Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – July 2016


This is the 46th 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.

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

What I Have Done In July

July was a tough month for a number of reasons.

First off I moved house which sapped a full week of time and attention from work – on top of that, the internet connection was so unstable that some days I had less than 25% uptime.

It took a week working with the cable company to resolve that and as of the last couple of days I have finally had stable internet access again.

I also struggled for a working fridge / freezer which doesn’t sound like much of a problem, but it meant every time I wanted food I had to go out which takes even more time!


With that said, I was unable to bury my head in the sand and get things moving in the way I want them to be.

Last month I identified that a lot of the blogs key metrics were showing early signs of decay and I expect that to be accelerated this month given internet problems and the July/August summer slump.

So with a lot of things working against me this month, here goes nothing…

Signed Up For Ironman

I have signed up to take part in Ironman 70.3 Costa Rica for some stupid reason.

A 2km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km run in glorious 35-40 degree celsius heat.

The only problem is I don’t have a bike and the closest thing to running shoes I own is a pair of flip flops.


Training so far has entailed eating lots of burgers backed up with no swimming, cycling or running so its going pretty well.

Now that I have solved my internet crisis and fully moved house, it’s time to get a grip or I am going to seriously regret it half way up a mountain 10 months from now.

Analytics Tracking Problem

Somewhere around the 15th of July, I updated my Google Analytics plugin which broke tracking entirely for a few days-

analytics traffic problem

I didn’t realise at first and I even have Google Analytics intelligence alerts setup to monitor for exactly this situation, so double face palm on my part.

That does mean that any of the Analytics based stats in this income report are missing a couple of days data but such is life!

Content Creation

I published a total of 5 posts this month which is 1 more than last month.

First we took a very close look at SEMRush in my super detailed 15,000 word post! That might in fact be the longest post on the blog to date!

Then we looked at how to create a snapchat marketing strategy step by step from scratch.

Other than those we just had the regular income report roundup feature and this months edition of the very best of internet marketing.

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my lack of attention to the blog has done to the important metrics.

Visitor Statistics

Despite my Analytics facepalm, traffic actually increased heavily this month from 45,440 (1,515/day) to 54,642 (1,762/day)!

There are 2 reasons behind that increase. The first is the fact I promoted my SEMRush post so heavily with a $2,721.48 spend in paid traffic.

The second is because I have being making some small tweaks across the blog to improve on page SEO which is starting to show some nice fruits – I will have a full write up for you in due course!


Most Popular Content

The most popular post on the blog this month was the epic SEMRush review!

That was very closely followed by 465 ways to make money online which is doing very well in search at the moment.


Top Traffic Sources

Not much has changed in the top traffic sources this month other than how much traffic they sent which was down to an increase in traffic generation spending.


Search Engine Traffic

Search engine traffic increased nicely this month growing from 36,575 (1,219/day) to 39,615 (1,278/day).


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.

YouTube views showed a drop this month from 20,469 views to just 17,969 views this month.

The total minutes watched also took a hit from 83,915 to 77,266 thus month!


Social Shares

This month the total social shares across Facebook and Google+ increased from 53,164 to 55,979.

  • Google+ – 18,596 (18,443 last month)
  • Facebook – 37,383 (34,721 last month)


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

This month brought 3,498 new subscribers which is huge leap on last months 1,704 new subscribers.

There are now a total of 143,370 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 1,227 (1,106 last month) / Total: 78,125
  • Twitter – 748 (274 last month) / Total: 13,275
  • YouTube – 726 (188 last month) / Total: 12,159
  • Facebook – 716 (96 last month) / Total: 21,339
  • Google+ – 9 (16 last month) / Total: 17,882
  • RSS – 72 (24 last month) / Total: 590

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

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


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 didn’t take on any consultation work this month which resulted in a juicy zero dollars!

Other Income

I’m working on another project right now that is part of the blog but not something I’m ready to talk about publicly yet or maybe ever.

I will declare the income here though as it wouldn’t be possible without the blog and ‘technically’ it is affiliate income.

