Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – February 2014

This is the 19th 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.

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

What I Have Done In February

As many of you know I’ve spent the last couple of months planning out my new course & there is a sneak preview available in this post!

I’ve spent most of this month working on it which has taken up a lot of my time and had me distracted, but let me assure you – it’s going to be awesome.

While I haven’t had as much free time, I’ve looked at some sneaky ways to make better use of my existing content with Facebook. More details below =D

Content Creation

I only published 4 posts across the last month which is the lowest amount I have ever published. To be honest this trend is probably going to continue this month as I race to produce the course content.

At the start of the month we saw the content delivery network case study showing you how important a CDN can be to your bottom line profits.

I also published part 3 of the YouTube SEO guide looking at link building & ranking. There will be a part 4 & part 5 of this series.

I also published the February editions of the best of internet marketing & income report roundup posts.

I have a couple of awesome guest posts in the works at the moment which may show their faces this month. If you think you can produce something awesome, let me know!

Blog Features

I had an interview over at bloggers passion and shared a couple of SEO tips.

I was featured in WebMeUp’s SEO experiment roundup and was also thrown a bone by niche hacks.

TheNextWeb also featured one of my posts!

Social Profile Updates

Luke from CoolChatta got in touch with me at the start of the month and offered to redesign my social media profiles.

My previous designs weren’t exactly the best, for starters I made them and I’m one of those people that shouldn’t be allowed to own a copy of Photoshop.

So I gave Luke some guideline advice of what I would like to see and he came back with 12 different designs to choose from such as-

Facebook Design

and this one….

Facebook Alternative Design

The Final Design

After a bit of feedback and a couple of tweaks we eventually settled on this design-

Facebook Design Variation

Luke and his team took that and adapted it for use across Google+ & Twitter.

Check them out for yourself-

I’m very impressed with them, Luke and the CoolChatta team have done an awesome job!

2851% Facebook ROI – Turning $300 Into $8,853!

While I’ve been spending most of my time creating content for the course, I was cautious that would have a negative impact on the blogs performance & earnings.

So to try and maintain or even grow that I decided to spend a bit of time making better use of the content I already have.

Basically I took this post & turned it into a PDF. Then I built a landing page with LeadPages & spent $300 on Facebook ads.

That would push people onto the blogs main newsletter via Aweber which takes them through my email engagement sequence.

Campaign Results Overview

I spent $300 on Facebook Ads across 4 days, these are the results of the campaign-

  • 1,505 unique clicks
  • $0.20 cost per click
  • 496 new email subscribers
  • $0.60 cost per subscriber
  • 200 new page likes

Not too shabby right? That isn’t even the best bit!

Each new email subscriber is worth $17.81 to me. So 496 new subscribers at a cost of $300 delivers a tasty profit of $8,533.76!

How Did I Do It?

I will release a more detailed case study on this soon but in essence this is what I did step by step.

Step 1 – Create The Offer

First of all I looked through all of my content to see which offered the most amount of value and appealed to the largest audience possible.

I settled on this post and turned it into a PDF.

That was the offer created in minutes!

Step 2 – Create Landing Pages

Last month I told you that I had spent some time with LeadPages & I was going to experiment with it more.

I setup a landing page in LeadPages and setup a split test to see which landing page got the best conversion rate.

This is what the best performing landing page looked like at a 40% conversion rate-

Lead Pages Landing Page

Once people entered their email address I then took them to a page to download the PDF and also like me on Facebook.

If I wasn’t rushing this I would have also added the JustHost affiliate link to this page from day 1, instead of in the final couple of hours of the campaign.

The idea being that just a couple of sales from that would pay for the entire campaign.

Anywhere here is what the final page looks like now-

Final Page Design

Nothing complicated, just simple & straight to the point!

Step 3 – Creating Facebook Ads

Next I just setup some Facebook ads that targeted 18+ year olds that spoke English and had interests in Blogging, Blogspot, Wordpress or any similar competitor blogs.

I then created 3 unique adverts and named them AD1, AD2 & AD3. Then assigned all 3 of those ads to each interest group above.

The reason for this was to measure which of my 3 adverts got the best response rate in each segment.

To get the cheapest clicks on Facebook you need to get the highest click through rate possible.

Here are the results-

Facebook Advertising

As you can see, AD2 was the clear winner across every single interest segment with the highest click through rate & the lowest cost per click & cost per lead.

This is what the best performing advert looked like-

Best Performing Advert

Step 4 – Wrapping It Up

I let the campaign run for 4 days and blew through $300.

Here are the final results-

Ad Campaign Results

There are however a couple of discrepancy in the numbers I want to highlight.

First of all is the total number of leads.

