Blog Growth Strategies – Our Fourteenth Month Blogging

Partners in Fire published monthly updates tracking growth and discussing strategies for the first fifty months as an online publisher. We kept these old updates to help others on their website growth journeys. 

Here’s our fourteenth month updated, edited for grammar, clarity, and to provide additional context from the benefit of hindsight. 

Fourteenth Month Update

Welcome to our fourteenth-month update! This was a crazy month for us! We moved, rented a room for a while, bought a house, and moved again.

With all that going on in our personal lives, let’s see how blog life treated us during our fourteenth month!

Even over a year in, we were still too personal. It’s challenging to balance sharing personal tidbits for authenticity versus oversharing. We were oversharers. 

However, there are some benefits to showing the real person behind the website. The challenges indicate that the website was and still is a one-woman show and highlight that the content was human rather than AI-written, which, in the future, maybe crucial. 


I was close to sticking to my posting schedule this month—I only missed one day. With everything that’s been going on, I think that’s pretty impressive. The only day I didn’t post was the day we closed on the house. 

We’ve still been failing at recording “My boyfriend sucks with money.”  We haven’t done a thing with that.  But we will be getting our stuff next week and will start recording again as soon as we get unpacked!

In year two, we did much better about sticking to a consistent posting schedule. Posting consistently is good for the audience and the website owner. It forces you to write consistently, and the more content on your site, the better it looks. 


Our readership exploded this month, with over three thousand visitors!

This is our best month ever – let’s see how we did it.

Fourteenth month blogging stats
stats from our fourteenth month

Traffic Drivers

Social Media

Social Media was the top driver of traffic during this period. Pinterest was the clear winner, but Twitter and Facebook brought more traffic this month than last. 

In total, we had 2810 visitors from social media this month.


Pinterest drove massive traffic during this period. We had a viral pin, sending over 1500 users to our website. 

Many people on Pinterest wanted to know about our No Spend Year. I created three pins for the article; one went viral, while the other two each received over 100 clicks. Most of our traffic this month came from these pins. 

Now, if only I could recreate that kind of success regularly…I’ll try to figure that puzzle out!

I never figured out the secret to Pinterest success. Some bloggers get over 30K users per month from the platform, but we haven’t seen that much success other than a few viral pins. 


We had one of our best months on Twitter, with 93 users finding us on the platform.

Twitter is the social media account that I’ve been focusing on the most, and it shows. I’ve been trying to share my friend’s posts, engage with others, and help those just starting out get a bit of a boost.

 My efforts on Twitter have been successful, and it shows in my growth in users. The moral of this story is that if you want Twitter to work for you, be generous on Twitter. Help others and be a good Twitizen. What goes around comes around.

The only thing you can count on in blogging is that things will change. Twitter used to be a favored social media platform, but it’s changed so much in recent years that it’s nearly impossible to grow a following or get traffic unless you pay for the blue check mark. 

It’s never wise to put all your eggs into one basket. 


I tried to post more engaging content on my Facebook page this month than in previous months. I got two more likes, so that strategy helped a bit. We got 76 users from Facebook this month, an increase of 7. It’s not much, but an increase is an increase, right? I will try to continue with that strategy for my 15th month.

I also participated in Facebook blogger groups to get my content to new audiences. These groups have daily share threads for various social media channels. When you add your content, you agree to share other people’s content on your channels. 

I don’t participate in these groups regularly because I don’t always have the time to reciprocate. 

We haven’t participated in those groups in years and haven’t focused much on Facebook in general. 


I’m still struggling with Instagram. I did a bit better with posting pictures this month, but I still only got five users from the platform. My main goal is to get 10K followers to add links to my story – but it’s so hard to get followers on Instagram! I’ve been stuck at 1450 for the longest time and struggled to see growth.

 I also don’t post as often as I should and don’t comment much on other people’s content. I might see more growth if I engaged more with others, but I struggle with engagement on Instagram. How often can you comment “beautiful scenery” or “nice shot” on pictures? I feel like there isn’t much to say on the platform. I know it’s weird, but I feel much more comfortable engaging with people on Twitter.

We never reached 10,000 on Instagram. We stopped putting effort into the platform. 

In the early days, we spread our efforts far too thin. We tried to be active on all the social media platforms but didn’t do well on any of them. If we had to start again, we’d claim all our profiles and seed them with content, then focus our energy on building one at a time. 

Direct Hits

Direct hits were our second largest source of traffic this month, with 274 users. Most of these are coming from our email subscribers, who are awesome and visit whenever we post. 

We love you, subscribers!! 

And if you aren’t yet subscribed, just fill in your info to get updates directly to your inbox!