This month that income has shown a huge decrease from $9,305.69 last month to $6,417.57 this month which is highly affected by the summer season and I expect it to swing the other way next month.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $9,942.18
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $6,417.57
  • Expenses – $2,808.47

Grand Total: $13,551.28 / £10,267.29 ($19,357.38 / £14,577.60 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

Signing Off

As expected key metrics for the blog showed further signs of decay this month, combined with lower income and higher expenses it has resulted in a big slump.

However a lot of those expenses will bear fruit in August which will see higher income with lower expenses so you have to learn to take the rough with the smooth, business is a long term play.

Moving house caused a lot of more trouble than I anticipaited and I’m glad to have resolved all of the problems that took my time and attention away from work.

I am going to finish up all of my reporting today and then move onto mapping out some aggressive goals for the month ahead – there is a lot to catch up on to say the least!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me reach my goals – I couldn’t do it without you, the reader!

79 Responses

  1. Amazing . Inspired me a lot. I have a question for you? I don’t have writing skills but I know everything, I always hire writers for my blog. Can I make money like this?

  2. Laurie

    Good luck with that triathlon thing…sounds like training has been pretty easy so far *snicker*

    • August 1st, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Yeah this Ironman thing is much easier than I thought it would be!

      • August 1st, 2016 at 1:04 pm

        I haven’t done an iron man but am currently training for a triathalon.

        Don’t forget the chips with those burgers man, gotta carbo load before a big race ;)

        Also I have a slump around this time of year every year and annoyingly this is no different.

        • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:43 am

          Hahahaha what does your training entail?

          • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:56 am

            Up until recently I would say it is similar to yours.

            Started going back to the gym now though so I’ll be sweating out the pepsi max and ice cream.

            As far as actually moving my lazy a** it is mainly boxing / grappling these days because I don’t have to contend with the beautiful British weather, I’m sure you are familiar with this.

          • August 4th, 2016 at 9:40 am

            Hahaha well now I know you can sweat out ice cream, I am going to try and sweat out continuous Pizza!

  3. Muhammad Talha

    Thank you for being so transparent Matthew. I wish you massive success in your coming months. Keep providing us awesome content!

  4. 8.1.2016

    Congrats on another big month. I realize you had a big drop off there from 19k to 13k, but you are still doing amazing. I wish I was close to your level!

    Could you share with me how you make money off SumoMe? I can’t find an affiliate program anywhere. Is it invite only or am I just missing it?

    • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Thanks Josh!

      Yes the SumoMe affiliate program is invite only sorry

  5. 8.1.2016

    Matt… how do you get stuff done with that awesome view and beach???

    That SEMRush post was awesome! Curious, did SEMRush work with you or did you have to entice them? Either way, you nailed it. I imagine that post will keep visitors coming for years.

    Again, how did you write that massive post with that beach calling???

    • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:41 am

      Hahah well I just get my head down and get things done!

      I first met SEMRush at a conference around 18 months ago and started actively working on that post with them at the start of May.

  6. 8.1.2016

    Hi Matthew,
    I think DripRevolution is something I should give it a shot.
    Always love to read your Monthly Income Report. It sure does motivate me.

    I’ve linked to this report from my recent blog post as well.

    Please let me know what you think.
    Thanks :)

  7. 8.2.2016

    It’s always been a pleasure to read your income report Matt. I hope August will be good for you.

  8. 8.2.2016

    Wow: This looks so great. Despite the network issues and about house movement you just said, you were still able to achieve this. That’s really impressive. Honestly, I need to start something special on affiliate marketing as soon as posible.

  9. 8.2.2016

    A little slow month on the earning side which i feel is due to summers and heavy expenses this month especially on facebook advertising. However I consider these expenses as investment.

    In anyway, Matthew you still performed very well specially on traffic side. Best wishes for the next month.

    • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Yes, I never look at a month in isolation as it only tells a small part of the story :)

  10. “A 2km swim, 90km bike ride and 21km in glorious 35-40 degree celsius heat. May be you missed “running” in this sentence. By the way a very good read.

