Blog Growth Strategies – Sixteenth Month Update

Partners in Fire published growth and strategy updates for the first 50 months as an active website. We kept these articles on the site to help others with their blogging journeys. 

Here’s our 16th-month update, edited for grammar, clarity, and to add additional insight from a fresh perspective. 

Blog Growth Strategies – Sixteenth Month Update

Welcome to our sixteenth-month update!

Partners in Fire welcomed over 1000 users for the third month in a row, but this month is special because we achieved it without any prominent features or viral pins. 

As a side note, we recorded our stats differently this month.  We looked at the month in full rather than going from the 27th to the 27th. As February only has 28 days, it was the perfect time to transition. 

Our sixteenth-month report is for the entire month of March 2019. 


The posting schedule morphed from a hope to a habit. Previously, keeping up was a struggle, but now that I’m in the swing of things, it’s easier than ever. 

We posted a new article every Thursday and Sunday in March and also recorded weekly episodes of the podcast “My Boyfriend Sucks with Money.” It was a lot of work, but I’m thrilled with the consistency. 


Partners in Fire’s readership is consistently growing. We saw over 1000 users for the third month in a row. 

Although we had fewer users than in the last few months, we did not have viral pins or huge features. 

We are seeing consistent daily traffic, which is a huge win. We averaged 35-45 users per day and only had four days with less than 30 users. But to be fair, two days were due to Google losing our tracking code after our redesign (more on that below!). 

I’m sure that we had more users during those two days that weren’t recorded. This month, we had only 11 days with less than 40 users. That means we had over 40 users for over half of the month, a spectacular feat!

"sixteenth month update"
Check out this consistent traffic!

Traffic Drivers

Social Media

Social Media was the top traffic driver for Partners in Fire during this period. Pinterest was the clear winner yet again, but Twitter and Facebook are still bringing in consistent traffic.

In total, we had 652 visitors from social media this month.


Pinterest continues its reign as the number one social media network for traffic, and this was without any viral pins! Fresh pins on what to do when you have nothing, and my no-spend February performed very well during this period. Other top-performing pins include Adult Conversations and How to Become a Twitch Affiliate. 

One of the great things about Pinterest is that good pins can last a very long time and consistently drive traffic to your site. Two of the pins are a few months old, and they’re still driving consistent traffic. 

My top-performing pin was created in 2021. Three years later, it still drives nearly 300 monthly users to my site. 

Overall, 480 users came to the site from Pinterest. That’s almost half of my blog traffic and 200 more than last month. 


Twitter was my second most significant source of social media traffic this month. The article “What To Do When You Have Nothing” resonated with many people and was shared quite a bit on the platform.

This shows how important it is to write and share content with an empowering or hopeful message. I could write solely about “traditional” finance topics such as returns, portfolios, mortgages, and investment vehicles, but let’s face it, that stuff is dry and overdone. I get that it’s essential, but most people want a more human element—they want to read articles that they can relate to. 

Another reason I got so many more users from Twitter is that I tried really hard to share an old post every day. Those didn’t get tons of interaction, but it’s nice to get your old stuff circulating again.

I used to feel weird about reposting the same article, but then I realized that the lifespan of a tweet is so short that it doesn’t matter. You probably have many new followers who didn’t see it the first time (or the first few times!), so you can’t hold out on them! I think that helped drive my traffic. 

We now use Revive Old Posts to reshare old content to social media, a plug-in that automatically does this work for you. Social media sites constantly change API rules; they may or may not allow these automatic posts. 


Facebook traffic during my sixteenth month of blogging was lower than in the previous few months. We had 56 users from Facebook this month compared to 76 last month. I find this strange because I achieved my goal of getting 200 likes (we got nearly 20 new likes this month!), but that didn’t translate into more page views.

I’m still trying to post engaging content, but maybe my definition of engaging differs from others because I’m not getting consistent likes or shares.

 Now that I’ve reached that 200 likes threshold, I will start experimenting with the content I post on Facebook to see what people like and share the most. Hopefully, I’ll have a better idea of how to parlay Facebook likes into blog traffic soon! 

We never invested time or effort into Facebook and received little traffic from the platform. 


I got a big fat 0 users from Instagram this period. I wonder if I’m getting a few clicks from Linktree, but is it being recorded as something else? I’m unsure because I grew my Instagram following by about 100 this month (up to 1640!). Instagram has never been a top traffic source, but I’ve had at least one or two per month consistently until this month.

But I’m not growing my Instagram to drive blog traffic (Clearly, since I’ve never gotten a lot of traffic from it). I’m trying to grow my Instagram because I hope to turn this blog (and everything that goes with it) into a money-making venture. 

If you have the followership, Instagram is an excellent platform for making money via sponsored posts. I would love to grow my Instagram to the point where companies I value would be willing to partner with me to share their brand. I also want to get to 10K to add links to my story; I’ll get there someday!

We never grew our Instagram following. Our engagement and following decreased as the platform started promoting video over photos. We didn’t put in any effort to change with the platform.


