Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – August 2013

This is the 13th 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 August

One year ago I started this blog with a bang and I ended it with a bang!

This is the first report of the 2nd year of the blog – let’s go!

Content Creation

I wrote the biggest, longest, most detailed tutorial I have ever created – How To Start A Successful Blog And Make Money Online Step By Step!

I also launched the Author Hreview competition & the launch of the digital marketing glossary which is actually an experiment.

We also met an elite blackhat spammer that may have seriously helped you or seriously pissed you off in the past.

Let’s not forget the regular income report roundup & what I have read this month features.

A Pat On The Matt

I send an email to Matt Cutt’s thanking him for inspiring the zero link building experiment – I was pretty amazed he replied!

Matt Cutts

I asked for 1 thing he liked about the blog and 1 thing he didn’t like-

Matt Cutts Like

A Pat From Pat

I also got in touch with Pat Flynn!

Pat Flynn Email

He also shared 1 thing he liked about the blog and 1 thing he didn’t like-

Pat Flynn Likes

Backlinks Inner Circle

A few months ago Winson Yeung invited me to be part of the new Backlinks Inner Circle.

10 SEO experts including big names like Terry Kyle & Brian Dean were invited to contribute which resulted in an epic free eBook.

Thanks to Winson for the opportunity – grab your copy here!

Blog Features

The blog had a bunch of features this month as well including the Jedi marketer roundup.

Are you missing your sriracha sauce? Check out what these top 25 inbound marketing articles for some help!

Brand Protection

My name is my brand and as that brand grows I need to protect it!

So I decided to use NameCheap to register around 50 domains based around my name with various extensions.

It cost $292.74 in total but is a worthwhile investment for the future!

NameCheap give you the added bonus of free whois privacy as well!

Met Dave & Vicky From ACoupleTravelers.com

Last month I was meant to meet Dave & Vicky from ACoupleTravelers.com in Poland and had to cancel.

Luckily though they were passing through the Czech Republic while I was in Prague so we managed to hook up!

A Couple Travelers Dave Vicky

They are coming to the UK in the next couple of months so we’ll be crossing paths again.

Kittens Were Born!

While I was in Prague the kittens were born!

This left me with a difficult decision.

Go to the brutal assault heavy metal festival in an abandoned soviet fort or get a flight home 4 days early for the kittens.

New Kittens

Guess what I chose to do!

Back In Costa Rica

Right now I’m back in Costa Rica until mid September!

I’ve seen wild scorpions, monkeys, turtles, dolphins & whales – caught some fish and turned them into poo!

I’ve also been helping Yeison & Samantha from MyTanFeet.com and Andrea from Pecoramannara.com.





I also spent a day looking at property & found a sweet apartment that I want to buy =D

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 increased from last month’s 18,654 (601/day) to 27,288 (880/day) – This is by far the biggest traffic month of the blog so far and is largely down to this post.

Visitor Statistics Analytics

Most Popular Content

The top 100 blog post smashed it this month along with the tier link building series & GODOVERYOU interview.

The secrets & mistakes of 10 leading SEO experts also hit the nail on the head!

Most Popular Content

Top Traffic Sources

Direct traffic took a big jump this month – not entirely sure why but I’m guessing it is because people shared with their lists.

Thanks to those that did =D Mucho appreciato – let me know if there is anything I can do for you!

Or if you want me to owe you a favour you could share my top 100 post with your list – they’ll love you for it ^^

Top Traffic Sources

Search Engine Traffic

Search traffic didn’t really increase last month but this month is a different story.

Last month Google sent 13,360 (431 per day) which has grown to 16,147 (521 per day) this month.

Search Traffic Analytics

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.

I had 18,343 views last month which has remained steady at 18,899.

Total minutes watched has also remained steady at 108,936 compared to last month’s 101,929.

Getting closer to my 131,487 target meaning 3 people would be watching a tutorial every minute of every day.

