PLEASE SHARE

This is the 21st income report as part of the zero backlink experiment.

Every month I will publish a post like this one that shows you how this blog is progressing and everything I have done across the month to get it there.

These reports will help me track my own progress while teaching you what to do and more importantly what not to do.

What I Have Done In April

Most of April was spent preparing for my travels to Costa Rica tomorrow (2nd May) – it turns out trying to run a business and travel at the same time is a lot of work.

I have had to take a step back from the business and the blog while I get everything organised and put the course on hold.

Once the dust settles after the move I’ll be firmly back in the driving seat though!

Content Creation

Last month saw a total of 8 post which has dropped down to just 4 this month – sorry guys!

I kicked off the month with my case study to find the best indexing service and an awesome guest post about building profitable membership sites by Jason Chesters.

We also had the regular best of internet marketing & income report roundup posts.

Blog Features

The blog had a few good features this month including someone that used my strategies to great effect.

Jason Chesters who wrote the awesome membership guest post also used the same strategy with his blog!

I also made it into the social media toolbox & these affiliate strategies.

Moved Web Host – Enough Is Enough

Over the past few months I have had more and more issues with WPEngine. Everything from the performance of the service to the support has degraded significantly.

They are no longer the premium web host they claim to be.

I’m going to write a more detailed post about my experience with them in the next week or so but here are just a few of the issues-

  • Deleting live customer data without taking a backup
  • Deploying a link to their homepage in my footer without permission
  • Lots of site down time/slow loading
  • Losing connecting to the server in the post editor
  • Disabled fulltext mysql indexing without notification – this broke my RSS feed costing 60% of subscribers
  • Repeat broken promises from the CEO

The RSS issue had their expert support team stumped and they tried to blame that on the fact I had uploaded a file to the server that had nothing to do with WordPress.

I even told them what the precise issue was when I opened the ticket /facepalm

facepalm

The inability to solve that problem led them to terminating my account with just 3 working days notice to find a new host. Even though they terminated my account they still kept taking money from my card.

So in the middle of moving to another country I had 3 days to find a new host, move the site over & ensure everything is working which is just what I needed on top of everything else.

Luckily Terry Kyle’s TrafficPlanet hosting came to the rescue! The same people behind the TrafficPlanet forum.

They moved the site over, took care of the speed optimisation and fixed the RSS issue that had WPEngine stumped in less than 60 seconds.

Initial speed tests are looking great as well, TrafficPlanet Hosting is around 40% faster than WPEngine.

Not only that but my hosting cost has dropped from $212.00 last month with WPEngine to just $49.99 this month with Traffic Planet hosting. It also has a bunch more features and is not restricted and locked down like WPEngine.

So TrafficPlanet Hosting is 40% faster and 75% cheaper.

I will publish a more detailed post on this soon – get your popcorn it’s going to be brutal.

UK Blog Awards

blog awards logoThe UK Blog Awards is like the oscars of the blogging world. They cover a range of niches and offer awards to both individuals and companies.

This blog won the highly commended award in the digital & technology category which was judged by WordPress co-founder Mike Little.

Although I think the blog was better suited to the PR, Marketing, Media & Communications category – maybe next year :)

uk blog awards

It was an awesome evening full of food, drinks, music & celebrity appearances! Thanks to Becki & Gemma for putting it all together for us!

Snowbombing 2014

At the start of the month I took a week off to hit the Snowbombing festival in Mayrhofen, Austria.

I was also selected by the Lucozade Energy team to be their VIP eyes & ears capturing images & video of all of the crazy antics that went on like igloo raves & beautiful mountain views.

snowbombing 4

snowbombing 1

I also managed to sneak a picture with part of Rudimental and the legend himself, Mr. Motivator!

snowbombing 2

snowbombing 3

You can guarantee I’ll be there again next year!

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my hard work has done for me this month.

Visitor Statistics

Traffic has dropped quite a lot this month from 49,421 (1,594/day) to 39,244 (1,308/day) which could have an interesting impact on earnings.