I actually had seven users from other social media sites visiting my blog this week. We had three from Blogger, one from WordPress, and three from Reddit. 

Now, I love Reddit for personal browsing, but I’ve never actually posted my blog to it (that I can remember), so I’m kind of curious as to what subreddit the traffic came from! Unfortunately, I don’t know how to find that out.

Organic Search

Organic search was our second biggest driver of traffic during our sixteenth month. We had 312 users visit our website through organic search, consistent with last month. One of my main blog goals for the remainder of the year is to up my SEO game and increase the number of users that find us through organic search.  I want to put my traffic eggs in multiple baskets.

Unfortunately, I don’t have any real plan or idea of how to do that. I think I will start with writing more cornerstone content on the items that people are already finding us for (I have a whole lot to say about Coast Fire and Barista Fire!), and I will try to do more guest posting to get high-quality backlinks. 

Content and links are the keys to SEO, right? I guess I will find out!

Maybe content and links were keys to SEO four years ago, but with the recent changes in Google’s algorithm and business practices, it’s anyone’s guess. We won’t pretend to know how to improve our SEO in a post-HCU world, but we will continue trying things to see what works. 

Direct Hits

During our sixteenth month, 273 users visited our website via a direct hit. I still think some of these were, in fact, referrals, and I don’t quite understand why traffic from some sites is considered direct while traffic from others is considered referral traffic.

Some of the direct hits are also due to our awesome subscribers, who get new Partners in Fire posts directly in their inboxes! If you aren’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Sign up today!

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Referral Traffic

We only had 13 users referred from other sites during this period, but most were legitimate! Thank you, Camp Fire Finance, for featuring us, and thank you, Tread Lightly Retire Early, for referencing us in your post! 

These links were pleasant surprises!

Camp Fire Finance morphed into Aha Finance, but the site hasn’t been updated in over a year. 


I love the content I published this month (and I hope you did, too!). My favorite was What To Do When You Have Nothing, which helps guide people through the most challenging times with a positive spin. 

My goal is to publish a diverse mix of content every month, and this month, I delivered with articles about travel, The American Dream, overspending, and Print-on-Demand.

Every reader may not like every article I publish, but I hope that at least one article per month will speak to every reader. I think mixing it up and writing about various topics each month will help me achieve that.

Partners in Fire diversified even more over the years. We branched out into wellness, gaming, happiness, and general lifestyle topics, which kept the site more engaging. Many SEO gurus scoffed at the idea, claiming that “niching down” was crucial to growing a site, but we believe the change helped us grow and protected us from the worst parts of Google’s algorithm change. 


I’m still working on monetizing the blog, but I’m still failing at it. But I did something a bit crazy this month that will help.

Partners in Fire got a complete redesign. I changed the theme, background, and photos, and I even changed to a dynamic home page. I also added a legal page for disclaimers and privacy and a “Partner with Us” page. 

The redesign made us look more professional, like a legitimate publisher rather than a personal blog. 

I also created my media kit and signed up for many websites that offer to connect blogs with brands, including Tapfluence, Webfluential, and Blog Meets Brand. I haven’t had any viable connections with these websites yet, but I thought it would be an excellent place to start.

We never used the websites to connect blogs with brands. Most were link-building schemes in disguise, which is against Google’s terms of service. 

I also made a whopping sixty-eight cents on Amazon this month, four times what I made last month!

What’s Next?

We achieved our goal of getting over 1000 page views for three months in a row! Our next big goal is to get to 2000 monthly users and over 20 users a day via organic search.

I think that’s doable with the SEO strategy I outlined above. 

Although we didn’t know it at the time, our “SEO strategy” involved creating content clusters and link-building. However, we didn’t implement any of it correctly, and it still took us many years to see any growth in organic traffic. Unfortunately, a lot of that growth was wiped out with Google’s “Helpful” Content Update, so we need to regroup and reassess. 

We’ve come a long way since our first update over a year ago, and I know we still have a long way to go. But there’s no way to go but up!

5 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – Sixteenth Month Update”

  1. As an aspiring blogger, I’m trying to take in all the information I can to have a successful launch. Love reading other blogger’s wins and missed. Thanks for sharing and good luck in the next phase of your blog

    • Thanks! I’ve been doing this from the start, so everyone can clearly see what it takes to grow a blog from the first month. I’m glad you find it helpful!

  2. Very interesting to see the amount of visitors and especially where they come from. Seems like Twitter and Pinterest are worth focusing on (I only use these two currently for marketing my posts). Do you ever post anything on LinkedIn as well? Thanks for sharing!

    • Pinterest is the best! It takes awhile to get going, but once you get the hang of it you can get tons of traffic from it. Using Tailwind to schedule pins also helps a lot, if you use my code from the post you can get a free month if you aren’t already using it!

  3. Hey, your website still shows not secure.

    I think that needs some work.

    I have 501 users and 1009 page views in 10 days of my blog launch.

    Is it normal in first month?

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