Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – April 2013

This is the ninth income report as part of the zero backlink 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.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

What I Have Done In April

April was a pretty hectic month to say the least! I spent a good amount of it travelling but still managed to keep things running without a hitch!

Right now I’m in Costa Rica after one of my readers sent me this email-

Email Invite

I figured why not? So booked the flight last week and here I am!

Content Creation

I wrote a total of 6 posts including the results of 2 case studies. One of them looked at email popup forms while the other focused on increasing video conversion rate.

I also posted the Ahrefs vs Majestic SEO 1 million domain showdown which has had 3 updates and how to add banner advertising in Wordpress blogs for extra income.

There were also the 2 regular features – the income report roundup and what I have read this month.

Pissed More People Off

Publishing the Majestic SEO vs Ahrefs case study certainly caused quite a stir!

Community favourite Dixon Jones highlighted my best backlink checker case study wasn’t conclusive because it only focused on 3 sites and wasn’t a decent sample size, which was true.

So when I posted the follow-up using the Majestic Million as the data source and Ahrefs still won, they weren’t so happy to say the least.

They posted this response where they said that the data size doesn’t provide a realistic comparison.

Make your mind up guys!

Poler Bear Face Palm

Tools Of The Trade Updated

I also updated the tools of the trade page at reader request.

Now you can see precisely which theme and plugins are used to power the blog behind the scenes!

New Email Signature

I used the WiseStamp gmail app to create a cool email signature linking to my social profiles and sharing my latest post.

Email Signature

Hopefully this will allow readers to connect with me easier!

My Very First Interview!

Zac Johnson got in touch with me and asked if I would be willing to give an interview!

I nearly fell off my chair when this request came in because I’ve being a long time reader of Zac’s!

Fall Off Chair

The problem is most interviews are soooo boring to read right? So I tried my best to turn it into more of a tutorial interview.

Not sure if I managed to pull it off but check out the full interview for yourself.

Did I do good?

Went To Snowbombing

Snowbombing is a music festival set in the mountains of Mayrhofen in Austria.

Skiing and snowboarding by day – partying and raving by night!

I went on the 1st of April which meant I had to work through the night & get straight on a plane in order to publish last month’s income report for you guys!

The funny thing? One of my readers was there and I took a picture of him in fancy dress without knowing! Small world eh!

Snow Bombing

Skiing Snow Bombing


That’s me with part of Rudimental and Breach! If you guys ever need a live blogger on your travels, get in touch ^^

Currently In Costa Rica

As I mentioned before a couple of my readers (Andrea & Yeison) invited me to Costa Rica so I’ve come to help them with their business online.

A brutal journey from Manchester to New York, then to Miami and finally San Jose.

I got asked all sorts of weird terrorist related questions on the way because I only had hand luggage for the trip!

Check out todays office view while I’m writing this post-

Office View

Much love to Andrea & Yeison for making this possible and looking after me good!

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

This month the blog saw an increase of visitors from 13,487 (435/day) to 16,017 (544/day) which is a great increase on the previous month!

Visitor Statistics Analytics

Most Popular Content

For the first time this month the tiered link building tutorials have been knocked off the top spot by the Ahrefs vs Majestic SEO post.

This was a pretty controversial post that attracted traffic from a lot of places!

I have also seen the free SEO tools post gain popularity this month.

Most Popular Content Analytics

Top Traffic Sources

Google is still pushing forward as the main traffic source for the blog.

What is interesting though is the huge increase in people coming from Facebook this month. I believe this is mostly due to the Ahrefs vs Majestic SEO post which went viral across social media channels.

Traffic from YouTube is still growing after making a few changes a couple of months ago and still delivers the most engaged traffic all round.

Top Traffic Sources

Search Engine Traffic

Search traffic has remained steady this month with 10,445 visits (348 per day) compared to last month’s 333 per day.

The last couple of months have seen huge growth in traffic from Google and this is the first month it has remained consistent.

That’s all without link building!

Analytics Keywords

YouTube Views

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

Last month there were a total of 10,835 views but this month I only had 9,249 views.

People spent 65,037 minutes watching my videos last month which has dropped to 54,570 this month.

This still means that at least one person is watching one of my videos every minute of every day though.

My goal is to have 3 people watching my videos every minute of every day which means I need to get 131,487 minutes watched in one month.

Youtube Analytics

Social Shares

Last month there were a running total of 8,713 social shares across all pages of the blog.

This has now increased to a huge 11,099 across Facebook, Twitter and Google+

  • Google+ – 1,375 (1,162 last month)
  • Twitter – 5,828 (5,207 last month)
  • Facebook – 3,896 (2,344 last month)

My Forum Statistics

The forum continues to grow at a steady pace with 173 new users, 70 topics and 243 replies.

I haven’t had much time to get as involved with the forum as I would like this month, so that’s going to change this month :)

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

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

  • Users: 761 (588 last month)
  • Topics: 407 (337 last month)
  • Posts: 1,583 (1,340 last month)


The subscriber rates have slowed down slightly this month seeing a total of 5,053 subscribers across all of the different channels.

