Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – March 2013

This is the eighth income report as part of the zero link building case study.

Every month I will be publishing 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 March

Well, I have really driven the blog forward this month publishing a fair amount of new content and I pissed some people off as well!

Even managed to sneak a quick break-in!

Content Creation

I promised to write more posts this month and I did!

I wrote a total of 8 posts this month which included my WPEngine review & competition and the IFTTT basic tutorial video.

In answer to reader requests I created this SENuke XCR tutorial and a post focusing sharing my Wordpress security tips.

There was also the logo split test case study and let’s not forget the regular income report round up and what I have read posts.

Met Terry Kyle

I went down to London to meet Terry Kyle (owner of TrafficPlanet forums).

We had a glorious view of London, some great food and talked internet at each other. We were also joined by Malcolm Simmonds and Chris Freville – a lot of dangerous minds for one room!

Club Room

Pissed Some People Off

For an upcoming case study, I was going to demonstrate the effectiveness of content syndication through guest posting linked back to my Google+ account/authorship.

I sent out this email to a few hundred blogs with the subject – “The Most Popular Guest Post You’ll Publish This Year”

Totally automated it as well – which will probably piss more people off.

Automated Email

Anyway, it turns out people are terrified of duplicate content .

Let’s just say that it really didn’t go down well!

I did sorta make good on the promise of the most popular post he’ll publish this year though looking at the comment numbers!

Irony you devil!

It truly is amazing to see how scared people are of providing high-quality relevant content to their readers in fear of Google.

If syndicated content is such a problem, care to explain these search results? Didn’t think so.

If you want to publish the post you can get it here – just copy and paste, I’ll even host the images on my CDN network for you!

Drop me an email with the URL so I can set up authorship to let Google know what we are doing :)

Here is a slide from the video to keep you going-

Free Software Progress

Still plugging away on the free piece of software I’m going to launch – sorry for the delay guys there is a lot more to deal with than I thought.

Things aren’t moving as quickly as I would like them to due to external reliances on developers, copywriters, and designers but it’s getting there slowly!

I’ll just use the spare time to publish more content anyway while you’re waiting =D

Here is a sneak peek look at a slide from the video to keep you going-

Video Slide

Sticky Thread Status

The week before meeting Terry, he was kind enough to sticky my tutorial thread at Traffic Planet.

That’s some nice easy exposure on a daily basis so thanks very much!

Wish they would do the same at BlackHatWorld ^^

Started With Quora

I signed up with Quora as a possible new traffic source for the blog.

I spent quite a bit of time optimizing my profile which allows you to add links all over the place.

For any of the specific topics/experiences you follow you can create a unique author line that includes a URL.

Look at my profile here to see how I have done it and tied each topic to a relevant post on my blog. This shows up every time I answer something on that topic.

Not actually got round to answering many questions yet, only 19 so far but it’s now part of my regular promotion schedule.

Installed Thirsty Affiliates

I also installed the Thirsty Affiliates plugin on the blog.

The forum is getting a huge amount of traffic now and when people were discussing products I wanted them to automatically turn into affiliate links.

I wanted that to happen just on the forum and nowhere else which was a problem for rival plugins like SEO Smart Links – even the top paid version! None of them could even insert the links to the forum!

But Josh the creator of Thirsty Affiliates came through a treat with a bit of custom code.

He even added custom Google Analytics tracking for me – that is a support you cannot ignore right there!

I’ve seen a huge boost in the number of affiliate clicks since deploying the plugin but I’ll reveal more in a full-blown case study soon!

Keyword Optimisation

In a previous what I have read post I highlighted an article called How To Increase Search Traffic With Analytics.

So I went through that article and applied it to the blog about a week ago.

I’ll be keeping a close eye to see if any noticeable changes are felt traffic-wise – I did an awful lot of tweaking =D

The Cloud Is Amazing

This year I plan to travel a lot so I decided it was important to always have access to everything no matter where I am in the world with whatever device.

Whether I’m stuck in the middle of nowhere with a 10-year-old phone or sitting in the airport with my laptop I want to be able to access and do everything as if I was sat in the office.

Doing that presented a few challenges and I’m going to write a more detailed post about this, but after carefully considering everything this is what I did.

First of all I set up Google Apps for the domain which now takes control of my email, calendar and provides cloud storage.

Then I migrated from Firefox to Chrome full time which syncs all of your tabs, bookmarks, browsing history, and so forth.

On top of that, you can install a bunch of cool apps like image editors, PDF editors, video editors, text editors, SEO tools, etc that all run within the browser.

