Monday, 28 March 2016

Nellie and Co's Quarterly Recap: January-March 2016

Without sounding too like other bloggers, believe me when I say I have no idea where 2016 is going, and why it's insisting on getting there so quickly. Someone somewhere should slam the brakes and take a nap. As quickly as the year has gone so far, I'm really happy to say 2016 has gotten itself off to a flying start, and it's making me super excited about the next upcoming months, but first, a quick catch-up.

I revamped Nellie and Co.

Although the changes weren't huge, the change itself has really made a difference to Nellie, and to me as a content creator. I feel pumped to create new things, and write more content, and the content I am writing feels more like me than ever before. Sure, I'm not all neon lights or techno funky fonts, but my design feels like a solace to me now, and from your response, you're all loving the new look too, so I consider that a win. You can learn more about the changes I made, why I changed them, and why designing for yourself is your top priority right here. There's still some tweaking to be done, but I'm close to finished now.

I've started work on Project P

When I shared my 2016 blog goals, I mentioned two projects, one that would come about, another that, might not. Alas, I have started work on the first one, and I'm more than happy to announce it's.. still a secret. Well, secret to a point, I mean, if you put together the clues I've littered around lately, you're likely to guess it, but still, secrets, shush. I did share a sneak peek of this project with my email subscribers earlier this month, and the response was amazing, so make sure you don't miss anything by getting yourself on the list.

I made a #bookstagram comeback

For those who don't know, I used to be a book blogger, and although I dropped my label quite some time ago, I still, as you may have guessed, read, talk about, promote and celebrate books both here and on social media. Instagram however is where most of my book love goes to a whole new level, and it's been great to go back to it. I talked a little about how I've increased my Instagram presence and engagement, the apps and tools I've used lately to grow my Instagram following and tailor my posts so they post at the best times, how I prepare for photo shoots and great props to use, and how I then edit those photos, but I'm loving being back with the community and sharing the book love. If you want to see more, go check me out on Instagram.

I was featured on Picmonkey (yes, Picmonkey!)

We all know how much I love Picmonkey, only evident by so many different tutorials here on Nellie and Co, so imagine my surprise when one of the marketing team contacting me for permission to feature my most recent Picmonkey tutorial in a round-up. Excitement and awe don't even cover the emotions I went through, and when the post went live - I definitely fangirled. This is like a whole different level of achievement, and it's one of the best moments I've had blogging yet. You should definitely go and check it out here and see all the other creatives featured too.

The Adventures I've Eaten Recently..

I can slowly start to feel myself picking up reading again as a hobby I truly love. For a while, I felt like a chore, then like a job, and then I just didn't feel anything, but I'm getting my mojo back, and I'm really enjoying settling, book in one hand, brew in the other. What have I been enjoying lately?

The only book here that really disappointed me was Glass Sword, especially considering how much I loved Red Queen. My reads, as discussed last week, have all been sequels or rereads of series I've enjoyed before, but I really did and do want to break into Mara Dyer next month if it's possible. There's also a few more sequels I want to get to next month, so be sure to see whether I achieve that and many more reads over the next few months by following me on Goodreads.

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

At the end of 2015, numbers were becoming the bane of my life. I love them, and I love to see them grow, but that was the problem, they sort of, stopped growing halted. After knocking some sense into me and realising it's really just a case of hard work and building a loyal following rather than a large one, I put on my big girl panties and got on with things. Safe to say, it worked.

Since 1st January, Nellie and Co. Has:

  • received 13,179 pageviews
  • received 5,070 sessions
  • received 2,609 users
  • received 48.9% worth of new visitors
  • had a bounce rate of 44.48%
  • received 36.7% of views through social media
  • received 21.2% of views through organic results
  • received 18.3% of views through referrals
  • received 16.7% of views through direct

  • gained 70 Twitter followers
  • gained 211 Instagram followers
  • gained 68 Pinterest followers

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
Lets dive deeper into those shall we..

1. Organic Search Results: Ah, Google and I have become good friends over the last few months, and it feels great. Getting referrals from fellow bloggers who love and want to share my work is lovely, and knowing that social media is still working hard for me is awesome, but to have over a fifth of my views come from searches on google is - well, for me, it's mind blowing. It goes to show that a little bit SEO magic can go a long way, ironic when my biggest bringer of organic traffic is my post on Blogspot URL's.

2. Pageviews: I'm going to let you in one a secret. When I set the goal for 5,000 pageviews a month minimum by the end of the year, I genuinely thought I didn't stand a chance, but having surpassed my quarterly goal of 3,000 is not only super amazing, but it's motivating too, and it just goes to show that you can stay on top of your goals through the year, even the ones you think are impossible. As you can rightly imagine, I'm pretty over the moon about that.

3. Increase Email Subscribers: Bah, okay, I epically failed this goal, although in hindsight, I'm not actually sure why I wanted to specifically grow my email subs. I'm not denying that email subscribers are great to have, they are, but it's not something I enjoy doing, where-as I've grown my Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest followers a lot more over the last three months instead, something I enjoy doing much more. I've certainly learnt the hard way lately that you won't succeed at something if you don't enjoy it.

Goals for April-June 2016

  1. Continue to keep pageviews at 3,750 minimum a month by June
  2. Complete implementing new graphics across Nellie and Co.

