Blog Growth Strategies – Twentieth Month Blogging

Partners in Fire kept an online record of their growth strategies for the first 50 months as a publisher. We decided to keep these old articles to help others begin their website journeys. 

Here is the 20th-month update, edited for grammar, clarity, and to add additional context with the benefit of hindsight. 

Twentieth Month Blogging

Welcome to our twentieth-month update! Unfortunately, we experienced a bit of stagnation this month. We didn’t hit that coveted 2000 users mark and instead backslid a tiny bit. 

We had about 1800 users during our twentieth month, which is a slight decrease from last month. Read on to find out what went wrong during that period and how we can improve in the future!


As I said above, we had a slight decrease in readership this month. Our averages were similar (between fifty and sixty users per day), but we had fewer peaks and a few more days with less than 50 users. 

A few of those days can probably be explained by the long Fourth of July Holiday (half of our below-50 days were during that time!), but not all of them.

People are less likely to read blogs on holidays and lovely spring/summer days. 

"twentieth month blogging"
At least we were consistent!

Traffic Drivers

Social Media

Social Media continues to be the top traffic driver for Partners in Fire. Pinterest reigns supreme yet again, but Twitter and Facebook still bring in consistent traffic. 

In total, we had 975 visitors from social media this month, which was a little less than last month.


Pinterest continues to be our top social network, and it was the only network that saw an increase in traffic. Over 750 users found us on Pinterest this period, almost 100 more than last month.

Although the two older pins (“Adult Conversations” and “Twitch Affiliates”) still drove the most traffic, two of my newer pins (“You Are Not Your Job” and “How to Not Get Taken Advantage Of”) are close behind. 

I hope creating more pins that resonate with people will ensure that my reach on Pinterest continues to grow.

Despite the increase, I haven’t yet achieved my goal of 1000 users per month. However, the pins I designed with Canva and Design Wizard are getting better and better, so hopefully, I will get there before the year ends!

We no longer use Design Wizard but still use Canva regularly. 


The second most significant driver of traffic from social media this month was Twitter. Partners in Fire had 161 users coming from Twitter this month, which is a slight decrease from last month.  Most of these users came in the last week or so when I started re-posting links to older blog posts. 

I don’t know why I struggled with doing that before. I have tons of new followers who probably haven’t seen them, and the lifespan of a tweet is so short that lots of my older followers may not have seen them either. 

It never hurts to put a fresh spin on old content on Twitter (unless you are spamming – don’t do that!).

We currently use the Revive Old Posts plugin to share old content on X (Twitter) rather than posting on our own. However, with all the algorithm changes on the platform, it doesn’t drive much traffic. We’re not very active on the platform anymore. 


Facebook was the third most significant social media traffic driver, but it’s nothing to be proud of. Only 61 came from Facebook this month, a massive decrease from last month. 

I expected the decrease. I knew most of my “in real life” family and friends were only reading to learn about the breakup drama. If I could only get them interested in the finance and lifestyle side of things, Facebook would be a fantastic traffic source! Alas, they are not. 

I haven’t focused much on my Facebook page either. Unfortunately, I have not cracked the code for getting page likes (outside of paid ads, which I won’t do) or driving traffic from my page to my blog. I have tried mixing the content with memes, photos, other articles, etc., but I haven’t seen enough engagement to stick with any of those things. 

Maybe I’ll brainstorm a better strategy and try again.

We never cracked the Facebook code. The algorithms constantly change, and currently, the main focus is keeping folks on Facebook, so content with links gets devalued. However, we use Revive Old Posts to share here as well and get about 50 users a month from the platform. 

Direct Hits

We had 419 users come to our website via direct hit during our twentieth month, a slight increase from last month. Most of the increase was likely due to the feature on Tread Lightly, Retire Early’s Women in Finance Weekly Roundup, with my post on How to Not Get Taken Advantage of as a Female Breadwinner

Sometimes, links from other sites are recorded as direct hits, and I’m still unsure how to differentiate between the two types of referrals.

The rest of the direct hits came from my awesome subscribers (and we got a few new ones this month, too, thanks guys!)

I do appreciate all the support from every single one of our subscribers. You guys are fantastic!

Organic Search

Organic search was our lowest traffic driver this period, and it continues to trend downwards. We only had 355 users from organic search this month, a considerable decrease from last month. 

Why are our organic search numbers continuing to decrease?

I don’t know. 

I expected the decrease during the first week—the Fourth of July fell on a Thursday, resulting in a long weekend. I doubt many people were searching the web during that awesome four-day holiday!

