Blog Growth Strategies – Our Fifteenth Month Blogging

Partners in Fire published monthly strategy updates for the first 50 months as an online publication. We decided to keep these posts for posterity and to help others on their website-building journey. 

Here is the 15th-month update, but we decided not to edit the paragraphs. Instead, we’re using the atrocious writing to showcase what not to do. 

Fifteenth Month Update

Welcome to our fifteenth-month update! This was our second spectacular month in a row; maybe we are finally getting the hang of this thing called blogging! 

Check out how we did. 


I did a great job of sticking to my posting schedule this month, even during a long weekend trip to Savannah! We even published a bonus post on Productivity and recorded a surprise episode of “My Boyfriend Sucks With Money.” 

That’s a lot of posting for one month!

This paragraph makes excessive use of exclamation points. A lot of our early writing did.


I’m incredibly happy with our readership stats for the month. Although we only had half the number of visitors this month as we did last month, we are seeing more consistent daily traffic, which I think is more important. 

We had over 1.7K users for the month and brought in between 30 and 50 users every day. We only had two days this period with less than 30 users, which I think is phenomenal. Some of our users came from a Rockstar Finance feature, but even without that we would have made our goal of over 1000 users, which is pretty awesome.

Adverbs aren’t your friend. We ended three sentences in the small section with “which I think…” or some variation. The sentences are too long, and the paragraphs abound with useless filler. 

In short, it’s bad. 

Here’s how we would rewrite it today:

Over 1.7K people visited Partners in Fire this month, and though it’s only half what we received last month, we’re thrilled by the daily consistency. 

Partners in Fire saw 30-50 users almost every day during this period. We had a surge of users from a Rockstar Finance feature, but we would still have achieved our 1000-user goal without it. 

The new language is still far from perfect, but it’s more compact and highlights crucial information without using unnecessary words. 

"fifteenth month"
Stats from our fifteenth month blogging

Traffic Drivers

Direct Hits

Direct hits were our largest source of traffic this month, with over 800 users. A big part of this was the Rockstar Finance feature, which brought us about 600 visitors. 

For some reason, those hits are recorded as direct rather than as referrals. The rest of our direct hits were from our awesome subscribers! If you haven’t subscribed to have Partners in Fire posts sent directly to your inbox, do it now!

The first sentence is passive voice and should be active. We also used a lot of unnecessary words like “a big part of this” and “for some reason.” Those phrases add nothing to the content. 

Social Media

Social Media was the second top driver of traffic to Partners in Fire during our fifteenth month of blogging.

This atrocious sentence highlights inappropriate and unnecessary keyword stuffing. It should read, “Social media was the second top traffic driver this period.”

Yet again, Pinterest was the clear winner, but Twitter and Facebook are still bringing in consistent traffic. In total, we had 548 visitors from social media this month.


Pinterest was the number one social media network for traffic during this period, sending nearly 400 users – and this was without any viral pins! I’m getting pretty consistent traffic from my pins on Saving Money, Making $16 in One Year Blogging, and How to Become a Twitch Affiliate.

Its fun to see pins that I made a few months ago still driving traffic. Overall, we had 396 users from Pinterest this month. 

“It’s fun to see…” is wordy and passive. Flip it around to “I love seeing pins made months ago drive consistent traffic.”


Facebook traffic during my fifteenth month of blogging was pretty consistent with the previous month. We had 75 users from Facebook this month compared to 76 last month. I’ve been continuing to post engaging content on the Facebook page, and I’m working hard to try to build my reach on the platform. I’ve been getting one or two new likes every week, so hopefully, I will be able to maintain that and get over 200 likes by the end of the year and continue to grow from there.

The paragraph is too long and filled with unnecessary words. We would split it into two paragraphs and delete all the filler.

Facebook traffic was on par with last month, with 75 users finding us via the platform, compared to 76 the month before. 

We’ve been posting engaging content on the Facebook page in an effort to expand our reach. We receive a handful of new page likes per month and are hoping to achieve our goal of 200 likes by the end of the year. 


My Twitter game wasn’t as strong this month as it was last month, but we still got 67 users to the site from that platform. It’s also my favorite place for engaging with other bloggers and seeing what’s happening in the personal finance community, and my favorite place to find content to read and share.

The last sentence in this paragraph is too wordy and hard to read. We’d shorten it and take out any filler words. “It’s my favorite place for engaging with other bloggers, keeping tabs on the personal finance community, and finding fresh new content to share.”


I’m still struggling with Instagram. I did a bit better with posting pictures this month, but I still only got nine users from the platform, which I guess is better than the one user from last month.  To get some Instagram help, I re-read the Debt to Riches guide to Instagram (an amazing post, by the way!) and decided to add link tree to my Instagram profile to help drive users to my latest blog posts. I had just been linking to my home page, but maybe this will help drive more targeted traffic.