Youtube Analytics

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 19,139 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 16,559 last month.

  • Google+ – 2,822 (2,139 last month)
  • Twitter – 9,664 (8,482 last month)
  • Facebook – 6,653 (5,938 last month)

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My Forum Statistics

This month added 264 new users, 60 new topics and 137 replies this month which was similar to last month’s performance.

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

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

  • Users: 1,660 (1,396 last month)
  • Topics: 664 (604 last month)
  • Posts: 2,435 (2,298 last month)

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

Last month I managed to add a total of 962 new subscribers to the blog across the various channels.

This month that has grown nicely to 1,711 which is a good crack at 55 per day!

There are now a total of 10,660 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 800 (304 last month) / Total: 4,831
  • Twitter – 236 (102 last month) / Total: 1,543
  • YouTube – 250 (292 last month) / Total: 1,646
  • Facebook – 107 (75 last month) / Total: 701
  • Google+ – 265 (138 last month) / Total: 1,421
  • RSS – 53 (-51 last month) / Total: 518

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Forum Promotion Posts

I’ve taken most of this month off which means I’ve been a lazy little shit when it comes to posting on forums.

I did manage to scrape together 36 posts though!

  • TrafficPlanet – 15 posts (528 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 0 posts (554 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 21 posts (1,652 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.

I took most of this month off so refused all consultation requests meaning I earnt a grand total of $0 compared to last months $3,497.14 / £2,305.00.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $6,774.57
  • Consultation Income – $0.00
  • Expenses – $341.69

Grand Total: $6,432.88 / £4,151.58 ($6,688.12 / £4,457.24 last month)

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Nice to see affiliate income more than double this month!

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Signing Off

Well I’ve taken most of the month off and not done anything on the blog other than write posts.

It’s great to see that even though I didn’t do any consultation work this month earnings remained at a similar level.

Not bad for a month off right?

When I get home from Costa Rica and have caught up on all the emails you guys have sent I’ll be back in the driving seat, pedal to the metal!

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

79 Responses

  1. Ani

    Hey Matt,

    Thanks so much for these handy insights – it always helps people like me who are starting out :) I love how you are so transparent about your income too.

    Thanks a lot

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 25th, 2014 at 4:07 pm

      No worrys glad it helps :)

  2. Matthew Anton

    Small world, I just visited Prague :). Did you see the “Eiffel Tower”? haha. Good stuff and congratulations on the earnings and the Backlinks Inner Circle.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 21st, 2013 at 10:33 am

      I make my own eiffel towers :P

  3. Vid


    That is one brilliant report – you are definitely doing all your readers a great favour by doling out all this information. Very inspirational!

    Definitely sharing this with our readers.



    • Matthew Woodward
      September 17th, 2013 at 4:13 pm


      Thanks very much hope it helps out!

  4. marty

    I have to say I am amazed this is the first time I have been to your site.And the amount you have been able to make through affiliate marketing is mind blowing to me.I can’t believe you did this in only a year makes me feel like a slacker!Going to look more into the SEO things since I am new its still is a bit confusing to me … as a side those kittens are freaking adorable!

  5. Robert Kirk

    In a year what a success you have brought to this blog. Some fantastic posts and some really link worthy topics. Keep up the good work mate

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 7th, 2013 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks Roberto Kirko!

  6. Praveen

    Honestly speaking you rock and you are helping other like me help achieve a wonderful life. Well you helped me very much now its onto me to do the rest of the work. :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 7th, 2013 at 6:59 pm

      Thats great to hear =D Makes all the hard work worth it

  7. Jim

    Your post is so inspiring. I am thinking about doing the same experiment.

    How many hours a week you spend working on the blog?

  8. Sita Gabriel

    Hey Matt,

    I have to congrats you for this month, you’ve done very good. I wish you could hit the $10k mark, but it’s all up to you. It’s nice that you talked to Matt Cutts and Pat. I really follow your blog and love it.

