Blog Growth Strategies – Our Ninth Month Blogging

Partners in Fire’s owner tracked her website wins and losses for the first fifty months. Here’s a look at her report from month 9, edited for grammar, clarity, and to add additional comments from the benefit of hindsight. 

Partners in Fire killed it during our ninth month! Maybe this happens when you start growing as a blog and post consistently! Let’s see how we did this month and how we got there.

Allen failed epically during the 7th and 8th months because she wasn’t dedicated to it. She improved significantly during the ninth month. 

Posting During our Ninth Month

We stuck to a consistent posting schedule during our ninth month. We published a post every Sunday and Thursday, as intended.  

This consistency helped us grow our readership, and it is something that I will strive for in the future. 

However, I am still going to live my life. We skipped a few posts this month due to a trip to Germany. I’m sure my 10th-month readership will suffer slightly due to the vacation (we will have to wait and see about that!), but traveling is one of my FIRE goals, and it’s not something that I am willing to give up. 

Maybe someday I’ll figure out how to schedule blog posts so that I can automatically post while I’m away, but that would mean having posts queued up and ready. Unfortunately, I’m not that organized.

It’s not difficult to schedule posts in advance. Allen didn’t care enough to research it. Scheduling posts doesn’t even take extra time in WordPress; there is an option right next to the “publish now” option.

The truth is Allen didn’t have the desire to write the posts in advance and get them scheduled to publish while she was away. She didn’t want to do extra work to ensure she didn’t miss a post. 

Although that’s valid, it’s not an ideal attitude if you want to grow a successful website. Earning an income from your blog takes sacrifice and dedication. Allen was still on the fence about how much she wanted to give. 


We killed it with readership this month, earning over 500 page views for the first time (not counting our feature on Rockstar Finance, which, although impressive, was a unique circumstance).  

Partners in Fire had 843 total users for the month.  The best part is that it was reasonably consistent. We had spikes in users on the days we published, and we had between 10 and 20 users between posts. 

There’s a lot of room for growth here, but since we are still new and just came off hiatus, I’ll take it!


ninth month stats


How We Increased the Readership

843 is a massive increase from the paltry 276 we had last month. The biggest reason for the rise was the posting consistency, which we discussed above. 

However, I also think this month’s content was interesting and valuable to many readers. Our articles revolved around the complex decision to enter parenthood. We reviewed our own bias about having kids, considered the implications children have on goals, and discussed the massive financial burden of parenthood. These posts resonated with a lot of people. 

The lesson here is that great content leads to increased readership. 

But people have to be able to find great content, so how did we make our content visible?

Allen is correct that it’s all about content. However, the harsh truth is most of the content published at this time was not good.  Allen believed it was, but the articles were riddled with grammatical errors, overuse of exclamation points, humor that fell flat in text, and opinion presented as fact. 

During a site audit, the overly personal content that didn’t serve a broad audience was removed. Articles that had potential were vastly improved. We used Grammarly Pro to improve the grammar and punctuation, cited relevant research to back up Allen’s claims (or refute them), and improved readability. 

We also optimized these early articles for SEO. Content always comes first, but these early articles didn’t even target a keyword. They seemed like stream-of-consciousness writing that jumped from one idea to the next. The SEO optimization also improved the content for the reader, as it ensured each article stayed on topic. 

Social Media

One of the biggest drivers of traffic during our ninth month was social media. We had 244 users from our various social media platforms. We focus on the four big social media platforms: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram.


My boyfriend (at the time) invited all his Facebook friends to like my page, which led to a nice increase in page likes. But I also started posting more (and better) content on my page. 

I’ve been sharing interesting finance articles, memes, cartoons, and pictures in addition to my blog posts.  In the past, I had only been sharing my articles on my Facebook page, and honestly, it looked a bit spammy. 

Sharing more than just my own articles has led to greater engagement on my page and more organic likes. Also, because people have come to trust my page to have interesting content, I can convert more page likes into blog post clicks. 

Eighty-one of my 843 users came from Facebook this period, the highest of any of my social media avenues. I still have a long way to go on Facebook, but I think this is a great start.

Facebook has dramatically changed over the past few years. Partners in Fire rarely posts on the platform. However, Allen is correct that you must post engaging content to grow. Facebook’s algorithm (currently) dislikes posts with links in them because it wants users to stay on the page. 

The algorithms constantly change, so you must actively engage on the platform and pay close attention to trends to keep up. 


This month’s second most significant social media traffic driver was Pinterest, with 67 views. I’m still unsure how to use Pinterest correctly, but I try to make pretty, appealing pins with Canva and schedule my pins with Tailwind

I still use the large group boards, even though rumors are floating around that Pinterest doesn’t like them. Maybe I will learn to use Pinterest more effectively one day, but it seems to work well now.

The Pinterest algorithm also constantly changes. Partners in Fire gave up on the platform for many years, as it seemed impossible to grow. Allen took Pinterest courses, used scheduling tools, joined big group boards, and did everything she was “supposed” to do, but she never had a lot of success on the platform. 

