Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – January 2017

This is the 52nd 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 January

January has been a great month for a number of reasons.

I managed to complete 2 larger projects that had taken significant time which has cleared the decks for me to catch up on smaller but essential tasks.

However everythings about to hit the fan as I’m going to return to the UK for 5 weeks next week to catch up with friends and family along with a visit to Thailand in the middle.

So with that said, lets take a closer look at what I did in January-

Why I’m Ditching Aweber

First and foremost, I spent most of the month planning my migration from Aweber to Drip.


Well because Drip is quite simply the new generation of email marketing, built from the ground up for the modern world of digital marketing.

This was not an easy decision as I’ve been using Aweber for nearly 10 years and they are still a great start point.

But my needs have outgrown them as I want to develop more sophisticated and personalized email marketing campaigns.

The migration process is going to be a huge head ache over the next week, but it is a necessary change that will have an immediate impact on the bottom line.

Here are just a few of the features that stand out for me-

Tags Not Lists

Aweber relies on having separate email lists of people, where as Drip just has one central list of people with tags.

So you can tag people that have signed up for the SEO lead magnet or tag them if they clicked a certain link in an email for example.

drip tags

That means you can get hyper relevant with the emails you send out while making the whole thing easier to manage.

Now I know that Aweber have recently introduced tags with the new campaign builder, but it’s very much an after thought that they have fudged in.

Visual Workflow Builder

One of the most powerful features of Drip is the visual workflow builder.

That makes it easy to create powerful email marketing campaigns complete with if/then statements, goals, delays and much more-

drip campaign builder

Plus it looks beautiful right?

Automatic Resending Of Emails

When you send out an email, a large portion of your list won’t open it.

So to get around that, you can always re-send the email with a different subject line to people that didn’t open it the first time.

In Aweber this is an entirely manual process that takes 5-10 minutes to do and you have to remember to do it on the right day at the right time.

Where as in Drip, it’s just a check box-


That feature alone is worth it’s weight in gold!

Website Visitor Tracking

One of the coolest features I am looking forward to implement is the ability to track exactly which pages on the blog people have visited.

For example someone might read a product review on the blog which I could use as a trigger to send them an email with an exclusive discount code for the product.


Or I could track if people are reading tutorials about how to fix a Google penalty and automatically pitch them my penalty removal service.

There’s a million ways I can use this feature and I am going to be taking full advantage of it in due course.

Disabled Mobile Popups

Way back in August, Google announced they would start penalising sites that show intrusive interstitials on mobile devices.

Essentially what this means is if you show a welcome popup or exit popup that covers the content, you’re in trouble-

bad popups

Luckily disabling popups is just a click of the button with Thrive Leads so it wasn’t a huge problem.

However I then spent time designing some new 2 step ribbon based calls to action to replace them-


That way I can have the best of both worlds, dodging the Google penalty while still collecting mobile email subscribers easily.

Luckily Thrive Leads have a bunch of templates ready to use so it was a very quick and easy process.

Content Audit Results

Last month I was working hard on a complete content audit to see which content needs updating, deleting or repurposing.

I also took a look at the performance of my regular income report roundups and what I have read this month posts.

Looking at the stats, both of these types of posts perform poorly when compared with other content.

So as of this month I will no longer be publishing income report rounds or what I have read this month posts.

I know that some of you will be unhappy about that, but that does mean I will have more time and resources to produce much better content all around.

In summary-

  • 39 posts were deleted
  • 23 posts need minor updates
  • 40 posts need bigger updates
  • 37 posts would benefit from post specific content upgrades
  • There will no more income report roundups or what I have read posts
  • Income reports are also on the chopping block for further review in the future

I am going to be working on all of that over the next few months to make sure you guys are getting the best experience possible end to end.

Running With The Bulls

This month also marked the annual Tope event where I live.

It is essentially a huge cowboy party where horses and cowboys take over the streets.

But the most exciting part is the bull ring, where spectators can get in with bulls and do their best not to get trampled on-

It’s pretty crazy to say the least and there are always a number of casualties! Luckily I wasn’t one of them!

Content Creation

First and foremost I spent a lot of time updating the deals section with new deals and discounts that you cannot find anywhere else.

