Our 32st month blogging was just as awesome as the two previous months. I still feel like we’re right on the cusp of breaking through, and that’s even more apparent after all the big wins this month. Read on to see what I mean!
32nd Month Update
Our readership during or 32nd month was basically the same as last month. We actually had slightly fewer users this period, but it’s not enough of a decrease to be concerning. In fact, considering the long holiday weekend, and the traditionally low traffic that July tends to bring, I think it’s a win that we didn’t see a steeper decline!
We had a handful of days this period with under 100 users, but half of those came during the July 4th weekend. Our lowest day this month was on July 4th itself, but even on a weekend holiday we still got over 70 visitors. That’s pretty awesome!
We didn’t have any huge spikes this period, but we did have fairly consistent traffic throughout the month. I’ll take consistency over random spikes any day though!
Our viewership from organic traffic is getting better and better. We had nearly 2500 users finding us through organic search this month! That’s amazing, and my goal is to keep improving. I’ve updated a few more blog posts, and began more focused keyword research in order to meet that goal. It’s nice to see some of that hard work in SEO that I talked about last month pay off.
Our top page from organic search remains “How to be Twitch Affiliate in 30 Days”. I updated that post a bit after I made Twitch Affiliate, and I updated an older post about alternatives to Twitch, to ensure that I maintain relevant content in that niche. You have to keep updating and improving if you don’t want to be overtaken!
Although the majority of my organic search traffic is going to the Twitch affiliate post, it’s not the only post that’s getting attention.
The same three posts, Buffy is the Greatest Show, Pet Regret, and Animal Crossing are still coming in behind the Twitch affiliate post, but Coast Fire and the Fire Movement are both close runner ups. I think with another month and another few links, I’ll start getting more and more users with my finance articles. I mean, this is a finance blog…kind of.
Increased Domain Authority
The reason why I think I’m going to start ranking better with some of my finance posts is because of my huge increase in Domain Authority this month. I mentioned that my DA was stagnant at between 25-29 for years now, but that all changed during this 32nd month.
My DA skyrocketed to 55!
Isn’t that awesome?
Now, I can target a few higher volume keywords in the 30-40 difficulty range, and if I write correctly for SEO I should have no problem ranking high in search engines. A higher DA also gives me some negotiating power with brands – so my next order of business is to think of companies that I might want to work with for sponsored post opportunities.
How Did I Increase my DA?
Increasing your domain authority is not easy. It takes a huge amount of commitment, guest posting, and a good link-building strategy.
I wrote guest posts for three different blogs this month, and had a podcast appearance. Those things definitely helped.
But, the number one reason my DA increased so drastically is because of my involvement in the Money Mix Insiders. They helped me develop a link-building strategy which got my links on high DA websites. We also work as a group to lift each other up. That helps give the links we offer each other even more juice.
Don’t get me wrong – the Insiders aren’t a link building group. That’s just a tiny portion of what they offer. They also help you with blog problems, site speed, social media, and answer any blogging questions you might have. I learned so much during my free trial with them (that they’re still offering!) that I decided to get the paid membership.
If you’re interested in getting your DA up and taking your blog to the next level -check them out. They are still offering the three-month free trial with no obligation. But don’t join if you aren’t ready to put in the work it takes to build your blog. It’s not worth it if you aren’t going to use all the resources they offer to your advantage.
The problem sometimes, with blogging, is that you will see random drastic decreases in certain acquisition channels. Although we’re killing it with organic traffic, most of our other channels are seeing declines.
This issue is readily apparent with our direct hits. We only had 700 users visiting us via direct hit this month – a huge decrease from the 1200 we had last period.
Most of users visiting us via direct hit are subscribers. If you aren’t subscribing yet – what are you waiting for? Hit that subscribe button and get Partners in Fire directly to your inbox! Don’t miss another post!
I’m still not sure where the other users are coming from. But we didn’t see an increase in any other acquisition method to go along with the decrease in direct hits, so it definitely isn’t a problem of Google changing how it records things.
Speaking of declining on certain platforms, we are getting destroyed on social media. According to Google, we are continuing to see a decline in users from social media. We barely had 200 users from all social media platforms combined!
However, I don’t think Google analytics is telling the entire story. It is only reporting a handful of users from Pinterest this period, while Pinterest is reporting over 300. This is the same problem that we had last month. I’m fairly certain that these hits from Pinterest are now being recorded as direct hits, but there is no way to tell for sure.
I also took some time this month to try to improve my Pinterest game. The Insider’s had some great insight into what types of pins perform best on the platform, and I tried to redesign a few of my pins to fit that theme. Unfortunately, that work hasn’t resulted in more views from the platform yet, but I’m hoping it will pay off over time.
I didn’t do as well on Twitter during my 32nd month as I had in previous months. About 150 users came to us from the platform this month, which is nearly 100 less than last month.
I also wasn’t as active on the platform as I was the previous month. My tweets were down 15% over the month – which led to less engagement. In addition, I failed to ask the Insiders to share my blog posts over Twitter. I mean, I still asked them to, but in June, I was asking for shares on nearly all my posts. This month, I only asked for shares on a few of them. This really goes to show that having a mastermind group who will help share your content can work wonders to get you views. But you have to ask!
