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Essentially I am just going through every single post on the blog looking for content that is under performing, out of date or overlapping with other posts.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

52 Responses

  1. Anushka Vashishta

    You are damn good at what you do. These figures inspire me to do hard work. I hope to see more such success stories from you. Keep posting. Bookmarking your blog for future updates. Thanks for putting this all together.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2018 at 1:32 pm

      No problem Anushka, thanks for the bookmark

  2. Anchal Bansal

    really inspiring and motivating. These figures are really inspiring and inspire me to do some extra efforts. Thanks for this wonderful report. Keep posting this kind of stuff!!

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 8th, 2017 at 1:24 pm

      I will do :)

  3. Mohit Kumar

    These $$$$$$ figures always motivating me and inspire me to do some more hard work. All credit goes to you. Keep posting your monthly report, so that the guy like me will be motivated by reading or viewing your post. I am going to bookmark your blog for future updates!!
    Thanks for this wonderful post.

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 7th, 2017 at 12:16 pm

      Thanks for your kind words Mohit!

  4. Pranav

    These income reports are always motivational & inspirational. That’s one insane amount though :p

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 11:14 pm

      Yeah it was a good month :)

  5. Logan

    Thanks for the great break down detailed as always. Just looking at all those affiliate programs you post income for brings a question to mind, how long do your income reports take to compile? Also do you use a program that can track them all in one clean dashboard, if so please share.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 7:17 am

      The tracking is all done with a spreadsheet manually and it takes around 8 hours to put it all together now.

  6. Tech Toogle

    Hey Matthew
    you earn a nice amount of money
    may god bless you

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:13 am

      Thanks for your kind words

  7. Gary Cook

    This is insanely well done. I get about 2,000 visits per day to my website too but I only make a few hundred dollars a month.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:18 am

      What do you have in place to capture email addresses?

  8. Ashok Kumar Sonawat

    Thanks for sharing nice article…

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:20 am

      No problem Ashok

  9. grant mcarthur

    its good to see all the multiple streams and how it all adds up! very inspiring

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:27 am

      Thanks Grant!

  10. Ashok Kumar Sonawat

    Thanks you sharing your earning report,

    Your Monthly Income Reports Really Inspires New Bloggers Like Me. You are doing great, I want to be like you and successful like you as well.You are growing day to day. and i also agree with affiliate marketing. affiliate marketing is best way to make money online with small investment with hard work.

    I am after read this article other bloggers also motivate for blogging.


    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 8:31 am

      No problem Ashok, I hope you find your own success soon!

  11. Benjamin Davis

    Hey Matthew,

    From what I see, you generated 10k with this website, having had 150k views, so each view translates to 66 bucks on average. Is this accurate?

    Keep up

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 10th, 2017 at 4:09 pm

      66 x 150,000 = 10,230,000 so no :)

      • Benjamin Davis
        January 10th, 2017 at 5:59 pm

        LOL, musta been the jet lag!

        I meant 6.6 cents :)

  12. Bradley

    Hey Matt,

    Great blog! Just wanted to ask, so this is all a part of the no backlink building strategy. So what do you think your results would be like if you had also put effort from the start into building backlinks?

    Or overall has this site proved to you that to a large extent backlinks aren’t as necessary for SEO as everyone makes out?

    Kepp it up!

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 9:27 am

      I think the results would be significantly better over time for sure!

  13. vikas

    That was awesome, I always look forward for income reports from specific blogger including you and inspire from them

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 20th, 2017 at 9:28 am

      Thanks Vikas!

  14. Emenike Emmanuel

    Hi Matthew,

    Thank you for another wonderful income report. Following your income report has motivated me to start keeping track of exactly how much I’m making from my blog and freelance writing career every month. The last time I took the time to check, I was so amazed at how far my new business has began to earn.

    Please, do not ever think of stopping to update us on your income reports. They motivate me to keep working hard on my blog, knowing that soon I will start earning thousands of dollar. Blogging is really a profitable business. Keep it up. I wish you more grace.