Facebook tracks this with a pixel and reports 456 but Aweber showed 496 new subscribers. I assume the pixel isn’t always getting fired/tracking properly with Facebook!

The second discrepancy is in the number of new page likes.

Facebook reports 200 directly from the ad – but I added a Facebook like box to the final page in the funnel to get more likes. But those likes are not included in Facebooks report.

I’ll publish a much more detailed case study this month to get into the real nitty gritty.

$100 Startup Course Sneak Preview

I have launched a sneak preview of my new course.

For those that don’t know I will be teaching people how to build a successful business online with just $100 step by step over my shoulder.

There are a total of 19 lesson topics planned with over 100 lessons in total. So far I have created the first 3 topics which feature 17 lessons in total!

Sneak Course Preview

Everything is coming along at a nice pace and I guarantee you have never seen anything like this before.

So feel free to get a sneak peak behind the scenes and unblur the screenshot above!

Speaking At The Black Hat World/IRL Conference

I was also invited to speak at the first official Black Hat World conference which is also known as the In Real Life (IRL) conference.

It will be hosted at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas on the 15th-17th of November. There are some great speakers lined up including Jeremy Schoemaker, Rae Hoffman, David Snyder & more!

I’ll be delivering a lively no holds barred presentation jam packed with actionable tips – if you haven’t registered yet heavy early bird discounts are still available.

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 grew from 38,639 (1,246/day) last month to 42,227 (1,508/day) which is in line with growth seen in previous months.

Audience Overview

Most Popular Content

The GSA Search Engine Ranker tutorial takes the top spot this month by quite a margin.

My favourite link building trick also shot up to the number 2 spot from number 10 last month.

We also saw good performances from the top 100 blog tutorial & the superb Ecommerce SEO posts.

Analytics Top Content

Top Traffic Sources

Google remains the main driving force behind the traffic and you can also see my Facebook campaign sneaking into the top spots.

The reason my favourite link building trick jumped from the #10 spot to the #2 spot above this month was because of this feature by TheNextWeb – thanks guys!

Analytics Top Traffic Source

Search Engine Traffic

Last month Google sent 35,522 (1,145 per day) visits which has remained steady at 35,963 in total but as this month only has 28 days it has jumped to 1,284 per day.

Interesting to see the top 10 keywords finding the site are entirely driven by brand.

Analytics Search Traffic

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.

Last month I had a total of 26,578 views which has increased to 32,308 this month!

The most exciting YouTube metric though is minutes watched which has jumped from 133,198 to 173,506!!

That means there are now 4 people watching my videos every single minute of every single day!

Youtube Analytics

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 35,794 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 33,822 last month.

  • Google+ – 8,317 (7,391 last month)
  • Twitter – 16,336 (15,645 last month)
  • Facebook – 11,141 (10,786 last month)

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My Forum Statistics

This month saw a huge drop off in the users as I suspected the forum got hit with spammers.

After cleaning it up I removed 3,103 users leaving a total of 6,560.

There were 56 news topics and 46 new replies on the forum.

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

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

  • Users: 6,560 (6,977 last month)
  • Topics: 1,022 (966 last month)
  • Posts: 3,361 (3,315 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.

This month brought 5,703 new subscribers across various channels which is a nice increase from last month’s 3,163.

There are now a total of 27,956 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 3,277 (1,370 last month) / Total: 13,903
  • Twitter – 191 (390 last month) / Total: 2,994
  • YouTube – 502 (357 last month) / Total: 3,779
  • Facebook – 794 (141 last month) / Total: 2,202
  • Google+ – 958 (645 last month) / Total: 4,308
  • RSS – -19 (260 last month) / Total: 770

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Forum Promotion Posts

I haven’t done a huge amount of promotion work recently as my time seems to just get eaten up!

  • TrafficPlanet – 0 posts (166 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 0 posts (497 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 4 posts (682 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 haven’t taken on any clients recently so consultation earnings sit at zero this month!

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $15,295.04
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Expenses – $466.00

Grand Total: $14,829.04 / £8,848.93 ($9,868.25 / £6,005.51 last month)

With having only published 4 posts this month I was expecting to see a bit of a drop. But with January out of the way and traffic on the increase things are looking good!

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Signing Off

I apologise for the lack of posts this month but it will all be worth it. This month will see more posts and I have some help from some awesome case study based guest posts.

I also hinted at a secret partnership with another blogger I’ve been working on. Not quite ready to pull the curtain on that one yet but I’ll be including the income generated in next month’s report with a few more details.

It was great to see earnings increase this month after dropping below the $10,000 barrier again which is a goal that eluded me for a long time!

Stay tuned folks – 2014 is going to be awesome!

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