But I also expected the organic search to return after that, and sadly, it did not. I’ve been continuing to update and optimize old blog posts for SEO, but apparently, that isn’t working out too well. I will continue to work on it, and eventually, I will crack the code!   

At this time, we still knew nothing about SEO. We weren’t conducting keyword research or building links, and we had no idea how SEO worked (at this time, it constantly changed). 

We didn’t even realize that Google constantly updates its algorithm, changing the rankings. 

Our SEO traffic may have declined due to a Google update, seasonality, or because another website wrote better articles on the topic. 

Although we eventually learned proper SEO, it was almost too late. Artificial Intelligence hit the scene, pushing our content even further down in the SERPS. It’s a constant game of cat and mouse. 


We published some amazing content in this period, which fell into two main themes: our plan to pursue our passion fire by living the RV life and societal problems.

My posts on living the RV life are essential because I have a two-year plan to opt out and do just that. I also want to show anyone else interested in living the RV life the planning that goes into it. 

I’ll be posting regular updates on our goals and progress, but I’ll also be posting heavily about it on Instagram— -so follow me there if you don’t already to see how I’m doing!

Our RV life plans fell through. We realized we couldn’t successfully do it with our current lifestyle and decided to wait. The articles about our RV life plan became stale, so we removed them. 

My other posts for the month were a bit heavy and dealt with big-picture societal problems. I wrote about not being taken advantage of as a female breadwinner, gender and money, stagnant wages, and America’s Work Culture.

I’ve discussed the reasoning behind writing semi-political blog pieces before. I must use my platform to discuss these issues and hopefully affect societal changes. 

But it’s also important to note that all of the topics I discuss are intimately related to finance and the journey to financial independence. My goal is to motivate everyone to seek out their version of financial independence. To do that, I need to acknowledge the societal issues that prevent a large portion of society from doing so.

We removed some of the heavy pieces about societal issues—not because they weren’t important, but because they weren’t well written. It is vital to discuss the big-picture issues that prevent people from living the lives they want, but we didn’t do it the right way. Our articles lacked data and detail and didn’t add to the conversation. 


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 joined a few new affiliate programs in July, all related to RVs in some way. These will be important as I continue to learn what life on the road will be like and write about my transition to full-time RV life.

I’m still with my other affiliates—Amazon, Bluehost, and others—but I haven’t had much success with them yet. I still believe that if I increase my readership, the money will follow.

We stopped promoting most of those affiliate programs. In those early days, I signed up for any affiliate program I could, even if I only had one or two relevant articles. The articles didn’t get many pageviews, so I didn’t make any money on the affiliates. 

Since then, I’ve been more particular about the affiliates I promote. I still don’t earn a lot via affiliate marketing, but I feel better about the products I offer. 

Even five years later, we still make little money from our website. The majority of it comes from display ads. 

What’s Next?

We still have room to grow, and we will get there. Unfortunately, I didn’t achieve either of my blog goals during my twentieth month. 

Those were to get over 2000 users per month and more than 20 users per day via organic search. Clearly, I’ve been failing at both of those, but hopefully, my 21st month will be better (hint—it’s not starting out that way!). That’s okay, though—I still have most of the month to improve!

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. 

5 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – Twentieth Month Blogging”

  1. Cheers for sticking with it. I recently got back into blogging and think I’ve found a setup I like. Still working on the traffic (only a couple a day) but your tips are great and I really appreciate it. Your traffic will continue to grow.

    Is there any reason the main page recent posts is only from March? I have to go to Blog for the newer posts (this is on mobile FYI)

    • Thank you! And, thank you for alerting me to a plug in problem! I didn’t realize because I was always logged in when I went to the blog – but it should be fixed now!

  2. Hello Melanie,

    This was an awesome write-up! Have you tried HARO to get media mentions? I have had a lot of success with that lately. In addition, sometimes personal finance writers will request quotes from bloggers in the FinCon Facebook group, and I’ll send them something.

    The backlinks you receive help you grow your domain authority and sometimes you’ll get some decent referral traffic. For example, today I got some referral traffic from from contributing to an article on Go Banking Rates.

    Another traffic source you may want to try is Reddit. I’ve gotten about 700 pageviews from their this month.


    • Thanks for all of the tips! I’ve never even heard of HARO, I’ll look into that. I haven’t really searched much for places to add links, outside of guest posting, but that’s something I’ll have to look into. Where do you post on Reddit? I always feel weird about self promoting on Reddit.

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