34th month blogging

Blog Growth Strategies – 34th Month Blogging

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Ten Thousand Pageviews! That’s what our 34th month blogging brought! Finally, after 34 months of hard work, we got over 10K pageviews for a 30-day period. How awesome is that? Find out how we did it and how we plan to keep growing!

34th Month Update

Readership

We had over 200 users almost every single day during our 34th month – that’s definitely a first! There were only 4 days this month with less than that -most of which where Saturdays. I wonder if my Saturdays will improve once it gets too cold to go outside?

34th month graph

I had a few spikes this month that helped me reach such a high number of users. The first two are confusing – it looked like every single page got at least one user and that doesn’t make any sense. My guess is that those were bots trying to either attack me or index me. I haven’t seen any issues with my site, so if it was an attack, I doubt they got anything. And a pageview is a pageview, am I right?

Users vs Pageviews vs Sessions

I may have mentioned this before – but I wanted to clarify. Obviously, the graph above shows users, and there weren’t 10K of those. But, those users looked at numerous pages, which is what got me to the 10K pageviews.

Here’s a quick breakdown of users vs pageviews vs sessions, for those who are curious:

Users – An individual IP heading to the website. If that person comes three times a month and hits five pages each time, it still just counts as one.

Sessions – The amount of times your website is visited. A user can have multiple sessions. If a person come three times a month and visits five pages each time, it counts as three sessions.

Pageviews – The amount of times pages are viewed. Users can have multiple pageviews in a single session. If a person come three times a month and visits five pages each time, it will count for 15 pageviews total.

Traffic Drivers

Organic Search

Our viewership from organic traffic is growing almost exponentially. We had nearly 5000 users find us through organic search this month! That’s amazing – and the first time ever that I actually achieved one of the goals I set out to achieve. It’s also almost 2000 more than last month, which is a huge improvement.  All the hard work I’ve been putting into updating posts and writing for specific keywords is actually paying off!   Do you think we can double it again in October? Wouldn’t it be amazing to reach 10k pageviews with organic search alone?

Our top page from organic search remains “How to be Twitch Affiliate in 30 Days”, but we did diversify a little more this period. Only about half our organic traffic went to this post, as compared to 60% last month.  I’m going to continue working to diversify this – not so that this post ranks less, but to get other posts to rank more.

The second highest post is new to the list (but one of my oldest posts) and that’s how to get 500 Twitter Followers in one month. Apparently that one jumped up in the search rankings recently and over 400 users found us organically through that post. That’s about 8% of our organic traffic.  

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My next three posts are all in line with each other – with between 130-160 users per post. These are the almost the same as last month –Buffy is the Greatest Show, and I Regret Getting Pets are still up there, but How Do Twitch Affiliates Make Money beat out Animal Crossing is Addictive for the first time.  All three of these posts got more traffic this month than last month.

In fact, nearly all of my top ten pages got more traffic this month than last month, with the exception of Animal Crossing, which saw a drop of nearly 50 users. And my second page is slowly creeping up as well-with nearly all the 11-20 posts getting over 30 users apiece via organic search.  If this trend continues, I will be able to break through that 10K in organic search!

Direct Hits

Our traffic via direct hits this month was much higher this month than last month.  We had about 1400 users visit Partners in Fire via direct hit this period, which is twice as much as last month. I know a good portion of these hits are from our wonderful subscribers (thank you!) and if you haven’t subscribed yet – you should do so now so that you never miss another post!

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But, not all the direct hits are subscribers. I don’t really know where the rest of them come from. I’m guessing some are referrals, because a good portion of these went to my post on Generational Wealth, which got a ton of attention in the community. Some might be social media posts that don’t get recorded correctly by Google. From what I understand, Google calls any traffic it’s not sure of a direct hit. But I’m more than happy to take the traffic, wherever it comes from!

Social Media

Our social media traffic remained stagnant this month. We still had about 400 users, which isn’t terrible. Remember back in the early days when we’d be excited to report 400 users from social media?

We tried a few new things this month to improve our reach across networks. First, we installed a plugin, Revise Old Posts, that is supposed to share an old post to a social site one every 12 hours or so. It worked great for the first two weeks, and then decided my PHP needed to update for it to keep working. When I finally figured out how to do that, the month was already over.

Pinterest

We did a lot better on Pinterest this month than we have in previous months. More than half our social media users for this period came from the platform. A big reason for that is that we decided to take an actual Pinterest course and start implementing some of the lessons.

We bought Pinterest Ninja in the middle of the month, and only completed and implemented the first third or so of the class. But just by doing that, our users from Pinterest increased drastically. We went from a little under 50 in the first two weeks of September to over 150 in the second two weeks! I can’t wait to see what the rest of the course will bring. If you’ve been struggling on Pinterest, I highly recommend this course. As a bonus, you also get invited to the Facebook page, where you can ask your Pinterest questions! It’s definitely a great value.

Twitter

We had about 100 users from Twitter this month, which is less than last month but not terrible. The plugin was super helpful early in the month, so hopefully now that I got it working again, I’ll see an increase on the platform this month. I definitely failed at sharing old posts on my own, so having something that automates the sharing process is a huge boon.

Reddit

We had a few less users from Reddit this period than last, but we also didn’t use the self-promotion on the financial independence subreddit as often. I posted a lot of gaming content this month, and that just doesn’t fit the audience of that subreddit.  It’s important to know your audience and not post things that certain platforms won’t like.

 

However, we still got 20 users from the platform on the content that we did post, so I think that’s a win.

Facebook

We saw a huge improvement on Facebook this period – we went from 4 to 20! The majority of those users were from the beginning of the month, when my plugin was working. The only other thing I did on the platform was share my posts when I wrote them.