There is now a total of 60 deals listed!

I also shared 23 SEO copywriting tips that got an awesome response from you guys!

After that I showed you how to choose the best VPN and how to use it for digital marketing/SEO activity’s.

Last but not least, I published an update to this post which shows you how to build a profitable business on Fiverr step by step.

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 sat a steady 61,209 (1,974/day) which increased to 66,213 (2,135/day) this month.

That is means January was the 5th straight month that traffic stayed above my goal of 60,000 per month.


Most Popular Content

It was a close tie this month with with SEO copywriting guide, free SEO tools & how to make money on Fiverr guides taking center stage.


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 significantly this month after making a number of changes on site.

Last month saw 47,949 (1,547/day) visitors from Google which has exploded to 56,285 (1,815/day) this month!

I am going to be publishing a case study on exactly what I did to nearly double organic search traffic in the past 6 months shortly.


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 18,388 to 18,638 this month.

That also had an impact on total minutes watched which also increased gently from 83,999 to 88,502 respectively.


Social Shares

This month the total social shares across Facebook and Google+ decreased from 73,606 to 73,263.

That is because I deleted 39 posts which also saw the social shares deleted alongside them.

  • Google+ – 25,122 (25,497 last month)
  • Facebook – 48,141 (48,109 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 1,792 new subscribers which is steady drop from last months 2,146 new subscribers.

There are now a total of 156,455 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 1,257 (1,230 last month) / Total: 86,994
  • Twitter – 233 (287 last month) / Total: 14,901
  • YouTube – 179 (166 last month) / Total: 13,268
  • Facebook – 93 (479 last month) / Total: 22,760
  • Google+ – -24 (13 last month) / Total: 17,907
  • RSS – 54 (-29 last month) / Total: 625

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 $10,840.73 which increased to $13,477.63 this month.

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $11,478.12
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Other Income – $13,477.63
  • Expenses – $367.81

Grand Total: $24,587.94 / £19,485.94 ($22,759.89 / £18,518.28 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

It has been a great start to the new year, not just in terms of earnings but everything I have achieved this month.

With the content audit complete and the move to Drip, I have a clear road map ahead of me for the next few months on what I want to achieve.

The only spanner in the works is the fact that I am returning to the UK next week for 5 weeks, so I expect things to take a small nose dive.

On the flip side though I should have migrated everything from Aweber to Drip before I go along with some new email campaigns that will do the heavy lifting in my absence.

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

97 Responses

  1. Wealthy Flamez

    Congrats!! The results are great, hard work pays.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2018 at 2:12 pm

      It certainly does

  2. drama cools

    there are very few and rare internet marketer like you who reveal their real income behind blog but I am proud to be subscriber and reader of this blog and your income report will help us and motivate us also to do blogging and affiliate marketing also I am noticing that IN this earning list I cannot see google adsense earning which is prime income source of all website owners forever I am making money only from adsense still I will try to enter in affiliate world

    • Matthew Woodward
      July 13th, 2017 at 10:43 am

      I don’t use Adsense, just affiliate stuff

  3. Sachin Lamba

    Income reports are always very popular section of any blog, this is motivational for the other affiliate marketer.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks Sachin!

  4. Zubair

    I came across your blog on google search. It is really amazing and inspiring to me. Great work by you dear.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 3rd, 2017 at 2:32 pm

      Thanks Zubair

  5. Sariel Mazuz

    Hey Matt,

    Awesome results, keep up the great work!

    Speaking of Aweber, they are running a new tagging feature nowadays. You can tag subscribes based on the user interests (Based on a specific form) without separated lists.
    Actually, mixing it with Thrive leads is pretty powerful. You can find an explanation on Thrive Themes about these new integrations.

    However, the resend feature of Drip that you mentioned is super powerful too. Considering to give it a try in a few days :)

    I’d love to see the results from this migration in the next report.
    Heading off to tweet this right now, to spread some inspiration!

    Stay awesome,

    • Matthew Woodward
      March 7th, 2017 at 12:13 pm

      Yes Aweber does have a very basic tagging system in place now, but it is very very very basic and is very much an ‘after thought’ integration rather than being built with tagging in mind from the get go.