That’s what you get when you only publish half the amount of posts!

analytics overview

Most Popular Content

My backlink indexing case study takes the top spot this month closely followed by how to start a blog and make money.

I am surprised the profitable membership site guide didn’t get more traction than it did though while my sneaky link building strategy stayed strong.

analytics content

Top Traffic Sources

Google is still king of the traffic sources but something interesting has started to happen the past month.

analytics traffic sources

Search Engine Traffic

Last month Google sent 40,810 (1,316 per day) but this month that has dropped to just 31,814 (1,060 per day) which is a pretty sharp drop.

I think I’ve got a good idea of why though and I’m sure all of you budding SEO’s can figure it out!

analytics google

YouTube Views

I lost all of my historical YouTube views because of changes I made to the branding – so I keep track of them separately.

Last month I have a record number of views at 77,845 which has increased to 85,828 this month which is a nice jump at that level!

Minutes watched also increased from 383,330 to 436,600!

That means that there were 10 people watching one of my videos every single minute of every single day last month!

youtube stats

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 41,258 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 38,842 last month.

  • Google+ – 10,509 (9,512 last month)
  • Twitter – 18,480 (17,613 last month)
  • Facebook – 12,269 (11,717 last month)

My Forum Statistics

It seems that the forum is getting hit with more & more spam and after cleaning things up there are now 5,526 users.

There were 40 news topics and 57 new replies on the forum.

If you haven’t joined the forum yet, get involved!

I’ll personally answer any internet marketing questions you have!

  • Users: 5,526 (5,889 last month)
  • Topics: 1,126 (1,086 last month)
  • Posts: 3,454 (3,397 last month)

Subscribers

The most important metric on the entire blog – earning a subscription from someone is the ultimate form of commitment and conversion.

This month brought 12,621 new subscribers across various channels which is a huge increase from last month’s 7,785. I suspected someone boosted my Facebook numbers though.

There are now a total of 48,362 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 4,718 (5,063 last month) / Total: 23,684
  • Twitter – 181 (258 last month) / Total: 3,433
  • YouTube – 298 (406 last month) / Total: 4,483
  • Facebook – 6,350 (1,076 last month) / Total: 9,628
  • Google+ – 1,328 (936 last month) / Total: 6,350
  • RSS – -254 (46 last month) / Total: 562

Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings

ATTENTION: Learn My Secrets With Instant Access To The Income Report Archive

Expenses

Consultation Earnings

I separate out the consultation earnings from the affiliate earnings. The blog drives affiliate sales directly and whilst it does generate consultation leads these are separate projects in their own right.

I haven’t taken on any clients recently so consultation earnings sit at zero this month!

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $12,407.32
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Expenses – $49.99

Grand Total: $12,357.33 / Β£7,318.96 ($10,789.13 / Β£6,487.36 last month)

The internet is a strange thing – traffic drops off but income increases? I’ll take it!

Signing Off

It has been a very hectic month as I got everything organised for my travels to Costa Rica.

I got slack with posting and traffic has taken a downward turn but profits have actually increased.

It’s weird because the last time I didn’t really do much on the blog for a whole month the exact same thing happened!? Go home internet, you’re drunk!

Now I’ve got to hit publish, strip down my computer & do my final packing.

I’ve got some awesome posts planned for you this month so once the dust has settled you better be ready! Rawr!

I would like to personally thank each and every one of you for joining me on this journey.

103 Responses

  1. 5.1.2014

    Great report Matthew.

    Sadly, you are not the first to experience problems like that with WP Engine. They have a very bad reputation for it. I have read lots of reports with them going in and deleting post revisions without even asking.

    Can you imagine working on a long detailed article for a week and then finding out that they have just deleted your old drafts? I would be go crazy.

    Though I cannot understand why anyone uses them in the first place. They charge four or five times as much as other hosting companies and do not do anything to actually improve the performance of your website. All they do is try and keep the size of your database slow so that your footprint is smaller.