I failed at Facebook yet again this period. My strategy for Facebook is exactly the same as it was last month (so no strategy) and we had the exact same number of visitors from the platform (6). Unfortunately, I don’t have enough time or energy to focus on all the things. Since I’ve seen limited results even when I do try on Facebook, I decided that was where I could give up a little and not see huge declines.
I also gave up trying on Instagram for the time being. It’s a hard nut to crack, and I haven’t been able to figure it out. I was posting at least once a day for a month, and still couldn’t get above two thousand followers. I decided it wasn’t worth the effort for now. Maybe when all my blog posts are perfect for SEO and I’ve gotten my Pinterest traffic back up, I’ll give it another goal. But getting to that 10K mark that I need to drop links into my stories -and getting higher than that to be a viable influencer, all seem like pipe dreams.
Partners in Fire published a ton of awesome content this month. In the beginning of the month, we stuck to guest posts, because I was super busy at work and because swapping guest posts really helps with your DA. We featured an interesting story about growing up with hoarders, an informational piece on supporting People of Color, a look into the differences between Canada’s Covid response and our own, and piece on the difference between value and growth investing.
As you can see, all these stories are wildly different in scope and content. That’s one of the great things about featuring guest posts- you get such an interesting array of stories and viewpoints that you wouldn’t normally think to write about. And hopefully, my audience enjoys the variety.
I’m Still Writing Posts!
I wrote some of my own posts this month too! It wouldn’t be me if I didn’t write something about how the system is messed up, and I delivered when I wrote about how toxic the traditional life script can be for some folks. I also wrote an awesome review of I Like to Dabble’s new course – Launch your Side Hustle. That course was loaded with such great information that I just had to share. I rounded out my posts this month with a super in-depth post about FU money – what it is, how to get it, and how we should have a UBI so everyone could have some. If you didn’t think I’d relate FU money to UBI – have you even been reading the blog?
You may have noticed that I’ve also been publishing a ton of other content lately. These are syndications from the Insiders group. Every week, a different person will write a post, and we will all syndicate it. This does a ton of awesome things for everyone involved – first, it gets our content in front of new audiences, which is always a win. Second, it gives us some delicious back links. And third, it gives us all a more diverse array of content to publish for our followers. Like I said about guest posting – it’s nice to have different viewpoints and articles about stuff that I’d never think to write.
How Are We Going to Improve Our Readership
Our readership has been stagnant at about 3.5k for the past three months. Now don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather be stagnant here than at the 1K I was stuck at for the previous 8-month period. But I also want to grow.
I’m hoping that the improved DA will help more of my pages rank – but I can’t count on just that. I have to make sure the content is high quality as well. Therefore, I updated five of my posts that are ranking fairly high (think pages 2 or 3) to try to get them up a bit. Hopefully I’ll see results on that in the next few weeks.
I’m also doing more keyword research, and trying to target words that people are actually searching for. When my DA was super low, I was looking for keyword difficulties in the twenties – but most of them had super low volumes. Now, I’m going to target higher volume keywords in the 30s. Its awesome that some of my posts are ranking on page one, but that’s not super helpful if only 10 people each month are looking for the keyword. I’m going to focus on ranking on page one with keywords that thousands of people are searching for.
The final thing that I’m doing is improving my social media presence. Yes, I already admitted that I’m giving up on Facebook and Instagram – but Twitter and Pinterest are where it’s at for me. I got nearly 100 new Twitter followers this month even with my lack of engagement on the platform, and I know I can do better. Pinterest is harder, but I know that it can be a huge driver of traffic if I can figure it out.
I actually made money blogging this month! Then promptly spent it all on the Insiders group. But you know what – making any money on the blog is a huge win, and I’m more than happy to reinvest those earnings if it means I’ll see the continued growth that I’ve seen by being a member of the group.
Here’s my revenue breakdown for the month:
Sponsored Post – $100
Another bonus to joining the Insiders is that the sometimes have sponsored post opportunities. This is kinda rare for to get during the free trial, and even for the basic membership, so don’t join just for this – you’ll be disappointed.
There are two different types of ads that I run on my site. I work with Interactive Offers to imbed into my posts with HTML, and I work with SheMedia to run display banner ads. I made a little over thirteen bucks with interactive offers, and a little over eleven bucks with SheMedia.
Someday (soon I hope), I’ll get over 10K page views a month so I can switch to a higher level platform, but I’m happy to be allowed into these two networks at the level I’m at.
I made five sales on Amazon this month – and for the first time ever I sold something that I mentioned on my website. This was the first month that I made an affiliate sale to an actual customer, and not to a blogger friend being supportive (though I appreciate those as well!).
Yes, the commission is horrible. Less than three bucks for 5 items is pretty atrocious. But, the items I sold weren’t really worth much to begin with. The five sales were only worth about $93 total, so 10% commission isn’t all that bad.
I also applied to a few other affiliate programs this month, so hopefully I’ll be able to start making conversions on some of them soon. We shall see!
Net Earnings: $127.69
Money Mix Insiders – $120
So I actually still made seven bucks, even with paying for the insiders!
I know, I need to account for my hosting fees as well, but I paid for that in advance, and for a bunch of different domains, so I considered it a hobby expense at the time. It will be included as a business expense the next time I have to pay for it though.
Partners in Fire is continuing to learn and grow. Now that the DA is up, my biggest focus is on traffic growth. I think with all the things I mentioned above, I will get to over 10K views a month in no time! And I’ll definitely continue sharing the journey with you.
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.