I know a lot of people use Facebook to drive a lot of traffic, but I just haven’t been able to crack the code. It seems like Pinterest will be more valuable, so I decided to put the limited amount of eggs I have in that basket instead of the Facebook basket. Hopefully it will pay off.

Referrals

I got a few juicy back-links this month, which gave me a ton of referral traffic. My post on generational wealth got picked up by the wonderful Physician on Fire and included in his Sunday Best round-up, which is really the reason for my awesome stats this month. That post was also included in a Count About round-up, and we got some traffic to it from a variety of other feeds that we are included in.

We also did a podcast with Alain Guillot (well, we recorded it a while back, but it came out in September!) about the quest for financial independence and the blogging journey, which drove a bit of traffic to the site. It was fun being on the podcast too!

Shameless plug – but as a blogger I’m always on the lookout for more juicy backlinks, so if you blog and want to swap guest posts – hit me up!

Content

We created an awesome mix of content this month. I think my piece on generational wealth is probably the best thing I’ve ever written. I’m very proud of that post, and I hope it helped people. But we also diversified a lot this month, with two posts specific to gaming (what does a capture card do and Twitch streamers to follow) and a post about joining a blogging mastermind group. We also posted a career/self development piece -with the best platforms for online education.

We went back to our roots in lifting people up with our post on doing things poorly, and finally (two years later) rounded out our Adult Conversations series with adult conversations you need to have about money.

In addition, we published a ton of syndications from our blogging network, which really helps diversify the types of content we get to publish in a different way.

All in all, we published some awesome content across a variety of niches this month, and I’m very proud of all of the posts that we put out.

How Are We Going to Improve Our Readership

Our readership grew by leaps and bounds this month! Obviously getting that feature by Physician on Fire helped a lot, but we grew organically on our own, and the plan is to continue doing that.

It seems to be working, so there’s no reason to make any huge changes. We’re still doing a ton of keyword research and targeting high volume, easy-to-rank keywords and we’re still optimizing older posts for SEO.

But another big thing we’re working on, as we discussed above, is Pinterest. I’m using the tools I’m learning in the Pinterest Ninja course to optimize my profile, my boards, and my pins for SEO. I’m also learning how to make higher quality pins that actually draw people’s attention, and making multiple pins for posts that I think have the potential to do well on Pinterest. Hopefully these changes will increase my reach on that network and improve the overall readership.

Monetization

The monetization piece of blogging is still my biggest struggle. I just can’t seem to figure it out. But, we made a little more money this month, and we are still trying new things to try to increase our revenue. Here’s our breakdown for the month.

Ads

$66.57

Although we had more pageviews this month than last month, that did not result in more ad revenue. The RPMS were incredibly low this month, and I’m not exactly sure why. One of the reasons is that I didn’t have one of my ad networks configured correctly – so I had extremely low RPMS for the first half of the month. But it wasn’t configured correctly in August either, and my RPMs were higher that month. I’ll have to do some research into RPMs and ads to see why these things happen.

 

One of my networks vastly outperformed the other this month, so I’m going to work on slowly phasing the low performer out. I stopped adding it to new blog posts, but I have to go back and replace all the old ads in older posts, which will definitely take some work. In the meantime, I’ll just enjoy whatever little money I get from it.

Affiliates

$29.76

We made two affiliate sales this month, which accounted for a third of our monthly revenue. This just goes to show how profitable affiliate income can be once we get the hang of it.

I did a lot of work this month to increase our affiliate income. Most of that is in the form of blog posts – I wrote three this month that are specifically designed to for affiliate income. Although I did make some wonderful pins for these posts, I’m playing the Google waiting game and hoping that my keyword research was on point. The goal is for them to start ranking in the next few months and hopefully that will increase my affiliate revenue. 

Gross earnings: $96.33

Expenses:

Money Mix Insiders – $120

Pinterest Ninja Course: $105

Total expenses: $225

They say it takes money to make money, right? That’s why I decided to splurge on a Pinterest course. I believe it will have long-term value for my business. And, it’s a one-time expense.

The insiders is a reoccurring expense, but it’s definitely been worth the cost. I would still be bumbling along at three thousand page-views and zero gross earnings if it wasn’t for them. I was super close to covering the cost of the program with my income this month – and I’m sure I will make it next month. As it stands, I’m in the hole about $130 for the month. But you know what? Partners in Fire is a business. And sometimes you have to invest in your business in order to get it to grow. Invest in your business by joining the Money Mix Insiders today. 

Continued Growth

Partners in Fire is continuing to learn and grow. We have some awesome ideas for October that are designed for both growth and monetization – so hopefully the increases will continue. And as always, we will continue to share the journey with you.

6 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – 34th Month Blogging”

  1. It was a pleasure to have an interview with you.

    Also, from reading your blog, I too started doing a monthly traffic update.
    Finally, I have never used Pinterest, but I continue hearing good things about it. I will carve out some time to take a look at it. On the opposite side, I get zero traffic from Instagram. I wonder if any blogger does?

    Thank you for keeping us updated. It’s very refreshing to see how other bloggers are doing. It makes us feel part of a bigger community.

    1. You’re welcome! I’m glad I inspired you to start your own series! I love it when folks are transparent with their growth and their struggles. Pinterest is great, but it takes a lot of work. Instagram…I’m with you. I don’t know. Maybe someday I’ll get to 10K followers, but it won’t be any time soon.

  2. Congrats on 10k! I am just starting back after taking a long time away due to another business. I would love to see 10k, but only back at this 2 months.

  3. Hey!

    Just a quick clarification:

    “Ten Thousand Pageviews! That’s what our 34th month blogging brought! Finally, after 34 months of hard work, we got over 10K pageviews for a 30-month period.”

    Based on the wording of the post and the picture below that quote should it read “30-*day* period”?

    Love the post, congrats on your success!

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