Twenty First Month Update
I like to call my twenty first month of blogging the epic failure month of blogging. It was horrendous! Our readership dropped drastically this month! We have been backsliding a tiny bit each month for the past three months, but this month was more of an avalanche than a backslide. We are keeping on keeping on though, and looking for ways to prevent similar slides in the future.
As I said above, we had a huge decrease in readership during our twenty first month. Not only did our daily averages decline, but our peaks were smaller every step of the way. Whereas last month we only had a few days with less than fifty users, this month we only achieved that benchmark a third of the time!
We also had way too many days with less than thirty users. We rarely had a day with under thirty users in the past few months combined, but this month brought a handful of days with user counts in the twenties. Overall, we had an average of about 45 users per day this month.
Although Social Media continues to be our top driver of traffic, it’s also the area where we saw the largest decrease. We only had 638 total users from social media this month – that’s less than what we had from Pinterest alone last month! It’s also over 300 less than last month. Obviously, we failed at social media during our twenty first month blogging.
Pinterest continues to be our top social network, but it’s the network that saw the largest drop off. We only had 528 users from Pinterest this month, two hundred less than last month! That’s a huge decrease, and it actually accounts for the majority of our loss in users.
My goal for this month was to get over 1000 users from the platform, and clearly that didn’t work. The weird thing is that according to Pinterest analytics, my audience and my engagement actually increased. Unfortunately, that led to a decrease in visitors to my website rather than an increase. People are loving the content I pin, just not the stuff that leads to Partners in Fire. I guess I can look at the fact that I’m building an audience on Pinterest as a small consolation prize.
The majority of users from Pinterest came from the two older pins that have historically done well –Adult Conversations and Becoming a Twitch Affiliate. None of my other pins performed in a way even worth mentioning this month. It was pretty sad.
I didn’t change my Pinterest strategy at all. I accepted invitations to a few new group boards, but did everything else just as I always have. My Pinterest engagement was a lot lower when I was a member of under-performing group boards, so maybe one of the new ones I joined is problematic. However, I don’t want to drop any boards until I do some thorough research into which, if any, are under-performing and causing Pinterest to think my account is unworthy of their algorithm. That’s a task for the next few months!
The second biggest driver of traffic from social media this month was Twitter. Partners in Fire had 80 users from Twitter this month, which is half as many as last month. My strategy of posting a link to an older post every day didn’t result in as many users from the platform as I had hoped. Although I didn’t remember to do it every day, I did do it at least two thirds of the time, and it doesn’t seem to have improved my traffic from the platform.
However, my traffic may have been much worse if I didn’t do that, so maybe it was my saving grace on the platform. Since Twitter doesn’t care as much about algorithms, it’s something that I will continue to do whenever I remember.
Facebook was my third biggest driver of traffic from social media during my twenty first month, and it was terrible. I only had 28 users reading my blog from Facebook this month, another huge decrease. However, I also didn’t try very hard on the platform. The only things I ever posted were my new blog posts, and I didn’t even share them to my personal page.
I also learned that with the algorithm, even people who like my page rarely see my posts to it. I know that my sister likes my page, but she told me that she thought I stopped blogging because she stopped seeing my posts on Facebook. Apparently, she only sees them when I share them on my personal Facebook page.
I’ve gotten disenfranchised with using Facebook for even my personal stuff in the past few months anyway. There algorithm change awhile back really destroyed any use I have for it. I only see the same posts from the same people over and over again, because someone new may have liked or commented (even if I didn’t engage). So that means I see posts from the people who have collected a ton of Facebook friends (because the more friends you have, the more engagement you tend to get) and share stupid crap (because memes and stupid stuff get the likes) rather than seeing stuff from people I’d actually be interested in.
Moving forward, I am going to try to remember to share my blog posts on my personal page. I’m obviously missing a small audience by not doing that, and some views is better than no views.
We had 338 users visiting the site via organic search this month, which is only a small decrease from last month. I didn’t update any old posts for SEO and I didn’t try that hard to write for SEO either. All in all, I’m definitely failing at the SEO game.
I also uninstalled Hummingbird, that plug in that was supposed to help me increase my site speed. It also helped break my theme, something that was only noticeable when logged out of wordpress (a big thanks to Eric at Tactical Financials for notifying me of the problem!). It may have slowed down my site speed, but at least the theme works!
I replaced Hummingbird with WP-Optimize for cleaning and caching, and I haven’t noticed any difference in my site speed (although I still wouldn’t call it good). As a bonus, my theme works the way it should! Hopefully these things will help my SEO (or at least won’t hurt it!).
My goal is still to increase the number of users I get each month via organic search, and I know that I need to keep updating old blog posts in order to do that. What I don’t know is why I’ve struggled so much with it. I need to figure out a way to motivate myself to do it during my free time.
Partners in Fire had 284 visitors via direct hit during out twenty first month, which is a pretty big decrease from last month. However, we did this without having any big features, it was all about the subscribers! So to me, that’s a pretty big win.
I do want to take this opportunity to give a big shout out to all of our subscribers, you guys are awesome! And if you aren’t subscribed yet, what are you waiting for? Click here to get new posts directly to your inbox!
We published some amazing content during our twenty first month. The fact that no one saw it doesn’t take away from how awesome it was! We did two posts on the RV life (A review of Alyssa Padgett’s epic book and a post on why we are choosing RV life), two posts on anxiety (wondering if it’s a problem and pursuing financial independence because of it), and a post on consumerism.
My favorite post of the month was Pragmatism vs Idealism. This post resonated with me because I often feel like I’m trapped in a world of pragmatism, when I’d much rather be living a carefree life. I think that’s why I love the idea of passion fire so much – I want to live my dream life with the security that I have now.
I have nothing new to report on the monetization front. 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’m still with my other affiliates: Amazon, Bluehost, and others -but I haven’t had much success with those yet. I still believe that if I increase my readership, the money will follow, so that is where my focus is.
Obviously, I failed at all of my blog goals from last month, but hey, I’m a Cubs fan, we are used to saying “there’s always next year” (or, in my case, month). My biggest goal for my twenty second month is to stay positive about the blogging thing. If I can do it after such a disappointing month, anyone can! Let’s see if I can turn this blog fail thing upside down and get to 2000 users for September!
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. She covers a wide range of topics centered around self-actualization and the quest for a fulfilling life.