    • August 2nd, 2016 at 8:37 am

      Oooops good spot, thanks – fixed :)

      • Imtiaz Ahmed Shuvo
        August 2nd, 2016 at 12:49 pm

        You are always welcome…

  11. Good luck with the training. Sounds like you decided to go for something utterly terrifying.
    I look forward to reading about the small tweaks you’ve been making.

  12. 8.2.2016

    Correct me if I’m wrong but I’m guessing consultancy which you didn’t provide last month would have become a lion’s share if added in the figures?

    • August 4th, 2016 at 9:40 am

      Not really, sometimes I do consultation work and often not – it’s rare that a pitch/project catches my interest

  13. Sarah

    I noticed your SEMRush affiliate income was $27.98. Is that including commissions earned over this promotional period, or are those being counted separately/tallied up next month?

    • August 4th, 2016 at 9:39 am

      They will all go into next months numbers :)

      • Sarah
        August 4th, 2016 at 4:09 pm

        Sweet. It’ll be interesting to see your conversion rate!

        • August 5th, 2016 at 10:23 am

          It’s not going as well as I had planned right now compared to past promos

          • Sarah
            August 7th, 2016 at 4:15 pm

            I know that feeling, but quite honestly, case studies of “failures” (not that I know if the conversion rate was so low that you’d classify it as a failure) are just as interesting and in many respects more interesting than case studies of “successful” campaigns.

            I’d normally not ask, but since you’re so open/transparent on the blog, any discussion in your next income report on the metrics that you had expected vs. what you received, and any discussion on why you had expected those results and why you think conversions were lower this time around, would be fantastic.

            I would not usually want to promote a paid plan on a product that has a public free trial period like SEMrush does, even if I did have a great discount to push. I don’t know if you’ve successfully promoted a similar product in the past that has a free trial and pushed an upfront payment or not, but I’ve found conversions lower on those sorts of products – for obvious reasons.

            I’d also be curious to know if you still think that a 15k post (I think that’s how long it was?) for SEMrush was the way to go. Considering it wasn’t sales copy, that is a long time to hold the reader’s attention.

          • August 8th, 2016 at 12:41 pm

            Ok Sarah I will include a section in the next income report that talks about all of those things for you :)

  14. 8.3.2016

    you are inspiring me a lot.! Congratulations for great Earnings .

  15. 8.3.2016

    Costa Rica looks amazing! Good luck with Iron Man and make sure you keep hydrated.
    Great stats considering you moved to a different place in July, IMO.
    I have a question, do you track affiliate income manually or are you using some script that collects the data for you?

    Oh, and here’s my report for July –

    Have a great August!

    • August 4th, 2016 at 9:37 am

      Thanks Anne :)

      I am checking it all manually unfortunately, it’s a ball ache!

      Good job on the income, looks like you are taking all the right steps to grow :)

  16. 8.3.2016

    I always read this post.

    Please share some traffic generation tips.

  17. 8.3.2016

    Great earnings Matthew, despite going down a little bit. Also loved your post about Semrush, will dig deeper into it. I find it very useful in combination with Ahrefs.

    And what a view you have, enyou!

  18. Hi Matthew,
    Inspiring to see your monthly earnings, I am trying my bit to make my blog reach every Digital Marketer and also see some money from it.
    Welcome your thoughts on it to improve..

    • August 4th, 2016 at 9:34 am

      Just focus on helping people to improve and you will be on the right path :)

  19. 8.3.2016

    sweet! One question though, your SEMrush affiliate income was not so high, is it worth to write a 15k words post considering the income stated?

  20. Atta


  21. Richie M

    Nice one Matt, I always look forward to these posts.

    Do you have any metrics on the performance of your Twitter ad? Is the Twitter traffic in the Traffic Sources from your tweets, ads or both?

    I also noticed you do not track Twitter shares/RT under Social Shares, any reason?

    I would imagine a lot of the new subscribers and visits were from the SEMRush competition, I understand the affiliate commission not showing this month, but shouldn’t the 3 prizes be as expenses this month?

    Sorry for all questions, keep up the good work

    • August 5th, 2016 at 10:24 am

      Hey Richie,

      The Twitter traffic is both combined and I didnt see it relevant to share the ad details really.

