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!

54 Responses

  1. moses

    Are you using native advertising platforms like content.ad taboola, outbrain, facebook/youtube videos? I know lots of marketers are killing it with those because their blogs are set up to monetize traffic. survivallife has their free+shipping credit card knife offer for one. But you can of course just stick to digital products.

    Also, it’s interesting to see your popup conversion rates. Have you tried split testing different popup entry animations before removing them? I don’t think it’s rude to show popups to people who just visited if the popup is well targeted to the page the person landed on. For instance if they came to a page through organic search for how to get more traffic and your popup provides a lead magnet on ’81 proven traffic sources’ to build a more profitable business I would be happy to opt in to get that resource guide. Or if someone wants to know how to start a blog and you offer a resource guide with hosting aff link/video tutorial/autoresponder, research tools (free/paid) to use they would opt into that as well. You are giving something that is going to their inbox that they can check back with.

    Personally I think the trick is treating popups like ad groups where the pages are keywords within those ad groups. If you just offer a generic popup/lead magnet for all traffic then of course you will get less opt-ins.

    If a person leaves your site without ever opting into anything then what is the point right (even if you are using retargeting pixels)? Getting people to like and share content probably won’t happen if people aren’t even willing to subscribe to your list.

    I noticed you are allowing other marketers to buy ad space on your site through buysellads. Vick for one has lots of banner ads on sites where people look to check their web traffic e.g. worthofweb.com. I think you are better off using that space to build your own email list and keeping the traffic than selling it for a measly $500-$1000. If you introduce your traffic to other people and those visitors buy high ticket items from someone else they won’t buy from you because they have a set budget. I think you can do a better job of monetizing your own traffic than selling it to someone else for pennies/dollars. Things like Adsense and banner ads are good for newbies but if you have your own programs that youve created or are licensing (I think you are but won’t mention here) you will have a much bigger ROI.

    I’ve learned a lot from your case studies so thanks for making them.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 31st, 2015 at 10:09 am

      I haven’t tried any of those yet as I need to put a few cogs in place before turning it up on the paid traffic.

      I like your thought approach on popups and I’m sure that approach would convert better but when I put my own human experience into it, it really annoys me when sites have a popup before I engaged with them so why push that experience to my readers?

      I would rather create the great user experience with more subtle CTAs in the content/sidebar etc backed up with retargeting.

      Actually there used to be more ads in the sidebar, a 4x 125×125 and 5x text links but I removed those and increase the price of the 300×250 because I felt liek I was selling too much real estate which would be better served to my own interests. But I still need some more cogs in place :)

      Great observations :)

  2. Rod


    How do you track all your affiliate income? Do you have to login to multiple platforms – or do you have a technical way of collating it?


    • Matthew Woodward
      August 14th, 2015 at 8:33 am

      Yes I login to everything manually

  3. Untemplater

    Nice job on your July income! I can’t believe you are still staying sane without your internet situation fixed. I would be a wreck. That’s awesome you got a rescue dog too, great stuff! – Sydney

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 10th, 2015 at 12:41 pm

      Ahhh it means I have to take some time for other things :)

  4. Hammo

    I’m very curious about those optin numbers, thanks for sharing. Are you able to track who joins your list versus who is leaving it whilst doing the testing? And perhaps the open rates could be important.

    My theory is, people would join the list just to get rid of the optin form and would never open the emails or use a bogus account.

    Anyway, I don’t expect you to share that short of detail.

    And FYI we always care ;-)

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 10th, 2015 at 12:49 pm

      Yes you can see that in Aweber :)

  5. Georgi Lazarov

    Hi Matthew, really like that income sharing reports practice! So motivational. Thanks a lot.
    I’m however, not quite sure about the help of Instagram as a traffic source. It is more for fun and sharing photos. Except if you are really famous, I’m not sure you will get that amount of followers that will bring you targeted traffic. Not to mention the whole spam point. Don’t know maybe I miss something …

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 7th, 2015 at 7:14 am

      Yes I share those thoughts, but there is only one way to find out :)

  6. Wencia

    Another GREAT month! Glad to see you’ve got a dog :) Whatever happened to your cat?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 7th, 2015 at 7:18 am

      My cat(s) are at my house in the UK with a good friend and her daughter :)

  7. James @ HalfMarathonJames

    Hey Mathew, great results as always… I’ve just taken down my pop up email forms, as I thought they just annoyed people. For every one person that was signing up, I was pissing another 50 people off. I’d rather keep the website user friendly, and put an option to sign up at the top of my page. Not sure if it will harm me in the long run, but I don’t like them on other sites, so I chose not to have them on mine..

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 7th, 2015 at 7:19 am

      How were you triggering the popups?

      Did you look at data to arrive at that conclusion?

  8. yesoption

    you deleted my comment, i didnt see it and i was the first to comment

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 5th, 2015 at 10:22 am

      You need to learn how the Wordpress comment system works before making assumptions

  9. Huw Hughes

    Hey Matthew, your blog has inspired me to focus more on FREE quality content on my site rather than just doing interviews and product reviews. In the IM space there is a lot bad S**T being released on a daily basis. I do like your model and it is one I am going to follow.

    You my friend are a powerhouse!


    • Matthew Woodward
      August 5th, 2015 at 10:25 am

      Thanks Huw I wish you luck :) Personally I hate interviews they are boring to read for the most part =/

  10. Eugene Mota

    Very inspiring Matt, as always! I look forward to your Instagram results. It’s a more challenging platform to make it work for us, but I definitely agree with you that it has a lot of potential.

