Partners in Fire kept monthly logs of website growth over the first 50 months as a digital publication. Owner Melanie Allen wanted to create a lasting resource for people interested in starting websites, showing the growth strategies and struggles of growing a blog over time.
Although Partners in Fire is now a digital publishing company rather than a personal blog, we decided to keep these older blog growth strategies posts to maintain Allen’s original goal of helping others. They’re edited for grammar, clarity and to add insight with the benefit of hindsight.
Allen used an atrocious amount of exclamation points in the early days. We’ve changed most of them to periods but kept a few.
Blog Growth Strategies for Our 7th Month Blogging
Welcome to our 7th month update! Or, as I like to call it, that time that I took a six-week hiatus from the blog and didn’t see any growth.
Instead of an update, here’s a blog post about what happens when you work hard on your blog for six months and then stop doing anything for about six weeks.
Can I pretend that I did this for research?
I’m about a month late on this post. I was supposed to publish an update around June 27th-ish, and here we are in the middle of July!
Our seventh-month update showcases the harsh truth about running a website: it’s hard work. You must dedicate time and energy to growing, especially in the first few years. Allen was not 100% dedicated to growth during the first year, and it shows.
I only wrote two blog posts (three, if you count my 6-month update) during my seventh month of blogging. I published my last post for the period, Making the Decision to Move in Together, on June 10. I posted no new content on the website from June 11 through June 27th.
But given that, let’s see how we did.
Posting twice a month will not cut it if you want to be successful.
Spectacularly, we had 338 active users during our seventh month. That’s only 139 users less than the month before when I was actively working on it! 338 is not a good number, but I don’t think it’s terrible, considering my lack of effort.
It’s difficult to make money blogging if you don’t blog.
Allen’s honesty is refreshing. Far too many bloggers think blogging is passive income. It’s not. You must put in the work if you want to reap the rewards.
I got two clicks to my Amazon account (no sales, though), and my Google Adsense account is going strong at thirteen bucks!
I still haven’t seen any results from other affiliate programs I am a member of, but I don’t utilize them much.
When all summer craziness dies down in the fall, I will focus on affiliates and see if I can make something happen with them.
We are now halfway into our eighth month, and this is only my second post (I’m sure my eight-month update will also be fantastic!).
It’s hard to say what’s next, but my barrage of visitors has stopped for now. I am also feeling much better, so hopefully, I’ll be able to stick to a decent posting schedule for the remainder of the summer. I have a trip planned for the beginning of September, though (I’m going to Germany to watch my friend get married!), and that’s only a month away, so I’m sure that will result in some missed posts.
But like I said, we can’t sacrifice our lives to blog!
Although Allen is correct in saying we can’t sacrifice our lives to blog, you must make some sacrifices to succeed. Like everything, it requires balance and clear insight into what you want and how you will make it happen.
During the first year, Allen was happy to put little effort into website growth and see what happened. Over time, she realized the paltry effort wouldn’t lead to success. She needed to reprioritize if Partners in Fire would be successful.
The shift wasn’t an “aha” moment. It came gradually over the next few years. However, the six-week hiatus was the start. She realized she had to stick to a schedule to succeed. She may have missed a post here and there moving forward, but she never took six weeks off again.