      Twitter took away the ability to count shares a long time ago.

      The 3 prizes don’t go as an expense because they are not an expense ;)

  22. 8.6.2016

    I want same like your report in my site one day. Hope i will go with the same direction which is authentic and fruitful. Thanks your post give me motivation.

    • August 8th, 2016 at 12:45 pm

      I’m looking forward to reading your reports!

      • Roiplay
        August 10th, 2016 at 6:11 am

        When i will be able to publish such success i will share my success. Thanks from Hussain

  23. 8.6.2016

    Report of this month is another prescription of Inspiration.This post is very wonderful, and inspiring for me.Congratulations for this Great Earning. hope August will be good for you.

  24. 8.7.2016

    Congratulations for moving to a new house. I wish that the internet crisis that you are experiencing right now is just temporary. Good luck to your new project and your blog.

    • August 8th, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Thanks, I was able to resolve it by complaining a bunch until they gave me a DOCSIS 3.0 modem :)

  25. 8.7.2016

    Great to see this numbers. :))

  26. Rakshita Sharma

    Hi Matthew,
    Amazing report!
    Keep it up!
    Keep going
    All good wishes.
    Best Regards
    ~Rakshita Sharma

  27. 8.9.2016

    Hearty congratulations from me. I too have a blog. But I am struggling for traffic. Currently, it is on blogger. Should I migrate it to WordPress? Please suggest.

    • August 15th, 2016 at 12:32 pm

      Yes if you are serious about turning this into a profitable venture

  28. 8.10.2016

    What do you think is the reason for your drop in income? Traffic increased. Is it just a bad time of the year for affiliate income? I noticed the same on some of my projects

    • August 11th, 2016 at 3:31 pm

      Traffic increased because of the giveaway I was running which doesn’t translate directly into income, that combined with the time of the year makes for a bad combo!

  29. 8.12.2016

    First of all, congratulation. day by day your blog is growing and you are a role model for every blogger.

  30. 8.13.2016

    Will you be ever revealing what makes part of the hidden income?
    Also secondly, I see that the forum isn’t very active these days(read dead). Earlier you used to include reports on how the forum contributed directly to more income and traffic? Why is it not on priority now?

    • August 15th, 2016 at 12:27 pm

      Hey Adam,

      Yes I will reveal it once it is either discovered or saturated, in the mean time I am going to keep that under wraps and ride the wave – but all of the pieces of the puzzle are out there to be found.

      The forum I am experimenting with right now, I think it maybe holding the blog back – I am just waiting for Google to respider things and I will look to move it to Facebook

  31. 8.15.2016

    Matthew, it looks like your income dropped a little. But it is still inspiring because even on a brick and mortar shop, the profit varies. It still keep on motivating me to keep moving. Keep it up and also may G** bless you for encouraging us.

    My traffic was low but it seems growing. I will try to take your suggestions into considerations so that i reach the greater heights.

    Enjoy your day!

    • August 15th, 2016 at 12:02 pm

      Yes and also consider I didn’t spend as much time as I wanted working at the same time so it’s not that bad :)

      I hope one day you get so much traffic you have to move hosting!

      • August 16th, 2016 at 4:12 am

        It might be the cause of low traffic?

  32. 8.15.2016

    You spent. $2500 + approximately on Facebook, did u think u wasted money by promoting sem rush post? When will u able to get returns. I am also doing fb marketing.

  33. 8.26.2016

    Hello! Great to find a fellow Brit’s successful blog! I’m currently just starting out and trying to figure out how to grow traffic to my blog which mashes up my head! I will be visiting your blog often as it looks very promising! :)

  34. Carlin

    I love reading your income reports. They inspire me! I’m only making a fraction of what you all do, but it is growing month by month! I started publishing my income reports this year and am excited to have made over $1000 in the first 8 monts of 2016 with my niche of choice – Amazon Affiliate. Congrats on your success and for being such an inspiration! :-)

    • September 1st, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Sounds like you are having great success and doing everything right! Keep up the good work!

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