Blog Growth Strategies – Nineteenth Month Update

For the first 50 months as an online publisher, Partners in Fire posted a monthly “growth strategies” article highlighting the challenges of building a website. 

We decided to keep these articles for posterity. Here is the 19th-month update, edited for grammar, clarity, and to provide additional context with the benefit of hindsight. 

Nineteenth Month Update

Welcome to our Nineteenth month update! Partners in Fire has been around for over a year and a half now; how crazy is that? 

We had about 1900 users during our nineteenth month, a very slight increase from last month.  

But as they say, slow and steady wins the race, right?

Here’s where we stand after 19 months of publishing. 


Our readership is growing slowly but surely. We only saw a growth of 100 users this month, but it’s something. It’s the same growth we saw last month.

 I was hoping that it would eventually become exponential, but it’s not there yet.

On the plus side, we only had a handful of days with less than fifty users during this period. We even had three days with over 100 users. On average, we are getting between fifty and sixty users per day.

"Nineteenth Month"
June Stats

Traffic Drivers

Social Media

Social Media was still the top traffic driver for Partners in Fire during this period. Pinterest was the clear winner yet again (seriously, you need to get Tailwind!), but Twitter and Facebook are still bringing in consistent traffic. 

In total, we had 1,015 visitors from social media this month.


Pinterest continues to be our top social network.  The biggest traffic drivers are still older pins – I set them on a loop using Tailwind, which has significantly increased my reach. 

Pinterest changed an algorithm in late 2019/early 2020 to prevent older pins scheduled on repeat from getting as much traction. They wanted to promote fresh content. When that happened, Tailwind stopped being effective for us. 

Overall, 645 users came to the site from Pinterest, a slight increase from last month. My goal is to get over 1K per month from Pinterest, but I know that’s a few months out. 

Designing better pins with Canva and Design Wizard will really help me get there, though!

We no longer use Design Wizard, but we still use Canva. 


Facebook was the second biggest traffic driver from social media this month. Nearly 200 users found us via Facebook. 

Unfortunately, I don’t think we can replicate the success. Most of those users were family and friends seeking information about my recent breakup. I wish they’d always supported my website, but it’s nice to know they show up when I need support. 

Here’s a lesson I wish we had learned sooner: People you know don’t care about your website. Your friends and family, the people you think love and support you, won’t have time to read it, and they won’t share your content. They won’t care unless it interests them personally. 

That’s not a bad thing. Everyone has their own lives, and your family and friends are likely too busy pursuing their interests to care. When you build a website, you create a new community of interested friends. These online strangers share your love of whatever niche topic you write about in a way the people you know in real life can’t. 

Perhaps your mom will read to support you, but don’t expect most real-life friends to help. 


Twitter drove 173 users to Partners in Fire this period, a considerable decrease from last month.

I expected that, though. I also had a lot of support on the platform from friends helping me through the breakup. Those numbers were recorded at the end of May because I told my Twitter friends about it before my Facebook friends. It’s weird that you can be more open with your internet friends than you can be with your real friends.

My experience with Facebook and Twitter these past two months has proven how personal stories resonate with people. I’ve always struggled with writing emotions, but I will work harder to make my posts more personal. Showcasing the human story behind the blog is difficult at times, but I think many readers respond positively to it.

Instead of moving toward that emotional connection, we moved away from it. We were so focused on building traffic through SEO that we forgot how essential community is to building a brand. We learned this lesson the hard way after Google’s recent “Helpful Content Updates” (HCU) and AI takeover made SEO harder for small publishers. 

Now (2024), we think community building will be vital to surviving in the online ecosystem. 

Organic Search

Organic search was our second biggest driver of traffic during our nineteenth month, but unfortunately, it continues to trend downwards. We had a total of 417 users from organic search this month, a decrease from last month.

Why are our organic search numbers continuing to decrease?

I wrote a lot last month about why our organic search numbers were decreasing. I hypothesized that it could be seasonal – people were outside doing stuff instead of searching for things online. My trends remain the same – I see the most traffic due to organic searches on Mondays and Tuesdays.

My other theories included that I wasn’t updating my old posts enough (which I still failed at) and didn’t do anything else to increase my page speed (yet another failure). I’m going to give myself a pass, though. I had a rough month, and I think it was an achievement that I could stick to my posting schedule!

I know one action decreased my organic search views during this period. I deleted an article that typically received about 20 monthly views via organic search. It was a negative review of a company, and I no longer feel that content like that is appropriate for this website. I’d rather remove it now and lose a little search traffic than keep it.

Even at a year and a half in, we didn’t understand SEO. We hardly did any keyword research, so we weren’t writing content people were searching for. That’s a significant reason we didn’t gain much traction with SEO in our first few years. 

We were correct that seasonality and outdated content played a role. Summer months typically have the lowest views because people are outside enjoying life. Our earliest articles were terrible – they didn’t deserve to rank. These two items did play a role. 

Direct Hits

During our nineteenth month, 350 users came to our website via direct hit, which was basically the same as last month. These users came from our RSS feed, email subscriptions, and referrals that Google Analytics couldn’t place elsewhere. 


We published some fantastic content this month. I wrote another personal post-breakup post about my plans moving forward, which is a positive wrap-up, and look toward a better future (for both of us, really). 

Writing that last post really gave me a sense of closure, and I’m excited to see what the future will hold.

We removed that article, as it was time-sensitive and no longer relevant a year later. 

In addition, I wrote two in-depth articles about Coast Fire. One was a general article about Coast Fire, and the other was more specific. It gave realistic numbers on what reaching Coast Fire might actually look like. 

If you are getting close to that impressive milestone, you should check it out!

Partners in Fire also got a bit philosophical this month. We published two op-ed-style posts on overarching financial topics: being a female breadwinner and not judging someone on the job that they do.

I love delving into big-picture topics that discuss the need for societal change and creating discussions around these topics. Financial basics are fun, but the holistic approach showing why things are the way they are and how we might be able to fix them is far more compelling. 


I discuss monetization every month, and every month, it’s the same story. Monetization isn’t quite working out for me yet, but I’m still working at it! When I get it figured out, there will be a huge celebratory blog post about it, I promise!

I know that I need to increase my page views and sessions before I can make any real money on the blog, so that will continue to be my focus. If I build a blog that appeals to many people, the money will eventually follow—at least, that’s the theory.

What’s Next?

We still have tons of room to grow, and we are going to get there. My main goal is still to get over 2000 users per month (I was so close!) and more than 20 users per day via organic search (epic fail!). 

That means I’ll have to step up my SEO strategy! I’ll continue to tweak it, and hopefully, Partners in Fire will continue to grow.


Author: Melanie Allen

Title: Journalist

Expertise: Pursuing Your Passions, Travel, Wellness, Hobbies, Finance, Gaming, Happiness

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 and is a certified happiness life coach. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life. 

1 thought on “Blog Growth Strategies – Nineteenth Month Update”

  1. Continue to produce great content and the numbers will continue to grow. I always live by the philosophy that being consistent and hitting singles and doubles will win you more games than trying to hit home runs. Thanks for sharing this post and keep up the good work!

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