    I’ve been on vacation for a few days, didn’t have time to check your blog. I think that your doing a great job, keep it up.

    I wish you all the best! Stay healthy!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 3rd, 2013 at 7:25 pm

      When I get home I will be refreshed and ready to drive it forward past that mark :)

      Thanks for the nice words Sita!

  9. Daniel Kanda

    Wait…so what Does Matt Cutts Have In Common With Scorpions, Monkeys, Turtles, Dolphins & Whales?

    Still didnt get the answer =)

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 3rd, 2013 at 7:27 pm

      They are both in my income report ^^

  10. Shalu Sharma

    Lovely pictures. It must have been nice to receive a reply back from Matt Cutts.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 14th, 2013 at 4:10 pm

      Well depsite the hate, at least he cares huh =D

  11. Sandipan Mukherjee

    Matt mailing Matt!! LOL. Jokes apart, great to see that you got a reply from Matt Cutts.

    Have you ever been to India? If not, would love to see you here and meet you in person. :)

    Have a great month ahead.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 7:07 pm

      Not yet – but theres always time =D

  12. Iain

    That’s awesome that you got a response from both Pat Flynn and Matt Cutts.

    It’s amazing what you can get if you just ask eh.

    Looks like your epic post got some heat which is good.

    Do you think it will have staying power?

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:45 pm

      Well – dont ask, dont get :)

      I think the content will be relevant for years to come, or at least until the year 2 round up :P

      • Iain
        September 3rd, 2013 at 10:05 am

        Good point.

        Then you would have to make it even more epic than the first. That is the way it goes though eh.

        I think it’s Noah Kagen who talks about the power of asking.

        • Matthew Woodward
          September 3rd, 2013 at 7:24 pm

          Well I suppose how epic it is depends how hard I work this year right :P

          • Iain
            September 4th, 2013 at 9:52 am

            It sure does man.

            That goes for anyone though. It can’t be all work and no play.


          • Matthew Woodward
            September 8th, 2013 at 2:54 pm

            Very true indeed, and I’ve done a whole bunch of play the past few weeks lol

  13. Matthew Woodward

    Of course ^^

    Im a 5 year goal?

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 8th, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Well im coming back in February so you best get crackin!

  14. Sunday

    Its really impressive and encouraging having to learn that experts like Matt Cutts and Pat Flynn shared some encouragement in your blog. Their takes also helps readers address certain areas of concern.

    The traffic report for August 2013 actually increased and its stunning to learn that this translated to increased income.

    Thanks for sharing this report. At least, I have been able to checkout details of the some of the important links shared!

    I have also shared this comment in kingged.com where this post was ‘kingged’.

    Sunday – kingged.com contributor

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:45 pm


      Yeah its very kind of them to take the time to help out and feedback – couldn’t ask for anything more!

  15. Matthew Fritz

    Hey Matt,

    Another great post. These posts are the ones that really inspire me and push me to actually get my hands dirty.

    Yes, the other content is great but when I see what you’ve achieved and in only a short 12 months – well done! Serious congratulations are in order.

    If you’re ever in South Africa, drop me a note. I’d love to offer you a coffee/beer/drink-of-choice!


    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Oooo not been to south africa yet, drop me a mail :P

  16. amit shrestha

    have a great success men.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you Amit!

  17. Tung


    Your Top 100 post is really the best blogging tutorial I’ve ever read in my 5 year being a blogger.

    I learned so many things from it and already applied some to my CLJ :D


    • Tung
      September 2nd, 2013 at 4:05 am

      can’t believe that finally my comment is approved without any moderation or being stuck in the trash haha

      • Matthew Woodward
        September 2nd, 2013 at 2:46 pm

        Yeah they are all coming through A-OK now! what did you do?

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Thanks very much!!

  18. debbie

    Thanks for the extremely interesting post Matt.

