45th month

Blog Growth Strategies: Our 45th Month Blogging

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Our 45th month was pretty consistent with our 44th month. Summer slumps, lower traffic on the weekends, just barely getting to the ten thousand pageview goal. But we did make it this month, and the last few weeks (notably once schools started again) were much better than the first few weeks (when people were still out enjoying their summers).

Weekends were the worst for traffic throughout the month, which also lends credence to the theory that it’s people doing stuff rather than anything we are doing wrong that is leading to fewer page views.

45th Month Update

Readership

We’re averaging between 250 and 300 users a day, but you can see clear valleys on the weekends and mountains on weekdays. On most weekend days, our readership fell to below 200, but during the week, we saw peaks above 300 and approaching 350. 

Traffic Drivers

Organic Search

Organic traffic accounted for just over half of our total traffic this period. We had the same amount of organic traffic this month that we had last month – approximately 4000 users.  

 

We are continuing the hard work of building backlinks and on-page SEO and are thrilled to see at least a tiny bit of success. A few posts that we wrote last year with SEO in mind are finally starting to rank, and some of the posts we’re steadily building backlinks to are improving as well.

Top Pages

There aren’t any changes to our top five pages. How to Become a Twitch Affiliate, Reaching Coast Fire, FU Money, How to Gain Twitter Followers, and Alternatives to Twitch still take up the top five spots. As I said, though, all of these posts are over a year old.

A fun fact is that a post that I wrote about a year ago, Financial Responsibility, has started getting a ton of attention. This only happened in the last week of the month (about a year to the day of the publish date!), so it hasn’t broken the top 10 overall for the month yet, but it will be interesting to see if it survives the Google Dance and breaks into the top next month.

Our post on Discord Emotes continues to be an exception. It’s still in eighth place, and I’m trying to build backlinks to it to push it up a bit. On average, it’s at position 14 on Google, which would put it on page 2, and I’m trying really hard to push it up to page 1 with the backlinks and social shares.

Direct Hits

Our second biggest traffic driver continues to be those direct hits. People are coming directly to Partners in Fire via our email list or just putting the URL into the search engine.

 

This month, we had about the same number of users via direct hit as last, around 1500.

Referral Traffic

We had about 700 users finding us via referrals from other websites this month. The bulk of this was from Github, with over 300 users coming to us from that site. I still have no idea how they are finding us there, but hey, I’ll take it!

MSN was our second biggest driver of referral traffic, with a little under 200 users. I’m not quite sure where that traffic came from. It was to three different posts, so I think I may have gotten a feature, but if I did, I can’t find it.

The rest of the traffic came from a wide range of sites. We had onesies and twosies coming from all over the web, which is fantastic! It’s proof that our backlink-building strategy is working, and the bit of extra traffic is always a bonus!

Social Media

We had a bit of a boost to our social media traffic this month. While last month we barely eeked out 350 users from all the platforms combined, during our 45th month, we had over 400 users.

Twitter

Surprisingly, the bulk of our users from social media came from Twitter. A lot of the Twitter traffic came to our post on Twitch Alternatives, and it appears as though someone found it on Google, then shared it on Twitter. Amazing how that works, isn’t it?

We did share a lot on Twitter this period, so it’s no surprise that we had a bit more traffic from the platform this month. I’m still using it primarily as a networking tool (on the road to 6K followers!), but I’ll take all the pageviews from it I can get!

Pinterest

About 100 users found us via Pinterest during this period, which is not unexpected. Due to the decrease in users last month, I neglected the platform this month. Although I did pin some, it was more of an afterthought, and I didn’t take the time to pin every day.

I’m hoping that Pinterest figures out what it wants to be, but it seems like the platform is trying its hardest to keep folks on it (much like Google and every other big brand), so it’s pushing the idea pins that don’t have links more heavily, which tends to hurt the traffic of brands and blogs which rely on it.

This is an excellent reminder not to put all of your eggs in one basket and to try to get traffic from a variety of different sources.

Facebook and the Others

The rest of our social media traffic came from Facebook, Youtube, and various other small platforms. I didn’t post much on Facebook, so it’s exciting that my revive old posts plugin continues to drive at least a little traffic.

It’s also exciting to see a tiny bit of traffic trickle in from Youtube. I’ve been leaning into that platform heavily, and although I haven’t monetized it yet, it’s nice to see the efforts pay off at least a tiny bit in terms of traffic.

Check us out on Youtube! And don’t forget to subscribe!

 

Content

The content we published this month was amazing! We started with an in-depth look at how the law of attraction works to help folks with their money. I really enjoyed that one because it’s a mix between finance and lifestyle, with a tad of the esoteric thrown in. If anyone remembers my FIRE goals, I want to read tarot cards at a Renaissance fair one day, so you know I’m totally into this stuff.

Next, we published a post for our gamer friends listing 40 ways to get viewers on Twitch. This was a perfect addition to our Twitch content and a piece that had been missing. Speaking of lists, we published a tongue-in-cheek post about the virtues of list-making and wrote a post about how awesome bullet journals can be.

We rounded out the month with an epic post on all the best things to do in Pennsylvania, the state I’m currently living in (I’ve done more than half of the things on the list personally, and the others are high up on the bucket list!) and a post about dream jobs (hint: they aren’t real!).

How Are We Going to Improve Our Readership?

Every month it’s the same. SEO, backlinks, SEO. I know it’s a long-haul game, and I’m in for the long haul. As I mentioned above, a post we wrote a year ago is just now making its way to the front of Google, and I didn’t start focusing on SEO until around October of last year. I think it’s just a matter of time until the posts I wrote last year start ranking (and I’m going to be boosting them as much as possible with backlinks when I can!).

One of the best things I ever did to help improve my SEO game was to join the Money Mix Insider’s SEO Hustle program. Not only do they offer a mastermind group dedicated to helping with every part of the blogging journey, but they also offer some really great SEO tools to help you with on-page SEO and help you get your content syndicated on other websites. It’s been such a great experience and has helped me immensely. They are still offering a trial period of three months for only a buck a month, so if you need some help growing your blog – be sure to check them out! I didn’t even know how to do keyword research until I joined them, and now I’m teaching it to others!

Monetization

We are only in the hole about $100 this month, which is a nice improvement. Unfortunately, we still aren’t turning a profit, but I think we will be by the end of the year.

One massive change we made this month was switching ad networks. Our old network was giving less than $10 in RPMS, so we decided to switch to a new network. We moved from She media to Newor.

The only reason we were able to do this with such low pageviews is through our membership in the SEO hustle. They have contracted with an ad network to lower the number of sessions required to join – and I was thrilled to have the opportunity to get on a better network.

This change resulted in a few days without any ads. So far, earnings with the new network have been low, but I didn’t have all the ads I wanted placed until the last day of the month, and it does take a few weeks for a new ad cycle to fully ramp up. I won’t know for sure whether this was a positive change until about mid-September. However, the biggest limitation with She Media is the year-long commitment. I think my traffic will be at Mediavine levels in the next few months, and Newor lets you cancel anytime with only a 24-hour notice.

Continued Growth

Is thirty thousand pageviews in September out of the question? Possibly. But with the summer lag coming to a close and more of the posts we wrote last year rising in Google, I won’t count it out just yet. Maybe we will see 15K in September, 20K in October, and 30K by the end of the year. I’d be happy with that too.

In the meantime, we will continue doing what we’ve been doing: writing great content and building links to it. I hope you enjoy the ride as much as I do!

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