However, Partners in Fire decided to try Pinterest again in early 2024 and is finally seeing a little growth. It’s not substantial, but a consistent pinning schedule seems to be helping. 


I love my Twitter community. It was the first social media platform I started working with, and is still one of my favorites. People on Twitter are so supportive with their follow threads, social media threads, chats, and all-around engagement.  

Although it’s not the top traffic driver, we still had 64 users from it, making it a close third. But to me, Twitter is about more than driving traffic. I use Twitter to talk to like-minded people, share my random thoughts, and find interesting articles to post on my Facebook page.

I look forward to continuing to build my Twitter community and finding new Twitter friends to engage with.

Unfortunately, Twitter (now X) is a far cry from the engaging platform it was in 2018. Elon Musk’s purchase in 2022 sounded its deathknoll. The changes destroyed everything good about Twitter. It’s harder to grow a community, more challenging to find like-minded people to engage with, and harder to block out the horrible voices. 

You must pay to grow quickly on Twitter (X) in 2024. 

However, it’s still a great indexing tool and good for showcasing author EEAT (Experience, Expertise, Authority, Trust); that’s vital for good SEO, so even if you don’t grow a massive account, you should create an account for your authors and your brand, and publish your latest posts to your feed. 


Instagram is a platform that I’ve largely ignored until this past month. My ex-boyfriend had built a following last year when we were still together, and I didn’t want to deal with it. But I know it can be a great traffic driver, so I dug in and started working on it this month. 

First, I had to curate my followers/following. There were many inactive and “bot” accounts on those lists. Next, I increased my posting. I made a concentrated effort to post to Instagram at least once per day. I try to post various image types and am working hard on my hashtag game (although I think that still needs improvement). 

So far, my new commitment to Instagram has been successful. We had 34 users from Instagram this month, a massive increase from the big fat zero of previous months. This number will only increase as we continue to grow our Instagram account.

Partners in Fire never consistently posted on Instagram. The following never grew, and with the algorithm changes favoring short-form videos rather than photos, it became harder and harder to manage. 

Although we still post on occasion (as it’s also good for EEAT), it’s not a platform we dedicate much time or effort to. 

Other Traffic Drivers

We had a lot of referral traffic during our ninth month, and my primary concern is that some of this might be spam. Unfortunately, I do not know how to differentiate between spam and legitimate users. And even if a user was referred from a spam website, does that mean the user was a spam user? I honestly don’t know the answer to that. But I have activated the A-kis-met spam blocker, so at least the spam users can’t do much damage.

We also had some users from organic searches, but unfortunately, the keywords were not provided, so I can’t tell what people are searching for when they find my blog. 

The last chunk of users during our ninth month came from direct hits, folks who subscribe to the blog, get the e-mail updates, and type our URL directly into the search engine. I’d like to think that we have a few fans who do that, but let’s be honest, those are probably mostly me.

At nine months in, Allen still didn’t know the basics. She didn’t know how to use Google Search Console to see what keywords brought users to her site, and had only a rudimentary understanding of Google Analytics. She didn’t have any SEO tools, like Ahrefs or Moz, to deep dive into the data. 

She didn’t even know that Google Analytics gets confused with traffic and calls anything it can’t figure out “direct.”

It took a long time for Allen to learn this stuff. As they say, you don’t know what you don’t know. But it would have made her life easier if she had taken the time to learn SEO and analytics tools from the start. 

What’s Next?

Our goal for this next month is to get over 1000 users. It will be a challenge, especially with the vacation we took for the first week of the month, but we have a lot of exciting content planned, so I think it’s very doable.

We will also continue focusing on building our social media platforms, especially Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. What we currently do seems to work, so we will stick with it.

Another thing we are going to work towards is monetizing Partners in Fire with a few more affiliate articles (non-spammy and relevant, of course!). Maybe someday we will even write some guides and do some sponsored posts!  I don’t think we are quite there yet, though.

Our biggest focus is to continue to provide useful, relevant, and interesting content for you, our readers. Without you, we wouldn’t be anything. We greatly appreciate your continued support. 

Here’s to another great month!

Allen should have focused on organic growth and building an email list rather than social media. However, when you’re first starting, social media seems like the key to the kingdom. Your first users will come from social platforms, while search engines like Google ignore you. 

However, SEO is a long game. Allen didn’t know that Google takes months, if not years, to index content. She didn’t consider that social media algorithms and ownership changes would destroy all the growth she had worked so hard to achieve. 

It’s vital to note that search engine algorithm changes can also destroy growth, like the 2023 Helpful Content Update that decimated thousands of websites. If you genuinely want to be successful, you must diversify your traffic as much as possible so you’re protected from the whims of these platforms. 

An email list is one of the best protectors, as it’s the only thing you truly control. Allen put no effort into her emails, and Partners in Fire still suffers from that failure today.