    What did you choose to do re the kittens? Go and see them I guess? :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:47 pm

      Yeah I flew home early :P

  19. Charles Floate

    Awesome stats Matt! I’d email Cutts myself, but think I’ve insulted him/pissed him off a bit to much hehe!

    Also, whats your namecheap username? I’ll transfer you matthewwoodward.me :P Which I own ;)

    Normally your income reports are a bit more indepth and longer, sad to not see much about your forum activity etc… Though the kitten pictures made up for it in smiles & rainbows!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:56 pm

      I thought you were running an experiment on that? Its MatthewWoodward though I think ^^

      Yeah I haven’t actually done much this month other than write posts so not much to write about really lol

      • GodOfSEO
        September 3rd, 2013 at 12:59 pm

        ah fair enough ^.^

        and yeh, but I haz too much things to do atm!!!

        • Matthew Woodward
          September 3rd, 2013 at 7:23 pm

          Yeah thats the username, if you want to push it to me that would be awesome but i’ll leave it open for your future experiment whatever that maybe lol

  20. Casey Dennison

    Awesome month, Matt! Nice to see that you got a response from Mr. Cutts himself, you’d think that with all the emails he must receive on a daily basis your email would get lost among them, but I guess that’s not the case. Surely another great month..Keep rocking it!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:48 pm

      Yeah I was pretty stoked about that – top banana even if he is the anti-seo ^^

      • serge
        September 8th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

        I’d disagree that MC is anti SEO, he’s more anti “Easy rankings”. It would make sense that search engines would WANT sites to be optimized for them: it makes their job easier, more efficient, and inherently; cheaper.

        Just saying :P

        • Matthew Woodward
          September 8th, 2013 at 8:26 pm

          I think he is more anti-spammer/abuse than anti-seo I suppose ^^

  21. Vincent Nguyen

    Great stuff, Matt! You misspelled Pat’s name though. :)

    You’re giving me monthly stats to compete against, so thanks for that!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:49 pm

      Haha not the first time ive done that either – thanks :)

  22. Alexander Poma

    Hi Matt Im new to all of this SEO stuff and firstly i wanted to thankyou for inspiring me to start my site http://bettingtipsonsport.com/ and to just say can you email me with any quick tips you have for my site.

    Alexander Poma

  23. Rohit Palit

    Amazing work, Matt!

    Nice email outreach. ;) And, how do you get people to subscribe to your email newsletter man? I got like 9K unique visitors last month and only 7 of them subscribed. :/

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:50 pm
      • Rohit Palit
        September 2nd, 2013 at 3:08 pm

        Lol already read DAT awesome lengthy post. Around 60% of it I think. I probably missed the subscriber gaining part. ;)

        • Matthew Woodward
          September 2nd, 2013 at 7:08 pm
          • Rohit Palit
            September 2nd, 2013 at 7:19 pm

            Read it long time ago. :)

          • Matthew Woodward
            September 3rd, 2013 at 7:28 pm

            Then you know everything you need to know already =D

          • serge
            September 8th, 2013 at 3:55 pm

            Knowing is only 25% of the result ;) next you gotta act and implement & then tweak/optimize.

            Also, [pavement of] opt in forms are just half the equation: your content will dictate how likely people are to subscribe.

            By content, I don’t mean single posts. I mean the “flow” of the site and relativity of the content and how it’s interconnected.

            I know that that’s a fault of mine; I tended to post quality [but scattered/random] posts. So, I decided to Redo the site by dividing the site into sections and making a flowchart for the site in what I hope to write about in the future to make the site and content flow better.

          • Matthew Woodward
            September 14th, 2013 at 4:08 pm

            Yes the user journey is something I have put a lot of effort into on the site and im about to seriously overhaul (along with other areas of the site)

  24. john

    Pay flynn is an idiot.

    There is nothing wrong with a cartoon version of one’s self. Plus you have a picture of your real mug on the right sidebar anyway!!!