  2. 5.1.2014

    Good for you! Best of luck with the move and on your new journey.

  3. 5.1.2014

    Well my opinion is avoid :)

    • May 5th, 2014 at 3:39 am

      Great earning but how you are managing so many affiliate programs, I having seen much bloggers who are using so many affiliate programs and good thing is that you are making money out of it So are you using any plugin or simply managing yourself

      Thank You

      • May 5th, 2014 at 3:07 pm

        Just login to each one and take a look at whats going on

  4. 5.1.2014

    Another great month over 10 000$ with 100% affiliate sales. Congrats!

    • May 1st, 2014 at 2:06 pm

      The best kind of income :)

      • May 1st, 2014 at 2:57 pm

        Is Rank Cracker not your product? hence the affiliate sales in one pocket and out the other?

        • May 1st, 2014 at 8:03 pm

          Yes it’s my product, your right that should be categorized differently – good spot!

  5. 5.1.2014

    I always follow your blog. You really provide good content and has helped me a lot on my IM journey. Congrats!

  6. 5.1.2014

    Glad you ditched WPengine, I was having a terrible time with some of your page load times, especially on the forum.

    Good work on the blog income, that’s the result of having a solid foundation in place.

    Best of luck with the move!

    Nick

  7. 5.1.2014

    Matt, your case with a web hosting is another example that shows that its price is not reliable indicator of judging a web host.

    For example, for one of my small websites I use a web host that costs $1 per year (yep, just one dollar per year) for 100MB of space. And surprisingly it provides much more reliable uptime and faster speed than many of other $1/mo hosting that I use.

  8. 5.1.2014

    Great Matthew, congrats! It has been a great month for you. Thanks for sharing it!

  9. 5.1.2014

    Hmmm, so this is what you were referring to by “interesting report”. I think we should all agree that numbers are a blogger’s best friend.

    On another note, seems like you had some time to have fun, too. Moving to another country is crazy, I’ve done it for a year, just moved from country to country. But if you’re moving there to stay, the fatigue and everything will go away.

    It’s exciting times, isn’t it, Matt? We’ll have a lot to share. Soon. πŸ˜€

    • May 1st, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      What are your top tips?

      • May 1st, 2014 at 10:46 pm

        For moving?
        a) Make a list of the most important things for you – let’s say without them, your life would be really hard
        b) Take a look at what you leave behind. When you’re the one who’s leaving and the others are staying, it’s kinda sad for them. But you gotta say a “goodbye” or see you later.
        c) Keep in touch with friends – you’ll always have a place to return to.

        Now, once you’re in this foreign country, assuming you don’t speak the language too well:
        – the friendliest people you’ll find are in coffee shops. They’re called waiters/waitresses and bartenders. These guys and girls (don’t know if it’s in their job role), but always smile and are friendly. I’ve been in most European countries, best time I’ve ever had was with these people.
        – then, since it’s not 7years ago, try to blend in with the locals. As in look for meetups, local entrepreneurs events. These always attract people who resonate with your personality and share common beliefs, lets say.
        – Since this is a country filled with “sangre latino”, they have a rich culture: latino dance, tango. You have no idea how much difference can a dance do in your life.
        For e.g., this guy moved from the UK to Bucharest in September to try the city. The next day he met my tango teacher&her tango partner. Then we became friends. In 6 months, he learned to dance really great. His entire personal life and social circle exploded: from the guy sitting alone in a cafe, working, to the guy meeting loads of people and making friends. Now he’s considering returning here *mwhaha*.

        When I stayed in Paris, I was still connected with the ballet world, so it really helped me blend in with the artists and dancers there. I made friends among French people, which is hard to believe.

        – another tip: get a hobby that gets you social. Like… photography or guitar playing. These always make you feel welcomed in a new place. :)

        It’s funny how many people want to explore the world and move in other countries. I’m also thinking of moving to the UK for 3-6 months, client insists I’d have an awesome time there.

