cried - mine is TERRIBLE! XD

    Here's to another great year of blogging!

    1. Aw, thank Harvey! I'm afraid I don't think I'd be cut out for designing just yet, but who knows, maybe in a few years. It's okay to have a huge bounce rate, it could mean more than people just reading and leaving, don't be disheartened. I couldn't agree more though, here' to another great year!

  3. Oooh, I'm loving the Afterwords design sneak peek! YOU ARE TALENTED. THAT IS ALL. And I'm still kind of laughing that I comment so much. XD See this is what happens when I follow a blog via email. I COMMENT ALL THE TIME. *disappears back into hobbit hole*

    And congrats on keeping your job! WOOT.

    I've been disappointed with my pageviews lately too. ARGHHH. I kind of made a decision to blog less because I get so many comments and I want to be able to reply and visit back. So. Yeah. But blogging less has definitely reduced my page stats and's a bit disappointing to have to cut back but still be working just as hard?!? If that even makes sense?? One day I'll discover the secret. xD

    *eats all your tea and drinks all your cake because that's what I'm here for let's be real*


    1. Thank you Cait, that means a lot. I actually LOVE that you comment so much because I get giddy with every comment I receive, so thank you! I think in the end, you decide whether you want to bring people to your blog more and post more, or socialise a little more, and you're always on other peoples blogs, so that's a great reputation! :)

  4. Ooooh! Afterworlds looks gorgeous! Such talent. Also, happy belated birthday!

    1. Thank you so much lovely! It was hard work to create, and I had a lovely Birthday :)

  5. You are awesome. You really are.
    I think it's wonderful that you're going to work on working better and not harder. Definitely a life-goal in general.
    And take your time to recharge!


    1. Thanks Nitzan! So glad to be back, I'm so ready to nail this blogging again :)

  6. I have the same thing with birthdays. It was always so exciting when you were little and now it is just a regular day where you just think about the fact another year has passed. It is fantastic you still have your job - and that you are enjoying it :) That's always important to me. I will check out Afterwords. Good luck with those goals, you will be able to achieve them. You have a fantastic blog with great content. A top commenter, that is pretty awesome.

    1. I miss being younger and being really excited, but it's just one of those things now I guess - important thing is, I enjoyed it, and that's what matters. I'm so pleased to see you as a top commenter Mel, I super appreciate it :)

  7. Hello, just bump in your blog and I was amazed with your ways of blogging. Just added you to my blog list. Also, my goal for this year is to receive 3000 pageviews (monthly) because I'm currently receiving 1500 page views per month only and here's the thing, I'm blogging 4months now. ANy tips to increase page views per month? Thank You. Nice Blog and God Bless

    1. Thank you Mac. I think after 4 months of blogging from scratch, 1,500 pageviews is rather good, so don't be disheartened. One of the best ways to boost your pageviews is to sceduale your social media posting so you're online more promoting your posts without actually being there, and just creating new and quality content, search engines will do the work when you've put some in, and you'll see your pageviews rise in time. Keep up the hard work, it'll pay off :)