Last month I added a total of 1,191 subscribers but this month there were only 665 new subscribers across the blog.

This is mostly because last month I ran a competition which always brings in a larger amount of new subscriptions.

  • E-mail – 116 (613 last month) / Total: 2,241
  • Twitter – 98 (171 last month) / Total: 858
  • YouTube – 116 (142 last month) / Total: 679
  • Facebook – 64 (61 last month) / Total: 350
  • Google+ – 174 (115 last month) / Total: 526
  • RSS – 45 (89 last month) / Total: 399

Forum Promotion Posts

Well my forum promotion posting can only be described as pathetic this month.

Last month I made a total of 169 posts which was pretty bad, this month I only made 29!

Tut tut!

  • TrafficPlanet – 13 posts (464 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 1 posts (490 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 15 posts (771 visits)

Income Report

Here are the numbers you really want to see-

Affiliate Earnings


Consultation Earnings

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

This month I generated $1,114.04 / £715.00 in consultation earnings which is slightly down from last months $1,100.69 / £725.00

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $4,995.32
  • Consultation Income – $1,114.04
  • Expenses – $48.95

Grand Total: $6,060.41 / £3,989.99 ($5,953.23 / £3,919.43 last month)

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

It’s great to see that traffic is on the increase however this was mainly because of the viral nature of the Ahrefs vs Majestic post which didn’t provide any earning opportunities.

Although this did allow me to reach a new audience and bring some new subscribers to the blog!

It’s good to see that income has slightly increased even though I spent the first week of April at Snowbombing and the last few days in Costa Rica.

I don’t get home until the 7th of May so probably won’t make another post until then.

However I do intend to break my personal goal of $10,000 and I have a few things lined up over the coming weeks to help me achieve that.

When I quit my job 3.5 years ago I set a goal to be able to work anywhere in the world with nothing more than my laptop and an internet connection.

I have achieved that goal which has taken a lot of blood, sweat and tears – I’m very happy about it!

Andrea & Yeison are teaching me a lot about the quality of life and not to work so hard while I’m in Costa Rica so expect to see me refreshed with a new focus when I get home.

Well, that’s if I come home eh!? I could certainly get used to the Costa Rican way of life.

Until then – take it easy!

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

46 Responses

  1. conie k

    I made less than $300 these stats made me feel bad lol

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 28th, 2013 at 8:38 am

      Get your hustle on ^^

  2. Kevin

    Hi Matthew, itis realllllly good to find this blog!!
    You are doing a great job therefore I can reach here from google organic search.
    Right now I am working hard on my site and struggling about how to rank it. You give me a new view!!
    Thanks for that!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 15th, 2013 at 9:27 am

      Just read through my income reports and you’ll see how this site was ranked :)

  3. Sam Matla

    Great stuff Matt! Very motivating as always. I’d be happy with 1/10th of what you’re getting. My day will come :P

    Oh and thanks to following your tips I’ve managed to increase my search traffic from around 10% to 50% per day! It’s a good feeling.


    • Matthew Woodward
      May 6th, 2013 at 10:42 pm

      Hi Sam,

      Glad to see your seeing some benefits :)

      Feel free to email me a testimonial ^^

  4. Bob

    Hi Matthew, it’s amazing your report. I just discover your tutorials on Youtube and you posts on BHW. It’s a great source to start on SEO. I start a new blog last month. I hope that, I can reach this type of Goal.

  5. Dave

    come have a beer with us in Paris? Off to read the interview.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 6th, 2013 at 10:45 pm

      Hi Dave,

      Drop me an email with your itinerary – I may well do so! Perhaps you guys could come back to the UK with me and extend your travels!

      I’m in Dallas at the moment but will be home tomorrow!

  6. Sunday

    Considering details of this article, I think Mathew Woodward has done considerably well in the month of April. The stats prove this and the figures speaks.

    One thing I have also noted is the impact made by his controversial content. I guess this has impact on the traffic and the income!

    The above comment has been shared and “kingged” in the IM social site – Kingged.com

    Sunday – Kingged.com contributor


    • Matthew Woodward
      May 9th, 2013 at 9:23 am

      Thanks for the mention guys :P Feel free to share any of my other tutorials with your audience ^^

  7. Greg

    Just read the interview on Zac’s site and yep, you nailed it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 5th, 2013 at 12:54 pm

      Cheers Greg!

  8. Jeremy Rivera

    Howdy Matthew,

    I really like your breakdown of your efforts, it’s interesting to see the ZERO backlink approach in action.

    Here’s hoping that next month you’ll have some Raven Tools affiliate revenue to report, let me know if I can help make that happen by providing resources etc.

    Thanks for being awesome!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 6:44 pm

      Hi Jeremy,

      Well I can see in my account I have referred quite a few people and the commission looks like it has only tracked as $0.01 on the back end?

      Is that how it should be?

