Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – December 2016

This is the 51st 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.

What I Have Done In December

With this Christmas season approaching I was keen to wrap up as many loose ends as possible and take it easy.

At the same time I was also looking into the new year and thinking about the direction I want the blog to go.

So with that said, let’s take a closer look at what I’ve been doing in December.

Affiliate World Asia

Right at the start of the month I flew out to Bangkok to speak at Affiliate World Asia


It was one of the best conferecnes I have been to and was super organised froms tart to finish.

They have another event in Berlin in June which I highly recommend you check out.

After the conference was finished I spent a few days exploring the city and went to the Thai Cooking Academy and checked out a local tailor amongst other things-


Although Thailand is generally thought of as a beautiful country, I really do not enjoy city’s and Bangkok is just another city for me.

Hopefully one day I will return to see the real life and soul of Thailand.

Content Audit

What took up most of my time this month was a complete content audit of the blog.

Essentially I am just going through every single post on the blog looking for content that is under performing, out of date or overlapping with other posts.

I used URL Profiler & Screaming Frog to pull data from a number of sources including Ahrefs, Majestic, Google Analytics, Google Search Console and more to produce a spreadsheet-


Then I worked through each post line by line to review them.

Now all that’s left to do is to create a plan of action from the data which will start with the deletion and merging of overlapping posts.

Content Creation

As I was in Thailand for a lot of the month and had my head buried in the content audit, I was a little light on new content this month.

I only published 4 new posts compared to the 6 I published last month.

We kicked off with this guide to make money blogging.

Then I launched an updated post of 64 free SEO tools as part of the larger marketing tools section.

I also published my income report along with the regular income report roundup.

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and see how the blog has actually performed this month.

Visitor Statistics

Last month traffic increased to 63,075 (2,102/day) which has dropped slightly over the festive period to 61,209 (1,974/day)

That keeps me above my goal of 60,000 visitors per month which I was expecting to drop off this month.


Most Popular Content

The free SEO tools was by far the most popular post on the blog this month.

That was followed by the how to make money on Fiverr tutorial.


Top Traffic Sources

The top traffic sources have remained pretty much the same as last month with nothing new to report really.


Search Engine Traffic

Search traffic has grown steadily the past few months but hit a small rut last month.

Last month saw 51,524 (1,717/day) visitors from Google which has dropped to 47,949 (1,547/day) this month.

However in the last week of December search traffic jumped 30% so we’ll see if that trend continues.


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.

YouTube views increase gently from 18,066 to 18,388 this month.

That also had an impact on total minutes watched which also increased gently from 83,776 to 83,999 respectively.


Social Shares

This month the total social shares across Facebook and Google+ increased from 69,723 to 73,606.

  • Google+ – 25,497 (25,139 last month)
  • Facebook – 48,109 (44,584 last month)


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

This month brought 2,146 new subscribers which is steady increase from last months 1,756 new subscribers.

There are now a total of 154,663 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 1,230 (1,076 last month) / Total: 85,737
  • Twitter – 287 (215 last month) / Total: 14,668
  • YouTube – 166 (188 last month) / Total: 13,089
  • Facebook – 479 (331 last month) / Total: 22,6674
  • Google+ – 13 (25 last month) / Total: 17,931
  • RSS – -29 (-79 last month) / Total: 571

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

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 didn’t taken on any consultation work so made a grand total of nothing!

Other Income

I’m working on another project right now that is part of the blog but not something I’m ready to talk about publicly yet or maybe ever.

I will declare the income here though as it wouldn’t be possible without the blog and ‘technically’ it is affiliate income.

Last month this was $11,110.44 which dropped to $10,840.73 this month.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $12,457.52
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $10,840.73
  • Expenses – $538.36

Grand Total: $22,759.89 / £18,518.28 ($29,095.31 / £23,140.37 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

I was expecting a much heavier drop during the festive season, especially after November’s Black Friday which inflates figures.

However it seems both traffic and earnings held their own, even though I wasn’t really that focused on either this month.

Now that December is out of the way and the New Year is here it is going to be full steam ahead!

I have a lot to do from tidying up content all the way through to revamping my email marketing strategy and much much more.

So here is to a great 2017 for all of us!

Thank you to everyone that has helped me reach my goals – I couldn’t do it without you, the reader!