        *Long comment again, I got carried away*

        • May 11th, 2014 at 1:22 am

          Wow thats more advice than you can shake a stick at – you could probably start a blog off the back of that!

          Thanks for taking the time to put that together!

          • May 20th, 2014 at 11:10 pm

            Shoot! NOT starting another blog, can barely manage the one I have + all the clients + the ambassador role + my minions (trainees).

            You’re welcome! πŸ˜€

          • May 22nd, 2014 at 4:24 pm

            Hahaha yeah I know that feeling!

  10. 5.1.2014

    Good stuff Matt, always enjoy reading your income reports. I’ve just migrated one of my sites over to tsohost, after considering WP Engine. They seem to be pretty good so far so I’m happy I dodged a bullet there!

    Good luck with the move – you are quite literally living the dream!

    • May 1st, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Thanks Luke – let me know how you get on with your hosting!

  11. 5.1.2014

    You lazy git! Get those posts written mate – no time for packing!

    Seriously, tho’ – have a good journey and see you out there in November. Look forward to the snorkelling πŸ˜‰

  12. 5.1.2014

    Hello Matthew,

    Two weeks ago I somehow get to your site and found it very interesting so I subscribed. I still haven’t time to check the site completely just read this article now but I will definitely look closer soon.

    I wish you the best! Seems like you know what are you doing. GL champ! Pura Vida!

  13. 5.1.2014

    Matt. You’re my hero.

  14. 5.1.2014

    Good luck in your new place and all the best. Congratulations for a great month

  15. 5.1.2014

    Buena suerte en Puerto Rico

  16. 5.1.2014

    Hi Matthew! great numbers once again! Good luck with the move, might have to plan a little trip to enjoy pura vida :)

  17. 5.1.2014

    Just wanted to say that I’m pretty close to ditching WPEngine as well. A few months ago my blog got hacked on WPEngine (probably my fault) so I spoke with their tech support and they recommended I get the security plugin called Wordfence. I quickly purchased the premium version of Wordfence and it has been working great for me so far.

    Now, a few days ago I receive an email from WPEngine stating “Due to duplicate functionality, Wordfence is being added to the WP Engine disallowed plugins list. All versions, old and new, will be banned as of April 29th. On May 6th, we will automatically remove the plugin from all of our hosted websites including the site we are contacting you about. There will be no exceptions to this rule.”

    So WPEngine tech support recommends I get this plugin to protect my blog, I purchase the plugin, a few months later this plugin is banned from WPEngine. I’m done with these guys …

    /rant over

    • May 1st, 2014 at 7:58 pm

      They used to state they would clean up hacks etc – being WordPress security experts n all

      • May 1st, 2014 at 8:27 pm

        I have seen nothing from them to suggest they are experts in anything other than banning heavy plugins. I have tested the speed of websites hosted on WP Engine and they perform poorly on GTMetrix and other speed testers.

        They are not optimising websites. You would see better performance by getting a $25 VPS and installing a cache plugin.

        • May 11th, 2014 at 1:26 am

          Hahaha thats a good quote, feel free to drop me an email and tell me more about your experience with them!

  18. 5.1.2014

    Wish you a wonderful flight and happy check in Matt.

    The income report is inspiring… So nice of of for sharing things like this, most people never do that….

  19. 5.1.2014

    Thanks mate!

  20. 5.1.2014

    They’ve handed me an awesome post on a plate really, can’t complain!

  21. 5.1.2014

    Thanks Tobias – will let you know!

  22. Mike Korolishin
    5.1.2014

    A bit off-topic but I’m totally jealous that you got to meet Piers! Rudimental is such a hugely underrated group outside of the UK.

    I mean, how great is this song?

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9EZ6nwGrTAU&list=TLZm_TJcqgAmdWUfmKG6XGJ0F-VrBDaWt9#t=113

    Cheers Matt

    • May 1st, 2014 at 8:02 pm

      Haha a couple of times now – get yourself down to the reggae shack next year and he’ll be there!

