Blog Growth Strategies – Our Thirteenth Month Blogging

For the first 50 months as an online publication, Partners in Fire published monthly updates tracking growth strategies. As we shifted away from a personal blog, we decided to keep these articles for posterity and to assist others in their online journeys. 

Here’s Partners in Fire’s 13th-month update, edited for grammar, clarity, and to provide additional insight with the benefit of hindsight. 

Thirteenth Month Update

Welcome to our thirteenth-month update! Now that we’ve surpassed the one-year mark, we feel like a legitimate, established blog. I think that shows in how well we did for the month without having the time to do a lot of marketing. 

Let’s see how we did!


I am amazed that I stuck to a consistent blogging schedule this month. We had a lot going on in our personal lives, including a big move, starting a new job, and the holiday season. But even with all that craziness, I published a post every Thursday and Sunday. 

I consider that a huge win!

We did fail at recording and posting new episodes of “My Boyfriend Sucks With Money,” though. We accidentally packed our microphone up in the moving pod, so we won’t be able to record a new episode until we buy and get settled into the new house. 

Partners in Fire no longer hosts the podcast “My Boyfriend Sucks With Money.” We do intend to start another podcast someday. 


Astonishingly, we grew our readership this month compared to last. With 805 total users, our thirteenth month was one of our best yet!

The month we got featured on Rock Star Finance is still number one; it’s hard to top that traffic. But we will get there organically someday soon!

This is a valuable lesson: It took Partners in Fire over a year to organically reach 1000 monthly users. Growing a blog is a challenging feat. 

thirteenth month


Traffic Drivers

Direct Hits

Direct hits were still our number-one source of traffic this month. We had 315 users via direct hits this month. Most of these come from our email subscribers, who are super 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!

The direct hits did not solely come from the email list. We didn’t understand how Google recorded traffic at the time, so we made an untrue assumption. Those direct hits could be referrals, bots, or other traffic that Google couldn’t identify. 

Building a healthy email list is much harder than these updates make it appear. 

Social Media

I did a lot better on social media this month than I did last month, but I’m still not where I’d like to be. We had 236 users on social media this month, which was a pretty good improvement. Still, with everything going on in my life, I haven’t had the time to be as active as I’d like to be. 

My social media game will improve once we get settled. I hope that will be within three months.

We never really improved on social media. Growing on social media takes a lot of time and effort, and we don’t dedicate resources to it. You must post fresh content numerous times daily; if you don’t, the algorithms will demote your content.

The best advice for those who want to excel at social media is to pick a platform and stick to it. Don’t spread yourself too thin trying to grow every platform at the same time unless social media is your full-time job. 


I rocked it on Twitter this month. I had 82 users from Twitter this period, almost double the traffic from last month. The feature in the Money Mix’s daily round-up helped because I wasn’t as active this month as in previous months.

 A lot of my Twitter friends also have been sharing my posts, and that helps a lot. Thanks, Twitter friends! I apologize for not reciprocating as much this month.

Twitter (now X) was a great place to build a blogging community. However, it’s much harder to grow and engage with the platform in 2024 than it was in the past. 


I did slightly better on Pinterest this month over last month. I have yet to break 100 users from the platform, and that’s with using Tailwind to pin to group boards, pining to tribes, and sharing other people’s content. 

I’m working really hard on creating nice images for the platform with calls to action; it’s just not something that I’ve been able to crack yet. If someone wants to do me a huge favor and check out my main Pinterest board to tell me what I’m doing wrong, I’d be eternally grateful!

Four years later, we receive about 200 users per month from Pinterest. The platform has changed on numerous occasions over the years. We didn’t pin any fresh content for many years and only returned to it in late 2023. Though we haven’t seen great success, many website owners get most of their traffic from Pinterest. 


Although I didn’t post exciting things on my Facebook page like I would have liked to, I still got a pretty decent turnout from Facebook this month. Just under 70 users visited us from Facebook, a slight but relevant increase over the last month. A slow and steady increase is an increase, right?

