Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – December 2012

This is the fifth 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 December

Well not much to be honest! In last month’s report I said I was going to take most of December off to recover from 3 years of solid work.

Today is the first day back after the break and I’m feeling energised and ready to go! It’s going to be a rocking 2013!

The only problem is I have a stack of emails to get through and getting pulled pillar to post while I’m in catch up mode on all fronts.

So if you’ve got in touch with me and I haven’t responded please sit tight, I’m working on it =D

Content Creation

Well my readers should probably give me some abuse for the lack of content I put out this month. I had planned to publish a post a week during my break but that failed miserably.

Instead I published just one post – The Free SEO Tools & Internet Marketing Software which luckily was very popular and saved me on the traffic side of things somewhat!

So all of the posts I was going to publish in December will now be published this month once I have had a chance to sort out the mess the editorial calendar is in at the moment.

Stole Aaron Wall’s Circles

In search results you sometimes see the author snippets that say how many Google+ circles they are in.

But for some reason this just wasn’t showing up on any searches for my site at all! Aaron Wall had them, so where’s mine!

Circles In Google

I couldn’t work out what was wrong, I wasn’t sure if it was because my author profile was clashing with the sites profile on Google+ or perhaps I wasn’t in enough circles?

What I did in the end though was just add rel=”publisher” to the link to my blogs Google+ page.

This is what happened-

Circles

Mwahahahahaha!!!! I stole Aaron Wall’s circles :P Sorry bro!

#1 Affiliate!

Kontent Machine was one of the most impressive pieces of software of 2012 in my opinion (along with Inspyder Backlink Monitor & BuzzBundle) it is a huge time and money saver.

I was so impressed with it that I have worked closely with the team the past few months running competitions and sales threads and that hard work has paid off!

The Kontent Machine team got in touch with me to let me know that I am there number 1 affiliate and will be giving me a 50% bonus! Thanks guys!!!

Check out my Kontent Machine 3 review!

EXCLUSIVE DISCOUNT: Save $50 & Get The Lifetime License For Just $147 (usually $37 per month)

Offer expires 4th of January

Site Speed Optimisation

One thing I did actually do was spend a couple of days optimising the speed and load times of the site.

Site speed is critical to bottom line profits, the longer it takes to load, the more money you lose! It really is as simple as that.

In fact just a one second delay causes a 11% less page views & a 7% drop in conversion! Talk about leaving money on the table!

The site used to take 4.87 seconds to load – click the image to view the actual test results.

Load Speed Before

But now it takes just 0.501 seconds and I haven’t even done the sprite optimisation yet! Click the image to view the actual test results.

Load Speed After

How did I do it? Well I moved my hosting to WPEngine.com (the support team provided instant responses across Christmas day!) and made a bunch of tweaks across the site.

I’ll be posting a detailed tutorial showing how each speed optimisation task impacted load time step by step soon!

Removed Facebook Comments

After much thought I decided to replace Facebook Comments with the standard WordPress system.

The Facebook comments did help to add to the overall authority of the site as you can see real people getting involved. The problem is many people chose not to comment because they didn’t want to be using their personal Facebook accounts.

On top of that I noticed Facebook Comments were influencing load time a fair amount so they are gone!

I’ll be spending some time fine tuning the comment system for maximum conversion soon, but for now it’s as default as it gets!

Fell In Love With BuzzBundle

The main method I use to drive traffic to this website is by identifying & engaging with my target audience directly online.

Oddly enough that’s one of my least popular articles but it’s the ‘method’ that earns me the most money by far.

I used to do a lot of this by hand and hacking a few tools together like Google Alerts.

With BuzzBundle though it is really easy. Just enter a list of keywords/terms and BuzzBundle will go and find the latest conversations from forums, blogs and social networks!

It takes care of the registration process and all you need to do is write your reply and hit submit. All of this is done directly within the BuzzBundle interface.

I am now using this on a daily basis as a key part of my traffic strategy. Amazing piece of software with no monthly subscription!

Time Invested

This month I spent a total of 20 hours on the blog. This was made up of 4 hours content creation, 4 hours promotion with BuzzBundle and 12 hours of speed optimisation.

Next Month’s Target

Last month I just missed the $10,000 mark and I had already accepted that this month wasn’t going to be great as I wasn’t really working.

So for January I’m planning to not only break the $10,000 mark but shatter it with a $15,000 target!

Pretty ambitious but let’s see what happens! I put some good thought into the ‘how’ throughout December!

Made A Tit Of Myself

Well they say a picture tells a 1,000 words sooooo…….

Tigger 1000 Words

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s see how hard I was punished for barely lifting a finger all month.