      • Mike Korolishin
        May 5th, 2014 at 5:58 pm

        That’s a bit of a hike from the USA πŸ˜›

  23. 5.1.2014

    Hey Matt!

    I’m not a budding SEO :) So how come your traffic dropped so much this month?

    • May 11th, 2014 at 1:24 am

      Lack of posts, lack of time due to moving country and it is the start of summer/warmer weather in places and bank holidays etc

  24. Mac
    5.2.2014

    All the best Matt!

  25. 5.2.2014

    Matt congrats on the move! That is one location that is on my bucket list.

    After implementing your techniques, I am sure I will have enough cash to come visit.

    Thanks again for your great guidance this year!

    Massman in Boston

    PS Margheritas on me!

  26. 5.2.2014

    Congratulations for a good month (some bad from WPe), thx for share

  27. Sudesh
    5.2.2014

    Hei Matthew,
    All the best, hope everything goes well with your move. Hope to hear about your new life in Costa-Rica. May be you can start a nother blog for people who like to move to Costa-Rica?

  28. 5.2.2014

    Hello Matthew,

    I read this post of yours with keen interest and the amazing thing I noticed was the fact all your earnings were coming through affiliate sales and through CPC ads.

    That is really interesting and has motivated some of us a lot.
    Thanks for the insights shared.

  29. 5.2.2014

    this post and your last post is not appearing on your home page the last post im seeing is The Best Of Internet Marketing April 2014

  30. 5.3.2014

    Yeah it won’t be as quick but will get that sorted in due course :)

  31. 5.3.2014

    All the best with the move! Packing and moving is always hard.

  32. Ali
    5.3.2014

    nice stats, this is the type of stats that will take long for one to achieve with long term determination and hard work. thanks for sharing.

  33. sabahashim
    5.4.2014

    Hi Matthew,

    Hope things going well with your move. The income reports are always a reminder to me that its possible to up and go from my job. Always a pleasure to read (and even re-reading!) your posts and tutorials.

    Speaking of tutorialss, had a small problem accessing your premium tutorials. I think my Philippines VA had something to do with it (Sorry!)

    Dropped you an email. Hope to hear from you soon.

  34. 5.4.2014

    Nice monthly round up Matt.

    Really wish I’d read this before moving my site from HG to WPEngine last week.

    Everything I’d read about them had been positive until now and I remember that you had moved to them a while back and initially had been happy with their service.

    I’d saw some other bloggers mention them as being good too but seems things are not all good with them.

    The lack of 24hr support / live chat is a bit annoying though and their support staff whilst some are really good others assume you understand their technical jargon and give vague information that doesn’t answer your questions.

    Hopefully I don’t run into too many problems with them as I don’t want the hassle of moving hosts again.

    • May 5th, 2014 at 3:10 pm

      Yeah sorry about that – please let me know how you get on with them though!

  35. 5.5.2014

    Thanks Kevin!

  36. 5.5.2014

    I could do I suppose – you can check out http://www.mytanfeet.com though for some of that info

  37. 5.5.2014

    Interesting to see that I’m not the only one who’s had some issues with WPEngine.

    They were VERY fast, and very good, in the beginning. But for several months now, I’ve had incredibly slow loading speeds on my site hosted with them.

    • May 5th, 2014 at 5:46 pm

      Can’t seem to edit, so I’ll just reply to my own post to continue:

      I’ve also had a continuous problem, from day one, that I’m unable to install plugins, update plugins, or update wordpress, from within the site itself. Everything has to be manually updated via FTP, which is a giant hassle. They’ve never been able to figure out why.

      Recently, I’ve also had big problems with their staging. Now, I really love the idea of having a staging area, I think that’s >GREAT<. The problem is, that at the moment, it's broken for me, and won't show half the pictures on the website in the staging area. Again, tried for weeks with support, but unable to figure out why.