They sync across all of your devices as well.

Next up was passwords and although I have used Roboform for many years it just doesn’t cut it when it comes to access on other devices.

So after a bit of research I discovered LastPass and paid $12 for the annual subscription.

Super simple to use, much cleaner than Roboform and you can import all your existing passwords from a range of programs/services.

It plays nice with every single browser and device on the market as well – winner!

So with browser, email, calendar, and mobile apps sorted I just needed to work out storage and remote access.

I have a few hard drives with files all over the place from previous computers, backups, projects, and so on – you know how it is!

so I took time to get everything fully organized, backups archived, searched/removed duplicate files and empty folders. A data spring clean if you like! Much easier to find everything now older project folders are archived and everything’s neat/tidy.

Once that was done I decided to take the plunge of 100GB of Google Drive data for just $4.99 per month! Then I moved the My Documents location to be the Google Drive folder and keep an ‘offline My Documents’ folder for sensitive things and large files like my video tutorials (this gets backed up locally).

Remote access was easy enough using windows built-in remote desktop system. I just got set up with and forwarded the ports from my router – simple!

Don’t forget I use The Secret Weapon to organise my entire life (you should as well) which is based on Evernote so that already syncs in the cloud.

Oh, and music – life would not be complete without music! Well, that one goes to the Google Music service which lets you store 20,000 tracks free of charge and syncs across devices.

Outside Office
The end result is as long as I have a web browser I can access all of my files and edit them live.

I have access to pretty much any application I need through Chrome and everything syncs between my desktop, laptop, tablet, and phone. I mean – everything!

I can even just remote in and take control of my actual home PC if needs be from my phone/tablet/laptop which has everything from Photoshop to Camtasia Studio.

When I take a picture on the phone or tablet – it is instantly backed up and sent to the cloud.

I’ve been setup like this for a few days now and I’ve got to say – it is a much smarter way to work online!

Having the ability to set up office in less than 30 seconds anywhere I want will be very freeing.

Bought A New Laptop

New LaptopWith all of that setup and the end of the UK tax year lurking I needed a new laptop to view it all through!

Although I have an Android-based Asus Transformer tablet my laptop has survived through a number of trips down the stairs and various spillages through its 5-year life.

It weighs a ton, is really big, has a massive crackdown on the screen, and can’t survive off the power lead for more than 10 seconds.

So I bought myself one of these ultra portable Asus laptops with an 2.5Ghz i5 processor, 4GB RAM, 2GB Nvidia Geforce graphics weighing just 1.8KG from SaveOnLaptops.

Also has an HD webcam, USB 3, Bluetooth 4, and a card reader which will all be handy when working away from the office!

Went To Iceland

I also managed to squeeze a short trip to Iceland towards the end of the month.

We went to Reykjavik and saw The Northern Lights, which was the 2nd best show the tour guide had ever seen – very lucky indeed!

Then we went whale watching and saw about 8 different whales in total. 2 of which came within 20 metres of our boat to play! Magnificant creates in their natural habitat!

We also took the Golden Circle tour to some of the most beautiful places in Iceland including a look at the Geyser.

Even had time to relax in the natural geothermal Blue Lagoon spa!

A beautiful country with a fantastic culture – I recommend you visit!







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

Visitors or on the increase in a big way this month jumping from 9,938 (avg 355/day) unique visitors to 13,487 (avg 435/day)!

That is a pretty sharp rate of growth and I’m more than happy with it – let’s hope it continues throughout this month.

Analytics Visitor Statistics

Most Popular Content

As with previous months the tiered link building tutorials are holding their own in the leaderboard.

Nice to see the IFTTT post getting some attention as well – fantastic free tool that you need to be using.


Top Traffic Sources

Not much has changed in terms of traffic sources, Google remains dominant in the #1 spot which isn’t bad for zero link building.

The tweaks to my YouTube channel and reuploading the videos did the trick seeing great growth in traffic from YouTube – which provides the highest quality traffic all round.

Top Traffic Sources

Search Engine Traffic

Search traffic continues to grow at a rapid rate with a total of 10,323 visits (333 per day) across 2560 keywords.

That is a huge jump from last months 6,935 (247 per day)/919 keywords!

All without link building at all!

Does make me wonder why this post isn’t consistently the most popular post though.

Keyword Traffic Analytics

YouTube Views

I lost all of my historical YouTube views because of all of the changes I made this month – so I keep track of them separately.

Last month there were a total of 5,912 video views with a total time watched of 34,641 minutes.

