Monthly Income, Growth & Traffic Report – March 2014

This is the 20th 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 March

I’ve spent most of my time focused on building out my new course – I’m giving it as much attention as possible right now.

While I have been working on that I’ve been looking to grow the blog by promoting what I already have and inviting some new guest authors.

I’ve also had a few nice surprises throughout the month!

Content Creation

Last month I was pretty slack with publishing new content and only managed 4 posts – but this month that has doubled to 8!

I started off by proving gingers are taking over the world with my Facebook campaign – they’ll be a follow up to this soon!

Then I shared my Facebook marketing strategy that was netting a whopping 2,851% ROI!

There were also 4 awesome guest posts this month-

Thanks to all of the guest authors! If you think you can produce something awesome, let me know!

Blog Features

The blog only had a couple of features this month but one of them was over at Forbes.

The other came in the form of this epic post about increasing your email list where my blog was used as an example!

Course Progress

I’m trying to spend every spare minute I have building out the course content. I wish I could share what I already had with you guys – it’s going to rock the internet marketing world.

So far there are 5 main lessons created which contain 37 sub-lessons & 25 videos. That is a bunch of content right there and there are still 14 main lessons to create.

By the time the course is finished there will be nearly 150 sub-lessons guiding you from a blank piece of paper to a successful website online step by step.

course preview

I have also had some thoughts around pricing. I was going to give this away for free but the problem with that is people don’t value ‘free’ and rarely take any action.

I want people to enroll in the course that are hungry for success, willing to invest money & time into their own self development.

I want to end up with a list of hundreds of graduates all that have built a successful website with the course.

One way I can control that is with price point. To give you an extreme example of that – someone paying $5,000 will be infinitely more serious than someone paying $0.

Don’t worry though I won’t be pricing it anyway near that level :) But it will be a paid course.

Facebook Lead Generation – 5,905% ROI

Earlier in the month I shared my red hair vs blonde hair vs brunette hair split test.

Since then I have spent more time experimenting with Facebook ads. I’ve increase conversion rate of my landing pages with LeadPages and managed to target a wider audience.

The 5,905% ROI Campaign

During my experiments with Facebook ads I have started to take advantage of a little trick that seriously lowers your click prices & is highly targeted.

Check out the results of this campaign-

facebook ads

I’m getting a cost per click of $0.07 as well as a cost per lead of $0.20!

Each new lead is worth $17.81 and that campaign generated 598 new leads worth a total of $10,650.38.

The total campaign cost just $177.34 – that’s a 5,905% ROI right there.

How To Get Cheap Facebook Clicks

Facebook allows you to upload a custom audience of peoples specific user ID’s that you want to target. So if you had my Facebook user ID you could assume I would be interested in any advert about internet marketing.

When you target people on the very specific level like that, the click price drops through the floor. Not only that, but your click through rate sky rockets.

I’ve seen near 10% click through rates.

How To Do It

Basically what we are going to do is find a relevant Facebook page, group or event and then scrape a list of users that have interacted via likes, shares or comments.

Then we are going to upload that list to Facebook to target them with our ads.

To do this you will need a scraping tool – there are a few available but the past week I picked up FaceSniper. Unlike other tools it automatically updates and refreshes the audiences for you to find new people to target automatically.

I have also spoken with the developer and given a few suggestions of how to make it even more powerful with a couple of interface tweaks!

In the screenshot below for example you can see I have used FaceSniper to scrape a list of users that have interacted with Moz.


Then you just download the CSV and go over to Facebook Ads > Audiences > Create Audience > Data File Custom Audience and upload the file.

facebook audiences

Now you can target that audience with any ad you want – I’ll write a more detailed post about this at some point but get a head start while you still can!

Warning: Scraping user ID’s is against Facebooks terms of service. I haven’t had a problem & I’m a black hat at heart so just be aware of that!

Do Not Forget

It is no good getting cheap clicks if you aren’t converting them into leads.

If you look at my Facebook advertising strategy you can learn how I setup and optimise my landing pages with LeadPages.

It is critical you pay attention to that & I have just upgraded my LeadPages subscription to an annual one.

The increase in conversion I managed to get with just 1 campaign paid for the annual subscription a few times over.

YouTube Design Update

Last month the CoolChatta team redesigned my social profiles.