We currently use Revive Old Posts to publish content on Facebook and don’t do anything else to grow our reach on the platform. We receive about 40 users per month. 


I failed at Instagram yet again this month. It’s been so hard to find the time to take and edit pictures for the platform that it fell by the wayside. I don’t want to be spammy and just post blog header photos, so I haven’t tried getting users from this platform. I still got six users from it without putting in any effort, so that’s a huge win, right?

We no longer focus on Instagram and receive little traffic from the platform. 

Organic search

Organic search was our third biggest traffic driver this month, but it increased by 15 users over the previous month. I tried writing a post specifically related to the major search terms that people have been using to find my site (barista fire), and that helped improve my traffic from organic searches. I’m also still improving my DA through link-building and posting engaging content.

After six years, Google has become the number one driver of traffic. However, it’s unstable due to the constant algorithm updates. We saw slow but steady growth before March’s Helpful Content Update, which decreased our organic reach by nearly 20%. 

It’s vital to have more than one source of traffic. 

Referral Traffic

We had 55 users coming from referral traffic this month, which is fairly in line with what we saw last month. However, the referral sources look pretty spammy, so I’m guessing most of these users were bots. I did get featured on an awesome year-end roundup by Smile & Conquer, so some of those users came from that. Many Thanks!

Smile & Conquer is no longer an active website. Many blogs appear and disappear over the years. 


I’m really proud of the content I posted this month (but I always am). Why put out content that you aren’t proud of? We posted some awesome content about Barista Fire and Geoarbitrage that I think is extremely relevant to the concept of financial independence. 

We also posted about the Best Cash Back Apps and Using Acorns for Investing, which I think are super helpful topics for our readers. Moving forward, we will continue to write awesome, engaging, and helpful content.

We were proud of the content at the time, but looking back, we can see the massive flaws. Most of these early articles have been updated numerous times, so they are far better now than they were when we first published them. We removed the articles that weren’t helpful. 


This month, I dabbled more in monetization, publishing an excellent little gift guide for the holiday season. And, I did get some sales from Amazon this month! That’s a step in the right direction. I’m also working on other monetization avenues, so hopefully, I’ll have more information for you in my next update!

The gift guide has also undergone numerous updates, and we added a wide range of other gift guides. However, we don’t see much income from any of the gift guides. 

What’s Next?

We are going to stick with our goal of getting over 1000 users; we were super close this month! My other big goal is monetization. As I’ve been regularly saying, we have found some new affiliate partners that we will be working with shortly, so we hope to be able to report success with those.

At this point, our biggest monetization priorities are affiliate marketing and increasing our readership to gain access to better ad networks. Maybe someday we will venture into sponsored posts, but at this point, that isn’t our focus.  

What are your thoughts? What else can we do to improve our readership? I’d love to hear your ideas!

Partners in Fire never monetized heavily with affiliates. We never felt comfortable pushing products we didn’t use or believe in, and thus, we were extremely limited in affiliate opportunities. The majority of our income comes via display ads. 

6 thoughts on “Blog Growth Strategies – Our Thirteenth Month Blogging”

  1. Nice work! Growing a blog takes a lot of patience and dedication, but you are on the right track!

    I’m only a few months in, but looking back it’s awesome to see growth.

    Looking forward to watching you grow the blog in 2019 😎

    • Thank you Todd! It is awesome to see growth…and there are even positives to be found in the slow months. I’m loving this blogging thing. Looking forward to watching you grow as well!

    • So important! I feel like I’ve “arrived” even though I still don’t have loads of traffic. I’m sure that will come with a little more time and effort though.

  2. Good on you for passing the year mark. I know I’ve started a few blogs over the years that haven’t reached the year mark, so well done. Current blog is nearly a year thought!

    • Thank you! That one year mark is tough to get to, but I feel so legitimate as a blogger now. Guess it’s a pride thing haha. Keep it up, you will get there!

Comments are closed.