Sage in September

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Our favorite girl is back on the blog today, and I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Friday at the end of September.

Wait, the end of September?!

That snuck by so quickly, didn’t it? but here we are, getting ready to say hello to October in a few days. I hope you’re holding a pumpkin spice latte right now (or almond milk dark chocolate, half sweet – new obsession – or PUMPKIN CHAI SHAKE WITH TAPIOCA PEARLS – other new obsession) because looking at pictures of Sage in a fall sweater is just not the same without it.

Is fall just so glorious where you live? I mean, I don’t want to be a show off, but I feel a responsibility to help you vicariously experience fall at its best. Fall in Minnesota is just textbook. Total and utter perfection. Just this week, a handful of trees on our block are just starting to turn caramely-golden and fire-red, and in my mind, they smell like the White Barn Candle Company at the mall. In reality, it smells like good, clean earth. Close enough.

These days, we wake up to chilly, sunny mornings and a layer of frost on the grass which always makes me think of walking to elementary school in little frost-protecting boots as a kid (yes, I’m 80).  It’s already at the point where you probably need at least a light jacket if not maybe a hat and a hot chocolate in hand when you go outside, and the sun has started setting as early as 7pm. Never mind the fact that it will be 6pm and then 5pm and then 4pm before we know it – for now, it’s deliciously cozy and it begs for fires, soups, and movie marathons.

Being that she’s a Minnesota girl through and through, Sage obviously loves fall.

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FALL FASHION

One of her favorite things about fall is definitely the outfits. She has a furry hooded sweater that she adores (and by adores, I mean tolerates because she’s literally the best dog ever) and that we make her wear for about 15 minutes every year to get a few cute pictures.

Last year, Sage dressed up as a ghost for Halloween, and there is a 99% chance that we will repeat that costume this year because I literally cannot think of a time when I laughed so hard at her cuteness. There were tears. There was rolling on the ground. It was my best Halloween to date.

Do your dogs celebrate Halloween? Please tell me everything.

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BACK TO SCHOOL

With Back to School season in full swing, Sage has started something new and exciting this fall called SOCIALIZATION CLASSES. That’s right – we’ve made the official jump. We are those people. Every Thursday, she and all the other socially awkward dogs gather at a little dog school training center with their owners to get tips on how to be normal and nice. (Of course, Sage – and the other dogs – are VERY nice already and we love them all very much, but she could really use some pointers for keeping her cool around strangers, knocks at the door, and people moving in any way, shape, or form within 100 yards of her.)

Bjork and I didn’t know how she would respond, being her usual nervous, anti-social, hair-standing-up-on-end self, but you guys, she is Loving it. With a capital L. The mass amount of hot dog niblets that she gets every night at class definitely doesn’t hurt the cause.

Not only does Sage love it, but we humans are learning so much. It’s a classic rehabilitate-the-dog, train-the-people scenario – we went in thinking that we need to get her some help, and then learned that a lot of her weirdness has to do with how we’re taking care of her. Doh. Since class started four weeks ago, we (the three of us) have learned a new, more relaxed way of leash walking, growl/bark reduction strategies, and general obedience techniques that help her realize – We’ve got this one, bb girl. No need to stress out about people walking by or the neighbors coming home or the mailman – again – at the same time every day. You’re safe and we’ve got this one.

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TRAVEL

Last year, we took Sage on a fall vacation (like, a legit vacation where we stayed in a dog-friendly hotel and everything) and it was life. We probably won’t get a chance to do that this year since our big Europe trip in November does not include a dog-friendly itinerary, but I don’t think our good girl minds too much. She will get to spend some time at her favorite Dog Camp – aka my parents’ house – eating too many treats and taking long naps on a new-to-her couch (um, Mom, we sent you those dates, right?).

She’s a comfy homebody at heart, and besides, when we already have the best fall weather around and all the people we love near us, every day feels like just a little bit of a vacation. ♡

Hope you all are loving fall as much as we are. Here are some pictures of Sage in September!

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The post Sage in September appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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15 Great Meals to Make with Canned Tuna

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15 Great Meals to Make with Canned Tuna

Do you like canned tuna? Growing up in a “fish on Fridays” home, we were never without canned tuna in the pantry.

Even now, if you open up my pantry door, you’ll find a stack of cans on the shelf right next to the cans of sardines and whole peeled tomatoes.

It’s just the most perfect food in pinch, when you haven’t had time to shop, or what’s in the fridge is scarily long past its use-by date.

Continue reading “15 Great Meals to Make with Canned Tuna” »

from RSSMix.com Mix ID 8174097 http://www.simplyrecipes.com/great_meals_to_make_with_canned_tuna/

Donut-Shaped Apple Snacks

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I'm in love with these apple treats, great for the kids or even adults. Drizzled with anything that strikes your fancy, here I did a variation with PB and chocolate as well as some with just chocolate. Caramel would also be great to give you a caramel apple combination!