    On a separate note, I would have expected hosting to account for a larger part of the income. I wonder what are your thoughts on that.

    Thanks again for sharing this awesome, insightful data,

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:29 am

      You mean hosting affiliate commissions?

  11. Yi Heng

    Hi, thanks for sharing this to us. I have a question to ask, does Instagram can be upload from website? As what I had search, there is no open API for Instagram. So do you have any suggestion?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:29 am

      There are a few tools to schedule Instagram posts in advance, have a search around :)

  12. David Briard

    I’m trying to crack the proverbial code on Instagram too. I’ve gotten good feedback, but my follower count is so small after 20+ pictures. Only a handful of people.

    My idea was to post beautifully designed websites and to find the most used hashtags. Strangely, I’ve gotten some positive feedback. So I’m not sure if I should quit, adjust, or keep going.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:30 am

      How are you going to take advantage of the traffic?

  13. Nelson

    Incredible. . . Getting there soon. Nice one here.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:30 am

      Thanks Nelson :)

  14. Louis Kennedy @ TheBizHelp.us

    Wow… Congrats man. You deserve it. I know how much you have worked for this.

    Keep it up!

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:31 am

      Thanks Louis :)

  15. Prabhat

    Your round up post was my monthly dose of reading. Please start that again.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:31 am

      That was published a few days earlier

  16. Paul Graham

    Hey Rockafella,

    And I don’t say that to just anyone you know :-)

    Do you know the thing I’m really surprised about – why you even bother doing consultancy work? I read some other stuff, probably in your backed-up emails, that spoke about this and you didn’t do it for a long time, so why do it now if you don’t need to?

    Just interested.

    ~ Paul

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Hey Paul,

      I get pitched things all the time and I turn most of it down, but every now and then a project comes along that peaks my interest :)

  17. Manivasagam

    Wow, that’s really great that too without internet / half of work compared to last month

    Inspiring Mathew :)

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:32 am

      Hold on tight for next month =D

  18. Anant Patel

    Hello Matthew,

    I am impressed with your monthly income. You have singed in bunch of affiliate account and i would like to know that how you will handel it. Do you have team who handel all account or you handel all account?

    Your post inspire me to get earn money with affilate marketing.

    Thanks a ton

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:32 am

      A team for what? To login to each account and pull a number?

      • Anant Patel
        August 4th, 2015 at 11:43 pm

        Hi Matthew,

        I don’t mean that. i mean how you started this much of affiliate programs? Do you promote each affiliate programs every month alone or do you have team for that?

        Sorry for the silly questions but i am new in this industry so i am not aware of that


  19. brendan

    Hey Matthew, Been following you for a while now and over the last 6 months I have learnt how to build my own websites with PHP and WordPress. I have created about 10 websites to sell on my own website and am now coming back to SEO. Cant wait to market my products once again.

    Just wanted to say thanks for all the info you have shared over the past few years.

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:33 am

      No problem Brendan glad to be of service :)

  20. Colin

    What an AWESOME month Matt, Congrats. $35k is very very good!

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:33 am

      Thanks Colin, you helped with that ;)

  21. Isaac Babji

    Haha. You pulled a fast one on me. Congrats man. I like the blog changes too. I hope to be able to contribute to your success in one way

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 7th, 2015 at 7:27 am

      How do you mean Isaac?

      • Isaac Babji
        August 7th, 2015 at 9:16 am

        As in the previous monthly report round up, i didn’t anticipate such a tremendous shift upwards.

        • Matthew Woodward
          August 10th, 2015 at 12:52 pm

          Oh I see, well that makes two of us haha

  22. Ankit Yadav

    Once again Matthew a great month for you, congratulations and I hope this will continue in future as well.

    Matthew I must say, the more I explore and read the content of your blog, more I get educated that there is a method to this madness of internet marketing and Google or any other search engine is not the law, we all have the right to pursue our own techniques, if done correctly as you show on your blog then the financial rewards are quite substantial.

    So Matthew if you keep working like this and contributing to the community, if there will be ever a knighthood for internet marketing then you will be the first recipient of it I can promise you that.

    And lastly Matthew as Darwin has said, “It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change”. I wish to be as responsive as you are with your actions that we have to take in today’s hyper competitive environment.


    Ankit Yadav

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:34 am

      Thank you for your very kind and wise words Ankit :)

  23. Alistair Dunne

    It would be interesting to know how you charge in terms of consultancy. Do you have a fixed hourly rate? Do you decide depending on the job?

    For example (I under stand you can’t go into details), what sort of work level was involved in the $4,000 of consultancy work?

    Was it literally just $4,000 for a ‘piece of your mind’ so to speak?

    • Matthew Woodward
      August 4th, 2015 at 6:36 am

      It depends as not every project is the same but in this case yes $4,000 to mastermind in Miami but this is the first consultation I have accepted in nearly 18 months purely on the basis the project has my interest.

      • Alistair Dunne
        August 4th, 2015 at 6:54 am

        So, for example, if I approached you with a hypothetical situation and ‘job’.

        For pricing, would you just work through a pros and cons process, and just pluck a number out of the sky?

        Sorry if I’m not putting the question clearly enough. I just think that pricing models are something which are very blurred in this industry. It’s not like an iPhone costs X amount to make, therefore we’ll sell it at a 250% profit. There’s no set maths to it, it seems. Or is there?

        • Matthew Woodward
          August 5th, 2015 at 7:09 am

          First of all I would review the situation and decide if I want to get involved, if I do – then I would tell you a price for that.

          Pricing can vary on complexity of job, do you want me to fly to you, do you need on going support etc etc

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