  6. radhe161616

    there are very few and rare internet marketer like you who reveal their real income behind blog but I am proud to be subscriber and reader of this blog and your income report will help us and motivate us also to do blogging and affiliate marketing also I am noticing that IN this earning list I cannot see google adsense earning which is prime income source of all website owners forever I am making money only from adsense still I will try to enter in affiliate world

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 7:37 am

      No problem I am happy to share, and yes I prefer affiliate stuff over Adsense for sure :)

  7. Gagan Kamboj

    Hello Sir… well explained monthly report and your income stats is an awesome motivation for me.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 7:44 am

      No problem Gagan, I hope they help you to reach success!

  8. Shail

    Hey Matt.
    I first discovered your blog nearly 6 years ago and even then it used to be hugely popular. Raising your career bars is one thing, but maintaining it for years to come is totally different thing.
    When I have finally started my own blog (it took me 10 years really) I cant help but idolizing gurus like you.

    See you again.
    Shail Mishra

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 7:47 am

      Thanks for your kind words Shail, just work hard, stay focused and you’ll make it!

  9. Radek Salak

    The results are great, but definitely behind this result is hard work. Congratulations.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 7:47 am

      A lot of hard work!


    congratulations for your earnings
    Keep growing

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 8:15 am

      Thanks Anoop!

  11. Lorna

    Really inspiring, thank you for sharing.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 8:47 am

      No problem Lorna!

  12. Jay Singh

    Hey Matthew,

    Seems like you’re one of many bloggers ditching Aweber for alternatives like Drip and ConvertKit.

    I haven’t used Aweber myself in years, but I recently created an account for testing and was pretty shocked at how the product hadn’t improved at all in years. It’s still the same as it was when I last used it in 2011.

    Given MailChimp’s horrendous delivery rates, it looks like Drip/ConvertKit will carve out a nice chunk of the email marketing software pie.

    What do you reckon went wrong at Aweber? Can they pull themselves from their current situation? I hardly see any buzz about them anymore.

    Congrats on the great January by the way. You’re still an inspiration!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 25th, 2017 at 8:59 am

      I think Aweber sat at the top for so long they didnt feel the need to innovate

  13. Onehalf AU

    I’m glad that you had a productive January. Drip is an interesting automation tool. I hope you can give us an update about Drip and its benefits to your blog.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2017 at 7:53 am

      I should have an update for you very soon!

  14. BloggingStrokes

    Your income reports are really a great motivation source for evey newbie blogger.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2017 at 7:54 am

      Thanks :)

  15. natacha

    Amazing matt, you are growing every month and as always your income reports are great motivation

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 26th, 2017 at 7:58 am

      Thanks Natacha :)

  16. Steve

    Hi Matt,

    Do you use Thrive Themes exclusively on the blog? Were you using Opt In Monster?

  17. Reed

    Interesting that you deleted 39 posts!

    Have you done this sort of thing in the past and recieved higher serps afterwards? I’ve done something similar and saw no improvement rank-wise, which was confusing. Maybe it was because I 301’d them to similar, but higher performing posts. Is that something you are doing?

    Can totally understand canning the monthly reports. They are always interesting to check but from a content owners perspective they probably have a short lifespan, which you did mention. Have you considered turning them into subscriber-only assets, and putting them in a membership area? Or doing video updates instead on your youtube channel? They seem like they are a decent lead generator in that someone would subscribe just to see how much you make next month.

    But wait man! You gotta share what your secret source of income is before you get rid of them!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:24 am

      No this is the first content audit I have done and it is still a work in progress. I am however 301’ing them yes.

  18. Ning

    Aw i’m sad that you’re deleting the income report roundups. I really enjoy the income reports though.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:25 am

      I wont delete them, I just wont publish them anymore

  19. Rajpal Singh

    Hi Matthew,
    I Always loved your income report. you are always inspiring for new bloggers like us.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:26 am

      Thanks Rajpal :)

  20. Keri Vandongen

    Hi Matthew,
    I admit this is the first of your Income report and traffic summaries I’ve read.
    As something to think about – perhaps re-naming this section to stress the value or benefits for your readers might increase their popularity.
    I really appreciate hearing about your expertise, i.e. comparing Aweber vs Drip with your recent switch, how you created a ribbon-sized banner using Thrive Leads, reasons for deleting some blogs.
    Congrats on another successful month and helping out your large audience!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:28 am

      Well I’m glad you enjoyed them, however as the section is going to be discontinued I don’t see any benefit in renaming it at the moment.