      • Jeremy Rivera
        May 2nd, 2013 at 6:52 pm

        That’s a great question Matthew! We set our commissions at 50% and add 10% recurring revenue for leads that become sales of actual accounts (both for our $99 account and for our $249).

        What you’re seeing is how we track leads by giving you a $.01 while they go through the 30 day trial of Raven. If they add their CC info and start paying, BAM-Payday.

        • Jeremy Rivera
          May 2nd, 2013 at 6:58 pm

          BTW what are your opinions on merchants like us providing an extra layer of incentives, like a $50 bonus for first sale, or increased commissions for the first 30 days of the program vs offering a prize or contest to increase affiliate activity?

          • Matthew Woodward
            May 9th, 2013 at 9:26 am

            Contests are good but make the prize something cool that isn’t money related or an iPad/new phone etc, as affiliates we generally have money and gadgets.

            Think of something cool that we wouldn’t normally buy for ourselves ^^ All expenses paid trips etc

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 9th, 2013 at 9:24 am


          Ahhh I see :) That makes sense – I suppose you haven’t had the best reviews here in terms of the backlink checking function so thats why no one goes the full hog I guess

  9. Iain

    Looks like your moving on up.

    I’m not surprised that Ahrefs was your top post. You definitely ruffled some feathers with that one, but it also gave you a lot of exposure which is always nice.

    Perhaps it brought in a host of new people who have never known about you.

    In terms of social media, I am curious why you haven’t focused more on G+ due to its SEO value. It looks like your Twitter has shot up, but G+ has had much slower increase.

    Just an observation.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:08 pm

      Hi Iain,

      Cheers man :)

      Twitter grows more because for the most part thats where my target audience lives in the social world.

      Although I have put Google+ circle buttons in key areas of conversion throughout the site.

  10. Adem

    Hi Matthew, Thanks for sharing and you’re making me extremely jealous of your globetrotting.

    I have to say you’ve inspired me to start blogging again so expect to see more of me in the near future! (New site coming soon)

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:04 pm


      Make sure you drop me an email with the URL when its ready :)

  11. Brian Dean

    It’s great to read how other people in the IM niche run and market their sites. I’ve been hitting the forums but need to do more YouTube marketing.
    Oh, and I just read the interview you did with Zac. Good stuff Matt!

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:05 pm

      Glad you enjoyed it all =D

  12. Raj Sharma

    You hang out a lot man!
    Don’t you get tired? …. :)

    Your traffic sources are too much matt, I don’t know why people are mad about only Google Search traffic.

    When they can get loyal reader through other sources as well. (youtube, facebook, forums etc)

    Anyways, keep it up.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:09 pm


      I defenitly don’t hang out a lot – between the 7th April and the 28th I didn’t have a day off and was lucky if I only worked 12 hours a day ^^

  13. Greg

    Hi Matthew

    wow just discovered your blog via google..it’s great! You see i’ve just published my very first blog http://sogregory.com and i am undertaking a 90 day challenge to build a passive income online and as part of my daily research routine i found your blog.

    You have truely built a lifestyle and i am looking forward to all your posts as i also carry out my own journey…any tips? :-)

  14. Salah

    Matt, you are doing well, keep going and you will achieve that 10K goal soon :)

    your way of blogging is inspiring me, thank you so much

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Cheers Salah!

  15. Mark Cullen

    This is definitely be best part of your blog for me Matt it gives me so much inspiration.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:15 pm

      Let’s see that inspiration turn into money ^^

      • Mark Cullen
        May 4th, 2013 at 6:09 pm

        Don’t you worry Matt good things come to thous who wait. I have some really good ideas for the blog. I’m not going to rush this although already late, I,m setting up some really good experiments and doing a few study’s and cant wait to share the results with you all.

        • Matthew Woodward
          May 5th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

          Looking forward to it! Jus don’t wait too long :P

  16. Sanjay Shenoy

    Wow! You got 490 visits from one post on Warriorforum. How on earth did you manage that? Hahaha my 25 + posts gave me some 33 clicks so far, maybe I should get a better banner for the signature.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      I only made 1 post last month but have lots of other posts on there which help bring the traffic. I don’t have a banner in my signature either =\

  17. Glen Allsopp


    It has been interesting to follow your journey so far :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:16 pm

      Plenty more to come :) You should publish your own journey!

  18. Michael Burrows

    Hey Matt, another solid month.

    I just launched my blog yesterday and hope to reach the same success. Look forward to reading what you post this month.


    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Michael,

      Awesome! Good luck with the site!

  19. Daniel

    Congrats bro. Making some nice $$$. Good effort.

    I have too much ADD to ever be good at SEO

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm

      Hi Daniel,

      You should read shoemoneys book about how he works with ADD

  20. Genie

    Wow Matthew you are definitely living the dream, I would like to travel and do what I want, whenever I want as well in the near future. Its awesome reading your progress and what you did to get there no wonder your blog and your brand are growing month by month. Thanks for the great info and sharing a bit of your life with us.

    • Matthew Woodward
      May 2nd, 2013 at 3:17 pm


      Then set that goal and work towards it every single day :)

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