This month though there were a total of 10,835 views with a huge total time watched of 65,037!

I had set my goal at 43,829 minutes which would mean every minute of every day someone is watching my videos and I’ve smashed that by an extra 30,396 minutes!

Suppose the next goal is 131,487 minutes watched then!

Youtube Analytics

Social Shares

Last month there were a running total of 5,958 social shares across all pages of the blog.

This has now increased to a huge 8,713 across Facebook, Twitter and Google+

  • Google+ – 1,162 (967 last month)
  • Twitter – 5,207 (3,041 last month)
  • Facebook – 2,344 (1,950 last month)

How long until I acquire social media whore status?

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My Forum Statistics

I am very pleased with the progress at the forum and all you guys are helping each other as well!

Nice growth this month adding adding 155 users, 79 topics and 310 replys!

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

  • Users: 588 (433 last month)
  • Topics: 337 (258 last month)
  • Posts: 1,340 (1,030 last month)

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The metric I most look forward to reporting on each month is the increase in subscribers. You are the guys that are going to keep coming back time and time again and I have earnt the right to stay in touch with you!

I now have a total of 4,388 subscribers across all of the channels – that’s up an extra 1,191 subscribers from last month which ment you guys subscribed at a rate of 38 per day, wow!

  • E-mail – 613 (543 last month) / Total: 2,125
  • Twitter – 171 (93 last month) / Total: 589
  • YouTube – 142 (70 last month) / Total: 511
  • Facebook – 61 (46 last month) / Total: 760
  • Google+ – 115 (159 last month) / Total: 352
  • RSS – 89 (90 last month) / Total: 354

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Forum Promotion Posts

While I was so focused on creating content I wasn’t so active on the forums.

I only made a total of 169 posts, ouch!

  • TrafficPlanet – 71 posts (2,177 visits)
  • WarriorForum – 37 posts (1,992 visits)
  • BlackHatWorld – 61 posts (3,621 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.

This month I generated $1,100.69 / £725.00 in consultation earnings down from last months $151.69 / £100.00

Earnings Total

  • Affiliate Income – $4,901.49
  • Consultation Income – $1,100.69
  • Expenses – $48.95

Grand Total: $5,953.23 / £3,919.43 ($3,695.59 / £2,456.68 last month)

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How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

Not a bad month of growth with affiliate income on the rise steadily which means the blog pretty much runs itself income wise now!

I put a lot more effort into the content creation side of things and the traffic and income levels have certainly paid off!

This month I have quite a few things lined up including 2 new competitions so stand by for those! I’ll also have the results of some intereting case studies to share with you all.

In the mean time I’m about to walk out the door and fly out to Snowboming in Austria, brb.

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

45 Responses

  1. tiroberts

    What a fantastic income report, Matthew.

    I just read your response to the comment above mine and I LOVE your work ethic; it most certainly pays off.

    The reports are insanely motivating and it gives me inspiration and continued drive to reach my own goals.

    Thank you so much for all you do and I wish you much continued success! :)


    • Matthew Woodward
      July 29th, 2013 at 10:42 am

      Thanks Ti – you’ve got to work hard to play hard :P

  2. coni k

    How the hell do you get to do all those things its either I’m lazy(which is true) or I’m not doing something right. But making all that money from a blog is pretty impressive

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 19th, 2013 at 8:50 pm


      Actually I had to pull off some crazy stuff just to publish this income report – I usually post it in the afternoon of the 1st every month because it takes so long to write, but this month I posted it at 09:25am.

      The problem was this, I had to leave for Snowbombing on the 1st April at 9:30 am.

      I can’t get the final numbers to produce this post until 00:01 am on the 1st.

      So I just did what needed to be done and with seconds to spare hit the publish button, sent the email out and walked out the door straight into a 21 hour journey. Didn’t even have time to proof read it, check images worked, graphs worked, links worked etc etc

      Snowbombing was 7 days of skiing all day and partying into the early hours of the morning. I was pretty broken by the time we were leaving.

      Then this-

      Sun 7th 1pm – leave austria
      Sun 7th 9pm – arrive home, start work
      Mon 8th 5am – stop work, sleeeeep!
      Mon 8th 9am-10pm – work
      Tue 9th 8am-10pm – work
      Wednesday 10th – mind, body, soul broken – client booked for 10am, didnt wake up till 1pm. Start of chest infection, still not had time to go the doctors.
      Thursday – 7am-9pm work (catching up on the catching up now)

      I pretty much work like that 6/7 days a week. If I need to finish earlier, I start earlier. Sometimes I have the afternoon off here and there but that time is made up for that.