Nellie's Most Popular Posts Were:

*squeals because new blog graphics look pretty and organic search is working hard, yay*

Nellie and Co's Top Commenters Were:

  1. Cait from Paper Fury: 26
  2. Alyssa from The Devil Orders Takeout: 24
  3. Geraldine from Corralling Books: 12
  4. Maya from Suddenly Inundated: 10
  5. Shannon from It Starts at Midnight: 9
and just because 6th place was a tie..
  1. Sara from The Library Huntress: 8
  2. Skye from Ink Castles: 8
  3. Stephanie from Chasm of Books: 8

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

I'm definitely in a place of blogging called flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants. I'm writing post a day or two in advance, I'm struggling to stay on top of things in my personal life, and whether or not I return to work after having been off the past month is still unknown. If you look to the skies, you will almost certainly see my life up there, floating around in pieces, not a single idea on the next step.

Luckily, I do have something to be looking forward to this month, and that's my April #bookstagram challenge that I'm hosting with Erica from Novel Ink! I've already mentioned just how much I've been enjoying Instagram lately, and photography, Instagram and my books are what's helping me keep my head above water lately, so I couldn't be more excited to be trying this new experience.

The challenge starts in 4 days, (you can get more details on the challenge here), and we're using the hashtag #NovelNellieApril2016, so make sure that if you do get involved, you use the tag. Spread the word. Have fun. Enjoy.

Besides my Instagram challenge and I, I don't really have all that much planned for the next few months. I've spent the last month off work due to mental health, and it looks as though I could be spending even more time off has thing haven't improved. I'm due to start treatment and get some help, so there'll more than likely be less content, but the content that is here will be the best it possibly can be. Here's to a more laid back few months.

Tell me about your last three months. What's the most exciting thing that's happened? Are you hitting your goals? What do you have coming up or planned soon? 


  1. Thanks for the mention and congrats on your stats! That's so awesome! I've been thinking about doing the Instagram challenge but I'm not sure I'll have the time. All the same, perhaps I'll give it a go and do what I can of it with the time I have.

    1. Absolutely no worries, I love giving a shoutout to my top commenters, it's the least I can do! Whether or not you get completely involved, even one photo would be awesome Steph :D

  2. Love this wrap-up. *ogles numbers happily* I do love stats. AND OMG it's like we're on the Bookstagram journey together :') My followers have rocketed up nicely too which is great. And your challenge looks so fun! Such an awesome idea :)

    1. I do love to share my stats in the hope it'll make other people worry less if there's aren't mega huge, you know? Thanks Emily, feel free to take part whenever you like :D

  3. Ah, your stats are gorgeous, and your blog posts are so helpful!
    I've changed my blog address and dropped the book blogger label this season! Although, like you, I have kept my Instagram account pretty much book-based, and look forward to taking part in book photo challenges!

    1. Thank you so much Mawa! I think it's always nice to have an escape to something else, so keeping the #bookstagram account is always a good thing :)

  4. *dons #1 Stalker tee-shirt* WELL WELL. I THINK I'M A WORRY. Ahem. But eeeep, congrats on all the stat successes!! *flings confetti at you* And your instagram comeback has been incredible and I love all your photos so so much, pluuuus your tutorials have been GREAT!! SQUEE. Of course. Everything about your blog is incredible. GOSH, AMANDA, I AM NOT JUST SAYING THAT. IT IS 100% TRUE.
    Also I haven't guessed the secret project so I'll be looking forward to that reveal. xD
    The most exciting thing that happened to me in March was getting 1,400 likes on a picture on instagram. I'm like...afjdslkafd I CANNOT EVEN WITH THAT. I never get anywhere close to that amount so idek how it happened. XDXD And also discovering the goodness of VE Schwab books. <3

    1. I thought you'd be happy to see yourself first there. YOU'RE TOO KIND. Really Cait, too too kind. It's a lovely thing to say, so thank you so much. THAT AN INSANE AMOUNT. I celebrated when I passed 100, and it's not yet that point too much lately, but I have been splitting my challenges, and switching up my posting times, so hey, it's not all bad. Stick with the awesome Cait :D

  5. Woo I can't believe I'm one of your top commenters :O
    I'm so glad to see how much you've grown your social media though! <3

    1. It's so good to have you there Geraldine, and thank you, it's been hard work, but enjoyable :D

  6. Ahh congrats on the Picmonkey post - that's amazing! <3 Also, your bookstagram photos are so gorgeous!

    1. Thank you hunny! It was an awesome feeling. I love your bookstagram photos too! :) x

  7. *arrives fashionably late* Oh man, this is a very late comment but hey, let's not lose to Cait again ahaha XD I love that you share your stats so openly -- super cool to compare my stats with yours and see where I need to improve! Congratulations on the FABULOUS stats, too -- they are nearly as awesome as your content XD XD

    I am excited for your project! And of course I already know what it is from your newsletter and am giggling quietly in the back here ;P

    Most exciting thing -- well, it's kinda a tie, since a second post of mine went minorly viral on Pinterest (I adore Pinterest now, ahaha) and I slipped into IG and my first photo has nearly 200 comments? It's more than a little crazy. :D

    1. Ah, I like that people can compare, but it's not always about improvement, more about showing a journey and teaching others that your stats are personal to you and it's all about what you're doing to get them. I think it's awesome how you're working Pinterest so well, I just don't get it.. *cries* YOUR INSTAGRAM IS SO NICE. Keep at it Alyssa! :D