Blog Growth Strategies – Our Tenth Month Blogging

Partners in Fire published monthly updates to track their growth strategies for the first fifty months as a digital publication. 

We’ve decided to maintain these old updates as a resource to help others trying to grow an online presence. They’re edited for grammar, clarity, and to add extra insight with the benefit of hindsight. 

Here’s the 10th-month update. 

Blog Growth Strategies: 10th Month Blogging

Partners in Fire did well during our tenth month. However, we didn’t meet our goal of a thousand users, ending the period with 150 less than last month. 

What did we do wrong there? 

Outside of not reaching our user goals, we had some big blog wins this month and did many things right.  


As I mentioned in my ninth-month update, I skipped three blog posts this month due to a trip to Germany. Otherwise, I stuck to a very consistent posting schedule. 

We published seven blog posts this month every Thursday and Sunday when I was home. Consistency is essential when blogging (or you-tubing, podcasting, and anything that requires a return audience). If you stop providing content, people will stop coming. I learned that the hard way during my six-week hiatus, so I hope not to skip any more blog posts outside of planned vacations.

It was tough this month, though, because I also had a good friend visiting from the other side of the country for five days. I sacrificed some time with her to ensure I stuck to my posting schedule, but good friends understand and support your goals. 

The words we use to define our work are crucial. Notice how Allen uses the term “blog posts.” Blogs suggest personal stories akin to an online diary. At the time, Partners in Fire flowed between a blog and a digital publication, with personal stories interwoven with fact-based journalism. 

As we grew, we decided to morph into a digital publication focused on educating and entertaining and move away from the personal journey of the owner. Nowadays, we rarely use the term “blog.” Instead, we’re a digital publication. We write articles. 

It’s also vital to recognize that Allen still wasn’t all in. She could have prepared articles before her trip or spent a few hours per day working while traveling. She chose to put the website second. 


I knew we would struggle with readers this month due to the vacation, even though I hoped it wouldn’t happen. My stats show that my average daily users dipped for a few days at the beginning of the month. 

Other than that, readership remained relatively consistent throughout the month. I had between 20 and 40 users almost daily during this period (except during vacation time). 

What I found interesting was that I did not have the huge spikes in readers on certain days that I had last month.

I think this is kind of a good thing. Those spikes generally corresponded with a lot of spammy-looking user registrations, which I didn’t get a lot of this month. I hope that means most of my users this month were real, engaged visitors rather than robots.

"tenth month update"

Traffic Drivers

Organic search

For the first month ever, organic searches were our biggest driver of traffic. We had 203 users from organic search! 

I think the increase in users via organic search is due to the steady increase in domain authority. For our first few months, our domain authority was at a paltry one. When you typed Partners in Fire into a Google search, you’d have to scroll through pages upon pages of firefighters to find our website.

I recently checked my domain authority, and it was at 20! I know that’s not great, but it’s way better than one!  Also, I ran a Google search of Partners in Fire on a computer without the website in the cookies, and we were the first result!  Apparently, we are doing something right with SEO.

Unfortunately, I still can’t see what people are searching for that brings them to our site, but they tend to stay for more than a minute and look at more than one page, so that must be good!

Domain authority (DA) is a MOZ metric designed to help website owners understand their site compared to others. It’s not a Google metric, but it does help. 

Fresh domains start with a DA of 1 and slowly rise as you gain backlinks from reputable websites. However, it’s not steady. It’s far easier to go from 1 to 10 then 40 to 50. 

Partners in Fire’s DA grew quickly because of the features on prominent websites like Rockstar Finance early in the journey. At the time, Allen didn’t understand how crucial legitimate link building was to building a strong DA. 

Direct Hits

We also received decent traffic through direct hits this month, with 175 users visiting us directly. I think this is because we are slowly but surely increasing our subscribers (I think the pop-up, although annoying, has helped!), and people are remembering our name. 

That’s what I’m going to tell myself anyway.

Allen had no idea what the “direct” traffic signified. It’s still hard to determine where users recorded as “direct” come from, but a basic understanding would have been helpful to determine what was going on. 

At the time, Partners in Fire wasn’t even sending emails. Allen didn’t realize it wasn’t automatic. The direct traffic wasn’t coming from subscribers. It could have been referral traffic, bot attacks, and some social media traffic, all of which are often recorded as “direct.”

Social Media

Social media was only our third biggest traffic driver during our tenth month, with 162 users. 

This is quite a decrease from the 244 we had last month. With my vacation and my friend visiting, I wasn’t as active on all my social media pages as last month. I’m ok with that, though.

I sacrificed some time with my friend to post an article and market it at least once, but I wasn’t going to sacrifice more time with her to participate in Facebook groups and remain active on Twitter and Instagram. She is more important to me than marketing, and I’d make the same choice again.

Life is all about choices. Allen was honest about the website coming second to her personal life, and that’s a valid choice. However, she also accepted that she wouldn’t grow as quickly if she didn’t prioritize it. 


Pinterest was our top social media traffic driver during our tenth month. We had 72 views from Pinterest, the only traffic source that increased during the period. 

Thank you, Tailwind!

 I use Tailwind to schedule my pins; my queue is full weeks in advance. So technically, I was still active on Pinterest even though I wasn’t doing much else.

We no longer use Tailwind. It was great for those beginning their website adventures and worked well with the Pinterest algorithm at the time. However, Pinterest started prioritizing fresh pins over ones scheduled to reappear repeatedly, making it challenging to keep up with Tailwind. 


I still love Twitter; it was the second-largest social media traffic driver this month!  We had 46 users from Twitter, which is only 20 less than last month. This is great, considering I didn’t post as much! 

That really goes to show how important it is to engage with and grow your Twitter community.

