Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – April 2014

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.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

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.

Update: Traffic Planet Hosting is now called WPX Hosting – I have also published my detailed WPX Hosting review.

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

Expenses

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.

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 / £7,318.96 ($10,789.13 / £6,487.36 last month)

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

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

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.

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