    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:02 am

      Thanks Emenike although I will stop publishing the income part of the income reports in the future at some point

  15. Michelle

    Matthew do you use templates for your posts (case studies, tutorials, coupons?)

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:06 am

      Templates in what respect?

  16. Paul

    Good stuff, once again, Matt and you’re quids in too with the strength of the dollar against the pound, eh? I can’t believe what things are costing me now when I pay in dollars, but thankfully I’ve got enough affiliate dollars coming into more than cover that :-)

    Keep up the good work – and a Happy New Year to you!

    ~ Paul

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:07 am

      Yeah it working quite nicely for me at the moment, however I also spend in dollars so it’s a double edged sword!

  17. Matt

    Exciting trip and very motivating, thanks Matthew! Can’t wait to someday hear about the “other income” project. One question for you, if I have an affiliate site which I write monthly income reports for (but may sell eventually), should I host those on a separate domain that I plan on keeping?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:09 am

      Hahaha I will reveal exactly what that is when it drys up and I’m sure people will be kicking themselves for not figuring it out when I do :)

      There isn’t really a right of wrong answer to your question

  18. Sumit Patial

    what a report you are create this month very nice thanks for sharing this report with audiance ……………..

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:10 am

      No problem Sumit!

  19. Efoghor Joseph

    Welcome back from Thailand. I do believe this year will be better off for you. Your blpg performance has been remarkable even though you were less focused.

    I noticed that your SEO related affiliate sales did better than other sales on the average. Little wonder that they remain hotly debated topics on firums and they are also high selling gigs on lots of marketplaces.

    Whoa! Your search engine traffic is fantastic. I do hope to take my blog to that level some day, though it’s picking up gradually in terms of search engine traffic, it is nowhere near yours yet.

    Thanks for the regular income updates. They have been a source of inspiration and motivation for me. I wish a prosperous 2017

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Well if you remain consistent with your blog and keep working hard, you’ll make it for sure :)

  20. Jitender Sharma

    Hey Matthew,
    First of all, wish you a very happy and prosperous new year. Again a fantastic month with some great activities. I’m also running two blogs based on Small Business & Personal Finance. And getting some handsome traffic(5K+).
    Then into the Google Adsense or Affiliated Marketing, which product should I use for monetizing my Blogs?

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:14 am

      Thanks Jitender, before moving into monetizing – have you setup email marketing, eg are you capturing email addresses and once you do – have you setup a decent auto responder sequence?

  21. Goodluck

    Great job, rare determination to achieve, this analysis, you are my mentor as I look forward to put all you sharing with me into practice

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:15 am

      I wish you every success!

  22. Sandy Nayak

    I would love to visit Thailand soon and once again thanks for these insights. I had a general question though. Does https make any difference over http in terms of seo over the coming months considering the buzz around this getting stronger.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:16 am

      I only saw Bangkok so it wasn’t so exciting, I would love to go back and see the rest of the country!

      It seems there are more and more reasons to move over to HTTPS with additional pressure from Google and it’s something I will be doing with the blog in the near future

  23. Shafi Khan

    Hi Matt,

    As always your income reports are inspiring and it’s great to see that you kicked off the last month of 2016 with steady earnings.

    Looking forward to new articles, guides, and income reports.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Thanks for your kind words Shafi!

  24. Rajiv Choudhary

    That awesome bro.
    I wait every month for your report.

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Glad you enjoy them :)

  25. Akshit Wadhwa

    Hey Matthew,

    Really you income is too good and you shared every experiment you do with your blog. I’m one of your Loyal Readers of your blog and I think this is the first time I’m commenting on your blog.

    Have a Question. What is this Other Income? Can you share a bit about it?

    Thanks –
    Akshit Wadhwa

    • Matthew Woodward
      January 5th, 2017 at 9:17 am

      The problem is if I share it, everyone will jump all over it. Right now I have a monopoly on the strategy and I think I am going to keep it under wraps until it drys up

      • Akshit Wadhwa
        January 28th, 2017 at 12:25 pm

        Ok Matthew,

        Got your point. Thanks brother you’re really awesome!!

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