    No doubt if tiered link building wasn’t on Matt Cutt’s radar, it is now. As is everything else related to blackhat tactics, nice one Matt, you should have thought about that before reaching out to him, now everything you reveal in the future not so white hat link building, Matt Cutts is going to know about it.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:51 pm

      Pat Flynn has done some amazing work and on one hand I do agree with him.

      To be honest it would be very very very naive to think that Matt Cutts isn’t aware of blackhat tactics, its like his job you know? And he is the best in the world at it.

      You should think about that before making stupid comments.

    • Sandipan Mukherjee
      September 2nd, 2013 at 6:35 pm

      @John – “Pay flynn is an idiot” :o Do you even know who is Pat Flynn?? Maybe you did not like what he said, but everyone has their own point of view and you should respect that.

      • Matthew Woodward
        September 2nd, 2013 at 7:08 pm

        Well some people are genuine idiots, Pat isn’t in that circle though

    • Serge
      September 8th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      There is no “hidden method” of link building… besides, with as many visitors as this site gets, it’s very naive if you to think that Matt had never been to this site before. We come here because it’s our passion [or learning is], this is Matt’s [and quite a few other’s] job.

  25. Dionne

    Hey Matt,

    First off that post on how to build a top 100 blog was amazing and it is crazy how you are still getting traffic from the forums without posting much!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Well this is like the transitional period where my brand does the work for me and people help to share my stuff naturally now

  26. Gene

    Wow what a great month you have had, the how you built a top 100 blog post was amazing, not that your other posts aren’t amazing. You could have hit the $10 000 this month if you took some consulting gigs but never mind you will get over that mark when you really want to, I feel as if you don’t want to cross that mark but I understand that you have to also enjoy your hard work and the benefits of being in an internet business.

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:52 pm

      Yeah I could have done it this month but I decided to take as much of the month off as possible – don’t forget this is my passion, not my job :)

  27. Neil

    Not really sure what Cutts is talking about. If you are not actively building links, you really do need to encourage people to share your posts, EVEN when you are well known in the space.

    I do not think it is pushy at all. Great post, hope you enjoyed your month “off”!

    • Matthew Woodward
      September 2nd, 2013 at 2:54 pm

      He is talking about the sheer amount of opt in forms I have, which is what the main goal for the blog is.

      • Serge
        September 4th, 2013 at 11:04 pm

        I’d have to disagree with MC. They’re not at all intrusive.

        Having said that, how many subscribers do you get from the top sidebar email subscribe thing? It might be worth trying to move them around a bit (i.e. move your Fixed Widget up there, have it scroll with the screen, maybe make it [the title] a bit smaller).

        A/B Testing can open a whole can of goodies (or worms) as I’ve come to find out recently.

        You can always revert back if it’s not working out :)

        • Matthew Woodward
          September 8th, 2013 at 2:49 pm


          Well he does have a fair point.

          It has made me think about some things though. For example if I removed every opt in box except for just 1 – what effect would that have?

          Opt in rates might drop, but the quality would increase as people are putting in that extra effort to stand up and say I want to subscribe to you. Not sure how I could measure that but its floating about in my head lol

          • Serge
            September 8th, 2013 at 3:40 pm

            True. I did that with one of my sites (automotive niche). I went from 50 signups a day to about 10. Those 10 signups are actually better than the 50 I wad getting before; is almost like having more signups actually discouraged the more interactive subscribers… But like you said before; there’s no way to measure that. All I know is that one form fit the design of the site better than more and now I can use those extra “spots” in the design (where additional opt in forms where) for ads/promotional links.

          • Matthew Woodward
            September 14th, 2013 at 4:09 pm

            Thats nice food for thought, I think I will remove some and replace them with something more useful :)

  28. Steve Stretton

    Good post Matt,

    Small typo:

    “I’ve taken most of this month which means I’ve been a lazy little shit when it comes to posting on forums.”


    • Matthew Woodward
      September 1st, 2013 at 6:04 pm

      Fixed thank you =D

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