Visitor Statistics

Strangely enough traffic actually increased from last month growing to 5,477 from last month’s 5,008.

I managed to push the new visitor percentage up by 7% which will be down to the work done in BuzzBundle.

Visitor Statistics Analytics

Most Popular Content

Months after they were published the tiered link building tutorial videos are still securing a lot of the top spots.

Nice to see the income report regained popularity and the best free SEO tools post has saved my bacon in terms of traffic this month!

Top Content

Top Traffic Sources

For the most part the top traffic sources stay the same with only 1 new entry.

What is very interesting is that YouTube consistently delivers the highest quality traffic time and time again.

Top Traffic Sources

Search Engine Traffic

Remember this blog is running a zero backlink experiment to measure whether just publishing high quality content is enough to harness rankings.

Google sent 2,710 visitors this month across 436 keywords which is a decent bump from last month’s 2,319 visits from 291 keywords.

Analytics Keywords Statistics

YouTube Views

I’m going to start looking at ways I can optimise the YouTube end of things due to the quality of traffic it delivers.

Views dropped for the second month running to just 3,355 from 3,852 the month before and 4,836 the month before that.

Total time watched also took a hit dropping to 17,552 minutes from 21,880.

Still not that bad really, but it could be and was better!

Youtube Views Analytics

Social Shares

Social shares are up again with a running total of 3,959 shares across the blog.

Content is still getting shared on a social network by roughly 1 in 5 visitors which is pretty good going, but I’m going to try and get that back to the 1 in 2.5 it was previously.

  • Twitter – 1,947 (1,739 last month)
  • Facebook – 1,400 (1,163 last month)
  • Google+ – 612 (570 last month)

My Forum Statistics

This month see’s the biggest month of growth the forum has seen yet!

It really is great to see my readers getting to know each other and helping each other out. You really should install a WordPress discussion forum plugin to your blog, it’s wonderful!

  • Users: 113 (99 last month)
  • Topics: 68 (39 last month)
  • Posts: 244 (176 last month)

Subscribers

Subscribers are really the life and soul of the blog! Having loyal readers is a privilege that I am trying to earn over time by publishing high quality content.

No annoying popups or tricks to get people to subscribe, just great content and the option to do so if they wish!

There is now a grand total of 1,808 subscribers up from last month’s 1,571.

  • E-mail – 77 (237 last month) / Total: 854
  • Twitter – 63 (67 last month) / Total: 423
  • YouTube – 43 (39 last month) / Total: 214
  • Facebook – 22 (25 last month) / Total: 136
  • Google+ – 11 (27 last month) / Total: 59
  • RSS – 21 (31 last month) / Total: 122

Forum Promotion Posts

Well given the amount I slacked off it will come as no surprise that I didn’t do all that much forum promotion either.

In fact I only made a total of 102 posts but I’ll be pushing this into the few hundreds again this month.

  • TrafficPlanet – 58 posts (643 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 20 posts (557 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 24 posts (843 visits)

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.

This month I generated $1,908.62 / £1,170.00 in consultation earnings down from last months $7,114.65 / £4440.00 as I didn’t take on much work in anticipation of my time off.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $3,975.25
  • Consultation Income – $1,908.62
  • Expenses – $87.84

Grand Total: $5,796.03 / £3,550.62 ($9,315.59 / £5,777.47 last month)

Not that bad for a month off work!

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Annual Summary

I started putting a focus onto this blog on the 1st of August 2012. I had made a couple of posts before then but never really did anything – one of those I’ll get round to it kinda things!

Since pulling my finger out on the 1st of August 2012 the blog has earnt a total of $25,588.27 / £15,692.54 in just 4 months.

And I’m just getting started!

Signing Off

Well it’s my first day back in the saddle after a well earnt break. Luckily the site hasn’t suffered that much and has even seen growth in some areas!

I’ve got a busy month ahead of me with a whole stack of things to catch up on including emails, consultation jobs, blog posts, forum questions, software development, sales video animation and a bunch of other stuff.

That doesn’t include the things I actually want to do this month like make improvements to the blog in an effort to hit a 0% bounce rate.

If you have any suggestions on how to improve the blog then let me know in the comments folks!

Have You Enjoyed This Post?

If you have enjoyed this post then please take 60 seconds to tell a friend.

Whether that’s on a forum, an instant messenger, on the phone or in the pub – please help me to spread the love!

I invest a lot of time creating posts like this (over 8 hours so far for this post alone) so please take 60 seconds to say thank you.

Every little helps and I rely on people like yourself to help grow traffic!

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

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