      That might sound like a lot of work to some, but its a lot of fun to me – this is my passion :)

      Turns out I’m probably going to be writing the next income report whilst I’m travelling – should be interesting…

  3. PrIyAnGsHu @ Blogging Tips

    Those are some great stats, Mathew. Eagerly waiting for your free piece of software to launch :).

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 13th, 2013 at 8:23 pm

      Soon :P

  4. Zack

    Matt,do you involve in Adsense too?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 12th, 2013 at 9:37 am


      Not anymore – I used to have it on one of my bigger sites but monetised it better

  5. Hameem


    Just wondering who draws the caricatures (like the one you have under “free software progress”?


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 12th, 2013 at 9:40 am


      All will be revealed in due course :) Thats actually a slide from a video not a picture

  6. Rod Bryant

    Matthew, I think I recognise that London photo – a gym’s bar in Knightsbridge?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 9th, 2013 at 12:02 am

      You know it ^^

  7. Chris

    Do you feel that focusing on creating great content as opposed to trying to build backlinks has help increase your traffic & ranking faster?

  8. Raj

    Avg 435/day traffic and $5,953.23 monthly income, seriouslly outstanding no words.

    Even so called professional bloggers fail to come up to this level. Although they receive thousands of traffic.

    Keep growing matt!

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 3:46 pm

      Hi Raj,

      Thanks very much – I’m trying my best ^^

  9. Iain Robson

    I have a quora account as well, but I haven’t answered many questions there.

    I am interested to see how your quora experiment goes. I know some people have had great luck using it. I personally haven’t used it as much as I should.

    To be honest, I end up answering more messages in a private group in Google+.

    You actually made me think about my Youtube, and how I should optimize it more, so thank you.

    Great post. See you on the web.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2013 at 4:49 pm

      Hi Iain,

      I havent put all that much effort into it just yet other than optimising my profile for clicks etc but I have a weekly promo schedule, eg Mondays are BHW/Quora, Tuesdays are Traffic Planet/Warrior Forum etc so hopefully it will build in time but I may put more focus on it to get the ball rolling.

      Are you getting good traffic from Google+ ? Have you considered just answering peoples questions with dedicated blog posts and then sending them to that? Its basically what I do.

      Check out the post about how to add a forum to your site and see how I leveraged private questions to grow traffic to the site.

      Youtube is definetly worth spending time on – check your analytics to see how it performs for you though

      • Iain
        April 6th, 2013 at 5:01 pm

        I am getting ok traffic from Google+. As I mentioned, it is mostly from private groups. Some of the question I’m answering aren’t quite in my niche.

        Although I suppose I could do a blog post dedicated to it in either case.

        I am far from being a master of traffic generation that is for sure.

        I agree with you on the Youtube point. I haven’t gotten much traffic back to site yet, it is mostly just people watching them.

        I’ll I have to check out that post.

        • Matthew Woodward
          April 8th, 2013 at 3:48 pm

          But how does that traffic perform? Are they clicking links, signing up etc?

          • Iain
            April 8th, 2013 at 7:11 pm

            A lot of the places I am directing them to aren’t my site. I just seem to know where to find things.

          • Matthew Woodward
            April 9th, 2013 at 8:19 am

            Then your doing it wrong ^^ :P

          • Iain
            April 9th, 2013 at 9:05 am

            Yeah. :(

            I shall have to work on that one.

            I’ll work on it. :D

      • Zul
        April 8th, 2013 at 3:16 am

        HI Matt,

        Really inspiring report :) Congratulation dude..

        I hope you can teach us in video about Google + and Google Alert…I read your article about the G alert ninja guide but if you put it into video it’s much more better..

        best regards, :)


        • Matthew Woodward
          April 8th, 2013 at 3:45 pm


          Good suggestion – I’ll be optimsing my Google+ profile at some point so will do a follow up tutorial!

  10. Sanj Modha

    Hey Matt,

    This whole “Google hates syndicated content” is such a farce and probably started by all the Matt Cutts fan boys. I totally use syndicated over spintax for all my tiered link building.

    It’s a shame really. Common sense goes out the window to be replaced by Google hysteria.



