23rd Month Update
Guess what! We didn’t have another decrease during our 23rd month! In fact, we even saw a tiny bit of growth! Go team Partners in Fire! Read on to see how we did during our 23rd month of blogging.
Our readership improved very slightly during our 23rd month. We had a little over 1200 users this month, which is about 100 more than last month. We’re still averaging about 40 users per day, but we only had three days with less than thirty users (and one of those days was Halloween – whose staying in and reading blog posts on Halloween??)
We are still lacking in really good days. This month was another where we only had three days with sixty users or above. Our best performing post was my honest review of pet ownership. I love the little buggers, but I really do regret having them sometimes. The honesty of that post garnered a lot of attention, and I hope it helps others make a more informed decision about pet ownership. Other than that, we saw between 30 and 40 users on most days.
Social media continues to be our biggest driver of traffic, but with it continuing to be so low, direct hits and organic searches are catching up! We had 482 users via social media this month, which is a slight decrease overall from last month, where we had nearly 500.
Our reach from Pinterest is continuing to decrease, but it’s still our largest driver of traffic. We had 297 users from Pinterest this month, compared to 357 last month. It’s interesting to see such a continued drop off because my reach on Pinterest seems to be growing slightly. I guess more people are viewing my pins on Pinterest, but less are clicking them.
As my page views from Pinterest continue to decline, I’ve been considering taking a Pinterest course. I’m obviously doing something wrong, and maybe it’s time to pay to find out what it is. I haven’t decided on which course to take yet (looking for recommendations!) and I’ll definitely write a review once I take the plunge.
Our reach on Twitter increased during our 23rd month – I actually followed through with posting a link to an old blog post every day! I think that really helped increase our readership from the platform, and hopefully I’ll be able to continue doing that consistently.
We had 147 users from Twitter during our 23rd month, an increase of 35 users. I think I can do better on the platform. Unfortunately, posting to blog posts is one of the only things I did on Twitter this month. I haven’t been as active as I could have been, and that leads to less engagement. This month, my goal is to do both: post links to older blog posts and actively engage with others on the platform. We shall see if that strategy works to increase my engagement on the platform even more.
Our number of users from Facebook slightly improved during our 23rd month. We had 39 users from Facebook this month compared to 29 the previous month. I still don’t focus much on the platform. One of my goals this month was to share my blog posts on my personal page, and I think I remembered to do that two or three times at best.
It’s hard to focus energy into a platform when you aren’t seeing results, especially when there are only so many hours in a day. At the moment, my Facebook strategy continues to be on the back burner while I focus on other platforms.
One area where we actually saw some pretty decent growth this month is in our users from organic search. We had 368 users visit Partners in Fire through organic search this month, an awesome improvement from the 315 we had last month. And a good portion of that was from the last few weeks of the month.
One of the main reasons for this improvement is that I achieved my goal of updating two old blog posts for SEO this month. I’ve also been doing a much better job of writing for SEO – my posts on peer to peer lending have all been accessed via organic search.
A lot of visitors have been finding my posts on barista fire and the fundamentals of fire via organic search, which is great because those are some of the key concepts of Partners in Fire. But the funniest thing about my views from organic search is that my post on why Buffy is the greatest show ever – something completely unrelated to finance and that I wrote as a blogiversary gift to myself, is my top referral from organic search.
To me, that is proof of the “your money and your life” algorithm. It’s harder to rank on search engines for content that revolves around real life and money topics that can hurt people if they get the wrong information. As financial bloggers, that makes it harder for us to rank without building authority – but that’s ok. It makes sense that search engines want to make sure that people are getting the right information. We just have to work harder to build that authority (and make sure we are giving the right information!)
We also saw some nice improvement in our viewers via direct hit this month. We had 352 users visit us directly this month, an increase from the 315 we had last month. I love that our subscribers keep coming back for more!
Unfortunately, we haven’t had many new subscribers lately. We’ve been stuck at just under 100 for the past few months. If you love our content, what are you waiting for? Subscribe today and help us get to triple digits! Click here to sign up and ensure that you never miss a post!
