2020 Challenges: December Update | Jo Linsdell

2020 Challenges: December Update


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2020 Challenges: December Update

December was a productive month on one hand, and a complete failure on the other. 

I did the Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with Google Garage and passed the final exam. Here's my certificate:

Fundamentals of Digital Marketing course with Google Garage certificate for Jo Linsdell

I'm really pleased with what I learnt in the course. It covers a lot of different topics related to digital marketing and although a lot of it I already knew before starting the course there were a few things I didn't. It also gave me a few new ideas I want to try out in the future. 
The Blog Audit Challenge 2020

This is a challenge I created aimed at improving our blogs. You can find full details here in case you missed the introduction post. 

Our focus for December was on know your stats. 

The December challenges:

1. Check your analytics

In November 2020 I took the beginners course offered by Google at Analytics Academy. Here's my certificate:

Google Analytics for Beginners certificate of completion for Jo Linsdell

Since then I've been checking my analytics more often.

2. Use your stats to plan for the new year

Where is your traffic coming from?

I love how international my site has become. Here's where my traffic has come from this year (top 10 countries in order):
  1. United States (44.88%)
  2. United Kingdom (8.82%)
  3. India (7.67%)
  4. Pakistan (3.48%)
  5. Canada (3.33%)
  6. Australia (1.91%)
  7. France (1.83%)
  8. Germany (1.65%)
  9. Italy (1.26%)
  10. Philippines (1.20%)
Something else I noticed from looking at my stats is the varied age range of my readers. I love that my content appeals to such a mixture of people. 

Demographics for www.JoLinsdell.com for 2020

Which are your most popular blog posts?

I was surprised to find out that my top 3 most popular blog posts this year where in fact all from 2018. They are all also very different from one another. 

60 Blog Post Ideas For Book Bloggers (4.61k pageviews in 2020)
Blog Audit Challenge: Keywords and SEO (4.39k pageviews in 2020)
I Love That Book's Show Tag (1.86k pageviews in 2020)

My most popular posts that I created in 2020 where:

Blog Audit Challenge 2020: October Challenges - the focus of which was on getting social (1.47k pageviews in 2020)

As a book blogger I'm obviously particularly interested to see which of my book reviews got the most traffic. 

Most popular book reviews from this year in terms of pageviews were:

Harry Potter (1.57k pageviews)
Reality Girl (1.43k pageviews)
Eat, Pray Love (1.36k pageviews)

It's interesting that these books are all from different genres and have absolutely nothing in common with each other. This actually makes me really happy as I have very varied reading tastes and so it's great to see that my reviews are popular no matter what genre they are. 

How can you improve your bounce rate and user flow?

This is something I've been working on this year and I have seen an improvement, however, according to my stats for the most part my user flow drops off after the 3rd interaction. I'd like to improve my user flow even more in 2021 and so will be continuing to update my internal links within my blog posts. 

My current bounce rate is 1.95% though so I'm still happy with the result. The length of session duration has increased considerably this year too averaging between 2-3 minutes.

If you want to know more about the industry averages for bounce rates check out this article What's A Good Bounce Rate by ezoic.

Is your blog mobile friendly?

I use a responsive template for my site so I'm good to go on any device. 

What worked? 

My informative posts brought in a lot of traffic this year. I'm really pleased that these types of posts are going down so well with visitors to my site as I love helping others. I want to be a valuable resource for people interested in books, blogging and marketing so this shows that I'm on the right path. 

Notable stats for 2020:

30 DA
71 posts

3. Plan your content calendar for January

Map out the blog posts you intend to create for publishing to your blog in January so you can start the new year with a bang. You can of course, plan further months too if you wish. 

I've already started to set up and schedule blog posts for January. So far I've got quite a good mixture of content as I'll be participating in some book tours, have more books I've read that I need to review, and of course, my 2021 challenges. 

For 2021 I'll be hosting another Blog Audit Challenge 2021, and a new challenge... the Social Media Challenge 2021

Take into consideration information like "which days get the most traffic" when scheduling posts for publication. 

Week days users visit consistently throughout the day mainly between 8am and 8pm. Monday is my highest traffic day.

Also consider how you promote your blog posts and use social media to build your blog brand. Think about what changes you could make, new sites you could try out, etc...

This is something I want to improve on. I'm a bit of a social media junky but I don't always use it to promote my own stuff as much as maybe I should. I'd also like to expand into using more social media sites on a regular basis. For example, I'd like to get back into using Instagram and LinkedIn more often. 

And now on to my reading challenges... I didn't do great with these this month. In fact I did terribly. December with kids is always super busy and despite everything that has happened/is happening in 2020 this tradition continued this year too. Hence, not as much reading as I would have liked. 

The Audiobook Challenge

This challenge is was created by Eline from Lovely Audiobooks. I'm doing it as a year long challenge. 

Zero new audiobooks to add this month. 

I'm really glad I tried doing this audiobook challenge even though I completely and utterly failed at it. I did listen to a few good audiobooks this year though that without this challenge I might not have been motivated to try. 

The Audiobook Challenge 2020 Progress Report

Audiobooks listened to in December:
  • 0

The A to Z Reading Challenge

Next up is the A to Z Reading Challenge

I didn't reach my goal for this challenge either. I didn't do too badly though with 19/26 letters.

2020 Challenges November Update: the A to Z Reading Challenge

Books read this month:

I didn't finish any books this month but I did start to read You Saw Too Much by Adam Nicholls and Jay Nadal (I only read the first 5 chapters so I'll be counting this one towards new years goals).

Armed with a Bingo

I'm also doing the Armed with a Bingo challenge.

Again, I failed. I don't feel I did too badly with this challenge but I could definitely have done better. 18/25 boxes ticked off. 

2020 Challenges November Update: the Armed with a Bingo challenge.

Books read this month:
  • 0

2020 Challenges: December Update

How did you do with your 2020 Challenges? Did you take part in the Blog Audit Challenge? Have you read any of these books? Join the conversation in the comments section. 

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  1. You've achieved so much Jo. I intend to revisit some of your blog posts as I do find them really informative and useful. Happy New Year!

    1. Welcome back to the book blogging community Tasha. We've missed you. Looking forward to checking out your book reviews again 😊

  2. Looks like you made out pretty well with your challenges. I've just emailed myself your blog post ideas for book bloggers link because I think I could use that to create more content in 2021. You're always so helpful.

    1. Yeah I'm not unpleased with how my challenges went but I know I could have done better. Maybe 2021 will be the year I finally complete all my challenge goals 🤞
      I love that you emailed yourself my post about blog post ideas for book bloggers.
      FYI I already have a lot of content lined up for this year that I think you'll like 😉

  3. Congrats - you continually impress me with your smooth skills and accomplishments

    1. Thanks DJ. I aim to never stop learning, and try to pass on all the stuff I learn.

  4. You accomplished a lot for the month. Congrats on your certifcation.

    1. Thanks Nadene. I'm really pleased with my Fundamentals of Digital Marketing certificate. The course covered a lot of topics. Hoping to add more qualifications in 2021.

  5. At the start of the first lockdown here I started a Google marketing course but never completed it. In all honesty I forgot about it until you mentioned your course. Great work on passing and you look like you had a fab month.

    1. Thanks. Google offer quite a lot of courses online now. Which one were you doing? I'm going to do some more this year too.

  6. Very inspiring still! A very interesting post.

    1. Thanks Karen. I'm glad you liked the post. I hope that by sharing my own progress with the challenges I do I help inspire others. It also motivates me to keep on track each month.