    PS – we went to Iceland last Feb. It was awesome although the food sucked (I’m a veggie!). Did you try out the snowmobiling?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 4:02 pm


      Feel free to post your thoughts at lion blogger :)

      No didn’t do any of the real adventurey stuff like that unfortunately

  11. Massimiliano

    Hi Matthew, nice post, just correct the lines on your affiliate earnings ;)

    Ultimate Demon – $1,312.25 (my tutorial series)
    Ultimate Demon – $300.00

    Maxok, from BHW

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

      Wooop nice spot – fixed thank you!

  12. Tony Golan

    Met TK ?

    I’m jealous! :D

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2013 at 4:44 pm

      Haha he is a cool guy – helped to give me some perspective and food for thought on the future of the business ^^ Had me racking my brain for weeks now lol

  13. Sam Matla

    Awesome as always, Matt!

    That’s an interesting guest posting technique, I’m not sure how bad duplicate content really is at the moment and I’m finding my most popular post is being copied and pasted on websites everywhere.

    I suppose if there’s a link back then it’s not too bad, but my SEO skills are sub-par.

    Just a question, you don’t need to answer it – what do you use for those graphs? Are they HTML5 graphs or just an image?


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 3:59 pm

      Hi Sam,

      Thanks very much =D

      If anyone can give me a decent argument to explain that Google result I’m all ears! None of the haters have managed to yet, always skip over that part.

      I’m using excel and Chart Boot for them.

  14. Kuraj

    This is VERY informative. Thank you for making it available. Would you be so kind as to suggest a starting point for learning from your site? For someone looking to begin doing what you do where would you have them start the learning process?

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 6th, 2013 at 4:41 pm


      Well I would start with some hands on experience of the web, marketing, sales psychology and conversion.

      Bear in mind I have over a decade of experience behind what I’m doing, but it was all learnt by getting my hands dirty and failing/learning as I go – which I still do every day :)

  15. Abdul

    Awesome. I’ve been so fortunate to find your blog.
    Just started a new physics games website and going to be using your tiered link building guide to help get it ranked

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Hi Abdul,

      Good luck with your ventures

  16. seekdefo

    Hi Matt, with all the debacle on guest posting, does it really matter if we post duplicate content on other sites? When I asked Kim Roach about it her reply was something like this. There are only a few people who really understand google’s duplicate content penalty and its about the duplicate on your own site and not others

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 3:58 pm


      No it doesn’t but as you can see people are terrified of it!

  17. Akbar Sheikh

    Excellent insight Matt! In your blog income roundup (previous post)
    You mentioned about telling us on your next tutorial series? I think you missed it ! Or I skipped !


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2013 at 9:20 am

      Hi Akbar,

      That was actually in last months income report :)

  18. Peter Macinkovic

    In regards to people beign scared of duplicate content, I will use this analogy.

    Take 5 chimpanzees. They are in a room witha step ladder in the middle with bananas suspend above. Everytime a chimpanzee approaches the step ladder to attempt to grab the bananas, the room unleashes the spriklers dousing the chimps. Eventually, the chimpanzees learn not to approach the step-ladder.

    Remove one chimpanzee with a fresh one. This chimpanzee approaches the step ladder to get the bananas but is immediately beaten by the 4 others who do not want to get wet. That chimpanzee learns not to approach the ladder out of fear of being beaten. Iterate. Eventually you will have 5 chimpanzees who have never been wet, beating any new chimp approachign the ladder not and not knowing why the ladder is forbidden.


    This is kind of what it’s like with the whole duplicate content mindset within people practicing SEO. They live in fear of content farms and maintaining unqiue content that they are unaware of the very origins of the duplicate content filter within Google which originally was to deter automatically generated web pages for certain keywords (essentially turning websites with a dozen indexable pages into one with hundreds or thousands). The engineers at Google recognised this as an inefficency so they “devalued” it, this includes things like domain masking and aggrated syndication.

    Everytime you send a press release, that content gets syndicated. Hell, Google a Mashable story in exact quotes for the title and you will see that story get repblished hundreds of times with websites using RSS syndicated content for their niche. Doesn’t hurt Mashable one bit.

    The fear of duplicate content is a myth perpetuated by SEO horror stories and one that is so accepted in face value when the reality is that your original content from the source should be fine. If it isn’t fine due to syndication, then Google would be doing a terrible job.

    • Matthew Woodward
      April 8th, 2013 at 3:57 pm


      Great analogy =D

      How do you propose setting something up to disprove it that doesn’t spark all of this though ^^

  19. bashoo

    Man your are awesome!

    You inspire me so much i would be looking for your software which is in the making


    • Matthew Woodward
      April 2nd, 2013 at 9:19 am

      Hi Bashoo,

      glad to be your inspiration, lets turn that into cash!

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