Leave it to me to share my 2013 blogging goals in late January, but today I'd like to share with readers my plans for CK for the coming year.
1) Increase income
CK earns a couple hundred bucks a month in a good month. Frankly, I haven't concentrated all that much on maximizing what I earn here. This year, however, I want to grow both readership and revenues, and by year end I'd like to scale up my income at CK to a nice, round $500 a month.
My entire body of work (nearly 900 posts, including well over a hundred recipes) is available completely free to readers. And while CK earns the bulk of its income from advertising (mostly from Google's Adsense program), one thing I've encouraged readers to do in the past several months is to do more of your Amazon shopping via the affiliate links here at CK. Hey, if you're going to purchase something you need at Amazon anyway, why not use the links here to support my writing too--at no incremental cost to you? Over the past few months my Amazon affiliate income has become much more significant, and I thank readers for using this avenue to support my work.
2) More recipes
Last year I wrote about branding, consumerism, the advertising-consumption cycle and dietary philosophy. I also dedicated a ton of pixels to the Your Money Or Your Life series. This blog stepped into a lot of controversial subjects.
This year, I also want to get back to Casual Kitchen's roots: Really easy, really good and really low-cost recipes. Last week's Minestrone Soup was just the first of several new, laughably cheap recipes I'll publish this year. Stay tuned.
3) Post less
Here's my final goal--and yes, you read that right: I want to post less. Uhhh, this month notwithstanding.
Why? Well, first, I'd like to free up a bit more time for other projects. One is an investment guidebook that's been on my back burner for more than a year now--I want to do some serious work on it in 2013 and see if it amounts to anything. I also want to continue learning French: I had the great fortune to spend November of last year studying at an exceptional language school in Montreal, and I'll head back for still more classes later this year... once the temperature rises above zero kelvin up there.
Most importantly, however, I want to keep giving readers better and better quality articles. And after tweaking my writing and publishing schedule here over the years, I've found that my article quality goes way, way up if I do two things: keep a few weeks' worth of articles "in the can" at all times, and stick to a (mostly) once-a-week posting schedule.
I'll still run a bonus post on occasion (like today), but this year I intend to stick to a more predictable, every-single-Tuesday schedule. With luck, I'll keep improving the quality and value of what you read here.
One last thought: I'm considering reducing the number of Friday Links posts I run to perhaps every other week, or a couple of times a month. (I'd love reader feedback on this by the way: what do you think?) In the coming weeks I may skip a Friday links post here and there and see if there's any reaction, either positive or negative, from readers.
Readers, what are YOUR goals in 2013 for YOUR blog? Share them!
How can I support Casual Kitchen?
For those readers interested in supporting Casual Kitchen, the easiest way is to do so is to do all your shopping at Amazon.com via the links on this site. You can also link to me or subscribe to my RSS feed. Finally, consider sharing this article, or any other article you particularly enjoyed here, to Facebook, Twitter (follow me @danielckoontz!) or to bookmarking sites like reddit, digg or stumbleupon. I'm deeply grateful to my readers for their ongoing support.