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Fifty months. Four years and two months. What an epic milestone!
Now that we’ve been in the blog game for a while, we’re starting to see some real growth. We reached sixty thousand page views this month, have over two thousand ranking keywords, achieved a domain authority of 59, and are actually bringing in revenue.
Partners in Fire is an established brand and quickly becoming a recognizable resource in various lifestyle niches.
Big Changes Ahead
As we grow and adapt, we are changing our business model and the way we see ourselves. A blog is great, but we also want to expand beyond that and become a place where people can find high-quality and even journalistic content. We want to report news, give advice, help people, and be a go-to resource for various topics.
In light of this shift, we decided to retire the blog growth strategies monthly update series. Our fiftieth month will be our last monthly update.
But don’t despair! The first fifty months of updates will still be live on the blog, available for everyone to find and see. We’re going to maintain a blog growth strategies category. It will focus on highlighting some of the effective strategies we implemented over the years and any new methods we find. Rather than monthly updates, you will find real tools and techniques that will help you grow your blog.
This shift is vital as we become more established in the blogosphere. Updates are great when you start, and I hope we helped motivate other new bloggers with our journey. But much like human children, our milestones get smaller and smaller as we grow. It’s no longer about learning to crawl and then learning to walk. It’s about learning to walk with a bit of skip in your step, which, although important, isn’t as blog-worthy.
So without any further ado, here’s our final monthly update.
50th Month Update
Our readership exploded at the beginning of the month, then went back to normal levels for the last few weeks of the month. We ended the month with nearly 45K monthly users and almost 60K page views, a new record!
As we continue to grow, we expect more spikes like we had the first two weeks, and we anticipate that our “leveling off” levels will continue to grow to new plateaus.
Over the past few months, the SEO improvements that we’ve focused on are paying off in big ways. A handful of important posts are on page one, and many more continue to move up in the rankings. We’re also seeing some traffic on related keywords and ranking for a wider variety of keywords overall.
It’s important to understand that SEO is a long-term game. We know that the improvements we’re making and the processes we’re implementing aren’t going to skyrocket us to page one in thirty to sixty days.
In support of that long-term goal, we’re focused on publishing more content that is specifically designed to get picked up by syndication partners and focusing heavily on building relationships in addition to backlinks. We feel that we have a lot of pillar content that’s ready to rank but to really explode our traffic, we need to find new and interesting ways to promote this content and build links to it.
The biggest challenge we face is finding time to write all the content we have in mind for the website. There are thousands of posts that have yet to be written, and it isn’t easy to choose what to focus on.
We have multiple strategies for making this decision. The aforementioned syndication-ready posts are essential for SEO and building relationships with brands, but they won’t result in a lot of traffic or revenue. We also have a list of great keyword-rich topics to write about and posts designed to drive affiliate revenue. This month, we created a healthy mix of these content types.
Our 50th month was a heavy art month, with most of our fresh content falling into that niche. We published an epic post ranking the 25 most famous paintings of all time, which was a companion piece to our September post on famous artists. Next, we published an idea-rich post of 101 things to draw when you are bored, which relates to a previous post on drawing ideas. This post was fun because I explored my artistic talents, which was a nice break from strictly writing. We tied the art posts together with an affiliate post on the best drawing tablets for 2022, which was fun because I used the drawing tablet to create all my images on the previous post.
In addition to publishing new content, we’ve been updating old content to improve the quality. It’s incredible how much better of a writer you become after a few years, and a lot of our original content is in dire need of a facelift. We’re focusing on the posts that will have the highest impact first, which means we’ve been updating posts with high volume keywords or strong sales intent with the hope that these improvements will improve the rankings.
Partners in Fire made close to $1000 in revenue this month. A little over $500 of this was due to display ads via our ad partner Newor, and the remainder was through a variety of affiliate sales. A handful of Etsy sales also contributed to our revenue.
We had many yearly expenses come up this month that decreased our profit margin. We pay for an annual subscription of Canva Pro and Grammarly Pro, two tools that I think you absolutely need to succeed in the blogging world.
We also have our standard monthly expenses of about $500, which pays for our mastermind group, mailing list, SEO tools, hosting, and various other things. After these costs were all considered, we only made about $200 in total profits. However, this is much better than the $16 we made in our entire first year of blogging, and I realize that every business needs investment to succeed. Soon, our revenue will far exceed our expenditure, and we’ll be able to focus on this venture full-time.
Partners in Fire’s long-term goals remain the same. We want to get into Adthrive or Mediavine, and we were so close this month. Hopefully, the next few months will see us achieve that goal.
However, we want more than that. We want to be a respected source for journalism and entertainment in all of the niches we cover. Maybe it’s a little too ambitious to say we want to be the next MSN or Huffington Post, but we want to be a legitimate news source that people use to find information on pursuing their passions, funding their passions, living their dreams, and overall just enjoying their lives. That’s the ultimate goal, and we feel that the shift from being “bloggy” to being more journalistic in style will help us achieve that.
It’s also important to remember your roots and where you came from. As we continue to grow, I don’t want to erase our past. I’m proud of the monthly updates we’ve done, even the awful first-month update. If we do become as big as those other websites, I want to showcase to the world and any new blogger that it’s possible, and this is how we got there. We’ve come a long way from the 89 users we had in our first month, and we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be, but I know that we’re on the upswing.
I hope you’ve enjoyed the monthly blog growth series. It’s the one thing that we’ve been the most consistent about in all of our years of blogging, and it’s kind of sad to see it go. However, I think the blogging content that we will focus on will be more beneficial to new bloggers in the long term. And, at some point, it’s a little passe to keep doing updates, don’t you think? We’ve grown past that point, and that’s something to be proud of in and of itself!
Melanie launched Partners in Fire in 2017 to document her quest for financial independence with a mix of finance, fun, and solving the world’s problems. She’s self educated in personal finance and passionate about fighting systematic problems that prevent others from achieving their own financial goals. She also loves travel, anthropology, gaming and her cats.