We miss the old Twitter. However, it’s crucial to understand that any platform you don’t own is subject to massive changes based on its owner’s whims. Twitter was the best place to build a community of like-minded website owners. 

X is not. 

Lots of old articles probably showcase Twitter as a great place, which might surprise people who are new to the platform. 


I had a less-than-stellar performance with my Facebook page this month. Only 27 users came from Facebook, a massive decrease from the 81 we had last month. 

Unfortunately, the main reason for this is the content I was producing this month as opposed to the previous month. Our friends and family were interested in my shift in mindset about having kids, and many of them found those articles via Facebook. Those relatives aren’t as interested in becoming a Twitch Affiliate or Complaining on Twitter.

However, people in other communities are interested in those topics, and I’m not just writing for our families. I’m writing for myself and everyone else. Not everyone will care about every topic I write about, and that’s ok.  

Finance is related to almost every facet of our lives, so there are thousands of things to write about. Most people will get some value from at least one of my topics. 

Allen’s comments about writing for a general audience ring true. Bloggers try to build a personal connection with their communities; when it works, it’s magical. 

However, publishers and journalists write for everyone, covering topics the general public might find interesting. They don’t need a personal connection to care because the topic is engaging. 

As a website owner, you must decide which path you prefer. There’s no right or wrong answer, but your decision will guide the content you produce and how you write. 


I had half the number of users from Instagram this month as I did last month. Only 17 users came from Instagram during this period. And I even tried to post consistently! 

 I think that I had the same problem here as I had with Facebook…Instagram users (at least the ones in my community) seemed far more interested in articles about children than they did about the content I was producing this month.

 Like I said above, though, that’s okay. Different people like different things. My Twitter audience (where I have gamer friends) loved my article about Twitch, but my Instagram audience did not. In the future, I may try to consider this and avoid posting content that a certain community may not care about.

Referral Traffic

This month, 157 users came from referral traffic. Unfortunately, I think most of this traffic is spam because it has the highest bounce rate of any traffic source. 

Not all of it is spam, though. We got featured on Little Bytes News, which brought some decent traffic, and we also got a bit of referral traffic through two awesome financial blogs, Tread Lightly, Retire Early, and Wise Money Home.

Writing great content that other publications want to link to is crucial to success. 

Blog Win for the Month

Though we had fewer users this month, we did have one fantastic blog win. We are working towards monetization, and to that end, I posted an article about skincare with affiliate links to products I use and strongly believe in. 

We had a few people purchase the products that I recommended! I’m so happy I can provide helpful information and that our fans trust us enough to try something we recommend. Thank you so much for your continued support, and I promise you won’t be disappointed with the moisturizer.

The skincare article was removed as it didn’t serve Partners in Fire’s mission. It was written explicitly for affiliate sales, and we realized content of that nature doesn’t serve our audience. 

In the early days, we didn’t have a clear mission. We focused on personal finance but dabbled in niches all across the board. 

Now, we publish a much broader scope of content, but it’s all aligned with the mission of igniting your passions, promoting your wellness, and guiding you toward financial security

What’s Next?

We are going to stick with our goal of getting over 1000 users. I don’t have any vacations or visitors planned for October, so I should be able to stick to the posting schedule and remain active on all my social media accounts. 

We also have a bunch of useful, interesting, and engaging content planned for the month, which I’m hoping will attract even more users!

We will still work on monetizing (hosting a blog isn’t free, you know!) through affiliate links, but we will also sign up for Patreon to see if we can at least recoup our hosting fees through donations.

Our biggest new project is a financial Podcast. We did a practice run this week, which went well. We will rely heavily on Patreon for the podcast, as monthly hosting fees can get costly.

 Be on the lookout; it’s coming soon!!

We never did anything with the Patreon account. The podcast was well received but short-lived due to irreconcilable differences between the hosts and the massive time commitment podcasting takes.

As a single-person business owner, you will want to dabble in all available outlets; however, focusing on one is crucial before trying to build up another. 

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. 

8 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – Our Tenth Month Blogging”

  1. You are very good at analysing everything! Some interesting ideas here especially about the importance of scheduling. So far, I have just been posting when I have something to say – and at the moment, when I have sufficient bandwidth to put photos into by articles. I’m travelling just now and it is very frustrating, but I suppose that is one of the issues of running a travel blog. Thanks for the ideas. I shall have to be more organised!

    • Thank you! I try to be very transparent and honest in my updates, not only for myself but for other new bloggers as well. I want people to be able to learn from my mistakes (and from the things I do right!). travel blogging is super hard, if you are traveling it’s hard to find good internet and if you aren’t traveling you don’t have anything to write about. I have a travel blog too, but unfortunately I haven’t been able to update it in years because I haven’t been traveling much. Props to you to keeping up with it,even if you can’t stick to a schedule!

  2. Congratulations on 10 months of blogging!! It sounds like you are doing great so far and really navigating this personal finance blogging world. I think you will definitely meet your goal of 1000 users (consider me a brand new one!). I agree that consistency and sticking to a posting schedule will keep your audience coming back for more!

    • Thank you! I appreciate your kind words and you stopping by! I’m really hoping to be super consistent in my posting this month (and moving forward), hopefully it will translate into results!

  3. Congrats on your success! Your organic search figures are enviable. Hopefully I can achieve the same soon! Good luck with your blogging, love your insights.

    • Thank you! Keep chugging at it and you will get there. Blogging is not an overnight success type of side hustle. Yeah, a few people occasionally get lucky like that, but most of the people who are successful got there by sticking with it and putting in hard work even though there weren’t a lot of initial rewards.Good luck to you as well!

    • Thanks Nikki! I strive to be as open as possible with these growth strategy posts. It doesn’t help anyone if I’m not!

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