      These posts are time sensitive in a fashion and tend to have a short shelf life

  21. Seif sillimi

    Hi Matthew
    Thank you for these inspiring posts. I have one question, I noticed you’re generating a good amount of traffic from Facebook. Which converts better, organic traffic or Facebook traffic? And if you’re down to the last $500 of your marketing budget, would you spend it on Adwords or Facebook ads ( or something else..) ? Thanks ! :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:29 am

      I love Facebook ads personally so I would spend it there :)

  22. Sonu Sharma

    Oh God, I recently started a blog, but I didn’t know that someone can earn so good with blogging.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:29 am

      There are people that earn a lot more!

  23. Teena

    Congrats on a fantastic month. I always visit your site for tips on blogging.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:30 am

      Thanks Teena!

  24. Sowrav

    Congratulation. Go ahead

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:31 am

      Thanks Sowrav!

  25. Radek Salak

    It’s nice that you share your achievements.
    It shows that everyone can make money online.
    Ofcoure if…… :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:32 am

      You can do anything with hard work!

  26. Brandon Mushlin

    Hey there Matt, Congratulations on another powerful month. I will add to the others when I say I’m sorry to see the income reports go, but everyone has their reasons. We did notice however the “Other Work” was always something possible you were going to talk about… any future plans for knowing what that could be, or still remaining a secret? Wishing you always the best and value your incredible content sharing and in-depth trainings!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:32 am

      Yes I will reveal what that is once the income stream drys up

  27. jasim

    Hi brother,
    your plan is very strong and right.Every month you make a future income report.This plan must be help to do properly in the future works.I always welcome your plan.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:33 am

      Thanks Jasim!

  28. Dhruvhat

    These posts give me the inspiration to work hard. Thanks Matthew

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:34 am

      No problem Dhruvhat!

  29. Fabio

    Hey Matt nice income reporte again! I´m i little bit sad because you are not going to keep these reports, but it´s for the best.

    I remember that you were migrating your leads from aweber to infusionsoft. Any special reason to give up on that and start using Drip?

    Thanks for the excelent content.

    Best Regards

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Drip is a lot easier to use and much more flexible than Infusionsoft, however I have 2 websites running on Infusionsoft right now that I will also need to migrate

  30. hazel kumar

    Waaao.. truly inspiring …!!!!
    These stats are so inspiring for me. Keep up the good work. And in the process we will also learn something from you.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:38 am

      Thanks Hazel!

  31. Larry Escher

    I love your blog and appreciate the information overload. Why do you use Kinsta for your blog? Is it fast enough without a CDN?

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:39 am

      Because they offer some of the most advanced hosting technologies in an easy to use manner

  32. Alicia

    Good morning Matthew,

    I am very impressed with how much your site has grown and thanks for sharing a lot of great tips. I had an old blog but hated the way it used to look. It was butt-ugly looking. This week I’ve been working on re-inventing my blog and it is starting to look a little better. I work full-time and try to update my site or learn new skills through youtube tutorial videos to improve my site right after working out. I’m not sure if I’m ready to start an affiliate marketing tool – I’m not sure if I’m saying it correctly. I would like to start on it but not sure which one I should start with. I’m also lacking subscribers and don’t know where to start. Everyday I try to visit a blogger and follow them hoping they would follow me too. It’s a bit hard to do this. Any tips would be greatly appreciated. Thank you for being a wonderful person!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:40 am

      In your position your first goal should be to get 100 email subscribers and build a small autoresponder sequence, focus on that before anything else.

  33. Rajiv Choudhary

    Amazing matt, you are growing every month and as always your income reports are great motivation for me

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Thanks Rajiv :)

  34. Manivasagam

    Hi matthew, i’ve been following you for years, happy to see your monthly report , it gives inspiration to me whenever i’m down with lower monthly revenue from my sites.