As we said in previous months, the direct hits probably weren’t all from our email list. We don’t know where this traffic came from. 

Organic Search

Organic search was our third biggest driver of traffic. A little over 200 users visited our website through organic search. The traffic was on par with last month. 

 I used the Alexa keyword tool to determine what people are searching for when they come to our website, and it’s definitely the stuff we write about! The number one search term directing people to Partners in Fire is “barista fire,” which is pretty cool, especially since I wrote an article on it. People also find our site after searching for “regal assets affiliate” and “coast fire.” I’m glad that people are finding us after searching for related topics. 

I also used an online tool to check my domain authority, and we are up to 25! We were at 20 just a few months ago, so I’m proud that I’ve finally been able to improve on that. Perseverance for the win!

The Alexa keyword tool and DA checker we used then no longer exist. We use MOZ now. We removed the post on regal assets as it didn’t fit our brand. 

After five more years, our DA is up to 67. We’re proud of our strong site reputation. 

This post had the term “14th-month blogging” far too many times. We removed it. First, it’s keyword stuffing; second, it’s keyword stuffing for a term with no search volume. Keyword stuffing isn’t good in the first place, but it’s particularly egregious when there’s no point. 

As beginners, we depended on keyword tools to tell us how often to insert a specific word or phrase into a post. We followed those rules, whether it made sense or not. 

If we had to go back, we’d purchase MOZ early in our journey and focus on building organic traffic. We didn’t take it seriously until nearly two years in. Organic search is our number one source of traffic despite the constant Google algorithm changes. If we’d focused on that from the beginning, we would be seeing a lot more traffic. 

Referral Traffic

We only had 33 users referred from other sites this period, but as a bonus, some of them were totally legit. We had some traffic from Camp Fire Finance and Fat Tailed and Happy this month, and I’m incredibly grateful to both of them for including us.

The Fat Tailed and Happy site is under maintenance and seems to exist no longer. Blogs come and go, meaning links and features will come and go. 


I’m proud of the content we released this month (but I always am; why put out content you aren’t proud of?). 

My favorite post was “How I made $16 in one year blogging”, which I thought was hysterical. It didn’t get as much traction as hoped, but I enjoyed writing it. 

My “No Spend Year” post was a huge hit, though I didn’t realize so many people would be curious about the idea.

The experience shows you don’t always know what will resonate with audiences. We thought the snarky blogging article would do well, but people flocked to the other article. You must do your best with every article you write because you never know which will go viral. 


Monetization still alludes me. I am a part of the Ultimate Bundles affiliate program, but I failed to sell any healthy-eating bundles (even though they are a great deal!). I think I’ll succeed more if I use my bundle throughout the year and show people its advantages. I will work on that this year, probably through my Instagram stories. It will be an excellent way for me to try to use Instagram as well!

My other affiliate program, Bluehost, hasn’t fared much better. I have gotten clicks, but nothing has translated into sales. I still believe in the program, and I think Bluehost is one of the best hosting platforms for bloggers just starting, so I will continue to offer links to their services in my blog posts about blogging.

My increase in page views this month did not lead to increased sales on Amazon. I am getting a few clicks every day, so that’s a step in the right direction, but I need to turn those clicks into sales, which hasn’t been happening yet.

The harshest truth in blogging is that you can’t make money via affiliate sales if nobody visits your site. Our top page this month had no affiliate offers, and we had very few visitors to pages with affiliate offers. 

It’s becoming increasingly difficult to rank content designed to drive affiliate sales. If you’re starting an affiliate blog to make money, you should find alternative traffic sources. 

We no longer use Bluehost. While we still believe it’s excellent for beginners who want to dip their toes in, there are far better hosting platforms for those who wish to take it seriously. 

What’s Next?

Now that we’ve achieved our goal of getting over 1000 users in a month, we will focus on maintaining that! We did go viral with that one pin on Pinterest, but after that fizzled out, our page views went back down to almost where they were before. If we get 1000 users for two or three months, we will know we’ve “arrived” as a blog.

We are going to continue to try to monetize the blog. I’ve been saying this every month since I started, but someday, it will work out (and I promise to share what worked with you when it does!). The next bundle that I want to support doesn’t come out for a few months, but in the meantime, I will continue working with Amazon and Bluehost.

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

We eventually got over 1000 users a month, and from there, we climbed to 10,000 and beyond. It takes time and effort and is often like a roller coaster. In some months, we saw nearly 100,000 users, while our traffic tanked back down to 20,000 in other months. 

Running a website isn’t for the faint of heart; it’s a passion project. If you love it, you will find success. 

2 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – Our Fourteenth Month Blogging”

Comments are closed.