If you’re going apple picking and need a fun, healthy treat – this is it! I’m in love with these apple treats, great for the kids or even adults. Drizzled with anything that strikes your fancy, here I did a variation with PB and chocolate as well as some with just chocolate. Caramel would also be great to give you a caramel apple combination!

I'm in love with these apple treats, great for the kids or even adults. Drizzled with anything that strikes your fancy, here I did a variation with PB and chocolate as well as some with just chocolate. Caramel would also be great to give you a caramel apple combination!

(more…)

from RSSMix.com Mix ID 8174097 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/weightwatcherspointsrecipes/~3/GAII4xQLNfQ/

Ham Egg and Cheese Grilled Cheese

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The must-have breakfast sandwich for all mornings made easily in your waffle-maker! You can make this ahead of time too!

Ham Egg and Cheese Grilled Cheese - The must-have breakfast sandwich for all mornings made easily in your waffle-maker! You can make this ahead of time too!

This is the king of all grilled cheese sandwiches.

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The post Ham Egg and Cheese Grilled Cheese appeared first on Damn Delicious.

from RSSMix.com Mix ID 8174097 http://damndelicious.net/2016/09/27/ham-egg-and-cheese-grilled-cheese/

Buffalo Chicken Dip

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It seems like everyone has their own particular version of Buffalo Chicken Dip – it’s a must-have appetizer for any football party, after all.

I’m no different. My twist is to skip the bottled ranch dressing and make this dip from scratch.

Continue reading “Buffalo Chicken Dip” »

from RSSMix.com Mix ID 8174097 http://www.simplyrecipes.com/recipes/buffalo_chicken_dip/

August Traffic and Income Report

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August Income Report | pinchofyum.com

Hi there!

Bjork here checking in for Pinch of Yum’s monthly traffic and income report.

We’re playing a little catch up with these reports, so this one is coming out just two weeks after July’s report.

We’ve been publishing these traffic and income reports for over five years, which means this is post #61. You can see all of the past posts here. Before that, Lindsay had been blogging for a year and a half. Add it up and you’ll find that we’ve been working on Pinch of Yum for almost seven years.

I mention those numbers because it’s important to understand how long we’ve both been working on this. It’s taken a lot of time, energy, focus, and luck.

The day-to-day isn’t very sexy. It’s lots of time on the computer: email, Slack, accounting, photo editing, communicating with brands, communicating with readers, social media, developing recipes, etc, etc, etc…

We’re extremely grateful for the opportunities that Pinch of Yum and Food Blogger Pro have provided us, and at the same time we’re extremely careful not to paint a picture of something that this is not. It’s not a four hour work week, it’s not working from beaches, and it’s not automated income.

It’s awesome work if you like it, but it’s definitely work.

The good news is that the platform that we’ve built this on (the internet!) doesn’t have restricted access. If you’re reading this, then you have the tools you need to get started. The cost of entry is insanely low. You can press publish. You can create content. You can share your passion and build a following and impact the way others think about the world.

Is it an overnight miracle? No.
Is it possible? 100%.

Our goal with these reports is to show you the nitty-gritty details of how we’re navigating the path to build “our thing” in hopes that it encourages you to build “your thing,” whatever that might be. Our friends and family can tell you – we’re passionate and excited about people getting to work on the things that they’re passionate and excited about.

Let’s jump into the numbers for August…

Income Report Numbers

Note: Some of the links below are affiliate links. All of the products listed below are products and services we’ve used before. If you have any questions about any of the income or expenses you can leave a comment and we’ll do our best to reply.

Income

Expenses

Traffic Totals

Below are some Google Analytics screenshots from the month of August 2016.

Traffic Overview

Traffic Overview August 2016

Top Ten Traffic Sources

Top Ten Traffic Sources August 2016

Mobile vs. Desktop vs. Tablet

Mobile vs Desktop vs Laptop August 2016

Income Report Takeaways

This month we’re trying something different and we’re going to be focusing on just one takeaway. I’m going to share about A/B testing, why I quit doing it, and why I’m excited about it once again.

A/B Testing

Some of you might remember a few posts I wrote about A/B testing using Google Analytics. Specifically, these two:

For those that aren’t familiar, A/B testing is the online version of a taste test. In a taste test you’re asking people which version they like better: Version A or Version B.

The same is true with an online A/B test. You want to find out version is best: Version A or Version B. But instead of showing one person both versions, you show 50% of people Version A and the other 50% Version B.

How A/B testing works

Here’s a basic overview of how A/B testing works:

  1. Create a new version of an important page on your site
  2. Pick a goal (i.e. sign up for my email list)
  3. Show the old version to 50% of visitors and the new version to the other 50%
  4. The version with the most goal conversions wins

What is A/B Testing?

A/B testing fits really well with our philosophy of 1%∞.

1%∞ (one percent infinity) is all about making small improvement (one percent) every day over a long period of time (infinity). The symbol for infinity looks like this: ∞. Put it all together and you get 1%∞.

Really small improvements on important pages can have a huge impact on your business.