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. In that vein, we continued our series on peer to peer lending with a post dedicated to the ins and outs of using it as an investment method and continued our series on our journey to RV life by writing about the estimated costs of RV life. Writing that made me wonder how much life in general costs, so I also decided to write an epic post about the average cost of living for US citizens. That one took a lot of research, but it was fascinating to see how expensive just living really is for most people.
We delved into more traditional financial topics this month as well; discussing the advantages of getting a home warranty and non-traditional loan options. As a finance blogger, it’s important to discuss these topics, and I sometimes get so caught up in the lifestyle side of things that I forget to address the technical aspects. That’s the Spirit of Financial Independence for you! But my goal is to do a little better on that and write a few posts each month on these more traditional topics.
That doesn’t mean that I avoided the lifestyle topics this month! We mixed it up by publishing two lifestyle posts, the one on pet regret that I mentioned earlier, and one on the looming threat of Automation, which I thought would be fun to publish on Halloween. These may not be traditional financial topics, but they both have financial impacts on our lives, and I think it’s important to relate the real-life stuff to finance. In the end, pretty much anything can be related to finance (even Buffy!).
I’ve gotten some clicks on some of my affiliate links, but none of them have resulted in sales. It’s also been a struggle to get accepted into affiliate programs via CJ. Most of the programs I’ve applied for have rejected me, probably based on my low page views. I’m guessing I will get kicked off of CJ soon due to lack of sales, but that’s ok, there are plenty of other affiliate programs out there.
Speaking of other affiliate programs, I got tons of clicks from Impact, but none of those have resulted in sales either. My next step with affiliates is to scour the fincon market place (I haven’t even joined yet, isn’t that sad?) and Awin. I’m also considering testing out direct affiliate marketing with Pinterest.
I’ve had a tiny bit of success with the new ad platform that I’ve been using on Partners in Fire. You may have noticed a few ads in our content lately (hopefully they have been well placed and don’t affect the user experience!). Those have been via interactive offers, an ad platform that focuses on the financial industry. As a newer company, they accept newer bloggers (yay me!) even though their main focus is still direct email marketing (which I don’t engage in). I’ve made a little over three dollars so far during the six or so weeks that I’ve been on the platform, which is better than my experience with google ads. I’m still hoping that one day I’ll make the 25000 user threshold needed for mediavine. A girl can dream!
How We Are Going to Improve Our Readership
I was very happy to see a slight improvement in readership during our 23rd month, and my goal is to continue this trend. One of the most important things I can do is continue writing for SEO and updating old posts. My goal of updating two per month was difficult yet achievable, so I’m going to stick with that for now. Hopefully we will see another improvement in our hits via organic search.
The other big thing I need to improve upon is Pinterest. I’ve been failing at it on my own, so now I think it’s time to invest in a course. Hopefully, this will help me improve my Pinterest game and increase my readership from the platform.
The Blogging Journey
Next month will mark my two-year anniversary on this blogging journey, and I’m so thankful that I took this plunge. I’ve learned so much about social media management, blogging, writing, and even finance due to running this blog. It hasn’t been profitable yet financially, but it is well worth the time and effort in what I gained in personal growth and friendships.
If you are interested in starting a blog, stop waiting and just go for it! You can get started with as little as 3.99 per month on Bluehost! They are an amazing platform for newbie bloggers as they are low cost and easy to use. I started my travel blog with Blue Host and had an amazing experience working with them.
If you are an experienced blogger looking for a new hosting company with some extras, check out Inmotion . I’m with them now so that I can host both blogs, and they have also been great. They helped me transfer all of my Travels Near and Far files from Bluehost and make sure I have all the resources I need to host both blogs.
My blogging journey has clearly had it’s ups and downs, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I’m excited to see what my 24th month will bring, and can’t wait for year three!
Melanie Allen is an American journalist and happiness expert. She has bylines on MSN, the AP News Wire, Wealth of Geeks, Media Decision, and numerous media outlets across the nation. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.