Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – August 2012

Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – August 2012

Welcome to the very first income report as part of my blogging experiment.

Every month I will be 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 August

It has certainly been a busy month for the blog as I have focused on creating high quality content while trying to bring the blog to a wider audience. It’s a lot more time consuming than I first anticipated but things are slowly moving in the right direction.

Content Creation

This month I have published 7 new posts made up of 4 tutorial videos, the Google Webmaster Guidelines experiment, a live case study about video conversion and a reader competition!

It has taken around 80 hours in total to create those 7 posts!

The Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building

As mentioned above I have added another 4 videos to the series which is now over 2 hours long! There is only 1 more video left to make in the series which I will record next week.

The series has been very well received and I have had some great feedback about them-

Your information is so good, no one else comes close to the info you have provided, you are clarifying much of the mystery that only a select few know.

I have been following your link building case study series and I am impressed. Thank you so much for adding so much value FREE of cost. I wish you luck.

First, let me say you are a God! If I become a millionaire because of you one day, I will send you a FAT check.

Easily some of the best videos I have seen shared in the SEO world.

It is also nice to see that other people are talking about them as they get shared around the SEO community. Anyone want to reply to that post and give it a bump? ^^

Kontent Machine Competition

I’ve been looking at ways to increase traffic and awareness to the blog and one of the things I wanted to try was setting up a reader competition.

The idea was simple, choose a piece of software that I can’t live without and currently use then approach the developer to secure a license as a prize. In exchange for giving me a free license for my readers I would create a dedicated video review and tutorial around the product.

The plan is to-

  1. Increase traffic to the blog
  2. Capture new subscribers
  3. Promote the software to a wider audience
  4. Create new sales/subscribers for the software vendor

I decided that Kontent Machine was an ideal candidate for the competition as it’s a fairly new piece of software that not many people are familiar with but is also the best content generation software on the market by a country mile in my opinion. It’s getting to the point where I can’t remember how I survived without it!

Luckily Georgi from the Kontent Machine team was more than happy to provide a lifetime license worth $37/month for the prize :)

I will let you know how the competition performs once it finishes :)

You can enter the competition here.

Improving Video Conversion

I have kept a close eye on conversion rates (subscribes/affiliate clicks/resource downloads) for the videos and noticed they were pretty poor.

While video is a great way to teach people, they suck at converting people.

This is largely because you have to rely on the user to take manual action to convert. In a blog post you can just embed a sign up form or place an affiliate link contextually.

To try and increase video conversion I bought Simple Video Pro and setup a live split test which you can see in action on the blog right now.

I will publish the results of the test in a seperate post once it’s complete.

Traffic Generation

To generate traffic to the blog all I have done is-

  • Post on Warriorforum, TrafficPlanet & DigitalPoint
  • Follow SEO types on Twitter and get involved with conversation
  • Set up a series of targeted Google Alerts to jump straight into conversation

Aside from shamelessly begging people that contact me to share my tutorials, that is all I have done to generate traffic this month which takes about an hour a day.

I have also written a guest post covering some of the more advanced and unique ways I use Google Alerts but I haven’t had any luck getting it published yet :( Hopefully this month that will get to see the light of day!

If you have any ideas on how I could generate more traffic then let me know in the comments. Remember though, no SEO/link building allowed!.

Moving Up The Ranks

Remember one of the things I’m trying to achieve with this blog is to rank it in Google without doing any link building at all.

This is already providing some interesting results.

Buy SEO

One of my readers Michael Cox (a dedicated reader he is!) pointed out in the comments on one of my posts that I was ranking #13 for ‘Buy SEO’ in the UK. Since he tipped me off a couple of weeks ago it has moved up to the #12 spot.

Check it out-

Not bad without any link building huh? Granted it is a complete an utter fluke and the post is about not buying SEO Link Monster but it was encouraging to see that.

So far the keyword has sent a total of 0 visits.

Kontent Machine / Kontent Machine Review

You will also see that I’m ranking #4 for Kontent Machine and #1 for Kontent Machine Review. Not a hugely competitive term but highly targeted and likely to convert well.

This is off the back of the Kontent Machine competition I setup which requires people to share the page on Twitter. And as we all know Tweets of a URL directly influences rankings, you did know that didn’t you?

It will be interesting to see if the rankings remain stable once the competition ends and the Twitter activity drops.