For instance, we’re currently running an A/B test on the Nutrifox home page. The previous conversion rate for free trial sign ups was about 3%.

Here’s what Version A (original) and Version B (the new one) look like:

A/B Test on Nutrifox Home Page

We’re still really early on in the experiment, but the new version that we’re testing is converting at 13%. Even if that goes down to 6% by the time the experiment ends it would still mean that we’d be getting 100% more free trial sign ups with this new version of the home page. That’s a major improvement.

I had fallen off of the A/B testing bandwagon for awhile because of the complexity with the way that we used to do it.

I was previously using Google Analytics to run these experiments, but the bummer with A/B testing in Google Analytics is that you need to create a brand new page, which meant you’d have two different URLs with similar content, like this:

yoursite.com (Version A: original page)
yoursite.com/test-home-page (Version B: new test page)

Not only is it a pain to create and publish the new page, but it’s also a pain to make sure that the test page isn’t indexed by Google and that you redirect it back to the home page after the A/B test is done running.

Those are relatively small things, but the friction was enough to keep me from continually running A/B tests on important pages.

Which is a sad, because there would have been some massive improvements that could have been made over the past two years.

So what’s the solution?

The most important thing for me was finding something that removed the friction of running an A/B test.

The solution that I found is a software called Optimizely.

It’s a super simple way to setup an A/B test. The two things I like are (1) it doesn’t require publishing a new page and (2) it doesn’t require any HTML editing.

It comes at a cost ($50 per 1,000 page views), which isn’t cheap. That’s why it’s important that you’re only using this for high-value pages, which brings me to my next point.

Our Action Plan for A/B Testing

Here’s our action plan for A/B testing. My goal is to keep it really simple to start.

  1. Identify high value pages and their goals
  2. Setup (significant) A/B tests for high value pages
  3. Let the test run until a winner is found
  4. If the new design wins then update the high value page with the new design
  5. Repeat

1. Identify the high value pages and their goals

Here are the high value pages that we’re starting with.

And here are the primary goals for each of those pages:

  • Nutrifox Home: Sign up for a free trial of Nutrifox
  • Nutrifox Free Trial Sign Up: Sign up for a free trial of Nutrifox
  • Food Blogger Pro Home: Sign up for the waiting list
  • Tasty Food Photography Sales Page: Purchase Tasty Food Photography

Each one of those pages should have a goal.

The easiest type of goal to track is a URL goal. For instance, after someone signs up for something they usually see a confirmation page like yoursite.com/thanks-for-signing-up.

You can use that URL as your goal, as the only people that land on that page should be people that have successfully signed up. This is how we determine the success of those pages.

2. Setup (significant) A/B tests for those pages

Significant is an important word with this step. The general idea is that you don’t want to test tiny things like changing a button color or a single word.

You want to make significant changes, like switching out headlines, changing the structure and layout, or trying new colors. These changes are relatively easy to make within Optimizely.

3. Let the test run until a winner is found

This is the easy part. You just let the test run.

One thing to note is that with every test you’ll be able to pick a significance level.

Significance level is essentially saying “we’re this confident that the results of this test are due to the changes you made and not due to chance.”

Significance Level

For the tests we’re running we’re using a 90% significance level.

4. If the new design wins, then update the page with the new design

If the winning version is the new design then update the page to that new version.

Congrats! You’ve just increased your conversion rate.

5. Repeat

Rinse and repeat. Your new goal is always to beat the previous winner.

Conclusion

If you have high value pages, it’s time to start running A/B tests on them. The improvements you’ll see with the performance for those pages will almost always be worth the time that you spend setting up and running the tests.

Because of You

It’s because of you that this thing we call Pinch of Yum can exist as it does today. Thank you so much for making these recipes, leaving comments with your love and feedback, sending emails, following on social media, and sharing this food around the table with your families and friends.

Every month we use a portion of the income from the blog to support a special project at an orphanage that we worked at for a year called The Children’s Shelter of Cebu. We view it as a donation from the POY community, not just Lindsay and me, since you all are a vital part of keeping this little corner of the internet going strong.

This month we’re supporting CSC by donating to their meal fund. Every child at CSC gets three solid meals a day. All 90+ of them! That’s a lot of hungry mouths to feed and we’re honored to be able to help put food on the table for these kids.

The post August Traffic and Income Report appeared first on Pinch of Yum.

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Shrimp Scampi Tacos with Caesar Salad Slaw

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Here's a unique twist on a shrimp taco – shrimp sauteed with butter and lemon juice topped with Caesar salad slaw, so fresh and light!

A unique twist on a shrimp taco – shrimp sauteed with butter and lemon juice topped with Caesar salad slaw, so fresh and light and takes less than 20 minutes to make!

Here's a unique twist on a shrimp taco – shrimp sauteed with butter and lemon juice topped with Caesar salad slaw, so fresh and light!

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from RSSMix.com Mix ID 8174097 http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/weightwatcherspointsrecipes/~3/-eInL-Y6dR4/