      WPEngine has a lot of good points going for them, and I might stick with them just a while yet, but I do have issues with them.
      And in particular, I've noticed, as I first said, that my site is loading WAY slower now (it can take 10+ seconds now! It used to take just 2-4), than it did when I first moved host there.

      • May 9th, 2014 at 4:22 pm

        Yeah to be honest that sounds like a lot of the problems I have heard from other people as well, I know a bunch of people that have left recently =\

  38. 5.6.2014

    Excuse me for my ignorance, but how exactly is the money from RankCraker calculated?

    Is it the “upsell” for the ~$97 courses or affiliate links in RankCracker itself for SER, UD etc? Or maybe something different? :)

  39. MSI Sakib
    5.6.2014

    Hello Matthew,
    I found your this blog on kingged. I am interested to know about other blogger’s monthly revenue. Your monthly revenue is amazing. You deserve this big amount for your hard work and skill. May hope your revenue will increase more in the future. Thanks for sharing. I am eagerly waiting to see your revenue of present month.

  40. 5.7.2014

    Wow! 7% bounce rate? That’s outstanding!

    My monthly visitor count isn’t a million miles away from yours, and most of my traffic comes from Google too, yet my bounce rate is currently at an eye watering 80%.

    This is obviously having a big impact on my conversions, as my monthly new subscriber count isn’t even 1% of yours.

    I’ve tried every technique I can get my hands on (and Joomla will allow) to keep people on the site but I’ve deduced that with my content, people simply get the answer they’re looking for and leave.

    Most people will congratulate you on other things, but I just want to say well done on achieving such a low figure. You’re clearly doing something right there.

    P.S. All the best for the move!

    • May 9th, 2014 at 4:12 pm

      Thanks!

      What niche are you in roughly?

      • May 9th, 2014 at 4:49 pm

        Hi Matt,

        It’s a hobby niche. More specifically motorcycle track riding/racing.

        I’ve tweaked various pages to try and get it down, but it usually only affects the bounce rate by just a few percent.

        It used to sit about 65%, but when I changed to a .com and ‘went global’ I saw a big increase in traffic, but also in my bounce rate too.

        Again, I feel that people are finding what they need, or are simply bookmarking the page to come back to being that most of my content is quite meaty.

        From an engagement point of view I feel at 2+ minutes it’s pretty good, but it’s getting more people to stay that’s the toughie.

        • May 11th, 2014 at 1:22 am

          Hi,

          So is this like, they are getting tips on how to do better/maintain their bike – or is it a list of events?

          Is there any sort of community element like a forum?

  41. 5.9.2014

    Thanks Adam!

  42. 5.11.2014

    I’m in the guanacaste area if you are nearby!

  43. 5.11.2014

    Yeah for sure, kids will lose themselves in the nature and beaches here!

    What issues have you had with WPEngine?

  44. 5.14.2014

    HI Matt,

    I’m a regular visitor of your blog. But, It is my first comment, because i’m too lazy to leave a comment. Lol. Your income reports inspired me a lot.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Abid Omar , abcdblogging.com

  45. 5.17.2014

    Keep checking back to read about your WPengine horror story Matt!

    Really cant wait to read your story

    Danny :)

  46. 5.17.2014

    Thanks for your kind words!

  47. 5.17.2014

    Its been a rocky start but im renting for now while I settle in and the internet has been fine so far :)

  48. 5.17.2014

    Thanks – much appreciated!

  49. 5.18.2014

    Hey Matt,

    In one of your income reports you mentioned using “Facesniper” for facebook marketing. I see that you purchased the tool but their website is down since long. Do you have any communication update from the developer?

    Thanks,
    Akbar

    • May 18th, 2014 at 3:50 pm

      Hi,

      I’m not sure myself – I have dropped them an email though!

  50. 6.19.2014

    It is a pleasure to read your posts, whether it may an income report or tutorial. You give much help to people about correct on-line marketing.

    • June 23rd, 2014 at 1:24 am

      Thank you – please keep coming back and I’ll keep it up =D

What are your thoughts?

* Name, Email, Comment are Required