24th Month Blogging
Our 24th month of blogging was fairly similar to the past few months. We’ve been stuck between one thousand and twelve hundred users per month for quite a few months now, and our 24th month was no different. On the plus side, however, we are achieving consistency and increasing our users from organic search. Read on to see how we did!
Our readership decreased very slightly during our 24th month. We had a little under 1200 users this month, which is about 100 less than last month. We’re still averaging about 40 users per day, but we had a pretty bad slump over the long Thanksgiving weekend – we had less than thirty users per day for three of the 4 days! That’s terrible, we’re trying to be positive. It was a holiday weekend, and people’s priorities were traveling, being with family, and shopping – not reading blogs.
We are still lacking in really good days. We didn’t have any days this month with over 60 users – our best day was 59. I consider this good and bad – none of our posts went “viral” this month, but we are getting consistent traffic. I would consider this month’s traffic more consistent than any of our previous months – other than the huge drop off during the holiday weekend. Now we just need to get consistently more traffic. That’s the easy part, isn’t it?
November was a huge month for us in regards to organic search. It’s the first ever month where the majority of our users came from organic search. That’s huge! We had 441 users via organic search in November, about 75 more than last month. It’s increasing slowly but surely!
We have been doing a great job of sticking to our goal of re-writing at least two posts per month for SEO. We did that in both October and November, and it seems like we are getting results. Our users via organic search have been growing slowly but surely since we made that measurable goal.
Interestingly enough, this month the top performing post from organic search was our post on ignoring money problems. That’s not even one of the ones we updated (though it will be on the list for this month!). However, we have seen a little improvement on traffic for the two posts that we updated this month. Getting those Google algorithms right is still a mystery, but we’re working on it.
Social media fell to our second biggest driver of traffic this month, and that’s not only because we are doing so well with organic search. Our traffic via social media fell quit a bit this month, which fits the pattern for the previous months. We only had 400 users from social media this month, a drop off of 82 from last month.
Pinterest continues to be the platform in which we are experiencing the biggest decline. We only had 221 users from Pinterest last month – which is where all but a handful of that decrease came from. Our traffic from Pinterest is dropping faster than our traffic from all the other sources are growing, and the continues to be a huge problem for us.
Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to pinpoint the reason for this continued decrease. I think my pins are mostly well designed, pretty, and lots of them do have clear calls to action. I use the same pinning strategy that I have been all year, which brought me tons of success in the spring and summer. Also, like I said last month, I continue to gain followers, and my “reach” is listed as over 130K.
Figuring out where I went wrong on Pinterest and finding a way to fix it is going to be one of my top priorities for the next few months.
Our reach on Twitter decreased slightly during our 23rd month. We had 110 users visiting Partners in Fire from Twitter during this period, which is about 30 less than last month.
I succeeded at posting an old blog post every day, but I failed at my goal of interacting with others more. Hopefully I’ll be able to do better with that in December!
Although I don’t focus much on Facebook, we did improve our traffic from the platform during our 24th month. I did a bit better at sharing my posts on my personal page, and that did a lot to increase the readership. The post “Squatting your way to Home Ownership” was the most successful on Facebook this period – I guess a lot of my real life friends are looking for alternative methods of owning a home.
Even with this small bit of growth from the platform, my strategy is going to stay the same. And that is simply try to remember to share my blog posts on my personal page. Maybe someday, when I crack the Pinterest code, I’ll put more effort into Facebook.
Unfortunately, we saw a slight decrease in users via direct hit this month. We only had 255 users visiting us directly during our 24th month, a pretty large decrease from over 300 in previous months. I’d like to blame some of this on the Thanksgiving holiday – our readers were just too busy with the holidays to check their inboxes for content. That may be wishful thinking on my part, but we will see if it improves for the next three weeks then declines again for Christmas. That will be a pretty clear indicator that the holidays play a role.
We are continuing to publish amazing content every month on Partners in Fire (subscribe so you never miss a post!). I like to mix the content up and write about a variety of topics each month. During our 24th month, we continued our series on Peer to Peer lending with a post dedicated to borrowing with peer to peer lending. We also expanded upon last month’s post “how much does life cost” with a great break down of how much going out costs. It was eye-opening to see how much money we waste on going out each month.
With winter coming, we decided to write a little bit about saving money during this time of year. It’s my first full winter as an adult (I’m used to living in warmer climates!) and I had to learn on the fly how to save money on heating. I also wanted to know what people do for fun during the winter without spending all their money, so I sleuthed out some awesome cheap winter date ideas.
One of my most popular posts this month was Squatting Your Way to Home Ownership. I did a ton of research on whether adverse possession actually is a legitimate method of gaining a home, and it garnered a decent amount of attention. The post opened up a lot of discussion with my real life friends, and it was a ton of fun to write!
The post that got the least attention this month was my Thanksgiving post. Although it is fun and sometimes cathartic to write down the things we are thankful for, I’ve learned that it’s not a topic that’s going to gain attention. No one cares what some random blogger is thankful for, and the traffic from that post really shows that. Next year, I’ll have to think of something Thanksgiving themed to write that people will actually want to read and search for on Google. I have plenty of time for that though.
I’ve still been failing at monetizing Partners in Fire. I got one sale on Amazon this month and made 22 cents. But hey, a sale is a sale, and that will eventually add up! I haven’t had any success with any of my other affiliates.
Although my affiliate networks have been completely unsuccessful so far, I have had a tiny bit of success with my ad network. I made three dollars in ad revenue during my 24th month blogging, which isn’t terrible considering I’ve only been with the network for a few months. I’m going to add an ad to my posts with the highest amount of traffic, and hope that I’ll be able to increase my revenue in the coming months.
How We Are Going to Improve Our Readership
I am very happy to see an improvement in users via organic search over the past few months, and I’m going to continue to update old blog posts in the hopes of continuing this trend.
My biggest concern for readership is the loss of users via Pinterest. This had been a months long problem, and I haven’t been able to find a solution for it yet. I’m still looking into taking a Pinterest course, but I don’t want to waste the time and money for something that won’t be valuable (and by that, I mean that won’t lead to an increase in page views from the platform). Any suggestions on a course would be greatly appreciated!
The Blogging Journey
It’s been two years since I started blogging at Partners in Fire, and it’s been such an incredible journey so far. I look forward to seeing what the next two years will bring!
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.