Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – August 2012

Welcome to the very first income report as part of my zero link building case study.

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 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 on video marketing conversion rate 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 video conversion 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.


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-

Buy SEO Rank

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?

Kontent Machine Rank

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.

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!

Visitor Statistics Analytics

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 :)

Most Popular Content Analytics

Top Traffic Sources*

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

Top Traffic Sources

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.

Keyword Statistics

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.

Youtube Views

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!


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



  • Income – $694.17
  • Expenses – $88.89

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

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.

25 Responses

  1. Andy

    Thank you so much for the post, Matt. This is a lot of info but you break it down into digestible chunks. Super grateful for your authentic SEO strategy.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 12th, 2015 at 6:01 pm

      No problem :)

  2. Ryley Donkersgoed

    Earlier I had browsed the main income reports page and seen the overview of the income you have made in the life of this blog. It is very impressive!!

    Anyways I have decided I am going to go through each of the months and try and learn as much as I can about what you are doing to earn money, so that I can hopefully start to too.

    Tomorrow I am going to read and watch all of the videos to your “The Ultimate Guide To Tiered Link Building” post.

    To be honest at the moment I am not even sure what tier link building is. I guess I will learn tomorrow =)

    Also part of my plan for tomorrow I am going to check out what Kontent Machine is and does.

    I am also curious as to how you generate traffic through posting on forums. Are you posting your tutorials? Do you create posts about your website. How can I generate traffic to my blog by posting on forums?

    Tomorrow I am also going to start brainstorming some ideas for tutorials that I can write that will be high quality.

    Oh and lastly I must say Mathew your blog is awesome and you are a very hard worker.

  3. Brent Klaproth

    Amazing blog, great work Matthew. I find myself here at least 2 times per week!

    • Matthew Woodward
      October 2nd, 2012 at 11:28 am

      Well I best make sure I increase that to 3 times per week then :P

  4. Andy Killworth

    Awesome work sir!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 17th, 2012 at 9:41 pm

      Thanks very much, not long until the next one!

  5. Anonymous

    I love this site matt and you have very good progress and thank you for such wonderful site and I am a permant vistor for this site I would love if you add more tuts :)

    good luck on your earning.

    Thank you

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 13th, 2012 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Alston,

      Thanks very much :) More to come!

  6. Gaurav Bidasaria

    hey you are doing a great job. I just realized the importance of building a personal blog and have started my own personal blog. its still in development stage and I am slowly writing and developing content for it. social media plays a vital role in growing your blog and getting viral can be the best thing that can happen. your tutorials are great.. keep up the great work.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 13th, 2012 at 2:22 pm

      Thanks Gaurav, shoot me an email with the URL when its ready and I'll check it out :)

  7. Toan Nguyen Minh

    Great income! Congratulations!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 10th, 2012 at 6:52 am

      Thanks man, although by all accounts people flipping burgers at McDonalds earn more per hour at the moment ^^

  8. Indiana Computer Tech

    Great read. Been reading up all I can the last week or so and keep coming across your stuff. Mainly trying to get my business some exposure locally (computer tech) but just started writing articles for my site and put some ads up there hoping to maybe some day get some traffic. Still trying to figure the basics the social networking sites, blogs, web2.0 stuff lol. Lots of changed since I was seriously making income online, and never was really SEO I guess you could say.

  9. Jeff Terry

    Good stuff Matt, I'm really liking what you got going on here. How much income are you making outside of this website? Curious how much is your own stuff and how much is from clients. I'm slowly growing my client base and am going to start to need tools as I want to bring everything inhouse instead of outsourcing. Thanks!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 10th, 2012 at 6:55 am

      Hi Jeff,

      I have spent a few years developing my own site portfolio exclusively, its only these past couple of weeks I have taken on some clients.

      I would certainly recommend you bring link building in house, I have stepped away from using services entirely over the past year or so. They tend to use scraped/auto spun content and blast the same list over and over.

      Much better to have full control of the link process and the ability to remove any if needs be in the future :)

  10. Anonymous

    Matt, you have created one of the most impressive and useful tutorials that I have ever come across, in fact just what I have been looking for some time. The blog is so nicely organised content wise with coool colour combination and contrast – I like it. I promise to spend not 60 but much more than that to create separate posting about your tutorials in one of my favourite forums soon for hungry newbies! Keep up buddy. Cheers.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 10th, 2012 at 6:53 am

      Hi Ash,

      Glad you enjoy my content, I'll keep working on producing the goods!!

      Any tutorials you would like me to make?

  11. John D'oh

    You should post on BlackHatWorld as well. It's one of the biggest IM-related forums and you're missing out on some $$$. Start by posting your tutorials and watch the added traffic/income.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 10th, 2012 at 6:58 am

      I dont have an account to post from :(

  12. Miroslav Mazalica

    Great report Matt, it was a pleasure reading it – as always is with your posts. Keep up the good work :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 4th, 2012 at 2:20 pm

      Thanks very much :) Does this mean you've started a thread in a forum about my tutorials? :P

    • Miroslav Mazalica
      September 4th, 2012 at 10:09 pm

      I'll do that soon enough :)

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