Tiered Link Building

Again this isn’t a competitive keyword by any means but I was surprised to see that my tutorials control 6 of the top 10 spots for Tiered Link Building.

As you can see it’s returning a mix of YouTube, Forum threads and pages directly from my site.

If you click through to page 2 and 3 you will pretty much see the same thing.

Although I have noticed GODOVERYOU is starting to gain some traction for this keyword as well. If you haven’t checked out his forum or his tiered link building tutorial you should do!

Time Invested

Across the month I’ve spent around 80 hours creating content, 30 hours on promotion and around 20 hours answering e-mails and tweaking the site setting things up like split tests to improve conversion.

Crunching The Numbers

Let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what all of this hard work has actually done for the blog including how much income it generated!

Next month’s report will also show comparisons against the previous month to highlight growth/decline.

Note: I moved over to Analytics on the 10th of August and accidently lost my data with StatCounter for the first 10 days of the month. Anything marked with a * is for the period 10th August – 31st August.

Visitor Statistics*

To be honest traffic has been pretty good for the first month of full promotion. Even though I’m missing the first 10 days in Analytics there have been over 2,000 unique visitors of which 50% have returned for a second visit!

Most Popular Content*

The link building tutorials are performing well and holding users attention. They also seem to be the main source of new people finding my blog.

Interesting to see the Tutorials Category page in the top 10, I’m sure that traffic can be put to better use :)

Top Traffic Sources*

You can see that traffic from YouTube is clearly more engaged than traffic from forums.

Search Engine Traffic*

With my zero backlink approach to SEO I’m really interested to see how Search traffic performs. Only Google sent me some love with a total of 353 visits across 61 keywords.

YouTube Views

I had a total of 3,449 video views in August. I’m currently using YouTube to host all of the videos although that might change in the near future.

Forum Posts

Across August I made 927 posts in forums which are broken down as-

  • TrafficPlanet – 401 posts (954 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 388 posts (547 visits)
  • DigitalPoint – 138 posts (219 visits)

Social Shares

There has been quite a bit of social sharing activity on the site. A lot of this is down to me offering exclusive resources for my tutorials if people share the page.

A few people have asked me how to do that, you just need this plugin which I have tweaked a bit for my site.

In total my content was shared 490 times broken down like this-

  • Twitter – 246
  • Facebook – 143
  • Google+ – 101

Not too shabby huh? That means roughly 1 in 5 unique visitors shares my content on a social network!

Subscribers

This is a number that is quite important to me. I’m trying to create content so good that people are desperate to subscribe (how am I doing so far?).

I’m grateful for every subscriber I get. Each and every subscriber is essentially a seal of approval for my content and you can’t ask for more than that from your traffic!

There are a total of 288 people subscribed to the blog at the moment through a variety of channels-

  • E-mail – 108
  • Twitter – 106
  • YouTube – 36
  • Facebook – 27
  • Google+ – 11

Income Report

I’m guessing most of you have scrolled to the bottom to see how much the blog earnt this month so without further ado-

Affiliate Earnings

Expenses

Totals

  • Income – $694.17
  • Expenses – $88.89

That means overall the blog has generated $605.28 which is £380.97 in real money :P

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Consultation Earnings

The blog has also produced a number of consultation projects which I won’t include in the main income of the blog as they are separate projects entirely. However as the blog generated these leads I wanted to include them in the report.

These projects invole everything from designing custom scalable SEO solutions to one on one coaching & advice and has generated $1,214.64 / £764.50 in total.

If you need help with your SEO strategy and want to hire me then please get in touch.

A Shameless Plea for Help

One of the traffic strategies I have been using is shamelessly asking people to share my tutorials.

So if you have enjoyed my posts & tutorials then please take 60 seconds to share them by-

  1. Starting a thread on a forum
  2. Sharing on social media
  3. Writing about them on your blog
  4. Leaving comments on the posts

I spent over 80 hours creating content for you last month so please spend 60 seconds to say thank you by sharing my content with others.

Signing Off

Well that concludes the first month of my Google Webmaster Guidelines experiment and by all accounts it is going quite well.

Creating and promoting high quality content is certainly tiresome work leading to multiple 16+ hour working days!

I’ve even managed to get 353 visits from Google without building a single link! Maybe that Matt Cutt’s bloke isn’t talking out his arse after all.

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

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