Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – July 2015

This is the 34th 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 July

July has been a much more stable month after settling into the new house and getting two feet on the ground after a crazy travel schedule.

However there is still no internet connection at the house 8 weeks on with no sign of an installation date.

That hasn’t held me back though and it is quite possible this will be the biggest and best month the blog has ever had.

Content Creation

This month marks the planned slow down in content production. Normally there would be around 7-9 posts per month working out at roughly 2 per week.

However I have tried to dial that down to closer to 1 per week plus the regular features like this report.

So this month a total of 5 posts (outside of the usual features) were published compared to last months 9.

We opened up the month with this simple content promotion strategy that anyone can apply to their site! Especially if you combine it with this.

Then I launched the giveaway for SERPed. It has quickly become one of my favorite SEO tools, you can find out why in my full SERPED review.

I also showed you how to shorten links and earn money & showed you how one reader earns $5,000 per month with email.

I finally covered keyword research in my Long Tail Pro review which reveals a bunch of low competition high search volume keywords throughout.

Other than those posts we just had the regular income report roundup post but I chose not to publish the best of internet marketing this month (do you guys even care?).

7 New YouTube Videos!

I haven’t created any new videos for a while but this month saw me create a total of 7. 2 were featured in posts above but the other 5 weren’t mentioned on the blog.

If you haven’t subscribed to my YouTube channel here they are-

I used to get quite a lot of traffic from YouTube but that has died off in recent months. Hopefully these videos will help give it a boost again :)

Important Blog Changes

In last months report I talked about some of the changes I had made to the blog to increase conversion rates.

This month I have made a number of other changes/experiments to see works best.

Removed Intrusive Popups

I have a range of category specific email optin popups deployed across the blog.

Trying to find the right balance of when to display those popups is tough though as they are quite intrusive no matter how they are triggered.

Last month I tested Welcome vs Exit vs 40% scroll triggers which resulted in this-


As you can see, the welcome popup wins hands down but personally I think its intrusive and very rude to ask someone for their email address before they’ve even hit the actual blog.

So this month I’ve been testing 10% scroll vs 20% scroll vs exit triggers-


It’s interesting to note that the 10% scroll is converting at 2.77% compared to the welcome trigger at 2.99% the month previous.

I think the drop in conversion rate is well worth the trade off for the enhanced user experience!

Still got plenty more testing to do with Thrive Leads yet though :)

Removed End Of Post Optin

I also chose to remove the optin box at the end of posts and replace it with a related posts box instead.

Again the idea here is to be less intrusive while contributing to the user experience.

I already put related blog posts in the sidebar last month so I decided to put them at the end of posts as well this month.


This was done using the Contextual Related Posts plugin.

I knew making all the featured images for every single post I ever published a few months ago would pay off!

Inbound AMA

I was invited to take part in an ask me anything session at Inbound.org.

There were a bunch of question that came in and I’ve spent the last week or so answering them all. Feel free to keep asking questions on the thread and I will answer them all personally across the next few days :)


It was pretty sweet to be featured on the front page like that!

What makes it even better is before the AmA my account was banned (probably for spamming) but now it’s active again wooooo! Well until they ban it again, probably soon.

Went Dogging

Since I decided to stay put for the foreseeable future I decided to get a dog.

After searching the streets with collar in hand for a week with no luck, Facebook helped to find a street rescue pup that need a home.

Although there have been a few problems while she adapts, you can see that she is adjusting to beach life nicely already!


You might have also noticed that I finally got round to setting up an Instagram account!

I take a lot of photos and had a previous passion for photography, plus after this conversation with a reader-


I decided to finally take the Instagram plunge! I think it will make for a very interesting case study.

So far I have only posted 1 photo and put together a plan of attack which you can see a snippet of here-


So what are you waiting for? Follow me on Instagram now!

Crunching The Numbers

So let’s get our hands dirty and take a look at what my lack of internet has done for me this month.

Visitor Statistics

This month saw another increase in traffic from 58,387 (1,946/day) unique visitors to 61,943 (1,998/day).

Ideally I would like this to remain at a stable minimum of 60,000 per month – will see what I can do to maintain that :)

Weirdly, less content = more traffic.


Most Popular Content

The email list building case study was the most popular post of the month and rightfully so!

This was closely followed by one of my favorite SEO strategies that has stood the test of time!

The Long Tail Pro review & simple content promotion strategy also pushed for the top spots.


Top Traffic Sources

The top traffic sources haven’t changed that much this month.

The only major change is the drop of GrowthHackers from the top 10 which was replaced with Inbound.


Search Engine Traffic

Traffic from Google grew gently this month at 41,226 (1,329/day) compared with 40,614 (1,353/day) last month.


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.

After publishing 7 videos and this playlist of videos, I’m hoping to increase YouTube performance to previous levels.

Views have steadily declined the past 6 months but this month they increased from 19,060 to 28,796!

This also meant that minutes watched jumped from 103,865 to a staggering 157,555 – that means on average 3.6 people were watching one of my videos every minute of every day.


Social Shares

I have temporarily removed this section while I find a better solution to collect the data


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

This month brought 2,518 new subscribers which is strangely down from last months 3,100.

There are now a total of 117,254 subscribers across all of the various channels!

  • E-mail – 1,611 (1,982 last month) / Total: 63,400
  • Twitter – 285 (363 last month) / Total: 9,378
  • YouTube – 358 (240 last month) / Total: 8,558
  • Facebook – 266 (467 last month) / Total: 17,753
  • Google+ – 21 (32 last month) / Total: 17,822
  • RSS – -23 (16 last month) / Total: 343

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.

For the first time in a very long time I took on a consultation client. I get asked to do it a lot but rarely does a project peak my interest.

That resulted in $4,000 of consultation earnings this month.

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 saw a drop off to $6,518.36 and after a bit of elbow grease this month I was able to increase that to $10,759.96

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $20,974.38
  • Consultation Income – $4,000.00
  • Other Income – $10,759.96
  • Expenses – $524.99

Grand Total: $35,209.35 / £22,538.32 ($14,985.93 / £9,597.81 last month)

Unable to post graphs at the moment – will update asap

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

What a spectacular month end to end! Although I’m still having troubles with internet access this is the biggest earning month for the blog ever!

I’m not expecting that to last into next month though as there were a handful of unique events that all happened in July to push me to that number.

Those things won’t happen again in August so sit tight for a big drop next month!

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