Debt to Riches no longer exists. 

My goal is still to get to 10K followers so that I can add links to my story – but it’s so hard to get followers on Instagram! In the month since my last update, I’ve only increased my followership by 100, and it’s been tough! Every time I see a little growth, I lose a little. I guess that’s just the Instagram game.

This section is too whiney and self-centered. It doesn’t offer any actionable steps, only complaints about being unable to grow. Stating that we’re struggling to grow on the platform is fine, but we don’t need to state it four times without providing fresh information. 

Organic Search

Organic search was our third biggest driver of traffic for our fourteenth month. We had 325 users visit our website through organic search, which is almost 100 more than last month. This is the field that I’m most excited to see growth in – we had some days with over 20 visitors heading to our site via organic search!

According to Alexa, people are still coming to our site by searching for “barista fire,” “Coast Fire,” and “regal assets.” My domain authority also increased from 25 to 27 over the course of the month, so Google is starting to regard Partners in Fire as more of an authority! That just goes to show how important longevity is to blogging. So, if you’re new to blogging, keep it up! Organic growth will come eventually.

We used the term “fourteenth month” when this was actually our 15th month update. There was no reason to use it, but if we were going to use it, we needed to get the month right. 

A sentence shouldn’t start with “This is a field that…” as those five words offer nothing to the reader; they’re just filler. We should have started it with “I’m thrilled to see…” or something else that jumps right into the action. 

Referral Traffic

Our final traffic driver was referral traffic. We only had 56 users referred from other sites this period, most of which seemed pretty scammy. I don’t understand why a random scam site would want to link to my blog, but I also don’t know how to prevent it. Some were e-mail referrals though, which tells me that people are sharing our posts with their friends via email. That’s pretty cool!

Though this section isn’t as bad as the others, there are still a lot of filler phrases. 


I published a pretty interesting mix of content this month. I discussed Universal Basic Income, The Ultimate Productivity Bundle, How to Deal with Stress, and gave a recap of my No-Spend January. My favorite post of this month was “What Should Grown-Ups Spend their Money on”, because I wrote it for my boyfriend’s daughter, who I’m trying to get interested in finance. The post that I published this month that garnered the most attention was “10 Money Saving Tips”. Apparently, lots of people are interested in how they can save money! Who would’ve thought!

The post that garnered the most views overall was the one that was featured on Rockstar Finance – my No Spend Year Challenge. This was the pin that went viral last month as well, I’m still shocked at how well received that post was.

There’s a lot wrong with this section. The first paragraph is too long and should be split into two. We used far too many filler words, offered too much personal detail, and tried too hard to be funny. 

Here’s how we’d rewrite it today:

We published an eclectic mix of content appealing to a wide range of users. We discussed Universal Basic Income, reviewed the Ultimate Productivity Bundle, offered tips on managing stress, and recapped our no-spend January. 

In addition, we wrote a unique piece analyzing people’s spending habits and a listicle offering realistic ways to save money. 

A post from last month received the most views this month, as it was featured on Rockstar Finance, and we still got a few sprinkles of traffic from the viral pins. 


I’m still working on monetizing the blog and I’m still failing at it. But I’m having fun trying! 

I’m still very involved in the Ultimate Bundles Program, but I have yet to make a sale there. I’m also still affiliated with Bluehost, as I feel that they are one of the best hosting sites for new bloggers, but I haven’t had any sales with them either.

I am a member of Flex-Offers and Share-A-Sale, but most of the programs that they offer don’t fit in with the website or are programs that I don’t really believe in. I’m not going to promote products that I don’t believe in or that I don’t feel will offer value to my readers.

I did make sixteen cents on Amazonthis month, though, so that’s a huge win!

Condense words whenever possible. “Most of the programs that they offer” should transform into “most of their programs.” “I did make” should be “I made.”

Many bloggers obsess about word count because someone along the line said posts have to be a certain length to appease search engines. Don’t add filler words for the sake of word count. Consider user experience first and make it easy to read. 

What’s Next?

We achieved our goal of getting over 1000 page views for two months in a row! The next goal is to make it three! Then we will work on getting 2000, 5000, and even 10000! That sounds so far away, but I don’t think it’s insurmountable. I’m confident that we can get there by the end of the year!

What are your thoughts on our fifteenth month blogging? How do you think we did? Give us some ideas for increasing our readership for month fifteen and beyond!

We used a lot of filler in our first few years because we didn’t have good content. We thought we did, but looking back, we realize there’s not a lot of substance to these growth strategy posts. 

If we could go back, we’d track the actionable steps, like the number of social media posts, how we marketed content, how we decided what to write about, and other details that would actually help people rather than post about results.