Check them out here-

The only problem was I had forgotten about the YouTube profile so the CoolChatta team fixed it up for me-

youtube profile

It looks great on every device – check it out.

Made A Bucket List

I’ve wanted to make a bucket list for a long time and after seeing this epic quest I was inspired.

I eventually came across BucketListly. It is one of the best websites/services I’ve come across in a while!

It’s super easy to use and quite addictive – I’ve even managed to crack the top 5 leader board!


You can also use it to create an awesome year in review – how cool is that?

Make your own bucket list & follow me!

Speaking At Affiliate Summit

Affiliate summit badgeIn January I won the Best Affiliate Blog of Affiliate Summit and had an all expenses paid trip to attend the conference in Las Vegas.

You can catch up on all the action with my affiliate summit guide – it really is the biggest affiliate party in the world.

I have been invited to speak at the next Affiliate Summit in New York August 10th-12th.

I will have a great talk for you packed full of actionable takeaway content!

If you want to hook up – get your ticket now!

Speaking At GPeC E-Commerce Gala

I’ll also be speaking at the GPeC E-Commerce Gala in Bucharest, Romania 27th-28th May.

This talk is going to be an ecommerce SEO focused talk looking at what 99% of e-commerce sites get wrong and how to evolve or die in 2014.

Again there will be lots of actionable content throughout and if you can’t make it to New York it would be great to see you in Bucharest!

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 gently from 42,227 (1,508/day) last month to 49,421 (1,594/day) which if patterns are to be believed will lead to bigger jump next month.

analytics overview

Most Popular Content

The how to start a successful blog and make money tutorial dominates this month with the tutorial teaching you to steal competitor backlinks coming in 2nd.

The stealing your competitors content post also performed well.

We also saw good performances from my how to build an ecommerce website posts.

Analytics content performance

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.

top traffic sources

Search Engine Traffic

Last month Google sent 35,963 (1,284 per day) where as this month they sent 40,810 – a steady rise to 1,316 per day!

All of the top 10 spots are now fully controlled by ‘brand’ based searches.

analytics keywords

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 32,308 views which has increased to 77,845 this month!

The most exciting YouTube metric though is minutes watched which has jumped from 173,506 to 383,330!!

To be honest those metrics seem a bit out of line and I’m not sure why there has been a huge jump like that – will investigate that at some point!

youtube statistics

Social Shares

The blog has seen a total of 38,842 shares across Facebook, Twitter and Google+ this month compared to 35,794 last month.

  • Google+ – 9,512 (8,317 last month)
  • Twitter – 17,613 (16,336 last month)
  • Facebook – 11,717 (11,141 last month)

My Forum Statistics

I’ve spent more time cleaning up the spam on the forum which has seen the user count drop from 6,560 to 5,889.

There were 64 news topics and 36 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: 5,889 (6,560 last month)
  • Topics: 1,086 (1,022 last month)
  • Posts: 3,397 (3,361 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 7,785 new subscribers across various channels which is a nice increase from last month’s 5,703.

There are now a total of 35,741 subscribers across all of the different channels.

  • E-mail – 5,063 (3,277 last month) / Total: 18,966
  • Twitter – 258 (191 last month) / Total: 3,252
  • YouTube – 406 (502 last month) / Total: 4,185
  • Facebook – 1,076 (794 last month) / Total: 3,278
  • Google+ – 936 (958 last month) / Total: 5,244
  • RSS – 46 (-19 last month) / Total: 816

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 – $11,955.13
  • Consultation Income – $00.00
  • Expenses – $1,166.00

Grand Total: $10,789.13 / £6,487.36 ($14,829.04 / £8,848.93 last month)

Income has dropped off while my attention is else where – but it’s still above my $10k goal!

How to start a successful blog in 7 days

Signing Off

Income has dropped off this month as my attention is diverted with the course and moving country next month. Expenses were also on the up with a couple of one time fees.

It will be interesting to see how the seeds I have planted this month grow next month which is going to be pretty rocky.

In 4 weeks I will leave to travel Costa Rica and next week I’m going to Snowbombing – there is still an awful lot for me to prepare and get ready!

This might come at the cost of writing new posts for the blog but I’ll do what I can!

Never stop growing.

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