    Thanks & Regards

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:17 am

      Every site has its ups and downs so don’t worry :)

  35. Glen

    Hi Matt. Interesting and insightful as always! I noticed you mentioned doing a content audit. I’m planning to do one of these myself pretty soon. Do you have any tips? Thanks

  36. Rahul

    what a wonderful report. i love your income reports.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Thanks Rahul :)

  37. Scott Mercer

    It is a shame you won’t be posting anymore roundups as i personally did enjoy following them. Also, what is your reason for deleting 39 posts? Often i come across posts on other sites that are 5-10 years old. Is the content not worth keeping as an archived post? Enjoy your trip!

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:18 am

      Various reasons like poor bounce rate, poor time on page, poor engagement, no longer relevant etc etc

  38. Matthew Hutchinson

    Went you sent you email, I am sure you meant 2017 and not 2016! HAHAHA

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:18 am

      I invented a time machine :)

  39. Justin Ferriman

    Nice write-up Matt.

    The WPFusion plugin has a pretty amazing integration with LearnDash that allows you to connect Drip to LearnDash activities. You should check it out – great for marketing/course automation.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:41 am

      Thanks for the suggestion Justin, I am going to have to migrate from Memberium/Infusionsoft/Learndash to /Drip/Learndash shortly

  40. Rahul Ghosh

    How do you manage all of your affiliate links?

  41. Umer Iftikhar

    Amazing as always. I always read your monthly income report as well as the one called ’roundup’. I think you do it with mix of well known bloggers and their blogs & income.

    A year passed I didn’t touch my blog and didn’t take it seriously. I have always worked on YouTube.

    But this year was the worst ever in which I lost all of my money making channels.

    Anyhow, best of luck Matt for future.


    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:19 am

      What do you feel went wrong with your YouTube channels?

      • Umer Iftikhar
        February 6th, 2017 at 12:41 am

        Well! :D You must know about blackhat ;) I used to do mass uploading. I created many channels, earned well, but since November, 2016, YouTube started hitting channels without any emails.

        The reason behind suspension was competition. Lot of people have now joined YouTube.

        What competitors are going is simply blocking others channels.

        I mean to say, they report with 100+ emails, once YouTube identifies that this bla bla channel is getting too many requests of spamming, YouTube without considering either it is right channel or wrong, suspends the channel.

        I didn’t mean to do spamming here when I said, I am a black hat person.

        What I did was simply downloading videos, uploading on multiple channels with multiple emails with unique pcs and ips, Rdps and so on, and making them live.

        Anyhow, YouTube has been very strict and I need to make a stable income place. So I am focusing now on my Blog.

  42. Atta

    Congratulation for a wonderful month. But I’m sad as you won’t publish income reports in future. These reports are a great source of inspiration for new bloggers.

    Hope you will reevaluate your decision in near future.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Well I will keep all of the previous ones online so people can still follow the journey

  43. Manish Sharma

    You rock. Thanks for this post. This is inspire me a lot.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:41 am

      No problem Manish!

  44. Shafi Khan

    Hi Matthew,

    Any reason why you have decided to stop income roundup posts? I used to enjoy them and they used to act as motivation.

    And congratulations for your earnings. Keep growing.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 2nd, 2017 at 11:20 am

      They are often one hit wonders and once a week or two has passed, engagement drops off a cliff which wasn’t that good in the first place.

    • rana jayant
      February 26th, 2017 at 5:46 am

      sSame here shafi khan, Keep earning and pls keep supporting! :D

  45. Jonathan Bloor

    Good to hear your open and honest thoughts as usual Matthew. I think the dropping of the income reports would be a shame, as is deleting content but I can understand you focussing on the content that works for most people.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Yes, quality not quantity :)

  46. Tally hindi

    Thank You For Being My Inspiration To Not Give Up.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Keep up the good work my friend!

  47. Ali Raza

    Although I’m your regular reader and i visit your blog at least once a week, but today I was happy to know that it’s your 52nd Monthly Report, Keep going.

    Earnings also saw a great increase with total income crossing 24k$+!

    Best wishes for the future.

    • Matthew Woodward
      February 27th, 2017 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Ali as always :)

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